Minor league baseball 2018 All-Star team

FORT MYERS, FL- MARCH 12: Alex Kirilloff
FORT MYERS, FL- MARCH 12: Alex Kirilloff /
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minor league baseball
TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 26: Kyle Tuccker #3 of the Houston Astros warms up in left field before the start of the inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 26, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

Minor League Baseball 2018 Top Performers – Outfield

The outfield this year in minor league baseball was absolutely loaded with elite talent and elit performers. If Vlad Jr. was not the player of the year, it’d come from among these three.

The guy who probably surprised the most in 2018 among the outfielders on this team is Alex Kirilloff in the Minnesota Twins farm system. Kirilloff was a first-round pick in 2016 out of high school in Pennsylvania with one of the most picturesque swings you could ever watch as a scout.

After missing all of 2017 due to Tommy John surgery, Kirilloff had seemingly fallen off the radar of many in the minor league baseball writing industry, not making a single top 100 list, and even missing a few top 10 lists of Twins prospects. He came out in 2018 and showed why that was a mistake. That beautiful swing from the left side played 65 games exactly at both A-ball levels, and Alex was able to put up a .348/.392/.578 line with 44 doubles, 7 triples, and 20 home runs. He should open 2019 in AA, but he could move quickly.

The final two outfielders are on the cusp of the majors already. Eloy Jimenez is in a similar situation as Vlad Jr., as he would have likely been in the majors this season if not for an injury in-season that kept him out for a decent chunk of time.

He was dominant at both AA and AAA, hitting even better at the higher level, with a combined line of .337/.384/.577 with 28 doubles and 22 home runs, with a 32/69 BB/K ratio over 456 plate appearances. He should be the Chicago White Sox lineup focus starting in 2019 and for years to come.

Of the competitors for the top overall player in minor league baseball, only one actually broke through to play in the majors this season. That was Kyle Tucker, who played 28 games with the Houston Astros this season in the midst of putting together his second consecutive 20/20 season in the minor leagues.

Tucker played AAA ball all season, and he was able to bring down his strikeout rate significantly while putting up a .332/.400/.590 line with 27 doubles, 24 home runs, and 20 steals over 100 games. He did struggle at the major league level, but he did keep his strikeout rate low and wasn’t panicking in that time. He will have a chance to compete for a starting position in the Astros outfield in 2019.