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MiLB Top 10 Prospects Flashback: 1990 Florida State League



As a 14-team league with favorable early-season weather and access to spring complexes, the high Class A Florida State League has seen its share of elite talent. The list includes Roger Clemens and Bret Saberhagen in 1983, Randy Johnson and John Smoltz in 1986, Frank Thomas in 1989, Derek Jeter in 1994, Scott Rolen in 1995, Roy Halladay in 1996, Adrian Beltre and David Ortiz in 1997, Miguel Cabrera in 2002 and Justin Verlander in 2005.

The Florida State League in 1990 boasted transcendent young catcher Ivan Rodriguez (No. 1) plus two late-round draft picks out of college who far exceeded expectations. That makes it our pick for signature FSL prospect class.

1990 Florida State League Top 10 Prospects

NoPlayerPosTeamOrgPA/IPWAR
1Ivan RodriguezCCharlotteRangers10,27069.2
2Jeff JudenRHPOsceolaAstros5331.1
3Denis BoucherLHPDunedinBlue Jays1460.0
4Nikco Riesgo1BSt. LucieMets100.0
5Kenny LoftonOFOsceolaAstros9,23562.4
6Jeff Kent2BDunedinBlue Jays9,53756
7Ivan Cruz1BLakelandTigers580.0
8Mike TimlinRHPDunedinBlue Jays1,20418.1
9John JohnstoneRHPSt. LucieMets2781.5
10D.J. DozierOFSt. LucieMets54-0.2

Rodriguez zoomed to the FSL at age 18 and drew immediate attention for his arm and rapid rate improvement. “He has really handled himself well behind the plate,” his manager said. “And I really think he is going to be a pretty decent hitter.”

Kenny Lofton (No. 5) finished second in the FSL batting race (.331) and also in stolen bases (62), which was remarkable given it was his first full pro season. He had completed his college basketball eligibility at Arizona in 1989 before focusing exclusively on baseball. The Astros wisely snagged Lofton as a 17th-round pick in 1988 after he played just five games for the Wildcats' baseball team.

Jeff Kent (No. 6) slipped to the 20th round out of California in 1989 but made an immediate impression as a pro. Kent placed second in the FSL with both 16 homers and 32 doubles, showing big power for a middle infielder in a pitcher’s league.

Florida State League All-Time BA No. 1 Prospects

Players listed with career major league plate appearances/innings and FanGraphs WAR. Stats for active players current through mid August.

YearPlayerPosTeamOrgPA/IPWAR
1981Danny Tartabull2B/3BTampaReds5,84222.6
1982Sid FernandezLHPVero BeachDodgers1,86734.3
1983Jose RijoRHPFort LauderdaleYankees1,88036.5
1984Mike RamseyOFVero BeachDodgers138-0.7
1985Greg MayberryRHPVero BeachDodgers
1986Ron JonesOFClearwaterPhillies2641.5
1987Ramon MartinezRHPVero BeachDodgers1,89624.6
1988Chris NichtingRHPVero BeachDodgers112-0.4
1989Chris Donnels3BSt. LucieMets9101.0
YearPlayerPosTeamOrgPA/IPWAR
1990Ivan RodriguezCCharlotteRangers10,27069.2
1991Phil Hiatt3BBaseball CityRoyals463-1.1
1992Carlos DelgadoCDunedinBlue Jays8,65744.1
1993Rod HendersonRHPWest Palm BeachExpos10-0.4
1994Derek JeterSSTampaYankees12,60273.1
1995Scott Rolen3BClearwaterPhillies8,51869.9
1996Kerry WoodRHPDaytonaCubs1,38026.3
1997Adrian Beltre3BVero BeachDodgers12,13084.1
1998Ryan BradleyRHPTampaYankees13-0.1
1999Vernon WellsOFDunedinBlue Jays7,21225.1
YearPlayerPosTeamOrgPA/IPWAR
2000Kevin MenchOFCharlotteRangers2,5978.7
2001Josh BeckettRHPBrevard CountyMarlins2,05137.2
2002Mark Teixeira3BCharlotteRangers8,02944.7
2003Joe MauerCFort MyersTwins7,96052.5
2004Joel GuzmanSSVero BeachDodgers62-0.2
2005Andy LaRoche3BVero BeachDodgers1,336-0.2
2006Homer BaileyRHPSarasotaReds1,39910.2
2007Jay BruceOFSarasotaReds6,55520.5
2008Rick PorcelloRHPLakelandTigers2,06223.5
2009Giancarlo StantonOFJupiterMarlins4,95139.7
YearPlayerPosTeamOrgPA/IPWAR
2010Matt MooreLHPCharlotteRays8956.4
2011Shelby MillerRHPPalm BeachCardinals7587.9
2012Jose FernandezRHPJupiterMarlins47113.6
2013Byron BuxtonOFFort MyersTwins1,4407.9
2014Tyler GlasnowRHPBradentonPirates2791.8
2015Alex ReyesRHPPalm BeachCardinals562.1
2016Amed RosarioSSSt. LucieMets1,4974.3
2017Vladimir Guerrero Jr.3BDunedinBlue Jays6110.2
2018Royce LewisSSFort MyersTwins
2019Wander FrancoSSCharlotteRays
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