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Chris Tillman....


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So I wrote Stark an email:

Jayson -

Love your columns and think you do an excellent job. I've got to admit, though, I'm not sure you talked to a real scout about Tillman. Because the guy is clueless. First, he's 20 (by about a month - 4/15/88 birthdate) and not 25. Which makes a huge difference at AA. Second, in cold weather, he's been sitting at 92-94 and touching 95 all spring. With a big 12-6 curveball that he can command, and improving change-up.

Third, he just finished throwing 6 innings of 3-hit ball with 9Ks and 1 walk. How many 20 year olds at AA do that? And how many of them have the moderate-upside of Ian Kennedy?

His current line at AA: 2.42 ERA and...

37.1 Innings

22 Hits

10 Runs

10 Earned Runs

1 HR Allowed

19 BB

38 Ks

I think your scout is way off. I'm no professional, but...

Thanks again. Enjoy your work.


And he wrote back:

Hi Spencer,

That was a typo on the age. We fixed it immediately. Sorry.

Second, I've been singing this guy's praises, so I was surprised by the scouting report. This guy is very reliable on gun readings. Never embellishes, unlike scoreboard radar guns. So I trust him on that.

Seems to me the numbers alone suggest he's better than this report. But the beauty of baseball is, we'll find out soon enough who's right. It can't be worse than running Jason Johnson out there, right?

Thanks for writing.

Jayson Stark

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I replied back.

Thanks for the quick, considerate reply, Jayson. And don't worry, you're the last of we paranoid Orioles' fans worries (we're still reeling from our big victory over the Sox playing second-fiddle to sheMANNYgans.)

I'm in no (real) position to doubt your sources. But, man, 6-5 projectible power pitcher with slight command issues (see his 4.5 BB rate) doesn't equal Ian Kennedy from any angle (especially when Kennedy didn't even reach AA until he was 22 and had played college ball). Strange. I'm going to ask around the folks I know who are thick with the O's system and see what our radar guns are saying.

Thanks for the heads-up, though. And keep up the good work.

Enjoy your weekend (it's here isn't it? Soon?)


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