The Quad-A All-Star Lineup

It’s All-Star time around the minors, a time for scouts and fans alike to head out and see firsthand a collection of the minors’ top prospects. This morning I want to look at players who waived bye-bye to their prospect status a long time ago. While there is no Quad-A level, there players with the Quad-A label, and this is my collection of this year’s Quad-A All Stars. The qualifications are straightforward: the player must be at least 27, in AAA and must be one of the leagues top performers.

Some of these players may be current call-ups, which doesn’t disqualify them from the list, because let’s face it, it won’t be long before they’re on the next bus back to the minors.

Catcher

Eliezer Alfonzo, 30 years old, Padres, .306/.323/.565. Alfonzo actually filled in somewhat admirably as the Giants every day catcher after Mike Matheny went down with a concussion in 2006, but he’s been doing his thing in the minors ever since. Alfonzo has always shown some decent pop in the minors, but is as free of a swinger as they come. Over his 12 year minor league career, he’s walked in just 4% of his plate appearances.

First Base

Oscar Salazar, 31, Orioles, .372/.417/.542. Salazar is someone who might just shed his Quad-A label this year. The Venezuelan born player was tucked away in the Mexican League for awhile before coming back to affiliated baseball, and is currently hitting well for Baltimore, in albeit a couple dozen at-bats. His ZiPS projection calls for a respectable .351 wOBA for the season. Contact is the name of his game.

Second Base

Craig Stansberry, 27, Padres, .309/.393/.435. Thin crop at second base, I almost went with Andy Phillips but I guess he recently went over to Japan.

Shortstop

Mike McCoy, 28, Rockies, .343/.443/.453, 25 steals in 28 attempts. McCoy came up through the Cardinal organization before being signed by Baltimore as a minor league free agent. He was released mid-season last year, and hit .343/.391/.507 in 140 at-bats for Colorado Springs. McCoy evidently enjoys the thin air, it’s not only helped him put up some gaudy batting numbers, but rejuvenated his legs. McCoy stole a career high 30 bases in 129 games in 2006, and looks to be well on his way to beat his own personal mark.

Third Base

Hector Luna, 29, Dodgers, .353/.420/.657. Luna was plucked from the Cleveland organization before being selected in the Rule 5 draft by the Cardinals in 2004. St. Louis sent him back to Cleveland in 2006 for Ronnie Belliard, a player who was just a weird fit in St. Louis. Luna’s been more of a defense-first player coming up through the minors, but he never lived up to his rep. He’s never hit over 11 home-runs in his career, minors or majors, but now he’s hitting 13. Albuquerque can help a player out like that.

Outfielders

Shelley Duncan, 29, Yankees, .290/.367/.609. Had his Kevin Maas like time in the sun, and some silly controversies along the way.

Ryan Langerhans, 29, Mariners, .278/.371/.488. Recently traded for Mike Morse. Langerhans seems to be a favorite in the stat-head community for his decent walk rates and most of all, his nifty UZR numbers in left field. Langerhans is sort of a poor man’s Nyjer Morgan, if there is such a thing.

Dee Brown, 31, Dodgers, .303/.364/.567. Dee Brown can dunk a basketball with his eyes covered. No, wait. Once upon a time, Dee Brown looked like a superstar in the making. He was a first round draft pick of the Royals and was absolutely crushing the minors at a very young age. He never adjusted to the majors leagues for some reason or another and has been a journeyman ever since. It would be a nice story if he ever did hit his way into a regular gig, even if it were for a season or two.

There are other names I debated on putting on the team, but these are the players who made my final cut. Who would be on your Quad-A All-Star team?




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Erik Manning is the founder of Future Redbirds and covers the Cardinals for Heater Magazine. You can get more of his analysis and rantings in bite-sized bits by following him on twitter.


18 Responses to “The Quad-A All-Star Lineup”

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  1. Joe Twinsfan says:

    Matt Murton. He’s not quite considered AAAA, but he is 27 and trapped in a hideous logjam behind 5 guys. He’s also slashing .377/.437/.629 in Colorado Springs. I don’t know why the Rockies haven’t moved an OF or two yet.

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  2. Wrighteous says:

    How about a Quad-A Hall of Fame? First inductee: Val Pascucci.

    Also, we could put together a good quad-A futures game lineup starting with Ian Kennedy, Alex Gordon, and Homer Bailey.

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  3. Steve C says:

    I just wonder if this team would win more games than the Nats, Royals, or Pirates?

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  4. TomG says:

    What about a rotation? Off the top of my head…

    SP: Tom Gorzelanny
    SP: Charlie Haeger
    SP: Kei Igawa
    SP: Brian Burres
    SP: Devern Hansack

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  5. MARQUIS says:

    When does Kevin Maas replace Mattingly as Joe Torres sidekick. I mean Kevin was extremely successful when replacing him at 1b.

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  6. Erik Manning says:

    I really wanted to put Andy Marte at 3B.

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  7. Pat says:

    When speaking of 4A Hall of Famers, don’t forget about Brad Eldred. He played for the Pirates for a bit then raked in the White Sox minor league system. I’m not sure what he’s doing this season?

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  8. Josh says:

    Ryan Shealy should have received some serious consideration at 1B.

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  9. C Whitman says:

    Calvin Pickering.

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  10. tom s. says:

    john rodriguez.

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  11. Jonathan Laden says:

    Chris Shelton

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  12. CFIC says:

    Brendan Ryan

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  13. AdamB says:

    How about Jeff Bailey as the DH?

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  14. zach says:

    IZZY ALCANTARA

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