League Top 20 Prospects

Pioner League Top 20 Prospects List

Pair of Raptors lead PL list





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TOP 20 PROSPECTS
1. Bryan Morris, rhp, Ogden (Dodgers)
2. Josh Bell, 3b, Ogden (Dodgers)
3. Hector Gomez, ss/3b, Casper (Rockies)
4. Sean O'Sullivan, rhp, Orem (Angels)
5. Gerardo Parra, of, Missoula (Diamondbacks)
6. Peter Bourjos, of, Orem (Angels)
7. Drew Stubbs, of, Billings (Reds)
8. Andrew Fie, 3b, Missoula (Diamondbacks)
9. Jeremy Haynes, rhp, Orem (Angels)
10. Ryan Mount, ss, Orem (Angels)
11. Cole Gillespie, of, Helena (Brewers)
12. Kenneth Herndon, rhp, Orem (Angels)
13. Chris Valiaka, ss, Billings (Reds)
14. Chris Carter, 1b, Great Falls (White Sox)
15. Steven Johnson, rhp, Ogden (Dodgers)
16. Trevor Bell, rhp, Orem (Angels)
17. Pedro Strop, rhp, Casper (Rockies)
18. Stephen Chapman, of, Helena (Brewers)
19. Brandon Hynick, rhp, Casper (Rockies)
20. Hector Ambriz, rhp, Missoula (Diamondbacks)
The Rookie-level Pioneer League favors hitters, and they dominated pitchers on our Top 20 Prospects list this year, claiming seven of the 10 spots. Overall, league observers believed the high-end talent was down compared to seasons past.

"In other years, I've seen a greater number of blue-chip prospects come from the Pioneer League," Casper manager P.J. Carey said. "There still are some very good prospects, but I think it's down from other years."

As more teams are easing high school draft picks into pro ball, the Pioneer League is becoming less dependent on the current year's draft for prospects. The 2005 draft class put eight players on this Top 20, while Ogden righthander Bryan Morris (the No. 1 prospect) and Orem righty Kenneth Herndon were highly regarded 2005 draft-and-follows who went early in the 2006 draft after failing to sign.

The league's youngest team, the Orem Owlz, led the league with six players on the Top 20, five from the 2005 draft class. Despite a rotation featuring no four-year college players, the Owlz pitching staff was easily the best in the league, leading in ERA by 0.25. Sean O'Sullivan, Herndon and Trevor Bell finished first, second and eighth in the league in ERA, while Jeremy Haynes, who just missed qualifying, would have been ranked fourth.

Outside of Orem, offensive players dominated the headlines. Billings shortstop and league MVP Chris Valaika set a league record with a 32-game hitting streak. Great Falls first baseman Chris Carter, 19, slugged 10 homers in his first 24 games and led the league with 15 overall. Polished college hitters won the batting (Billings outfielder Daniel Dorn, .354) and RBI (Helena outfielder/first baseman Chris Errecart, 61) titles.

Subscribers can read scouting reports on all 20 players  (Click here to subscribe)