Eight of top 11 prospects played in Midwest League

Two of baseball's top prospects, Carlos Correa (left) and Byron Buxton, at the 2013 Midwest League All-Star Game. (Photo by David Kohl/USA TODAY)

Two of baseball’s top prospects, Carlos Correa (left) and Byron Buxton, at the 2013 Midwest League All-Star Game. (Photo by David Kohl/USA TODAY)

The Midwest League continues to be a conduit through which many of baseball’s top prospects pass. The latest evidence of this comes from MLB.com’s recently-released list of top prospects; eight of the top 11 players are former Midwest Leaguers.

Of the top 11 prospects, only Chicago Cubs 3B Kris Bryant (No. 2) and Washington Nationals RHP Lucas Giolito (No. 6) didn’t play in the Midwest League.

Topping the list is Minnesota Twins OF Byron Buxton, who maintained his No. 1 rank despite an injury-plagued 2014 season. Buxton was the Midwest League Most Valuable Player and Prospect of the Year in 2013 when he batted .341 with 8 HR, 55 RBI and 32 SB in 68 games with the Cedar Rapids Kernels.

Houston Astros SS Carlos Correa is ranked third. He batted .320 with 9 HR and 86 RBI in 117 games with the 2013 Quad Cities River Bandits.

Coming in at No. 4 is Cleveland Indians SS Francisco Lindor, who batted .257 with 6 HR, 42 RBI and 27 SB in 122 games with the 2012 Lake County Captains.

Francisco Lindor played shortstop for the 2012 Lake County Captains. (Photo courtesy of the Lake County Sentinel)

Francisco Lindor played shortstop for the 2012 Lake County Captains. (Photo courtesy of the Lake County Sentinel)

Rounding out the top five is Cubs SS Addison Russell, who briefly played in the Midwest League as an Oakland Athletics prospect in 2012. He batted .310 with 9 RBI and 5 SB in 16 games with the Burlington Bees.

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers' Nick Ramirez is out at second base against the Burlington Bees' Addison Russell during a Midwest League playoff game in 2012. (Photo by Dan Powers/The Post-Crescent)

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers runner Nick Ramirez is out at second base against the Burlington Bees’ Addison Russell during a Midwest League playoff game in 2012. (Photo by Dan Powers/The Post-Crescent)

A pair of Los Angeles Dodgers prospects, SS Corey Seager and LHP Julio Urias, are ranked No. 7 and No. 8, respectively.

Seager played with the Loons in 2013, batting .309 with 12 HR and 57 RBI in 74 games.

Corey Seager played with the Great Lakes Loons in 2013. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Corey Seager played shortstop for the 2013 Great Lakes Loons. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Urias also played for Great Lakes in 2013, going 2-0 with a 2.48 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 54.1 IP. The Mexican pitcher was only 16 years old when he made his professional debut with the Loons, making him a Midwest League rarity. He turned 18 last August.

Julio Urias made his professional pitching debut for the Great Lakes Loons at age 16. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Julio Urias made his professional pitching debut for the Great Lakes Loons at age 16. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

New York Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard is ranked No. 10. As a Toronto Blue Jays prospect, he spent the entire 2012 season in the Midwest League after starting two games there in 2011. Overall he went 8-5 with a 2.64 ERA, one save, and 131 strikeouts in 112.2 IP.

Noah Syndergaard pitched for the Lansing Lugnuts in 2012. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Noah Syndergaard pitched for the 2012 Lansing Lugnuts. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

The No. 11 prospect is Twins 3B Miguel Sano, who dropped from the No. 7 spot after missing the entire 2014 season due to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last March. The Dominican slugger was the Midwest League prospect of the year in 2012, when he manned the hot corner for the Beloit Snappers. He batted .258 with 28 HR and 100 RBI in 129 games.

Miguel Sano slugs a 3-run homer for the Beloit Snappers in 2012. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Miguel Sano slugs a 3-run homer for the Beloit Snappers in 2012. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Only one other player dropped out of the top 10: Arizona Diamondbacks RHP Archie Bradley, who dropped from No. 9 last year to No. 15 this year. He pitched for the 2012 South Bend Silver Hawks, going 12-6 with a 3.84 ERA and 152 strikeouts in 136 IP.

Archie Bradley pitched for the 2012 South Bend Silver Hawks. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Archie Bradley pitched for the 2012 South Bend Silver Hawks. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

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This entry was posted in 2012 Playoffs, 2013 All-Star Game, Beloit Snappers, Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Great Lakes Loons, Lake County Captains, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, Quad Cities River Bandits, South Bend Silver Hawks, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Bookmark the permalink.

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