Welcome to a bit of a new year-end feature here at South Side Sox, postseason affiliate All-Star teams. In 2018, we introduced the MVP concept to the Minor League Updates, but didn’t do anything with the data. This year, I compiled the MVP votes for each affiliate game, ranked performances in order of value (on a day when seven affiliates played, Luis Robert going 3-for-3 with six RBIs would earn seven points, Tate Blackman going 1-for-4 with a double would earn one), and came up with our minor league All-Star teams.
Obviously, these All-Stars are subjective and based merely on individual MVP awards and not all-around season performance; thus players who were very hot and cold have an unfair advantage over the slow and steady performers. Still, with a few oddball exceptions, the results seem pretty true to form.
MVP voters this season at South Side Sox and South Side Hit Pen include Brett Ballantini, Darren Black, Julie Brady, Leonard Gore, Joe Resis, WSM, Tiffany Wintz and Year of the Hamster. Four days of results in July are missing, as Sox on 35th deleted our Minor League Updates after the site had been scolded for both censoring and “rebranding”/lifting our work, so this final tally is about 2% incomplete.
2019 Chicago White Sox organizational All-Stars (total MVP votes in parenthesis)
Catcher Zack Collins, Charlotte Knights (51)
First Base Gavin Sheets, Birmingham Barons (31)
Second Base Nick Madrigal, Winston-Salem Dash/Birmingham Barons/Charlotte Knights (26)
Third Base Luis Curbelo, Kannapolis Intimidators/Great Falls Voyagers (44)
Shortstop José Rodriguez, AZL White Sox (40)
Left Field Craig Dedelow, Winston-Salem Dash (68)
Center Field Steele Walker, Kannapolis Intimidators/Winston-Salem Dash (73)
Right Field Luis Robert, Winston-Salem Dash/Birmingham Barons/Charlotte Knights (116)
Designated Hitter Yermín Mercedes, Birmingham Barons/Charlotte Knights (55)
Utility Player Alex Destino, Kannapolis Intimidators (43)
Utility Player Blake Rutherford, Birmingham Barons (33)
Utility Player Daniel Palka, Charlotte Knights (35)
Utility Player Ian Dawkins, Kannapolis Intimidators (35)
Utility Player Tyler Frost, Winston-Salem Dash (33)
No. 1 Starter Jonathan Stiever, Kannapolis Intimidators/Winston-Salem Dash (88)
No. 2 Starter Blake Battenfield, Winston-Salem Dash/Birmingham Barons (76)
No. 3 Starter Konnor Pilkington, Kannapolis Intimidators/Winston-Salem Dash (72)
No. 4 Starter Matt Tomshaw, Birmingham Barons/Charlotte Knights (68)
No. 5 Starter Kade McClure, Kannapolis Intimidators/Winston-Salem Dash (62)
Bullpen Sam Long, Kannapolis Intimidators (50)
Bullpen John Parke, Winston-Salem Dash/Birmingham Barons (50)
Bullpen Taylor Varnell, Kannapolis Intimidators (48)
Bullpen Tanner Banks, Birmingham Barons (48)
Bullpen Kyle Kubat, Winston-Salem Dash/Birmingham Barons/Charlotte Knights (44)
Bullpen Avery Weems, AZL White Sox/Great Falls Voyagers (36)
Bullpen Jorgan Cavarnerio, Winston-Salem Dash (36)
Bullpen Bernardo Flores, AZL White Sox/Birmingham Barons (36)
Bullpen Johan Dominguez, Kannapolis Intimidators (36)
Yeah, yeah, this is a weird, 28-man roster, 14 players and 14 pitchers. That’s just how it worked out, man. The dispersal among teams is about what you’d expect: Knights seven, Barons 11, Dash 12, Intimidators 10, Voyagers two, AZL White Sox three. But if you connect players to where they primarily saw action, somewhat surprisingly the Barons turn in the top number among the affiliates, with eight:
Knights Collins, Mercedes, Palka, Kubat
Barons Sheets, Robert, Rutherford, Battenfield, Tomshaw, Parke, Banks, Flores
Dash Madrigal, Dedelow, Frost, Pilkington, McClure, Cavarnerio
Intimidators Curbelo, Destino, Dawkins, Stiever, Long, Varnell, Dominguez
AZL White Sox Rodriguez
Let’s again point out how miraculous Weems’ and Rodriguez’s seasons were, because playing half of a season yet garnering enough consideration to be among the 25-30 White Sox minor leaguers in 2019 is no small feat.
There’s a touch of irony in Robert having the most MVP votes (33) and points (116) by far, but not being the top player for any one affiliate, due to spreading himself among three teams this summer. And to that end Madrigal, whose MVP points are rather low, was not helped by being Robert’s teammate for so much of the season!