Prospect Team Of The Month: June
An all-star team comprised of prospects, based on their performance in the minors during the month of June. Monthly all-prospect team archives available here.
The runs above average (RAA) estimates are calculated by Baseball America. For batters, weighted on-base average (wOBA) is used to calculate RAA, and for pitchers, runs allowed per nine innings (R/9) is used.
C Francisco Mejia • Indians Double-A Akron (Eastern)
Mejia led all minor league catchers with a .361 average in June and has continued to produce hits and extra-base hits with a high-contact approach. The 21-year-old switch-hitter led the Eastern League batting race (.339) as the season gave way to Futures Game weekend.
1B Ryan McMahon • Rockies Triple-A Albuquerque (Pacific Coast)
The 2013 second-round pick led all minor league batters with 21 extra-base hits in June while compiling a 1.183 OPS. The 22-year-old McMahon slammed 14 home runs through 80 games between Albuquerque and Double-A Hartford, and he was well on his way to eclipsing his personal high mark of 18 bombs.
2B Nick Solak • Yankees High Class A Tampa (Florida State)
A second-round pick last year, Solak followed Louisville teammates and first-rounders Corey Ray, Zack Burdi and Will Smith off the board. Solak doesn't produce much power, but he's a top-of-the-lineup pest who draws walks (fourth in the Florida State League), rarely strikes out and owns a .312 average in pro ball.
3B Rafael Devers • Red Sox Double-A Portland (Eastern)
Power separated Devers from a crowded field of third basemen in June that included the Twins' Travis Blankenhorn (11.5 RAA) at low Class A and the Astros' J.D. Davis (10.4) at Double-A. Devers ranked fourth among all minor league batters with a .402 isolated slugging percentage for the month.
SS Bo Bichette • Blue Jays Low Class A Lansing (Midwest)
The 2016 second-rounder's historic season in the Midwest League gained steam in June, when he hit .400 for the month for the first time this season. As of July 6, Bichette led the MWL in average, hits, doubles, on-base percentage, slugging, extra-base hits and runs. He led the minors with a .383 average.
OF Yusniel Diaz • Dodgers High Class A Rancho Cucamonga (California)
Diaz may be repeating the California League this season, but he still is just 20 years old and is in just his second season in the U.S. after leaving Cuba. He turned his season around in June, when he eliminated the pre-pitch movement in his setup, and began producing for average and power.
OF Zack Granite • Twins Triple-A Rochester (International)
Granite emerged as a prospect in 2016, when he led the minors with 56 stolen bases, and completed his breakout this June, when he hit an astonishing .470 in 117 at-bats. With that performance, Granite rocketed to the top of the International League batting race at .365.
OF Austin Hays • Orioles High Class A Frederick (Carolina)
Few 2016 draftees have improved their stock more than Hays, a third-rounder from Jacksonville. The 22-year-old righthanded batter hit .328/.364/.592 with 16 home runs in 64 games at Frederick to earn a June 22 promotion to Double-A Bowie, where he compiled a .927 OPS through his first 14 games.
LHP Steven Brault • Pirates Triple-A Indianapolis (International)
The Pirates have seen Brault's velocity tick upwards since they acquired him from the Orioles for Travis Snider in early 2015. He turned his season around in May when he started attacking hitters and working in more advantage counts, and since May 1 he has recorded a 1.31 ERA and allowed one home run in 87 innings.
RHP Corbin Burnes • Brewers Double-A Biloxi (Southern)
Burnes assumed the overall minor league ERA lead at 1.13 by allowing just five runs in his first six Double-A starts. Earlier this season, the 2016 fourth-rounder pitched his way out of high Class A Carolina by going 5-0, 1.05 in 10 starts. Burnes also ranks second in the minors with a 0.84 WHIP.
LHP Matt Hall • Tigers High Class A Lakeland (Florida State)
Hall had one of the best curveballs available in the 2015 draft, and he has used the pitch to great effect by carving up low-level competition with 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings. He turns 24 in July and is too advanced for the Florida State League, but recording a 0.00 ERA for an entire month is difficult, regardless of level.
RHP Zack Littell • Yankees High Class A Tampa (Florida State)
The Yankees must feel good about their November 2016 trade with the Mariners that netted them Littell for James Pazos. Littell had pitched his way to Double-A Trenton by late June, while ranking among the organization leaders with a 1.89 ERA (12th in the minors) and 82 strikeouts.
RHP Mike Soroka • Braves Double-A Mississippi (Southern)
Soroka might be a teenager in Double-A, but he sure hasn't pitched like one. He ranks third in the Southern League ERA race at 2.55 after a typically excellent showing in June in which he allowed three earned runs in five starts.
Say Cheese: MLB Hitters Are Adjusting To Seeing 100 mph More Often
As a 20-year-old rookie, Rafael Devers hit the first homer off a 102 mph pitch (Aroldis Chapman) of the Statcast era.