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IS IT DAFT—OR DEFT—TO DRAFT?
Larry Keith
November 07, 1977
On the eve of the second free-agent draft, it's time to assess the performances of last year's selectees. Cleveland, for one, got mixed results
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November 07, 1977

Is It Daft—or Deft—to Draft?

On the eve of the second free-agent draft, it's time to assess the performances of last year's selectees. Cleveland, for one, got mixed results

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Nevertheless, it still takes only two teams to make a bidding war. And as a result, a few players are going to get most of the money, while others will be virtually ignored.

Most of the heavy action will involve the outfielders and pitchers. Among the few catchers available are journeymen like George Mitterwald, who played for the Cubs this season, and the best-known infielder is light-hitting Cleveland Shortstop Frank Duffy. The outfield offers some particularly attractive possibilities: Larry Hisle and Lyman Bostock of Minnesota; Richie Zisk, Oscar Gamble and Ralph Garr of the White Sox; and Dave Kingman of wherever he happens to be at the moment. And then there are Bruce Bochte, who hit .301 for the Indians, and Rick Miller and Elliott Maddox, whose talents were hidden on the Boston and Baltimore benches.

There is no Gullett or Fingers among the pitchers, but there are the Yankees' Mike Torrez and Pittsburgh Reliever Rich Gossage. Those two, along with Hisle, Bostock and Zisk, should be the biggest gainers of all, but no owner, not even Atlanta's Ted Turner, is saying out loud what player interests him most. When Turner tampered with Matthews before last year's draft, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn fined him $10,000. Now acts of loud-mouthed indiscretion could cost $250,000. Better to keep quiet and save it for your No. 1 draft choice.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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