League Top 20 Prospects

International League Top 20 Prospects List

Young Delmon Repeats As Top Prospect In IL

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1. Delmon Young, of, Durham (Devil Rays)
2. Lastings Milledge, of, Norfolk (Mets)
3. Jeremy Sowers, lhp, Buffalo (Indians)
4. Tom Gorzelanny, lhp, Indianapolis (Pirates)
5. Ryan Sweeney, of, Charlotte (White Sox)
6. Josh Fields, 3b, Charlotte (White Sox)
7. Hayden Penn, rhp, Ottawa (Orioles)
8. Andy Marte, 3b, Buffalo (Indians)
9. Humberto Sanchez, rhp, Toledo (Tigers)
10. Jamie Shields, rhp, Durham (Devil Rays)
11. Elijah Dukes, of, Durham (Devil Rays)
12. Scott Thorman, 1b/of, Richmond (Braves)
13. Brandon League, rhp, Syracuse (Blue Jays)
14. Jason Hammel, rhp, Durham (Devil Rays)
15. Dustin McGowan, rhp, Syracuse (Blue Jays)
16. Pat Neshek, rhp, Rochester (Twins)
17. Michael Bourn, of, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Phillies)
18. Dustin Pedroia, ss/2b, Pawtucket (Red Sox)
19. Charlie Haeger, rhp, Charlotte (White Sox)
20. Chris Denorfia, of, Louisville (Reds)
Just two of the International League's top 10 prospects had played at the Triple-A level for any substantial amount of time prior to this season: Durham outfielder Delmon Young and Buffalo third baseman Andy Marte. The fact that Young is also the youngest player on this list highlights the kind of talent he possesses.

Young and Norfolk's Lastings Milledge, another five-tool outfielder and 2003 high school draft, were the most talented hitters in the league and two of six first-round picks on this list. The league was short on top-of-the-rotation starters because the nature of Triple-A baseball invites short stays for elite pitching prospects. If a pitcher is good enough to succeed against veteran minor leaguers, he probably can help the major league team.

Righthanders Matt Garza (Rochester), Scott Mathieson (Scranton) and Mike Pelfrey (Norfolk) and lefthanders Cole Hamels (Scranton), Jon Lester (Pawtucket) and Adam Loewen (Ottawa) all fell short of the innings required to make that list. Two of the minors' hottest hitters this season, Syracuse outfielder Adam Lind and Buffalo third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff (Buffalo), got late promotions to the IL and just missed qualifying when they were called to the majors before the IL season ended. Outfielders Melky Cabrera (Columbus) and Jason Kubel (Rochester) also failed to make it because they were recalled too early in the season.

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