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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Dennis Tankersley

By Robert Sherry

Dennis Tankersley: Already possessing a deep system of quality pitching prospects, the Padres were able to steal another one in Tankersley away from the Boston Red Sox at last years trading deadline when he was basically the "other" player in the Ed Sprague/Cesar Saba deal. Now, Tankersley has emerged as possibly the best prospect of the group and also looks like another strong prospect to add to the Jacob Peavy, Mike Bynum, Wascar Serrno, Mark Phillips, and Gerik Baxter group.

The Red Sox acquired Tankersley in the 38th round of the 1998 draft and eventually signed his as a draft-and-follow player out of Meramec (MO) Community College. Tankersley began the 2000 season at Single-A Augusta and posted decent numbers (5-3, 4.06 ERA, 75 IP 73 H, 32 BB, 74 SO, 15 GS). The Red Sox must have under appreicated his value as they were willing to part with him thinking that Saba was the better prospect of the two. Once Tankersley got into the Padres system, he improved significantly, going 5-2 with a 2.85 ERA, 66 innings pitched, 48 hits allowed, 25 walks, and 87 strikeouts in 12 starts.

At 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, this 22-year-old right-hander throws both a two- and four-seam fastball, ranging from the low-to-mid-90s in velocity. Added to his fastball, Tankersley also uses a good slider and curve as his second and third pitches.

In a pitching-rich system like he Padres have, it's going to be difficult for Tankersley to be anything more than a middle rotation type at best, only because of the depth already in place. They already have Eaton and you can project the likes of Peavy, Bynum, and Serrano to fill the remaining spots. If Tankersley can continue to improve as he hits the higher levels of the minors, his stock will continue to rise. So far in the 2001 season, that's the way Tankersley's stock is going as he has been almost untouchable while pitching for Lake Elsinore in the California League. In four starts, (22.1 innings), Tankersley has only given up 15 hits and just 1 earned run (2 runs total). He had yet to allow a walk while striking up 25.


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