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Minor League Monitor - Southern League: A Pair of 8th Round Picks Are Owning the League

With the draft coming up in two weeks, it's always interesting to look and see where some of the top players in a league were drafted. A pair of 8th round picks are absolutely owning the Southern League, while a pair of 1st round picks struggle to move forward in the league.

Matt Moore - Rays - 22 -  SP (8th round, 2007)
2-3, 2.91 ERA, 52.2 IP, 76 K, 14 BB

Moore has lead the minors in strikeouts in each of the last 2 seasons, and looks well on his way to doing it yet again this year. He's has consistently averaged 12.9 strikeouts at every stop so far, and struck out an insane 208 last year in just 144 2/3 innings pitched. Just what the Rays needed, another top pitching prospect.

Paul Goldschmidt - Diamondbacks - 23 - 1B (8th Round, 2009)
.331/.451/.674, 17 HR, 46 RBI, 3 SB

Goldschmidt just keeps on crushing the ball, leading the Southern League in home runs and OPS. I'm honestly wondering when the Diamondbacks are going to promote him to AAA.

Josh Vitters - Cubs - 21 - 3B (1st round, 2007)
.264/.306/.423, 5 HR, 25 RBI

Vitters has really shown himself to be a contact machine, as he has just 6 walks and 12 strikeouts in nearly 175 plate appearances. Vitters still remains the most likely player to replace Aramis Ramirez at 3B long-term for the Cubs, but may or may not be ready when Ramirez is eligible to be a free agent after 2012.

Jarrod Parker - Diamondbacks - 22 - SP (1st Round, 2007)
3-4, 5.86 ERA, 43 IP, 33 K, 23 BB

Parker is back after missing all of 2010 due to Tommy John surgery, and has been struggling with his command thus far. He should spend all of 2011 at AA, and hopefully will return to the form that made him a top draft pick before the end of the season.

Tim Beckham - Rays - 21 - SS (1st Round, 2008)
.298/.360/.435, 4 HR, 30 RBI, 3 SB

Beckham was the top pick in the 2008 draft, and is finally starting to show some life with the bat. The Rays could be looking at their future shortstop that they were hoping for when they drafted him. I believe he will stay at AA for the whole season, and could be in Tampa as soon as midseason 2012.