Hey, everyone, Jonathan here. Going to try to serve two purposes here: Posting our picks-to-click for the week and providing an update on our Player/Pitcher of the Year Candidates. For those of you not listening — and why aren’t you? — we’ve been unofficially nominating POTYs on Around the Minors on just about every show (12-1 p.m. ET on MLB Radio; also available on podcast). So let’s get to our nominees for Player of the Year (we’ll do pitchers toimorrow) so far (If you want to add your nominees, or vote for one of ours, please do so via the comments):
Player of the Year Nominees
Ryan Goleski, OF, Akron Aeros: He’s hitting .309 with 23 homers and 92 RBIs (9th in the Minors). The Indians’ OF prospect got a combined .569 SLG between Kinston and Akron. You can listen to our interview with Ryan from Aug. 8.
Mark Reynolds, INF/OF, Tennessee Smokies: Not known as an elite prospect heading into the season, Reynolds is third in the Minors with 31 homers and fourth with 98 RBIs all while hitting a combined .319 for Lancaster and Tennessee in the Diamondbacks system. His 1.035 total OPS is outstanding, especially when you consider that he’s played five positions this season.
Joe Koshansky, 1B, Tulsa Drillers: The Rockies’ 1B prospect who played in both the Texas League All-Star Game and the Futures Game is fourth in the Minors with 29 homers and second with 100 RBIs. He’s hitting .296 while leading the Texas League in homers and RBIs (and his .562 SLG is third in the league).
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B, Buffalo Bisons: Maybe it’s a stretch since he’s missed a good chunk of time because of injury, but anyone who hits .388 at least deserves to be in the consideration. And the Tribe 3B prospect isn’t hitting a weak .388, mostly for Akron and now for Buffalo. He’s got 19 homers and 63 RBIs in 89 games. His 44 extra-base hits in that time is extremely impressive. He hasn’t missed a beat since the move to Triple-A, hitting .378 in his first dozen games and improving his overall OPS to 1.126.
Pitching candidates will come tomorrow, and we’ll have more hitters as we nominate more on the show. Quickly, before I go, here are our picks to click for this week (again, feel free to come up with your own suggestions):
Lisa: Wilmington at Frederick, Aug. 14-17: Truth be told, Lisa has a rooting interest in this one because of her possible Carolina League playoff coverage travel schedule. Nevertheless, this series pits the second-half Northern Division leaderrs — the Keys — against the first-half winners, the Indians. And the K-Tribe trail Frederick by two games as they try to sweep both halves. The Keys have won five in a row.
Jonathan: Quad Cities at Beloit, Aug. 14-17: I’ll go Midwest League this week. The Snappers have won four straight to take a half-game lead in the second half over the Swing in the Western Division. Kane County, the first-half wild card winners (everyone makes the playoffs in the MWL!), trail by only a game, so they could sneak up here as well. Cardinals’ first-round pick Adam Ottavino will take the mound on Wednesday or Thursday. Zach Ward, who finally lost his first game of the season in his second start in the Twins’ organization, should go today. You’ve got the second-best pitching staff in the league (Beloit: 3.24 ERA) against No. 4 (Quad Cities: 3.52). QC is the best hitting team (at least by batting average, .270 — they are No. 2 in OPS), while Beloit is No. 3 in average at .264, but No. 8 in OPS.