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Ben Tootle (Photo: Jacksonville State)

Biographical Data
Player Name:Ben Tootle
Position:Starting Pitcher
School:Jacksonville State
School Type:College
Academic Class:Junior
Weight:185 lbs.
Report Date(s):5/16/09

Focus Area
Fastball:Tootle is an arm-strength guy who can crank it up to 97-98 mph. He lost some velocity following a virus, but was bouncing back by the end of the spring.
Fastball movement:Not a ton, it tends to be too straight.
Slider:Has a hard slider that can be very tough on right-handed hitters.
Changeup:He's got one, though it's behind his other two offerings.
Control:It's not bad, but he could use some improvement on his fastball command.
Poise:Goes right after hitters and shone in a closer role in the Cape last summer.
Physical Description:Tootle is a smaller, but very strong, right-hander.
Medical Update:A stomach virus forced him out of action for a month and he lost a bunch of weight. He was rusty upon his return, but seemd to get back into form as the season ended.
Strengths:Good two-pitch power combination in his fastball and slider. Aggressive on the mound and goes right after hitters.
Weaknesses:The changeup lags behind, and even though he can maintain velocity, he might be better suited to a relief role.
Summary:After a terrific Cape Cod League campaign, many felt Tootle would lead the charge among the smaller-school pitching crop. A virus forced him out of action for a month and down on many Draft boards. After shaking off the rust, he began to show a little bit more of the form scouts saw on the Cape. A starter throughout college, who can maintain velocity deep into games when he's healthy, many think Tootle's future role will be as a short reliever. He's slipped out of the first-round picture, it seems, but his power stuff should have him off the board not too much later than that.