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California League Top 20 Prospects With Scouting Reports

Dave Perkin -Premium Content

Pro scouts certainly know the way to San Jose. Not only did the Giants finish with 93 wins (one off the minor league lead) and sweep High Desert in the playoff finals, but they also landed four players on our Cal League Top 20 list. San Francisco has assembled one of the most talented systems in the game and it showed with catcher Buster Posey (the league's No. 1 prospect), lefthander Madison Bumgarner (who would have ranked ahead of Posey if he had enough innings to qualify) and a prospect-studded outfield of Thomas Neal, Roger Kieschnick and Darren Ford. Lefthander Craig Clark went 16-2, 2.86 and won the league's pitcher of the year award, but he didn't make the Top 20 because he's 25 and more of a finesse pitcher.

Minors | #2009#League Top 20 Prospects#Rankings

South Atlantic League Top 20 Prospects With Scouting Reports

Matt Forman -Premium Content

Most years, the best teams are led by the best players. In the previous two years in the low Class A South Atlantic League, for example, No. 1 prospects Desmond Jennings (Columbus in 2007) and Madison Bumgarner (Augusta in 2008) sparked their clubs to championships. This season, the storyline was different. League champion Lakewood's highest-rated prospect, outfielder Anthony Gose, checked in at No. 13. Righthander Jason Knapp, who ranked seventh, opened the season with the BlueClaws but finished the season in Lake County after getting included in the trade that sent Cliff Lee from the Indians to the Phillies.

Minors | #2009#League Top 20 Prospects#Rankings

Midwest League Top 20 Prospects

Jim Callis -

Seven of our MWL Top 20 Prospects are position players drafted a year ago, starting with Beloit center fielder Aaron Hicks, the 14th overall selection. Two more first-rounders, Wisconsin second baseman Brett Lawrie and Burlington first baseman Eric Hosmer, cracked the list, as did Fort Wayne left fielder Jaff Decker, a sandwich pick. The league's co-MVPs also were products of the 2008 draft, Great Lakes shortstop Dee Gordon (fourth round) and right fielder Kyle Russell (third).

Minors | #2009#League Top 20 Prospects#Rankings

New York-Penn League Top 20 Prospects With Scouting Reports

Aaron Fitt -Premium Content

While 2008 was a strong year for the New York-Penn League, with catchers (led by Jason Castro and Derek Norris) and power arms (topped by Adam Reifer and Brad Holt) in abundance, most evaluators were disappointed by the short-season league's talent level in 2009. Lowell outfielder Ryan Westmoreland is a legitimate blue-chip prospect and Williamsport's Sebastian Valle established himself as one of the top young catchers in the lower minors, but the position-player crop dropped off quickly after that. The players who performed best lacked elite tools and easy profiles, while the players with the biggest tools performed poorly.

Minors | #2009#League Top 20 Prospects#Rankings

Pioneer League Top 20 Prospects

Matt Eddy -

The Pioneer League benefited from the Angels' and Diamondbacks' surfeit of draft picks this June, as the two clubs combined to send 10 players selected in the top five rounds directly to Orem and Missoula. Understandably, the two teams placed a large number of players on the Pioneer League Top 20 Prospects list.

Minors | #2009#League Top 20 Prospects#Rankings