posted 6/20/12 5:05 PM PST
by Jim Brown
*MLBDepthCharts.com considers any player not on a team's 40-man roster, in AAA, or ranked as a top 10 prospect by Baseball America or top 11 prospect by Baseball Prospectus before the 2012 season as an 'under the radar' player.
Under the Radar Minor League NL Pitching Performance of the Week
RHP Matt Wisler, Lo-A Fort Wayne (SD)
season stats: 2.34 ERA, 61.2 IP, 50 H, 18 BB, 55 K in 13 games (12 starts)
June 13-June 19: 6 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 6 K in 1 start
We are nearing the halfway point in the minor league season, which means all-star games for the full season leagues and the beginning of the rookie leagues. What I didn’t expect was another stale week of pitching starts, which seems to be the norm of late. So I took time to begin researching the outcome of the preceding first-year draft and a texting conversation with fellow UTR writer Marc about what draft pick criteria we should use to determine under the radar for the new arrivals. It seems the talent level from the 2012 draft might have Marc and I very busy in the next couple of years. One other task that I undertook, in which I usually don’t do until the season is over, is to go back and scan over my daily stat sheets. I came across this kid in the San Diego system that has quietly made every one of my weekly sheets, but was never highlighted as the pitcher of the day. Wisler was chosen in the 8th round in 2011 as one of the top high school prospects coming out of Ohio. The Padres offered the 19 year-old money that was above slot ($500K) to steer him away from a strong commitment to Ohio State. The projectable 6'3" right-hander threw six scoreless innings on June 15th while striking out six and walking none. He hasn’t given up more than two earned runs over his last nine starts. His success at the Lo-A level as a pitcher a year removed from high school is surprising, as it was expected that he would begin the season at short-season Eugene.
The Padres had a terrific draft class in 2011 and Wisler may end up being the cream of the crop. He has solid pitchabilty with a low 90’s fastball with some sink, a wicked power curve, slider and changeup. Watching video on Wisler, I see a young pitcher with mound presence. Though he has a very relaxed delivery, he doesn’t get much leg extension and seems stiff coming down on the landing foot. Making small tweaks in his mechanics along with filling out his frame will only increase the velocity and movement to his fastball. With maturity and fine-tuning of his raw secondary pitches, Wisler could find himself finishing up at Hi-A Lake Elsinore and on his way to San Antonio sometime in 2013.
Relief Pitcher of the Week
RHP Ryan Duke, Hi-A Clearwater (PHI): 2.93 ERA, 30.2 IP, 28 H, 9 BB, 40 K, 3 Sv in 22 appearances between Hi-A/Lo-A; 3 IP, 0 R, H, 0 BB, 8 K, Sv in two Hi-A appearances last week.
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UTR Minor League NL Hitting Performance of the Week
Under the Radar 2012 Archive