4) Peter Bourjos, 3/31/87 - CF, AAA
.314/.364/.498 with 13 HR and 27 SB. +11 runs, +13 glove, 4.11 WAR
Add in Boujos' 1.7 wins above replacement at the major league level from August and September, and you have a player who just missed making more contributions to the Halos' system then anyone else save one guy (yeah, that guy). But this countdown is about minor league performances only, so I resisted the urge to give Bourjos the bump. At the major league level, we all got a chance to see his glove be every bit the asset we'd hoped for in our preseason prospect rankings. While it is unlikely that Bourjos maintains his off-the-charts contributions in centerfield, if only because baserunners don't challenge him the way they did in 2010, he is good enough to become a "historically good centerfielder" (Sean Smith's wording, as I recall). The .204/.237/.381 slash line was disappointing, but his six bombs made a pretty clear statement that he was not going to have the bat knocked out of his hands by MLB pitching. His BABIP in the majors was unsustainably low at .228, which should improve significantly in 2011, but pay attention to the quality of his contact: despite the homeruns, he slapped too many weak groundballs against MLB pitching, and not enough of those shots up the middle that allegedly fueled his AAA breakout. The 21% K-rate was also a problem for a player with his skill set, but Bourjos has a long track record of steady improvement in that area, so I'm not as worried about the swings and misses. Bourjos' evolution provides an interesting chapter to Bane's Angels legacy: he was a classic toolsey prep pick, snagged in the tenth round, who the Halos taught to hit. His fellow 2005 draftees - Ryan Mount, PJ Phillips, possibly Jeremy Moore - testify to the attrition that such a strategy makes necessary, but Bourjos has a chance to develop into the kind of exciting MLB regular that makes all of that disappointment worthwhile.