Expos Draft Report
By Michael Levesque
MONTREAL--The Expos spent the entire spring focusing primarily on college arms. However, when it came down to crunch time they ended up selecting prep righthander Clint Everts with the fifth overall pick. The Expos considered Everts, from Cypress Falls High outside of Houston, the best high school righthander in the draft.
"Everts is a guy we liked as a group," Expos scouting director Dana Brown said. "You hear a lot about high school pitchers being a risk, but he is a high school kid we felt had the best curveball in the draft and was also the most athletic pitcher in the draft. We felt that was a pretty good combination."
The 17-year-old Everts has a projectable 6-foot-2, 170-pound frame with a live 89-93 mph fastball, plus curve and above-average change. He went 9-3, 1.30 this spring while striking out 157 batters in 81 innings. He allowed 41 hits, walked 28 and pitched 11 complete games. Everts, who was also considered a prospect as a switch-hitting shortstop, joined with lefthander Scott Kazmir (who went to the Mets 15th overall) to become the fourth pair of high school teammates to be selected in the first round.
"He is a guy that we liked early on, and he continued to get better as the spring progressed," Brown said. "As a scout, I really don't like to look at the radar gun that much, especially with the young kids, and this was the case with Everts. I think a lot of people may be surprised we took Everts as high as we took him, cause he's not a guy that's going to blow the gun up and throw 94-95 mph.
"But we feel in the future he is going to throw hard. He's only a 17-year-old senior so we feel in the by next year or so, with his projection and athletic ability, he may very well be throwing the 94-95 mph range."
Brown, who drafted college players with eight of his first 10 selections, is confident the Expos will be able to sign the Baylor signee despite the uncertainly surrounding the future of the franchise. Rumors circulated prior to the draft that Everts who worked out for Expos general manager Omar Minaya last week, and the Expos had already agreed to a $2 million signing bonus. Brown said the two sides have never spoke about or exchanged dollar figures.
"We're very optimistic about signing Everts," Brown added. "We went in and talked with him earlier and he didn't have anything negative to say about the Expos. We felt we were going to run into some issues where some of the players were going to say, 'Hey, I don't want to be drafted by the Expos because they may contract,' or things of that nature. But we felt he was very receptive."
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