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2004 Top 100 Prospects

February 27, 2004

2004 Prospect Handbook
Detailed Scouting Reports
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The 2004 Prospect Handbook

Baseball America's 15th annual Top 100 Prospects list reflects each player's long-term major league value, considering both his ceiling and the likelihood that he reaches that potential. All players who haven't exceeded the rookie limits of 130 at-bats and 50 innings were eligible, regardless of big league service time. Editor in chief Allan Simpson, managing editor Will Lingo, executive editor Jim Callis, national writer John Manuel and former national writer Josh Boyd (now an area scout with the Padres) compiled the top 100 in consultation with general managers, scouting directors, farm directors, scouts, managers, instructors and other Baseball America correspondents and staff members. Executive Editor Jim Callis wrote the summaries. ETA is our estimate of when the player will become a big league regular.

1-25     26-50     51-75     76-100     Breakdown

26. Angel Guzman rhp, Cubs

Eventually could emerge as the No. 2 starter in Chicago's rotation, behind Mark Prior but ahead of Kerry Wood. ETA: 2005

Jeff Francoeur
No. 27: Jeff Francoeur

27. Jeff Francoeur of, Braves

Atlanta already has one all-around star center fielder in Andruw Jones, and here comes another. ETA: 2006

28. Jeremy Hermida of, Marlins

As with many polished lefthanded hitters, his power should be his last tool to develop. ETA: 2006

29. Ervin Santana rhp, Angels

Hard to argue with a fastball that hits 98 mph, a slider that touches 87 and solid command. ETA: 2005

30. Felix Hernandez rhp, Mariners

Seems too good to be true, already flashing two plus-plus pitches and entering the season as a 17-year-old. ETA: 2006

31. Franklin Gutierrez of, Dodgers

His power is exactly what Los Angeles needs, and he can play center field to boot. ETA: 2005

32. Bobby Crosby ss, Athletics

Won't totally replace Miguel Tejada's production, but Oakland won't be pining for Tejada either. ETA: 2004

Dallas McPherson
No. 33: Dallas McPherson

33. Dallas McPherson 3b, Angels

Hard to start a draft better than Anaheim did in 2001 with Kotchman, Mathis and McPherson. ETA: 2005

34. Scott Hairston 2b, Diamondbacks

Grabbed much more of the family's power-hitting ability than Jerry, much like Cal Ripken Jr. vs. Billy. ETA: 2005

35. Guillermo Quiroz c, Blue Jays

Toronto's patience paid off, as his bat finally caught up with his defensive prowess the last two years. ETA: 2004

36. Kyle Sleeth rhp, Tigers

There is some hope in Detroit, as Jeremy Bonderman and Sleeth should give the Tigers a nice 1-2 punch. ETA: 2005

37. Sergio Santos ss, Diamondbacks

Like organization-mate Scott Hairston, Santos probably isn't a middle infielder but boy, can he mash. ETA: 2005

38. John VanBenschoten rhp, Pirates

Former NCAA home run champ went 26 consecutive starts without a loss in 2002-03. ETA: 2004

39. Hanley Ramirez ss, Red Sox

Won't make anyone forget what might have been with A-Rod, but he can be a special shortstop in his own right. ETA: 2006

40. Merkin Valdez rhp, Giants

Nice job by San Francisco to swipe him from Atlanta in the Russ Ortiz-Damian Moss trade. ETA: 2005

Dioner Navarro
No. 41: Dioner Navarro

41. Dioner Navarro c, Yankees

The one blue-chip prospect in the Yankees system finds himself blocked by Jorge Posada. ETA: 2005

42. James Loney 1b, Dodgers

Wrist woes muted the power of first-base studs Loney, Brad Nelson, Jason Stokes and Adrian Gonzalez last year. ETA: 2005

43. Joe Blanton rhp, Athletics

The lone "Moneyball" first-rounder who should live up to his hype, Blanton combines power and command. ETA: 2005

44. Jeff Allison rhp, Marlins

Had the best fastball and the best curveball in the 2003 draft, when Florida stole him with the 16th pick. ETA: 2006

Clint nageotte
No. 45: Clint Nageotte

45. Clint Nageotte rhp, Mariners

His killer slider is in the same class as those of Francisco Rodriguez, John Smoltz and Ryan Wagner. ETA: 2004

46. Ryan Wagner rhp, Reds

Wagner's slider misses so many bats that he reached the majors 46 days after going in 2003's first round. ETA: 2004

47. Blake Hawksworth rhp, Cardinals

Not many high schools have matched Sammamish (Wash.) Eastlake's co-2001 aces: Hawksworth and Andy Sisco. ETA: 2005

48. Brad Nelson of/1b, Brewers

Has only a little less power than future Brewers teammate Prince Fielder. ETA: 2005

49. Adam Wainwright rhp, Cardinals

The key to the J.D. Drew trade for St. Louis could be summoned quickly to bolster the big league rotation. ETA: 2004

50. Taylor Buchholz rhp, Astros

Became Houston's top prospect as soon as he left Philadelphia in the Billy Wagner deal. ETA: 2005

1-25     26-50     51-75     76-100     Breakdown

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