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MiLB Top 10 Prospects Flashback: 1998 Texas League

No Minor League Top 10 Prospects ranking in BA history has produced more value, as measured by WAR, than the Texas League class of 1998. Among its top 10 were five future all-star position players, plus Freddy Garcia, the ace of the 2001 Mariners, the winningest team in history.

1998 Texas League Top 10 Prospects

1Adrian Beltre3BSan AntonioDodgers12,13084.1
2Troy Glaus3BMidlandAngels6,35534.3
3J.D. DrewOFArkansasCardinals6,15346
4Freddy GarciaRHPJacksonAstros2,26438.1
5Carlos BeltranOFWichitaRoyals11,03167.9
6Ruben MateoOFTulsaRangers951-1.6
7Angel PenaCSan AntonioDodgers2060.1
8Carlos Febles2BWichitaRoyals1,8920.8
9Peter BergeronOFSan AntonioDodgers1,256-4
10Lance BerkmanOFJacksonAstros7,81455.9

Adrian Beltre (No. 1) spent half the season in the Texas League, hitting .321 with 13 homers in 64 games, and the other half in the big leagues as a 19-year-old. “He can do just about everything,” one manager said. Curiously, Beltre’s fielding at third base was viewed as his “weakest area” at the time; he went on to win five Gold Gloves in 21 big league seasons.

Troy Glaus (No. 2), the third overall pick in 1997, was in Anaheim by the end of 1998. In the Texas League, he showed “above-average power,” and “good mobility and arm strength.”

J.D. Drew (No. 3) made his affiliated debut in the Texas League, where he was viewed as the “complete package,” before moving quickly to Triple-A after 19 games on his way to St. Louis. Drew was lauded for “his compact swing, his speed, his arm and his effortless defense.”

Carlos Beltran (No. 5) showed “the physical tools to be a superstar.” His five-tool ability was on display, including a “nice arm, good speed and a quick, powerful bat.”

Lance Berkman’s (No. 10) bat was regarded as “something special” by his general manager. In the TL he “showed power from both sides of the plate” but not much defensive acumen.

Freddy Garcia (No. 4) was regarded as a “classic power pitcher” who hit 98 mph. The Astros traded him to Seattle for Randy Johnson during the 1998 season. “He’s got a good hook and a very live fastball,” one manager reported. “The only thing holding him back is his command.”

Texas 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.

1981Steve Sax2BSan AntonioDodgers7,63222.6
1982Darryl StrawberryOFJacksonMets6,32641.5
1983Sid FernandezLHPSan AntonioDodgers1,86734.3
1984Calvin SchiraldiRHPJacksonMets5532.5
1985Juan NievesLHPEl PasoBrewers4912.6
1986Shawn HillegasRHPSan AntonioDodgers5150.8
1987Gregg Jefferies3B/SSJacksonMets6,07220.2
1988Ramon MartinezRHPSan AntonioDodgers1,89624.6
1989Ray LankfordOFArkansasCardinals6,67539.8
1990Anthony YoungRHPJacksonMets4601.7
1991Ivan RodriguezCTulsaRangers10,27069.2
1992Raul MondesiOFSan AntonioDodgers6,36926.5
1993Ben Van RynLHPSan AntonioDodgers16-0.2
1994Darren DreifortRHPSan AntonioDodgers8736.0
1995Johnny DamonOFWichitaRoyals10,91744.4
1996Paul Konerko1BSan AntonioDodgers9,50524.0
1997Fernando Tatis3BTulsaRangers3,4686.8
1998Adrian Beltre3BSan AntonioDodgers12,13084.1
1999Rick AnkielLHPArkansasCardinals2424.3
2000Roy OswaltRHPRound RockAstros2,24553.9
2001Hank Blalock3BTulsaRangers3,9289.2
2002Mark Teixeira3BTulsaRangers8,02944.7
2003Chin-Hui TsaoRHPTulsaRockies97-0.3
2004Felix HernandezRHPSan AntonioMariners2,73056.9
2005Howie Kendrick2BArkansasAngels6,37531.1
2006Alex Gordon3BWichitaRoyals7,14232.0
2007Colby RasmusOFSpringfieldCardinals4,11918.4
2008Dexter FowlerOFTulsaRockies5,81921.2
2009Mat LatosRHPSan AntonioPadres1,15316.7
2010Mike Moustakas3BNorthwest ArkansasRoyals4,57116.3
2011Mike TroutOFArkansasAngels5,37274.4
2012Jurickson ProfarSSFriscoRangers1,9244.2
2013George SpringerOFCorpus ChristiAstros3,43325.1
2014Joey Gallo3BFriscoRangers1,6559.5
2015Julio UriasLHPTulsaDodgers2073.9
2016Alex BregmanSS/3BCorpus ChristiAstros2,34521.1
2017Walker BuehlerRHPTulsaDodgers3487.8
2018Fernando Tatis Jr.SSSan AntonioPadres3,4686.8
2019Gavin LuxSSTulsaDodgers820.2

All-Time Baseball America No. 1 Prospects

Here are the all-time No. 1 Baseball America prospects, including 2019 No. 1 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As an added bonus, we've included who was No. 2 each year as well.

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