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California League Top 20 Prospects

By Josh Boyd
September 25, 2002

1. Rocco Baldelli, of, Bakersfield Blaze (Devil Rays)
Baldelli entered the season as the other outfield prospect on the Blaze. But as injuries continued to cloud Josh Hamilton's future, Baldelli flourished. "He pretty much does it all," Stockton manager Jayhawk Owens said.

A potential five-tool star, Baldelli blitzed through the league before promotions to Double-A and Triple-A. About the only thing he didn't do was draw walks, but pitchers weren't able to exploit that weakness.

"He was the second- or third-best prospect I saw all year, next to Brandon Phillips and Mike Restovich," a well-traveled American League scout said. "He's a center fielder who hit and hit with power. He can fly and appears to have good makeup.

"He made adjustments for me. In one at-bat he'd wave at a breaking ball, but when they tried again he smoked it to right-center field."

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