Lake County and Kane County both swept into the finals, going undefeated in the first two rounds of the playoffs to reach the championship series.
Lake County boasts an outfield with the Indians' top pick in each of the past two First-Year Player Drafts. Clint Frazier, the fifth overall pick in 2013, has been with Lake County all season, while Bradley Zimmer, the 21st overall pick this June, joined the team for the playoff push after spending most of the summer with short-season Mahoning Valley.
Frazier, the Indians' No. 2 prospect and No. 46 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, hit .266/.349/.411 with 13 home runs and 12 stolen bases in 120 games during the regular season. Already during the playoffs, Frazier has celebrated his 20th birthday and gone 7-for-16 at the plate, with a homer and scored five runs.
Zimmer, the club's No. 4 prospect, hit .304/.401/.464 with four home runs and 11 stolen bases in 45 games with Mahoning Valley. In four playoff games for Lake County, the 21-year-old has gone 6-for-16 and scored five runs.
Led by its pitching staff, Kane County amassed the best record in the Midwest League this season, going 91-49. The Cougars also led the league in ERA with a 2.85 mark.
Kane County's rotation features right-handers Jen-Ho Tseng and Paul Blackburn, the Cubs' No. 14 and 16 prospects. Tseng will take the ball in Game 1, while Blackburn is slated start Game 4, if necessary, after throwing five scoreless innings Sunday to send the Cougars to the finals. Tseng went 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA in 19 games during the regular season.
While Kane County was one of the best teams throughout the year, Jacksonville might have been the hottest team in the past two weeks. The Suns won 10 straight games to win the second-half title in the Southern League's South Division and then won their best-of-five semifinal series against Mobile, 3-1.
Jacksonville has relied on a strong pitching staff all season. At times, it has included the likes of Andrew Heaney and Anthony DeSclafani, the Marlins' No. 1 and 3 prospects, who are currently pitching for Miami. Now, the rotation is headed by left-hander Justin Nicolino, the club's No. 4 prospect. Nicolino was named the Southern League Pitcher of the Year after going 14-4 with a 2.85 ERA.
Right-handers Trevor Williams and Jose Urena, the Marlins' No. 6 and 9 prospects, join Nicolino in a still-formidable rotation. Closer Nick Wittgren, the club's No. 18 prospect, saved 20 games during the regular season and anchors the bullpen.
Chattanooga overcame a poor first half to go 35-33 in the second half and win the North Division crown. It is now trying to win its first Southern League championship since 1988 after defeating Huntsville in the semifinals in five games.
The Lookouts' roster features Dodgers' No. 1 prospect Corey Seager. The 20-year-old shortstop began the season with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga, before earning a promotion in July. In 38 games with Chattanooga in the regular season, Seager, ranked No. 15 on the Top 100, hit .345/.381/.534 with two home runs. Seager is joined in the lineup by outfielder Scott Schebler, the Dodgers' No. 9 prospect. The 23-year-old led the Southern League with 28 home runs this season.
Wednesday's Minor League schedule is also highlighted by Game 4 of the Carolina League championship series between Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach and Potomac. Led by second baseman Tony Renda, the Nationals' No. 18 prospect, Potomac holds a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five Mills Cup after a 12-7 victory Tuesday night. It could clinch its fifth title in franchise history and first since 2010 with another victory Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET at Potomac's Pfitzner Stadium. If necessary, Game 5 would be played Thursday at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Top prospect probables
Tyler Anderson (Rockies' No. 12), Tulsa vs. Midland
Alex Colome (Rays' No. 5), Durham at Pawtucket
Brian Johnson (Red Sox's No. 10), Pawtucket vs. Durham
John Lamb (Royals' No. 20), Omaha at Reno
Adalberto Mejia (Giants' No. 4), Richmond vs. Binghamton
Tseng (Cubs' No. 14), Kane County vs. Lake County
Urena (Marlins' No. 9), Jacksonville at Chattanooga