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2001 JETHAWKS PLAYER PREVIEW.

PITCHERS

ANDREW GOOD

Age: 21

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-3

Weight: 175

Hometown: Rochester Hills, Mich.

His story: An eighth-round selection in the June 1998 draft, Good was 11-10 in Single-A South Bend in 1999 when he was named the organization's pitcher of the year. Good missed the 2000 season with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. Good might not be the team's hardest thrower, but he has excellent command and is the most polished, according to JetHawks pitching coach Mike Parrott.

MIKE SCHULTZ

Age: 21

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-7

Weight: 205

Hometown: Reseda

His story: A hard-throwing right-hander from Loyola Marymount University, Schultz was a second-round selection in the June 2000 draft and was the Diamondbacks' first overall pick. At 6-foot-7, Schultz, who has been clocked in the mid-90s consistently, brings Randy Johnson-type intimidation to the mound. One of the Diamondbacks' prized young talents, Schultz is ranked 15th among the organization's top prospects by Baseball America.

DOUG SLATEN

Age: 21

Throws: Left

Bats: Left

Height: 6-5

Weight: 190

Hometown: Los Angeles (Venice)

His story: Slaten, selected by Arizona in the 17th round of the June 2000 draft, is the least-experienced starter in the JetHawks rotation, having logged just 9 1/3 innings as a professional in the Diamondbacks' rookie league last season. A former basketball standout in high school, Slaten's athleticism makes the Diamondbacks think he can quickly adjust to the California League.

GREG VALERA

Age: 22

Throws: Right

Bats:Right

Height: 6-1

Weight: 155

Hometown: Palenque, Dominican Republic

His story: Originally signed as an infielder by the Diamondbacks as a nondrafted free agent in 1995, Valera was impressive in his first season at Single-A South Bend in 2000. He was 5-7 with a 4.46 ERA, 93 strikeouts and 56 walks in 119 innings. He has an excellent fastball and has been working on a cut fastball.

DANIEL CASTILLO

Age: 24( EPThrows: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-0

Weight: 175

Hometown: Villa Tabacalera, Dominican Republic

His story: Signed as a free agent last fall, Castillo is one of the team's hardest throwers. He's clocked consistently above 90 MPH, but his delivery needs refining. Castillo has been in the Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers organizations, and most recently pitched in the Mexican League for the Tabasco Cattlemen.

MIKE McCUTCHEON

Age: 23

Throws: Left

Bats: Left

Height: 6-0

Weight: 170

Hometown: Maunaloa, Hawaii

His story: Originally recruited by Modesto Community College as an outfielder, McCutcheon has become an effective left-handed pitcher, and his ability to get lefties out could be his ticket to the big leagues. McCutcheon split time last season between Single-A South Bend and Double-A El Paso. He was 4-1 with a 3.98 ERA, appearing in 30 games with 32 strikeouts and 13 walks at El Paso.

ROB SHABANSKY

Age: 24

Throws: Left

Bats: Left

Height: 5-10

Weight: 185

Hometown: Tucson, Ariz.

His story: The Diamondbacks signed Shabansky as a nondrafted free agent before the 2000 season despite a history of arm problems. Shabansky struggled at High Desert last season, going 0-2 with a 13.24 ERA in six appearances, but he showed promise in the Pioneer Rookie League with the Missoula Osprey, where he was 3-1 with a 3.92 ERA.

SCOTT BARBER

Age: 22

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-3

Weight: 205

Hometown: Anderson, N.C.

His story: Selected in the sixth round of the June 2000 draft, Barber, who set a school single-season record for saves at the University of South Carolina with 15, is one of the Diamondbacks' most highly regarded relievers. Barber, who has a 90-plus mph fast ball to go with a biting slider, is ranked 13th among the Diamondbacks' top prospects by Baseball America.

TANNER ERICKSEN

Age: 21

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-6

Weight: 210

Hometown: Fresno

His story: A ninth-round selection in the June 2000 draft out of USC, Ericksen will be challenged in his professional debut this season in the Cal League. Ericksen is used to the spotlight, having appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated for Kids as a 10-year-old pitching to Tony Gwynn.

