4. Derek Norris, c, Hagerstown (Nationals).
Its a testament to Norris’ season that he’s listed as the 4th best prospect in the whole of the South Atlantic league. His performance lists him ahead of such big time draft names as Tim Beckham (#1 overall in 2008), Tony Sanchez (4th overall in 2009) and Jared Mitchell (23rd overall in 2009). Here’s a good quote from the scouting report:
“Norris earned near-unanimous praise as the SAL’s best position player, and managers rated him as the league’s best batting prospect and best power prospect at midseason. His swing is similar to his 6-foot, 210-pound frame: strong and compact. He has natural pull-side power and drives the ball to all fields. He also shows good plate discipline, with league highs in walks (90) and on-base percentage (.413).”
Can’t wait to see what he can do at high-A or AA.
There were 4 phillies prospects in the top 20 (helping to explain why their affilliate from Lakewood won the post-season crown). Rays with 3, Indians, Red Sox, Pirates, White Sox and Yankees each had two prospects each on the list.
I have a hard time quibbling with the exclusion of any other Nats from this list. Tyler Moore and Steve Lombardozzi had good seasons but might be a bit old for low-A. Steve Souza (#3 pick in 2007) took a step back from his 2008 numbers at the same level. Marcos Frias, Juan Jaime and Patrick Lehman all look promising as starters moving forward. Other guys worthy of consideration got promoted in june and july (Terrence Engles, Drew Storen, Brad Peacock).
Let the debate begin.