Tool Time: Top Defensive Pitcher

Ask Greg Maddux if defense from the pitching position is important, and he will tell you how it is helped his own ERA throughout his career. These San Diego Padres pitching prospects head the list.

Josh Geer

A quick move to first base, thanks to fast feet to setup the throw, give him a solid pickoff move to keep runners close. Only five runners dared to steal on him all season.

He puts himself in position to make a play after the delivery with glove ready. As a groundball pitcher, he had more chances than any other pitcher and helped turn three double plays.

Cesar Ramos

While he doesn't have the best pickoff move as a left-hander, he is able to keep the opposition close to the bag and gives his catchers a chance by being quick to the plate.

Ramos had 31 chances to turn grounders or liners into outs and ended the season with a perfect record. His delivery puts him a strong fielding position.

Nathan Culp

Finishing toward the plate, Culp – as a ground ball pitcher – is ready to make a play to help his own cause. He understands the only help up the middle is his glove, wielding it effectively.

Culp has a solid pickoff move to keep runners close and will catch guys leaning throughout the year. A high leg kick and off-speed pitches make him slower to the plate but he still gives his catchers a chance.

Steve Garrison

Being in position to make the play is vitally important and Garrison puts himself facing the hitter with glove ready. He will rush his throws but can flash the leather.

Garrison has a solid move to first base and worked hard on improving his looks with runners on second. Now, he keeps them tight to the bag to cut down on stolen base attempts.

Jose DePaula

Smooth in the field, DePaula handles all of his responsibilies well. He covers the bag, shows good reactions and handles all the moves necessary to be a good fielder.

DePaula has a solid move to first that should get better with time. He keeps runners from getting a good jump with varied looks and is an asset on the hill.

Honorable Mention:

Matt Buschmann

A studious approach to the game gives Buschmann an edge in understanding situations during the game. He anticipates the bunt and knows where he will go when he gets the ball.

Jeremy Hefner

A great feel for holding runners close and a strong move to first keep runners from getting a good jump. A quick worker that throws strikes, his catchers have an easy time making throws to second to nab thieves.

Stephen Faris

Knowing that when the ball is delivered that his job isn't done, Faris squares his shoulders to the plate to put him into solid fielding position. Faris had 31 total chances in the Texas League and made them all. He needs to be quicker to the plate, however, to help his catchers.

Will Inman

Funky delivery aside, Inman always has his mind in the game and an eye on making a play to help his cause. He has a good pickoff move and is fundamentally sound.

Nick Schumacher

Assisting with three double play grounders in 30.1 innings, Schumacher knew he could help the cause with solid defense. He anticipates the play and fields the bunt exceptionally well.

Pedro Hernandez

With clean mechanics, the diminutive lefty has a beat on the ball after the delivery. He flashes a steady glove and has a calm approach to throwing runners out at first. He also keeps runners close and is advanced in that area of the game.

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