Baseball

Area baseball beat: Top 10 minor leaguers from Sacramento region in 2015

The Philadelphia Phillies have been successful drafting and developing players from the Sacramento area.

Of the top 10 performances by minor-league players from the area in 2015, first baseman Brock Stassi (Yuba City High School), catcher Andrew Knapp (Granite Bay) and first baseman Rhys Hoskins (Jesuit, Sacramento State) are under contract with the team.

Stassi, with the Double-A Reading (Pa.) Fightin Phils, was named the Eastern League MVP after leading the league in RBIs (90), 14 more than his closest competition. He also was first in on-base plus slugging (.863), tied for first in doubles (32), was second in walks (77), on-base percentage (.394) and total bases (219), third in runs (76), fourth in slugging (.470), fifth in hits (140), seventh in batting average (.300) and tied for seventh in homers (15). He also made the league’s All-Star team.

90 Brock Stassi’s RBI total, tops in the Eastern League

It was a breakout year for Stassi, a 33rd-round draft pick in 2011 out of Nevada who who hit .200 in 2011, .243 in 2012, .295 in 2013 and .232 in 2014.

“It was a blessing that they kept me around this long, because, obviously, the first couple years weren’t the best,” Stassi told the Philadelphia Daily News in August. “I spent a lot of time backing guys up. I tried to stay positive throughout all that and be a good teammate.

“When I got here last year, it was my first year playing from start to finish, so I learned a lot about myself coming into this season, and it’s paying off so far.”

Despite Stassi’s MVP season, Baseball America ranked Knapp as the Phillies’ best young player and Hoskins as the player to be on the lookout for.

The switch hitting Knapp joined Reading in late June from the Advanced-A Clearwater (Fla.) Threshers and teamed with Stassi to lead the Fightin Phils to the playoffs. In 55 games with Reading, Knapp hit .360 with 34 extra-base hits, 11 home runs and 56 RBIs.

It was a blessing that they kept me around this long, because, obviously, the first couple years weren’t the best.

Philadelphia Phillies first-base prospect Brock Stassi reflecting on his minor-league career

Hoskins, a South Atlantic League All-Star with the Class-A Lakewood (Fla.) BlueClaws, played at two levels and was consistent at both, hitting .322 for Lakewood and .317 for Clearwater.

Mark McDermott is a freelance writer specializing in Sacramento-area baseball. Contact him at egmacker@yahoo.com.

Top 10 performances of 2015

1. Brock Stassi

First base, Yuba City H.S.

Major-league team: Philadelphia Phillies

Minor-league affiliate: Reading (Pa.) Fightin Phils, Eastern, Double A

Comment: Stassi, the Phillies’ 33rd-round choice in 2011 out of Nevada who signed for $1,500, had a monster season, earning the Eastern League MVP honor after leading the league in RBIs and OPS. The left-handed-hitting All-Star tied for first in doubles and was second in walks, total bases and on-base percentage.

Avg

Games

AB

Runs

Hits

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

OPS

TB

.300

133

466

76

140

32

1

15

90

3

77

63

.394

.470

.863

219

2. Andrew Knapp

Catcher, Granite Bay H.S.

Major-league team: Philadelphia Phillies

Minor-league affiliates: Reading (Pa.) Fightin Phils, Eastern League, Double A; Clearwater (Fla.) Threshers, Florida State League, Advanced A

Comment: The Phillies’ No. 17 prospect hit .262 in 63 games at Clearwater and was named to the Florida State League All-Star team. After his promotion to Reading, Knapp went on a 17-game hitting streak. The switch hitter was named Player of the Month in August (.404, 28 RBIs, 18 extra-base hits, 75 total bases, eight home runs, .469 OBP, .758 slugging and 1.227 OPS). He also had a 15-game hitting streak, 13 multi-hit games and reached base in 24 of 25 games. Knapp was a second-round pick out of Cal in 2013 and was signed for $1,033,100. The Phillies assigned him to the Glendale Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League.

Avg

Games

AB

Runs

Hits

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

OPS

TB

.308

118

458

77

141

35

5

13

84

1

41

106

.385

.491

.876

225

3. J.D. Davis

Third base, Elk Grove H.S.

Major-league team: Houston Astros

Minor-league affiliate: Lancaster JetHawks, California League, Advanced Class A

Comment: Davis, 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, displayed his power by hitting homers in six consecutive games (Aug. 4-9). He was second in the league in RBIs, third in runs, fifth in on-base percentage and OPS, sixth in homers and ninth in hits and slugging percentage. Surprisingly, the right-handed hitter wasn’t the Cal League’s postseason All-Star third baseman, losing out to Modesto’s Ryan McMahon, who hit .300 with 18 homers and 75 RBIs. The Houston Astros’ No. 12 prospect signed for $748,600 after being drafted in the third round in 2014 out of Cal State Fullerton. Davis will join Knapp on the Glendale Desert Dogs in the AFL.

