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Pitcher making his way up ranks with Giants

March 30, 2002

Jeff Tully

BURBANK -- Taken just last year in the major league baseball amateur

draft, Wes Hutchison was hoping to rise quickly through the minor-league

ranks.

But even the former Burroughs High star pitcher is surprised at how

rapidly he has progressed since being chosen in the 10th round by the San

Francisco Giants in June.

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Hutchison, 22, has had a productive preseason and got the opportunity

to pitch some spring training innings with the Giants' major-league team.

Because of his fine play, Hutchison is headed to the organization's

Double-A affiliate in Shreveport, La.

"It has kind of surprised me at how well I have been doing," Hutchison

said. "But I have been pitching really well and I'm happy with my

progression.

"To think that I was able to play some with the Giants after being

here less than a year is just amazing to me."

During spring training with the Giants, Hutchison got into games

against the Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers. In

the three stints he allowed just one hit and no runs.

"That was a great experience being able to pitch with the big squad,"

he said. "I was just happy to be able to get the opportunity."

Hutchison, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound right-hander, also pitched with the

Giants' Triple-A Fresno team, and was impressive there as well. In nine

innings he surrendered one run and gave up just two hits.

"I came into the season ready, so I think that has helped," Hutchison

said. "I just want the season to begin today."

A former Burroughs standout, Hutchison also starred at Glendale

Community College in 1998 and 1999.

He spent some of his off-season at Burroughs High pitching to the

Indian squad.

Last year, with the Single-A Salem-Keizet Volcanoes, Hutchison helped

the team win a Northwest League championship.

In 25 games he was 6-2 with a 1.64 earned-run average and had 45

strike outs and 14 walks in 33 innings. He also led the league with 10

saves.

"The organization has been great to me," Hutchison said. "I have been

able to work with some great coaches who have helped me a lot. I'm just

looking forward to a good season."

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