Tool Time: Most Polished Pitchers

Polished pitchers coming out of the MLB Draft often are products of strong college programs and can make it to the majors quickly because of a thorough understanding of themselves and the game. These San Diego Padres' prospects would see their reflection in brass because of their polish.

1. Cesar Carrillo

The poster child for shoe-shining, Carrillo is a smart, aggressive pitcher who uses his full compliment of pitches to get the job done.

Carrillo came to the Padres with a nice arsenal of pitches and a fearless attitude, attacking hitters inside and setting them up through each at bat. Injury prevented him from debuting last year.

2. Mike Ekstrom

One of the first lessons learned as a pitcher is keeping the ball low. Ekstrom has mastered that and his career is taking off.

The Point Loma-Nazarene product attacks hitters with simplicity – putting the ball on the corners and down to force them to hit it where he wants.

3. Cesar Ramos

With four pitches to his credit, Ramos works the lineup and sets them up for failure as he goes deeper into games. He also pitches the same to righties and lefties, making it difficult for either to zone in on one pitch.

He has an affinity for throwing pitches that they have yet to see as he progresses in the game can keep hitter's off-balance with his smart approach and strike-throwing mentality.

4. Brent Carter

Fastball command is what the Padres preach and Carter has just that. Precision control in and out sets the tone for his off-speed pitches.

Carter is aggressive, pitches to contact, and knows when to bury a pitch and a batter. His ability to work ahead in the count leaves him in command and he does not make many mistakes.

5. Matt Buschmann

Drafted this past year, Buschmann has a nice ensemble of pitches and throws strikes. He realized how much he had learned in college and has put it to use in the pros.

Buschmann has good movement on his pitches and is consistently in the zone. He works to contact but can set hitters up nicely and brush them away with a killer slider.

Also in consideration (alphabetical):

Manny Ayala
A year removed from Independent ball, Ayala has a nice coat that shines.

Wade LeBlanc
Four pitches – each he throws for strikes. What's not to like about that?

Tim Stauffer
Not considered a prospect but certainly doesn't lack a glare. He has a good repertoire and understands the game, maybe too well.


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