Draft Report Card
Best Pro Debut: 3B Dallas McPherson (2) batted .395-5-29 at Rookie-level Provo before breaking his arm on a tag play during a rare start at first base. Three later-round picksLHP Jason Dennis (14), C Al Corbiel (16) and 2B Casey Smith (34)earned Pioneer league all-star honors off the same club, which had the best record in the Pioneer League.
Best Athlete: OF Quan Cosby (6), who signed for $850,000, excels at three sports and is better at football and track than he is at baseball to this point. He quarterbacked Mart High to the Texas 2-A state championship as a junior and scored 48 touchdowns as a senior, when he was his classification's offensive player of the year. He turned down a football scholarship from the University of Texas to turn pro. Cosby also won the Texas 2-A 100- and 200-meter titles in May. 3B Greg Porter (45) played wide receiver and tight end at Texas A&M. C Jeff Mathis (1), a former high school quarterback, is extremely athletic for his position and could play almost anywhere on the diamond, including shortstop.
Best Hitter: 1B Casey Kotchman (1) was the best high school hitter in the draft. After signing, he went 20-for-37 (.541) before straining his wrist.
Best Raw Power: Scouts often compare Kotchman to Rafael Palmeiro for his ability to hit for average and power, as well as his grace around the bag at first base. Kotchman has legitimate 40-homer potential.
Fastest Runner: Cosby was as fast as any player in the draft, with scouts likening his speed to that of Deion Sandersin Prime Time's prime. He has been clocked from the left side of the plate to first base as quick as 3.7 seconds, which is almost unheard of. Cosby is very raw but could be a terror at the top of an order if he hits.
Best Defensive Player: Mathis was another early pick whose pro debut was curtailed by an injury (broken hand). He's a premium receiver with an above-average arm, not to mention plus hitting ability and average power.
Best Fastball: RHP Mark O'Sullivan (25), a converted outfielder, has touched 95 mph. In the future, he'll probably be passed by RHP Steven Shell (3), who already hits 94 mph with one of the easiest arm actions around. RHP Johnathon Shull (11), like Shell a high school product, also can reach 94.
Most Intriguing Background: Kotchman's father Tom is a longtime scout and minor league manager for the Angels. He also served as his son's agent, negotiating a $2,075,000 bonus.
Closest To The Majors: Kotchman could be the first high school player from the 2001 draft to reach the majors, and probably will beat McPherson to Anaheim.
Best Late-Round Pick: Porter. He followed a strong yet brief Cape Cod League performance in the summer of 2000 with a disastrous .202-2-10 junior season at Texas A&M, looking nothing like the third-round pick he was out of high school. Then he hit .331-10-34 at Provo.
The One Who Got Away: Sophomore-eligible Rich Hill (7) is a projectable 6-foot-5 lefthander who already throws 86-89 mph and had a strong summer in the Cape League.
Assessment: Getting Kotchman with the 13th overall pick was a coup. The Angels also did their homework and gauged other teams' interest in Mathis and McPherson well enough to make sure they didn't lose them.
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