Prospect Countdown #70 : Wade Wass

Top 100 Los Angeles Angels' Prospects Countdown, #70 : Catcher, Wade Wass (photo : Jerry Espinoza)

Wade Wass, Catcher

HT : 6'0
WT : 210
DOB : September 23, 1991 (24), in Pensacola, Florida
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)
Acquired : Signed as Undrafted Free Agent, July 8, 2014
Last Year's Ranking : #69


In terms of development, there aren't many in the Los Angeles Angels organization that match up with Wade Wass. In a year that Wass saw large improvements in every aspect of his game, he's given the Angels a lot to think about while looking at the depth charts and where Wass suddenly falls. In our opinion, it should be near the top.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Wass improved drastically behind the plate this past season, showing progress in nearly every defensive category. If he got stronger, it wasn't evident as he already had a strong arm, but instead, quicker mechanics flashed and the numbers showed as Wass picked up nearly 10% in throwing runners out.

Wass become more mobile behind the plate, with a quicker lateral movement, allowing him to get down with ease and block balls with his large frame. Wass also had better receiving skills behind the plate, and proved that he is one of the best developing players in the system.

With some minor mechanical adjustments, Wass is quicker in all aspects defensively. He has a quicker release, he's quicker to get down - and up. With all this progress, it truly shows that Wass is listening to his coaches and taking what he learns to the field, and it's showing statistically.

At the plate, Wass uses his large scale frame and a line drive swing to gain his power. He has excellent bat speed, but can get inconsistent in his path at times, causing swing and miss problems. His power stems from the ground up, as he drives with his legs and finishes using his strong arms to tap into his entire power gain.

As Wass finds a better swing plane, his contact rates should increase, and could go to be his make or break point. As for his approach, Wass stands close to the plate, taking the inside part of the strike zone away to some extent. He has good knowledge of the strike zone, and how to take any pitch expansions of the zone out of the game.

He lets the ball travel deep in the zone when needed, and has the ability to take the ball the opposite way. As he progresses at the plate, Wass could become a duel threat option at and behind the plate.

VIDEO : Minor League Baseball

Scouting Report from Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher for Scout.com


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

In a senior year at Pensacola Catholic High School, Wass saw a .367 average, 10 home runs and 33 RBI, helping his team to a 23-5 record, and perfect 10-0 in league play. He was an honorable mention for the Florida Region by Perfect Game USA, and earned pre-season honorable mention honors the season prior as well as a junior, by Perfect Game USA.

Opting for a smaller school, Wass hit .370 with 11 home runs, 42 runs scored and 39 RBI in his freshman year at Meridian Community College. Wass was drafted in the 13th round after his sophomore year at Meridian after hitting .427 with 23 long balls, 18 doubles and 67 RBI. Wass boasted a .568 on-base percentage, and helped him be named a First-Team Region 23 selection by the National Junior College Athletic Association.

Wass opted out of a career in baseball, and continued his collegiate career in Tuscaloosa. Things didn't kick off the right direction his first year at Alabama, after suffering a broken right ankle in a pre-season scrimmage, and had his season end immediately upon his return when having his wrist broken by a pitch inside. He earned medical redshirt eligibility after having season-ending surgery to his hand that year.

In his return to 'Bama for as a redshirt junior, Wass hit .302/.388/.462, leading the team in doubles (19), along with hitting five home runs and 34 RBI. Wass led Alabama in SEC play, batting .311/.410/.505 with 11 doubles. Wass was named an All-SEC Second-Team selection, and was signed by the Angels following the season.

Wass' professional debut saw him a primary threat for rookie Orem. Putting up video game numbers, Wass hit .341/.461/.606 with 12 of his 39 games going for multiple hits. Wass hit .423/.543/.808 against left-handed pitcher, and hit .444 with a 1.323 OPS, helping score in bring in a combined 16 games in his final 14 games.

This past season, Wass split time between both Single-A affiliates, finishing the year with a .261/.360/.450 slash with 11 home runs, 21 doubles and 41 RBI. Wass collected an extra-base hit every 9.03 at bats, threw out 29.6% of runners and had a a passed ball every 60.53 innings. In his final 20 games of the season - 13 in High-A - Wass hit .303/.370/.576, with 10 extra-base hits in 66 at bats.

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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Wass earned a spot on the High-A roster at season's end in 2015, and it should be his landing spot to kick off the 2016 season. He's fallen into the undrafted free agent category but is a coach's dream with his development, which could mean starting time as a catcher at Inland Empire.

When acquired, Wass was nearly a fill in catcher who could hit. He's now someone the Angels will be forced to take notice of, and possibly keep his growth and development as a high point moving forward. There's no telling what the ceiling could be for Wass, but at this point in time, he seems to be a telling fit as a backup catcher at the highest levels, which could include the Major Leagues.



For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout. Keep up with our countdown on Twitter with the hashtag, #LAATop100Prospects.

This article was published by Taylor Blake Ward, who serves as a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.



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