In the past we’ve had a Full-Season All-Star team and a Rookie-Level All-Star team, but with the rookie-level only having two teams now instead of four, it kind of defeats the purpose of having a rookie-level only team as everyone would come from one of two of the teams. This year it’s just one team that will be from players from all levels. Performance has been weighted (just in my mind) with the higher the level the performance happened, the more it “matters”.
Catcher: Daniel Vellojin
21-year-old Daniel Vellojin made the jump from the Dominican Summer League in 2019 to Low-A Daytona in 2021. He played in 88 games – 74 of them behind the plate – and hit .247/.401/.403 in the pitcher friendly league. Vellojin had 21 doubles, a triple, 7 home runs, walked 72 times, and he struck out 73 times. While the catcher was an on-base machine that walked nearly as often as he struck out, it was his defense that stood out to observers. He threw out 41% of opposing baserunners during the year and worked magic at times with the glove for his pitching staff.
First Base: Wilson Garcia
It was a tough start in a new organization for Wilson Garcia. Through the first five weeks of the season he hit just .192/.224/.242 with one home run in 27 games played for Double-A Chattanooga. But from mid-June through the end of the season he flipped that early season script and hit .322/.352/.542 over the final 76 games of the year while collecting 15 doubles and 17 home runs along the way. His 18 home runs on the year were second in the organization among the players on the farm.
Second Base: Alejo Lopez
The season got out to a hot start for Alejo Lopez. In the first month of the year he hit .362 for Double-A Chattanooga and got moved up to Triple-A. He would slow down a bit there, hitting *just* .303, but walked 33 times while striking out just 21 times, and adding 18 doubles and 6 home runs with Louisville to go with his 9 doubles he had in the first month with the Lookouts. IN total he hit .320/.401/.447 while walking 13 more times than he struck out during the season in 92 games between Double-A and Triple-A.
Third Base: Elly De La Cruz
There probably isn’t another player in minor league baseball who made such a big leap in terms of prospect value in 2021 than Elly De La Cruz. He went from relatively unknown to Top 100 prospect after hitting .296/.336/.538 between his time with the Arizona Complex League Reds (11 games) and the Low-A Daytona Tortugas (50 games). In 61 games he had 18 doubles, 9 triples, and 8 home runs. He saw action at both third base and shortstop during the season, playing 28 and 20 games at each spot.
Shortstop: Jose Barrero
Beginning the year in Double-A Chattanooga, Jose Barrero went out and hit .300 with 9 doubles, a triple, and 6 home runs for the Lookouts in the first two months of the season. That was just a taste of what was to come after his promotion to Triple-A Louisville. In the 45 games Barrero spent with the Bats he hit .306/.392/.594 with 10 doubles and 13 home runs. He also added a home run during the summer’s Futures Game. While playing in just 85 games he led the farm system with 19 home runs, added in 16 steals, and had an even 100 hits on the season while hitting .303/.380/.539 between his two stops in the minors.
Outfielder: Allan Cerda
Like many of the others on this All-Star team, Allan Cerda split his season at multiple levels. He began the year in Low-A Daytona and hit .242/.362/.524 in the pitcher friendly league with 14 doubles, 4 triples, and 14 home runs in 66 games. For the final month of the year he was promoted to High-A Dayton where he played in 21 more games and hit .273/.356/.519 with 8 more doubles, another triple, and 3 more homers. Between the two stops he hit .250/.361/.523 with 17 home runs, 22 doubles, and 5 triples.
Outfielder: Lorenzo Cedrola
It was the best season of Lorenzo Cedrola’s career in 2021. He began the year in Double-A Chattanooga and spent the whole season with the Lookouts where he led the league in hits (130) while posting a .320/.356/.461 line. With the Triple-A season continuing for two weeks beyond there, the Reds promoted him up to Louisville where he played in 9 more games and added 4 extra-base hits. Between his two stops he played in 115 games and hit .315/.354/.458 with 19 doubles, 7 triples, 10 home runs, and he stole 10 bases.
Outfielder: Yerlin Confidan
Making his professional debut, Yerlin Confidan made his power known early and often in the Arizona Complex League. He slugged .529 in July, .661 in August, and .694 in September. The 18-year-old led the league with 11 home runs while adding in 9 doubles and 2 triples as he hit .315/.359/.573 in 50 games. Confidan also stole 7 bases
Designated Hitter: Carlos Jorge
Another player making his professional debut, Carlos Jorge beat up on pitching in the Dominican Summer League. Playing shortstop and second base, the 17-year-old hit .346/.436/.579 with 8 doubles, 10 triples, and 3 home runs in 47 games. He also stole 27 bases, walked 24 times, and struck out 27 times.
Starter: Graham Ashcraft
After missing the 2020 season, Graham Ashcraft was one of the minor leaguers that got brought out to “early spring training” in 2021 to play alongside the big leaguers in February and March. Ashcraft carried that forward into the 2021 season, first with Dayton where he posted a 2.33 ERA in 8 starts before being promoted to Double-A Chattanooga. With the Lookouts he made 14 more starts with a 3.36 ERA, and at one point had thrown 44 consecutive innings without an earned run between the two stops. In Ashcraft’s 22 starts in 2021 he posted a 3.00 ERA in 111.0 innings, allowed 86 hits – just 4 home runs – walked 37 batters, and had 129 strikeouts.
Starter: Hunter Greene
It only took 7 starts for Hunter Greene to be promoted from Double-A. While in Chattanooga with the Lookouts he posted a 1.98 ERA in 41.0 innings with 60 strikeouts. His time in Triple-A Louisville was a bit inconsistent as he made 14 starts for the Bats and posted a 4.13 ERA in 65.1 innings where he had 79 strikeouts. The largest difference between the two stops was the home runs allowed, giving up just 2 in Double-A but 11 in Triple-A. Between Chattanooga and Louisville he posted a 3.30 ERA in 106.1 innings, allowed 86 hits – 13 homers – walked 39 batters, and he struck out 139.
Starter: Reiver Sanmartin
Like Hunter Greene, Reiver Sanmartin began his year in Double-A Chattanooga. He made 3 starts and a relief appearance with the Lookouts, allowing just 1 earned run in 18.0 innings before being promoted to Triple-A. Once he joined Louisville he made 14 starts and 7 relief appearances with a 3.94 ERA. Between the two stops the lefty posted a 3.32 ERA in 100.1 innings, allowed 88 hits – 6 home runs – walked 28 batters, and he struck out 112.
Reliever: Dauri Moreta
No one in the Reds farm system dominated the way that Dauri Moreta did during the 2021 season. He began the season in Double-A Chattanooga and posted a 1.35 ERA in 18 games before being promoted to Triple-A Louisville. He didn’t allow an earned run through his first 22 games with the Bats before giving up a run in each of his final two outings of the minor league season. Between his two stops in the minors he posted a 1.02 ERA in 53.0 innings, allowed 31 hits – 5 homers – walked 9 batters, and he struck out 58.
Reliever: Phillip Diehl
Lefty Phillip Diehl spent his entire season in Triple-A with Louisville. He pitched in 58 games and posted a 2.47 ERA in 54.2 innings. Diehl allowed just 39 hits – 9 homers – walked 12 hitters, and he struck out 71.