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Draft Report Card


Josh Karp
MONTREAL EXPOS

Best Pro Debut: There’s nothing flashy about LHP David Maust (17)–except for his 0.72 ERA at short-season Vermont. Using command and deception, he went 4-2 with a 45-6 strikeout-walk ratio and a .173 opponent average in 50 innings.

Best Athlete: OF Reggie Fitzpatrick (5) didn’t have a strong season as a high school senior, but he can fly and has bat speed. Rival Southeastern Conference coaches weren’t looking forward to him running wild on the artificial turf at the University of Arkansas, which had recruited him.

Best Hitter: Fitzpatrick and 3B Greg Thissen (8) have good swings, quick bats and solid approaches at the plate. They’re both works in progress, because Fitzpatrick needs more at-bats to add polish and Thissen must get stronger.

Best Raw Power: Thissen projects to have average power.

Fastest Runner: Fitzpatrick can run the 60-yard dash in 6.5 seconds, plus he has a quick first step.

Best Defensive Player: C Danny Kahr (12) excels behind the plate, but he didn’t do much to dispel worries about his bat when he hit .169 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League.

Best Fastball: RHP Josh Karp (1) threw 91-94 mph every time the Expos scouted him at UCLA. His changeup and curveball also are plus pitches, and his stuff compares well to that of Mark Prior, the No. 2 overall pick. The difference is that Prior had much more success in the Pacific-10 Conference.

Most Intriguing Background: LHP Chad Bentz (7) was born without a complete right hand, similar to former major leaguer Jim Abbott. He pitches and fields in similar fashion as Abbott. RHP Chad Scarbery (50) is the son of two-time first-round pick Randy Scarbery. RHP Nick Long (4) and his older brother Brandon were part of the same University of Georgia recruiting class, though only Brandon made it to Athens.

Closest To The Majors: Karp will go to big league camp next spring and then will make his pro debut with one of Montreal’s Class A affiliates. The Expos vow not to rush him, though if he puts everything together it will be difficult to hold him back.

Best Late-Round Pick: RHPs Tyler Kirkman (13) and Rob Caputo (18) and LHP Tory Imotichy (15) all have potential. Imotichy, who’s from scouting director Jim Fleming’s hometown of Purcell, Okla., can reach 91-92 mph.

The One Who Got Away: The Expos really didn’t lose anyone they wanted to sign. They came to terms with 19 of their top 20 picks and 20 of 50 overall, and still control the rights to 27 of the 30 players who didn’t turn pro.

Assessment: Karp has the stuff to be a frontline starter, and the Expos are ecstatic about a group of high school pitchers led by RHPs Donald Levinski (2) and Long, and LHP Mike Hinckley (3). All have quality arms and good secondary pitches. On the other hand, they didn’t add much in the way of position players.

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