The Baltimore Orioles begin 2016 with a 3-0 record following their opening series sweep of the Minnesota Twins. Rookies dot the roster including Dylan Bundy, Joey Rickard, Mychal Givens, and right-hander Tyler Wilson. We've looked at Bundy and Rickard so far; today we'll hit Wilson, with Givens coming up this weekend.
From the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:
Tyler Wilson, RHP, Baltimore Orioles
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-2 WT: 185 DOB: September 25, 1989
2013: Grade C+; 2014: Grade C; 2015: Grade C+
Drafted in the 10th round in 2011 from the University of Virginia, Tyler Wilson threw 36 innings in the majors last year but is still a technical rookie entering 2016. A soft-tosser with an upper-80s fastball when drafted, he’s gradually boosted his velocity and works around 90-92 now, nothing great but enough to boost his margin for error. He’ll mix in a sweeping slider and an average change-up. His best attributes are command and durability. Wilson’s strikeout rate was quite low in the majors last year but overall he held his own and could be an effective four/five starter and long reliever for the right team. Grade C.
Wilson threw well in spring training: 17.1 innings, 2.60 ERA, 10/1 K/BB. He did give up 18 hits but his exceptional control prevented any significant damage. Given his performance in Triple-A last year (3.24 ERA, 63/18 K/BB in 94 innings) and his successful major league trial last fall (3.23 in 39 innings, 14/11 K/BB), the Orioles made the right decision bringing him north. It already paid dividends with three shutout relief innings following a rain delay on Opening Day.
Despite his long track record of minor league success, Wilson has generally not ranked highly on prospect lists due to his lack of plus fastball velocity. Control has always been his top attribute and he's done an excellent job staying healthy and eating innings. His margin for error is small and is reflected in his low strikeout rates; he also gets gopheritis at times, but for the most part Wilson consistently exceeds expectations.
Long relief and spot starting is the perfect role for him. He isn't the type of arm to build your staff around, but as a complementary guy he could last awhile.