Baseball America’s rankings of the top 20 prospects for 2010 in the Texas League are out today, and not surprisingly, three members of the Texas League Champion (and Royals Double A affiliate) Northwest Arkansas Naturals are in the top three, with an additional two Naturals ranked and three more gaining a sort of honorable mention.
Mike Moustakas earned the top rank in the list after leading the minor leagues in homers over two levels (despite missing the first two weeks of the season, even). Eric Hosmer came in right behind him at #2 after ripping apart Carolina League pitchers and continuing the dominance in the Texas League. Mike Montgomery finished the trifecta and was joined by Aaron Crow who came in at #6 (despite a demotion in midseason – BA likes his long-term potential).
Reliever Louis Coleman was ranked #16, so the Royals have a quarter of the rankings in their possession. Additionally, Baseball America noted that Danny Duffy and John Lamb would have made the list as well, but they hadn’t thrown enough innings to qualify. Clint Robinson, who won the Triple Crown in the Texas League, was omitted with the note that he’s not viewed so much as a prospect but more of an extra bat. I’ll add that he’s also old for his level and could benefit from a new challenge in Triple A.
Still, looking over the level of talent at the Double A level this year, it reinforces the idea that while the Royals are close to contending, it’s still about two years from really starting to take shape. It also means that next year’s Pacific Coast League rankings may be littered with Royals as well.
I hope that’s the case.