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
|1||Adrian Beltre||3B||San Antonio||Dodgers||12,130||84.1|
|7||Angel Pena||C||San Antonio||Dodgers||206||0.1|
|9||Peter Bergeron||OF||San Antonio||Dodgers||1,256||-4|
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.
|1981||Steve Sax||2B||San Antonio||Dodgers||7,632||22.6|
|1983||Sid Fernandez||LHP||San Antonio||Dodgers||1,867||34.3|
|1985||Juan Nieves||LHP||El Paso||Brewers||491||2.6|
|1986||Shawn Hillegas||RHP||San Antonio||Dodgers||515||0.8|
|1988||Ramon Martinez||RHP||San Antonio||Dodgers||1,896||24.6|
|1992||Raul Mondesi||OF||San Antonio||Dodgers||6,369||26.5|
|1993||Ben Van Ryn||LHP||San Antonio||Dodgers||16||-0.2|
|1994||Darren Dreifort||RHP||San Antonio||Dodgers||873||6.0|
|1996||Paul Konerko||1B||San Antonio||Dodgers||9,505||24.0|
|1998||Adrian Beltre||3B||San Antonio||Dodgers||12,130||84.1|
|2000||Roy Oswalt||RHP||Round Rock||Astros||2,245||53.9|
|2004||Felix Hernandez||RHP||San Antonio||Mariners||2,730||56.9|
|2009||Mat Latos||RHP||San Antonio||Padres||1,153||16.7|
|2010||Mike Moustakas||3B||Northwest Arkansas||Royals||4,571||16.3|
|2013||George Springer||OF||Corpus Christi||Astros||3,433||25.1|
|2016||Alex Bregman||SS/3B||Corpus Christi||Astros||2,345||21.1|
|2018||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SS||San Antonio||Padres||3,468||6.8|