He was the 25th pitcher taken in the 1997 draft, but only two of the pitchers chosen ahead of him—Jim Parque ( White Sox) and Ryan Bradley (Yankees)—made it to the majors faster than Randy Wolf. The 23-year-old lefty won his first five decisions after being called up in June '99, then lost eight in a row to finish 6-9, with a 5.55 ERA. "When things went well, I was keeping things simple," says Wolf. "Then I started making things more complicated than they had to be. I was trying to be perfect." The Phillies fans tried to boo him off the mound in the midst of his slump, but Wolf has been through worse: He was a boy when his father died, and then he nearly drowned as a teen. "You're not going to learn without having bad things happen," Wolf says. "Luckily, I don't hear things when I pitch."