The Top 10 Prospects: NL Central

After beginning this series last week with the National League West, we start the new week by taking a look at the Top 10 prospects for each of the NL Central teams, as well as their 2009 Opening Day assignments.

The NL Central features a few interesting systems (Milwaukee, Cincinnati, St. Louis) and two disappointing systems (Chicago, Houston), as well as one system that stirs lukewarm feelings (Pittsburgh). In Cincinnati, Juan Carlos Sulbaran is perhaps the biggest up-and-coming name even though he has yet to throw a pitch in a regular-season game. He upped his stock after an intriguing performance in the World Baseball Classic for the Dutch team. In Houston, the organization continues to be aggressive with pitcher-turned-outfielder Brian Bogusevic, who is in Triple-A after playing in just 42 games as a hitter last season in Double-A.

The Chicago Cubs
1. Josh Vitters, 3B, Peoria (A)
2. Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Iowa (AAA)
3. Andrew Cashner, RHP, Injured
4. Jay Jackson, RHP, Tennessee (AA)
5. Starlin Castro, SS, Daytona (A+)
6. Ryan Flaherty, SS, Peoria (A)
7. Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Injured
8. Brandon Guyer, OF, Tennessee (AA)
9. Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP, Injured
10. Welington Castillo, C, Tennessee (AA)

Other Players of Note: Kevin Hart, Micah Hoffpauir, Junior Lake, Tyler Colvin, Tony Thomas, Chris Carpenter

The Cincinnati Reds
1. Yonder Alonso, 1B, Sarasota (A+)
2. Daryl Thompson, RHP, Louisville (AAA)
3. Todd Frazier, OF, Carolina (AA)
4. Drew Stubbs, OF, Louisville (AAA)
5. Yorman Rodriguez, OF, Extended Spring Training
6. Neftali Soto, 3B, Sarasota (A+)
7. Juan Carlos Sulbaran, RHP, Dayton (A)
8. Chris Valaika, SS, Louisville (AAA)
9. Kyle Lotzkar, RHP, Injured
10. Juan Francisco, 3B, Double-A

Other Players of Note: Juan Duran, Devin Mesoraco, Chris Dickerson, Ramon Ramirez, Dallas Buck, Alex Buchholz

The Houston Astros
1. Jason Castro, C, Lancaster (A+)
2. Drew Sutton, 2B, Round Rock (AAA)
3. Brian Bogusevic, OF, Round Rock (AAA)
4. Ross Seaton, RHP, Lexington (A)
5. Bud Norris, RHP, Round Round (AAA)
6. Jordan Lyles, RHP, Lexington (A)
7. Chris Johnson, 3B, Round Rock (AAA)
8. Felipe Paulino, RHP, Round Round (AAA)
9. Jay Austin, OF, Lexington (A)
10. Collin DeLome, OF, Corpus Christi (AA)

Other Players of Note: Chia-Jen Lo, Sergio Perez, Brad James, Josh Flores, Eli Iorg, Leandro Cespedes

The Milwaukee Brewers
1. Alcides Escobar, SS, Nashville (AAA)
2. Mat Gamel, 3B, Nashville (AAA)
3. Brett Lawrie, 2B, Wisconsin (A)
4. Jeremy Jeffress, RHP, Huntsville (AA)
5. Angel Salome, C, Nashville (AAA)
6. Cutter Dykstra, OF, Wisconsin (A)
7. Lorenzo Cain, OF, Huntsville (AA)
8. Jonathan Lucroy, C, Huntsville (AA)
9. Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Extended Spring Training
10. Taylor Green, 3B, Injured

Other Players of Note: Cole Gillespie, Zack Braddock, Caleb Gindl, Cody Scarpetta, Eric Farris, Lee Haydel, Efrain Nieves, Joe Koshansky, Nick Green

The Pittsburgh Pirates
1. Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Lynchburg (A+)
2. Andrew McCutchen, OF, Indianapolis (AAA)
3. Jose Tabata, OF, Altoona (AA)
4. Brad Lincoln, RHP, Altoona (AA)
5. Bryan Morris, RHP, Lynchburg (A+)
6. Robbie Grossman, OF, West Virginia (A)
7. Neil Walker, 3B, Indianapolis (AAA)
8. Shelby Ford, 2B, Indianapolis (AAA)
9. Daniel McCutchen, RHP, Indianapolis (AAA)
10. Jarek Cunningham, 3B, Injured

Other Players of Note: Brian Friday, Quinton Miller, Daniel Moskos, Jamie Romak, Wesley Freeman, Jim Negrych, Robinzon Diaz

The St. Louis Cardinals
1. Colby Rasmus, OF, St. Louis
2. Brett Wallace, 3B, Springfield (AA)
3. Chris Perez, RHP, Memphis (AAA)
4. Jess Todd, RHP, Memphis (AAA)
5. Jason Motte, RHP, St. Louis
6. Bryan Anderson, C, Memphis (AAA)
7. Daryl Jones, OF, Springfield (AA)
8. Adam Reifer, RHP, Palm Beach (A+)
9. Clayton Mortensen, RHP, Memphis (AAA)
10. David Freese, 3B, St. Louis

Other Players of Note: Jon Jay, Peter Kozma, Lance Lynn, Mitchell Boggs, Francisco Samuel, Niko Vasquez, Jaime Garcia





Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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FlimtotheFlam
13 years ago

Another one for the Cardinals is PJ Walters who has had two strong outings one vs Memphis in the STL/MEM exhibition game. The other his first start of the year.

He will most likely be the first called up pitcher from Memphis this year.

vivaelpujols
13 years ago
Reply to  FlimtotheFlam

really? I thought that it would be Boggs.