League Top 20 Prospects

Midwest League Top 20 Prospects List

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1. Jay Bruce, of, Dayton (Reds)
2. Cameron Maybin, of, West Michigan (Tigers)
3. Justin Upton, of, South Bend (Diamondbacks)
4. Colby Rasmus, of, Quad Cities (Cardinals)
5. Nick Adenhart, rhp, Cedar Rapids (Angels)
6. Jacob McGee, lhp, Southwest Michigan (Devil Rays)
7. Jaime Garcia, lhp, Quad Cities (Cardinals)
8. Wade Davis, rhp, Southwest Michigan (Devil Rays)
9. Donald Veal, lhp, Peoria (Cubs)
10. Matt Walker, rhp, Southwest Michigan (Devil Rays)
11. Stephen Marek, rhp, Cedar Rapids (Angels)
12. Johnny Cueto, rhp, Dayton (Reds)
13. Bryan Anderson, c, Quad Cities (Cardinals)
14. Oswaldo Sosa, rhp, Beloit (Twins)
15. John Mayberry Jr., of, Clinton (Rangers)
16. Justin Sellers, ss, Kane County (Athletics)
17. Eduardo Morlan, rhp, Beloit (Twins)
18. Paul Kelly, ss, Beloit (Twins)
19. Pedro Ciriaco, ss, South Bend (Diamondbacks)
20. Jeff Baisley, 3b, Kane County (Athletics)
The low Class A Midwest League has offered some strong outfield crops in recent years, including groups featuring Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns in 2000 and Carlos Gonzalez and Travis Buck last season. But the MWL never has seen outfielder talent to match what it had in 2006.

Dayton's Jay Bruce, West Michigan's Cameron Maybin, South Bend's Justin Upton and Quad Cities' Colby Rasmus--all high school first-round picks from the 2005 draft--spent their first full season terrorizing MWL pitchers and wowing everyone else. Trying to separate them as prospects wasn't easy, but a consensus of scouts and managers gave the nod to Bruce because of his hitting prowess.

"Jay Bruce has the best chance to hit among all those outfielders," a National League scout said. "I saw Larry Walker in Triple-A, and Jay is comparable. He has a plus bat, plus arm and runs better than people think. His instincts for the game at an early age are outstanding. With his plate coverage, pitch recognition and going about being a professional, he has a chance to be very special."

The outfielders aside, the league's pitching was much deeper in talent than its position players. That said, the choice for the MWL's best mound prospect was clear cut, with Cedar Rapids righthander Nick Adenhart a nearly unanimous pick as he continues his swift comeback from Tommy John surgery.

The Top 20 list also featured stronger bloodlines than usual. Upton (B.J.) and Rasmus (Cory) have brothers who also were first-round picks, and Clinton outfielder John Mayberry Jr. is part of a father-son first-round tandem. Kane County shortstop Justin Sellers’ father Jeff pitched in the majors, while Southwest Michigan righty Wade Davis is the cousin of former all-star and current Peoria manager Jody Davis.

Subscribers can read scouting reports on all 20 players  (Click here to subscribe)