Project Prospect posted it’s top-50 rankings today. Cleveland Indians catching prospect Carlos Santana, ranked #5, was the only player from the AL Central included in the top-10 and top-25 lists. With slots 26-50 now revealed Carlos finally has some company.
These are the players from the Central that have joined Santana.
#30 RHP-Dan Hudson (Chicago White Sox) was drafted in the 5th round of the 2008 draft and pitched in the Pioneer League after signing. His ascension to the majors didn’t take long. In 2009, he passed through Low-A, High-A, Double-A and Triple-A before making his major league debut in September. He finished the season with a 2.32 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and 4.88 SO/BB in 147.1 minor league innings. He fared pretty well once he reached the majors considering he was a 22 year old who was in rookie ball during 2008. With the White Sox he had a 3.38 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, and 1.56 SO/BB in 18.2 IP. He’s likely to be on the major league roster come opening day, but may start out in the bullpen considering Chicago’s rotational depth.
#34 C-Alex Avila (Detroit Tigers), like Hudson, was drafted in the 5th round of the 2008 draft* and also reached the majors in his second professional season. With the Tigers he hit 0.279/.375/.590 with 5 HR, 10 BB, and 18 SO in 61 at bats after hitting 0.264/.365/.450 with 12 HR, 52 BB, and 77 SO in 329 AB for Double-A Erie. He should push Gerald Laird for the starting job behind the plate in 2010.
*The Royals 5th round selection in the 2008 draft was HS lefty John Lamb. After missing 2008 due to injury, he had an excellent first professional season in rookie ball. The early returns project Lamb as a legit #3 major league starter.
#41 3B-Lonnie Chisenhal (Cleveland Indians) was drafted in the 1st round of the 2008 draft and reached Double-A in his first full professional season. Between High-A and Double-A he hit 0.258/.325/.472 with 22 HR, 44 BB, and 96 SO in 481 AB. Lonnie struggled to adjust to AA after his promotion in August, and figures to open the 2010 season in the same place.
#43 LF-Nick Weglarz (Cleveland Indians) was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2005 draft and spent the entire 2009 season in Double-A. He hit 0.227/.373/.431 with 16 HR in 339 AB, but continued to show excellent plate discipline despite his struggles to make contact. After drawing 71 BB to go with 78 SO in 2008, he drew 75 BB to go with 78 SO in 2009. The 22-year old should open the year at AA again.
#44 RHP-Hector Rondon (Cleveland Indians) signed as a NDFA out of Venezuela in August of 2004. He split the 2009 season between Double-A and Triple-A and went 11-10 with a 3.38 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 4.72 SO/BB in 146.1 innings of work. Rondon would benefit from another year of AAA seasoning, but with the current state of the Indians pitching staff his presence on the opening day roster would not be a complete surprise.
#50 CF-Aaron Hicks (Minnesota Twins) was drafted in the 1st round of the 2008 draft and made his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League after signing. He spent the entire 2009 season in Low-A as a 19 year old and hit 0.251/.353/.382 to go along with 40 BB and 55 SO in 251 AB. Hicks’ is regarded as the Twins top prospect, and his ranking here is very low compared to his place on other lists. For example, he came in at #19 on Keith Law’s ESPN list and #29 on Jonathan Mayo’s MLB.com list. The Twins don’t need to rush their five-tool talent, but a 2010 destination of Double-A wouldn’t be completely unreasonable.
We’re still waiting for a member of the Kansas City farm system to crack the the list, and they are only team in the division lacking representation in the top-50. Project Prospect will be revealing their top-100 later this month and we should finally see a handful guys represent the Royals.
Topics: Aaron Hicks, AL Central, Alex Avila, Baseball, Carlos Santana, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Dan Hudson, Detroit Tigers, Hector Rondon, Kansas City Royals, KC, Lonnie Chisenhal, Minnesota Twins, MLB, Nick Weglarz, Royals