RHP Tyler Wilson made his Eastern League (AA) debut last night for the Bowie Baysox, proving that plus command and control will always carry a pitcher throughout the minors. He was up against the New Britain Rock Cats (Twins).
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Wilson is a cerebral pitcher out of the University of Virginia. I call him that because he is a very smart pitcher that is always one step ahead of batters. He may not have the flashiest arsenal or the best stuff, but there is no doubt that Wilson knows how to “pitch”. Last night, he was able to mix his pitches well, keep the batters on their heels, and work at a quick pace along with C Brian Ward. A funny thing to note is that Wilson does a crouched jump on the mound before each inning starts. Every pitcher has their routines, like Kevin Gausman has his crow-hop toss. Wilson’s is certainly one of the more interesting ones you will see though.
In the first two innings, he had some trouble putting batters away and his pitch count ran up a little. He was mostly setting up hitters with his fastball, while occasionally mixing in the change. The fastball really is commanded well, and he is able to masterfully move it around the zone. It is interesting to note that he purposely throws at the top of the zone, as he likes to set up hitters with a low change after this. It’s a masterful combo, although living at the top of the zone is dangerous at the higher levels. It will be interesting to see how that goes.
In the third inning, Wilson was terrific. He displayed his best Curve on the night, which buckled the knees of leadoff hitter SS Danny Santana. However, he ran into some trouble in the 4th inning, which was the second time through the heart of the lineup. He left a flat change up in the zone, and it was crushed for a two-run homer off the bat of OF Daniel Ortiz. I have circled this pitch in red below on the pitch chart. This was his worst pitch of the night, and the worst pitch sequence of the night. It was a change off of a change, which obviously had zero deception to the batter. It is also interesting to note that he threw Ortiz five secondary pitches in his two at-bats against him. Maybe that is his weakness (most likely), but Ortiz did not miss that one. In the fifth inninng, Wilson cruised and continued to command and control his fastball through the zone. An interesting note is he threw 63% fastballs on the night.
Overall, I was impressed with Wilson, although I did not see anything different from the last time I had seen him. He still is a cerebral pitcher with good command and control. But he still needs work on the secondary arsenal, as the change and curve are still too inconsistent at times. They have gotten a little better, but there is work to be done. I talked with a scout at the game, and they noted that his delivery is still worrisome over the long run, but said that he could very well be one of those pitchers that can get away with a little quirkiness on the mound. At the very least, Tyler Wilson proved last night that he can pitch at the AA level.
FB: 89-92 mph while touching 93 a few times. Some late life and rise, commanded plus.
CH: 82-85 mph with average fade. Inconsistent pitch, but flashes solid occasionally. Release has improved since last time I saw, and works well against his FB, even though velocity difference is not large.
CU: 82-85 mph and more of a power curve than your true 12-6 curve. Some late sweep with average tilt. Pitch is very inconsistent still but really fools hitters sometimes with the speed and difference against his other pitches
1st Inning: 22 pitches (14 FB, 6 CH, 2 CU)
2nd Inning: 21 pitches (14 FB, 4 CH, 3 CU)
3rd Inning: 13 pitches (8 FB, 2 CH, 3 CU)
4th Inning: 19 pitches (10 FB, 7 CH, 2 CU)
5th Inning: 13 pitches (9 FB, 2 CH, 2 CU)
Total: 88 pitches, 59 Strikes (55 FB, 21 CH, 12 CU)
Final Line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K
Tucker Blair was born and raised in the Baltimore area and currently lives in Elkridge, Maryland. He graduated from York College of Pennsylvania with a B.S in Entrepreneurial Studies and is currently a Project Analyst for a Management Consulting Firm in Federal Hill, Baltimore. Tucker was previously the Managing Editor at Orioles Nation, where he worked on prospect lists, reports, and analysis on the Orioles minor league system. He also previously wrote his personal blog, The EntreprenOriole.