See also: Midwest League
TOP 20 PROSPECTS
|1. Mike Trout, of, Cedar Rapids Kernels (Angels)
2. Shelby Miller, rhp, Quad Cities River Bandits (Cardinals)
3. Wil Myers, c, Burlington Bees (Royals)
4. Jacob Turner, rhp, West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers)
5. Aaron Hicks, of, Beloit Snappers (Twins)
6. Nick Franklin, ss/2b, Clinton LumberKings (Mariners)
7. Trey McNutt, rhp, Peoria Chiefs (Cubs)
8. Jake Odorizzi, rhp, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Brewers)
9. Matt Davidson, 3b, South Bend Silver Hawks (Diamondbacks)
10. Tyler Skaggs, lhp, Cedar Rapids (Angels)/South Bend (Diamondbacks)
11. Allen Webster, rhp, Great Lakes Loons (Dodgers)
12. Jean Segura, 2b, Cedar Rapids Kernels (Angels)
13. Hak-Ju Lee, ss, Peoria Chiefs (Cubs)
14. Fabio Martinez, rhp, Cedar Rapids Kernels (Angels)
15. Rubby de la Rosa, rhp, Great Lakes Loons (Dodgers)
16. Alex Colome, rhp, Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays)
17. Chris Owings, ss, South Bend Silver Hawks (Diamondbacks)
18. Jerry Sands, 1b/of, Great Lakes Loons (Dodgers)
19. Matt Lollis, rhp, Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres)
20. Chad Jenkins, rhp, Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays)
Baseball America’s League Top 20 lists
are generated from consultations with scouts and league managers. To qualify for consideration, a player must have spent at least one-third of the season in a league. Position players must have one plate appearance for every league game. Pitchers must pitch 1/3 inning for every league game, and relievers have to have made at least 20 appearances in full-season leagues and 10 in short-season ones.
Managers and scouts agreed that this year’s crop of Midwest League talent was the best they had seen in a while. Burlington manager Jim Gabella said he couldn’t remember a better collection of prospects in his six years in the low Class A circuit. Longtime South Bend skipper Mark Haley drew a parallel to the MWL’s 2006 bumper crop headlined by Jay Bruce, Cameron Maybin, Justin Upton and Colby Rasmus.
As gifted as those outfielders were, they couldn’t match the excitement created by Cedar Rapids center fielder Mike Trout. He hit .362/.454/.526 with 45 steals in 81 games, earning a promotion to high Class A a month before he turned 19.
“He’s tremendous,” an American League scout said. “I can’t believe there’s a better player in the minor leagues than Mike Trout. His tools are ridiculous, and he’s so physical and athletic, but the thing I love most is he always plays the game with 100 percent energy and a smile on his face. He might be my favorite player I’ve ever scouted.”
Great Lakes led all minor league teams with 90 regular-season victories, but the Loons came up short of a championship. They dropped the last two games of their semifinal series to Lake County, which didn’t place a single player on this Top 20 Prospects list.