Pioner League Top 20 Prospects List

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TOP 20
1. Bryan Morris, rhp, Ogden (Dodgers)
2. Josh Bell, 3b, Ogden (Dodgers)
3. Hector Gomez, ss/3b, Casper (Rockies)
4. Sean O’Sullivan, rhp, Orem (Angels)
5. Gerardo Parra, of, Missoula (Diamondbacks)
6. Peter Bourjos, of, Orem (Angels)
7. Drew Stubbs, of, Billings (Reds)
8. Andrew Fie, 3b, Missoula (Diamondbacks)
9. Jeremy Haynes, rhp, Orem (Angels)
10. Ryan Mount, ss, Orem (Angels)
11. Cole Gillespie, of, Helena (Brewers)
12. Kenneth Herndon, rhp, Orem (Angels)
13. Chris Valiaka, ss, Billings (Reds)
14. Chris Carter, 1b, Great Falls (White Sox)
15. Steven Johnson, rhp, Ogden (Dodgers)
16. Trevor Bell, rhp, Orem (Angels)
17. Pedro Strop, rhp, Casper (Rockies)
18. Stephen Chapman, of, Helena (Brewers)
19. Brandon Hynick, rhp, Casper (Rockies)
20. Hector Ambriz, rhp, Missoula (Diamondbacks)

The Rookie-level Pioneer
League favors hitters, and they dominated pitchers on our Top 20
Prospects list this year, claiming seven of the 10 spots. Overall,
league observers believed the high-end talent was down compared to
seasons past.

“In other years, I’ve seen a greater number
of blue-chip prospects come from the Pioneer League,” Casper
manager P.J. Carey said. “There still are some very good
prospects, but I think it’s down from other years.”

more teams are easing high school draft picks into pro ball, the
Pioneer League is becoming less dependent on the current year’s draft
for prospects. The 2005 draft class put eight players on this Top 20,
while Ogden righthander Bryan Morris (the No. 1 prospect) and Orem
righty Kenneth Herndon were highly regarded 2005 draft-and-follows
who went early in the 2006 draft after failing to sign.

league’s youngest team, the Orem Owlz, led the league with six
players on the Top 20, five from the 2005 draft class. Despite a
rotation featuring no four-year college players, the Owlz pitching
staff was easily the best in the league, leading in ERA by 0.25. Sean
O’Sullivan, Herndon and Trevor Bell finished first, second and eighth
in the league in ERA, while Jeremy Haynes, who just missed
qualifying, would have been ranked fourth.

Outside of Orem,
offensive players dominated the headlines. Billings shortstop and
league MVP Chris Valaika set a league record with a 32-game hitting
streak. Great Falls first baseman Chris Carter, 19, slugged 10 homers
in his first 24 games and led the league with 15 overall. Polished
college hitters won the batting (Billings outfielder Daniel Dorn,
.354) and RBI (Helena outfielder/first baseman Chris Errecart, 61)

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reports on all 20 players
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