2011 Eastern League Top Prospects

September 22, 2011
Bryce Harper

Editor's Note: Jessica Quiroli checked in with over 50 Eastern League coaches and players about the league's top prospects this season. Broken up into hitters and pitchers below, the players below were acknowledged by their peers as standout Eastern League talents. Players and coaches were asked which prospects looked the most like big leaguers.


Chih-Hsien Chiang, RF Boston Red Sox

“I didn’t think much of him when I first saw him. But he has put together a really good season. We’d throw a pitch up there, if he hit, he squared the ball up and did damage with it.” – Eastern League manager

“Everything he hit was hard to the point that it was hurting my ears.” – Eastern League hitter

Travis d'Arnaud, C Toronto Blue Jays

“Number one guy in this league was obviously Travis.” – Eastern League hitting coach

“He’s a rare combination of offensive/defensive catcher. “ – Eastern League manager

“He’s very calm and collected and makes the game look slow. He makes the game look easy. The way he swings and the way he catches he always appeared calm.” – Eastern League pitcher

“He was MVP of the league for good reason.” – Eastern League manager

Anthony Gose, CF Toronto Blue Jays

“He’s a dynamic player and he’s got some speed. When he gets on the bases it’s an automatic double.” – Eastern League pitching coach

Bryce Harper, LF Washington Nationals

“I’m going to give credit. He’s not the best hitter I faced, but for his age he’s definitely excelled. The way he was able to battle through at-bats left a lasting impression about how good his approach is at the plate. He’s just very advanced for his age.” – Eastern League pitcher

Starling Marte, CF Pittsburg Pirtates

“He just seemed to get a hit every at-bat. We had a tough time keeping him off the bases.” – Eastern League manager 

“He’s got five tools, he can run, he can make contact, hit for power, and throw. He looks like a good package. He has a really good idea how to play the game.” – Eastern League coach

Will Middlebrooks, 3B Boston Red Sox

“He’s got a lot of tools, he’s got a good arm and can hit for power. He moves well. He looked like a big leaguer to me. “ – Eastern League pitching coach

Reese Havens, 2B New York Mets

“He really stayed with his approach no matter how we pitched him. I had the opportunity from second base to see how he hit. He got in good counts. We started pitching him away more as the season went on and it’s like he changed his approach. He was fun to watch.” – Eastern League hitter


Austin Hyatt, RHP Philadelphia Phillies

“He just had my number. He’s got a really good changeup and he’s got a really sneaky fastball. You want to be ready for the fastball and see it out of his hand. He’s got two really good pitches, plus a slider too. You don’t know what’s coming. The changeup and the fastball look exactly the same coming out of his hand.” Eastern League hitter

Brad Peacock, RHP Washington Nationals

“He was polished. He was able to throw all of his pitches for strikes, really good demeanor on the mound. He always looked like he was in command. He can throw any pitch at any given time and get a guy out.” – Eastern League pitching coach

“His overall command for this level. He caught our eye early in the season. He definitely pitched above the Double-A level. “ – Eastern League manager

“He [was] a horse for Harrisburg. He pitches down the zone, he’s able to throw the ball over the plate when he’s behind in the count.” – Eastern League pitching coach

“You could see the major improvement he made from last year. He always had a sneaky fastball, but I thought his breaking pitch got a lot sharper. He didn’t walk guys. He threw strikes.” – Eastern League hitter

“He was consistent all year. He dominated every team. It didn’t matter who ran out there against him. His bad inning was a couple of runs, where as everyone else gives up five or six.” – Eastern League hitting coach

“He was the best pitcher in the league. I haven’t seen guys like Peacock in this league be that consistent.” – Eastern League manager

Eric Surkamp, LHP San Francisco Giants

“He’s got good secondary stuff, a good breaking ball, and changeup. He locates. “ – Eastern League manager

“He knows what he can do and sticks to it.” – Eastern League pitcher

“He has the ability to keep you off balance and his curveball…you could know it’s coming and still find it hard to square it up.” – Eastern League hitter

“He’s got one of the better breaking balls that I’ve seen at this level.” – Eastern League hitter


Jessica is a freelance baseball writer. You can follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/heelsonthefield.