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Hutchison enjoying meteoric climb

June 01, 2002

Jeff Tully

BURBANK -- The meteoric rise of Wes Hutchison's baseball career is

going at an amazing rate.

In just over a year in the minor leagues, the former Burroughs High

star pitcher has advanced to the Triple A level in the San Francisco

Giants' organization.

Starting the season with the Double A Shreveport Swamp Dragons in the

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Texas League, Hutchison was called up to Triple A Fresno of the Pacific

Coast League.

The jump to Fresno even surprised Hutchison.

"I was really pumped when they told me," said Hutchison, who turned 23

on Friday. "I was also kind of surprised that I was called up so

quickly."

Just one level away from the major leagues, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound

right-hander is relishing his success -- and still taking it all in.

"There are a lot of former major-leaguers here in Triple A," Hutchison

said. "Just to be here in the little time I have been in the minors is

amazing to me. This is really awesome."

Since being called up in February, Hutchison has pitched in 13 games.

Along with a 1-1 record and a 3.48 earned-run average, Hutchison has

allowed 19 hits, 13 runs, struck out 26 and walked seven in 20 2/3

innings.

"I even got a spot-start the other night," Hutchison said. "In the

game I pitched five innings and I allowed two hits and no runs. So I was

pretty happy with that.

"When I first got here in my first six appearances I did great. But

then I had some problems in a couple of games. But the last few games I

have done [well] and now I'm back."

Along with a difference in talent level from Double A to Triple A,

Hutchison said there are some other distinct differences.

"They treat us so well here," he said. "We get to travel by airplane

instead of by bus and the food here is so much better."

Success is nothing new for Hutchison, who has thrived and made an

impact at every level he has participated.

At Burroughs, Hutchison helped the Indians win their first Foothill

League championship in 40 years in 1997.

After two years at Glendale Community College, Hutchison helped

Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho win a National Assn. of

Intercollegiate Athletics title in 2000.

He was taken in the 10th round of the 2001 amateur draft by the

Giants. In his first minor league season with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes

of the Northwest League, he helped the team win a league championship.

With all of his recent success, Hutchison said he is just hoping to

stay healthy and improve as a pitcher.

"I am still learning, and I know I still have a lot to learn,"

Hutchison said.

"The big thing for me is to stay healthy and not to get any injures.

Also, I have to continue to do what I have to do toimprove."

"But I'm having fun, and this is great."

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