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Anthony Lerew Scouting Report

Here's Baseball America's report on Lerew at the beginning of the year:

Background: Lerew flew under the radar in high school because he also played football--he was an all-star punter in Pennsylvania--but area scout J.J. Picollo identified his talent and signability early on. The Braves stole him in the 11th round in 2001, and he has posted a 2.79 ERA in four pro seasons.

Strengths: Lerew's fastball suddenly jumped 4-5 mph in 2004. After touching 93 mph the year before, he started working at 91-94 and peaking at 97. The pitch also has nice movement, and he generates that velocity with an effortless delivery. He also has good overall control.

Weaknesses: The increase in velocity affected Lerew's command, as he still threw strikes but didn't locate his pitches as effectively. His secondary offerings also need refinement. He lost the feel for his changeup at times and must tighten his slider further.

The Future: Provided he maintains his newfound velocity, Lerew has the makings of a power pitcher in the middle of a major league rotation. Added to the 40-man roster in November, he's expected to spend most of 2005 in Double-A.