MLB Draft 2002

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Tuesday, June 4
Player capsules

Associated Press

Some of the top players eligible for Tuesday's first-year player baseball draft (with position, school, height, weight, class and age):

2B-SS, North Carolina, 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, Jr., 21

Excellent baserunner and leadoff hitter who had 45 stolen bases. Left-handed line-drive hitter could be first college position player drafted. Has been solid as shortstop, second baseman, third baseman and right fielder, but has average arm. Cape Cod League's top pro prospect last summer hit .370 with seven homers and 55 RBIs for Tar Heels this season.

3B, Clemson, 6-1, 200, Jr., 20

Tigers' career home run leader started season poorly but came on strong to hit .333 with 24 homers and 79 RBIs through regionals. Scouts recognize bat speed and power ability, but also point out looping swing that could produce lots of strikeouts at pro level. Has developed into fine defensive player and is still improving footwork around third base.

RHP, Kentucky, 6-2, 210, Jr., 21

Had inconsistent season, as indicated by 5-7 record and 4.59 ERA, but showed ability to dominate -- as he did when he struck out 16 against Ball State in March. Struck out school-record 133 in 100 innings. Scouts like his solid mechanics and pinpoint control of 92-mph fastball, to go along with good curve, slider and changeup.

RHP, Rutgers, 6-1, 210, Jr., 21

Hailed as top college pitcher before season, but stock dipped after bout of elbow tendinitis sapped some velocity and he didn't dominate as he did last summer with Team USA. Finished season 6-6 with 3.50 ERA, but showed poise and maintained excellent control even when he didn't have best stuff. Scouts hope he'll get heavy fastball back up to mid-90s consistently with some rest, and think his build and mental makeup could make him solid major leaguer.

RHP, Ball State, 6-5, 210, Jr., 21

Mid-American Conference career strikeouts leader with 370 could be first player selected. Started slow, but finished 11-3 with 2.84 ERA, 139 strikeouts and 18 walks in 104 2-3 innings. Fastball hits 92-94 mph and mixes it with hard slider and tough curve. Came back to pitch three days after taking line drive to the face that damaged sinuses in last year's MAC tournament. Scouts like how abilities have improved since becoming Cardinals' ace as freshman.

1B, Eau Gallie (Fla.) H.S., 6-0, 255, 18

Son of former big-league slugger Cecil Fielder has similar build and power from left side of plate. Hit .524 with 11 home runs and 41 RBIs in 82 at-bats in senior season, capped by homer estimated at 500 feet in last game. Nicknamed "Tank," Fielder dropped 45 pounds in past year and is surprisingly agile in field although teams might want him as DH. Signed with Arizona State, but is used to life in major leagues -- grew up with dad in big-league clubhouses.

LHP, University of British Columbia, 6-5, 195, Jr., 21

Starred at only NAIA-affiliated university in Canada, going 7-1 with 1.60 ERA and 87 Ks in 68 innings. Grew 5 inches since freshman year and added 8 mph to fastball, which he throws from 87-to-93 mph. Has a smooth three-quarters delivery and fastball has late sinking motion. Curveball and changeup are also impressive. Scouts like his well-proportioned frame, poise and approach -- comes out throwing strikes. Likely will join Adam Loewen as highest-drafted Canadians ever.

SS, Clemson, 5-10, 190, Sr., 22

Came back to school after being drafted in 14th round last year by Cubs, and had one of college baseball's top offensive seasons. Atlantic Coast Conference and Collegiate Baseball player of year hit .482 with 24 homers and 79 RBIs through regionals, and set school career records for hits, RBIs and games played. Second on NCAA career list for hits. Scouts like his eye at plate, and think he will be power-hitting middle infielder in pros.

RHP, Apopka (Fla.) H.S., 6-2, 190, 18

Gifted athlete who is outstanding hitter, but considered even better prospect as pitcher. Throws fastball 92-to-94 mph and has excellent command of four pitches. Went 9-2 with 0.55 ERA and 118 Ks in 63 innings. Moved from shortstop to first base to reduce strain on arm and hit .480 with 10 homers and 40 RBIs. Could end up being a good-hitting major league ace.

