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Tool Time: Best ground ball pitchers

Mike Ekstrom

Pitching to contact is one of the favorite sayings around the water cooler at San Diego Padres Spring Training. They promote three pitches or less to a hitter and believe defense can win games, especially if there is a ground ball hurler toeing the rubber. These prospects have hitters spitting dirt.

1. Jack Cassel This is the same kid who went two years without allowing a home run in the Midwest and California Leagues over 170 innings. Cassel has an impressive sinker that causes hitters to drive the ball into the dirt with regularity. He had a nearly 4-to-1 ground-to-fly ball ratio this past season. 2. John Madden His...

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