Monday, April 25, 2011

John Sickels on Chris Tillman

An pretty thorough look back at the minor league career and prospect status of Chris Tillman. Sickels explores his velocity drop, the control issues, his cutter and comparable pitchers at the beginning of their careers. In conclusion:

Clearly he has nothing left to learn at Norfolk, and his statistics there certainly imply that he should be successful in the majors. But it hasn't happened yet. In 27 major league starts, he's 4-12, 5.69, with an 86/61 K/BB in 138 innings, 149 hits allowed, 77 ERA+, 5.68 FIP, 4.95 xFIP, and a WAR of 0.1...

Overall, as long as he's healthy, I think there's still a good chance that Tillman can live up to his potential, perhaps as soon as this year. He's only 23. If he had gone to Cal State Fullerton instead of signing with the Mariners in 2006, he would have been drafted in 2009, very likely as a first-round pick, and this would just be his second full pro season. He deserves some slack.

It's easy to forget the guy is just 23. I don't know what the future holds for Tillman but I hope he gets the chance to try to work it out in Baltimore this season, all season, lumps and all.

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