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Top Prospect Alert

B.J. Garbe -- By Robert Sherry

My choice as the most athletic player available in the 1999 draft, this now 19-year-old was the fourth overall selection by the Minnesota Twins. In addition to being a star on the diamond in high school, Garbe was also a standout gridiron hero with his arm and his legs.

At 6-foot-2 and about 195 pounds, this right-handed batter has been timed at 4.1 seconds going down to first. This allows him to handle centerfield duties while possessing a rightfielder's arm.

At the plate, he has a very good swing and showed it at rookie-level Elizabethton, where he hit .316, with three home runs, 32 runs batted in, eight doubles, 33 runs scored, 20 walks, 34 strikeouts, and four steals in 171 at bats. Garbe did not show mch power but, I feel, with his swing and size that you will see this part of his game develop as he matures. Power is the only area right now that keeps me from tabbing him as a future five-tool star player. He also needs to show better pitch selection in the future compared to what he did in 1999.

Garbe is opening the 2000 season at Class-A Quad City out in the Midwest League. I would definitely label Garbe as one to watch in the future. The Twins have begun to assemble a very good nucleus of young talent. When you stick Garbe into the mix with the likes of Mike Cuddyer, Luis Rivas, Mike Restovich, and Matthew LeCroy, the Twins could have the players to eventually build another world championship team around. Watch for Garbe to arrive by around 2003.


 

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