Three key members of the 2010 Wenatchee AppleSox are among the West Coast League’s top prospects according to Baseball America. The national magazine released their annual top 10 prospects for the WCL and the AppleSox led the league with the most players named to the list. AppleSox players Jeff Ames, Marco Gonzales, and Collin Bennett all earned a spot in the rankings.
Closer Jeff Ames ranked the highest of any Wenatchee player as the No. 3 prospect in the league. The sophomore from Lower Columbia College was the only relief pitcher named to the All-WCL First Team. Ames converted to the closer role in early July and ended the season with nine saves, including three in the playoffs. He did not allow a run in league play in July and August.
Starting pitcher Marco Gonzales is the No. 6 prospect in the WCL. Gonzales came to the AppleSox straight out of Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, CO. He led the West Coast League with 66 strikeouts and finished the regular season with a 5-1 record and a 2.77 ERA. He was drafted by his hometown Colorado Rockies in the 29th round of 2010 MLB Draft, but did not sign and is entering his freshman year at Gonzaga.
Outfielder Collin Bennett was the final AppleSox player to make the list as the No. 9 prospect. Bennett is entering his junior year at the University of Hawaii. He had a .309 batting average with 29 RBI, 18 runs, 12 doubles, two triples and two home runs with the AppleSox this summer.
In addition to the three players from the 2010 team that made the list, three former AppleSox players earned recognition in Baseball America’s rankings. Royce Bolinger, who played for the AppleSox in 2009, was named the No. 7 prospect in the WCL. Bolinger played for the Kelowna Falcons this summer but had his season cut short due to an injury. Former AppleSox pitcher Chad Smith (2008) and infielder D.J. Crumlich (2009) were also named to the Alaska League’s top 10 prospects list.