Only command holding Tillman back 

August, 21, 2008
08/21/08
10:56
AM ET
Orioles pitching prospect Chris Tillman started last night for AA Bowie at Reading and easily outpitched his somewhat more highly-paid opponent, Adam Eaton. (Carl Pavano made a rehab start at Reading earlier in the week, which made me wonder, if Pavano faced Eaton would it be the most expensive Eastern League game ever player?).

Tillman started out throwing 87-88 mph, but then gradually increased his velo to the low 90s, topping out at 93. The right-hander has good life with tailing action on his fastball, and sinks it at 87-88. At 92-93, it flattens out but still has the same tailing action. His best pitch is his curveball, a very sharp breaking ball with some two-plane break and great depth. It moves quickly with tight rotation and looks a lot harder than its 74-77 mph velocity. He throws a changeup with good tumbling action, but he doesn't use it often or show much feel for it yet.

Aside from a hook at the start of his delivery, he's pretty clean overall, staying over the rubber well and then driving forward with a long stride, taking advantage of his long legs. He gets good downhill plane on almost everything he throws and keeps his head steady through the delivery.

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