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Southern League Top 20 Prospects

By Mark McCarter
September 26, 2002

1. Jake Peavy, rhp, Mobile BayBears (Padres)
Peavy was the only Southern Leaguer with his face on a soft-drink can. A Mobile native and an offseason employee of the BayBears, Peavy's photo and signature graced some 228,000 Pepsi and Mountain Dew cans in the Mobile area.

But Peavy's stuff is even more marketable than his image--as witnessed by a late-June promotion to San Diego. He has a glove-popping fastball that can touch the mid-90s, and enough finesse to put all of his pitches wherever he wants. He also throws a curveball, slider and changeup, which have their moments.

He certainly wasn't intimidated by facing big league hitters at age 21. Peavy went 6-7, 4.50 with 85 strikeouts in 92 innings over his first 16 Padres starts. He held the Yankees to one run in six innings in his debut.

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