Drafted in the 7th round of this year's amateur draft, Josh Tamba was expected to be raw entering professional baseball. He red shirted his freshman year at Cypress College (JuCo) and did not pitch in his second year there. Instead, he made 14 starts for the Ironbirds and was one of their more consistent performers. Tamba was forced to relocate to an entirely new coast, but he showed little rust or difficulty acclimating himself to an entirely new living situation.
DOB: 11/15/84 Height: 6-2 Weight: 200 B/T: L/R
Josh Tamba's age 21 season:
Tamba works with a fastball that typically sits around 90 MPH, so he is no power pitcher. He does effectively keep it low in the strike zone, as evidenced by his 1.11 GO/AO ratio, and it does have good downward movement. Tamba also shows off a solid slider that was more refined than pre-draft reports suggested. His changeup is very much a work in progress and will be vital to his success at higher levels, since he will need an effective change of pace from his marginal raw arm strength.
At first glance, Tamba's statistics are more impressive than they actually are, given league and park context. His below average strikeout rate is a direct reflection of his reliance on his fastball and predictable pitch sequencing. His low, but higher than average, home run rate also reflects this, since he actually induces more than his share of groundballs.
Tamba will likely begin 2007 in Delmarva's rotation. There, he'll once again have the luxury of pitching in a friendly ballpark and league context. While his long-term role is most likely in the bullpen, Tamba will be given plenty of chances to develop a changeup and stay in the rotation. I wouldn‘t expect him to move faster than one level per year, but Tamba is exactly the type of prospect that signifies the growing depth of the Orioles farm system.
Michael Hollman is the Senior Writer for Inside The Warehouse and can be reached via email at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com