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Top 50 Hitters Pre-Season List Status Report

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Here is the Top 50 Hitters list....this was the PRE-SEASON LIST from the 2008 Baseball Prospect Book. Let's see how things look as of May 25th.

1) Jay Bruce, OF, Cincinnati Reds: Destroying Triple-A, .364/.393/.630.
2) Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays: Hitting .246/.319/.472. Good power, the rest will come.
3) Colby Rasmus, OF, St. Louis Cardinals: Struggling in Triple-A, .186/.280/.301. Too young to give up on, but needs a good second half.
4) Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds: .259/.324/.519 in the majors. Good power.
5) Andy LaRoche, 3B, Los Angeles Dodgers: Injured, now back in action in Triple-A and hitting .263/.471/.491. Blake DeWitt has moved past him.
6) Cameron Maybin, OF, Florida Marlins: Hitting .239/.363/.403 with 10 steals in Double-A. Strikeouts are very high.
7) Matt Wieters, C, Baltimore Orioles: Monster season, .348/.435/.617 in High-A.
8) Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Boston Red Sox: Hitting .290/.390/.428 with 19 steals in the majors.
9) Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates: Hitting .282/.374/.446 with 14 steals in Triple-A.
10) Jed Lowrie, SS, Boston Red Sox: Horrible spring training and slow start in Triple-A, but has hit .310/.340/.476 in 17 games for the Red Sox.
11) Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Oakland Athletics: .294/.346/.429 in Triple-A.
12) Chase Headley 3B, San Diego Padres: .297/.363/.520 in Triple-A.
13) Jeff Clement, C, Seattle Mariners: .386/.526/.727 in Triple-A, .167 in 15 games for the Mariner. He just needs to play.
14) Brandon Wood, 3B, Los Angeles Angels: Strikeouts are eating him up and stock is dropping.  .270/.321/.557 in Triple-A but with poor peripherals. Needs change of scenery.
15) Taylor Teagarden, C, Texas Rangers: struggled with Ks in Double-A, but hitting .292/.452/.438 in 15 games in Triple-A.
16) Reid Brignac, SS, Tampa Bay Rays: Hot lately, up to .286/.313/.487 in Triple-A.
17) Daric Barton, 1B, Oakland Athletics: Hitting .217/.333/.325 in the majors. Good discipline but power???
18) Lars Anderson, 1B, Boston Red Sox: .277/.383/.484 in the California League. Killing lefties but can't hit RHP for some reason. That should change.
19) Matt LaPorta, OF, Milwaukee Brewers: .297/.410/.588 in Double-A with adequate defense.
20) Geovany Soto, C, Chicago Cubs: .314/.414/.601 for the Cubs. Doing great, exceeding even the positive expectations I had for him.
21) Matt Antonelli, 2B, San Diego Padres: .185/.330/.315 in Triple-A. Good strike zone judgment but nothing else.
22) Elvis Andrus, SS, Texas Rangers: Hitting .274/.323/.320 with 14 steals. No power, but showing speed and defense, still very young.
23) Travis Snider, OF, Toronto Blue Jays: Hitting .206/.336/.381 since moving up to Double-A. High strikeout rate an issue, but drawing walks and very young.
24) Fernando Martinez, OF, New York Mets: .280/.314/.408 in Double-A. Remember his age...just 19.
25) Jose Tabata, OF, New York Yankees: Hitting .235/.322/.294 in Double-A. No power, but just 19.
26) Mike Moustakas, SS, Kansas City Royals: .244/.299/.369 for Low-A Burlington. Horrible in April, has been OK in May. Expect heatup in second half.
27) Jason Heyward, OF, Atlanta Braves: Hitting .320/.359/.469 with eight steals. Doing very well thus far.
28) Jordan Shafer, OF, Atlanta Braves: Suspended due to alleged HGH use.
29) Steve Pearce, 1B-OF, Pittsburgh Pirates: .253/.302/.404 in Triple-A. Not sure what's going on here. Did he hit over his head last season?
30) Wladimir Balentien, OF, Seattle Mariners: .217 in 20 games for the Mariners but with four homers. Expect erratic OBP and BA in short term but good power.
31) Brandon Jones, OF, Atlanta Braves: .282/.358/.410 in Triple-A. Expect he will heat up, just needs a chance to play.
32) J.R. Towles, C, Houston Astros: Hitting .150 in36 games for Houston, losing the Battle of the NL Central Rookie Catchers to Soto handily. Looks like he was rushed.
33) Hank Conger, C, Los Angeles Angels: Injured.
34) Chris Marrero, 1B, Washington Nationals: Hitting .250//.339/.428 in the Carolina League, almost the same as last year at the same level. Still very young. 
35) Desmond Jennings, OF, Tampa Bay Rays: Injured.
36) Angel Villalona, 3B, San Francisco Giants: .242/.296/.436 in the Sally League. As expected, good power, very young, very raw.
37) Carlos Triunfel, SS, Seattle Mariners: .280/.320/.364 before being suspended for unclear reasons. Rumored to be on the trade block already, which really makes you wonder about his future. 
38) Michael Burgess, OF, Washington Nationals: .239/.311/.503 in the Sally League. Excellent power, high strikeout rate thus far.
39) Chris Carter, 1B, Oakland Athletics: .230/.342/.497 in the Cal League, 11 homers. Impressive power, high strikeouts, draws walks.
40) Josh Vitters, 3B, Chicago Cubs: 3-for-14 in the Midwest League. No one is worried yet, due to his age.
41) Christopher Davis, 3B, Texas Rangers: .331/.378/.593 in Double-A, continues to put up monster numbers.
42) Bill Rowell, 3B, Baltimore Orioles: .282/.347/.435 for Frederick, keep in mind that he's 19.
43) Chin-Lung Hu, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers: .185/.269/.200 in 35 games for the Dodgers, in the majors for his glovework.
44) Justin Maxwell, OF, Washington Nationals: .246/.386/.486, 13 steals. Features speed, walks, and power, and batting average starting to come up.
45) Mat Gamel, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers: .364/.430/.647 in Double-A, monster season. Defense still in question.
46) Ben Revere, OF, Minnesota Twins: .404/.454/.528 with 10 steals in 21 games since being activated for Beloit. Obviously excellent so far.
47) Austin Jackson, OF, New York Yankees: .274/.365/.411 in Double-A, holding his own but not dominating.
48) Christopher Nelson, SS, Colorado Rockies: .232/.304/.351 in Double-A, not making an easy transition from A-ball.
49) Carlos Gomez, OF, Minnesota Twins: .270/.300/.411 with 16 steals for the Twins. A player with great strengths (speed, defense, developing power) and great weaknesses (horrible plate discipline and OBP, overall erratic play). Center field version of a young Cristian Guzman at this point.
50) Brent Lillibridge, SS, Atlanta Braves: .183/.244/.248 in Triple-A, but with nine steals. Strike zone judgment a big issue.

Overall I'm happy with the way the list is working out. There are a few guys I'm worried about (Brandon Wood foremost) but in general the success rate seems good and most of the guys who are struggling still have time to turn things around.

Remember, this was the PRESEASON LIST. I do updated lists for Rotowire and the Baseball Prospect Report periodically.