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2005 Top 100 Prospects: 1-25
March 3, 2005
Baseball America's 16th annual Top 100 Prospects list reflects each player's long-term major league value, balancing his ceiling and his chances of maximizing his potential. Players who have not exceeded the rookie limits of 130 at-bats and 50 innings, regardless of their big league service time, are eligible for the list. Editor in chief Allan Simpson, managing editor Will Lingo, executive editor Jim Callis and assistant managing editor John Manuel put together the top 100 after consulting with general managers, scouting directors, farm directors, scouts, managers and instructors. And yes, we analyzed statistical performance as well. Jim Callis compiled the quotes for each player from Baseball America staff and correspondent interviews. Managers are identified with the teams they were with in 2004.
JOE MAUER, c, Twins Scouting Report
"We had some concern from the start that he was bigger than the normal catcher. But Joe Mauer is not normal, from his mind to his tools to his heart."
--Twins scouting director Mike Radcliff
FELIX HERNANDEZ, rhp, Mariners Scouting Report
"He's the best I've seen in the last three or four years, and he's right up there with the great stuff guys I've ever seen."
DELMON YOUNG, of, Devil Rays Scouting Report
"He changes the outcome of every game with his power and his arm."
--Charleston (W.Va.) manager Ken Joyce
IAN STEWART, 3b, Rockies Scouting Report
"He's athletic and he's got some juice in his bat, and I like his haircut."
--Savannah manager Bob Henley
JOEL GUZMAN, ss, Dodgers Scouting Report
"He's Juan Gonzalez waiting to happen."
CASEY KOTCHMAN, 1b, Angels Scouting Report
"He's such a good hitter and he's still developing. I think he'll easily hit 30-plus homers in the majors."
SCOTT KAZMIR, lhp, Devil Rays Scouting Report
"You'll know why we traded for him when you see him pitch. He's got outstanding stuff."
--Devil Rays general manager Chuck LaMar
RICKIE WEEKS, 2b, Brewers Scouting Report
"He has the tools, he's smart, he's a good person and he has the work ethic. He's going to be outstanding."
ANDY MARTE, 3b, Braves Scouting Report
"There's nothing not to like about Andy Marte. He's an outstanding defender with a chance to be an impact player offensively."
--Birmingham manager Razor Shines
HANLEY RAMIREZ, ss, Red Sox Scouting Report
"What a young talent. He makes the game look so easy."
--Fort Myers manager Jose Marzan
LASTINGS MILLEDGE, of, Mets Scouting Report
"He's a double threat because of his power and his ability to lead off and make things happen on the bases."
--Greensboro manager Steve Phillips
DALLAS McPHERSON, 3b, Angels Scouting Report
"Every mistake we made, he made us pay for. He has an easy swing and natural power."
--San Antonio manager Dave Brundage
MATT CAIN, rhp, Giants Scouting Report
"With his stuff and maturity level, you look at that package and think front-of-the-rotation starter."
JEFF FRANCOEUR, of, Braves Scouting Report
"He has it all and his makeup is off the charts."
PRINCE FIELDER, 1b, Brewers Scouting Report
"I think he'll be a more complete hitter than his dad was, especially if he avoids losing control of his body."
ADAM MILLER, rhp, Indians Scouting Report
"He was dirty. His fastball and slider were more than plus."
--Lakewood manager P.J. Forbes
JASON KUBEL, of, Twins Scouting Report
"I call him Mr. Doubles. He hits the ball low and uses all fields, so he's going to hit a lot of doubles."
--Rochester broadcaster/former big league manager Joe Altobelli
JEREMY HERMIDA, of, Marlins Scouting Report
"He's a hitter. That's a beautiful swing."
--Sarasota manager Todd Claus
CHAD BILLINGSLEY, rhp, Dodgers Scouting Report
"He's just a kid with an overpowering fastball and overpowering slider. He's mature beyond his years."
--Dodgers scouting director Logan White
JEFF NIEMANN, rhp, Devil Rays Scouting Report
"He's truly unique because he's got four pitches and he can use those pitches, yet he's a power guy."
--Devil Rays general manager Chuck LaMar
BRIAN DOPIRAK, 1b, Cubs Scouting Report
"When the ball comes off his bat, it's like hitting a golf ball with an aluminum bat."
--Kane County manager Dave Joppie
CARLOS QUENTIN, of, Diamondbacks Scouting Report
"He improved in every phase. He didn't need to improve in some."
--Diamondbacks assistant general manager Bob Miller
JEFF FRANCIS, lhp, Rockies Scouting Report
"His fastball seems like it's going 97, he's throwing it downhill and does it so easy."
--Arkansas manager Tyrone Boykin
NICK SWISHER, of, Athletics Scouting Report
"He walks but he's not passive. He wants to hit and makes you throw him his pitch."
JOSE CAPELLAN, rhp, Brewers Scouting Report
"Capellan throws in the high 90s, and it is effortless."
--Chattanooga manager Jayhawk Owens