Chat Wrap: Aaron Fitt took your New York-Penn League questions
TOP 20 PROSPECTS
1. Ambiorix Concepcion, of, Brooklyn
2. Anibal Sanchez, rhp, Lowell
3. Jason Vargas, lhp, Jamestown
4. Taylor Tankersley, lhp, Jamestown
5. Ben Zobrist, ss, Tri-City
6. Jesse Hoover, rhp, Staten Island
7. David Haehnel, lhp, Aberdeen
8. Tony Sipp, lhp, Mahoning Valley
9. Christian Lara, ss, Lowell
10. Jeff Marquez, rhp, Staten Island
11. Curtis Thigpen, c, Auburn
12. Mike Butia, of, Mahoning Valley
13. Hunter Pence, of, Tri-City
14. Tommy Hottovy, lhp, Lowell
15. Jon Fulton, ss, Jamestown
16. Argenis Reyes, of, Mahoning Valley
17. Blair Johnson, rhp, Williamsport
18. J.A. Happ, lhp, Batavia
19. Jake Mullinax, 3b, New Jersey
20. Jon Barratt, lhp, Hudson Valley
The short-season New York-Penn League was loaded with pitching in 2004, but a position player claimed the mantle of best prospect. There wasn't a manager in the league who questioned the remarkable talent of Brooklyn outfielder Ambiorix Concepcion.
The best player in the league was Tri-City shortstop Ben Zobrist, who led the NY-P in batting (.339) and on-base percentage (.438). But while he might be a safer bet than Concepcion, Zobrist was old for the league at 23, and his year must be viewed with that perspective.
Pitchers dominated the rest of our NY-P Top 10 Prospects list, claiming seven of the other eight spots. Lowell righthander Anibal Sanchez led that contingent, showing no ill effects from the elbow surgery that caused him to miss all of 2003. While Sanchez had the highest ceiling on the Lowell staff, several older and more advanced Spinners pitchers could beat him to the majors.
Jamestown (led by lefties Jason Vargas and Taylor Tankersley) and Staten Island (with righties Jesse Hoover and Jeff Marquez at the forefront) also had impressive pitching depth.