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MiLB Top 10 Prospects Flashback: 2011 South Atlantic League

As a large league with agreeable springtime weather, the low Class A South Atlantic League is where many future Hall of Famers see their first taste of full-season ball. The list includes Tom Glavine (1985), Craig Biggio (1987), Ivan Rodriguez (1989), Chipper Jones (1991), Derek Jeter (1993) and Vladimir Guerrero (1995).

Potential future Hall of Famers Scott Rolen (1994), Andruw Jones (1995) and Adrian Beltre (1996) also played in the SAL.

The South Atlantic League class of 2011 is notable for its depth, including future MVPs Bryce Harper (No. 1) and Christian Yelich (No. 5) as well as quality regulars Manny Machado (No. 2), Xander Bogaerts (No. 10) and Marcell Ozuna (No. 7).

The depth continues. Harper, Jameson Taillon (No. 4) and Machado were the first three picks in the 2010 draft, while Jurickson Profar (No. 3) would become the No. 1 prospect in baseball in 2013.

2011 South Atlantic League Top 10 Prospects

1Bryce HarperOFHagerstownNationals4,87136.6
2Manny MachadoSSDelmarvaOrioles4,97735.9
3Jurickson ProfarSSHickoryRangers2,0195.3
4Jameson TaillonRHPWest VirginiaPirates4669.1
5Christian YelichOFGreensboroMarlins4,26934.4
6Jesse BiddleLHPLakewoodPhillies92-0.6
7Marcell OzunaOFGreensboroMarlins4,10922.4
8Brandon JacobsOFGreenvilleRed Sox
9Jonathan SchoopSSDelmarvaOrioles3,28110.8
10Xander BogaertsSSGreenvilleRed Sox4,14326.2

Harper displayed “exceptional hitting and power prowess” as perhaps the “most heralded minor leaguer ever.” The 18-year-old hit .318 with 14 homers and 19 steals in 72 games, earning a late promotion to Double-A.

Machado showed “impressive bat speed and the ability to consistently barrel up the ball,” looking like a “plus hitter with at least average power.” A dislocated kneecap cut into his production, but he still moved to high Class A in the second half.

The athletic Yelich rode a late surge to 15 homers and 32 steals while hitting .312. Yelich’s manager accurately summed him up this way: “He has good instincts and is going to be a very productive offensive player because he sees the ball very well and really knows the strike zone.”

“Maturity” marked Bogaerts’ play in the South Atlantic League, where he hit .260 with 16 homers as an 18-year-old. He’s got some pop and life in that bat,” his manager said. “He’s an aggressive hitter and he hits the ball as hard and far as anyone you’ll see. You can envision him playing for a long time.”

South Atlantic League All-Time BA No. 1 Prospects

Players listed with career major league plate appearances/innings and FanGraphs WAR. Stats for active players current through mid August.

1981Jeff Reynolds3BGreensboroYankees
1982Matt WintersOFGreensboroYankees122-0.4
1983Van SniderOFCharlestonRoyals360.0
1984Kevin Sliwinski1BFlorenceBlue Jays
1985Sil CampusanoOFFlorenceBlue Jays2880.0
1986Cameron DrewOFAshevilleAstros160.0
1987Mark WhitenOFMyrtle BeachBlue Jays3,52313.1
1988Derek BellOFMyrtle BeachBlue Jays5,06813.0
1989Willie AnsleyOFAshevilleAstros
1990Tito NavarroSSColumbiaMets18-0.4
1991Rondell WhiteOFSumterExpos5,85223.8
1992Cliff FloydOFAlbanyExpos6,06324.7
1993Terrell WadeLHPMaconBraves1261.0
1994Ruben RiveraOFGreensboroYankees1,8184.9
1995Andruw JonesOFMaconBraves8,66467.0
1996Adrian Beltre3BSavannahDodgers12,13084.1
1997Ryan Minor3BDelmarvaOrioles342-2.8
1998Alex EscobarOFCapital CityMets4391.4
1999Rafael FurcalSSMaconBraves7,23733.1
2000Josh HamiltonOFCharlestonRays4,35027.9
2001Boof BonserRHPHagerstownGiants4170.9
2002Gavin FloydRHPLakewoodPhillies1,25014.9
2003B.J. UptonSSCharlestonRays5,85824.4
2004Delmon YoungOFCharlestonRays4,371-1.3
2005Scott ElbertLHPColumbusDodgers971.2
2006Andrew McCutchenOFHickoryPirates6,84949.5
2007Desmond JenningsOFColumbusRays2,35111.7
2008Madison BumgarnerLHPAugustaGiants1,86334.2
2009Martin PerezLHPHickoryRangers9518.8
2010Jon Singleton1BLakewoodPhillies420-0.9
2011Bryce HarperOFHagerstownNationals4,72536.4
2012Jose FernandezRHPGreensboroMarlins47113.6
2013Eddie ButlerRHPAshevilleRockies264-0.8
2014Lucas GiolitoRHPHagerstownNationals4515.6
2015Yoan Moncada2BGreenvilleRed Sox1,56810.1
2016Victor RoblesOFHagerstownNationals7803.1
2017Sixto SanchezRHPLakewoodPhillies391.1
2018D.L. HallLHPDelmarvaOrioles
2019Jarred KelenicOFWest VirginiaMariners
Manny Machado Photo By Brian Rothmuller Icon Sportswire Via Getty Images

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