Down on the Dodger Farm May 19

Scouting is about projection. To look at a young player and see not just what's before you but what you anticipate will be there a few years hence. Take Mike Megrew. In his senior year of high school, he was a pretty good hitter and a winning pitcher but one without a smoking fast ball. Scout John Kosciak liked his demeanor and felt his 6-5 frame would could be built up to give him the needed strength. So the Dodgers took him in the 2002 draft and put him on the mound rather than in the field.

Just as projected the fast ball has been bumped up into the acceptable low 90's range now. More than anything though the lefthander has that mound presence, the ability to keep batters offstride. How far as he come along? Hey, Wednesday night he was near-perfect, pitching seven innings in which the Tampa Yankees didn't get a hit off him with only two walks even smudging the record. He struck out 11 along the way but you won't see his name in the books as a no-hit pitcher because the pitch count mandated his exit with two innings to play.

The first ball reliever Beau Dannemiller threw in the eighth was scratched for an infield single so a combined no-no was done, too. The Yanks were able to collect two more in the remaining time but Vero was in command for a 6-0 victory which gave them a four-game sweep of the Florida State West leaders and fifth straight overall. Megrew upped his record to 3-1 and dropped his ERA to 1.95 with his splendid work.

Delwyn Young rapped two doubles and Joel Guzman drove his sixth homer over the right field fence to lead the Vero hitters. Chris Testa also has a pair of hits but even with all this winning Vero is still shy of .500 (20-22) and seven behind in the Florida State East.

Winning is something Jacksonville has apprently forgotten how to do and it's getting crowded at the top of the Southern League East as a result. The Suns ' latest loss was 2-1 to Mobile (Padres), their eighth defeat in their last 10 efforts. Profiting from this was Chattanooga which moved into a tie with the Suns for first along with Carolina and Tennessee, which are now just one game behind.

Leaving men on as been the biggest curse for the Suns during this stretch. Brennan King singled in a first-inning run last night but that was all they could get home as seven other hits, three by Willie Aybar, went aborning. The Baybears got to Derek Thompson (1-2) for single tallies in the fourth and fifth, which proved to be enough.

Las Vegas had the night off while Columbus' scheduled game against Greensboro was rained out.