After two rounds of voting, the final results are in: Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Blake Snell has been named 2015 Minor League Ball Pitching Prospect of the Year for 2015. With 296 votes cast in the runoff round, Snell garnered 102 votes for 41 percent of ballots. Minnesota Twins pitching prospect Jose Berrios was second with 75 votes, 30 percent of the total. Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Tyler Glasnow ranked third with 55 votes, 22 percent of those cast. Rays prospect Jacob Faria ranked a distant fourth with 16 votes, six percent of the runoff round total.
Pitching for High-A Charlotte, Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham, Snell combined for a 15-4 record, 1.41 ERA, with a 163/53 K/BB in 134 combined innings, allowing a mere 84 hits. This represents a spectacular breakout season for the 22-year-old southpaw, originally drafted as a compensation round pick in 2011 from high school in Shoreline, Washington.
Berrios was a compensation round pick in 2012 from high school in Puerto Rico. The 21 year old pitched in Double-A and Triple-A for the Twins this year, going 14-5, 2.87 with an excellent 175/33 K/BB in 166 innings and allowing 136 hits. He led all the minor leagues in strikeouts. At age 22, Glasnow threw 109 innings between Double-A, Triple-A, and two brief injury rehab outings in short-season ball, combining for a 7-5 record but a 2.39 ERA and a 136/43 K/BB with a mere 77 hits allowed. Glasnow was a fifth round pick in 2011 from high school in Newhall, California.
Faria came close to matching fellow Rays prospect Snell statistically with a 17-4, 1.92 mark and a 159/52 K/BB in 150 innings between High-A and Double-A. Age 22, Faria doesn't have quite the same stuff as Snell, Berrios, or Glasnow but has solidified his status as a solid workhorse type prospect with mid-rotation potential. The Rays selected Faria in the 10th round of the 2011 draft from high school in Gahr, California.
Snell, Berrios, and Glasnow all have a shot at being upper-rotation starters with plus stuff and enough command to dominate if they continue their current development paths. All four pitchers should see major league trials with their respective clubs in 2016.