It's always nice to end your season by throwing a nine inning No-Hitter. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay Devil Rays prospect Wade Davis, he lost that game.
In addition to becoming the answer to a trivia question, Davis became one of the more talked about pitchers in the minors this season.
Davis, the Devil Rays third round pick out of a Florida High School, finished second in the Midwest League in strikeouts with 165, posted a 3.02 ERA, and gave up just five homeruns in 146 innings of work.
Look for Davis, who just turned 21, to be tested in High Single-A next season, and with a solid year, expect him to be on the brink of a major league debut sometime late in the 2008 season.
2006 has been a breakout season for Cleveland Indians farmhand Brian Barton. A bit of a late bloomer at 24, the University of Miami product has added power to his speed and has jumped towards the top of the tribe's list of minor league prospects.
This year Barton batted a combined .323 with 19 homeruns and 83 rbi's while stealing 41 bases and scoring 88 runs between High-A and Double-A.
He helped lead Akron to an Eastern League playoff berth hitting .351 in 42 games following a late season promotion from Kinston.
Expect Barton to try his hand Buffalo to begin the 2007 season, and look for him to be an early season callup to Cleveland should anyone on the big league roster get injured during the season.
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Following in the footsteps of a big league father can be tough, but John Mayberry Jr. has begun to put down a foundation for his own baseball career.
The Texas Rangers 2005 first round draft pick out of Stanford has been putting up some nice power numbers since becoming a pro.
Mayberry debuted last year by belting 11 homeruns in 71 games for Spokane.
This year he continued his power surge finishing third in the Midwest League in homeruns with 21, tied for fourth in runs scored with 77, while also driving in 77 runs.
Mayberry does strike out a lot, posting 117 strikeouts in 459 at bats, but he also walks a good bit finishing tied for 11th in the league in walks with 59.
Expect Mayberry to make the move to High-A Bakersfield, however with a good spring, do not be surprised if the Rangers give him a chance in Double-A to begin the year.
At age 25, Ryan Raburn is not technically a "prospect", but as a second baseman who mashes 20 home runs in Triple-A, he is at the very least intriguing.
Rayburn has been in the Tigers organization his entire six year career since being drafted in the fifth round of the 2001 draft.
He had a cup of coffee in 2004 batting .138 in 29 at bats with the Tigers.
Rayburn just completed his second season in Toledo batting .275 with 20 homeruns and 79 rbi's to go along with 16 stolen bases.
Expect Raburn to be a Chris Shelton type player who may cause a little buzz at the big league level in 2007.
Just turned 18 years old last month, Jose Tabata is one of baseball's youngest prospects. The New York Yankees picked up Tabata out of Venezuela, and he made his pro debut with a .314, 3 homerun and 25 RBI start in the Gulf Coast League playing most of the season as a 16 year old.
In 2006 Tabata climbed a rung in the Yankees system and responded by batting .298 with 5 homeruns and 51 RBI's in 86 games at Charleston prior to going on the disabled list in mid July.
Look for the five tool talent to debut in Tampa next season. Tabata is at least two years away from New York, but should be on the brink for the big leagues in 2009.
2006 has been a breakout year for Homer Bailey. The Cincinnati Reds first round pick in the 2004 draft, and Baseball America's High School Player Of The Year, that same year, posted a combined 10-6 record with a 2.47 ERA and 156 strikouts, splitting time with Sarasota and Chattanooga this season.
Bailey dominated the Southern League following his midseason call-up to Double-A. He went 7-1 with a 1.59 ERA in 68 innings of work.
Look for Bailey to debut in the big leagues sometime next season.
Hitting homeruns seems to be second nature for Houston Astros prospect Hunter Pence. Pence was the organization's Minor League Player of the Year for his combined .327, 31 homerun 90 rbi season across two levels of Single-A in 2005.28 homeruns, 95 rbi's, 31 doubles (tied), 8 triples, and 60 walks while batting .283 on the season. He also finished second in the league with 17 stolen bases.
These are easily some of the best offensive numbers in all of minor league baseball. Expect Pence to be in the majors this time next season.