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2004 Top 20 Prospects: California League
Complete Index of League Top 20s

By Kevin Goldstein
September 29, 2004


Subscribers can access scouting reports on all 20 players. (How to subscribe)

Chat Wrap: Kevin Goldstein took your California League questions

TOP 20 PROSPECTS
1. Felix Hernandez, rhp, Inland Empire (Mariners)
2. Matt Cain, rhp, San Jose (Giants)
3. Erick Aybar, ss, Rancho Cucamonga (Angels)
4. Carlos Quentin, of, Lancaster (Diamondbacks)
5. Conor Jackson, of, Lancaster (Diamondbacks)
6. Elijah Dukes, of, Bakersfield (Devil Rays)
7. Fred Lewis, of, San Jose (Giants)
8. Manny Parra, lhp, High Desert (Brewers)
9. Jon Zeringue, of, Lancaster (Diamondbacks)
10. Jeff Salazar, of, Visalia (Rockies)
11. John Danks, lhp, Stockton (Rangers)
12. Steven Shell, rhp, Rancho Cucamonga (Angels)
13. Jeff Baker, 3b, Visalia (Rockies)
14. Nate Schierholtz, 3b, San Jose (Giants)
15. Joaquin Arias, ss, Stockton (Rangers)
16. Jaime D'Antona, 3b, Lancaster (Diamondbacks)
17. Jason Hammel, rhp, Bakersfield (Devil Rays)
18. John Hudgins, rhp, Stockton (Rangers)
19. Omar Quintanilla, ss, Modesto (Athletics)
20. Enrique Gonzalez, rhp, Lancaster (Diamondbacks)
It was a tale of two halves in the high Class A California League, as four of the top five prospects were showcasing their talent in Double-A by the end of June.

The first half was dominated by young righthanders Felix Hernandez and Matt Cain, who also pitched well in Double-A as teenagers.

Those two are both so special, a scout said. They are so young and they obviously have amazing arms, but they both really know how to pitch, which is phenomenal.

A third righty, Visalias Ubaldo Jimenez, was just as spectacular in April, but a stress fracture in his shoulder blade shut him down for most of the remainder of the season. He made one more appearance on Aug. 1, lasting just two pitchesneither over 62 mph.

Jimenez, who didn't have enough innings to qualify for this list, threw consistently in the high 90s. He projects as a closer because of his violent delivery and inconsistent offspeed offerings.

Offensively, Lancaster's "Three Amigos"outfielders Carlos Quentin and Conor Jackson, third baseman Jamie DAntonawreaked havoc in the first half. Arizonas first three picks in the 2003 draft combined to hit .323-39-162 in 70 games before being promoted en masse to Double-A.

Subscribers can access scouting reports on all 20 players. (How to subscribe)

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