League Top 20 Prospects

2011 Eastern League Top 20 Prospects

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1. Bryce Harper, of, Harrisburg Senators (Nationals)
2. Travis D'Arnaud, c, New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays)
3. Anthony Gose, of, New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays)
4. Brad Peacock, rhp, Harrisburg Senators (Nationals)
5. Jacob Turner, rhp, Erie Seawolves (Tigers)
6. Manny Banuelos, lhp, Trenton Thunder (Yankees)
7. Starling Marte, of, Altoona Curve (Pirates)
8. Will Middlebrooks, 3b, Portland Seadogs (Red Sox)
9. Dellin Betances, rhp, Trenton Thunder (Yankees)
10. Henderson Alvarez, rhp, New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays)
11. Eric Surkamp, lhp, Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants)
12. Derek Norris, c, Harrisburg Senators (Nationals)
13. Jeurys Familia, rhp, Binghamton Mets
14. Francisco Peguero, of, Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants)
15. Ryan Lavarnway, c, Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox)
16. Francisco Martinez, 3b, Erie Seawolves (Tigers)
17. Austin Romine, c, Trenton Thunder (Yankees)
18. Chih-Hsien Chiang, of, Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox)
19. Adeiny Hechavarria, ss, New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays)
20. Kyle McPherson, rhp, Altoona Curve (Pirates)
A year after reaping the benefits of Stephen Strasburgmania, Harrisburg once again had the Double-A Eastern League's star attraction. Bryce Harper may have generated even more hype when he jumped two levels from low Clas A in early July. His outstanding power and overall package of tools allowed him to follow in Strasburg's footsteps and rank atop our EL Top 20 Prospects list.

While the Senators had Harper and the league's best regular-season record, New Hampshire had the EL's top cache of prospects and wound up winning the playoff championship. Catcher Travis d'Arnaud and center fielder Anthony Gose anchored the lineup all season long as the Fisher Cats edged Richmond for their first title since 2004. When righthanders Henderson Alvarez and Joel Carreno got promoted to Toronto, New Hampshire replaced them with two more quality arms in Drew Hutchison and Deck McGuire.

Power arms stood out all over the EL, on the mound, behind the plate and in the infield and outfield. The league's best pitching prospects—Harrisburg's Brad Peacock, Erie's Jacob Turner and Trenton's Manny Banuelos—all could light up radar guns. Many of its best position prospects, most notably Harper and Portland third baseman Will Middlebrooks, also had plenty of arm strength.

"It seemed every team had a guy with a cannon," New Britain manager Jeff Smith said. "That and catching were the most stacked positions in the league, if you can call 'arm' a position."