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Tommy Hanson / RHP / starter

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Hanson, a 22nd round draft pick out of community college, has made himself into one of the top pitchers in baseball. He owns a running, low to mid 90s fastball that has proven to be a plus pitch. He'll try and locate the fastball on both sides of the plate in a given at-bat, unafraid to pitch inside. However, Hanson is best known for his breaking stuff. He throws a curveball that gets sharp downward break, and he shows a tendency to use this pitch against LHs. Against RHs, Tommy will tighten this pitch up just a bit, giving it more slider action. Both pitches get tons of movement and are swing-and-miss offerings. Hanson's fourth pitch is a changeup that he throws just a few times per outing. 10/8/10 CSJ

*fastball(89-95), slider(79-84), curve(74-77), changeup(81)

 

Tim Hudson / RHP / starter

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Hudson lives off of his 2-seamer, which is one of the best in the league. It's a pitch he can duck under bats or paint corners with to set up his secondary pitches. Hudson spins a sharp slider in the low to upper 80s. He can tighten this pitch up to look more like a cutter, or sweep it away from RHs. Hudson's splitter, a pitch he is known for, is usually in the mid 80s and sinking considerably. Hudson will also throw a slow curveball and has experimented with changeups in the past.

Huddy was part of Oakland's "Big Three", back when he was helping the Athletics make the postseason on a regular basis. He has since survived Tommy John surgery to win the 2010 NL Comeback Player of the Year.

As a collegian at Auburn, Hudson was named an All-American his senior year after going 15-2 on the mound and dropping 18 bombs as an outfielder. 10/10/10 CSJ

*2-seam fastball(88-94), slider(83-88), splitter(81-85), curveball(73-81)

Jair Jurrjens / RHP / starter

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Jurrjens has three pitches, and seems to get the most out of them. His fastball doesn't overpower anyone, but he's smart with it. His second pitch of choice is his changeup which gets good sinking action, making it difficult on LHs and RHs alike. He also has a big slider that he'll use to any hitter. He seems to cock his hand funny at the bottom of his arm circle during his delivery. He can also speak English, Spanish, Dutch, and Papiamentu. 5/14/09 CSJ

*fastball(87-95), changeup(79-84), slider(78-82)

Mike Minor / LHP / starter

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A 2009 first round draft pick, Mike Minor dominated for three spring seasons at Vanderbilt before the Braves called his name. Then, Minor only made 25 minor league starts before getting his first shot at The Show.

Mike's repertoire looks like a good one, and somewhat similar to the Orioles' Brian Matusz. Minor adds and subtracts with a fastball that he throws to the corners. He backs that up with a solid changeup in the low-80s. A curveball rounds out this lefty's selection of pitches for now. 9/10/10 CSJ

*fastball(88-94), curve(76-81), changeup(80-84)

Eric O'Flaherty / LHP / reliever

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O'Flaherty is a young lefthander that is trying to solidify himself as a late inning reliever. He pitches just over 90 mph with his fastball, and shows what looks like a deceptive changeup. Eric also deals a sharp slider that is becoming his favorite weapon. In the past, I seem to recall a big, slow curveball as well. O'Flaherty is from Walla Walla, Washington. 9/10/10 CSJ

*fastball(89-92), changeup(81-84), slider(83-87), curve

Kris Medlen / RHP / starter-reliever

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Medlen wasn't much of a prospect, until this spring, when he began the year by going 5-0 with a 1.19 ERA at AAA Gwinnett. The Braves called him up and he has filled in at both starter and reliever.

Medlen uses a low 90s fastball to get ahead of hitters, then flips his 12-6 curveball that disappears off the plate, or runs his changeup away from LHs. 8/19/09 CSJ

*fastball(90-94), curve(78-81), changeup(80-83)

Cristhian Martinez / RHP / reliever

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*fastball(90-92), changeup(82-86), slider(84)

Jo-Jo Reyes / LHP / starter

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Jo-Jo owns a basic repertoire. He uses his straight fastball inside and outside to hitters, backing it up with a standard slider. His changeup is hard, often only 5mph slower than his fastball. Jo-Jo also mixes in a few slow curveballs. Yo Jo. 5/28/09 CSJ

*fastball(87-91), slider(79-83), changeup(81-82), curve(72-74)

Billy Wagner / LHP / closer

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Billy Wagner dominates with his fastball and slider. His fastball sits between 93 to 95 mph, seemingly rising at it approaches home plate. His slider is sharp, diving in towards the ankles of RHs, and away from LHs. Wagner has thrown some changeups in the past, but they are very rare.

