International League Top 20 Prospects List

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TOP 20
1. Delmon Young, of, Durham (Devil Rays)
2. Lastings Milledge, of, Norfolk (Mets)
3. Jeremy Sowers, lhp, Buffalo (Indians)
4. Tom Gorzelanny, lhp, Indianapolis (Pirates)
5. Ryan Sweeney, of, Charlotte (White Sox)
6. Josh Fields, 3b, Charlotte (White Sox)
7. Hayden Penn, rhp, Ottawa (Orioles)
8. Andy Marte, 3b, Buffalo (Indians)
9. Humberto Sanchez, rhp, Toledo (Tigers)
10. Jamie Shields, rhp, Durham (Devil Rays)
11. Elijah Dukes, of, Durham (Devil Rays)
12. Scott Thorman, 1b/of, Richmond (Braves)
13. Brandon League, rhp, Syracuse (Blue Jays)
14. Jason Hammel, rhp, Durham (Devil Rays)
15. Dustin McGowan, rhp, Syracuse (Blue Jays)
16. Pat Neshek, rhp, Rochester (Twins)
17. Michael Bourn, of, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Phillies)
18. Dustin Pedroia, ss/2b, Pawtucket (Red Sox)
19. Charlie Haeger, rhp, Charlotte (White Sox)
20. Chris Denorfia, of, Louisville (Reds)

Just two of the International League’s top 10 prospects had played at
the Triple-A level for any substantial amount of time prior to this
season: Durham outfielder Delmon Young and Buffalo third baseman Andy
Marte. The fact that Young is also the youngest player on this list
highlights the kind of talent he possesses.

Young and
Norfolk’s Lastings Milledge, another five-tool outfielder and 2003 high
school draft, were the most talented hitters in the league and two of
six first-round picks on this list. The league was short on
top-of-the-rotation starters because the nature of Triple-A baseball
invites short stays for elite pitching prospects. If a pitcher is good
enough to succeed against veteran minor leaguers, he probably can help
the major league team.

Righthanders Matt Garza (Rochester),
Scott Mathieson (Scranton) and Mike Pelfrey (Norfolk) and lefthanders
Cole Hamels (Scranton), Jon Lester (Pawtucket) and Adam Loewen (Ottawa)
all fell short of the innings required to make that list. Two of the
minors’ hottest hitters this season, Syracuse outfielder Adam Lind and
Buffalo third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff (Buffalo), got late promotions
to the IL and just missed qualifying when they were called to the
majors before the IL season ended. Outfielders Melky Cabrera (Columbus)
and Jason Kubel (Rochester) also failed to make it because they were
recalled too early in the season.

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