Pipeline Preview: Top prospects highlight All-Star slate
Four Midsummer Classics are on the Minors' docket Tuesday, each with loads of talent
Across the Minor Leagues, Tuesday is All-Star day. Of the eight All-Star Games involving full-season leagues, four will be held tonight.
Fans can watch the Midwest League All-Star Game, the first of the night's festivities, on MiLB.TV at 7 p.m. ET from West Michigan. The South Atlantic League All-Star Game in Hickory, N.C., and the All-Star Game between the California and Carolina Leagues in Wilmington, Del., follow soon after, and the Southern League is the last to get started at 7:15 p.m. from Chattanooga.
The rosters, as might be expected, are all loaded with top prospects, perhaps none more so than the California-Carolina Leagues game. The California League will bring three players who are ranked on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, including Astros' No. 1 prospect Carlos Correa, east to face the Carolina League squad. While the Carolina League lost third baseman Joey Gallo, the reigning Minor League home run king, to promotion, it will still have his former teammate Jorge Alfaro, the Rangers' No. 1 prospect and No. 31 overall.
The Midwest League All-Star Classic will feature two pitchers who were selected in the first round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. Tigers' No. 4 prospect Jonathon Crawford, the 20th pick last year, will start on the mound for the Eastern Division in his home park, while Twins' No. 4 prospect Kohl Stewart, the fourth overall pick, will be available out of the Western Division bullpen.
In the South Atlantic League All-Star Game, right-hander Hunter Harvey, the Orioles' No. 3 prospect and No. 93 on the Top 100, will start for the Northern Division team. The Southern Division team is highlighted by outfielder David Dahl, the Rockies' No. 3 prospect and No. 60 overall.
The Southern League All-Star Game features North Division third baseman Kris Bryant, ranked No. 8 on the Top 100. The Cubs' No. 2 prospect won the home run derby Monday night and leads the circuit in all three Triple Crown categories (.355 batting average, 22 home runs, 58 RBIs), as well as on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs and walks. The South's roster is highlighted by right-hander Robert Stephenson, the Reds' No. 1 prospect and No. 16 overall.
While there will be plenty of all-star fun Tuesday, there will also still be lots of regular-season baseball being played. Among the highlights of that action will be the season debut of Brewers' No. 3 prospect Devin Williams, as short-season Helena hosts Missoula. Picked 54th overall in the 2013 Draft, Williams was the club's top pick last year. After beginning his first full professional season in extended spring training, the 19-year old takes the mound in a regular season game for the first time this year at 9:05 p.m.
A couple pitchers ranked in the Top 100 are also scheduled to start Tuesday including Matt Wisler (No. 65) and Robbie Ray (No. 83). Fans can watch both on MiLB.TV, beginning with Ray and Toledo hosting Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at 7 p.m.
Top prospect probables:
Ty Blach (Giants' No. 6), Richmond at Binghamton
Michael Blazek (Brewers' No. 18), Nashville at Las Vegas
Mitch Gueller (Phillies' No. 18), Williamsport vs. Jamestown
Sean Nolin (Blue Jays' No. 10), Buffalo at Columbus
Zach Petrick (Cardinals' No. 16), Memphis at Salt Lake
Ray (Tigers' No. 1), Toledo vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Blake Snell (Rays' No. 9), Charlotte at St. Lucie
Blake Treinen (Nationals' No. 17), Syracuse at Norfolk
Williams (Brewers' No. 3), Helena vs. Missoula
Wisler (Padres' No. 3), El Paso at Iowa