View Full Version : Baseball America's top 10 AFL prospects

10-15-2001, 03:29 PM
1. Hank Blalock, 3b, Peoria (Rangers). He?s a pure hitter who hit .352-18-108 as one of the youngest players in two leagues. After the Rangers drafted Georgia Tech third baseman Mark Teixeira, a position change could be on the horizon for Blalock.

2. Nick Johnson, 1b, Peoria (Yankees). After missing the entire 2000 season with a wrist injury, Johnson shook off the rust this season and stayed healthy.

3. Joe Borchard, of, Mesa (White Sox). Borchard made his first professional appearance in the AFL a year ago. Borchard showed his prodigious power at Double-A Birmingham, but he struck out 158 times.

4. Ty Howington, lhp, Grand Canyon (Reds). The year began inauspiciously for Howington when he had bone chips removed from his elbow during spring training. The surgery delayed his 2001 debut, but didn?t deter him from emerging as one of the top lefties in the minors.

5. Josh Hamilton, of, Maryvale (Devil Rays). As noted above, Hamilton will aim to re-establish himself as one of the game?s best prospects after a frustrating year. When he?s healthy, he has five above-average tools, including tape-measure power.

6. Marlon Byrd, of, Grand Canyon (Phillies). Byrd exceeded expectations and continued to improve his tools this season at Double-A Reading. He nearly had a 30-30 season (falling short by two home runs), a tribute to his off-the-charts work ethic.

7. Drew Henson, 3b, Peoria (Yankees). He missed a portion of his first baseball-only year with a broken hand, which prevented him from finding his groove until late in the season at Triple-A Columbus. His presence on the Peoria squad could mean we?ll see an early look at Blalock at a new position.

8. Austin Kearns, of, Grand Canyon (Reds). Kearns was rated slightly ahead of Adam Dunn after both Reds outfield prospects shared the spotlight in Class A Dayton last year. While Dunn took off, Kearns was hindered by a sore wrist early in the year. Surgery to repair the damaged ligaments kept him on the shelf for most of the summer.

9. Brandon Phillips, ss, Scottsdale (Expos). Phillips made major strides at the plate after batting .242 in 2000. A gifted athlete with outstanding tools, Phillips hit .292 at two levels and reached Double-A Harrisburg before his 20th birthday.

10. Bobby Hill, 2b, Mesa (Cubs) Another prospect hoping to rebound from an injury-filled season, Hill was hampered by a groin injury for all but 57 games of his debut summer.

10-15-2001, 03:32 PM
my initial list:

my AZL top 10 prospect list (based on performance mainly, and potential):

1. Austin Kearns OF, Reds
2. Carl Crawford OF, Devil Rays
3. Bobby Hill 2b/SS, Cubs
4. Chin Feng Chen OF, Dodgers
5. Nic Jackson OF, Cubs
6. Tim Hummel 2b/SS, White Sox
7. Josh Phelps C, Blue Jays
8. Matt Guerrier RHP, White Sox
9. Hank Blalock 3b, Rangers
10.Joe Borchard OF, White Sox

I was also impressed with Royals 2b Angel Berroa, A's 3b Eric Hinske, Blue Jays SS Orlando Hudson, and Expos SS Brandon Phillips.

Probably should've added Marlon Byrd, though

10-15-2001, 08:11 PM
Originally posted by Vsahajpal
my initial list:

5. Nic Jackson OF, Cubs
who is this nic johnson?

10-15-2001, 09:56 PM
Nick Johnson is one of the top 1b prospects in baseball, in the Yanks organization; will most likely replace Constantino next year.

Nic Jackson is a 21 year old OF in the Cubs system, drafted in the 3rd round of the 2000 draft out of the University of Richmond. At the time, BA said he was a surefire steal, and could've gone much higher. He broke his wrist his junior year and fell into the Cubs hands with the 76th overall pick.

Coming off the hand surgery, he didn't put up great numbers at short season rookie ball, .255 6 HR, but he showed enough for the Cubs to let him bypass the next level(Lansing, low A) and move on to high A ball at Daytona for 2001.

At Daytona this season, the 6'3 205 lb Jackson was named the most exciting player in the Florida St. League ahead of Hank Blalock and Josh Beckett to name a few. Jackson was top 10 in most offensive categories including AVG (7th), Hits (1st), HR (5th), RBI (2nd), Slugging %age (2nd), extra-base hits (2nd) and runs scored (4th). He also stole 24 bases in 34 attempts and was one of the better fielding OF's in the league. At the FSL all-star game, he robbed Yankees Marcus Thames of a game tying HR to win the game for his side.

Just like Joe Borchard, who ended his season at Birmingham with a 2 HR 4 RBI effort, Jackson ended his 2001 campaign by jacking 3 bombs on the final day of the season.

He plays alongside Borchard for Mesa in the AFL, and is currently hitting .429 with a an OPS well over 1.200 so far (it's early though).

Baseball America did a feature on him a few issues ago. Scouts I spoke to likened him to a young Shawn Green, though obviously he has a ways to go.