Since the Minor League regular season began in April, we've picked a MLBPipeline.com Prospect Team of the Week. Now that the playoffs have begun, it's time to anoint our Prospect Team of the Year.
Before we get to that, it's time for some quick PTOW housekeeping. Only one player, Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, earned recognition four times. Eleven different prospects were honored three times each: Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi, Giants left-hander Ty Blach, Dodgers second baseman Willie Calhoun, Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman, Rangers/Braves second baseman Travis Demeritte, Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins, Indians second baseman Tyler Krieger, Rockies catcher Tom Murphy, Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo, Mets lefty Thomas Szapucki and Blue Jays first baseman Rowdy Tellez.
Krieger helped the Indians lead all organizations with 14 PTOW mentions. The Rockies (13), Dodgers (13), Astros (11), Cubs (11) and Athletics (10) also reached double figures. Every organization had at least one mention, though the Angels, Mariners and Marlins had just one each.
As for the Prospect Team of the Year, big league performance was included but the players had to spend roughly half the year in the Minors (70 games for position players, 15 starts or 30 relief appearances for pitchers) to be considered. The PTOY was selected by the MLBPipeline staff.
We could have gone with the Indians' Francisco Mejia, who set a modern Minor League record with a 50-game hitting streak, but Sanchez set a Major League mark by needing just 23 games to hit his first 11 homers. The power is for real, and so is his well above-average arm strength. A highly touted prospect since signing for $3 million out of the Dominican Republic in 2009, he's still polishing his receiving but has made nice strides with his defense and his maturity in the last two years.
A relatively unheralded fifth-round pick in 2014, Hoskins hit 17 homers in his first full pro season and more than doubled that total in his second. He ranked second in the Minors in homers and third in RBIs, and placed second in the Double-A Eastern League in both of those categories as well as in slugging, runs, extra-base hits (65), total bases (282) and walks.
3B: Alex Bregman (Graduated from Astros Top 30)
Minors: 80 G, .306/.406/.580, 71 R, 22 2B, 2 3B, 20 HR, 61 RBI, 47 BB, 38 SO, 7 SB
Majors: 41 G, .267/.324/.488, 29 R, 11 2B, 3 3B, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 15 BB, 42 SO, 1 SB
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 Draft has shown more power and moved faster than anyone could have expected. MLBPipeline's Hitter of the Year, Bregman began his first full pro season by leading the Double-A Texas League in on-base percentage (.415) and slugging (.559) until he was promoted to Triple-A, where he homered five times in his first eight games and boosted his OPS to 1.014 in 18 games before he got the call to Houston. Since starting his big league career with a 1-for-32 drought, he has been the Astros' best hitter.
Primarily a shortstop in the Minors, Turner has played almost exclusively at second base and in center field for the Nationals without missing a beat offensively. He has uncommon pop for someone with well above-average speed, and his Major League performance has slightly exceeded his stellar numbers in three years in the Minors. It's hard to understand how he lasted 13 picks in the 2014 Draft, or how Washington was able to steal him (and Joe Ross) in a three-team trade that cost them only Steven Souza and lefty prospect Travis Ott.
Another fast mover from the 2015 Draft, Benintendi went No. 7 overall and starred offensively and defensively in Boston during August before spraining his left knee. No Minor Leaguer could match his +13 differential between extra-base hits and strikeouts, and he was just one of 13 batting qualifiers with as many walks as strikeouts.
OF: David Dahl (Graduated from Rockies Top 30)
Minors: 92 G, .314/.394/.569, 70 R, 27 2B, 4 3B, 18 HR, 61 RBI, 45 BB, 96 SO, 17 SB Majors: 41 G, .333/.380/.535, 34 R, 8 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 20 RBI, 12 BB, 43 SO, 5 SB
Plagued by injuries in two of this three previous full years as a pro, Dahl bounced back from a ruptured spleen in 2015 to chase a 25-25 season this summer. The No. 10 overall pick in the 2012 Draft slashed a scintillating .484/.529/.887 in 16 Triple-A games before tying a big league record by hitting safely in his first 17 contests at that level.
Haniger was the lone member of the PTOY who didn't get a single weekly mention, in part because he wasn't eligible until we added him to our D-backs' Top 30 toward the end of July. A 2012 supplemental first-rounder who never really got going in the Brewers system before he came to Arizona in a trade for Gerardo Parra two years ago, he topped the Minors in OPS (1.000) while finishing third in slugging and fifth in on-base percentage.
Once considered a better prospect in football than in baseball and somewhat of a surprise second-round pick in 2012, Cozens put up better Minor League numbers than anyone in 2016. He and Hoskins formed a devastating tag team at Double-A Reading, where Cozens won Eastern League MVP honors after leading the Minors in homers, RBIs, extra-base hits (81) and total bases (308), ranking second in runs and slugging, and also swiping 21 bases in 22 attempts.
Gonsalves' statistics are strikingly similar to those he posted in 2015. This time around, the 2013 fourth-rounder ranked among the Minor League leaders in several categories, including opponent's average (fourth), ERA (seventh), WHIP (11th), wins (13th) and strikeouts (13th).
Glasnow won MLBPipeline's Pitcher of the Year award for the second time in three seasons. Though the 2011 fifth-rounder's command is still a work in progress, that didn't stop him from ranking second in the Minors in opponent average and fifth in ERA and strikeout rate (11.1 per nine innings).
Signed for $100,000 as a nondrafted free agent in 2013, Jimenez has averaged 13.0 strikeouts per nine innings and recorded a 1.59 ERA as a pro. He opened this year with 17 straight scoreless appearances in high Class A and finished it in Triple-A, totaling 30 saves in 31 opportunities.
Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.