2005 Top 20 Prospects: California LeagueComplete Index of League Top 20s
By Kevin Goldstein
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The Rockies' Modesto affiliate garnered the most attention with five players in the Top 20. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, the seventh overall pick in the June draft, would have made it six if not for a torn quadriceps that prevented him from qualifying.
“He hit, he hit for power, he made all the plays in the field, and every time I saw him he was limping,” one American League scout said. “So once he’s 100 percent, he should be fantastic.”
The two top-rated prospects in the 2004 draft, righthanders Jered Weaver (Angels) and Jeff Niemann (Devil Rays), also left a strong impression during Cal League stints that were too brief for them to make this list. Weaver showed excellent command of a 90-92 mph fastball, a slider and a changeup. Niemann, who was never at 100 percent, had plenty of life and deception with his 90-93 mph fastball, but he still was well off the high-90s velocity he showed at Rice.