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Kenny Baugh, rhp
Baylor


A 2000 fifth-round pick by the Athletics, Baugh opted to return to Rice. That decision will pay off as he'll jump into the first round–based on talent, not his status as a senior. He repeated as the Western Athletic Conference pitcher of the year and became the 10th college pitcher to reach 40 victories and 400 strikeouts in his career. More important from a pro standpoint, his stuff got better. Last year he had a solid average repertoire enhanced by his feel for pitching. This spring, he boosted his fastball from 87-91 mph to 93-95, while maintaining his deceptive changeup and enhancing his curveball. He continued to throw all three pitches for strikes at will. He could go as high as 10th overall to the Astros, who hit it big with another local Rice star in Lance Berkman four years ago. Baugh should be one of the first players from the 2001 draft to reach the majors.

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