Re: Who are the flame throwers?
Junior Martinez is the hardest thrower in the organization. To say he has a long way to go as a prospect would be putting it mildly. Philippe Valiquette throws hard. Andrew Bowman would be near the top but is not as consistent with his velocity. Curtis Partch is in that same mold. Josh Ravin would rank in the top group. Terrell Young (pre-injury).
Yes, they are mostly A-ballers and generally the guys in that group have not had a lot of success. That tells you a couple of things. One, if a guy has a plus fastball, he will get second and third chances in A-ball to figure it out, even if he is not pitching effectively. Secondly, once he gets higher than A-ball, if all he has is velocity, he will get pummeled. Therefore, you see many of those kind of raw throwers in A-ball and the majority don't make it, but the hope is that if a pitching coach can have some success with one of those kind of guys, then you have a prospect with a plus tool.
You said high 90s. The only guys in the organization that I have personally seen in the high 90s in 2008-09 were Martinez and Zach Stewart, although I have not seen Ondrusek.
Also, I will differentiate a bit between hardest thrower and best fastball. Hardest thrower, to me, means highest radar gun reading. Best fastball takes into account movement and command and is much more important.
Three best fastballs in the farm system over the last 15 years (in no particular order): Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, Zach Stewart.
Last edited by redsof72; 01-08-2010 at 11:08 AM.