A scout's take
Ability -- His stuff is just vanilla. His fastball is 90-91, and he has a little slider and a little changeup. Ask anyone to grade his stuff, and they'd say it's not better than average across the board.
Mechanics -- He doesn't have a classic delivery. What comes into play and makes him successful is that 6-foot-10 height. He comes down from that plane and he does a good job hiding the ball. Deception can't be taught. And guys just can't stay off that high fastball.
Overall -- He just has an, I don't know, 'Gumpy' way about him. Even the way he runs. But nothing really bothers him. It's just incredible. Could Chris Young win 15 games? Yeah, definitely, but I wouldn't bet the house on it."
Note: "A scout's take" features one major league scout's opinion on a particular player each week. A revolving roundtable of scouts is used. Because of potential tampering, the scouts are anonymous.
"You understand how it works. It's a popularity contest, and we all know I'm not going to win one of those."
Scrappy Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski on his chances of being named to the American League All-Star team. His White Sox manager, Ozzie Guillen, gets to choose seven players, and that's Pierzynski's best chance. Fans and players vote in the rest.
That's how many stolen bases Oakland's Bobby Crosby had Tuesday in a game against the San Diego battery of pitcher Chris Young and catcher Mike Piazza. It's the most stolen bases in one game by an Oakland cleanup hitter since Don Baylor had four in a 1976 game.
Final stretch before All-Star break
The Orioles get their first look of 2006 at the defending world champion White Sox. The four-game series in Chicago starts tomorrow. The best AL matchup has the White Sox hosting the Red Sox for three starting Friday. The Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals, National League Central rivals, tangle at Busch Stadium for the final four games of the first half.