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Joe Gardner (Photo: Dan Mullins)

Biographical Data
Player Name:Joe Gardner
Position:Starting Pitcher
School:UC Santa Barbara
School Type:College
Academic Class:Junior
Weight:220 lbs.
Report Date(s):5/9/09
Game(s):Long Beach State

Focus Area
Fastball:Gardner can touch 94 mph, but usually sits in the 90-92 mph range.
Fastball movement:It's got good sink and tail when he keeps it down in the zone.
Slider:It's a sweeping slider that he throws 74-78 mph. When it has tilt, it's a very good pitch.
Changeup:He's got a good feel for a change, throwing it mostly in the 78-82 mph range.
Control:When he stays in his low 3/4 arm slot, his command is excellent. But he tends to drop it to sidearm and that leads to his stuff flattening out and him walking guys.
Poise:He's very composed and unemotional on the mound. He works quickly and goes right after hitters..
Physical Description:Gardner is a big, imposing right-hander who scouts say remind them of Tyson Ross, a Cal pitcher taken by the A's in the second round last year.
Medical Update:Healthy.
Strengths:He has the chance to have three average pitches with a projectable frame. When he keeps his arm angle up, he's very effective.
Weaknesses:He doesn't always keep his arm angle up. When he goes sidearm, he loses command and gets hit.
Summary:After the first tier of college right-handers, there are a number of interesting arms for teams to consider. Gardner, in his first season as a transfer to Santa Barbara, has put himself into that category. He's big and projectable with the chance to throw three at least average pitches. He runs into trouble when he loses his arm slot, his stuff flattens out and he loses command. Even with that flaw, however, the big righty should hear his name called in the first few rounds.