2005 Top 20 Prospects: Northwest LeagueComplete Index of League Top 20s
By Will Kimmey
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Vancouver won the Western Division by a game over Salem-Keizer in a battle of veteran teams with plenty of college seniors and players repeating the league. Spokane won the Eastern Division by a game over Tri-City, but that race played like this year's National League West with every team finishing below .500.
The prospects playing in those races weren't nearly as exciting. First-round picks Jeff Clement (Mariners) and Travis Buck (Athletics) combined for just 13 games at in the NWL, while other elite players either stayed in Rookie leagues or made the quick jump to full-season ball. Spokane's John Mayberry Jr. was the only first-rounder to spend the majority of his season in the NWL, but he struggled for much of the summer while adjusting to a new position and wood bats.
"The talent, position player-wise or prospect-wise, is below where it usually is," Tri-City manager Ron Gideon said. "It was a very weird year. You look at our division, where an under .500 team won it. The other division has better records, but older teams are leading it. Maybe it's late bloomers. Hopefully, thatís what it is."