League Top 20 Prospects

2012 AZL Top 20 Prospects

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1. Addison Russell, ss, Athletics
2. Albert Almora, of, Cubs
3. Joey Gallo, 3b, Rangers
4. Jorge Soler, of, Cubs
5. Dorssys Paulino, ss, Indians
6. Lewis Brinson, of, Rangers
7. Stryker Trahan, c, Diamondbacks
8. C.J. Edwards, rhp, Rangers
9. Daniel Robertson, ss/3b, Athletics
10. Clint Coulter, c, Brewers
11. Nomar Mazara, of, Rangers
12. Ronald Guzman, 1b, Rangers
13. Renato Nunez, 3b, Athletics
14. Dan Vogelbach, 1b, Cubs
15. Mitch Brown, rhp, Indians
16. Nick Travieso, rhp, Reds
17. Gabriel Guerrero, of, Mariners
18. Tyler Pike, lhp, Mariners
19. Zach Bird, rhp, Dodgers
20. Matt Olson, 1b, Athletics
TEMPE, Ariz.—The earlier signing deadline for draft picks had an obvious effect on the caliber of talent in the Rookie-level Arizona League. This summer's crop of prospects arguably was deeper than any group in the league's 25-year history. Unlike in past years when Latin American players dominated this list, the 2012 Top 20 features several draft choices from June, starting with the top three prospects: Athletics shortstop Addison Russell, Cubs outfielder Albert Almora and Rangers third baseman Joey Gallo.

Russell and Almora were two of the six 2012 first-rounders who qualified for this list, along with Rangers outfielder Lewis Brinson, Diamondbacks catcher Stryker Trahan, Brewers catcher Clint Coulter and Reds righthander Nick Travieso. Padres lefthander Max Fried fell one inning short of making the cut, while Royals righty Kyle Zimmer authored the AZL's lone complete-game shutout but worked only 10 innings in the AZL. By contrast, only one first-rounder was eligible for this Top 20 in the previous two years combined.

The presence of two high-profile Cuban outfielders, Jorge Soler (Cubs) and Yasiel Puig (Dodgers), also bolstered the league, though Puig fell just short of having enough playing time to make this list. The Rangers captured their first AZL championship by defeating the Athletics in a one-game playoff and dominated the Top 20 with five of the league's best prospects. Gallo led that group after setting league records with 18 homers, a .733 slugging percentage and an 1.169 OPS.