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Sirspud

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[post="Article Here"]http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/ten-prospects-to-watch-in-2007/[/post]

Ryan Tucker ? SP ? Florida Marlins ? 20 (A+)

Level(s) IP ERA H BB HR K
A- 131.1 5.00 123 67 14 133

On the minor leagues' most interesting pitching staff, it appeared for much of the 2006 season that Ryan Tucker was the odd man out. The last of the four prep prospects drafted, Tucker also was the least successful in Greensboro. Tucker was among the players on this list I saw personally in 2006, and of the three, he grades out the best. Probably not a smudge above six-feet, Tucker has a big build and uses his thick legs to generate plus velocity on his fastball, a la Bartolo Colon.

While his fastball was usually enough in high school, the Marlins worked hard with Tucker all season on developing his slider, cutter and change. Early reports were Tucker's development was slow, leading to his 6.61 ERA in the first three months. However, around the time of July, Tucker began to improve the control of his fastball while tightening up his slider. On July 6, when I was in attendance, Tucker was showing a tight, low-80s slider with enough depth. At the very least, the combination of his fastball and improving slider could leave him as a good reliever, perhaps profiling as the Marlins closer of the future.

But, it's certainly not time to close the door on Tucker's career in the rotation. In his last 11 starts, Tucker blossomed with a 2.96 ERA, a much reduced walk rate, and just one wild pitch (compared to 10 the first three months). Tucker's control, like his secondary stuff, has been a work in progress since the day he signed with the Marlins. However, Tucker's second half?as well as the progress he made with his slider?leaves me to believe he could be the best of Florida?s four prep pitchers in just one year.


I found this article very interesting as Tucker is the young pitcher we are hearing the least about out of the big 4, or 5 if you include Sink. I wasn't aware that he had engineered such a turnaround in his season, its exciting to see that he may be coming around.
 

MarlinsLou

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There have been a few articles like this about Tucker. And about one of our OF's named Greg Burns, who started rocking baseballs last 6 weeks of the minor league season after a batting stance change, despite an overall unimpressive line for 06 (.640 OPS in greensboro).

Seems control is still a huge issues even after the late season success, but he's right after the fab 5 with the Vanden Hurk and Owens as next best pitcher prospect in the system. Hopefully he's not the next Bostick and the control improves.
 

Fishfan79

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I would love to find and read more articles like this, great read and find. I hope the kid turns into something special :)
 

Flamarlins3

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Tucker definitely improved from the first time I saw him until the end of the year when i saw him...I do kind of feel like he may be a future closer as the article suggested, but ya its good to have such good pitching prospects...now only if we could get the guys who can swing the bat and life would be good
 

Hanleylicious

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John Sickels also had this excerpt on him from his book, had to post it with the Tuiasosopo since they're both in one image.
 

Eddie Altamonte

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I haven't seen him pitch but I guess that unless he works on his pitches he is most likely to become a reliever
 

Sirspud

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I haven't seen him pitch but I guess that unless he works on his pitches he is most likely to become a reliever

That's not a bad thing. We could use more guys with wicked stuff in the bullpen, we have plenty enough starter candidates to suffice, including 8 returners from last year alone plus Jose Garcia (a potential bullpen guy as well) and the other fab 5.
 

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