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Indians Indians Archive 2010 Indians Top Prospects: #45-#41
Written by Tony Lastoria

Tony Lastoria

42. Josh Tomlin - Right-handed Pitcher 

Born: 10/19/1984 - Height: 6'1" - Weight: 195 - Bats: Right - Throws: Right 

Year Age Team Lvl W L ERA G GS IP H ER HR BB SO Avg BB/9 K/9 WHIP
2006 21 Mahoning Vy A- 8 2 2.09 15 15 77.1 56 18 5 15 69 .196 1.8 8.05 0.92
2007 22 Lake County A 10 3 3.3 26 15 103.2 103 38 10 19 89 .255 1.7 7.76 1.18
2007 22 Kinston A+ 1 1 3.58 6 5 27.2 24 11 0 12 20 .231 4.0 6.62 1.32
2008 23 Buffalo AAA 1 0 3.86 1 1 7.0 6 3 2 1 3 .250 1.3 3.86 1.00
2008 23 Kinston A+ 9 5 2.98 40 9 102.2 82 34 10 16 109 .222 1.4 9.60 0.96
2009 24 Akron AA 14 9 4.16 26 25 145.0 149 67 21 27 125 .266 1.7 7.76 1.21
Totals 43 20 3.32 114 70 463.1 420 171 48 90 415 .240 1.7 8.07 1.10

Josh TomlinHistory:  Tomlin was selected by the Indians in the 19th round of the 2006 Draft out of Texas Tech.  He grew up in East Texas and went to Angelina Junior College before transferring to Texas Tech.  A sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow in 2006 sidelined him for six weeks and ultimately hurt his status for the draft where he slid to the Indians in the 19th round.  Last year at Double-A Akron he finished the year ranked 11th in the Eastern League in ERA (4.16), 1st in wins (14), 2nd in strikeouts (125) and 2nd in WHIP (1.21). He also became just the third pitcher in Akron history with 14 or more wins in a season, joining Paul Byrd (14 wins in 1992) and single-season leader Adam Miller (15 wins in 2006).   In his two starts in the Eastern League Playoffs he was 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA, going 14.0 innings and allowing just eight hits, no walks, and racking up 15 strikeouts. 

Strengths & Opportunities:  Tomlin is a performer with an incredible knack for putting up consistent stats and winning ballgames.  He features a four pitch mix of a fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup, with his fastball consistently sitting in the low 90s and has flashed 93 MPH.  He actually has two different fastball velocities depending on his role, as when he starts it typically sits in the 88-91 MPH range, but as a reliever it kicks up to a consistent 90-93 MPH because he can air it out a little more going just one to two innings an outing.  His above average slider sits at 83-84 MPH and he has improved by leaps and bounds where it has good depth and tilt and has become a strikeout pitch for him and is considered a major league pitch.  He has shown an ability to command an emerging curveball which sits around 73-75 MPH.  That separation in velocity from the fastball to his curveball and ability to command both pitches is a deadly combination to use against opposing hitters.  The curveball has proven to be an effective groundball and contact pitch when needed and also to put hitters away with.  His changeup is an average pitch that sits around 75-78 MPH, but it continues to show improvement and is a quality pitch in his arsenal. 

Tomlin is not an overpowering pitcher and he doesn't have great stuff, but he knows how to pitch, change speeds, and keep the ball down in the zone.  His ability to command and locate all of his pitches and pound the zone with strikes makes his stuff very effective and play up.  He works quickly and shows a great feel for pitching.  The key to his success has been his precise control he has with his fastball to both sides of the plate, and his ability to keep hitters off balance with his secondary pitches.  His strike-throwing mentality is something he credits to his former college coach Jeff Livin at Angelina Community College in Lufkin, Texas.  Another key for him is his maturity on the mound and his willingness to go right after hitters and not be afraid to pitch to contact.  He is a former shortstop, and that athleticism shows not only on the mound with his agility, but also in the way he shows exceptional versatility to pitch in any role be it as a starter, long man, middle reliever, or backend reliever.  He has an impressive work ethic with great makeup, and has shown an ability to make quick adjustments. 

Tomlin still has several things he is working on fine tuning to make him more effective and consistent as a pitcher.  He is still working diligently with Indians coaches on improving his slider command and velocity as well as staying taller to throw the ball more on a more downhill plane towards home plate.  Another area of focus is getting him to improve on throwing all of his pitches for a strike in the bottom half of the zone and work both sides of the plate with all of his pitches.  He knows that with the lack of a true out pitch and dominating stuff his success will largely be determined on how well he can paint the corners and throw consistent, quality strikes.  He is working on throwing more changeups to right-handers as a show-me pitch so he can throw his cutter away.  He also is still working on some improvements with his delivery and harnessing the control of his fastball a little more.  He needs to get out in front of the ball, finish his pitches, and stay balanced by using his legs more.  His curveball still needs a little tightening up as well. 

