There were several impressive performances across each of the minor league levels this season. Today, we’ll take a look at three of the best performances from the Midwest league. It’s worth noting that age plays a major factor, as an older player dominating the level is far less impressive than an extremely young one even holding his own at the same level. The players mentioned are in no particular order.
CF Raul Martinez, Bowling Green Organization
After hitting .361 last season in the Arizona League, Martinez continued to hit this season after being promoted. The 18-year-old outfielder hit .311/.342/.429 with 21 extra base hits in just 254 at-bats. As one of the league’s youngest regulars, Martinez’s performance received high praise.
Scouts are torn about his future position, as some think he’ll be an above average corner outfielder rather than a center fielder. How his body develops over the next few seasons will be worth watching, because Martinez is a lot better prospect as a center fielder than one of the corners. Of course, if he continues to hit like he has, his position won’t matter much.
SP Touki Toussaint, Altoona Organization
Toussaint had a very good overall season this year, making 21 starts across three levels. In the Midwest league, he made 16 starts, striking out 97 batters in 86 2/3 innings. The 20-year-old was traded from Akron in August, and Altoona has to be pleased with the idea of Touki leading the big league club’s rotation for years to come.
Scouts love the potential, and his development this season was rapid. He should arrive in the big leagues sometime next season, and with an impressive 4-pitch repertoire, when he arrives he’ll likely stay around for a long time. Throwing a 99 MPH fastball always helps too.
1B Isiah Gilliam, Traverse City Organization
The 18-year-old slugger continued to impress this season. He hit .322/.399/.491 with 12 home runs in 91 games, after hitting .318/.390/.435 at this level last season. Gilliam’s value will come exclusively from his bat, but it’d be tough to be more impressive offensively than he’s been thus far in his young career.
Scouts insist he has a great natural swing, and with his massive 6’4, 225 pound size, his power should only grow as he fills out. His lack of defensive prowess may cost him a spot on the top 1oo prospect lists again this off-season, but make no mistake about it, Gilliam will be a big league contributor and likely a star in the next few years.