RHP, Liberty (Calif.) H.S., 6-3, 200, 17

Has one of best curveballs in draft, and mixes it well with 91-to-94 mph fastball. Impressed scouts all season by his poise on mound -- played on bad high school team and rarely showed emotions when they made errors while he was on mound. Raced up charts when he added velocity to fastball from last season, when he threw mostly in high-80s. Also has toyed with splitter that could be effective pitch down the line.

RHP, Stanford, 6-1, 195, Jr., 23

Went to BYU as freshman and then went on Morman mission to Spain, where he didn't pick up a baseball for two years. Transferred to Stanford and has developed into next in line of Cardinal aces. Is 11-1 with a 2.34 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 134 1-3 innings through regionals. Came back to school after getting drafted in third round by Pittsburgh last year. A bulldog who logs lots of innings -- including 13-inning win over Cal State Fullerton in regionals -- and has fastball that hits 90-94 mph and excellent command of four pitches.

LHP, Rancho Bernardo (Calif.) H.S., 6-3, 180, 18

Recovered from broken left arm as sophomore to develop into one of top high school left-handers. Missed all of last season but showed remarkable command of 90-92 mph fastball, outstanding curveball and changeup. Scouts think his arm is well rested and strong after missing a year and think he has a high ceiling. They also like his mechanics and confidence on mound. Was 8-0 with 0.37 ERA and 108 Ks in 57 innings.

OF, Wheeler (Ga.) H.S., 6-3, 195, 18

Left-handed hitter whose stock rose in weeks leading up to draft from probable third-rounder to first half of first round. Smooth swing has scouts excited, and he makes hard contact consistently. Hit .485 with seven homers and 25 RBIs in 68 at-bats, and scouts project he could be power hitter in pros. Has decent speed (nine steals) and is pegged to be corner outfielder.

LHP, Cypress Falls (Texas) H.S., 6-0, 175, 17

Power pitcher who hits 95 mph with fastball consistently, even in late innings. Has good control of all pitches, including slider that is considered above-average, and decent curveball. Struck out 172 in 75 innings, while going 11-2 with 0.37 ERA in 14 games. Scouts think he will adjust to throwing every five days instead of every seven, and his stuff makes up for his smallish stature.

LHP, Fraser Valley Christian (Canada), 6-6, 220, 17

Could be first player drafted after dominant season with Canadian club team. Big build, smooth three-quarter throwing motion and 90-94 mph fastball have scouts excited. Mixes in wicked curve that takes steep drop and tops out at 78 mph. Long, thick-muscled arms and legs have scouts comparing him to Steve Carlton. Also an exceptional hitter -- hit third in lineup for Canada's junior national team, but teams see him as front-line major league starter in a few years. Likely will be highest-drafted Canadian ever.

1B, Rockhurst (Mo.) H.S., 6-4, 215, 18

Son of former major leaguer John Mayberry has opposite body-type from father -- solid and well-muscled. Hit .432 with nine homers and 31 RBIs and has good speed on bases and in field. Expected to move to outfield or third base in pros, after playing first base for much of high school career. Is committed to attend Stanford, and might scare some teams off because he might be difficult to sign.

SS, Cypress (Calif.) H.S., 6-2, 170, 18

Considered by many scouts as top player in California. Has great arm strength and defensive instincts. Also has speed, but teams like his power potential -- a left-hander who could hit 25 homers in pros. He has good extension and control on his swing and has been compared to Eric Chavez.

SS, Greenbrier Christian (Va.) H.S., 6-2, 165, 17

Could be first overall pick, and likely first high school position player selected. Solid defensive player with excellent range, good hands and Shawon Dunston-type arm who has worked hard on cutting down errors. An exciting player on the bases and solid hitter who could be power-hitting infielder as pro if he gets stronger.

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