Five other up-and-coming former ALL-USA baseball players to watch for

Five other up-and-coming former ALL-USA baseball players to watch for

ALL-USA

Five other up-and-coming former ALL-USA baseball players to watch for

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After a slow start, catcher Blake Swihart is hitting well for the Pawtucket Red Sox. Associated Press photo by John Bazemore.

After a slow start, catcher Blake Swihart is hitting well for the Pawtucket Red Sox. Associated Press photo by John Bazemore.

Last week, Kris Bryant, who was an American Family Insurance ALL-USA Player out of Bonanza (Las Vegas) in 2010, got his big-league call-up. After going 0-for-4 in his first game, he’s hitting .300 and had his first extra-base hits, presumably the first of many. Here are five other former ALL-USA players would could get called up to the majors, and soon:

Blake Swihart, catcher, Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA)

He started the season hitting a woeful 3-for-17, but has turned it around and is now hitting .389 with nine RBI in eight games. He was an ALL-USA player from Cleveland (Rio Rancho, N.M.) in 2011. The Boston Red Sox could call up Swihart if Ryan Hanigan doesn’t improve much on his .125 batting average.

Joey Gallo, third baseman, Frisco RoughRiders (Class AA)

You think Bryant has power? Gallo broke car windshields during spring training and hit 82 homers over the past two minor league seasons. The 2012 ALL-USA player from Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) began this season on the disabled list. Once he gets healthy, the Texas Rangers could give him a shot at first base or the outfield, or even at third if Adrian Beltre gets hurt.

Byron Buxton, centerfielder, Chattanooga Lookouts (Class AA)

A true five-tool player, he played in only 31 games last year because of various injuries. He’s hitting only .225 this season, but he has a .296 batting average in four minor league seasons with 73 stolen bases so he’s likely to come around and when he does, the Minnesota Twins could use the 2012 ALL-USA player from Appling County (Baxley, Ga.). Buxton is ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the game by Baseball America, behind Bryant.

Francisco Lindor, shortstop, Columbus Clippers (Class AAA)

The 2011 ALL-USA player from Montverde (Fla.) Academy is one of the best defensive players in the minors and he showed he could hit a little too, with a .297 average and six extra-base hits during spring training. He’s off to a slow start with the Clippers, hitting .212, but once he comes around a bit at the plate, he’ll likely be traveling north to Cleveland.

Gavin Cecchini, catcher, Binghamton Mets (Class AA).

The 2012 ALL-USA player from Barbe (Lake Charles, La.), the younger brother of Red Sox third baseman Garin Cecchini, has nice tools behind the plate and seems to be finding his power stroke. He hit only one homer in his first two minor league seasons, but had eight last season. This year, he’s already homered and is hitting .333 with an on-base percentage of .412 and seven RBI in 30 at-bats. He’s probably two seasons away, though a late-summer call-up wouldn’t be out of the question.

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