2011 Great Lakes Top 10 Prospects List
Lima swept Southern Ohio in the championship series, winning its third title and first since 2004. The Locos lost their first playoff game to Licking County before reeling off four straight victories to take home the championship.
1. Dusty Isaacs, rhp, Hamilton (So., Georgia Tech)
Isaacs spurned the Cape Cod League to return home to southern Ohio after his freshman year and showcased the talent that made him the Pirates' 50th-round draft pick in 2010. Isaacs' best game of the summer came on July 8, when he struck out 16 batters in 8 2/3 innings. He typically throws his fastball in the upper 80s, but he touched the low 90s in the all-star game, when he struck out all three batters he faced. Isaacs has what one league manager called a "difference-making slider" and showed the ability to throw it and his changeup for strikes. In 44 innings for Hamilton, he struck out 50 batters and walked 22. Isaacs was a starter for Hamilton, a role he will likely hold at Georgia Tech next spring after spending his freshman year in the bullpen.
2. David Garner, rhp, Southern Ohio (So., Michigan State)
Garner logged just 16 innings with the Copperheads this summer, but he made the most of them. The righthander struck out 20 batters and walked just three. Garner lived off his low-90s fastball that he ran up to 94 mph at times during the summer. Two managers both said his fastball was so effective against their teams that he didn't need to use his offspeed pitches. While Garner is short, listed at 5-foot-11, his delivery is not max effort, creating easy velocity. He posted a 1.29 ERA with a 0.82 WHIP and four saves for the Copperheads.
3. J.T. Riddle, 2b/rhp, Lexington (So., Kentucky)
A two-way player, Riddle was a 35th-round pick of the Red Sox in 2010 after hitting .514 with seven homers and 20 steals as a high school senior to earn Mr. Baseball honors in the state of Kentucky. His professional future likely is as a hitter, though there are some questions about his ability to remain at second base, and his lanky frame might fit better at third. Using a solid approach at the plate, Riddle hit .343/.454/.556 with three home runs this summer. The lefthanded-hitting Riddle had one of the better swings in the league, spraying line drives from gap to gap. On the mound, he throws an 86-87 mph sinker and a slider, and he could add velocity as he fills out his 6-foot-3, 170-pound body. In seven appearances, he was 2-1, 2.60 with a save.
4. Tyler Alexander, lhp, Hamilton (So., Hillsborough, Fla., CC)
Though Alexander pitched and played the outfield for Hillsborough CC in the spring, he only pitched in the summer. It was all he needed to do to make a big impression on the league's managers. Alexander went 3-1, 1.71 in seven starts, ranking second in the league in ERA. Using mainly a fastball and changeup combination, Alexander struck out 45 batters in 42 innings. Though one manager said he thought Alexander "filled up the zone" better than anyone else in the league, he struggled with his control at times, walking 24 batters. Alexander is confident in his stuff and was willing to throw any of his pitches for strikes, though he was also adept at getting hitters to chase.
5. Marcus Davis, of/1b, Hamilton (So., Walters State, Tenn., CC)
Davis certainly got managers' attention as soon as he stepped off the bus. One manager said the 6-2, 215-pound Davis looked like he could be a major leaguer now, while another said his body type was "somewhat a man among boys." Davis, a one-time Louisiana State recruit, performed on the field as well, hitting .312/.350/.456. Davis has an advanced approach at the plate and showed the ability to make good contact. Despite being one of the stronger players in the league, however, Davis' swing is too flat to generate much power. He hit only one home run, though he had seven doubles and four triples. His arm is below-average, and his future may lie at first base instead of the outfield.
6. Zach Isler, rhp, Cincinnati (Jr., Cincinnati)
The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Isler pitched out of the bullpen this summer to limit his innings after starting at Cincinnati in the spring. Coming out of the bullpen, his fastball sat at 91-92 mph, but he consistently reached 94 and touched 95. In addition to his fastball, Isler showcased a hard slider with late movement that he threw in the low 80s. Isler's changeup is a work in progress and was mainly just a show pitch. In 16 innings, Isler struck out 16 batters and walked two. He made 14 appearances, going 2-1, 2.76 with a league-high eight saves. As a starter, Isler may be more of a senior sign, but relieving is also an option when he reaches the minor leagues.
7. Greg Greve, rhp, Stark County (So., Ohio State)
Greve was drafted in the 45th round of the 2010 draft by the Giants. Relying mostly on a 89-92 fastball, Greve struck out 28 batters and walked seven in 32 innings this summer. Greve's offspeed pitches—a too-slow curveball and a harder slider—still need work, and he gave up 38 hits while going just 1-5, 4.73. But he has room to grow in his 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame, giving scouts reason to dream on what he could become. Greve pitches off his fastball effectively at his best and probably will need to develop a changeup to remain a starter down the line.
8. Seth Streich, rhp, Southern Ohio (Jr., Ohio)
A two-way player both at Ohio and during the summer, Streich's professional future is on the mound, where he throws his fastball in the upper 80s, occasionally touching 91. Streich mixes in an average breaking ball effectively, leading to a 1-1, 2.50 mark this summer. He struck out 16 batters and walked six in 17 innings over four starts, and also pitched in the all-star game. At the plate, Streich has some power, hitting .267/.369/.419. Listed at 6-4, 214 pounds, Streich has good size on the mound, and provides scouts with hope he will finally put it all together next spring after improving to 3-6, 4.00 last spring with Ohio in 97 innings.
9. Jake Proctor, of, Cincinnati (Jr., Cincinnati)
Proctor's best tool is his speed, which landed him among the league leaders in stolen bases with 14. His speed and athleticism also helped him chase down balls in center field, though a below-average arm hinders him defensively. Proctor hit well this summer, compiling a slash line of .342/.406/.474, but he will need to work on his swing. It has some moving parts, and one manager suggested he might need to overhaul his stance. But Proctor's athleticism and 6-foot-2, 214-pound frame will give him a chance to make the necessary adjustments at the professional level.
10. Chuck Ghysels, rhp, Hamilton (Sr., Maryland)
Ghysels was drafted in the 36th round in 2010 by the Reds but chose to go to Maryland after spending a year at Lincoln Trail (Ill.) CC. Ghysels went 4-3, 1.98 and led the Great Lakes League with 61 strikeouts in 49 innings in the regular season. But spotty control plagued Ghysels during his two Division I seasons—he issued 88 walks in 105 innings combined between stints at Dayton in 2009 and Maryland in 2011. Throwing strikes remained an issue for Ghysels this summer, when he issued 31 walks. Though he has reached the low 90s in the past, he worked mostly with an upper-80s fastball this summer to go along with a slider and curveball. Ghysels has a short arm action, which adds to his deception, especially with the slider. His delivery and listed height of 5-foot-10 mean his professional future will be in the bullpen, though he was a starter this summer.