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MiLB Top 10 Prospects Flashback: 1995 Gulf Coast League

The Rookie-level Gulf Coast League is where many high school and international prospects make their first domestic pro appearances. The GCL is where superstars ranging from Sammy Sosa (1986) to Andruw Jones and Vladimir Guerrero (1994) to Clayton Kershaw (2006) to Juan Soto (2016) first gained helium.

In 1995 the Gulf Coast League featured 10 first-round picks from that year’s draft, including No. 1 prospect Chad Hermansen, No. 2 Andy Yount, No. 5 Roy Halladay and No. 6 Michael Barrett. Halladay developed into a Hall of Famer, while two of the best prospects in the league turned out to be not draft picks but Venezuelan shortstops Alex Gonzalez (No. 3) and Carlos Guillen (No. 4).

1995 Gulf Coast League Top 10 Prospects

1Chad HermansenSSGCL PiratesPirates541-2.5
2Andy YountRHPGCL Red SoxRed Sox
3Alex GonzalezSSGCL MarlinsMarlins5,52811.3
4Carlos GuillenSSGCL AstrosAstros5,27725.5
5Roy HalladayRHPGCL Blue JaysBlue Jays2,74971.1
6Michael BarrettSSGCL ExposExpos3,8735.9
7Julio RamirezOFGCL MarlinsMarlins103-0.5
8D'Angelo JimenezSSGCL YankeesYankees2,4807.7
9Carlos BeltranOFGCL RoyalsRoyals11,03167.9
10Gary Coffee1BGCL RoyalsRoyals

Halladay showcased a “93-94 mph fastball” and “above-average curve and slider,” though “nerves got the better of him” in his first few outings before he settled in. He struck out 48 batters and recorded a 3.40 ERA in 50 innings.

Beltran earned a comparison to a young Eric Davis from his own manager, because he had “exceptional speed and throws well.” Beltran hit .278 with five steals in 52 games in his pro debut but did not yet show the power he would later develop.

Guillen missed 1994 with a shoulder injury and did not play the field in 1995 because of an elbow injury. Injuries would continue to plague him throughout his 14-year big league career. In the GCL, Guillen showed “power to all fields,” was an “above-average basestealer” and had a “rifle arm.”

Managers singled out Gonzalez for his “exceptional hands, range, quickness and arm strength,” which were the foundation of his 16-year big league career.

Gulf 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.

1982Shawon DunstonSSGCL CubsCubs6,2767.4
1983Joel DavisRHPGCL White SoxWhite Sox2481.5
1984Drew DensonOFGCL BravesBraves440.0
1985Glen BraxtonOFGCL White SoxWhite Sox
1986Kevin DeanOFGCL ExposExpos
1987Mark MerchantOFGCL PiratesPirates
1988Hugh WalkerOFGCL RoyalsRoyals
1989Sterling HitchcockLHPGCL YankeesYankees1,2868.8
1990Rondell WhiteOFGCL ExposExpos5,85223.8
1991Cliff Floyd1BGCL ExposExpos6,06324.7
1992Johnny DamonOFGCL RoyalsRoyals10,91744.4
1993Julio SantanaRHPGCL RangersRangers4790.5
1994Sergio Nunez2BGCL RoyalsRoyals
1995Chad HermansenSSGCL PiratesPirates541-2.5
1996Luis RivasSSGCL TwinsTwins2,290-0.2
1997Marquis RobertsLHPGCL RaysRays
1998Juan RiveraOFGCL YankeesYankees3,7876.4
1999Chip AmbresOFGCL MarlinsMarlins218-0.4
2000Tony Blanco3BGCL Red SoxRed Sox65-0.6
2001Chad PettyLHPGCL TigersTigers
2002Hanley RamirezSSGCL Red SoxRed Sox7,12741.5
2003Eric Duncan3BGCL YankeesYankees
2004Luis SotoSSGCL Red SoxRed Sox
2005Andrew McCutchenOFGCL PiratesPirates6,84949.5
2006Clayton KershawLHPGCL DodgersDodgers2,29973.6
2007Michael BurgessOFGCL NationalsNationals
2008Aaron HicksOFGCL TwinsTwins2,57012.2
2009Christian BethancourtCGCL BravesBraves489-1.9
2010Gary SanchezCGCL YankeesYankees1,65511.6
2011Dante Bichette Jr.3BGCL YankeesYankees
2012Byron BuxtonOFGCL TwinsTwins1,4407.9
2013Austin MeadowsOFGCL PiratesPirates8474.6
2014Rafael Devers3BGCL Red SoxRed Sox1,5347.4
2015Anderson EspinozaRHPGCL Red SoxRed Sox
2016Mickey MoniakOFGCL PhilliesPhillies18-0.2
2017Royce LewisSSGCL TwinsTwins
2018Luis GarciaSSGCL PhilliesPhillies
2019Orelvis MartinezSS/3BGCL Blue JaysBlue Jays
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