March 28, 2006's Top 50 Prospects

MLB polled 23 scouts and ranked the prospects with #1 getting 30 points, #2 getting 29, etc. Each prospect's cumulative score is in parentheses.

Top 5
1 Delmon Young, OF, Devil Rays  (659)
2 Jeremy Hermida, OF, Marlins (596)
3 Brandon Wood, SS, Angels (563)
4 Francisco Liriano, LHP, Twins (532)
5 Justin Verlander, RHP, Tigers (452
Red Sox/Yankees in Top 50 (all pitchers!):

18 Jon Lester, LHP, Red Sox (205)
The first of a trio of Red Sox arms on this list, Lester has ace potential. His stuff could get big league hitters out now, but Boston's depth should give him a year in Triple-A.
23 Jonathan Papelbon, RHP, Red Sox (117)
There's nothing more challenging than a pennant race in Boston to test a prospect's mettle, and Pap passed with flying colors. He's back in the Sox' pen in 2006; hopefully, he hasn't pigeon-holed himself as a reliever.
30 Philip Hughes, RHP, Yankees (96)
Hughes jumps onto the fast track this season with a leap up to Double-A. It's not out of the question he'll see the Bronx by September, then challenge for a rotation spot next spring.
44 Craig Hansen, RHP, Red Sox (51)
On just about any other team, Hansen breaks camp with the big league club. Now he'll close for Pawtucket and wait for the call. He should at least get some time in before hitting it big in 2007.
Other rankings: Andy Marte #11, Hanley Ramirez #25 and Anabel Sanchez #43.

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