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MiLB Top 10 Prospects Flashback: 1992 Pacific Coast League

In a bygone era, the Pacific Coast League was considered the top minor league in the land. It still occupies a spot at Triple-A, the top of the minor league hierarchy. All-time greats including Alex Rodriguez (1995), Mark McGwire (1986) and Tony Gwynn (1982) passed through the PCL on their way to the majors, but the 1992 prospect class was the one we chose to highlight.

Albuquerque teammates and future Hall of Famers Pedro Martinez (No. 3) and Mike Piazza (No. 5) headlined an unusually strong group that also included Tim Salmon (No. 1), the 1992 Minor League Player of the Year, and long-time big league middle infielders Bret Boone (No. 2), Damion Easley (No. 4) and Royce Clayton (No. 8).

1992 Pacific Coast League Top 10 Prospects

1Tim SalmonOFEdmontonAngels7,03935.4
2Bret Boone2BCalgaryMariners7,43323
3Pedro MartinezRHPAlbuquerqueDodgers2,82790
4Damion EasleySSEdmontonAngels6,21117.3
5Mike PiazzaCAlbuquerqueDodgers7,74563.7
6Andujar CedenoSSTucsonAstros2,238-1.9
7Pat MahomesRHPPortlandTwins709-0.8
8Royce ClaytonSSPhoenixGiants8,16418.2
9John Patterson2BPhoenixGiants636-0.4
10Reggie Jefferson1BColorado SpringsIndians2,3064

While Martinez would go on to become the best pitcher on the planet in the late ’90s, he faced questions as a prospect about his “poise” despite owning a “great fastball and circle-changeup.”

Piazza had the “tools to be a front-line big league catcher” after “improving his receiving skills.” Most notable was his power after he hit .341 with 16 homers in 94 games. Managers accurately noted that Piazza didn’t “pull the ball much . . . but he can reach the deepest fences in the yard.”

Salmon was the “unanimous top choice” in a banner year for the PCL. He led the minors with 29 homers and a .672 slugging percentage, leading one manager who had seen him at Double-A to say that “he’s improved tremendously with his ability to put the bat on the ball.”

Managers singled out Boone for his power, speed, glove and that he “flat-out hustles.” Easley had converted from center field to second base and was lauded for his speed, range, arm and “first-step quickness.” Clayton built a 17-year big league career on the strength of his “outstanding” defensive ability at shortstop.


Pacific Coast 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.

1981Candy MaldonadoOFAlbuquerqueDodgers4,59011.8
1982Dave AndersonSSAlbuquerqueDodgers2,2874.1
1983Juan Samuel2BPortlandPhillies6,66415.1
1984Darnell Coles3BSalt Lake CityMariners3,224-0.6
1985Jose CansecoOFTacomaAthletics8,12942.1
1986Glenn BraggsOFVancouverBrewers2,6096.3
1987Mike CampbellRHPCalgaryMariners233-1.5
1988Sandy Alomar Jr.CLas VegasPadres4,86513.2
1989Matt Williams3BPhoenixGiants7,59544.8
1990Jose OffermanSSAlbuquerqueDodgers6,58213.9
1991Kenny LoftonOFTucsonAstros9,23562.4
1992Tim SalmonOFEdmontonAngels7,03935.4
1993Darrell WhitmoreOFEdmontonMarlins357-1.3
1994Brian L. HunterOFTucsonAstros3,6595.2
1995Alex RodriguezSSTacomaMariners12,207113.7
1996Todd Walker3BSalt LakeTwins5,0559.5
1997Paul Konerko1B/3BAlbuquerqueDodgers9,50524.0
1998Troy Glaus3BVancouverAngels6,35534.3
1999Rick AnkielLHPMemphisCardinals2424.3
2000Ryan AndersonLHPTacomaMariners
2001Sean Burroughs3BPortlandPadres1,8235.2
2002Jesse FoppertRHPFresnoGiants122-0.1
2003Rich HardenRHPSacramentoAthletics92819.0
2004Casey Kotchman1BSalt LakeAngels3,4121.9
2005Felix HernandezRHPTacomaMariners2,73056.9
2006Stephen DrewSSTucsonD-backs4,91715.0
2007Yovani GallardoRHPNashvilleBrewers1,81720.8
2008Colby RasmusOFMemphisCardinals4,11918.4
2009Buster PoseyCFresnoGiants5,15352.7
2010Buster PoseyC/1BFresnoGiants5,15352.7
2011Brett Lawrie3BLas VegasBlue Jays2,4179.7
2012Wil MyersOF/3BOmahaRoyals3,24110.4
2013Oscar TaverasOFMemphisCardinals248-0.9
2014Kris Bryant3BIowaCubs3,17527.9
2015Corey SeagerSSOklahoma CityDodgers2,15619.0
2016Alex ReyesRHPMemphisCardinals562.1
2017Amed RosarioSSLas VegasMets1,4974.3
2018Kyle TuckerOFFresnoAstros2410.1
2019Yordan AlvarezOFFresnoAstros3783.9
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