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Here's a rundown on 10 of the finest prospects in the June 6-8 draft of high school and college players. Three are catchers: Robbie Wine of Oklahoma State, son of Bobby, the Phillies' former shortstop and current coach; Terry Bell of Old Dominion; and Matt Stark, a Los Altos, Calif. high-schooler. The best shortstop is American League umpire Bill Kunkel's son, Jeff, who hit .399 at Rider College this season. Of the four top-rated pitchers, one is a lefthander—North Carolina State's Dan Plesac. Tim Belcher of Mt. Vernon ( Ohio) Nazarene College has had his fastball clocked at slightly more than 90 mph. The other two, both of whom have lots of stuff on the ball, are BYU's Scott Nielsen, who's 25 years old, and the University of Michigan's Rich Stoll. Also likely to be drafted in the Top 10 are Third Basemen Eddie Williams, a San Diego high-schooler, and Chris Sabo, another Wolverine.
From the start of the 1970 season through last Sunday, 49.9% of all major league games were settled by no more than two runs. Of the 25,963 games played, 8,255 (31.8%) were decided by one run and 4,698 (18.1%) by two.
There are four reasons why Oakland's Rickey Henderson, who swiped a record 130 bases last season, was only fourth in the American League at week's end with 14 steals: 1) the A's are winning without his being constantly on the run; 2) in an effort to improve his batting average, which was .267 last year and .271 through last Sunday, Henderson is learning to hit the marginal pitches he would have taken in the hope of walking in '82; 3) his right shoulder, bruised last season, still bothers Henderson, who on several of his steal attempts this year has forsaken his favorite headfirst slide and gone in feet first; and 4) the man batting behind leadoff man Henderson is Mike Davis, who is more of a contact hitter than Dwayne Murphy, who batted second a year ago. "Murph would swing at and miss a lot of balls when I'd be stealing," says Henderson, who several times this year has been running but hasn't gotten a steal because Davis hit the ball.
It turns out that Cesar Cede�o of the Reds was up in the air about more than the coach-class ticket the club gave him and other reserves for a team flight from Chicago to Cincinnati. (The regulars flew first class.) After Cede�o, who had been a starting outfielder until nine days before the trip, tore up his boarding pass and refused to board the plane, he was initially suspended for three days but later fined instead.
"I thought I'd have to show most of my patience with young players," Nixon said. "I'll be damned if I'll do it with one who's been around a few years and who should show some responsibility. It seems the more I gave him, the more he took advantage."
Toronto and Boston were tied for the lead in the American League East last week when they began the first significant series of this season. It was a major test for the Blue Jays, who, in their first six years, never finished higher than sixth and had never led later than May 10. Surprisingly, Toronto was able to hold on to its share of the lead without getting a win from its three best starters—Dave Stieb, who lost 7-2 on Thursday, Jim Clancy, who lost 2-0 on Friday, and Luis Leal, who gave up four runs in only 1? innings on Saturday. The man who brought Toronto back was Centerfielder Lloyd Moseby, a major disappointment his first three seasons with a .233 average. On Saturday, Moseby got two hits, scored three runs and drove in the game winner in a 9-5 come-from-behind victory. On Sunday, he drove in three more runs with two homers in a 6-1 win that was shortened to six innings by rain. The second game of the doubleheader was postponed. Moseby finished the week with a .306 batting average, and the Blue Jays had proved they might be serious contenders.
Angel Shortstop Rick Burleson, who hasn't played since undergoing surgery for a torn rotator cuff 13 months ago, expects to return to action on June 10. That's when Burleson will begin his rehabilitation program with California's farm team in Edmonton. If things go well, Burleson will rejoin the Angels after the All-Star break.
If any Met rookie figured to do well, it was Outfielder Darryl Strawberry, not Shortstop Jos� Oquendo. Strawberry, 21, hit 34 homers last year and was the MVP of the Double A Texas League. Oquendo, 19 and the youngest player in the majors, batted .214 in the Triple A International League in '82. At the end of last week, though, Strawberry had been in 18 games, had hit three homers, was batting .167 and had struck out 26 times. Oquendo, who recently abandoned switch-hitting to concentrate on swinging from the right side, was batting .280.
Furthermore, Oquendo has teamed with Second Baseman Brian Giles, 23, to give the Mets a superb double-play combination. Both have exceptional range and strong arms, especially Oquendo. Last week Oquendo received such a long roar of appreciation from Mets fans in the eighth inning of a game against San Francisco that he came out of the dugout to acknowledge the tribute. Oquendo drew those cheers when, after breaking to cover second on an impending steal, he deftly doubled back to the spot he'd vacated, gloved a hard-hit grounder and threw out the runner.