Friday, June 4, 2010

2010 Draft: Alex Wimmers, rhp

Alex Wimmers is a junior from Ohio State University and one of the best collegiate pitchers in all of college baseball. He stands 6-2 and tips the scales at 195. He bats from the left, throws from the right, and is from Cincinnati and attended Archbishop Moeller High School.

In 2010, he posted a 1.60 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and a 86/23 K/BB ratio. Wimmers has made 10 starts and has a stellar 9-0 record. On the season, he's given up 58 hits, only 9 of which went for extra bases and he hasn't given up a homerun the entire season. Obviously, that's pretty impressive considering the power generated by the metal bats in the collegiate. His performance in 2010 was enough to earn him a second straight First Team All America honor.

Wimmers works with a three pitch mix. He features a 88-92 mph fastball, a solid curveball that sits in the low 70s with an 11-5 break, and a potentially plus change-up that sits in the mid-70s. His stuff doesn't overwhelm, but he commands it well and effectively pounds the strikezone. He's the type of polished pitcher who gets the most out of his abilities by not giving anything away to the hitter. He has a good understanding of how to pitch and really owns the mound when he works.

As for his mechanics, here's a look at Wimmers in action:

Wimmers uses clean, efficient mechanics. There isn't much wasted movement in his delivery. He starts his windup with a step towards first base, which transfers his weight and enables him to shift down onto the rubber with his right foot. He then brings his left leg up into his leg kick, which comes up well past parallel. He also incorporates significant hip rotation into his windup. The differential between his hips and shoulders creates tension and torque to impart on the baseball. Both the leg kick and hip rotation operate to create and store significant potential energy to unleash as he comes to the plate.

At the apex of his leg kick, Wimmers maintains good body control and stays balanced over his plant leg, which enables him to effectively gather his momentum for the drive to the plate. Wimmers get a strong push off the rubber and incorporates a lot of leg drive in his delivery. This should reduce stress on the arm, as he doesn't have to generate all the velocity with his arm. The aggressive push off the rubber and strong lower body drive results in Wimmers using a very long stride to the plate.

Wimmers' aggressive stride to the plate really gets him extended, which occasionally causes struggles getting out over the top of his stride leg. The result is Wimmers seemingly throwing against his stride leg. The extension created by his longer stride also results in Wimmers really bending over at the waist and his right leg really whipping around in his follow through. At one point, Wimmers' right foot is well above the rest of his body. The strong rotation of his hips really pulls his arm down and through, which frequently carries his momentum around and causes him to fall off to the first base side, leaving him in less than ideal fielding position.

As for arm action, Wimmers' is pretty clean and quick. He throws from a three-quarter arm slot and his arm maintains good position throughout the delivery. His arm maintains good relation to the shoulder and is up in the proper position when his stride foot hits the dirt. There really any red flags to his arm action.

Wimmers' has pretty clean mechanics, but he does have some effort to his delivery. He has a quick arm action, a quick tempo to his delivery, and a lot of lower body drive, all of which works to generate generate energy to impart on the baseball. However, while he throws effectively with his entire body, he does seem to be pretty well maxed out. The tempo of his delivery, the strong lower body drive, and the longer stride maximizes the output of his mechanics, but that means that there just doesn't seem to be much projection left in his arm action or pitching mechanics. Additionally, his physical build doesn't lend itself to much additional projection.

Overall, Wimmers is a polished, lower risk, lower ceiling type of prospect. The Reds took a similar profile pitcher last year in Mike Leake, but Leake is proving that both his polish and upside were potentially underrated. Wimmers isn't likely to move as quickly or perform at such a high level.

Wimmers might intrigue the Reds, in part because he's a hometown kid, but his upside doesn't seem high enough to justify the Reds selecting him with their first round draft pick. Personally, I'd rather see the Reds target a prospect with more upside, even if it necessarily comes with higher risk. Wimmers certainly looks solid and his intangibles are very strong, but I'd like to see the Reds sight their sites on something better than solid, especially in the first round. You don't get many chances to add high upside, potential impact talent in the draft and the Reds have enough depth in the farm system to justify rolling the dice on a higher upside, higher risk prospect.


  1. Dear Lark11,
    I would rather have a higher potential player also but with the feeling I have been getting lately I think this is the guy the Reds are ganna end up taking. I think he is a decent average pick but they have enough pitchers for the next 5 years or so that are young and promising that are at the MLB level already so this pick would not make that much sense to me. If we were to go with an arm I would love Whirston and if hes gone then Allie. but im not in love with anyone in this draft so I would go high school at slot. why pay over slot in a weak draft class.

  2. Hey lived,

    You may be right. I really don't have any idea who the Reds will select this year. There are some rumors floating around, but those could just be mis-information.

    The Reds have had some good success in recent drafts, so they deserve the benefit of the doubt. Still, I wonder if Wimmers has enough upside. I don't like the idea of drafting someone with a ceiling of a middle of the rotation starter. It seems like there should be 12 draft eligible players with a higher ceiling than that.

    If they grab Wimmers, then I'll just have to hope that he moves quickly like Mike Leake and has underrated upside like Mike Leake.

    I do agree, this year's draft class is a bit underwhelming. But, there is still going to be talent available.

    Anyway, thanks for the comment!!