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

By Aaron Fitt
October 4, 2005

Subscribers can access scouting reports on all twenty players. (How to subscribe)
Chat Wrap: Aaron Fitt took your Southern League questions

1. Delmon Young, of, Montgomery
2. Jeremy Hermida, of, Carolina
3. Jeff Francoeur, of, Mississippi
4. Chris Young, of, Birmingham
5. Chad Billingsley, rhp, Jacksonville
6. Joel Guzman, ss, Jacksonville
7. Andy LaRoche, 3b, Jacksonville
8. Felix Pie, of, West Tenn
9. Brian McCann, c, Mississippi
10. Russell Martin, c, Jacksonville
11. Scott Olsen, lhp, Carolina
12. Matt Murton, of, West Tenn
13. Bobby Jenks, rhp, Birmingham
14. Jonathan Broxton, rhp, Jacksonville
15. Rich Hill, lhp, West Tenn
16. Dustin Nippert, rhp, Tennessee
17. Ricky Nolasco, rhp, West Tenn
18. Renyel Pinto, lhp, West Tenn
19. Chuck James, lhp, Mississippi
20. Elijah Dukes, of, Montgomery
The Double-A Southern League featured so much talent this year that our Top 20 Prospects list easily could have been expanded to include 50 players—and those at the bottom of the list might very well have made the Top 20 in other leagues. Not only did the SL have depth, but the quality of its best prospects also set it apart.

Delmon Young, the top prospect in the minors, won the SL MVP award despite a mid-July promotion to Triple-A. Jeremy Hermida, Jeff Francoeur, Brian McCann, Bobby Jenks and Scott Olsen all became impact players for major league contenders after their stints in the league. Young, Francoeur, Chris Young, Felix Pie and Elijah Dukes are all five-tool talents.

There were so many good hitters that Chad Billingsley, who might be the top pitching prospect in the minor leagues now that Felix Hernandez has been promoted to the majors, checked in as the SL's No. 5 prospect. Billingsley led an incredible collection of talent at Jacksonville, which placed five players on the Top 20. West Tenn also had five players on the list, including a trio of intriguing pitching prospects.

"Just about every team--especially in the first half of season, before players move up--had good players," Huntsville manager Don Money said. "Many of these guys will be in the big leagues for a long time."

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