The 2013 Topps/Minor League Baseball Class A All-Star Team was announced Tuesday and includes some of the top South Atlantic League players from this past season.
MiLB and the Topps Company compiles a list of nine players at each level of the minors to form each team. This year's Class A team includes six SAL players.
Charleston first baseman Greg Bird was named after hitting .288/.428/.511 with 20 home runs and 107 walks in 573 plate appearances. The big left-handed hitter, drafted in the fifth round by the Yankees in 2011, had some of the best raw and in-game power in the league this year. He flashed it while facing the GreenJackets, hitting one of the longest home runs at Lake Olmstead Stadium in 2013.
Kannapolis second baseman Micah Johnson was named after hitting .342/.422/.530 with 17 doubles, 11 triples, six home runs and 61 stolen bases in 351 plate appearances. That's 61 steals in only 77 games with the Intimidators. Despite running essentially every time he reached base, he was only caught 19 times in the SAL. Johnson reached as high as Double-A by the end of the season.
Asheville shortstop Rosell Herrera was an obvious choice. Herrera hit .343/.419/.515 with 33 doubles, 16 home runs and 21 stolen bases in 546 plate appearances for the Tourists. He was named league MVP by playing an outstanding all-around game, including good enough defense at short despite his long frame.
Hickory third baseman Joey Gallo was another obvious choice, hitting .245/.334/.610 with 38 home runs and 14 stolen bases in 446 plate appearances. Gallo easily had the best power in the league and perhaps the best in the minors, living up to the 8 placed on his raw after getting drafted 39th overall by the Rangers in 2012. Gallo has a ton of swing and miss in his game, more than he should at this level, and it could eventually slow him down in the upper levels. But Gallo is feasting on lower-level pitching and setting home run records in the meantime.
Asheville catcher Tom Murphy was named to make it two Tourists on the team. Murphy hit .288/.385/.590 with 19 home runs, flashing good power from behind the plate after getting drafted in the third round by the Yankees in 2012.
West Virginia's Tyler Glasnow was named the lone pitcher on the team. After getting drafted in the fifth round in 2012 by the Pirates, Glasnow made his full-season debut this year and recorded a 2.18 ERA with 164 strikeouts to 61 walks in 111.1 innings. He doesn't have overpowering stuff despite throwing from a 6-7 frame, but the 20-year-old flashed good command of his stuff.