ANOTHER PHENOM-ENAL FRESHMAN CLASS

April 05, 1987

A year after the rookie cornucopia of Jose Canseco, Wally Joyner, Pete Incaviglia, Cory Snyder, Ruben Sierra and Todd Worrell, the talent keeps coming:

•Mickey Brantley, OF, Mariners. Once the Boys' Club counselor of heavyweight champ Mike Tyson in Catskill, N.Y., Brantley will probably be in right. His PCL numbers for Calgary were .318, 30 homers, 92 RBI's and 25 stolen bases.

•Rob Ducey, OF, Blue Jays. He is the answer to the franchise's prayers: a native Torontonian. Furthermore, he can fly, hit with power and play centerfield. The job would be his if the Jays trade incumbent Lloyd Moseby.

•Logan Easley and John Smiley, RPs, Pirates. This entry may move Brian Fisher out of the bullpen and into the rotation. Smiley is a big (6'4") lefthander with a tattoo and a fastball. Easley, acquired from the Yankees in the Rick Rhoden trade, has a split-finger that' umpire Frank Pulli says is as good as any.

•Jim Lindeman, OF-3B, Cardinals. His '86 Louisville stats (.251, 20 HRs, 97 RBIs) weren't staggering, but he has matured as a hitter. Manager Whitey Herzog thinks he'll add a vital righthanded bat to the lineup.

•Joe Magrane, SP, Cardinals. A 6'6" lefthander with only 1½ minor league seasons, he has stuff, control and poise. The Cards will probably send him out to start the season, but he'll be back to give batters Magrane headaches.

•Benito Santiago, C, Padres. He's sound defensively, with a strong arm. At the plate he has power and speed, but he is out of the Manny Sanguillen batting school (only 82 walks in 1,715 professional at bats).

•B.J. Surhoff, C, Brewers. "He has a magic wand," says Padre manager Larry Bowa, who saw him hit .308 for Vancouver in '86. Surhoff is that rarest of catchers, a No. 2 hitter who can run.

•Bobby Thigpen, RP, White Sox. At Mississippi State he was an outfielder and the No. 5 hitter. He has a rocket launcher for an arm and, equally important, an aggressive demeanor.

•Devon White, RF, Angels. He provides exceptional speed and defense, and with a week left in spring training he was hitting .390.

•Matt Williams, 3B, Giants. A No. 1 pick last June out of Nevada-Las Vegas, Williams got his chance this spring when fragile Chris Brown was recovering from shoulder surgery. Williams hit well and played brilliant defense.

Some other rookies who'll make an impact include: Cubs outfielder Rafael Palmeiro, White Sox catcher Ron Karkovice, Phillies outfielder Chris James and two Athletics, first baseman Rob Nelson and third baseman Mark McGwire.

PHOTOV.J. LOVEROSurhoff is catching on with the Brewers.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)