The 2016 New York - Penn League All Star Game is next Tuesday, August 16th, at Dutchess Stadium, the home of the first place Hudson Valley Renegades. The North and South All-Stars are loaded with talent, including seven players selected in the first ten rounds of the 2016 draft. Let's take a look at those seven players and how they have started their professional careers.
Nick Solak, 2B - Staten Island Yankees - Solak has had an excellent start to his professional career, slashing .309/.404/.428. His last ten games have been even better - he is hitting .410 a home run and four runs batted in. Solak has a wOBA slightly below his collegiate wOBA in 2016, .439 with the University of Louisville and now .401 in Staten Island. Also, he is fifth in the NYPL in batting average and fourth in on-base percentage - showing why he is looked upon as a "professional" hitter.
Peter Alonso, 1B - Brooklyn Cyclones - Alonso has solidified why he was one of the better power bats in this years draft. He has five home runs and 21 runs batted in in only 109 at-bats. His slash line is even more impressive - .321/.382/.587. His slugging percentage would be enough to lead the NYPL, but he has not accumulated enough at-bats yet. The current leader is Stephen Wrenn at .544, who has since been promoted to Quad Cities. Alonso joins an impressive crop of collegiate players selected by the Mets this season and he could move quick if he continues to hit the way he has to start his professional career. According to mlb.com, Alonso ranks 13th in the Mets farm system.
Nick Banks, OF - Auburn Doubledays - Banks was considered a potential first round pick before he struggled this season with Texas A&M, but he has started his professional career by returning closer to form. Banks is hitting .281 with a whole lot of singles - 37 of his 43 hits have been singles. That certainly will have to change as he develops, but so far Banks is hitting and improving from where 2016 started. According to mlb.com, Banks ranks 12th in the Nationals farm system.
Jeremy Martinez, C - State College Spikes - Martinez has had a solid season at the plate and especially behind the plate. At the plate he is slashing .311/.427/.402 and he has a walked double the amount of strikeouts he has, 23-11. Behind the plate Martinez has caught 15 of 26 stolen base attempts, good enough for a 57.7 CS%. Any player that tries to run on the All-Star game next week should watch for the arm of Martinez behind the plate because more than likely he will throw you out.
Colby Woodmansee, SS - Brooklyn Cyclones - Woodmansee was one of the more intriguing names in the draft for me because of his collegiate success and I felt he flew mostly under the radar in some respect. Woodmansee has been in the middle of the Brooklyn order since his debut with Peter Alonso, but in the long term I profile him as a potential top of the order bat if he can cut down on his strikeouts. He has started his professional career batting .282 with two home runs and 21 runs batted in. Strikeouts have been a problem for him, with 50 strikeouts in 163 at-bats. However, that has not affected his defense, as he only has three errors in 362.1 innings.
Tommy Edman, SS - State College Spikes - Another shortstop from the 2016 draft heads to the All-Star game and Edman has had a solid season for State College. Edman is getting on base at a very impressive rate, .402, fourth in the NYPL so far. Edman has 31 walks to 19 strikeouts, along with 12 stolen bases, tied for tenth in the NYPL. He has the ability to play second base, too, where he has spent 118 of his 341 innings this season.
Matt McLean, OF - Lowell Spinners - McLean has seen time in center and right to begin his professional career. McLean was not a heralded player going into the 2016 draft, but he has done enough to deserve an All-Star selection for Lowell. He is hitting .281 in his last ten games and .261 for the entire season. McLean has four triples, tied for third in the NYPL, so if a ball goes down the line or in the gap in gorgeous Dutchess Stadium, look for McLean to slide into third for another triple.