For the best farm system in baseball, it is extremely hard to pick out the best players. There is so much depth at every position, throughout the top five team in the farm system (Boise, Kane County, Daytona, Tennessee, and Iowa). The Cubs had Baseball America's minor league player of the year, five pitcher of the week awards, 13 hitter of the week awards, and three of the five made the postseason. It has been quite a run for the 2014 Cubs Minor League affiliates. Here is my 2014 Cubs Minor League All Stars.
C - Cael Brockmeyer (Kane County) - Any of the Kane County catchers could have made this list, but Brockmeyer stands out. In 77 games for the Cougars, the 2013 16th round pick for the Cubs hit .297/.366/.461/.827 in his first full pro season, while collecting 76 hits, eight home runs, and 14 doubles.
1B - Dan Vogelbach (Daytona) - One of the "Flow bros" with pitcher Pierce Johnson, Vogelbach slimmed down in the offseason and continued to hit. The big first baseman spent all year in the middle of the Daytona lineup and produced, hitting .268/.357/.429/.787 with 129 hits, 16 home runs, and 28 doubles, leading the team in all three categories, in 132 games.
2B - Gioskar Amaya (Daytona) - The 21 year-old second baseman spent all year in High-A Daytona, hitting .276 with a .379 OBP in 112 games for the D-Cubs. Amaya was second on the team in stolen bases with 14 and fourth on the team with 102 hits, 56 runs, and 16 doubles, while being fifth on the team with three triples.
SS - Addison Russell (Tennessee) - The big acquisition of the deadline for the Cubs is now their second best prospect and ranks in the top seven in baseball. The 20 year-old shortstop didn't stop hitting after the trade, posting a .294 batting average and a .868 OPS while hitting 12 home runs and 11 doubles in just 50 games with the Smokies. He is also young for his league, as Russell is 4 1/2 years younger than the average player in the Southern League.
3B - Kris Bryant (Tennessee and Iowa) - The most obvious choice on this list, as Bryant has pretty much cemented himself as the 2014 Minor League player of the year unanimously, and maybe the top prospect in all of baseball. The third baseman split time in Tennessee and Iowa, leading the minors in home runs with 43 and hitting a combined .325/.438/.661/1.098 in his first pro season. You can count on seeing Bryant at Wrigley next spring/summer.
OF - Kyle Schwarber (Boise, Kane County, and Daytona) - People were surprised when the Cubs took the Indiana catcher with the 4th overall pick, but his bat has quieted the doubters. He has been through three leagues and has hit over .300 at all three, finishing the year with a .344/.428/.634/1.061 line with 90 hits, 18 home runs, and 18 doubles in 72 games.
OF - Jorge Soler (Tennessee and Iowa) - Despite some hamstring issues, when Soler was on the field he was a hitting machine. He earned a promotion after only 22 games with the Smokies, but he hit .415/.494/.862/1.355 with six home runs and nine doubles. Then, in Iowa, Soler ended with a .996 OPS and eight home runs in 32 games before getting called up to the big league club.
OF - Billy McKinney (Daytona) - One of the forgotten pieces received in the big Cubs/A's trade, the 20 year-old outfielder found his way to Daytona. There, McKinney hit .301, with a .390 OBP, an .830 OPS, and collected 53 hits in just 51 games while scoring 30 runs and driving in 36. The scary part is, McKinney is more than three years younger than the average FSL player.
SP - Jen-Ho Tseng (Kane County) - As 19 year-old first year pro, Tseng led the Kane County staff. His 2.40 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, and 5.7 SO/BB ratio led the Cougars rotation and took Kane County to one of the best records in all of the minor leagues. Ranked as the 13th best prospect in the Cubs system by MLB.com, Tseng could sneak into the top 10 with his 2014 performance.
RP - Armando Rivero (Tennessee and Iowa) - Rivero was dominant in 2014, posting a 2.22 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in 65 innings split between the Smokies and I-Cubs. 2014 was only the second year for the 26 year-old right-hander, and he looks to be in position to battle for a bullpen spot on the big league club in 2015.
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