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May 13, 2009

Future Shock Blog

May 13

by Kevin Goldstein

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Honestly Orioles fans, help is on the way

Chris Tillman, RHP, Orioles (Triple-A Norfolk)
Tuesday's stats: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K
As if Adam Jones and George Sherrill weren't enough, the Orioles got even more in return for Erik Bedard, and Tillman could have as big an impact as any of them. A reader reports that Tillman was consistently at 94-95 mph on Tuesday while delivering his best start of the year, which lowered his ERA to 2.03 with 37 strikeouts in 31 innings. He's probably big league ready, but like battery-mate Matt Wieters, does calling him up really make a difference right now?

If you have no idea where it's going, the velocity doesn't matter

Jeremy Jeffress, RHP, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville)
Tuesday's stats: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 5 BB, 1 K
The Brewers' top pick in 2006, Jeffress can throw as hard as anyone in the minors, often touching triple-digits, but his once below-average control is now firmly in nightmare territory, as in his last three outings, Jeffress has walked 15 over seven innings while giving up 15 runs. He's seemingly totally lost at this point, and the most disturbing thing is that he's never really been found. He's not a pitcher per so, just a guy who throws really hard.

On The Sopranos, they'd call him Tony the . . . ah, forget it

Antonio Bastardo, LHP, Phillies (Double-A Reading)
Tuesday's stats: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K
A five-foot-eleven southpaw, Bastardo is a changeup specialist with just enough velocity to set-up the pitch well. Scouts go back and forth as to whether he's a starter or reliever in the end, as do the Phillies. Since moving to the Reading rotation, Bastardo has been especially effective, allowing just 11 hits in 20.1 innings, so Philadelphia might be figuring out what his big league role is sooner rather than later.

Still wondering if he's for real?

Mike Stanton, OF, Marlins (High-A Jupiter)
Tuesday's stats: 1-for-4, HR (8), R, RBI, 2 K
Stanton his 39 home runs as an 18-year-old last year in his full-season debut, but a high strikeout rate and extreme hitters park still left a few doubters. Now in the Florida State League, where home runs go to die, he's gone deep in three straight games. As for the strikeout rate, what was once roughly one every three at-bats is now roughly once every four, so there is progress there as well.

Like father, like son

Jeremy Barfield, OF, Athletics (Low-A Kane County)
Tuesday's stats:3-for-4, 3 HR (4), 3 R, 7 RBI, BB
Unlike older brother Josh, Jeremy actually looks like his father, former Blue Jays slugger. At 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, Barfield cuts an imposing presence at the plate, but last year's eighth-round pick was seen as extremely raw, and he looked it in his first seven games, as he went 3-for-22. In four games since, he's 11-for-17 with four bombs and 10 RBIs.

Dutch treat

Juan Sulbaran, RHP, Reds (Low-A Dayton)
Tuesday's stats: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 8 K
Aa 30th-round pick last year, Sulbaran got a $500,000 bonus when the Reds had to buy him away from both the University of Florida and a possible gambit that involved him pitching professionally in his home country of the Netherlands and hoping for free agency. He got some attention when he struck out Ivan Rodriguez in the World Baseball Classic, and now he's generating even more after missing the first month of the season with a blister problem. In three starts for the Dragons, Sulbaran has 20 strikeouts in 14 innings, while walking seven and showcasing a plus heater and projectable breaking ball and changeup. He also has a bit of a nasty streak, as those seven hit batters already aren't just related to control issues.


Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

6 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

mwashuc06

I was tracking Tillman in his start last night, that's probably where you got my information from, someone copied my info off a site. Tillman actually started out shaky, only hitting 90-92 in the first two innings and allowing 3 hits. The rest of the game he was throwing two plus pitches, his 94-95 MPH heat and his upper 70's kneebuckling curve. He isn't MLB ready yet IMO despite your thinking Mr. Goldstein. Tillman needs work on his changeup which wasn't that great. Tillman was throwing his change, anywhere from 82-85 MPH and fooled one hitter with an 82 MPH change, but he didn't have that good of control with it.

May 13, 2009 15:13 PM
rating: -2
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I actually talked to somebody else that was there, not somebody who copied anything from you. He emailed me right after the game, so he had his own information.

May 13, 2009 16:42 PM
 
mwashuc06

Cool, I didn't even noticed anyone else tracking Tillman at the game. There probably wasn't more than 500 people at the game. What is wrong with Wieters this year, he was awful yesterday.

May 13, 2009 17:18 PM
rating: 0
 
delugeofgrandeur

As another fan at that game, out of the maybe 8 people who were there, there were two guys behind home plate with radar guns. One was only tracking Tillman, not sure about the other. And Weiters looked pretty bad, managing to go 0 for 5 without a strikeout that would have won the 8 people there a free taco.

May 13, 2009 17:36 PM
rating: 0
 
mwashuc06

I was behind homeplate but I didn't have a radar gun. The one guy behind home plate was David Hernandez and he was tracking pitchers last night. Wieters is having another horrible game tonight. I hope he isn't turning into the catching version of Alex Gordon.

May 13, 2009 17:54 PM
rating: 0
 
jorens

Isn't Clint Everts a RHP?

May 15, 2009 15:07 PM
rating: 0
 
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