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The RIGHT Stuff
Jeff Pearlman
July 08, 2002
National League teams are scoring nearly half a run less per game than in 2001. Here's a scout's-eye view of six budding righthanders who are helping to hold batters at bay
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July 08, 2002

The Right Stuff

National League teams are scoring nearly half a run less per game than in 2001. Here's a scout's-eye view of six budding righthanders who are helping to hold batters at bay

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SCOUT'S REPORT: "If they ever start keeping career records for most bats broken, Padilla will be up there very quickly. He's electric. Everyone talks about his fastball, and it lives up to the hype. The thing works like a hard sinker. But he also has a good curve. He's a future stopper."

PADILLA ON PADILLA: "The fastball is my favorite pitch. I don't need to practice it because it comes naturally. But I'm always working on my other pitches, especially the curveball. You have to work really hard, and you have to have confidence. I'm young, but God has given me an opportunity. I do what I need to do to be here."

ROY OSWALT, Astros

AGE: 24
RECORD: 8-5, 3.24 ERA
OUT PITCH: FASTBALL

SCOUT'S REPORT: "This is Greg Maddux with power stuff. He has a great fastball, and he's not scared to challenge you with some heat, then cut your head off with a power curve. He'll be a great one."

OSWALT ON OSWALT: "People would tell me my curveball was too slow—it's 20 to 22 miles per hour slower than my fastball—but I think it's a big advantage that I can add and subtract [speed] on all my pitches. No matter how hard you throw, big league hitters are going to catch up to it."

MARK PRIOR, CUBS

AGE: 21
RECORD: 2-1, 4.17 ERA
OUT PITCH: FASTBALL

SCOUT'S REPORT: "You know how scouts will sometimes say, 'So-and-so is the type of pitcher who comes along once in a lifetime'? This kid looks like that. He has it all: a mid-90s fastball with movement, a power breaking ball. This is the kind of guy you build a staff around."

PRIOR ON PRIOR: "I feel like the harder I work, the better off I'll be later in the season. I want to help this team win, and if I don't work out, it's not so much my letting me down as it is letting everybody else down."

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