Top European Prospects in the Major Leagues - World Of Baseball
Now that all the games have been played and teams prepare for the WBC, it is time to take a look at the prospects from the various continents and countries. Our first look is Europe, which is starting to grow as a major league hot spot. I’ve included Curacao in Europe since it is a Dutch colony and I recieved so many comments for not including players from there in a European prospect list. The major leagues have already seen players such as Rick Vandenhurk, Wladimir Baleintien and Jair Jurrgens make their mark on the major leagues. It would not be surprising to see a few more.
1. Greg Halman, Mariners (Netherlands) OF
2. Shairon Martis, Nationals (Curacao) RHP
3. Juan Carlos Sulbaran, Reds (Curacao) RHP -
4. Roger Bernadina, Nationals (Netherlands) OF
5. Loek Van Mil, Twins (Netherlands) RHP
6. Hainley Statia, Angels (Curacao) SS
7. Alex Maestri, Cubs (Italy) RHP -
8. Curt Smith, Cardinals (Curacao) 1B
9. Sven Huijer, Red Sox (Netherlands) RHP
10. Kai Gronauer, Mets (Germany) C - You have to like the way he ran the German pitching staff in the pre-Olympic qualifier in Taiwan. And though the Germans did not qualify for the Olympics, Kai was one of the better players in the tournament. The Mets were impressed and signed him after the tournament and after his first minor league season he hit .356. Those are impressive numbers, but he was a 22 year old competing in the rookie league, so like Curt Smith, the key will be how his numbers evolve as he advances. He also threw out six of the 10 runners that attempted to steal off him. Kai has been playing for the German national team since he was 18 years old.