Two members of the 2013 Dayton Dragons are ranked among the top-10 prospects in the Midwest League this season, as announced today by Baseball America.
Robert Stephenson, a starting pitcher for the 2013 Dragons, was ranked as the Midwest League's third best overall prospect and #1 pitching prospect. Jesse Winker, the Dragons left fielder this season, was ranked as the league's ninth best prospect and #3 outfield prospect. Baseball America, the trade publication for Minor League Baseball, has been ranking the top prospect in each minor league since 1982.
The two players rated higher than Stephenson on the Baseball America list of Midwest League top prospects were the top two overall selections in the 2012 draft. They are #1 prospect Byron Buxton, an outfielder who played for Cedar Rapids this season; and #2 prospect Carlos Correa, a shortstop who played with Quad Cities. Both Buxton and Correa also played in the Midwest League All-Star Game in Dayton on June 18.
Stephenson, the Cincinnati Reds first round draft pick in 2011, made 14 starts for the Dragons in 2013, going 5-3 with a 2.57 earned run average. Over his last eight starts with the Dragons, Stephenson went 4-0 with a 0.94 ERA, allowing just four earned runs in 49 innings. Stephenson was leading the Midwest League in strikeouts when he was promoted to Bakersfield in mid-July. He finished the season in Double-A with Pensacola.
Winker played in 112 games for the Dragons as a 19-year-old in a league with an average age of 21. He batted .281 with a team-leading 16 home runs and 76 runs batted in. Winker started in left field for the Eastern Division team in the Midwest League All-Star Game and won the Home Run Derby as part of the all-star event.
The only other outfielders ranked higher than Winker on the Baseball America list were Buxton and Albert Almora of Kane County, the sixth overall pick in the 2012 draft. Winker was the Reds supplemental first round pick in 2012 (49th overall pick of the draft).
For more information, go to BaseballAmerica.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.