League Top 20 Prospects

2011 Pacific Coast League Top 20 Prospects

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1. Brett Lawrie, 3b, Las Vegas 51s (Blue Jays)
2. Dustin Ackley, 2b, Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners)
3. Mike Moustakas, 3b, Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals)
4. Brandon Belt, 1b/of, Fresno Grizzlies (Giants)
5. Anthony Rizzo, 1b, Tucson Padres
6. Dee Gordon, ss, Albuquerque Isotopes (Dodgers)
7. Mike Montgomery, lhp, Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals)
8. Brett Jackson, of, Iowa Cubs
9. Jordan Lyles, rhp, Oklahoma City Redhawks (Astros)
10. Rex Brothers, lhp, Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies)
11. Jemile Weeks, 2b, Sacramento River Cats (Athletics)
12. Martin Perez, lhp, Round Rock Express (Rangers)
13. Leonys Martin, of, Round Rock Express (Rangers)
14. Matt Dominguez, 3b, New Orleans Zephyrs (Marlins)
15. Eric Thames, of, Las Vegas 51s (Blue Jays)
16. Johnny Giavotella, 2b, Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals)
17. Charlie Blackmon, of, Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies)
18. Logan Schafer, of, Nashville Sounds (Brewers)
19. Alex Liddi, 3b, Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners)
20. Collin Cowgill, of, Reno Aces (Diamondbacks)
The Triple-A Pacific Coast League favors batters, and the circuit's talent leaned heavily in the direction of offense in 2011. The first six players on our Top 20 Prospects list were hitters, led by Las Vegas third baseman Brett Lawrie and Tacoma second baseman Dustin Ackley, who made their presence felt in the majors before the year was done.

Just four pitchers made the list, starting with Omaha lefthander Mike Montgomery—and even he got beat up to the tune of a 5-11, 5.32 record. Montgomery was one of three PCL pitchers who ranked in the upper third of our preseason Top 100 Prospects list, and the other two got pounded worse. Round Rock lefty Martin Perez went 4-4, 6.43 and Las Vegas rigthy Kyle Drabek went 5-4, 7.44.The Royals' farm system was heavily acclaimed as baseball's best at the start of 2011, and its depth resulted in a championship for Omaha. Interestingly, Montgomery was the only blue-chip prospect still with the Storm Chasers for the playoffs. First baseman Eric Hosmer would have taken the top spot on this list from Lawrie had he stayed longer, but he went to Kansas City in early May and later was joined by third baseman Mike Moustakas, lefthander Danny Duffy (another PCL non-qualifier) and second baseman Johnny Giavotella.