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Draft Report Card


Mark Prior
CHICAGO CUBS

Best Pro Debut: 1B Brad Bouras (21) was an all-star in the short-season Northwest League, where he hit .349-6-60, finishing first in doubles (25) and on-base percentage (.419) and second in average and RBIs. RHP Jeff Carlsen (22) still hasn't regained all of his velocity since shoulder surgery in 2000, but he had a 1.50 ERA and a 41-5 strikeout-walk ratio in 36 NWL innings.

Best Athlete: Florida A&M has produced a number of athletic outfielders, including Vince Coleman, Andre Dawson and Marquis Grissom. The Cubs landed another in Dwaine Bacon (16), who led NCAA Division I in steals per game in 2000 and ranked ninth in 2001. SS Ryan Theriot (3) isn't quite as physically gifted but he's more polished.

Best Hitter: SS Brendan Harris (5) may wind up at second base or third base, but Chicago has no doubts that he'll hit. He went straight to full-season Class A and batted .274-4-22.

Best Raw Power: 3B Corey Slavik (10) made the NWL all-star team after batting .286-10-31. The Cubs believe he may be able to move to second base, which would be a bonus.

Fastest Runner: A switch-hitter, Bacon has been clocked from home to first in as fast as 3.75 seconds from the left side of the plate.

Best Defensive Player: Theriot is a pure shortstop, plain and simple. He handled the defensive demands of high Class A with no problem. The Cubs will try to jump-start his bat after he hit .204, possibly by making him a switch-hitter.

Best Fastball: RHP Mark Prior (1) threw 94-97 mph all spring en route to gaining recognition as the consensus best prospect in the draft, as well as BA's 2001 College Player of the Year award. Better yet, he's a complete pitcher who's as intelligent and driven as he is talented. Andy Sisco (2) is a raw, 6-foot-10 lefthander who already can touch 95 mph.

Most Intriguing Background: RHP Dan Foli's (31) father Tim was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1968 draft. Unsigned C Matt Pagnozzi's (40) father Tom and unsigned RHP Jared Eichelberger's (44) dad Juan both played in the majors as well. RHP Ricky Nolasco's (4) brother David signed with the Brewers as a 23rd-rounder.

Closest To The Majors: Some scouts speculated that Prior, who didn't pitch this summer while negotiating a record $10.5 million contract, could have headed immediately to Wrigley Field. Prior worked toward his degree rather than pitch in the Arizona Fall League, but will be in big league camp and has a good chance to begin 2002 in Double-A.

Best Late-Round Pick: Bacon has an exciting ceiling. The question is whether he'll hit, and he batted just .193 in the NWL. He does have the bat speed but will need to make adjustments to take better advantage of his speed. SS Josh Arteaga (20) opened some eyes by hitting .318-3-27 and playing steady defense at short-season Boise.

The One Who Got Away: Six-foot-7 RHP Marc Jecmen (42) threw as hard as 96 mph in high school and would have gone in the first three rounds if not for his commitment to Stanford.

Assessment: Prior was the consensus best talent in the 2001 draft, and perhaps the top college pitching prospect ever. He alone should make this a memorable draft, and the Cubs added more mound depth with Sisco, Nolasco, LHP Adam Wynegar (6) and RHP Sergio Mitre (7).

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