Baseball's Top Prospects
A switch-hitting catcher with a tremendous throwing arm, Wieters was named Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year in 2008 after batting .355 with 27 home runs and 91 RBIs at Single A and Double A.
Price, a hard-throwing lefty, received plenty of attention during Tampa Bay's run to the World Series, but he didn't actually debut with the Rays until mid-September, and wound up pitching as many times in the regular season (five) as he did in the postseason. In the minors, he went 12-1 with a 2.30 ERA and is expected to join the Rays' rotation this season.
In two professional seasons, the 19-year-old Heyward has yet to reach even Double A, but he has shown tremendous ability already. He batted .323/.388/.483 in Class A last season and is considered by many to be Atlanta's top prospect.
The tenth overall pick in the 2007 draft, Bumgarner didn't make his pro debut until the start of the 2008 season, but he dominated at Class A, going 15-3 with a 1.46 ERA and 0.93 WHIP and 164 strikeouts against just 21 walks.
Baseball America once called this lefty the best power-hitting prospect in Boston's organization. He's batted .304 in two minor league seasons, and posted a .526 slugging percentage in a brief stint at Double A in 2008.
The fifth overall pick in the 2008 draft, Posey won the Golden Spikes Award as a Junior at Florida State when he led the ACC in batting average (.471), RBIs (68), on-base percentage (.571), slugging percentage (.858), hits (96), runs scored (75) and total bases (175).
Drafted out of high school in 2006, Snider has excelled at every level, earning an Appalachian League Player of the Year award, and All-Star nods along the way. In 133 games last season (between A, AA, and AAA ball), Snider batted .275 with 23 home runs and 91 RBIs.
The Pirates top-rated prospect, McCutchen combines great speed and good power. In four minor league seasons, he has stolen 95 bases, including 34 in 2008 at AAA Indianapolis. He also batted .283, and hit nine home runs.
LaPorta was drafted seventh in the 2007 draft by the Brewers, and belted six home runs in the Arizona Fall League that year -- tied for tops in the league. Midway through 2008, Milwaukee dealt LaPorta to the Indians as the centerpiece of the trade that brought C.C. Sabathia to the Brewers.
A pitcher in high school, Rasmus is another player who combines tremendous speed and power with a great outfield arm. Rasmus tore up the Texas League in 2007, batting .275 with 29 home runs and 72 RBIs, in addition to stealing 18 bases.