The California/Carolina League All-Star Teams have been announced. The All-Stars are voted in by the League's General Managers, Team Managers, and Team Broadcasters/Media Personnel, so being voted in shows that you impressed the right people, who remembered you specifically as a player. This year, the Mariners Class-A Advanced Affiliate, High Desert Mavericks, will be sending two players to Municipal Stadium in San Jose, California, for the All-Star Game. It would be three if one wasn't playing Double-A ball up in the Southern League. (All statistics current as of 6/10/12)
Jabari Blash, OF
Blash currently leads the California League in slugging percentage (.633) and is near the top of the leader boards in home runs (13), four of which came between 4/14 - 4/17. I wouldn't be surprised if Blash was a part of the Home Run Derby in San Jose as he can crank the ball. Jabari is a natural athlete and has a large stature (6-foot-5 and 225 lbs) that he uses to cover the outfield. He's batting below .300 at .291, making him the only Mavericks All-Star under the .300 mark, but his OPS is second on the team this season at 1.021. Blash has a little bit of a long swing and is striking out in 26% of his plate appearances which needs to be cut down... by a lot. However, this prospect has Major League talent and athleticism and should be expected to make more than a few appearances at Safeco Field in the coming years.
Ji-Man Choi, 1B (selected but not playing - in Double-A)
Choi is no longer with the Mavericks due to his call-up to Jackson on June 3rd, but while with the Mavericks, Choi lead the team and league in batting average and was among the tops in many other categories, too. Choi is second in the league only to Blash in slugging percentage (.619), and still leads the Cal League in doubles (24) and extra base hits (34). Over 55% of his 61 hits went for extra bases with the Mavs. Choi is ranked fourth in on-base percentage (.427), and has an OPS of 1.045. Choi is reaching base 42.6% of his plate appearances. The left-handed hitter is by far my favorite Mavericks player I've seen this season, and I have high hopes to see him in a Mariners jersey in the future.
Chris Taylor, SS
The Mariners sure do love these kids from the University of Virginia. While talking to John Hicks and Steven Proscia last season, they had quite a bit to say about Taylor and his talents, and I thought they were just tooting the Cavalier horn, but after watching the kid for myself, I realized they weren't kidding. Taylor is basically at the top of every league statistic, batting .333 (current league leader of active players) while scoring 57 runs (league leading). Taylor is in the league's top three in stolen bases (19), triples (6), total bases (126), and walks (41). To sum it all up, Taylor knows how to get on base, as he does so 43.4% of his plate appearances. His strikeouts were reasonably high, but he's progressively cut down as the season has gone on. From what I've seen, Taylor has a good glove. Obviously not as good as Brendan Ryan, but he could have a fighting chance to be a shortstop of the future for the Mariners.
The Carolina/California League All-Star game will be played June 18th at Municipal Stadium in San Jose, California. For those of you in the local area, go check out what talent is on its way for the future. The league is stacked with top prospects once again this season, and these Mariners prospects are among the best of the bunch.
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