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Scouting Update: Michael Wacha, RHP, Texas A&M (2012 Draft)

April 10, 2012

And now for one of my probably tremendously unpopular opinions: Michael Wacha, Texas A&M right-hander: his fastball is first round but nothing else is.

What we have here is a guy with a big gangly body with limited body control. His arm works nice full circle, but he doesn’t use his lower half, throws standing up, can’t get downhill, his arm leads to everything placing too much stress on his shoulder, lacks a put-away secondary weapon and he’ll be 22 at the signing deadline.

Other than that, I love him.

He’s got a good arm, yes. But he’s asking his shoulder to do too much. He should have the arm speed for at least an average major league breaking ball at this point, but he doesn’t, and that’s because he can’t control his body through his delivery. He opens up way too often for my taste, he breaks his hands at inconsistent points, and he’s throwing too many straight as- an-arrow fastballs, even when they go 92-95 and come down a tick deeper in games.

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Other than that, I love him.

Here’s what he really is.

This guy has a good arm, but he’s a one-pitch guy with a fastball that he pitches at about 92-93 with, bumps 94 and 95 when he chooses to elevate. He pitches with his fastball to both sides of the plate. His fastball isn’t very heavy for a guy who throws that hard, but his ball flashes movement and late sink, which means he could be a power sinkerball type.

His curveball is between 75-80, it’s a slow roller, and his change is below average at 82-84 and he often flies open on it. To put it short, the day I saw him in Malibu, he would have been ripped to pieces against mature hitters, but that is not uncommon among young pitchers.

Now what do I see? Somebody please junk that high school curveball and give this guy a hard slider, so he can be a two-pitch guy out of the back end of the bullpen. He does that, he’s a 55, and he’s an average major league closer. All this pitching backwards with a change-up he doesn’t really have gets him nowhere.

This guy as a starting pitcher has a short career span in the majors. As a closer, he makes more money and pitches longer. That’s my view on the subject. OFP 52 for me, but probably 55 for others. I am a strict grader.

Watch Michael Wacha Scouting Video


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