Tool Time: Top Sliders

Everyone has seen a hitter chase a pitch in the dirt. Even the best bats succumb and it is the markings of a good slider that has a batter looking the fool. These San Diego Padres' prospects sport the best sliders in the system.

1. John Madden

With his arm-angle and the natural movement on his slider, right-handed hitters don't stand a chance.

Madden comes out of left field with his arm slot and the ball tails down and away to righties. If they let the ball goes it has a knack for clipping the outside corner as it goes over the plate – even though it may appear way outside by the time it hits the glove.

2. Jared Wells

Wells has a hard, tight slider that gets a lot of action. It compliments his fastball well and forces hitters to commit early or be broomed away.

Wells could actually improve upon his slider with more changeups – making the slider that much more effective because it does not have a large speed difference between his fastball.

3. Jose Oyervidez

Normally termed the nickel, Oyervidez' slider has so much spin that it is defined as a "dime" slider. It can start belt high and end up in the dirt.

One of the problems he faces is its control. The pitch is almost too good and when he needs to hit the outside corner for a strike he will sometimes miss.

4. Neil Jamison

Jamison throws a long sweeping slider that has a lot of tilt and mixes in a second slider that has more depth, making it tough for hitters to figure out which one is coming.

He doesn't have the separation between his fastball speed and his slider, making it important for him to get the sweep over for a strike and bury the other offering to net strikeouts.

5. Matt Buschmann

This year, Buschmann made tremendous progress with his slider. He throws it for strikes early in the count and can bury it with two strikes, making it a deadly combination.

Unlike other pitchers on this list, Buschmann has found success throwing the slider against left-handed hitters by wrapping it around their back leg, making it a difficult pitch to stay inside of.

Also in consideration (alphabetical):

Greg Burke
The right-hander sports a quarter slider that has a slower spin but reacts in the same way as a normal slider. The difference is the ball appears to be large and it takes a patient hitter to not commit early.

Leo Rosales
With an effective fastball and changeup already in his arsenal, his slider is a pitch that can get outs and keep hitters off-balance.

Tim Stauffer
Although technically ineligible for the list, there is no doubting the success of his slider. It is a nasty pitch and a true out-maker for the right-hander.

Geoff Vandel
The only thing holding him back from displaying more consistency with the slider was confidence. He has a very good slider with good bite.


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