Monday, February 11, 2008

Assesing the Bedard Trade; Part II

Time for Part II in our assesment of the Erik Bedard trade. You can find the first part here, which was about Adam Jones. Next up, is pitching prospect Chris Tillman that Baltimore recieved in the trade.

Chris Tillman, the 6'5" righty that was picked in the second round by the Mariners in the 2006 Amateur Draft, was seen as a medium first round pick, but lucky for the Mariners, he fell through an extra round. Tillman has a fastball at about 90 MPH, and a great breaking ball. He has also been working on a splitter or changeup to compliment his other pitches. Because of Tillman's size, he can rely on his skill to make his pitches instead of having to overwork his arm and elbow, which would likely lead to injuries.

Tillman doesn't appear to be much more than a high quality prospect at this point in time. He hasn't pitched higher than A+ so far, and hasn't truly dominated at A Ball based on his statistics. Like I said, he doesn't appear to be someone that the Mariners will regret trading, but he will only be 20 years old in 2008, which is still very young. He needs another year or two in the minors before we can really expect much from him as a force in the majors.

Jason Churchill of Prospect Insider gives his take on Chris Tillman here. Here is what he thinks of Tillman's pitches:

Fastball: Tillman sat anywhere from 90-93 in his pro debut last season, occasionally touching 94 or 95, which could ultimately become his average fastball. He’s a candidate to learn the art of the two-seamer in order to induce more ground balls, but the club sees him as the type of pitcher, being taller, who can learn to stay on top of his pitches and keep the ball down, so a different heater may not be necessary.
With plus velocity, Tillman has the makings of a very good four-seamer.Grade: 60/65+
Curve: Tillman’s 12-6 style curve is his bread and butter and is thrown in the 75-77 mph range – potentially a true power curve. As always, his command of the pitch needs improvement, but it’s got sharp, late break and solid depth, though it may endure some altering on his path to the show.

The Mariners do not want to see their kids throw too many curves or sliders, so watch for Tillman to be asked to use his curve sparingly, particularly later in the year as his workload tops out.Grade: 55/65

Splitter: Tillman began throwing a split-finger in high school, but the M’s prefer he learns a true change to save his valuable arm as he continues to mature physically. In a few years, they’ll remove the limitations and the better bet is that he sticks with the splitter, as a true change, usually of the circle grip variety, is much more difficult to master.
He can throw the true changeup and will be asked to develop it further.Grade: 45/55

Now for my take on Chris Tillman. Tillman is a pitcher that is very mature for his age. He could be someone that shoots up the minor leagues in 2008. He has two great pitches, his fastball and curve, that have been developed well, but still have soom room to go in terms of control. As he develops his changeup/splitter, he will become a pitcher that can dominate the strike zone because of his size, and the abilities of his pitches. Once he matures, he should have the abilities to be a solid number two or three pitcher in the rotation. He doesn't appear to be a bonafide ace pitcher of a prospect, but things could change, going up, or down. He probably won't see the bigs in '08, but may get a taste in '09. Probably by 2010, he will be somewhere between a AAA Ace, and an MLB starter.


mariners45 said...

yeah, tillman still has a way to go, but he looks like he could be a pretty darn good pitcher

Anonymous said...

i agree