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The Hammer's Top Atlanta Prospects - Part II (11-20)

Ok, so here's round 2 of my top prospects list. 11-20 are much closer in talent than 1-10 so many of these guys can easily replace each other on the totem pole. Here we go...

11.    Yunel Escobar - SS - Like KG and Gondeee, I too feel Escobar has been a bit overhyped. Still, I think he could be a useful utility player at the Major League Level. It's obviously a hitters' league, but it was nice to see Escobar win the batting title in the AFL.
12.    Jamie Richmond - P - Another finesse pitcher but with amazing control. If he can spot pitches with precision and change speeds, he doesn't need to blow anyone away with a fastball. Has a long way to go, but he's worth watching.
13.    Jeff Locke - P - Do the Braves only draft left-handed pitchers? Confident, hard throwing left-hander. Also has great control. Very, very young but has a live arm.
14.    Kala Ka'aihue - 1B - Decent batting eye, tremendous power potential, but has definite holes in his swing. I want to see him at higher levels. Unfortunately, he reminds me of the kind of hitter that advanced pitchers exploit.
15.    Kristopher Medlen - P - 10th round JC pick in June. Put up great numbers out of the gate. Have to love 2 walks and 36 strikeouts in 22 innings! Haven't seen him other than on a few videos, but he may be a real sleeper down the road.
16.    Kevin Gunderson - P- Another blue collar left-handed pitcher. Works hard, doesn't overpower, but gets the job done. Good comparison to Chuck James by Martin. Gunderson might just wind up being a lefty specialist down the road which makes him less valuable in my book. It's hard to imagine Kevin being a closer without a good fastball (86-89)...unless of course he becomes a 2008 version of John Franco.
17.    Beau Jones - P - The next "Wild Thing?" Hard thrower, which you know by now I love. Excellent debut in 2005 shows he can actually find the strike zone. Must learn to pitch instead of just trying to rear back and throw.
18.    Cody Johnson - OF - I know, I know...was brutal in his debut. But remember my definition of a prospect? Needs a strong tutor. Super high risk here to go with a super high reward. Only 18 years-old so he'll be given plenty of time to mature and develop.
19.    Will Startup - P - Got torched in the AFL, but then again, who didn't. In many ways I like Startup more than Gunderson. The two are interchangeable as far as I'm concerned.
20.    Van Pope - 3B - I'd like to see a little higher batting average and a few more home runs, but Pope can very easily jump up this list with a solid season at AA. May not have star potential, but he can be an adequate Major League third baseman.

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