Padres Prospect Interview: Jared Wells

Jared Wells isn't well known by San Diego Padres fans…yet. A former draft and follow that signed just before the 2003 draft, Wells went on to short season Eugene and added innings to his arm. This year he is in Fort Wayne, his first taste of full season ball in the Padres system, although he did log a high number of innings in 2003.

"My arm was a little tired," Jared Wells readily admits. "I ended up throwing 190 innings including junior college. I was a little tired."

The biggest adjustment was changing the normal cycle. In college, a pitcher generally throws every seventh day, whereas in the Minors they will pitch every fifth day.

It was the first time he had pitched that much. The same guy whose fastball was reaching the high 90's was throwing the flame in the low 90's in his first season at Eugene.

A self prescribed order to rest and stay healthy during the offseason left him ready to compete for the Fort Wayne Wizards in 2004.

The motto for '04:

"Being more consistent," says Wells.

And is the fastball back up to 97?

"I can get up there. It has been a while," Wells modestly states.

Wells firmly believes he has the mindset to succeed. He is not about wasted pitches, but throws each with a purpose.

Equipped with a fastball and nasty slider he is looking to minimize how many pitches he has to throw.

"Being consistent in throwing strikes," Wells said. "If you throw strikes you are going to get hitters out. That is just what it boils down to. If you can consistently throw strikes, you pretty much have figured out the game. Being consistent – people can say they have figured it out, but it is a matter of whether they can execute it or not.

"I am not a big strikeout guy, or I haven't been. My aspect is, I am looking to throw as few pitches as possible. If I can throw one pitch instead of three to strike the guy out I would much rather do that. I go right after hitters."

As a ground ball pitcher, the philosophy has hurt Wells in the early part of the year. Almost half of the runs he has given up this year have been unearned.

In the future, as his defense continues to improve, Wells should benefit from keeping the ball in the strike zone. He will need to then be more polished with his location and the better hitters will still have a tough time putting the ball where fielders aren't.

"Stay consistent and give my team the opportunity to win. If I can keep under two runs or less, my team is going to put up the numbers for me to win. I think if I can keep the team in we will win. That is my goal, definitely. Keep us around where it won't get out of hand."

Wells started the second game of the season for Fort Wayne, allowing two runs, one earned, over six innings of work and took the loss. The hitting never arrived to back up his theory.

His second game in saw another loss as he gave up six runs, four earned, in 4.1 innings.

Upping the stakes, Wells threw five innings of shutout ball in his third start and earned his first victory of the year. His ERA sits comfortably at 2.93 and the early signs of promise, where he has met his quota of runs allowed per start twice, show the motivation he has to succeed.

Looking for a prospect that will blossom and make top ten lists across the nation, you may have found your man. When he makes it there – look for him to continue to stay there by maintaining consistency.

Denis Savage can be reached at

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