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Tool Time: Top Curveballs

Dropping the hammer on a hitter can have devastating effects. The knees buckle, the bat head waves fleetingly, the pitch drops and moves across the zone. A quality curveball can spin hitters into the ground. These San Diego Padres prospects have the hook to get it done.

Stephen Faris The spin Faris puts on his curveball gives it terrific topspin and downward action. An over the top 12-to-6 breaking pitch, Faris sends hitters back to the dugout shaking their heads. With fine fastball control, Faris sets up the pitch as a change of pace, flipping the hook with solid separation in velocity. If Faris can mix in the changeup, the curveball would become even more...

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