10) Josh Stinson: The fact that Stinson, with just 40 career innings under his belt, and his developing slider cracks the Top Ten is a testament to lack of depth in the sliders category for the Mets. It can be a very good pitch for him at times, but his velocity and location are too inconsistent to rank higher. His slider averages around 76 MPH but can run anywhere from 74-80 MPH on any given day.
9) Jake Ruckle: A soft-tossing control artist, while Ruckle might lack a hard fastball, he is equipped with a very good slider that serves as his main out-pitch. It can be a strikeout pitch for him at times but he uses it more to pitch to contact. Sitting just 73-77 with his slider, he's able to disguise it very well and it does have the appearance of being sneaky fast with his deceptive motion and the movement he's able to get with it.
8) Marcelo Perez: The 26-year old Dominican native still has not made it out of A-ball yet despite throwing power stuff, including a hard slider that sits consistently in the 81-84 MPH range. It is easily his second best pitch behind his low-to-mid-90's heater as he is still learning to command his other secondary pitches. When his slider is on however, it can be really tough to hit.
7) Kevin Mulvey: Primarily a fastball pitcher, Mulvey has a very good slider that he has the confidence to throw in any count and in any situation. It is a hard biting slider that can hit the 87 MPH plateau at times and ranges down to 81 MPH on his off days. He attacks batters with his fastball to get ahead in the count and then uses his slider as his main strikeout pitch.
6) Eric Brown: Mainly a ground ball pitcher who pounds the strike zone with sinking two-seam fastballs, Brown compliments his heater with a very good power slider in the 78-82 MPH range that serves as his main strikeout pitch, especially to right-handed batters. He has excellent command of his slider and it's one of the reasons why he had such a breakout performance with the Brooklyn Cyclones last season.
5) Jose De La Torre: The diminutive reliever can throw some serious heat and he brings the same kind of power with his slider. While it will average anywhere from 79-86 MPH, he can spot his slider at will and he gets excellent tailing action with it. His devastating slider-fastball combination is the reason why some Mets insiders believe he could advance pretty quickly through the farm system.
4) Brandon Nall: The undrafted free agent signing had a huge season for the Hagerstown Suns last year before earning a brief promotion to Double-A Binghamton and his plus slider is the main reason. The side-armer throws a frisbee-style slider akin to former Mets reliever Chad Bradford in the 77-81 MPH range and it is a truly devastating pitch for opposing right-handed batters.
3) Joe Smith: Like Nall, Smith uses his unique arm motion to fling sliders across the plate with incredible tailing action. And like Nall, he neutralizes right-handed batters with his slider, a pitch that also averages 77-81 MPH. The one problem with all the movement he generates with it however is he sometimes can't command it consistently, which is the top priority for him in his development in 2007.
2) Bobby Parnell: Parnell throws one of the hardest sliders in the organization, averaging 82-86 MPH with impeccable command. It is a powerful sweeping slider that tails over the plate and it is very devastating for right-handed batters because he comes straight over the top and has the appearance of a fastball coming out of his hands. While he has struggled with the development of his changeup thus far, his plus slider has many scouts believing he could become a very good big league setup man.
1) Shane Hawk: Unable to pitch each of the last two seasons due to injuries, most people have forgotten that Hawk possesses a plus-plus slider that serves as his money pitch. Able to consistently throw in the 79-83 MPH range and bring it as high as 85 MPH, is a truly devastating pitch when he's locating it to both right-handed and left-handed batters. Finally set to return to the mound in 2007, Hawk says his slider is still as good as ever.
Tool Time: Top Ten Sliders
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