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2001 Top 10 Prospects
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Florida Marlins Top 10 Prospects
Index of Top 10 Prospects for all 30 Major League Teams

By Mike Berardino

1. Josh Beckett, rhp

Age: 21. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 190. Bats: R. Throws: R. Drafted: HS–Spring, Texas, 1999 (1st round). Signed by: Bob Laurie.

Marlins Top Prospects

1993 Nigel Wilson, of
1994 Charles Johnson, c
1995 Charles Johnson, c
1996 Edgar Renteria, ss
1997 Felix Heredia, lhp
1998 Mark Kotsay, of
1999 A.J. Burnett, rhp
2000 A.J. Burnett, rhp
2001 Josh Beckett, rhp

Background: Beckett was the first high school righthander drafted as high as second overall since Bill Gullickson 20 years earlier. He opened 2001 at Class A Brevard County just hoping to stay healthy all season. He had a serious scare after two tours on the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis in 2000. Offseason tests diagnosed a small tear in his labrum, fraying in his rotator cuff, biceps tendinitis and an impingement. Dr. James Andrews advised against surgery. Beckett worked hard to rehabilitate his shoulder in the winter, then came out firing. He dominated both the Florida State League and the Double-A Eastern League. His big league debut against the Cubs was one of the most anticipated Marlins games of the year. He delivered with six innings of one-hit ball, including a couple of epic showdowns with Sammy Sosa. Beckett capped his season with Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year award.

Strengths: Beckett has a prototypical power pitcher’s build and a true No. 1 starter’s repertoire and makeup. His four-seam fastball can touch 97 mph, but he’d rather pitch at 93-94 and get easy outs with his sinker. He has a dazzling 12-to-6 curveball and a plus changeup with excellent arm speed and deception. Beckett’s delivery is smooth, making the ball get on top of hitters in a hurry. He has a maturity beyond his years, easily trading barbs with older players, writers and club officials and always looking people in the eye. He’s good, knows he’s good and would never think of shrinking from his apparent destiny.

Weaknesses: Beckett can be stubborn and too hard on himself. He’s still learning to channel his emotions. He needs to get better at holding runners but won’t sacrifice too much of his stuff toward that aim. Beckett is athletic but just an adequate fielder. He continues to mature physically and improve his conditioning.

The Future: Barring a health setback, Beckett will open 2002 in the Marlins rotation. Club officials were ecstatic with his poise and performance during the callup. It won’t be long before he fulfills the promise scouts have long predicted for him. In fact, that could happen in 2002.

2001 Club (Class)WLERAGGSCGSVIPHBBSO
Florida221.50440024141124
Portland (AA)811.82131300745019102
Brevard County (A)601.23131200663215101

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