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Martin Perez, Engel Beltre Among Top Texas League Prospects

Baseball America ranked Martin Perez as the fifth best prospect in the Texas League, despite a 5.96 ERA and issues with his command.

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Because he's just 19, scouts focus on what Perez shows when he's at his best, which is electric stuff and an aggressive approach. He has a 91-95 mph fastball with good sink, and he has the ability to reach back for more. His curveball is sharp and should be a plus pitch when he gets more consistent with it. He also shows good feel for a changeup.

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 Engel Beltre ranked 18th on the list, after ranking 5th on the California League list.

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Beltre has gotten bigger and stronger in the last couple of seasons and can put a charge in the ball on occasion. He has the raw power to hit double-digit home runs, but he usually just takes pitches to the opposite field. He struggles against breaking stuff but did a better job this season of cutting down on his strikeouts.

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Perez and Beltre will likely rank among the organization's top five prospects this offseason. The pair also represent possibly the most fruitful stretch of talent acquisition in the organization's history: the summer of 2007. Perez headlined the summer's international class, while Beltre was one of many high ceiling players added via deadline deals. Top 2007 draft pick Blake Beavan, dealt for Cliff Lee, ranked 9th on the list.

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Royals prospects dominated this list, ranking 1, 2, 3 and 6. KC will likely top most organizational talent rankings this winter.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.