As summer ebbs into fall, Minor League Baseball has started to reveal its end-of-season award winners and All-Star steams. First up are the three Single-A circuits, encompassing 30 teams, as voted on by league managers. There’s no shortage of top prospects, noteworthy names and some under-the-radar players who made their mark during 2023.
In the California League, Colorado’s Ryan Ritter took home MVP honors while San Diego’s Robby Snelling and Ethan Salas were named Pitcher of the Year and Top MLB Prospect respectively.
Heading across the country to the other coast, Baltimore slugger Samuel Basallo picked up a pair of honors, being named Carolina League MVP as well as the circuit’s Top MLB Prospect. Texas right-hander Aidan Curry was selected the league’s Pitcher of the Year.
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Rounding out the Single-A awards in the Florida State League, Philadelphia’s Justin Crawford — like Basallo — nabbed both MVP and Top MLB Prospect honors. St. Louis hurler Max Rajcic was named the FSL’s Pitcher of the Year.
Here are the major award winners as well as the full All-Star teams for each Single-A circuit.
View all the 2023 Minor League All-Stars »
Most Valuable Player: Ryan Ritter, Fresno (COL)
Claiming MVP honors speaks to the level of excellence Ritter displayed, considering he appeared in just 65 games with Fresno. The No. 20 Rockies prospect has solid tools across the board, but his bat shined brightly for the Grizzlies. Ritter slugged 18 homers and amassed 35 extra-base hits, 58 RBIs and a .305/.405/.606 slash line in 246 at-bats, a pace that would have put the 22-year-old atop many of the offensive categories in the Cal League if not for his promotion to High-A Spokane on July 3. Ritter jumped up to Double-A Hartford on Sept. 6.
Pitcher of the Year: Robby Snelling, Lake Elsinore (SD)
Whatever superlative chosen to describe Snelling’s campaign with Lake Elsinore might still be insufficent. MLB’s No. 60 prospect came out blazing in his professional debut, and it all started in the Cal League. Snelling didn’t allow more than one run in nine of his 11 starts for the Storm, leading to a 1.57 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP and a 59/13 K/BB ratio in 39 1/3 innings before his promotion to High-A Fort Wayne, and later Double-A San Antonio. Snelling is one of the three finalists for the MiLB Pitching Prospect of the Year award.
Top MLB Prospect: Ethan Salas, Lake Elsinore (SD)
Snelling’s teammate and batterymate, Salas was the talk of the Minor Leagues in 2023. Signed as an international free agent in January, baseball’s No. 5 overall prospect made his pro debut on May 30 with singles in each of his first two at-bats for the Storm. Salas put up remarkable numbers, slashing .267/.350/.487 with 22 extra-base hits in 48 Cal League games. A sizzling July (1.136 OPS in 82 at-bats) convinced San Diego to move him up to the High-A Fort Wayne in early August and then Double-A San Antonio to renew ties with Snelling a few weeks later.
1B: Brennan Milone, Stockton (OAK)
2B: Diego Velasquez, San Jose (SF No. 20)
SS: Ryan Ritter, Fresno (COL No. 20)
3B: Graham Pauley, Lake Elsinore (SD No. 11)
C: Ethan Salas, Lake Elsinore (SD No. 1, MLB No. 5)
OF: Gabriel Gonzalez, Modesto (SEA No. 3, MLB No. 66)
OF: Samuel Zavala, Lake Elsinore (SD No. 5, MLB No. 94)
OF: Chris Newell, Rancho Cucamonga (LAD No. 24)
DH: Jadiel Sanchez, Inland Empire (LAA No. 22)
UTIL: Cole Young, Modesto (SEA No. 1, MLB No. 37)
SP: Michael Prosecky, Fresno (COL)
SP: Tyler Cleveland, Modesto (SEA)
SP: Robby Snelling, Lake Elsinore (SD No. 3, MLB No. 60)
SP: Hayden Birdsong, San Jose, (SF No. 10)
RP: Zach Agnos, Fresno (COL)
RP: Lucas Wepf, Rancho Cucamonga (LAD)
Manager: Steve Soliz, Fresno (COL)
Most Valuable Player: Samuel Basallo, Delmarva (BAL)
Basallo was a solid producer in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League in 2022 and took a giant leap forward this season. Competing in the Carolina League at 18 years old, MLB’s No. 46 prospect hit .297 with an .887 OPS in 83 games for Delmarva. The Dominican Republic native had 35 extra-base hits — including 12 homers — and drove in 60 runs, prompting his promotion to High-A Aberdeen on Aug. 1 and then Double-A Bowie on Sept. 12.
