By Contributing Writer: Chuck Boemmel Jr.
Just as we did after the conclusion of the 2016 season, the writers here at Baby Birdland, as well as our primary photo supplier Patrick Cavey, all submitted a Top 15 list and we averaged those lists together to get our all encompassing Baltimore Orioles Top 15 Prospects list. Continuing on with our in-depth look at each of the Top 15 Orioles’ prospects, we have reached #9, left-handed pitcher Alex Wells.
|Wells in 2016 with the Ironbirds|
Photo: Patrick Cavey
Delmarva Shorebirds’ left-hander, Alex Wells, is raising eyebrows as he moves up the Baltimore Orioles organizational ladder.
The Australian native is currently dominating South Atlantic League (Class-A Low) hitters with his three-pitch arsenal (fastball, change-up and curveball). While not big on velocity (his fastball can hit 90 mph), it is Wells’ ability to show hitters different speeds (change-up in the 80’s and a 12 to 6 curve in the 70’s) while exhibiting excellent command and control that have him riding high in the Sally League.
Wells is currently riding a 30 inning scoreless streak over 5 games in which he has given up just 13 hits. So far in 2017, he has thrown 108.0 innings over 19 starts to a 9-4 record. Wells has a 2.42 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP; those stats are 2nd and 4th in the Sally League respectively. Opponents are hitting .225 off of Wells and 84 have been retired by the strike out.
Signed as a free agent in August of 2015 for the sum of $300,000, Wells immediately put his skills on display in Aberdeen (Class-A Short). Starting 13 games for the Ironbirds, Wells pitched to a 4-5 record with a 2.15 ERA and 0.91 WHIP over 62.2 innings while holding batters to a .216 average and striking out 50. If nothing else, Wells is certainly consistent.
Wells shows an ability to limit walks as well: in 2017 he has faced 430 batters while walking only 10 for a walk/9 inning ratio of 0.8. Compare that to 2016 where he faced 236 batters while walking 9 (BB/9 inning of 1.3). He has hit only 2 batters this season and has thrown just 1 wild pitch.
Wells is the epitome of a “crafty left hander” and is a prospect to keep an eye on. He has quickly ascended the Orioles’ Prospect List and should move up more spots as long as he stays consistent. He projects as a #3 or #4 starter in a Major League rotation.
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