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Top Prospect Alert

Wascar Serrano -- By Robert Sherry

Wascar Serrano is the most intriguing of the talented young group of pitchers that the Padres have gathered. This 6-foot-2, 178-pound righty was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 1995. At 21, Serrano had a good 1999 at Class-A Rancho Cucamonga (9-8, 3.33 ERA, 21 starts, 1 CG, 132 IP, 110 H, 43 BB, 129 K) before being promoted to Double-A Mobile (2-3, 5.53 ERA, 7 starts, 42 IP 48 H, 17 BB, 29 K). His pitching earned him a spot in the Futures Game at Boston during the All-Star break.

Serrano is a four-pitch pitcher (two-, four-seam fastball, slider, and changeup) whose fastball registers in the low- to mid-90s. Both his slider and his change are still in development. In an age when so many young hurlers are getting hurt, Serrano has never missed a pro start.

I think you will see him start back at Mobile in 2000; however, he could be at Triple-A later in the season and perhaps even earn a September recall to San Diego. Serrano, who will not turn 22 until the 2000 season is about half over, is the most unfinished of the trio Clement, Eaton, and himself, all of whom will be the backbone of the Padres future staff, so you still don't know how good he could be. Because of this, right now I would say he could be a No. 2 starter but may have to pitch in the third slot due to the other two. Don't be surprised, though, if he turns out to be even better.


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