TACOMA, Wash. -- Jose Canseco bats over .500, hits 500-foot home runs and the Tacoma Tigers of the Pacific Coast League are calling their right fielder the next Mickey Mantle.
Of course, Tacoma's parent team, the Oakland A's, is listening to the plaudits heaped on the 21-year-old slugger.
Last weekend, Canseco smashed a 500-foot homer in Vancouver, B.C. Two weeks ago, he belted a 500-foot blast at Las Vegas, Nev. At batting practice Monday, he smacked a ball over the 32-foot right-center fence at Tacoma's Cheney Stadium.
He doesn't suffer droughts between home runs and he gets better as he rises through the minors. In 73 games this season at Huntsville of the AA Southern Association, the 6-foot-3, 217-pounder hit over .400 before being sent up to Tacoma, where he's batting .525.
'Everybody you talk to says he has Mantle's power and Mantle's speed,' said Stan Naccarato, Tacoma's general manager. 'I've been here 26 years working with the club and we've never had this before. People are coming up to me and asking, 'How's the club doing?' and 'How's Canseco doing?'
'There's electricity in the air.'
That current reaches all the way to the Bay Area, where the A's are waiting for the right time to bring Canseco up.
'In the future he'll be playing with Oakland,' Jay Alves, A's assistant director of scouting, said Thursday. 'But who knows how soon? That's up to Jose. Obviously, he's showing he can play at the AAA level, but you can't go by numbers alone.
'There's nothing special we're waiting for. His performance shows he has all the talent and potential in the world, something we've known all along. It's just a matter of more experience, and the big league club's not hurting for offense.'
Canseco says he simply is using the talents he has.
'I've been given a lot of talent and I'm trying to make the most of it,' he said. 'You can't really let it go to your head or it will affect your play. You have to be consistent. That's what they look for, players who are consistent.
'I'm not looking for stats, but I think everybody knows I have the talent to play in the major leagues. I'm just trying to be a consistent ballplayer.'
As for Canseco's future with the Tigers, Tacoma infielder Jose Tolentino said: 'You better enjoy him while you can. He's awesome. He's going to make a big name for himself.'