Avg

Games

AB

Runs

Hits

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

OPS

TB

.289

120

485

93

140

28

3

26

101

5

54

157

.370

.520

.889

252

4. Rhys Hoskins

First base, Jesuit H.S., Sacramento State

Major-league team: Philadelphia Phillies

Minor-league affiliates: Clearwater (Fla.) Threshers, Florida State League, Advanced A; Lakewood (Fla.) BlueClaws, South Atlantic League, Class A

Comment: Moving up from Lakewood to Clearwater at midseason didn’t slow the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Hoskins. The South Atlantic League All-Star batted .322 with nine homers, 51 RBIs, a .397 on-base percentage and .525 slugging mark in 68 games with the Threshers. He was the Florida State League Player of the Week (Aug. 23) after going 9 for 28 with 10 RBIs and 10 runs. Hoskins batted .317 with eight homers in 67 games with the BlueClaws. The right-handed hitter was a fifth-round pick in 2014 and signed for $349,700.

Avg

Games

AB

Runs

Hits

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

OPS

TB

.319

135

498

86

159

36

6

17

90

4

55

99

.395

.518

.913

258

5. Rowdy Tellez

First base, Elk Grove H.S.

Major-league team: Toronto Blue Jays

Minor-league affiliates: Dunedin (Fla.) Blue Jays, Florida State League, Advanced A; Lansing (Mich.) Lugnuts, Midwest League, Class A

Comment: The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Midwest League All-Star hit .296 with seven home runs and 49 RBIs in 68 games with the Lugnuts, then batted .275 with seven home runs with Dunedin. Tellez, a 30th-round pick in 2013 who signed for $850,000, spent some time on the disabled in mid-August with Dunedin. The left-handed hitter was honored as Player of the Week in both leagues. Though a first-base prospect only, he’s rising on the Blue Jays’ prospect list. The Blue Jays assigned him to the Salt River Rafters in the AFL.

Avg

Games

AB

Runs

Hits

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

OPS

TB

.289

103

401

53

116

24

0

14

77

5

38

84

.347

.454

.801

182

6. Dom Nunez

Catcher, Elk Grove H.S.

Major-league team: Colorado Rockies

Minor-league affiliate: Asheville (N.C.) Tourists, South Atlantic League, Class A

Comment: The left-handed hitter was drafted by the Rockies as a shortstop in the sixth round in 2013 and signed for $800,000. In 2014, the 6-foot, 175-pound Nunez was put behind the plate. He excelled at Class A, hitting 13 home runs, all in the second half of the season.

Avg

Games

AB

Runs

Hits

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

OPS

TB

.282

104

373

61

105

23

0

13

53

7

53

55

.373

.448

.821

167

7. Mauricio Dubon

Shortstop, Capital Christian H.S.

Major-league team: Boston Red Sox

Minor-league affiliates: Greenville (S.C.) Drive, South Atlantic League, Class A; Salem (Va.) Red Sox, Carolina League, Advanced A

Comment: The Red Sox’s No. 21 prospect was a South Atlantic League midseason All-Star and batted .301 in 58 games for the Drive. The right-handed hitter then batted .274 in 62 games with Salem and had 11 multi-hit games in August. He’s been a big surprise after being drafted in the 26th round in 2013.

Avg

Games

AB

Runs

Hits

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

OPS

TB

.288

120

373

70

136

21

3

5

47

30

41

72

.349

.376

.725

178

8. Joe Biagini

Right-handed pitcher, UC Davis

Major-league team: Giants

Minor-league affiliates: Richmond (Va.) Flying Squirrels, Eastern League, Double A

Comment: Biagini, a 26th-round pick in 2011 who signed for $175,000, has been on the rise in the Giants’ organization the past three seasons. At 6-4, 215 pounds was 7-6 at Class-A Augusta in 2013, 10-9 at Advanced-A San Jose in 2014 and 10-7 at Double-A Richmond this season. He started the Eastern League All-Star Game for the West.

W-L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SO

Sv

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

WHIP

H/9

W/9

K/9

10-7

2.42

23

22

0

0

0

130.1

112

45

35

34

84

1.12

7.7

2.3

5.8

9. Mike Marjama

Catcher, Granite Bay H.S., Sacramento City

Major-league team: Tampa Bay Rays

Minor-league affiliates: Charlotte (Fla.) Stone Crabs, Florida State League, Advanced A

Comment: Marjama, a 23rd-round pick in 2011 out of Long Beach State, had the finest season of his five-year minor-league career, with career highs in batting average, home runs and RBIs. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound catcher, who batted third in the lineup, helped lead the Stone Crabs to the Florida State League championship.

Avg

Games

AB

Runs

Hits

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

OPS

TB

.302

90

351

46

101

22

4

9

52

3

11

52

.328

.473

.801

158

10. Alex Palsha

Right-handed pitcher, Sacramento State

Major-league team: New York Mets

Minor-league affiliates: Brooklyn (N.Y.) Cyclones, New York-Penn League, short-season A; Savannah (Ga.) Sand Gnats, South Atlantic League, Class A

Comment: Palsha, a 27th-round pick in 2014, was nearly unhittable for the Cyclones, posting an 0.36 ERA and 13 saves in 24 2/3 innings. At 6-1, 195 pounds, he was second in the New York-Penn League in saves, pitched for the South in the NYPL All-Star Game. In two minor-league seasons, he has 24 saves and an 0.82 ERA.

W-L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SO

Sv

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

WHIP

H/9

W/9

K/9

0-1

0.68

24

0

0

0

13

26.1

11

3

2

11

34

0.84

3.8

3.8

11.6

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