Consistency The Next Step For Wojciechowski

The 41st overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft has now made 13 starts for his Dunedin Blue Jay's ballclub. Asher Wojciechowski, the 22-year-old pitching prospect out of The Citadel, has posted a 4-5 record and 4.85 ERA through the first half of his inaugural professional baseball campaign. Wojciechowski finds that his first season has been one of inconsistency, but he is working on improving.

"So far it's been kind of inconsistent," Asher Wojciechowski admitted. "I've been working with toning down my delivery. I've had a couple bumpy starts here and there but I've some good ones too so I'm just working on, right now, locating my fastball and being consistent with my delivery."

Dunedin manager Clayton McCullough also acknowledged the rough outings Wojciechowski has dealt with this season. He is pleased with the progress his young pitcher is making, however.

"Asher's been fine. He's continuing to make progress," said McCullough. "Asher's gonna hit his bumps in the road like the rest of them, but we've been very encouraged with how he's responded to stuff he's been working on in the bullpen between his starts, and he really goes about his business terrifically.

"He's a good worker, he's got a lot of fire and he competes terrifically, so Asher's made very good strides. He's starting to become a pitcher I think now more than he was certainly when he came out of spring."

With a repertoire of four solid pitches, Wojciechowski has the make-up of a good starting pitcher. He features a low-to-mid 90s fastball, a low-to-mid 80s slider and changeup, along with a high 70s curveball. For him, it's all about locating these pitches, especially his fastball.

"The biggest thing is just locating that fastball and staying fluid in my delivery and getting that downward plane, and just pounding the bottom of the zone," Wojciechowski said. "I know my stuff's good enough, but you just gotta locate in pro ball.

"You can get away with it in college ball but in order for me to advance, that's what I need to do. I need to locate at the bottom half of the zone and mix speeds well and just hit my spots."

One of his roughest outings was his most recent one. Wojciechowski gave up seven earned runs on nine hits in just four innings of work against the Clearwater Threshers. He didn't give up any free passes, but did allow three home runs. Wojciechowski said although he struggled in that game, he felt fine going in.

"I actually felt really good," he stated. "It's just one of those days I couldn't get the ball down. Everything I threw was flat and it was up in the zone and it was just one of those days; I felt good, but just couldn't locate my fastball, couldn't get it down."

For any pitcher, but especially younger ones, the mental aspect of the game is crucial to on-field performance. With inconsistency seeming to be somewhat of the theme for Wojciechowski's season, staying mentally strong is key to righting the ship after a bad outing.

"It's tough," Wojciechowski said. "Baseball is a really mental game. It can eat you up and you can get in your head and just start thinking too much, but you just gotta go back to the basics, go back to knowing what you know how to do and just being fluid."

As the first half of the season wraps up and the team has a few days off while All-Star weekend takes place, Wojciechowski seems to know what he needs to improve on moving forward. Coach McCullough reinforced what the righty will continue to work on going into the second half of 2011 - command and location.

"It's being able to command the fastball and being able to throw it to both sides of the plate," McCullough said. "He's got a good slider, it's just inconsistent at times. His secondary stuff is good enough, but it's just finding the consistency. You know, not losing it from outing to outing or have it for a couple innings and then it disappears.

"Those are things he's been working on in between his starts and try to take those things and let them apply in the game. So with Asher, I think it's continuing to stay under control and thinking about being a pitcher and not trying to blow it by every hitter that steps in there."


Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"So far it's been kind of inconsistent,\" Asher Wojciechowski admitted. \"I've been working with toning down my delivery. I've had a couple bumpy starts here and there but I've some good ones too so I'm just working on, right now, locating my fastball and being consistent with my delivery.\"
\r\n
\r\nDunedin manager Clayton McCullough also acknowledged the rough outings Wojciechowski has dealt with this season. He is pleased with the progress his young pitcher is making, however.
\r\n
\r\n\"Asher's been fine. He's continuing to make progress,\" said McCullough. \"Asher's gonna hit his bumps in the road like the rest of them, but we've been very encouraged with how he's responded to stuff he's been working on in the bullpen between his starts, and he really goes about his business terrifically.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's a good worker, he's got a lot of fire and he competes terrifically, so Asher's made very good strides. He's starting to become a pitcher I think now more than he was certainly when he came out of spring.\"
\r\n
\r\nWith a repertoire of four solid pitches, Wojciechowski has the make-up of a good starting pitcher. He features a low-to-mid 90s fastball, a low-to-mid 80s slider and changeup, along with a high 70s curveball. For him, it's all about locating these pitches, especially his fastball.
\r\n
\r\n\"The biggest thing is just locating that fastball and staying fluid in my delivery and getting that downward plane, and just pounding the bottom of the zone,\" Wojciechowski said. \"I know my stuff's good enough, but you just gotta locate in pro ball.
\r\n
\r\n\"You can get away with it in college ball but in order for me to advance, that's what I need to do. I need to locate at the bottom half of the zone and mix speeds well and just hit my spots.\"
\r\n
\r\nOne of his roughest outings was his most recent one. Wojciechowski gave up seven earned runs on nine hits in just four innings of work against the Clearwater Threshers. He didn't give up any free passes, but did allow three home runs. Wojciechowski said although he struggled in that game, he felt fine going in.
\r\n
\r\n\"I actually felt really good,\" he stated. \"It's just one of those days I couldn't get the ball down. Everything I threw was flat and it was up in the zone and it was just one of those days; I felt good, but just couldn't locate my fastball, couldn't get it down.\"
\r\n
\r\nFor any pitcher, but especially younger ones, the mental aspect of the game is crucial to on-field performance. With inconsistency seeming to be somewhat of the theme for Wojciechowski's season, staying mentally strong is key to righting the ship after a bad outing.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's tough,\" Wojciechowski said. \"Baseball is a really mental game. It can eat you up and you can get in your head and just start thinking too much, but you just gotta go back to the basics, go back to knowing what you know how to do and just being fluid.\"
\r\n
\r\nAs the first half of the season wraps up and the team has a few days off while All-Star weekend takes place, Wojciechowski seems to know what he needs to improve on moving forward. Coach McCullough reinforced what the righty will continue to work on going into the second half of 2011 - command and location.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's being able to command the fastball and being able to throw it to both sides of the plate,\" McCullough said. \"He's got a good slider, it's just inconsistent at times. His secondary stuff is good enough, but it's just finding the consistency. You know, not losing it from outing to outing or have it for a couple innings and then it disappears.
\r\n
\r\n\"Those are things he's been working on in between his starts and try to take those things and let them apply in the game. So with Asher, I think it's continuing to stay under control and thinking about being a pitcher and not trying to blow it by every hitter that steps in there.\"
\r\n
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