It was clear when watching Mark McGwire at USC that he was set for stardom in the big leagues. McGwire was an eighth-round pick in high school but then dominated for the Trojans.
When Giants scout George Genovese saw McGwire play in March of 1984, he was blown away.
"This boy has outstanding power," Genovese wrote in his official scouting report. "... I feel he will be a good power hitter as he makes good contact and hits to all field with power. He is a tough out at the plate and it takes a good curve ball or excellent pitch to get him out."
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As MLB.com's Matt Kelly notes, Genovese even saw a better version of a former No. 1 overall pick -- Dave Kingman -- in a young McGwire.
"As much power and better contact at the plate than Dave Kingman," Genovese wrote.
McGwire wound up hitting .387 with 32 home runs, 20 doubles and 80 RBI at USC in 1984. And the Giants had a chance to select McGwire with the No. 9 pick in the '84 MLB Draft. Instead, they took outfielder Alan Cockrell, who had nine at-bats in his MLB career and never played for San Francisco.
The A's grabbed McGwire one pick later at No. 10 overall, and he became an instant star. The powerful first baseman hit a then-rookie record 49 homers for the A's in 1987 on his way to winning AL Rookie of the Year.
McGwire finished his career with 583 long balls. Kingman, who started his career with the Giants and ended it with the A's, hit 442. And Cockrell had two career hits ... none went over the fence.