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2004 Top 20 Prospects: Appalachian League
Complete Index of League Top 20s

By Will Kimmey
September 21, 2004


Subscribers can access scouting reports on all 20 players. (How to subscribe)

Chat Transcript: Will Kimmey took your Appy League questions

TOP 20 PROSPECTS
1. Mitch Einertson, of, Greeneville
2. Francisco Hernandez, c, Bristol
3. Kyle Waldrop, rhp, Elizabethton
4. Reid Brignac, ss, Princeton
5. Gio Gonzalez, lhp, Bristol
6. Trevor Plouffe, ss, Elizabethton
7. Yuber Rodriguez, of, Pulaski
8. Brandon Yarbrough, c, Johnson City
9. Alexander Smit, lhp, Elizabethton
10. Troy Patton, lhp, Greeneville
11. Matt Fox, rhp, Elizabethton
12. Juan Gutierrez, rhp, Greeneville
13. Jordan Parraz, of, Greeneville
14. Van Pope, 3b, Danville
15. Frank Mata, rhp Elizabethton
16. J.C. Holt, 2b, Danville
17. Javier Castillo, ss, Bristol
18. Juan Valdes, of, Burlington
19. Jose Delgado, 2b, Johnson City
20. Deacon Burns, of, Elizabethton
For seven of the 10 organizations with teams in the Rookie-level Appalachian League, the clubs serve as their entry-level U.S. affiliate. So more than the normal complement of college-aged players traveled the Appy trails this year after a stricter visa application process limited the number of available Latin players, a demographic that normally dominates the league.

"Definitely, we saw some kids that should have been playing in short-season A somewhere," Bluefield manager Gary Kendall said.

Managers agreed the older composition raised the level of play and made the standout performances of the younger players all the more impressive. No one caused more gasps than Greeneville outfielder Mitch Einertson. A fifth-round pick in June, Einertson tied Joy Gritts' 1960 league record with 24 home runs.

"Coming out of high school and hitting over 20 home runs is almost impossible to do," Burlington manager Rouglas Odor said. "Manny Ramirez, when he was here, he hit 19 home runs and had 63 RBIs."

Einerston also led the league in RBIs (67) and slugging percentage (.692) while batting .308. He went homerless in his last five regular-season games and failed to pass Gritts, but Einerston hit two longballs during Greeneville's championship series win against Danville and then cranked another in his first game after a promotion to the short-season New York-Penn League.

Subscribers can access scouting reports on all 20 players. (How to subscribe)

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