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2019 Great Falls Voyagers All-Stars

With fierce competition among hitters, one pitcher rose above

Fast track: Weems started his pro career in Arizona, but flew up to Great Falls fast.
Sean Williams/South Side Sox

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 Great Falls Voyagers All-Stars (MVP votes in parenthesis)

Catcher Ty Greene (2)
First Base Harvin Mendoza (27)
Second Base Camilo Quinteiro (9)
Third Base Luis Curbelo (24)
Shortstop Lency Delgado (15)
Left Field Anderson Comas (27)
Center Field Caberea Weaver (20)
Right Field Luis Mieses (14)
Designated Hitter Sam Abbott (12)
Utility Player Cameron Simmons (6)
Right-Handed Pitcher Sean Thompson (22)
Left-Handed Pitcher Avery Weems (36)
Points leader missing the cut Caleb Roper (16)

Quite a fight in the lineup for top Voyagers bat on the season, with Mendoza (who had a fabulous year) and Comas (less so) tying for the title. Curbelo, demoted from Kannapolis, had a huge impact in about half a season. Even Weaver had some hot streaks to place him in the mix.

On the flip side, the catching in Great Falls made very little impact. Promoted players like Jakob Goldfarb and Ivan González didn’t make MVP hay with the Voyagers, and in fact it took until the last series of the season for Ty Greene to pop up as an MVP and give this squad a catcher at all. So while the backstop talent is there in Great Falls, it virtually never broke though to outplay several hitters at other positions, or the pitching, which was rather good ...

2019 Great Falls Player of the Year: Avery Weems

Weems is the first pitcher in the system to get this honor, and it’s well-deserved — especially if you loop in four fabulous outings with the AZL White Sox (a 2.09 ERA overall). Weems was nothing short of terrific in Great Falls, leading all starters in wins (four in 10 games), WHIP (1.056), HR/9 (0.2), K/9 (11.4) and K/BB (8.57) and finishing second in strikeouts (60) to fellow All-Star Thompson. The southpaw also seems to have a bit of swag in him, which is never a bad thing if you can back it up. The sixth-rounder might not have been seen as a major get on draft day, but whoo boy, he has forced his way into the depth chart. Kannapolis, here he comes!