League Top 20 Prospects

Carolina League Top 20 Prospects List

Dominant lefties front mediocre CL crop

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1. Chuck Lofgren, lhp, Kinston (Indians)
2. Jacoby Ellsbury, of, Wilmington (Red Sox)
3. Troy Patton, lhp, Salem (Astros)
4. Trevor Crowe, of, Kinston (Indians)
5. Jimmy Barthmaier, rhp, Salem (Astros)
6. Nolan Reimold, of, Frederick (Orioles)
7. Matt Harrison, lhp, Myrtle Beach (Braves)
8. Neil Walker, c, Lynchburg (Pirates)
9. Radhames Liz, rhp, Frederick (Orioles)
10. Scott Lewis, lhp, Kinston (Indians)
11. Brandon Jones, of, Myrtle Beach (Braves)
12. Collin Balester, rhp, Potomac (Nationals)
13. Van Pope, 3b, Myrtle Beach (Braves)
14. Felipe Paulino, rhp, Salem (Astros)
15. Garrett Olson, lhp, Frederick (Orioles)
16. Brian Barton, of, Kinston (Indians)
17. Brett Lillibridge, ss, Lynchburg (Pirates)
18. Chad Reineke, rhp, Salem (Astros)
19. Brian Bixler, ss, Lynchburg (Pirates)
20. Jed Lowrie, ss, Wilmington (Red Sox)
Although this year's high Class A Carolina League prospect crop is relatively average, one area certainly stood out: lefthanded pitching.

Four southpaws made the Top 10 Prospects list, led by Kinston's Chuck Lofgren at No. 1, and three of them were 20 for most of the season. Kinston's Scott Lewis (No. 10) was the oldest of the group at 22.

The depth in lefthanders is becoming a trend in the Carolina League. Three made last year's top 10--Gio Gonzalez, Jeremy Sowers and Adam Loewen--with Tony Sipp and Ray Liotta just missing the cut. Sowers and Loewen made successful major league debuts in 2006.

"Looking back over my two years in this league, I'll automatically think of the lefties," Salem pitching coach Stan Boroski said. "When was the last time you had so many lefthanders that young, that have that kind of talent?"

There were also some interesting hitters, though no one other than Frederick outfielder Nolan Reimold showed big-time raw power. Frederick outfielder Jason Fransz, ancient for high Class A at age 25, led the CL with 24 homers. The departure of top-of-the-order threats Jacoby Ellsbury and Trevor Crowe by midseason took away the league's top two position prospects.

"There were only a few hitters you'd really want," a scout with a National League club said. "You kept waiting for more and you always seemed to leave the ballpark disappointed."

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