1. Andy Marte – He's close. Defensively, he showed everyone in Atlanta how good he is. He just needs consistent at bats to prove the offensive part.
2. Jeff Francoeur – Jeff is walking more and becoming a RBI machine for the AA team. A good July by Jeff may make force the Braves to release Brian Jordan.
3. Scott Thorman – The forgotten prospect. No one ever mentions Scott, but he's showing this season that he's a hitter.
4. Josh Burrus – He turned the corner last season and this year he is showing that he is a prime prospect.
5. Jarrod Saltalamacchia – When the season is over, he'll be one of the most highly touted catching prospects in the game.
6. Billy McCarthy – Struggling in his second season back in AAA, but he's still a hitter that the Braves love.
7. Matt Esquivel – Also showing tremendous production, Esquivel must cut down on his strikeouts.
8. Wes Timmons – Ladies and Gentleman, the next Pete Orr. He's versatile, plays hard, and makes things happen.
9. James Jurries – Somebody's going to have to give JJ a chance, but it might not be Atlanta.
10. Brayan Pena – Still has huge defensive question marks. Short stint in Atlanta did nothing to dispel defensive shortcomings. But his bat still makes him a prospect.
11. Van Pope – Having a solid season in Rome. Pope is a lower-level prospect that will be fun to watch develop over the next several seasons.
12. Tony Pena, Jr. – Instead of showing Braves he could be Furcal's replacement, Pena is instead becoming just another prospect.
13. Yunel Escobar – In the organization for less than a month, Escobar might replace Pena as an option to supplant Furcal.
14. Martin Prado – He's hit since the day he put on a Braves' uniform. He's not going to be thought of as a star, but might turn out to be one anyway.
15. Elvis Andrus – He's 16 and he's going to be a star. He won't be at 15 for long on this list. By the end of the year, he might be in the Top 10.
16. Luis Hernandez – His offensive struggles have him a bit low, but we've got to remember he's only 20 years old in AA. The glove continues to sparkle.
17. Clint Sammons – Meet your backup catcher in 2008. Clint can handle pitchers with the best of them and provide a spark in the lineup.
18. Eric Campbell – Off to a great start in Danville. The Braves expected his power to come and Campbell is not disappointing so far.
19. Steve Doetsch – Started in Rome but an injury pushed him up to Myrtle Beach. Doetsch is having a nice developmental season.
20. Jonathan Schuerholz – Has anyone noticed the impressive season this guy is having? Not really. Don't count him out.
Bill Shanks has a new book out on baseball scouting and player development. "Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team" is at your local book store and available online at amazon.com. Bill can be reached at email@example.com
THE HOT LIST: Braves' Top 20 Position Players
Atlanta Dugout Top Stories
Braves remain interested in Sale, ArcherDespite adding Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey, and Jaime Garcia, the Atlanta Braves remain interested in acquiring either Chris Sale or Chris Archer.
Hardball Scoop9:41 AM
Braves acquire Jaime Garcia from CardinalsThe Atlanta Braves made yet another move for a starter, acquiring Jaime Garcia from the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday evening
Hardball ScoopYesterday at 3:34 PM
A's NRIs include several new namesThe Oakland A's announced their spring training non-roster invitee list. We take a look at the players headed to big league camp.
Oakland ClubhouseYesterday at 11:12 AM
Baseball's Labor Peace Continues with new CBAThere will be no work stoppage for Major League Baseball, thanks to a new five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement that has been reached. The deal will stretch the game's labor…
Philly Baseball InsiderWednesday at 6:43 PM