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Draft '99 SOUTHERN ROCKIES ***
(Colorado, New Mexico)

1. Cody Ross, lhp/of, Carlsbad (N.M.) HS
2. Justin Maureau, lhp, Highland Ranch (Colo.) HS
3. Brad Stiles, lhp, Lamar (Colo.) HS

4. Brian Specht, ss, Doherty HS, Colorado Springs
5. Michael Thompson, rhp, Lamar (Colo.) HS

LHP/OF Cody Ross is the best player by a wide margin in sparse New Mexico. As a pitcher, he overpowered weak high school competition in the eastern part of the state with a 90-91-mph fastball. His talents are geared more for everyday play in the future--in either pro ball or at Arizona State. He has a live body, good speed and good power potential. He also plays aggressively. In time, Ross should have solid hitting mechanics, but his bat is the weakest part of his game now. He's one of the few players who switch-hits and throws left . . . LHP Justin Maureau would be a higher pick if not for his 6-foot, 160-pound frame. He pitches much bigger than his size and is a tenacious competitor. He has good command of a curve and a fastball that ranges from 86-89 mph. He set a Colorado single-season strikeout record with 137 last year and was on pace to break it . . . LHP Brad Stiles and RHP Michael Thompson are the best pitchers at Lamar High since current big leaguer Scott Elarton pitched there in 1994. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Stiles has a fastball that ranges from 87-90 mph, but he lacks quickness on his breaking ball. Thompson's development is at an early stage and he also has hit 90 . . . SS Brian Specht is a solid, switch-hitting middle infielder who hit almost .700 this spring. He doesn't have universal high-round interest but a couple of clubs are looking at him hard. He is an excellent student with a commitment to Baylor.

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