|MIDWEST LEAGUE TOP 20
Mike Moustakas, 3b/ss, Burlington (Royals)
2. Neftali Feliz, rhp, Clinton (Rangers)
3. Jarrod Parker, rhp, South Bend (Diamondbacks)
4. Ben Revere, of, Beloit (Twins)
6. Engel Beltre, of, Clinton (Rangers)
7. Andrew Lambo, of, Great Lakes (Dodgers)
8. Philippe Aumont, rhp, Wisconsin (Mariners)
10. Neftali Soto, 3b, Dayton (Reds)
11. Danny Duffy, lhp, Burlington (Royals)
12. Craig Italiano, rhp, Kane County (Athletics)
14. Justin Jackson, ss, Lansing (Blue Jays)
15. Pete Kozma, ss, Quad Cities (Cardinals)
16. Corey Brown, of, Kane County (Athletics)
18. Danny Gutierrez, rhp, Burlington (Royals)
19. Kevin Ahrens, 3b, Lansing (Blue Jays)
20. Trevor Reckling, lhp, Cedar Rapids (Angels)
Early on, 2008 looked like it would be a year that Mike Moustakas and the Burlington Bees would rather forget. Moustakas opened the season at shortstop, which wasn’t a good fit. While his defensive struggles weren’t a surprise, his offensive woes were a shock.
A native Californian, he had trouble adapting to the cold climates in the low Class A Midwest League, hitting just .190 with one homer in April.
Both Moustakas and his team got untracked as the weather warmed up. He hit .321/.392/.557 after the all-star break and became the league’s first teenaged home run champion since Steve Gibralter in 1992. Burlington posted the MWL’s best record in the second half (43-26) and went 6-0 in the playoffs to win its first championship since 1999.
With Moustakas leading the way, hitters stood out in an average year for talent in the MWL. Four other first-round picks made the Top 10: South Bend righthander Jarrod Parker, Beloit outfielder Ben Revere, Quad Cities third baseman Brett Wallace and Wisconsin righty Phillippe Aumont.