BRIAN MATZENBACHER

Age: 24

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-3

Weight: 290

Hometown: Red Bud, Ill.

His story: A 42nd-round selection out of Southern Illinois at Edwardsville, Matzenbacher attracted the attention of Diamondbacks scouts by throwing a no-hitter against Kentucky Wesleyan College in 1999. He was 5-6 with five saves and a 3.02 ERA in 51 appearances with Single-A South Bend last season, striking out 61 and walking 31.

JODY FULLER

Age: 24

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-3

Weight: 225

Hometown: Huntingdon, Tenn.

His story: A 42nd-round selection in the June 1998 draft, Fuller has never had a losing record in his first three professional seasons. Fuller spent most of the 2000 season at Single-A South Bend, where he was 9-6 with a 3.13 ERA. He also pitched for Triple-A Tucson and Double-A El Paso.

BRANDON WEBB

Age: 23

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-3

Weight: 190

Hometown: Ashland, Kent.

His story: A sore right arm caused Webb to miss the final month of the season at Single-A South Bend, where he was a standout reliever, limiting opponents to a .172 batting average in 16 2/3 innings. Webb was selected in the eighth round of the June 2000 draft out of the University of Kentucky.

CATCHERS

JOSH GLASSEY

Age: 23

Throws: Right

Bats: Left

Height: 6-1

Weight: 190

Hometown: Imperial Beach

His story: A former second-round selection of the Dodgers, Glassey was signed by the Diamondbacks as a free agent midway through last season. He batted .261 (18 for 69) in 23 games at High Desert after he began the season at San Bernardino, where he struggled with a .183 (18 for 60) average in 20 games.

J.D. CLOSSER

Age: 21

Throws: Right

Bats: Both

Height: 5-10

Weight: 176

Hometown: Alexandria, Ind.

His story: A fifth-round selection in the June 1998 draft, Closser was named Mr. Baseball by the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association. Closser struggled at Single-A South Bend last year, batting .224 in 101 games, but did extra work in the offseason and earned the JetHawks starting job.

JOHN MELTON

Age: 23

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-2

Weight: 200

Hometown: Ashland City, Tenn.

His story: Signed as a nondrafted free agent last summer, Melton batted .339 (20 for 59) in 22 games in rookie ball at Tucson. Melton homered in four consecutive at bats in postseason play for Union University (Kentucky) in 1998. He begins the season on the disabled list with an injured elbow.

INFIELDERS

MATT KATA

Age: 23

Throws: Right

Bats: Both

Height: 6-1

Weight: 185

Hometown: Willoughby Hills, Ohio

His story: A ninth-round selection in the June 1999 free-agent draft, Kata was second in the Diamondbacks minor-league system with 38 steals. He also led Single-A South Bend in games (133), at-bats (521), runs (82), hits (133), triples (9) and steals. Kata homered off Diamondbacks veteran Bobby Witt in an exhibition game at Lancaster Municipal Stadium on Monday.

BILLY MARTIN

Age: 24

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-2

Weight: 205

Hometown: Abilene, Texas

His story: A 34th-round selection of the New York Mets in 1998, Martin was taken by the Diamondbacks in the Rule 5 draft in December 1999. He set a franchise record at Single-A South Bend last season with 25 homers. He also batted .280 (116 for 415) with 90 RBI in 123 games. Martin, who underwent knee surgery in the offseason, will be limited to designated hitter duties early in the season.

RYAN JONES

Age: 26

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-2

Weight: 225

Hometown: Irvine

His story: Originally a second-round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 1993, Jones has also played in the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians organizations. Most recently, he was with the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the Independent Northern League. Jones batted .258 ( 54 for 209) with nine homers in 56 games at Double-A Akron in the Indians organization and hit .259 (64-247) with 13 homers at Winnipeg.

RICARDO MONTAS

Age: 24

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-1

Weight: 170

Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

His story: A late addition to the JetHawks roster, Montas was acquired by the Diamondbacks in a trade with the Kansas City Royals last weekend. He spent most of last season at Single-A Wilmington in the Carolina League, where he batted .277 (87 for 314) in 93 games.

