D.O.B.: February 11, 1988
How Acquired: Signed by Twins International Scout Howard Norsetter
Bradley Tippett is one of the better pitching prospects in the Twins organization, and he was finally moved to the rotation in 2008. After spending the first two years of his career as a reliever, the Twins finally made the move everyone was waiting for, and Tippett paid dividends in 2008. Now nestled in as a starter, he will be a main arm on the Beloit Snappers in 2009.
After being signed by Howard Norsetter, Tippett was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Twins, where he was a main reliever for the team. Appearing in 19 games, Tippett was used as a the team's closer, as he finished 18 games. He ended up notching ten saves, the most in the Gulf Coast League, and struck out nearly a batter per inning. But that was nothing compared to 2007.
Playing for the Elizabethton Twins, Tippett was unhittable, posting a ridiculous 0.93 earned run average in 21 appearances. In those 21 games, Tippett won seven, saved three, and held the opposition to a .155 batting average. It was clearly a remarkable season.
His 2007 was so good that the Twins gave him a promotion to Beloit in 2008, as he made his full season debut in the bullpen. He pitched pretty well for the Snappers, appearing in 14 games, but his earned run average was a career-high 4.24. He would be sent back to Elizabethton, where he would help the E-Town Twins to another league championship.
For Elizabethton, Tippett moved into the rotation, making 14 starts for the team. Clearly the anchor of their pitching staff, Tippett would go on to receive All-Star recognition after the season, after posting a 2.55 earned run average. He held the opposition to a .249 batting average, won eight games, and walked only nine in 74.0 innings of work.
Repertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.
Fastball: Tippett is not overpowering in terms of speed, but his pinpoint control makes him an overpowering presence on the mound. Though he only tops out in the mid-to-high 80s, Tippett can locate his fastball wherever he wants, and he considers it his best pitch. He is proof that you do not need to throw in the mid-90s in order to dominate at the minor league level.
Other Pitches: Not only does Tippett throw three good pitches, but he has the ability to throw them all in any count he wants. Baseball America rated him as having the best control in the organization, and I completely agree. He throws a curveball, which is developing nicely, and his changeup is arguably his best pitch. He has the total package, making him deadly on the mound.
Pitching: Tippett has been used in the bullpen and the rotation during his young career, and is happy with the Twins decision to move him into the rotation in Elizabethton in 2008. He was able to get a bunch of innings that he would not have gotten in the Midwest League, and he really flourished. He has an even-keeled mentality on the mound, and works well in any situation. He is a key guy to have on any staff.
ETA. 2012 Tippett has made a steady rise through the Twins organization, but he will likely repeat in Beloit in 2009. He told Seth Stohs, the creator of SethSpeaks.net, that he plans to be with the Snappers to start the season. With the way he can come out of the bullpen or start, he could make his way to Fort Myers by the end of the season. He is a very interesting prospect, and one that we will keep our eyes on in 2009.