League Top 20 Prospects

Gulf Coast League Top 20 Prospects

Hicks leads off a talented group

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1. Aaron Hicks, of, Twins
2. Kyle Skipworth, c, Marlins
3. Jefry Marte, 3b, Mets
4. Jason Knapp, rhp, Phillies
5. Michael Almanzar, 3b, Red Sox
6. Casey Kelly, ss/rhp, Red Sox
7. Sebastian Valle, c, Phillies
8. Zach Collier, of, Phillies
9. Jack McGeary, lhp, Nationals
10. Abner Abreu, 3b, Indians
11. Arodys Vizcaino, rhp, Yankees
12. Cesar Puello, of, Mets
13. Anthony Hewitt, 3b, Phillies
14. Esmailyn Gonzalez, ss, Nationals
15. L.J. Hoes, 2b, Orioles
16. Isaac Galloway, of, Marlins
17. Zeke Spruill, rhp, Braves
18. Destin Hood, of, Nationals
19. Derrik Gibson, 3b, Red Sox
20. Jarek Cunningham, 3b/ss, Pirates
The Rookie-level Gulf Coast League is where most teenage prospects get their first exposure to U.S. professional baseball, either fresh out of the draft or after playing in the Dominican or Venezuelan summer leagues. That was certainly the case with the GCL champion Phillies, who featured Philadelphia's top four 2008 draft picks (third baseman Anthony Hewitt, outfielders Zach Collier and Anthony Gose, righthander Jason Knapp) and Venezuelan catcher Sebastian Valle. Knapp, Collier and Valle all made this Top 10 list, Hewitt checked in at No. 13 and Gose would have made a push for inclusion had a back injury not limited him to 11 games.

Besides the Phillies contingent, the league was filled with 2008 first-rounders (led by Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks, Marlins catcher Kyle Skipworth and Red Sox shortstop/righthander Casey Kelly) and international bonus babies (headlined by Mets third baseman Jefry Marte and Red Sox third baseman Michael Almanzar). The talent in the GCL was more impressive than in 2007, with a balance of athletes, power hitters and pitchers.

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