League Top 20 Prospects

Northwest League Top 20 Prospects List

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1. Matt Latos, rhp, Eugene (Padres)
2. Josh Donaldson, c, Boise (Cubs
3. Juan Ramirez, rhp, Everett (Mariners)
4. Tony Thomas, 2b, Boise (Cubs)
5. Fabio Castillo, rhp, Spokane (Rangers)
6. Kellen Kulbacki, of, Eugene (Padres)
7. Tommy Hunter, rhp, Spokane (Rangers)
8. Greg Halman, of, Everett (Mariners)
9. Helder Velazquez, ss, Tri City (Rockies)
10. Matt Mangini, 3b, Everett (Mariners)
11. Corey Brown, of, Vancouver (Athletics)
12. Bruce Billings, rhp, Tri City (Rockies)
13. Cory Riordan, rhp, Tri City (Rockies)
14. Mitch Canham, c, Eugene (Padres)
15. Robinson Fabian, rhp, Tri City (Rockies)
16. Kyler Burke, of, Boise (Cubs)
17. Edward Paredes, lhp, Everett (Mariners)
18. Chris Huseby, rhp, Boise (Cubs)
19. Brian Rike, of, Tri City (Rockies)
20. Jake Brigham, rhp, Spokane (Rangers)
Salem-Keizer won its second straight short-season Northwest League title and fourth in eight years. The Volcanoes ran roughshod over the league with a 57-19 regular-season record and were the lone NWL club to finish above .500. Ironically, they also were one of just two teams to get shut out on our Top 20 Prospects list. The pride of the NWL was loaded with older players with more limited ceilings than the Volcanoes' '06 championship team that had Tim Lincecum, Manny Burriss, Adam Cowart and other prospects on its roster.

"Last year was Apollo Creed and this year was Rocky Balboa," Salem-Keizer manager Steve Decker said. "We did not have a lot of those tools guys on this year's team, but we had a group of guys that really know how to play the game and when we got a lead late, we weren't losing."

The year, the Northwest League's best prospects were mostly unfinished projects. Even the No. 1 player on this list, Eugene righthander Matt Latos, still has a long ways to go with his consistency and overall feel for the craft.

"It was very comparable to what it was last year," Vancouver manager Rick Magnante said. "Overall, the talent pool might have been a little stronger last year, but this is an advanced first-year league with predominately college players and Latin players who have two or three years of service. We saw a good combination of those Latin players and a lot of the same players who were in Alaska, Cape Cod and some of the other top college summer leagues a year ago."

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