Prospect Watch: The Breakthrough Bunch

These prospects are primed and ready to bust out and make themselves household names around the prospect water cooler. Some are already highly graded talents without a big season to put them on the map. Others are diamonds in the rough, looking to grab some headlines.


Top 10 Breakthrough Prospects

1. Casey Craig, OF - 20-year-old needs to replace some strikeouts with power numbers. Has the tools to do just that, and more. Watch for Craog to be more aggressive this season, swinging earlier in the count and attacking the fastball.

2. Adam Jones, SS - Former first-rounder is primed to show why he was given almost a million dollars to sign out of high school. Better power and sharpened defense are targeted areas of improvement.

3. Jon Huber, RHP - The former Padres prospect could make a push to Triple-A by mid-season. Has the stuff to accel in the Texas League and could be the Missions opening day starter.

4. Rob Johnson, C - Johnson's catch and throw skills and offensive potential are ready to bloom. Following a tough first professional season, the Houston product could quickly become the system's best catcher.

5. Brent Johnson, 3B/OF - The Vegas native combines speed, versatility and solid strike zone judgement to get the job done. It's time for the UNLV grad to turn it up a notch at the plate - in the form of some power. Johnson had just one home run in 294 plate appearances with Everett last season.

6. Marshall Hubbard, 1B/OF - Looking to regain the pop he had in his bat in college when he had 41 extra-base hits in 64 games. The former Tar Heel must make more contact to maximize the power numbers.

7. Craig James, RHP - After two strong seasons in the Arizona Rookie League (3-2, 2.75 ERA, 32 K, 9 BB 4 SV), James is ready for full season ball. The right-hander has the power arsenal to become a dominating late-inning reliever.

8. Daniel Santin, C - Santin can hit (.325/.384/.506 @ Peoria in '04), and he wants to catch. If the son of a Devil Rays scout can find a balance between the fight to remain a backstop and thriving at the plate, his stock will soar. The 19-year-old's sweet left-handed swing could put up some big numbers in 2005.

9. Mark Lowe, RHP - Lowe could make the "sleeper" list as well, but with improved command of decent stuff, the right-handed reliever has the ability to become a solid relief prospect with setup or closer ability.

10. Stephen Grasley, RHP - The Creighton University product spent last season in the Arizona Rookie League and proved he deserved full season duty in 2005. In Peoria (4-0, 3.18 ERA, 38 K, 1 BB), Grasley displayed great control and better-than-average stuff in a relief role.



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