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

By John Manuel
October 4, 2004


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

Chat Wrap: John Manuel took your Texas League questions

TOP 20 PROSPECTS
1. Felix Hernandez, rhp, San Antonio
2. Dallas McPherson, 3b, Arkansas
3. Jeff Francis, lhp, Tulsa
4. Shin-Soo Choo, of, San Antonio
5. Denny Bautista, rhp, Wichita
6. Sergio Santos, ss, El Paso
7. Carlos Quentin, of, El Paso
8. Ezequiel Astacio, rhp, Round Rock
9. Ian Kinsler, ss, Frisco
10. Alberto Callaspo, ss/2b, Arkansas
11. Conor Jackson, of, El Paso
12. Chris Snyder, c, El Paso
13. Jeff Mathis, c, Arkansas
14. Willy Taveras, of, Round Rock
15. Jason Botts, 1b, Frisco
16. *Mark Teahen, 3b, Midland
17. Ryan Shealy, 1b, Tulsa
18. D.J. Houlton, rhp, Round Rock
19. John Hudgins, rhp, Frisco
20. Dustin Nippert, rhp, El Paso
The Texas League had a big talent year, right? After all, Tulsa lefthander Jeff Francis won Baseball Americas Minor League Player of the Year award. An 18-year-old phenom throwing 97 mphSan Antonio righthander Felix Hernandezblazed through the league in the second half, part of a talent infusion that included El Paso outfielders Conor Jackson and Carlos Quentin and Frisco shortstop Ian Kinsler.

Nonetheless, managers were muted in their praise of TL prospects. None of the statistical leaders, including Francis, was seen as a sure-fire big league star. Arkansas prospects Casey Kotchman and Ervin Santana didnt have enough time in the league to qualify for the list, and young players such as Travelers Alberto Callaspo and Jeff Mathis and El Paso shortstop Sergio Santos had some difficulty adjusting to the higher level of play.

To me, it wasnt a banner year talent-wise, especially (the lack of) power pitchers, Frisco manager Tim Ireland said. There were three or four big-time guys, but not the depth the league should have.

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

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