- Full name Brian Curtis Tallet
- Born 09/21/1977 in Midwest City, OK
- Profile Ht.: 6'6" / Wt.: 220 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- School Louisiana State
- Debut 09/16/2002
- Drafted in the 2nd round (55th overall) by the Cleveland Guardians in 2000 (signed for $595,000).
Organization Prospect Rankings
Tallet won 15 games and started the title game for Louisiana State's 2000 College World Series championship team. Two years later, he was pitching in Cleveland and figured to be a key part of the Indians' future. But he blew out his elbow midway through the 2003 season and needed Tommy John surgery. (Fellow lefty Billy Traber, who no longer qualifies for the Top 30, suffered the same fate.) Tallet was expected to miss all of 2004, but his rehab progressed so rapidly that he returned at the end of June. He finished the year by pitching a perfect ninth inning in the clinching game of the Triple-A International League playoffs. Tallet's velocity was back to normal, as he pitched at 89-92 mph in the postseason. His slider and changeup also were solid, another indication that he's fully recovered. While he had trouble repeating his delivery in the past, the extended rehab gave him ample time to improve his mechanics. He'll compete for a big league bullpen role in spring training.
The ace of Louisiana State's 2000 College World Series championship team, Tallet won 15 games and started the CWS title game against Stanford. The Tigers won with a late rally, so Tallet didn't figure into the decision. He rushed through the minors and reached Cleveland in little more than two years after signing. However, he blew out his elbow shortly after being demoted to Triple-A for the third time last year. He had Tommy John surgery that is expected to knock him out for all of 2004. When healthy, Tallet goes after hitters with a solid-average repertoire. He throws an 89-92 mph fastball with good sinking action, a slider and changeup. When he returns to the mound, his next challenge will be to improve the command of his fastball and add strength. The 6-foot-7 Tallet has such a long, levered body that his delivery tends to get out of whack, and he has trouble maintaining his arm slot. He faces a full year of rehabilitation.
Tallet threw six shutout innings against Boston on Sept. 16 to win his first big league start. His performance wasn't a surprise, considering he pitched in pressure games at Louisiana State, including the championship game of the 2000 College World Series. He's similar to Billy Traber with more velocity and less control. Tallet has absolutely no fear. He throws an 89-91 mph fastball, a slider and a changeup. He commands all his offerings and on a given night, any of the three could be his No. 1 pitch. Savvy and fearless, he enjoys throwing inside. He has no problem getting righthanders out and actually has more trouble with lefties. At 6-foot-7, maintaining his mechanics can be a challenge for Tallet at times, and he's an easy mark for basestealers. Opponents succeeded on 20 of 27 steal attempts in 2002. Tallet is in the mix for a spot in the 2003 rotation. Because Cleveland has an abundance of lefthanders, it's possible his long-term role with the Indians might be in the bullpen.
Pitching for college baseball's premier program (Louisiana State) in pressure situations (he started the 2000 College World Series championship game) has helped Tallet in his development as a pro. He dominated at Mahoning Valley in his pro debut in 2000, and last year he led the Carolina League as well as Indians minor leaguers in strikeouts. Tallet reminds some scouts of a young Chuck Finley. Tall and rangy, he has three solid pitches in his low-90s fastball, his slider and his changeup. He's aggressive and has a good feel for pitching. He pitches with confidence and shows a knack for changing speeds. His size is an asset, especially for a lefthander. His main concerns are repeating his delivery more consistently and refining his changeup. Tallet also will have to throw more strikes with his secondary pitches in order to get hitters out at the upper levels. When the Indians drafted him, they projected him as a reliever. He since has pitched so well as a starter that those plans have changed. He'll begin this year in the Double-A rotation.
Tallet comes out of a big-time program at Louisiana State and has experience pitching big games, which only can help him. He was the starting pitcher in the College World Series championship game, getting no decision as the Tigers rallied to beat Stanford. Tallet has three solid average pitches: a low-90s fastball, slider and changeup. He has good size and that most precious commodity of all, being a lefthander. Tallet tends to throw across his body somewhat, but that's correctable. He has good mound presence. Because he comes from an advanced college background, Tallet could move quickly. He was very effective in his brief stint at short-season Mahoning Valley, helping pitch that team to the New York-Penn League championship. He'll likely begin his first full pro season in the high Class A Kinston rotation.
Minor League Top Prospects
Like Traber, Tallet is a tall lefty who won big for Akron in 2002. Tallet throws a little harder, reaching the low 90s, though he's also nearly two years older and doesn't have Traber's command. His slider eats lefthanders up and he's working on his changeup. He looked sharp in his major league debut in September, spinning six shutout innings against the Red Sox. "He's a competitor. He wants the ball," Komminsk said. "He's smart and he knows how to pitch. He never throws the ball straight."
The Carolina League hosted a 2000 College World Series championship game reunion. Tallet started that contest for Louisiana State against Young and Stanford, with Hodges earning the victory in relief. Pitching in big games for college baseball's premier program prepared Tallet for success in professional baseball. Despite just 16 innings of previous pro experience, he led the league in strikeouts. Tallet has a lot going for him. He's lefthanded and he has size (6-foot-7). He also has good stuff, featuring a low-90s fastball, a slider and a changeup.