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2004 Top 20 Prospects: Pacific Coast League
Complete Index of League Top 20s

By Jim Callis
October 8, 2004


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

Chat Wrap: Jim Callis took your PCL questions


TOP 20 PROSPECTS
1. Casey Kotchman, 1b, Salt Lake
2. Dallas McPherson, 3b, Salt Lake
3. Edwin Jackson, rhp, Las Vegas
4. Nick Swisher, of, Sacramento
5. Jose Lopez, inf, Tacoma
6. Jeremy Reed, of, Tacoma
7. Chris Burke, 2b, New Orleans
8. Joe Blanton, rhp, Sacramento
9. Juan Dominguez, rhp, Oklahoma
10. Yadier Molina, c, Memphis
11. Clint Nageotte, rhp, Tacoma
12. Ryan Church, of, Edmonton
13. Dan Johnson, 1b, Sacramento
14. Freddy Guzman, of, Portland
15. Clint Barmes, ss, Colorado Springs
16. Luis Terrero, of, Tucson
17. Garrett Atkins, 3b, Colorado Springs
18. Bobby Madritsch, lhp, Tacoma
19. Brendan Harris, inf, Iowa/Edmonton
20. Noah Lowry, lhp, Fresno
It was far from a good year for talent in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Just don't tell that to fans of the Salt Lake Stingers or the pitchers who had to face them.

After the Angels demoted Casey Kotchman from the majors on June 14 and promoted Dallas McPherson from Double-A eight days later, Salt Lake could boast not only the two best prospects in the PCL, but two of the best in the entire minors. Neither wasted any time savaging Triple-A pitching, as Kotchman had three multihit games in his first four starts, and McPherson homered 10 times in his first 20 contests.

Neither let up, as Kotchman batted .372-5-38 in 49 games and McPherson hit .313-20-57 in 67. Kotchman's batting average and McPherson's .680 slugging percentage would have led the PCL if they had enough plate appearances. PCL observers were fairly split on which one will be a better big leaguer, with Kotchman getting a slight nod.

"I'd take Kotchman," one scout said. "I think he's a more consistent hitter and he'll give you more quality at-bats. He has the chance to develop power close to McPherson's. Day in and day out, he's going to be a more productive player."

As exciting as Kotchman and McPherson were, league-wide pitching was just as disappointing. The best arm in the PCL belonged to Las Vegas' Edwin Jackson, but he never seemed fully healthy and posted a 5.86 ERA. Colorado's Jeff Francis, Memphis' Dan Haren and Omaha's Zack Greinke all could stake a claim to being the league's top pitching prospect, but none of them qualified for this list.

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

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