By the end of the
week Cincinnati was only 11/2 games out and Houston was six back with Roger
Clemens warming up in the minors. "It's going to be tempting for them to
get Pujols back in there soon," says a National League executive, "but
coming back too quickly from that kind of injury could be devastating."
St. Louis G.M.
Walt Jocketty is seeking a first baseman with punch--he's pursued the Orioles'
Jeff Conine and the Pirates' Craig Wilson--but isn't convinced he will swing a
deal soon. "There are clubs who see our situation and probably think we're
going to panic and overpay to do something," he says. "I haven't had a
conversation with anyone who's close to doing anything."
These four players' stocks dropped heading into the June 6 draft, but a
National League scout explains why they may turn out to be steals.
DANIEL BARD, RHP,
North Carolina; drafted No. 28 by the Red Sox Could have been a top 10 pick but
slid because he was inconsistent his junior year; durable with a good mid-90s
fastball, very good curve.
(above), RHP, The Woodlands ( Texas) High; No. 18, Phillies Perhaps the most
talented in the draft, teams passed because of [behavior issues]; a 97-mph
fastball and an often unhittable curve.
CHRIS MARRERO, OF,
Msgr. Pace High (Opa-Locka, Fla.); No. 15, Nationals Once considered the top
high school position player in his class, he underperformed senior year; still
a great five-tool talent.
BRYAN MORRIS, RHP,
Motlow State C.C. (Tullahoma, Tenn.); No. 26, Dodgers L.A. thought about taking
him at No. 7 but picked him up later; a 95-mph fastball with good late life and
a plus breaking ball.
> Check out
John Donovan's power rankings at SI.com/baseball.