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2005 Best Tools: Triple-A
Selected by League Managers
Monday: Low A - Midwest and South Atlantic Leagues
Tuesday: High A - California, Carolina and Florida State Leagues
Wednesday: Double-A - Eastern, Southern and Texas Leagues
Thursday: Triple-A - International and Pacific Coast Leagues
Friday: Major Leagues
Quotes of Note
"I had heard a lot about him from a couple of scouts. He made everything look so easy; even the hard plays were easy for him. Everything he did was effortless. Very rarely do you get excited about watching guys play defense, even routine plays. He is a very exciting guy to watch. I'd come to watch him play defense."
--Tucson manager Chip Hale on Tacoma shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt
"I see two things that are strange. I see very little movement, but along with that, he has some considerable pop off the bat which tells me he has very strong hands."
--Memphis manager Danny Sheaffer on Tucson first baseman Conor Jackson
"We faced him too many times. He is the real deal. I got him down as the best pitching prospect, best fastball and also the best breaking ball. That kind of sums it up for me. He can just dominate you. I had a chance to watch him in the Texas League and mature at this level. The total package."
--Round Rock manager Jackie Moore on Tacoma righthander Felix Hernandez
"He's filthy. We're talking three big league pitches, and everything looks easy. I saw him in the bullpen the day after his start and he looked like he was self-operating. He pounds the zone with all his stuff and he holds runners--well, he held our only runner--very well. He's a lefty with power stuff. You can't ask for too much more."
--Indianapolis manager Trent Jewett on Rochester lefthander Francisco Liriano
"From last year to this year, he's a lot leaner. He's a more complete hitter, being able to get to the inside fastball a little bit better. He's starting to pull the ball a little more and you're seeing him hitting for power more consistently because he's able to handle pitches on the inner half of the plate."
--Syracuse manager Marty Pevey on Scranton/Wilkes-Barre first baseman Ryan Howard
"He's a Baseball America Best Tools player. He glides around the bases when he's going from first to third. He's just still working at shortstop and understanding how to play the position. He's going to get stronger and he's still learning how to keep his body under control. A lot of people forget this kid is still 20 years old."
--Durham manager Bill Evers on Bulls shortstop B.J. Upton