The Cincinnati Reds had more than a few prospects generate headlines this season. They may have had the biggest breakout prospect in baseball, too. And now they can also add league MVP to the list of accomplishments from the organization. Minor League Baseball released their All-Star teams and handed out their Most Valuable Player awards for the three complex leagues. The Arizona Complex League saw Yerlin Confidan named the league’s MVP and one of the All-Stars.
Being named to the All-Star team seemed like a sure-thing for Yerlin Confidan. The outfielder led the league in home runs and slugging while hitting .315/.359/.573 on the season. He was also 3rd in the league in OPS and finished in the top 10 in runs, RBI, hits, and average. A majority of his time in the field came in right, where he started 36 games, but he also played in 7 games in center. Another 7 games saw him get action as the Arizona Complex League Reds designated hitter.
Of course, being an All-Star is one thing. Being voted as the top player in the league is another. The offensive resume certainly holds up well, though. The 18-year-old crushed the ball. He is the first player in the Reds organization that was 18 or younger to hit double-digit home runs in a season since 1981. Here’s the entire list dating back to 1960 (which is as far back as my Reds minor league statistical database goes):
Among the players on that list, Yerlin Confidan had significantly fewer plate appearances than everyone else. Times have changed, and so has the game, but even so, Confidan’s OPS was better than everyone on the list outside of Danny Tartabull. I haven’t done any park factors or league factors for any of those years (park factors may be impossible because we’d need home and road data, which may not even exist). Still, we’re looking at one of the more impressive power seasons from an 18-year-old in a very, very long time within the organization.