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Gulf Coast League Top 20 Prospects

By Allan Simpson
September 19, 2002

1. Hanley Ramirez, ss, Red Sox
Managers were so enthralled with Ramirez' five-tool ability that they compared him to Alex Rodriguez and Nomar Garciaparra at the same stage of their careers.

"He's awesome," Orioles manager Jesus Alfaro said. "He's tall and thin like A-Rod, and has similar actions. He's got range and arm strength, and is capable of making the spectacular play. And he's an outstanding hitter."

"He has the gift," Reds manager Edgar Caceres said. "He has great bat speed and should hit for both power and average. There are no holes in his swing."

Ramirez' bat is his best tool. He hit .341 for the Red Sox – second in the league – and outdid himself when he was promoted to the New York-Penn League for the final 19 games. He hit .379 there and was named the short-season circuit's No. 1 prospect.

"He's on the fast track to the big leagues and should get there quicker than anyone," Twins manager Rudy Hernandez said. "He may end up at third base, but he has the bat to play there."

While managers universally praised Ramirez' can't-miss talent, they were also unanimous in their concern for his lackadaisical, sometimes cocky approach to the game.

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