See also: Pioneer League
|PIONEER LEAGUE TOP 20 PROSPECTS|
|1. Billy Hamilton, 2b/ss, Billings (Reds)
2. Albert Campos, rhp, Casper (Rockies)
3. Daniel Tillman, rhp, Orem (Angels)
4. Leon Landry, of, Ogden (Dodgers)
5. Yorman Rodriguez, of, Billings (Reds)
6. Jake Lemmerman, ss, Ogden (Dodgers)
7. Mike Blanke, c, Great Falls (White Sox)
8. Addison Reed, rhp, Great Falls (White Sox)
9. Matt Miller, rhp, Helena (Brewers)
10. Will Swanner, c, Casper (Rockies)
11. Daniel Corcino, rhp, Billings (Reds)
12. Cristhian Adames, ss, Casper (Rockies)
13. Garrett Gould, rhp, Ogden (Dodgers)
14. Jimmy Nelson, rhp, Helena (Brewers)
15. David Holmberg, lhp, Great Falls (White Sox)/
16. Robby Rowland, rhp, Missoula (Diamondbacks)
17. Travis Witherspoon, of, Orem (Angels)
18. Rafael Ortega, of, Casper (Rockies)
19. Thomas Royse, rhp, Great Falls (White Sox)
20. Kevin Eichhorn, rhp, Missoula (Diamondbacks)
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.
A year ago, the Angels (led by Garrett Richards and Pat Corbin) and Diamondbacks (led by Bobby Borchering and Chris Owings) sent a total of 10 players selected in the top five rounds of the 2009 draft to the Rookie-level Pioneer League, where they joined a brigade of premium teenage prospects that included Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Jean Segura and Nolan Arenado.
No such situation developed this season, when the four teams with the league’s oldest rosters—Great Falls, Helena, Orem and Ogden—qualified for the playoffs. Not a single 2010 first-round pick spent any meaningful time in the PL, though second-round righthanders J.R. Bradley, Jimmy Nelson and Daniel Tillman did. Despite being the highest drafted player in the league (56th overall by the Diamondbacks), Bradley went 1-7, 5.93 for Missoula and showed that he had a lot to learn about the fine points of pitching.
The league’s No. 1 prospect was another second-rounder, 2009 draftee Billy Hamilton. The Billings second baseman terrorized pitchers with his speed, hitting .318 with league bests in stolen bases (48) and triples (10).
Billings righthander Kyle Lotzkar and Helena righthander Tyler Thornburg impressed PL observers but didn’t play enough to qualify for this Top 20 Prospects list. A supplemental first-round pick in 2007 who’s still just 20, Lotzkar returned from Tommy John surgery to go 2-0, 0.45 with a 33-2 K-BB ratio in 20 innings.