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2018 California League Top 20 MLB Prospects

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Padres prospect Chris Paddack (Photo by Bill Mitchell)


The California League is known for offense, but in 2018 the pitchers brought the star power.

The contraction of High Desert and Bakersfield—two of the three most hitter-friendly parks in the league—has made clubs less reticent to send their top pitching prospects to the Cal League, and that was on full display this year. Jesus Luzardo, Griffin Canning, Adrian Morejon, Chris Paddack, Dustin May, Michel Baez and Jose Suarez headlined a star-studded pitching crop in the league while plenty of other arms broke out and made names for themselves, led by Emilio Vargas, Dean Kremer, Tony Gonsolin, Logan Webb, Rico Garcia and Brian Howard.

With so many standout arms, scoring in the Cal League dropped to 4.83 runs per game, the league’s lowest mark since 1989.

Luzardo, Canning and Suarez were so dominant they were promoted to Double-A less than a month into the season, and thus didn’t accumulate enough innings to qualify for the league top 20 prospects list. In part because the quality of arms presented a good test, the league’s top hitting prospects largely all stuck around long enough to qualify.


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