League Top 20 Prospects

Southern League Top 20 Prospects List

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1. Justin Upton, of, Mobile BayBears (Diamondbacks)
2. Evan Longoria, 3b, Montgomery Biscuits (Devil Rays)
3. Wade Davis, rhp, Montgomery Biscuits (Devil Rays)
4. Johnny Cueto, rhp, Chattanooga Lookouts (Reds)
5. Brandon Jones, of, Mississippi Braves
6. Reid Brignac, ss, Montgomery Biscuits (Devil Rays)
7. Tyler Colvin, of, Tennessee Smokies (Cubs)
8. Manny Parra, lhp, Huntsville Stars (Brewers)
9. Gio Gonzalez, lhp, Birmingham Barons (White Sox)
10. Carlos Gonzalez, of, Mobile BayBears (Diamondbacks)
11. Mark Reynolds, 3b, Mobile BayBears (Diamondbacks)
12. Chin-Lung Hu, ss, Jacksonville Suns (Dodgers)
13. Brent Lillibridge, ss, Mississippi Braves
14. Jonathan Meloan, rhp, Jacksonville Suns (Dodgers)
15. Max Scherzer, rhp, Mobile BayBears (Diamondbacks)
16. Jo Jo Reyes, lhp, Mississippi Braves
17. Diory Hernandez, ss, Mississippi Braves
18. James McDonald, rhp, Jacksonville Suns (Dodgers)
19. Gaby Hernandez, rhp, Carolina Mudcats (Marlins)
20. Alcides Escobar, ss, Huntsville Stars (Brewers)
The Double-A Southern League offered a wide variety of talent in 2007. Arguably the three best position prospects who opened the season in the minors—outfielders Justin Upton (Mobile) and Jay Bruce (Chattanooga), and third baseman Evan Longoria (Montgomery)—spent part of the summer in the SL. Bruce didn't accumulate enough plate appearances for this list, but Upton and Longoria ranked 1-2.

The pitching was deeper than the hitting, even with talents such as lefthanders Clayton Kershaw (Jacksonville), Jake McGee (Montgomery) and Scott Elbert (Jacksonville) and righties Chris Volstad (Carolina) and Josh Roenicke (Chattanooga) failing to qualify. Seven of the minors' top 14 pitchers in strikeouts worked in the SL at one point this year, proof that the everyday players who performed well did so against legitimate competition. Birmingham lefty Gio Gonzalez topped both the league and the minors with 185 whiffs in 150 innings.

Montgomery became the first SL team in 30 years to repeat as champions, no surprise considering the talent on its roster. Longoria had departed for Triple-A by that point, but righthander Wade Davis and shortstop Reid Brignac also ranked among the league's 10 best prospects and McGee would have joined them had he pitched enough innings. Biscuits righty Chris Mason couldn't quite crack the Top 20, but he was named SL pitcher of the year after leading the league in wins (15) and ERA (2.57).

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