2011 Draft picks were not considered for this list. Players currently in the big leagues were also not eligible for the list.
1. Matt Moore, LHP, Triple-A Durham (Rays)
In 30 2/3 innings of work at the Triple-A level Matt Moore has yet to miss a beat. He’s allowed just 23 base runners and struck out a staggering 49 batters. That brings his strikeout total for the year to 180 in 133 innings of work. Minor league seasons don’t get much better and neither does raw stuff. Moore continues to live in the mid 90s and snap off plus-plus sliders as well. He has truly earned the title of baseball’s best prospect.
2. Mike Trout, OF, Double-A Arkansas (Angels)
Mike Trout showed flashes of what makes him so special in his big league stint and he’ll be back up there in no time. But, for now he’s in the minors and qualifies for this list. And, so far his trip back to the minors has been a successful one. As of 8/14 Trout has hit .364 in August with 5 stolen bases. He now has a taste of the big leagues under his belt and his next trip figures to keep him up there for good.
3. Bryce Harper, OF, Double-A Harrisburg (Nationals)
Baseball has seemingly always been easy and obstacle free for Bryce Harper. That hasn’t been the case, however, since Harper arrived in Double-A. Harper is hitting just .256 with three home runs since his promotion. But, he’s heated up of late, hitting .324 with two of his three Double-A home runs in the last ten games. At 18-years-old even holding his own at such a high level is astonishing, but expect him to continue heating up in these last few weeks of the season.
4. Julio Teheran, RHP, Triple-A Gwinnett (Braves)
Teheran is consistently one of baseball’s top performing elite prospects. And, he’s done nothing to change that reputation since the All-Star break. His record currently stands at 12-2 with a 2.18 ERA. This is a big league pitcher simply biding his time at the Triple-A level.
5. Shelby Miller, RHP, Double-A Springfield (Cardinals)
Whether it’s High-A ball or Double-A, it hasn’t mattered all that much to Shelby Miller in 2011. He’s dominated both levels and currently has 152 strikeouts in 122 2/3 innings overall. He was knocked around in his most recent outing but for the most part the 20-year-old has been a model of consistency.
6. Jesus Montero, C, Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre (Yankees)
Compared to what he’s capable of, 2011 has been a mild disappointment at the plate for Jesus Montero. But, in recent weeks the Yankees’ top prospect has begun to show flashes of the massive offensive talent New York believes he has. The struggles haven’t completely subsided, however, as he’s hit just .235 in his last ten games. Montero has gone through different stances and made mechanical adjustments this season, and what the Yankees are looking for before bringing him to the big leagues is a comfort zone and a level of consistency.
7. Manny Machado, SS, High-A Frederick (Orioles)
Manny Machado is not what you’d call a “now” talent. He came to the professional ranks somewhat crude and he’s going to have his ups and downs. Right now, he’s experiencing one of those downs. The righty hitting shortstop is hitting .248 since being promoted to High-A ball, and in his last ten games has hit just .150. The 19-year-old is still streaky at this point in his development and should have a hot streak in him before season’s end.
8. Jarred Cosart, RHP, Double-A Corpus Christi (Astros)
Changing organizations mid-season can be a difficult transition for a young player, and Cosart has had to make that adjustment since being dealt to Houston in the Hunter Pence trade. Cosart has front of the rotation type stuff and won’t struggle for long, but has posted a 4.70 ERA in his three starts since joining the Astros’ organization.
9. Carlos Martinez, RHP, High-A Palm Beach (Cardinals)
Martinez was one of the stars of the Futures Game in Phoenix, showing off two dominant offerings including a fastball that reached 97-98 mph. But, since then he’s had his ups and downs in High-A ball. He’s posted a 5.23 ERA in Palm Beach and has walked 19 in 32 2/3 innings of work. His stuff speaks for itself and he’s just 20-years-old but he’s far from a finished product at this point.
10. Jurickson Profar, SS, Low-A Hickory (Rangers)
The hit tool has always been the most enticing aspect of Jurickson Profar’s game. And, considering that he’s only 18-years-old and playing full-season ball, the consistency of his performance has been remarkable. He’s hitting .324 in August with an on-base percentage closing in on .450. The best news for Ranger fans is that he appears to be improving by the day.