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Florida State League Top 20 Prospects

By Josh Boyd
September 25, 2002

1. Mark Teixeira, 3b, Charlotte Rangers
Teixeira's pro career began inauspiciously in spring training, when he injured his forearm. Despite worries that he might need Tommy John surgery, which would have delayed his debut until 2003, he came back in June and quickly became one of the most feared bats in the minors.

Like Blalock, who was the top position prospect in the league a year ago, Teixeira is on the fast track to Arlington. After tuning up in Charlotte, he finished the season by hitting .316-10-28 in 48 games for Tulsa.

Some managers and scouts say it's only a matter of time before Teixeira's below-average arm strength and Blalock's presence will force a move across the diamond to first base. But Teixeira's bat will play regardless of where he ends up defensively.

"He's a tremendously strong hitter," Charlotte manager Darryl Kennedy said. "He's so strong he can mishit a ball and still hit it out of the park."

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