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WITH brothers Ramon and Pedro Martinez on the mound and Sosa,
Javier, Mondesi and Ramirez in the outfield and at DH, the
Dominicans would have to be taken seriously. The team also has
veteran leaders in Franco and Pena, and good depth with Liriano
and Polonia. A quality bullpen (courtesy of the Cleveland
Indians) featuring Mesa and Tavarez would keep the Dominicans in
a lot of close games. In fact, the team's only real weakness is
a power outage at the corners. At first is Franco, back from
playing in Japan, the only long-ball threat in the infield (he
had 20 home runs with the White Sox in 1994). The hot corner is
the real cold spot, with Fernandez of the 66 homers in 13 big
league seasons. The only other candidates are Pittsburgh's
Freddy Garcia and San Diego's Andujar Cedeno, who each had more
strikeouts than hits last season. The team is deepest at
shortstop, where we selected Vizcaino, who led National League
shortstops in 1995 with a .984 fielding percentage, over Kansas
City's Jose Offerman because of Vizcaino's superior work with
the leather. For the same reason, Veras beat out Philadelphia's
Mariano Duncan at second--though Veras's major-league-leading 56
steals last season are a big factor too.


COLOR PHOTO: STEPHEN GREEN With Sosa (top), Pedro Martinez (45) and Vizcaino, the Dominicans would be in the thick of the medal chase. [Sammy Sosa]

COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT BECK [See caption above--Pedro Martinez]

COLOR PHOTO: CHUCK SOLOMON (2) [See caption above--Jose Vizcaino]

2B Quilvio Veras, Marlins
CF Stan Javier, Giants
LF Sammy Sosa, Cubs
DH Manny Ramirez, Indians
RF Raul Mondesi, Dodgers
1B Julio Franco, Indians
C Tony Eusebio, Astros
SS Jose Vizcaino, Mets
3B Tony Fernandez, Yankees
Bench Nelson Liriano, Pirates
Tony Pena, Indians
Luis Polonia, Mariners

P Ramon Martinez, Dodgers
P Pedro Martinez, Expos
P Jose Mesa, Indians
P Julian Tavarez, Indians