50. Jonas Wyatt - Right-handed Pitcher
Born: 09/16/1997 - Height: 6'1" - Weight: 185 - Bats: Right - Throws: Right
Facts & Info: The Indians selected Wyatt in the 6th round of the 2015 Draft out of Quartz Hills High School (CA) and signed him for $253,700. He was a 2015 3rd-Team Perfect Game High School Senior Preseason All-American and a Perfect Game 1st-Team Preseason California Region All High School Senior. He had a commitment to attend and play baseball at San Diego State University had he not signed with the Indians.
Stuff: Wyatt is an arm strength righty who has a lot of projection because of his powerful arm and his strong frame that should continue to fill out as he matures. He features a plus fastball that comfortably sits at 92-95 MPH and will flash plus-plus at 97 MPH when he reaches for extra. His fastball has good arm side run with some good late life through the zone. He saw a significant spike in his velocity in his senior year of high school, and the Indians believe he has not yet reached his peak velocity as it could go up another MPH or two with maturation and some refinement of his mechanics. His mid-80s changeup projects to be an above average offering and is a pitch that he gets a good amount of swing and miss with. It has some good, late tumbling action through the zone and should only get better as he gains more confidence in it and refines it. His mid-70s curveball is an inconsistent offering he is still developing that has 11-5 shape, but it shows some promise to be an average offering.
Delivery & Intangibles: Wyatt has a very good, athletic delivery with a high three-quarter slot that he repeats well. He has a really compact arm and does a nice job of staying on top of the ball and getting it on a good downhill plane to the plate. He is a strike thrower who is not afraid to pitch around the plate and has a strong mental approach where he is not uneasy to pitch in any situation and just goes right after hitters. He has a good mound presence about him and shows a good feel for pitching at his age. He displays a strong work ethic and a commitment to the process.
Focus: The biggest issue for Wyatt at the moment is he has minimal experience on the mound both as an amateur and professional. He only pitched 3.2 innings his junior season in 2014 and pitched 59.1 innings his senior season in 2015 before throwing 16.2 innings in his pro debut. After missing all of 2016 with an injury, he has pitched a total of under 80 innings over the last three seasons. Part of the problem is injuries have gotten in the way in two of the last three seasons as he had a minor elbow injury in 2014 that sidelined him and last year he came up lame in spring training and after trying to rest the arm and rehab it he opted for Tommy John surgery on June 23rd which effectively wiped out his season. So not only is experience a big issue, but his durability is as well. As a young arm he can ill afford to miss any development time as these are his foundational years which can greatly impact future success. Unfortunately, with him missing his entire age 18 season and likely a big chunk of his age 19 season this year, it is going to be a lot for him to overcome. This season is going to first be about finishing off his rehab and getting him healthy, and then once that is done the focus will turn to developing his foundation with his routines and just nurturing him along. His delivery needs smoothening out, better balance over the rubber and more extension out front, and his curveball needs to be sharper, but those are things on the back burner until he shows he is healthy and ready to start taking on adjustments.
Future: The one thing that Wyatt has going for him right now is even though his development has been stalled because of the arm injury and subsequent surgery, he was the fifth youngest player selected in the 2015 Draft and this season will still only be is age 19 season even though it will be his third year in the system. The Indians are really intrigued by his strong frame and powerful fastball, but he needs to get back on the mound and healthy in order to realize all of that potential and upside the Indians believe he has in him. The Indians will probably still develop him as a starter, not so much because it is his future role, but to develop his pitches and routines. That said, because of the limited amount of innings he has pitched and two arm injuries, his durability concerns and lack of experience project him as more of a reliever and he will probably be moved into that role at some point if he reaches the High-A or Double-A level. That’s not a bad thing as he has the stuff to be a high end relief arm if he can stay healthy going forward and make some strides with his stuff, command and delivery. He’s a long way from pitching in front of crowds and should spend all season this year in Arizona in extended spring training, the summer league and then instructional league so the Indians can work closely with him in a controlled environment, take their time with him and prepare him for a stronger push in 2018.
Ranking History: #34 (2016)