Wagner is a D-III legend out of Ferrum College in Virginia, where he set NCAA records for K/9 (19.1) and H/9 (1.88). He can generate amazing velocity from his small frame, made even more amazing when you realize that Wagner is naturally righthanded, but learned to throw lefty after breaking his right arm a couple of times as a young kid. 6/9/10 CSJ

*fastball(93-99), slider(81-86), changeup(87)

Peter Moylan / RHP / setup reliever

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Moylan is a sidearm pitcher from Australia. He throws a sweeping slider to go with a moving fastball. He shows abnormally high velocity for a sidewinder. Moylan figured out he could bring it as a sidearm pitcher while playing in an Australian beer league. 9/10/10 CSJ

*fastball(87-93), slider(76-82), changeup(80-83)

Derek Lowe / RHP / starter

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D-Lowe is an example of your classic sinkerballer that announcers love to talk about. He spots his sinker low in the zone or in the dirt to get groundballs. Lowe will also use a slider to either side of the plate in an attempt to surprise hitters into taking it for a strike. Derek likes to backdoor the slider to LHs often. Lowe also owns a changeup that he has brought into prominence in 2010. The changeup is only a few mph slower than his fastball, but it gets significantly greater sink. Lowe has also brought back his old cutter in recent years, and will try a few per game in order to keep LHs guessing. 6/9/10 CSJ

*sinker(87-91), slider(79-83), changeup(82-85), cutter(87)

Jonny Venters / LHP / reliever

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Venters is already known for his insane sinking fastball. Jonny can survive simply by throwing this pitch low in the strike zone and watching batters swing over it. Unfortunately, all that movement has lead to bouts of wildness, yet overall it looks like he will finish 2010 with a WHIP around 1.10. Venters' second pitch is a sharp slider that he'll use against LHs. I have also seen Venters use a changeup to RHs. 9/10/10 CSJ

*fastball(93-95), slider(83-85), changeup

Takashi Saito / RHP / reliever

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Saito is a breaking ball pitcher. He pounds the strikezone with tons of sliders and curves, showing amazing command. He'll throw them for strikes, or out of the zone to try and get hitters to chase. His fastball is low to mid 90s and gets good movement. Lastly, Saito may mix in changeups to LHs. Saito played collegiate baseball at Tohoku Fukushi University in Sandai, Japan. 9/10/10 CSJ

*fastball(89-94), curveball(75-76), slider(80-85), changeup(83)

Kenshin Kawakami / RHP / starter

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Kawakami has been brought to Atlanta to help rebuild their starting rotation. He was a Japanese Central League veteran, and one of the best pitchers in Japan over the last six years. Kenshin owns what looks like a heavy 90 mph fastball that gets some sink. Kawakami uses a cutter often. Strangely, he prefers to backdoor the cutter to LHs, often with two strikes in an attempt to get backwards Ks. Kenshin's strikeout pitch is his splitter, a good change of pace that can duck under bats. Lastly, he'll mix in a very slow curveball around 70 mph. His only "plus" pitch appears to be the splitter, making him somewhat hittable. Kawakami does have excellent command though, and appears to be ahead of most hitters mentally. 5/26/09 CSJ

*fastball(88-93), cutter(86-89), splitter(83-86), curve(67-72)

Craig Kimbrel / RHP / reliever

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Kimbrel has a smooth delivery that produces a dominant running fastball. He also has the ability to break off a slider that gets swings and misses. Missing bats is something Kimbrel has done throughout his minor league career, to the tune of a 14.9 SO/9 ratio. Unfortunately, he also owns a high walk rate, and will have to harness some control in order to dominate in the big leagues. 6/9/10 CSJ

*fastball(93-96), slider(84)

James Parr / RHP / starter-reliever

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Parr deals the standard four pitches and none of them look like a plus pitch. His minor league results have been intriguing though, as he's been fairly successful at every level. Morton usually works with his fastball and changeup, mixing in breaking balls when he has strikeout opportunities. 5/28/09 CSJ

*fastball(88-92), changeup(77-81), slider(78-82), curve(70-73)


 


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