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 Minnesota Twins twins Players twins 22 Brad Radke; Pitcher
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Brad Radke Pitcher 22 Brad Radke; Pitcher

Name: Brad William Radke
Birth date: 10/27/1972
Birthplace: Eau Claire, WI
Height: 6-2
Weight: 185
School: N/A
Draft: 1991 8th Round -Twins
Nickname: none Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Position: Pitcher
Experience: 10 years
2005 Salary: $9,000,000
Contract Status: signed 2-year deal worth 18M thru 2006 with performance incentives
Service Time: 10.000

Minnesota Twins Starting Pitcher, Brad Radke, was born October 27, 1972, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He graduated from Jesuit High School of Tampa (FL) where he was known as a scholar-athlete playing both baseball and basketball. Brad was drafted by the Twins in the 8th round in 1991. He was not considered a top prospect, but once settled in the Majors, he was valued highly and the Twins were offered a large amount of talent for him, but they never gave him up. He was only was 22 years old when he broke into the big leagues on April 29, 1995. Brad has been in the Twins organization for almost 15 years and on the major league team for almost 10 years.

In his debut season, he finished 11-14 with a 5.32 ERA. It was not a great start, and he vowed to improve as a pitcher. He did just that in the next two years. In 1997, he finished an excellent season with a 20-10 record and a 3.87 ERA. He finished the year with 239 innings pitched, 4th most in the league.

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For the past 9 years, he has been known as one of the most consistent pitchers in the game. Besides his debut season (5.32), he never finished above a 5.00 ERA. Besides his 2004 season (3.48), he has never finished below a 3.50 ERA. In his career, he is a solid 127-118 with an overall ERA of 4.23.

Based purely on how he threw the ball, Brad Radke may have had his best season as a pro in 2004. Yet, a lack of run support and the Twins' strange propensity to lose close games that he started cost him an 18-20 win season. He is known for being one of the best control pitchers of the modern era, walking an average of only 41 batters a year, in an average of 34 games a year.

Brad relies on a precisely thrown 90-MPH fastball, but his best pitch is his changeup. He can throw the changeup with the same arm speed and motion as his fastball. It comes in at roughly 78 MPH. While Johan Santana's changeup causes hitters to swing and miss, Brad Radke often gets pop-ups and flyballs with his. He also throws a slider that plays well off his fastball. He is definitely at his best when he delivers well-located fastballs to get ahead in the count and then uses his changeup as an out pitch. His combination of control and determination to avoid walks means he gives up a few home runs, but few big innings.

A good athlete with exceptional composure, Brad Radke fields his position successfully and makes good decisions with the ball. That includes bunting situations, which aren't commonplace in the American League. He also holds runners well. Being in the AL, inter-league play has only forced him to bat 23 times. He has 3 hits, a .130 batting average. He has 0 walks, but 2 sacrifice hits.

Brad is the kind of pitcher for whom the quality-start statistic was invented. Even when he lacks his best stuff, he's capable of pitching seven innings and allowing just two or three runs. Although he has won more than 12 games only three times, he's the kind of smart, put-it-in-play pitcher who can win 18 to 20 games if he stays healthy and receives good fielding and run support from his team. He was on the 1998 All-Star team, and is ranked 7th in the league for strikeouts and 16th in strikeout to walk ratio. He is second on the Twins' All-Time list in games started and third in innings pitched, strikeouts and wins.

Despite troubling shoulder injuries, Brad Radke should be ready for 2006. If he can remain strong and durable he should be a cornerstone in the Twins bullpen.

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