Wade Wass, Catcher/First Baseman
HT : 6'0
WT : 210 lb.
DOB : September 23, 1991, Pensacola, Florida
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
Acquired : Undrafted Free Agent 2014 (Drafted 402nd overall in 2012 June Draft by Baltimore Orioles)
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : Roll Tide / Instagram name is "@wassfordays" / Wearing the Orem Owlz mascot head in his Twitter picture
Some how, some way, Wade Wass was passed up in the past draft. This powerful catcher has as much promise as top round draft picks, and is currently showing that in the Los Angeles Angels farm system. The Angels not only found a gem, but someone who can be a strong asset to any team he plays on.
Wass has some serious pop. This comes from wildly fast bat speed and the use of his strong frame, allowing him to contain his legs and stay back in his swing, while using his strong upper body to add strength to his swing.
With his power comes gap-to-gap power, and importantly, his opposite field power, where he can spray chart the baseball well. He doesn't have great speed, so you won't see many triples, but he has no trouble getting to second base safely on balls to the gap.
Wass has a good eye, but has some swing and miss problems, which comes naturally from a power hitter. This can be coached out, and become a strength in his game, drawing long at bats and more walks, due to his good pitch recognition.
Wass came to the Angels due to needed depth at the catching position. He has a good arm, and good release, but may need to have his receiving skills progress. He uses his big frame to block pitches when needed, and has shown this as a promising part of his game.
Wass helped lead Pensacola Catholic High School to a 23-5 record and perfect 10-0 record in league play his senior season, with a .367 batting average, 10 home runs, and 33 runs batted in. He was named to a Florida Region honorable mention selectin by Perfect Game USA. He was named to the 2009 honorable mention Preseason High School Underclassmen All-American selection by Perfect Game USA in his junior season.
In his freshman year at Meridian Community College, Wass bat .370 with 11 home runs, with 39 runs batted in and 42 runs scored. He shined at an even larger level in his second season, batting .427 with 23 dingers, 18 doubles, and 67 runs batted in. He also held a .568 on base percentage, helped by 46 walks. This helped him be named as a first team Region 23 member by the National Junior College Athletic Association and earning a draft spot in the 13th round by the Baltimore Orioles.
Wass opted out of a professional career to continue his college career at the University of Alabama. In a preseason scrimmage, Wass suffered a broken right ankle and then upon his return, broke his wrist on a hit by pitch. Wass earned medical redshirt eligability after having season-ending surgery to his hand.
In his final season at 'Bama, Wass put up a .302/.388/.462 slash. He lead the team in doubles (19), and lead the team in batting average (.311), doubles (11), slugging percentage (.505), hit by pitch (8), and on-base percentage (.410) in SEC play. Wass hit five home runs and collected 34 RBI, helping name him to the All-SEC Second Team.
Wass jumped into Rookie Ball after being signed and put up video games numbers, slashing .341/.461/.606. Wass had 12 of his 39 games go for multi-hit games, and reached base safely three times in a game 11 times. Wass had a slash of .423/.543/.808 against left-handed pitchers. In his final 14 games, Wass had a slash of .444/.568/.755, and with 16 runs attributed to.
Wass will be playing at one of the Class-A affiliates, and tougher, older competition in 2015. Spring Training will be the tell tale of whether he'll be in Low-A or High-A, but it is more likely he'll land with the Burlington Bees next season.
Being a catcher with a big bat can always work in your favor. For Wade Wass, he has these qualities and it could help him advance to the Major League levels. He'll need to prove himself at the higher level affiliates, but there is little doubt that this undrafted free agent has big club qualities and potential talent.
For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout.
Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for InsideTheHalos.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.