Pitcher of the Year: Aidan Curry, Down East (TEX)
From undrafted free agent to Carolina League Pitcher of the Year, Curry showed flashes of dominance during his first full-season campaign. The No. 16 Rangers prospect limited batters to a .163 average and struck out 99 in 82 innings for the Wood Ducks. Curry was consistent from start to finish during his 19 appearances (15 starts) in the Carolina League, posting a 2.30 ERA and a 0.927 WHIP before joining High-A Hickory for two late-season starts.
Top MLB Prospect: Samuel Basallo, Delmarva (BAL)
To say Basallo’s breakout was a surprise would be an overstatement, but there is no doubt the No. 5 Orioles prospect opened plenty of eyes. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound catcher/first baseman was even better after joining Aberdeen, where he hit .333 with a 1.131 OPS and eight long balls in 115 at-bats, including a stretch of six in six games from Sept. 2-9. Basallo ended the season at his third level of the year, appearing in four contests for Double-A Bowie.
1B: Xavier Isaac, Charleston (TB No. 4, MLB No. 95)
2B: Jadher Areinamo, Carolina (MIL No. 21)
SS: Jose Devers, Lynchburg (CLE)
3B: Luke Adams, Carolina (MIL No. 22)
C: Samuel Basallo, Delmarva (BAL No. 5, MLB No. 46)
OF: Chandler Simpson, Charleston (TB No. 21)
OF: Daylen Lile, Fredericksburg (WAS No. 6)
OF: Zach Cole, Fayetteville (HOU No. 10)
DH: Tim Elko, Kannapolis (CWS)
UTIL: Cooper Kinney, Charleston (TB)
SP: Jose Fleury, Fayetteville (HOU No. 24)
SP: Brody McCullough, Myrtle Beach (CHC No. 29)
SP: Aidan Curry, Down East (TEX No. 16)
SP: Tyler Guilfoil, Fayetteville (HOU)
RP: Cooper McKeehan, Columbia (KC)
RP: Drew Sommers, Charleston (TB)
Manager: Victor Estevez, Carolina (MIL)
Florida State League
Most Valuable Player: Justin Crawford, Clearwater (PHI)
Featuring a 70-grade speed tool with impressive bat-to-ball skills to boot, Crawford parlayed his skill set into an MVP season with Clearwater. The Phillies’ first-round pick in 2022 and MLB’s No. 77 prospect hit the ground running in his first taste of full-season play, leading the FSL in average (.344) and stolen bases (40) despite playing in just 69 games. A strong defender in the outfield, the 19-year-old ended 2023 with High-A Jersey Shore.
Pitcher of the Year: Max Rajcic, Palm Beach (STL)
The Cardinals look to have gotten a steal in the 2022 Draft with Rajcic, who was too much for opposing hitters in the Sunshine State during his pro debut. Selected in the sixth round out of UCLA, the 22-year-old surrendered two runs or fewer in 10 of his 12 starts for Palm Beach, resulting in a microscopic 1.89 ERA and an 0.806 WHIP. St. Louis’ No. 18 prospect put together a 68/9 K/BB ratio in 62 innings and held hitters to a .181 average prior to his promotion to High-A Peoria on June 26.
Top MLB Prospect: Justin Crawford, Clearwater (PHI)
With Major League pedigree in his blood thanks to father and former All-Star Carl Crawford, the next-generation player has a real chance to quickly rise through the Phillies’ farm system. Adding in Crawford’s solid cameo in the High-A South Atlantic League, Philly’s No. 3 prospect showed he was more than just a slap hitter. The Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) High School product put together a .332/.366/.425 slash line, swiped 47 bases in 55 attempts, scored 71 runs and tallied 33 extra-base hits with 64 RBIs in 87 games.
1B: Torin Montgomery, Jupiter (MIA)
2B: Termarr Johnson, Bradenton (PIT No. 2, MLB No. 22)
SS: Jared Serna, Tampa (NYY No. 20)
3B: Sal Stewart, Daytona (CIN No. 7)
C: Omar Martinez, Tampa (NYY)
OF: Justin Crawford, Clearwater (PHI No. 3, MLB No. 77)
OF: Hector Rodriguez, Daytona (CIN No. 16)
OF: Seth Stephenson, Lakeland (DET)
DH: Ricardo Olivar, Fort Myers (MIN No. 21)
UTIL: Carlos Jorge, Daytona (CIN No. 9)
SP: Max Rajcic, Palm Beach (STL No. 18)
SP: Pete Hansen, Palm Beach (STL No. 25)
SP: Hancel Rincon, Palm Beach (STL)
SP: Brock Selvidge, Tampa (NYY No. 13)
RP: Wen Hui Pan, Clearwater (PHI No. 20)
RP: Evan Taylor, Jupiter (MIA)
Manager: Andrew Graham, Lakeland (DET)