League Top 20 Prospects

New York-Penn League Top 20 Prospects

Castro heads list in league filled with top catchers





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NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE TOP 20 PROSPECTS
1. Jason Castro, c, Tri-City (Astros)
2. David Cooper, 1b, Auburn (Blue Jays)
3. Adam Reifer, rhp, Batavia (Cardinals)
4. Derek Norris, c, Vermont (Nationals)
5. Travis D'Arnaud, c, Williamsport (Phillies)
6. Lonnie Chisenhall, ss, Mahoning Valley (Indians)
7. Brad Holt, rhp, Brooklyn (Mets)
8. Nick Barnese, rhp, Hudson Valley (Rays)
9. Jenrry Mejia, Brooklyn (Mets)
10. P.J. Dean, rhp, Vermont (Nationals)
11. Reese Havens, ss, Brooklyn (Mets)
12. Bryan Price, rhp, Lowell (Red Sox)
13. Brock Huntzinger, rhp, Lowell (Red Sox)
14. Danny Espinosa, ss, Vermont (Nationals)
15. Kyle Weiland, rhp, Lowell (Red Sox)
16. Tim Fedroff, of, Mahoning Valley (Indians)
17. Ike Davis, 1b, Brooklyn (Mets)
18. Chase d'Arnaud, ss, State College (Pirates)
19. Cord Phelps, 2b, Mahoning Valley (Indians)
20. Danny Farquhar, rhp, Auburn (Blue Jays)
Talent was up across the short-season New York-Penn League in 2008. Rarely has the league seen the quality of catching it featured this summer. Tri-City's Jason Castro, a first-round pick in June, topped this list, while Vermont's Derek Norris and Williamsport's Travis D'Arnaud, high school draftees in 2007, ranked in the top five. Jamestown's Miguel Fermin slugged a league-leading 17 homers and showed a strong arm but did not crack the Top 20 as a 23-year-old. Three college catchers—Hudson Valley's Jake Jefferies, Lowell's Tim Federowicz and Aberdeen's Caleb Joseph—also made strong first impressions in pro ball.

A bevy of power arms populated the league, highlighted by Batavia's breakout prospect Adam Reifer and second-year prep products Nick Barnese (Hudson Valley), P.J. Dean (Vermont) and Brock Huntzinger (Lowell). Then there were the oddballs: righthanders Jenrry Mejia (Brooklyn) and Danny Farquhar (Auburn) were two of the more unique prospects to pass through the NY-P in recent years.

As usual, the league showcased a number of high-profile college draftees making their pro debuts, and some performed better than others. While Castro stood out and Auburn's David Cooper tore the NY-P apart, fellow first-rounder Ike Davis of Brooklyn went homerless in 215 at-bats.

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