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Draft Report Card


Joe Mauer
MINNESOTA TWINS

Best Pro Debut: C Joe Mauer (1) effortlessly handled all the pressure of being the No. 1 overall pick by his hometown team, hitting .400-0-14 in an advanced Rookie league. Not surprisingly, managers named him the Appalachian League’s top prospect. RHP Matt Vorwald (7) and LHP Jared Hemus (8)tied for the Appy victory lead with six each, and both posted sub-2.00 ERAs.

Best Athlete: Mauer was Baseball America’s High School Player of the Year in baseball, and won the same award in football from Gatorade, Parade and USA Today. He starred at the same high school that produced reigning Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke, and was set to succeed Weinke as Florida State’s quarterback until he signed with the Twins. He also averaged nearly 20 points per game for a basketball team that finished third in Minnesota’s state tournament. He augments his athleticism with intelligence and instincts.

Best Hitter: Mauer. Another hitter to watch is OF Garrett Guzman (10), who is only 5-foot-10 and doesn’t have the speed for center field or the power for left or right. But he can flat-out hit, batting .355 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in his debut.

Best Raw Power: Mauer will hit for power, but 1B Dusty Gomon (9) has more raw pop and more of a home run swing.

Fastest Runner: 2B Kaulana Kahaulua (12) and OFs Scott Whitrock (19) and Ryan Spataro (41) all have 6.65-second speed in the 60-yard dash, with Kahaulua getting the best jump out of the batter’s box. 2B Josh Renick (11) isn’t as fast but has the most savvy on the bases.

Best Defensive Player: 2B Jose Morales (3) didn’t have the speed to stick at shortstop, but he has the tools to excel at his new position. Mauer is very agile behind the plate, and his strong arm threw out 32 percent of basestealers in the Appy League. Renick and Kahaulua are steady and have sure hands.

Best Fastball: RHP Kevin Cameron (13) regularly hit 95 mph while compiling a 1.57 ERA and 13 saves in the Appy League. RHP Scott Tyler (2) touched 95 in high school, with RHP Angel Garcia (4) right behind him at 94. In case we haven’t mentioned Mauer recently enough, he peaked at 92 mph as a high school closer.

Most Intriguing Background: RHP Erik Lohse’s (40) brother Kyle pitched for the Twins this year. Renick’s father Rick played in the majors and served as Montreal’s interim manager this summer. Mauer's older brother Jake, who led St. Thomas (Minn.) to the NCAA Division III national title in the spring, was taken in the 23rd round by the Twins. Kuhaulua’s dad Fred once pitched for the Angels, for whom C Bryan Kennedy’s (24) brother Adam starts at second base. LHP Vince Serafini’s (6) twin brother Matt signed with Milwaukee as a 43rd-rounder. OF Kenny Huff’s (36) brother Tim scouts for the Blue Jays.

Closest To The Majors: Mauer. Though it will be his first pro season out of high school, he should reach high Class A by the second half of 2002.

Best Late-Round Pick: Cameron. He had been overshadowed as Georgia Tech’s No. 3 starter, and his velocity jumped once he moved to the bullpen after signing.

The One Who Got Away: SS/RHP Matt Macri (17) would have been a sure first-round pick had he not told teams he was intent on attending Notre Dame. Minnesota was closer to signing OF Anthony Albano (20), a lefthanded power hitter, but lost him to the University of Evansville.

Assessment: The Twins didn’t let signability override ability when they exercised the No. 1 overall pick, and they were rewarded with Mauer, a special player who already ranks as the best catching prospect in baseball. A year earlier, they had to do a prearranged deal with the No. 2 overall pick (Adam Johnson, who has worked out) and failed to sign supplemental first-rounder Aaron Heilman or second-rounder Taggert Bozied.

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