JASON WILLIAMS

Age: 24

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 5-11

Weight: 170

Hometown: Fairfield

His story: A former freshman All-American at the University of Missouri, Williams was a 21st-round selection in the June 2000 draft out of University of California. Williams batted .222 (6 for 27) in seven games at High Desert last season, but an elbow injury ended his season in late June.

LUIS SANTOS

Age: 21

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 5-11

Weight: 170

Hometown: Huntington Beach

His story: Signed as a nondrafted free agent in June 1999, Santos played community college ball at Golden West College. Santos played in 48 games at High Desert last season, batting .228 (33 for 145).

OUTFIELDERS

CARLOS URQUIOLA

Age: 20

Throws: Right

Bats: Left

Height: 5-7

Weight: 158

Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela

His story: Signed as a nondrafted free agent in 1996, Urquiola split time last season between High Desert and Double-A El Paso, and had success at both levels. Urquiola batted .364 (60 for 165) with 24 steals in 29 attempts in 40 games at High Desert and hit .302 (68 for 225) and was 13 for 21 in stolen base attempts in 68 games at El Paso. With the exception of a brief stint in rookie ball in 1997, he has hit over .300 in his four pro seasons.

CEDRICK HARRIS

Age: 23

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-2

Weight: 190

Hometown: Ashdown, Ark.

His story: A 10th-round selection in the June 2000 draft, Harris played on Louisiana State University's College World Series championship team last season. He suffered a broken hand midway through the season last year at LSU but returned in time to help lead the Tigers to the title. Harris played 34 games at High Desert last season, batting .264 (34 for 129), but his hand injury limited his offensive production.

BRIAN GORDON

Age: 22

Throws: Right

Bats: Left

Height: 6-0

Weight: 176

Hometown: Round Rock, Texas

His story: A seventh-round selection in the June 1997 free-agent draft, Gordon displayed power and speed as well as an ability to hit for average at High Desert last season. In 127 games, Gordon batted .311 (148 for 476) with 12 homers and 19 steals. His 13 triples tied him for fifth among minor-leaguers.

KEVAN BURNS

Age: 24

Throws: Left

Bats: Left

Height: 6-0

Weight: 185

Hometown: Beloit, Wis.

His story: A 26th-round selection in the June 1999 free-agent draft, Burns, who played collegiate ball at Troy State (Ala.), stole 26 bases in 32 attempts at Single-A South Bend last season, where he batted .267 (107 for 401). Burns hit for the cycle and had four RBI on July 1 in a Single-A game against Clinton.

STEVE WOODWARD

Age: 23

Throws: Left

Bats: Both

Height: 5-11

Weight: 200

Hometown: Clovis.

His story: A 34th-round selection in the June 2000 free-agent draft, Woodward batted .431 in his senior year at Cal State Fullerton and hit .330 (37 for 112) in his first month as a professional last July at High Desert. Overall, he batted .260 (69 for 265) in 69 games for the Mavericks.

CAPTION(S):

24 photos

Photo:

(1) ANDREW GOOD

(2) MIKE SCHULTZ

(3) DOUG SLATEN

(4) GREG VALERA

(5) DANIEL CASTILLO

(6) MIKE McCUTCHEON

(7) SCOTT BARBER

(8) TANNER ERICKSEN

(9) BRIAN MATZENBACHER

(10) JODY FULLER

(11) BRANDON WEBB

(12) JOSH GLASSEY

(13) J.D. CLOSSER

(14) JOHN MELTON

(15) MATT KATA

(16) RICARDO MONTAS

(17) JASON WILLIAMS

(18) LUIS SANTOS

(19) CARLOS URQUIOLA

(20) CEDRICK HARRIS

(21) BRIAN GORDON

(22) KEVAN BURNS

(23) STEVE WOODWARD

(24) BILLY MARTIN
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 5, 2001
Words:1994
Previous Article:CALIFORNIA LEAGUE 2001 PREVIEW.
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