Prospect handbook makes me eager for Cal League

I just received the Baseball America Prospect Handbook, which makes me anxious for the start of the California League baseball season.

A few thoughts on the book, which includes the top 30 prospects for each organization (plus No. 31 in a special supplement)

–As for last year’s 66ers, catcher Carlos Santana, who was traded to the Indians in the Casey Blake deal, is ranked as the Indians’ No. 1 prospect. Blake helped get the Dodgers to the playoffs, but you can’t help wonder if they’ll regeret the move long-term.

Also, where is OF Tommy Giles on the Dodgers’ list? He didn’t make the top 30 even after batting .280 with 22 home runs and 100 RBI.

I was surprised that 3B Josh Bell moved up from No. 11 to No. 8 after missing the last three months with a kniee injury. RHP Chris Withrow at No. 9? He had control issues last year with a sore elbow and pitched only four innings.

–Looking at the 2008 Quakes, it’s not surprising that OF Peter Bourjos (No. 9 to No. 3) and 1B Mark Trumbo (No. 29 to No. 8) moved up as high as they did on the Angels’ list. I was surprised that RHP reliever David Herndon is only at No. 28, especially after he proved dominating following his switch from starting to relieving.

–As for the 2009 Sixers, don’t expect to see No. 1 Dodgers prospect OF Andrew Lambo with the team, especially after he went from low-A to Double-A at the end of last season. Many of the prospects they’ll see initially, will probably be players fans saw last year, No. 9 Withrow, No. 11 INF Austin Gallagher, No. 15 RHP Steven Johnson, and No. 29 RHP Josh Wall. Low Single-A Great Lakes was terrible last year, and No. 20 RHP Justin Miller (4-11, 3.99) and No. 27 OF Alfredo Siverio (.263, 10 HR, 45 RBI ) appear to be the top prospects from that team headed to San Bernardino this year.

–As they’ve had the last couple of seasons, it looks like the Quakes should have some of the Angels’ top speed prospects in 2009, that includes No. 16 OF Clay Fuller (36 SB at low Single-A Cedar Rapids last year) and No. 22 SS Andrew Romine (62 SB). They’ll also have their fair share of pitching prospects with No. 4 LHP Trevor Reckling (10-7, 3.37 ERA at CR) No. 10 RHP Mason Tobin (2-3, 3.13 at CR), and No. 20 LHP Robert Fish, a Miller HS product (10-4, 4.85 at CR).

Who’s ready for baseball?