Outlook:  Tomlin is one of the Indians better pitching prospects often overlooked mostly because he doesn't have dominating stuff and that he has gone back forth between the bullpen and starting rotation during his four year Indians career.  He has proven his worth as a versatile, durable, and very athletic pitcher who could pitch in just about any role on a pitching staff.  With his continued growth as a pitcher, he has gone from being a depth option in the minor leagues to now a legitimate back of the rotation or bullpen option in the big leagues in the near future.  He should open the 2010 season in the bullpen or starting rotation for Triple-A Columbus. 

Photo courtesy of Ken Carr 

Josh Tomlin page 

Josh Tomlin Baseball-Reference page 

Josh Tomlin page 

Josh Tomlin Pitching:


41. Steven Wright - Right-handed Pitcher
Born: 08/30/1984 - Height: 6'1" - Weight: 200 - Bats: Right - Throws: Right 

Year Age Team Level W L ERA G GS IP H ER HR BB SO AVG BB/9 K/9 WHIP
2007 22 Lake County A 4 7 4.61 14 14 66.1 61 34 9 15 75 .243 2.0 10.21 1.15
2007 22 Kinston A+ 3 2 7.13 13 13 48.0 64 38 3 22 39 .320 4.1 7.31 1.79
2008 23 Kinston A+ 2 4 2.99 14 14 72.1 59 24 6 17 61 .225 2.1 7.61 1.05
2008 23 Akron AA 4 3 4.3 14 14 75.1 80 36 14 17 58 .268 2.0 6.95 1.29
2009 24 Columbus AAA 0 0 4.76 2 1 5.2 5 3 0 0 4 .217 0.0 6.92 0.96
2009 24 Akron AA 10 0 2.32 36 5 81.1 72 21 1 20 64 .235 2.2 7.10 1.13
Totals 23 16 4.02 93 61 349.0 341 156 33 91 301 .254 2.3 7.76 1.24

Steven WrightHistory: Wright was selected by the Indians in the 2nd round of the 2006 Draft out of the University of Hawaii. He was the first of four second round picks for the Indians in the 2006 Draft, but he did not pitch for the Indians in 2006 since he signed a 2007 contract. At Hawaii in 2006, he went 11-2 with a 2.30 ERA and in 109.2 innings only allowed 19 walks while striking out 123. He also was tabbed the WAC Pitcher of the Year in 2006, and also received the Russ Ford Award as the Cape Cod Baseball League's best relief pitcher in 2005. 

Strengths & Opportunities: Wright is an impressive, consistent strike thrower who commands his fastball well and knows how to pitch.  He throws a mix of four pitches led by a fastball that consistently clocks in at 90-92 MPH which has topped out as high as 95 MPH when he was at Hawaii, and complements it with a slider, curveball, and changeup.  His plus slider is his best pitch, and is a pitch he has a ton of confidence throwing and coming out of college was considered the best slider in the entire 2006 Draft.  He is starting to gain a lot more confidence in his curveball and starting to believe he can throw it in any count.   He also throws a changeup, but it is a work in progress and more a show pitch. 

Wright's move to the bullpen last year was planned almost from the day the Indians drafted him as they felt his stuff would play up in the role.  One of the things that helped shape that thought was his success as a reliever in the Cape Cod League back in 2005. His very good fastball-slider combination combined with great makeup and an ability to throw strikes helped shape that perception into reality when after making three starts for Double-A Akron last year the Indians made the long overdue change and slid him into the bullpen at Akron.  Even though the change came after the start of the season, he had no problems adjusting to his new role.  While his velocity has not yet played up, his ability to throw four pitches gives him a different game plan every time out to attack hitters in different ways.  The move to the bullpen mostly helped the slider because he can rely on it more and go all out with it for two to three innings and not have to worry about facing a lineup a second time.  He has not backed off his four pitch mix as he primarily uses his fastball-slider combination, but he keeps his curveball in his back pocket to give hitters a different look and his changeup a change of speed and something down in the zone.  At the end of the season, he proved to be the best in the Indians entire minor league system at stranding inherited runners, a quality which is very important for relievers. 

Going into last season the Indians had worked with Wright's delivery and made some minor adjustments with his mental approach to get him to focus less on his mechanics and more on just attacking hitters and getting his fastball located in the zone.  This was the final piece needed for his transition to the bullpen.  Now that he is in the bullpen, he is working more on actually "pitching", reading hitters, and making quicker adjustments.  He has had some struggles with a lack of fastball command at times where he leaves it up in the zone, which can spell doom for any pitcher, and his slider can flatten out.  Knowing this, he needs to continue to refine his strike throwing ability and keeping it down in the zone to ensure he can maintain his ability to throw consistent strikes once he gets to the big leagues. 

Outlook: Wright is now major league bullpen depth for the Indians as soon as this year.  They believe he will pitch in the big leagues, it is just a question of when.  With so many bullpen options to sift through this coming season, he likely will not get a big league opportunity early in the year, but as things start to shake out at the big league level he could see time in Cleveland sometime in August or later.  He will open the 2010 season in the Triple-A Columbus bullpen. 

Photo courtesy of Ken Carr 

Steven Wright page 

Steven Wright Baseball-Reference page 

Steven Wright page 

Steven Wright Pitching:

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