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Top Prospect Alert

Matt LeCroy -- By Robert Sherry

One of the top catchers in the minors, Matt will have a good chance of making the Minnesota roster out of spring training in 2000, especially with Terry Steinbach retiring.

At 6 foot 2 and 225 pounds, LeCroy was a 1st round supplemental pick in 1997 out of Clemson. He is right up with payers like Robert Fick and Eric Munson as one of the top hitting catchers in the minors.

In 1999, Matt played at several levels including alittle for Team USA in the Pan-Am Games, overall going 1-3 with that hit being a double, as well as for the Twins Triple-A team in Salt Lake. He began 1999 at Fort Meyers where he hit .279 with 20 HR's, 69 RBI, 20 doubles, 1 triple, 54 runs scored, 42 BB's, 51 K's and slugged .526 in 333 AB's.

The 23 year old was supposed to be in the Arizona Fall League, but broke a finger in the Pacific Coast playoffs. LeCroy was then moved up to Triple-A, bypassing double-A. Matt never showde any problems as he hit .303 for the Buzz, he also added 10 HR's, 30 RBI, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 23 runs scored, 5 BB's, and 22 K's in 119 AB's. In his pro debut of 1998, Matt hit .276 with 9 HR's, 40 RBI, 17 doubles, 1 triple, 33 runs scored, 34 BB's, and 45 K's at Fort Wayne. He was promoted to Fort Meyers where he played in 51 games and hit .305 with 12 HR's, 51 RBI, 9 doubles, 1 triple, 32 runs scored, 21 BB's, and 35 K's. Finally, he had a late season promotion to Salt Lake where he hit .308 (4-13) with 2 HR's and 4 RBI. As for behind the plate, he has continued to develop to the point where he could win the catcher's job in 2000.

The biggest problem Matt had was throwing out runners. It's way to early until he plays a couple of seasons, but maybe the Twins will decide to shift him to DH or first base if another catcher comes along. I do thing that he will end up staying at the catchers spot unless someone else either comes
along and if no one steps up to take over the first base job. You only have to look at someone like Mike Piazza, who has never been a very good guy throwing out runners. No matter, LeCroy will be a star for the Twins.


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