POSITION: Left-handed relief pitcher
BORN ON: July 11, 1986
AGE: Will turn 22 this July
BORN IN: Pensacola, Florida
LIVES IN: Andalusia, Alabama
SCHOOL: Andalusia High School
ACQUIRED: Selected by the Braves in the 21st round of the 2004 June draft
SIGNED BY: Al Goetz
STATISTICSClick here for Wilson's 2007 stats
SCOUTING REPORTTyler Wilson had a very solid developmental season, mainly in Rome of the South Atlantic League with a week and a half in Myrtle Beach with the Pelicans. Then he followed that up with an impressive stint in Hawaii (2.57 ERA in 16 games, eight walks and 29 strikeouts in 21 innings).
But Wilson is a bit of an oddity in that he was tougher against right-handed hitters (.165 BAA in 127 at bats) than left-handed hitters (.321 BAA in 53 at bats) in Rome. In a smaller sample the results were the same in four games in the Carolina League, and then even more pronounced difference in the Hawaiian League (.351 BAA in 37 at bats vs. lefty hitters, .104 BAA in 48 at bats vs. right-handed hitters).
Wilson has a sneaky fast fastball that is usually at 91-92 mph. When he nibbles, Wilson usually gets into trouble. Like any reliever, Wilson has his most success when he is aggressive.
Wilson is blessed with an above average big league changeup right now. Scouts believe he could throw that pitch successfully in the majors right now. Wilson still needs to work on his curve ball, which can be good at times but just needs consistency.
The Braves were impressed that Wilson got some confidence last season, which helped turn his season around. Wilson started to really trust his stuff and believe that he could get hitters out, which led to some success. The Braves do want him to stay in shape, as Wilson has had some troubles with his knees at times.
Wilson has drawn comparisons to Macay McBride, and if Wilson can maintain his aggressive approach he will have the chance to be the same type of pitcher.
2008 OUTLOOKThe Braves will send Wilson back to Myrtle Beach, where he should be the top lefty reliever in the Pelicans' pen. Obviously, the Braves would like to see him improve against left-handed hitters. But there's no doubt Wilson could have a role if he keeps getting right-handed hitters out at this rate. The lefty reliever is at least two years away from being an option, but he'll get closer with a solid season in the Carolina League.
ADDITIONAL STORY LINKSTyler Wilson's 2007 Player Profile
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. Email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.