Southern League Top 20 Prospects
League was stacked with prospects in 2008
See also: Southern
With Scouting Reports
Clayton Kershaw, lhp, Jacksonville (Dodgers)
2. David Price, lhp, Montgomery (Rays)
3. Cameron Maybin, of, Carolina (Marlins)
4. Matt LaPorta, of, Huntsville (Brewers)
Alcides Escobar, ss, Huntsville (Brewers)
6. Chris Volstad, rhp, Carolina (Marlins)
7. Mat Gamel, 3b, Huntsville (Brewers)
8. Michael Saunders, of, West Tenn (Mariners)
9. Tommy Hanson, rhp, Mississippi (Braves)
10. Wade Davis, rhp, Montgomery (Rays)
11. Chris Coghlan, 2b, Carolina (Marlins)
12. Jeremy Hellickson, rhp, Montgomery (Rays)
Jordan Schafer, of, Mississippi (Braves)
14. James McDonald, rhp, Jacksonville (Dodgers)
15. Ivan DeJesus, ss, Jacksonville (Dodgers)
16. Jake McGee, lhp, Montgomery (Rays)
Angel Salome, c, Huntsville (Brewers)
18. Adam Moore, c, West Tenn (Mariners)
19. Michael Brantley, cf, Huntsville (Brewers)
20. Luis Valbuena, 2b, West Tenn (Mariners)
One of the most prospect-laden leagues in the minors, the Double-A Southern League was rich with high-ceiling arms and bats, as well as several players who project as at least solid regulars.
Lefties Clayton Kershaw (Jacksonville) and David Price (Montgomery) were arguably the two best pitching prospects in the minor leagues, and both players ended up reaching the big leagues this year, as did Marlins righthander Chris Volstad. Price headlined a Biscuits rotation that also placed Wade Davis, Jeremy Hellickson and Jake McGee on the Top 20.
Huntsville was an offensive powerhouse, with since-traded outfielder Matt LaPorta, shortstop Alcides Escobar and third baseman Mat Gamel ranking as three of the four best position prospects in the league. Catcher Angel Salome, the league batting champ, and outfielder Michael Brantley join them on the Top 20.
The SL was so deep that many talented players couldn't make the cut. Among the best position players to fall short were West Tenn outfielder Greg Halman, Mobile outfielder Gerardo Parra, Chattanooga shortstop Chris Valaika and Carolina first baseman Gaby Sanchez, the league MVP. Several power arms also missed, most notably Carolina righty Ryan Tucker, Birmingham lefty Aaron Poreda, Tennessee righties Jose Ceda and Jeff Samardzija and Mississippi righty Luis Valdez, among others.
entire Southern League Top 20 Prospects