The Baltimore Sun

Batting: What impresses me is his selectivity at the plate. He knows the strike zone. He is patient. He is willing to take a walk. He has good power, will go the other way and use the other field. And don't make a mistake or he'll hit it out of that ballpark.

Other abilities: He runs well, steals bases. He has a good, accurate arm. There's nothing he can't do; he just needs playing experience. The five-tool kid that was drafted No. 1 [overall by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1999] is starting to emerge.

Substance abuse comeback: He is the feel-good story of the year. You never know [if he'll return to drugs and alcohol], but all is well so far. You just hope he can stay away from the demons that haunted him before.

NOTE "A scout's take" features one major league scout's opinion on a particular player each week. Because of potential tampering, the scouts are anonymous.

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