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THE DAKOTAS ***

The Dakotas aren't hotbeds of baseball, and they have their usual handful of late-round prospects. The two best are Ryan and Ross Hawley, identical twins at Augustana (S.D.) College who will go somewhere after the 15th round.

1.Ryan Hawley, rhp, Augustana (S.D.)
2.Ross Hawley, rhp, Augustana (S.D.)
3.Phillip Shirek, rhp, Minot (N.D.) HS
4.Ben Thomas, 3b-rhp, Central HS, Rapid City, S.D.
5.Mike Klug, 3b, Manden (N.D.) HS

Projected First-Round Picks

None.

Possible Second- to Fifth-Round Picks

None.

Others To Watch:

Before 2001, it was easy to distinguish RHPs Ryan and Ross Hawley, who are identical twins. Ryan had the approach and Ross had the fastball. This spring, Ryan has thrown 92 mph and maintained his velocity late into games. He also has control of a sharp slider. Ross throws a tick harder at 93 mph and lacks command. His second pitch, a hard curveball, is inconsistent . . . The region's best high school player is RHP Phillip Shirek, who throws 87-88 mph and has a solid 6-foot-3, 204-pound frame. Ticketed for Nebraska, he'll be more effective once he slows down his delivery . . . 3B/RHP Ben Thomas is the Dakotas' top hitter and could go as early as the 10th round if he's deemed signable. He has a smooth lefthanded stroke and the potential to add power. He has thrown 88-90 mph as a closer.

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