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Joey Wentz - SP ATL

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At 6'5', 210 lbs. Wentz was selected by the Atlanta Braves with the 40th pick of the 2016 draft. Widely viewed as a top 20 1st round talent, he signed for $3.05 mil, roughly twice the slot value. As a Kansas City area product he is friends with Riley Pint. He blew through the GCL with 18 Ks and 0 ER through 12 IP. He got touched up a bit is his APP debut with Danville on 7/22, but the report below was based on that appearance. Guys like Wentz tend to be overlooked because of being passed over due to bonus demands, but there is a lot to like here and he is definitely worth following. 




Below is a summary report written by evaluator Dave DeFreitas:



Projectable LHSP with a chance to have two above-average pitches as he focuses on the mound exclusively for the first time in his career. He gets good angle and should see a bump in velo as he gets stronger. He is a plus athlete with a compact and repeatable delivery; arm works well and shows some present arm speed. Throws a lot of strikes, aggressive in the zone, will challenge. Fastball is fairly straight, but does get some ride up in the zone. Not afraid to work inside with the pitch, but inconsistent execution now. Two-way player during his amateur career and is still getting a feel for pitching. Curveball has a chance to be above average; inconsistent break now, but showed a few with some hard finish, see that getting more consistent. Can see the changeup getting to at least fringe average, given how the arm works. Will have to command the fastball in the zone, as the lack of movement will limit the margin for error even with above-average velo. Made adjustments in-game to change speeds after getting hit hard early; has an idea, and poise for age. Would not be surprised to see him show mid-rotation ability in the future, but he'll have to develop the changeup to reach his ceiling. Some risk associated here as the development will take a while, but the ingredients are there.


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  • 11 months later...

Another really good pitching prospect under the radar because of the stacked Braves system he's in. Been dominant at low A Rome: 88.1 IP, 2.65 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 20.3 k-bb%. 

He wouldve gone much higher in the draft last year had there not been signability issues. Braves worked the system and went under slot with Anderson so that they could go over slot and sign Wentz with the later pick. Good time to grab in deep dynasty leagues before he rises on prospect lists. 

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  • 10 months later...

Bumping up this thread to see if anyone has any updates on him.  Coming into the season, he was in most of the major Top 100s.  In his age 19 season, he dominated Low-A to the tune of a 2.60 ERA and 10+ Ks / 9 over 130 IPs.  Fangraphs page here.


At this point, he hasn't pitched since May 11th, when he gave up 5 ERs over 1.2 IPs.  He hasn't landed on the minor league DL from what I've seen.  Here's what I've found so far:


From some website called outfieldflyrule (link to quote 1 here, link to quote 2 here):  


Quote 1:  Wentz has not made a start since 5/11 despite not having gone on the DL. Presumably Wentz and his coaches are breaking down his mechanics in order to get him back on track.


Quote 2:  The outlier here is Joey Wentz, who has demonstrated mechanical issues his last several starts and didn’t ramp up like the other pitchers in this age group. He hasn’t made a start since May 11 and his season high is 87 pitches, last done on May 5. 


For those that own him, odds are you're in a deep keeper / dynasty league where roster spots are at a premium.  I'd hate to cut bait on a Top 100 prospect in early June, but considering the lack of information out there, the poor last start (and oddly not coupled with a minor-league DL stint), and the fact that he has a low-90s fastball (I tend to give guys with more velocity a longer leash), I'm inclined to toss him aside under the TINSTAAPP philosophy.


Has anyone heard anything? 

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  • 1 month later...

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