More excerpts from the 2008 Baseball Prospect Book.
Mitch Talbot, RHP, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-2 WT: 175 DOB: October 17, 1983
Mitch Talbot had a rough introduction to Triple-A, posting a 6.48 ERA last April and a 5.48 ERA in May. He pitched better after that point, posting a 7-2 record and a 3.50 ERA in his final 11 starts, and ended up winning 13 games, tied for the league lead. Talbot has a low-90s sinker and a very good changeup. His slider is erratic but promising, and problems with his command of the pitch were a big part of his problem early last year. I still like him as a future number three or four starter, probably more than I should, but given his erratic season I have to reduce his rating to Grade C+. Monitor his ratios. If you see improvement in his K/IP or K/BB, he could be taking a step forward.
Clayton Tanner, LHP, San Francisco Giants
Bats: L Throws: L HT: 6-2 WT: 190 DOB: December 5, 1987
A third round pick out of Concord, California, in 2006, Tanner has an average fastball right now at 87-90 MPH, but it should pick up more velocity as he gets older. His curveball, slider and changeup are all solid, and he has a good feel for pitching, doing well in the Sally League at age 19. He needs to improve his command within the strike zone, but Giants officials praise his competitiveness, work ethic and intelligence, meaning they expect him to pick up what he needs to know. He keeps the ball low in the strike zone and gets plenty of grounders, which should help him as he moves up. I like Tanner and I think he has a chance to develop into a very good pitcher. Grade B-, an aggressive grade.
Michael Tarsi, LHP, Minnesota Twins
Bats: L Throws: R HT: 6-8 WT: 190 DOB: August 11, 1985
SLEEPER ALERT. Tarsi was drafted in the 12th round last year, from the University of Connecticut. His pro debut in the Appy League was very successful, and I think he's a major sleeper. Tarsi's velocity can be erratic, at times in the lower 90s but more often in the 85-88 range last year. But he sinks the ball and picks up plenty of grounders, and his curveball and changeup are promising. He's deadly on left-handed hitters, holding them to a .130 mark for Elizabethton. If he keeps that up he's got LOOGY potential certainly, but if his command is sharp enough he could start at higher levels. We need to see more, but keep an eye out. Grade C but highly intriguing