The Double-A level will be a test for many of the following prospects, but the Southern League is gleaming with talent heading into the 2015 season. A good portion of prospects from our Top 101 will play most of the season in this league, and many more will trickle up through the ranks during the year. Double-A is a dramatic training ground in player development, and many questions are answered during this time.
Biloxi Shuckers (Milwaukee Brewers)
The Shuckers will hold ground for two of the top prospects in the Brewers' system, Tyrone Taylor and Orlando Arcia. Tyler Wagner will have a chance to prove his value warrants a future spot in a rotation, and the development of a third pitch will be especially interesting to keep an eye on.
Birmingham Barons (Chicago White Sox)
The Sox will send a plethora of raw talent to Double-A, starting with Francellis Montas and Tim Anderson. Both have the raw tools, but this will be a big jump and test for the duo. Michael Ynoa will also begin the season with the Barons.
At some point, expect to see the likes of Courtney Hawkins, Jacob May, Tyler Danish, and Nolan Sanburn. The four prospects will begin the year in High-A Winston-Salem, but could all see time in Birmingham at some point.
Chattanooga Lookouts (Minnesota Twins)
The Lookouts are perhaps the most exciting team in the Southern League. When a rotation is fronted by Jose Berrios, and Jorge Polanco, Miguel Sano, and Byron Buxton are in tow, then it's a team worth watching. Max Kepler is also an intriguing name to keep an eye on.
Jackson Generals (Seattle Mariners)
D.J. Peterson is the lead name here, and he will look to push his way towards the majors with a breakout season for the Generals. Behind Peterson is Tyler Marlette, Patrick Kivlehan, and Leon Landry. It's not a deep roster, but there is enough intrigue outside of Peterson to certainly head out and watch.
Some other names to keep an eye on if promoted are Ryan Yarbrough and Gabby Guerrero. Both could see significant time on the roster depending on how their season shakes out.
Jacksonville Suns (Miami Marlins)
The Marlins have entered win-now mode, which means their system has been decimated. As the cycle usually goes, the Suns have one of the weaker rosters relative to prospect value. Nick Wittgren and Trevor Williams are worth watching, and Justin Bohn is an intriguing player at the shortstop position. Otherwise, it's a transition year in Jacksonville.
Mississippi Braves (Atlanta Braves)
The Braves' Double-A squad holds a few newly acquired names such as Rio Ruiz, Tyrell Jenkins, and Mallex Smith, all received in trades this offseason. Ruiz has average to above-average tools all around (minus speed), and will be one of the younger players in the league. Jenkins has a big arm, but the refinement of command will be what you are looking for. Smith is highly athletic and a strong defender, but this will be a big test for the bat.
Mobile BayBears (Arizona Diamondbacks)
On the position side, Brandon Drury will continue development and his trial run at the keystone.
Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay Rays)
The Rays have retooled their shed, and one of those new tools will begin the season with the Biscuits. Daniel Robertson should spend most of the season here, along with Justin O'Conner. O'Conner needs refinement at the plate, but he is certainly a prospect on the cusp of the majors due to his potential defensive capabilities.
Pensacola Wahoos (Cincinnati Reds)
Four prospects make their return to Pensacola. Robert Stephenson and Michael Lorenzen front the rotation, while Jesse Winker and Kyle Waldrop anchor the lineup. Winker may not be there the full year, so get out early if you want to see him live.
Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs)
Daytona had a strong club last season in the FSL, and many of those players will find their name on the Smokies' roster. C.J. Edwards is the pitcher to watch, and this will be a great test towards his ability to stick as a starting option down the road. The lineup should be exciting, with Dan Vogelbach, Kyle Schwarber, and Albert Almora leading the way.
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