This will be the second of my four previews for the full season minor league teams. For each team I am going to give a brief prediction on each of the team's top five prospects and then pick a player to have a breakout season. Now for the Wilmington Blue Rocks:
1) Mike Montgomery- I predict domination. After several great starts in Wilmington he will receive a promotion to double a, where he will join Aaron Crow at the front end of the Natural rotation.
2) Tim Melville- I expect Melville's numbers to improve this season in Wilmington, and the only thing that could prevent him from a late season call up is the lack of a spot in the Naturals rotation. Melville's spike in strikeouts at the end of last season will continue into 2010 and he will jump into the top 100 prospects heading into the 2011 season.
3) Eric Hosmer- I expect Hosmer to greatly improve this season. I expect Hosmer to post solid, but not spectacular numbers for the first half of the season, and then receive a midseason promotion to double A, where he will really begin to breakout.
4) Noel Arguelles- I don't know what to expect from this guy, but I will make a guess. I think he will post decent numbers, but not as strong as Melville's. However, since he is on the major league roster I think he will get a promotion to double A, faster than his numbers would typically warrant.
5) Chris Dwyer- I think Dwyer is going to really struggle at times in Wilmington's rotation. Supposedly he has good stuff, but he has yet to turn that stuff into good results. I think he continues to follow this trend and will post an era over 4 in 2010.
Breakout Pick: I was tempted to select Salvador Perez, but he struggled to hit in Burlington last season, so I don't have much reason to think that he will hit better in the toughest hitter's park in the minors this season. Instead I am going to go with Jason Taylor. Throughout his career Taylor is one of the only Royals that have exhibited strong plate judgement, good power, and the ability to steal bases. He hasn't done it all in one season, but I have a hunch that this will be the year. I'd like to see Taylor moved to left where he could advance quickly given the organization's lack of corner outfield prospects. But instead he will likely stay at third for 2010. Taylor is an advanced hitter and I expect big things from him this season.