2019 Level: AA
Pitches (current/future value)
Most Likely Future Role: Back of the rotation starter/Swingman
Ceiling: 4th starter
What we know: After taking a step back in Frederick in 2018, this crafty lefty took a step forward after putting up a solid AA season as a 22-year old. His doubters will point to his uninspiring 87-90 MPH fastball as to why he won’t be successful, others will point to the fact he can throw four pitches for strikes and shows no fear on the mound. Some waitied for the other show to drop in the Eastern League, but Wells held batters to a .236/.273/.351/.624 slash while improving his K rate (18.9%) and lowering his walk rate (4.3%) from his Carolina League numbers the year before. Wells offsets his less than spectacular fastball with a curveball that can flash plus, a change that improved and by adding a decent slider. He’s a master at changing speeds and reportedly has a high spin fastball that allows him to work up in the zone for strikeouts. His fastball is fairly true and without a lot of velocity, he gets hurt when he’s unable to locate on the corners.
What we don’t know: Will AAA and major league hitters be able to wait and do damage on his fairly straight, below average fastball? Without a plus offering, will he be able to get through a line up more than once at the upper levels?
What we think: Wells is such a fun pitcher to watch pitch and putting up a good season at AA was a big step for him. He has the best command of any pitching prospect in the system, but will be limited to a back of the rotation role due to not having that go to out pitch.
Another Take: Wells lives off tempo and command. He works faster than any current MLB pitcher and rarely touches the heart of the plate. This gives hitters an uncomfortable AB even though his fastball grades out well below average on velocity. The fastball is straight but has significant ride. He’s taken some steps forward this year, sharpening his curveball, adding a slider, and getting better at using the fastball just above the zone when he needs swinging strikes. It’s a weird profile but there’s a chance it could play at the back of a rotation or as a long man out of the pen. (Luke Siler)