BEST MARLINS PLAYER (2002)
On a young team loaded with prospects and emerging pitching talent, we especially like the promise that Beckett holds. The right-handed pitcher from Spring, Texas, was named USA Today's high-school pitcher of the year in 1999. He was also the first prep pitcher drafted by the Marlins in the first round. After starting last season with the AA Portland (Maine) Sea Dogs, Beckett debuted in the major leagues in September. Immediately he proved he belonged, allowing only one hit in six innings in a victory over the Cubs. In four starts Beckett allowed only one-and-a-half earned runs and struck out an average of one batter every inning. That was good enough to be named the team's rookie of the year by area sportswriters. That's no small achievement on this young team. And Beckett is no small talent.
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