Baseball America 2018 Minor League All-Stars Have Baseball Factory Roots
When Baseball America recently announced their end-of-year Minor League All-Star 1st and 2nd Teams, the lists were riddled with players who participated in an Under Armour Baseball Factory event during their high school days. It is great to see these players having success in professional baseball. Some have already seen time at the Major League level, while several are currently knocking on the door.
Congratulations to all that were recognized, like Futures Game starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo, and fellow Futures standouts, and first-teamers, Kyle Tucker, Jo Adell, Peter Alonso, Danny Jansen and Alex Kiriloff. Former Under Armour Baseball Factory Tryout player Michael King, former No. 1 overall pick Royce Lewis, slugging Franmil Reyes and Astros pitching prospect Corbin Martin all deserve kudos for their second-team selection.
Among all of the talented prospects that were recognized by Baseball America, two names stood out -Dylan Cease and Touki Toussaint.
They shared spots on this year’s Minor League First Team, but in 2013, they were opponents. Dylan and Touki went head-to-head as the starting pitchers for the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field. Both put a zero on the scoreboard in their inning of work and impressed the scouts in attendance. Dylan was ultimately selected in the sixth round by the Cubs after a spring injury, while Touki’s loose arm and sharp breaking ball earned him a spot in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft. Though neither of these pitchers factored into the decision, Cease’s American squad beat Touki’s National team 8-7 in the All-America Game that year. On the surface, the outcome seems pretty unremarkable, but let’s dive a little deeper at who the American team beat.
Following Touki to the mound were a string of outstanding arms that included Second Team Baseball America Minor League All-Star Alex Verdugo. Alex was a two-way prospect who threw in the low 90s off the mound at that time in addition to his impressive outfield profile. Verdugo threw a perfect third inning before entering the game in the outfield and going 1-for-2 with a double. Here’s a look at the eight outstanding pitchers that the American team had to face in the 2013 All-America Game with where each were drafted:
1st inning: Touki Toussaint – 1st round to the Diamondbacks in 2014 MLB Draft
2nd inning: Joe Gatto – 2nd round to the Angels in 2014
3rd inning: Alex Verdugo – 2nd round to the Dodgers in 2014
4th inning: David Peterson – 1st round to the Mets in 2017 MLB Draft (Played at University of Oregon (2015-2017)
5th inning: Foster Griffin – 1st round to the Royals in 2014
6th inning: Michael Kopech – 1st round to the Red Sox in 2014
7-8 innings: Micah Miniard – 8th round to the Indians in 2014
9th inning: Grant Holmes – 1st round to the Dodgers in 2014
This was an impressive group that took the mound back at the All-America Game in 2013. These arms as well as all of Baseball America’s Minor League All-Stars look to have a bright future ahead of them!