Tool Time: Top Fastball Hitters
Juan Ciriaco
Juan Ciriaco
MadFriars.com
Posted Feb 17, 2007


There is one global truth in major league baseball – if you can’t hit the fastball, you won’t survive for long. Luckily, these San Diego Padres’ prospects excel at hitting the cheese.

1. Paul McAnulty

There may be no more complete hitter in the system than McAnulty. One of his best attributes is waiting on his pitch and forcing the pitcher to go dead-red.

With a smooth stroke and great eye coordination, McAnulty sets his swing in motion and can catch even the nastiest of fastballs – the result is liners into the open areas of the field.

2. Daryl Jones

His swing is so quick you often wonder if his body can catch up. Jones can bring the bat through the zone as quick as any hitter and when the gas comes he makes a pitcher pay.

Conversely, Jones will need to work on his ability to sit back and wait on breaking pitches but the fastball will never be a problem for this potent force.

3. Juan Ciriaco

Give him the heater and Ciriaco’s quick wrists and athleticism naturally take over. He has an uncanny ability to catch up with the best heat in the land.

The problem for Ciriaco has been the steady diet of breaking balls and pitches outside the zone that have him chasing and knocking balls into the ground for easy outs.

4. Cedric Hunter

It probably isn’t a shock to see Hunter on this list. When he is sitting on the express, the outfielder can do just about anything with the pitch.

Hunter has an uncanny understanding of how pitchers are trying to set him up and reacts with a vengeance. His quick wrists and steady hand ensure few fastballs blow by him.

5. Javis Diaz

If you ever seen Diaz hit you would probably wonder how he made this list. He has an unconventional batting stance for sure but no fastball gets by him.

His ability to put a the cheddar to all parts of the field is his strength and it isn’t often that he swings and finds it in the catcher’s mitt.

Also in consideration (alphabetical):

Tim Brown
With his patient approach and big time muscle, Brown can handle the hardest throwers and shoot balls into the gaps.

Yefri Carvajal
While he is still young to the professional game, Carvajal has already proven he can mash if he is presented with a steamer over the dish.

Nic Crosta
There may not be a quicker swing in the system and when the heater comes it means the ball will only travel farther.

Luis Cruz
The infielder can turn on even the heartiest flamethrowers and puts barrel to ball in such a way that the crack sounds different.

David Freese
Armed with an explosive swing, Freese’s life is that much easier when the diet consists of darts.

Chase Headley
With his level swing and ability to make contact, Headley preys on fastballs that don’t have the movement of other pitches.

Michael Johnson
His immense strength allows him to grip and rip, shooting balls to the deepest parts of the park.

Sean Kazmar
With surprising pop for a man of his size, Kazmar loves to see the fogger and feasts on it.

Colt Morton
Give the towering catcher a chance to extend his arms and just make contact with a hummer and it is sure to go a long way.



Related Stories
Tool Time: Top Breaking Ball Hitters
 -by MadFriars.com  Feb 19, 2007
Tool Time: Top Power Hitters
 -by MadFriars.com  Feb 14, 2007
Tool Time: Top Hitters for Average
 -by MadFriars.com  Feb 13, 2007

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CF Cedric Hunter (profile)
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