10 prospects to watch in the PCL04/05/2010 10:00 AM ET
By John Parker / Special to MLB.com
The Pacific Coast League opens the 2010 campaign Thursday. Here are 10 of the premier prospects the league will feature this season:
Madison Bumgarner, LHP -- Fresno Grizzlies
Only 20 years old, Bumgarner has roared through the Minors -- he was 12-2 with a 1.85 ERA last season -- and nearly earned the Giants' fifth starter spot in Spring Training.
Chris Carter, 1B -- Sacramento River Cats
The Minors' top hitter in 2009, Carter will start the year with the River Cats. He batted .329 with 28 homers and 115 RBIs across two levels in 2009, earning Texas League Player of the Year honors along the way.
Samuel Deduno, RHP -- Colorado Springs Sky Sox
Deduno, 26, went 12-4 with a 2.57 ERA in 24 starts for Double-A Tulsa en route to garnering Texas League Pitcher of the Year honors last season. He made one appearance for Colorado Springs in September.
Kyle Drabek, RHP -- Las Vegas 51s
The son of former Cy Young Award winner Doug Drabek went 12-3 with a 3.19 ERA at two levels in the Phillies system last season. He was acquired by the Blue Jays in the Roy Halladay trade.
Buster Posey, C -- Fresno Grizzlies
The fifth overall pick in the 2008 Draft, Posey batted .325 with 18 homers and 80 RBIs in his first full season as a professional. The 23-year-old was among the Giants' final cuts in Spring Training and was assigned to Fresno, where he can play every day.
Trevor Reckling, LHP -- Salt Lake Bees
A 20-year-old left-hander who posted a 2.68 ERA in 26 starts at Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Arkansas last year, Reckling impressed at Major League camp this spring.
Justin Smoak, 1B -- Oklahoma City RedHawks
A highly touted switch-hitter, Smoak batted just .244 in 54 games with Oklahoma City in 2009. That was after he tore up the Texas League with a .328 average and 29 RBIs in 50 games.
Mike Stanton, OF -- New Orleans Zephyrs
Stanton is slated to start the year at Double-A Jacksonville but could reach New Orleans -- if he doesn't jump straight to the Majors -- before long. The 20-year-old clubbed 28 homers and drove in 92 runs in the Florida State and Southern leagues last season.
Michael Taylor, OF -- Sacramento River Cats
Taylor hit .320 with 20 homers and 84 RBIs in the Phillies system in 2009. The 6-foot-6 Stanford product also stole 21 bases and should combine with Carter to form a potent 1-2 punch in the River Cats' lineup.
Brett Wallace, 3B -- Las Vegas 51s
Wallace batted .293 with 20 homers in the Cardinals and Athletics organizations last season before being acquired by Toronto during the offseason. He was a member of the All-Prospect team in the elite Arizona Fall League in 2008 and participated in the Futures Game last summer.