The Arizona Diamondbacks promoted right-hander Tyler Wagner to the major league roster this past Monday and he threw two shutout innings of relief against the San Francisco Giants Monday night. Here's a quick primer on what to expect from him.
Basic background from the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:
Tyler Wagner, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-3 WT: 195 DOB: January 24, 1991
2014: Grade C+; 2015: Grade B-
Wagner was a fourth round pick by the Brewers in 2012 from the University of Utah. He’s been very effective in pro ball and continued that success in Double-A last year, though his status on most prospect lists hasn’t been overly high. His fastball tops out at 93 MPH and is usually around 90, but it has good heavy sinking action and helps him generate a lot of grounders (2.70 GO/AO last year, 2.28 in his minor league career). His slider is likewise effective and his change-up has improved enough to be usable in the majors. A reliever in college, he has averaged 150 innings per season in the minors without ill effect. He projects as a durable workhorse; if he gets a good infield defense behind him he could exceed expectations. He was traded from Milwaukee to Arizona in early February. Grade B-.
Although the Brewers were developing Wagner as a starter, he's in the Diamondbacks bullpen for now and was often projected as a reliever by scouts. It is unclear what the long-term plans are but his heavy ground ball tendency could fit well in a middle man or set-up role, as long as his command holds up. I could also see his velocity ticking up a bit in the bullpen role, although so far that hasn't happened and it isn't necessary for it to do so.
While Wagner hasn't ranked especially highly on most prospect lists and is not considered to have a special ceiling, he is one of those guys I have an "intuitive feeling" about, as someone who can exceed consensus expectations at some point. This opinion is reflected in his grade, but let's be clear: that is my opinion. Your mileage may vary.