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2005 Top 20 Prospects: Carolina League
Complete Index of League Top 20s

By Chris Kline
September 29, 2005

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1. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, c, Myrtle Beach
2. Nick Markakis, of, Frederick
3. Anibal Sanchez, rhp, Wilmington
4. Adam Miller, rhp, Kinston
5. Gio Gonzalez, lhp, Winston-Salem
6. Jeremy Sowers, lhp, Kinston
7. Armando Galarraga, rhp, Potomac
8. Jeff Fiorentino, of, Frederick
9. Lance Broadway, rhp, Winston-Salem
10. Adam Loewen, lhp, Frederick
11. Robert Valido, ss, Winston-Salem
12. Tony Sipp, lhp, Kinston
13. Ray Liotta, lhp, Winston-Salem
14. J.J. Johnson, rhp, Frederick
15. Kory Casto, 3b, Potomac
16. Brad Snyder, of, Kinston
17. Frank Diaz, of, Potomac
18. Hunter Pence, of, Salem
19. Stephen Head, 1b, Kinston
20. Josh Burrus, of, Myrtle Beach
At the beginning of 2005, the general feeling was that the high Class A Carolina League's talent level was down a bit. By midseason, however, those notions were washed away as the top prospects began to separate themselves. A whole new crop arrived from low Class A or the draft, making for a fairly deep league.

Though Myrtle Beach catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Frederick outfielder Nick Markakis headline our CL Top 20 Prospects list, in recent years pitchers have stood out the most—and 2005 was no different. Seven of the first 10 spots went to pitchers, who would have held an even greater edge had lefties Chuck James (Myrtle Beach) and Troy Patton (Salem) pitched enough innings to qualify.

"There were some big bats in this league, but I think you'd have to lean toward the pitching if you're talking about major league quality players," Kinston manager Luis Rivera said. "There were some great, great arms on just about every club."

Winston-Salem first baseman Leo Daigle won the first CL triple crown since 1951 and added the MVP trophy, but he didn't make this list. At 25 he was too old for high Class A, a level he first reached five years ago.

Subscribers can access scouting reports on all twenty players. (How to subscribe)