The Padres will give fans an opportunity to get a look at the organization’s top pitching prospect, as Joe Weiland will likely start on Saturday in Los Angeles. According to Padres beat writer Corey Brock, the move is expected to be made official tomorrow.
Wieland was one of the two pitchers the Padres acquired in the Mike Adams deal last season, and Wieland has done nothing but impress in his short time in the Padres system. He pitched well in five starts at AA San Antonio, after the acquistion, and has made two starts at AAA Tucson in 2012.
Coming into the 2012 season, Wieland was the #74 ranked prospect in baseball, according to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, and Baseball America had him ranked as the #7 in the Padres talent-rich farm system. Many within the organization see Wieland as a #3 starter with a ton of upside. The plan was for Wieland to get plenty of seasoning at Tucson, but injuries to Tim Stauffer and Dustin Moseley have forced the Padres to dip into their farm system. While Wieland has certainly been the recipient of much adulation, what can Padres fans expect to see from Wieland?
Wieland works his fastball in the low-90’s, and tops off at about 94mph. He has an above-average curve, and will mix in a changeup from time-to-time. He also has excellent command, walking just 21 batters in 155 innings in the minors last year. He is a flyball pitcher, something that will play very well at Petco National Park.
The Padres have had some awful luck with their starting rotation to begin the 2012 season, but Wieland could give Padres fans reason to be excited Saturday night!