Ken Griffey Jr. as High School Senior

On May 24, 1987, days before he’d be drafted by the Seattle Mariners (read about his early career with the Mariners here), the Associated Press profiled Ken Griffey Jr. The story said:

Griffey plays for Moeller High School in suburban Cincinnati, where he has established his credentials as a multi-talented player.

Griffey is batting .430 with seven homers. As a junior, he hit .478 with 10 homers.

“It’s a foregone conclusion among the scouts that he is going to go real high,” said Hep Cronin, an Atlanta Braves scout. “If you grade his five areas that scouts grade – ability to hit, hit with power, throw, run and field – he’s at least a major-league average in all five.”

Mike Cameron [namesake of the man who would replace Griffey for the Mariners in 2000], in his 19th year as Moeller’s baseball coach, has coached major-leaguers Buddy Bell, Barry Larkin and Len Matuszek, and says Griffey is ahead of Larkin at the same stage. Larkin, starting shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds, was the fourth player drafted in 1985.

“There’s no question about it – Ken is a level ahead,” Cameron said. “He has much more talent and he’s a much more polished high school player.”

At the same time, Griffey’s father told the New York Times: “I don’t like discussing money before a guy is drafted. Once a team drafts him, we can sit down and talk. I know exactly what I want for my son, but I’m not going to say until after the draft.” Ken Sr. wasn’t a disinterested party, but his praise sounds accurate: “He has a well-above-average arm and speed, and he hits for average and with power. He’s a good contact hitter, but he also can hit the ball a long way. I’m impressed with him.”

Published in: on December 6, 2008 at 3:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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