|FLORIDA STATE LEAGUE
|1. Mike Stanton, of, Jupiter (Marlins)
2. Jesus Montero, c, Tampa (Yankees)
3. Domonic Brown, of, Clearwater (Phillies)
5. Kyle Drabek, rhp, Clearwater (Phillies)
6. Starlin Castro, ss, Daytona (Cubs)
7. Jenrry Mejia, rhp, St. Lucie (Mets)
9. Ike Davis, 1b, St. Lucie (Mets)
10. Austin Romine, c, Tampa (Yankees)
11. Carlos Gutierrez, rhp, Fort Myers (Twins)
12. Matt Dominguez, 3b, Jupiter (Marlins)
13. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, of, St. Lucie (Mets)
14. Josh Vitters, 3b, Daytona (Cubs)
15. David Bromberg, rhp, Fort Myers (Twins)
16. Caleb Gindl, of, Brevard County (Brewers)
17. Chris Parmelee, 1b, Fort Myers (Twins)
19. Freddy Galvis, ss, Clearwater (Phillies)
20. Mark Rogers, rhp, Brevard County (Brewers)
To be eligible for a league’s list, a
pitcher must have thrown 1/3 inning for each team game or have made 20
appearances (10 in short-season and rookie-level leagues). Hitters need
one plate appearance for each team
The teams may play in front of smaller crowds and in bigger parks than most minor leaguers. But the combination of good weather and proximity to team’s training bases means that the high Class A Florida State League usually is well stocked with talent, especially early in the year when the weather is still cool elsewhere in the country.
It was no different in 2009. The league’s elite prospects—Jupiter outfielder Mike Stanton, Tampa catcher Jesus Montero, Clearwater outfielder Domonic Brown, Sarasota first baseman Yonder Alonso, Clearwater righthander Kyle Drabek—rank among the best of the minors. They tore up the FSL in April and May before departing with promotions in early June.
While Stanton, Montero and Co. packed plenty of power, speed also was a prevailing theme in the FSL. Four of the top eight basestealers in the minors—Brevard County second baseman Eric Farris, Dunedin outfielder Darin Mastroianni, Daytona outfielder Tony Campana, Dunedin shortstop Tyler Pastronicky—spent all or most of the season in the league. None of them made our Top 20 list, but they kept FSL catchers and pitchers on their toes.
The league also had it share of talented arms, though quick promotions kept many of them from qualifying for this list. Sarasota’s Zach Stewart, Daytona’s Andrew Cashner and Jay Jackson, St. Lucie’s Brad Holt and Lakeland’s Mauricio Robles all would have made the Top 20 had they pitched enough innings.