Padres scouting report: Jared Wells

If there was one player to lookout for during the 2004 season, scouts said it was Jared Wells. A draft and follow out of San Jacinto, Wells began the year in Fort Wayne and was promoted to Lake Elsinore in late June and his numbers at both stops were eerily similar.

In 14 starts with Fort Wayne, Jared Wells went 4-6 with a 4.09 ERA. Wells dominated hitters in the first inning – an ERA of 1.93 in that inning with the only three runs he allowed all coming on solo homers. It was getting over the hump in the fifth inning that gave him trouble. His 6.17 ERA in that inning was by far his worst.

With the Wizards, Wells had solid command of the strike zone, striking out 72 and walking just 19. He averaged eight strikeouts per nine innings to just two walks per nine.

Wells, a right-hander, had trouble with lefties in the Midwest League. They batted .303 against him but he limited the damage by giving up a .247 average with runners in scoring position.

At Lake Elsinore, Wells went 4-6 with a 4.52 ERA. His ERA through each of the first four innings was solid, nothing above 3.75, but when he got into the fifth it climbed to 6.23 and ballooned even further in the sixth inning, to the tune of 10.61.

Wells did not have near the command he exhibited earlier in the year while playing with Fort Wayne. In the California League, he walked 30 while striking out 38 in 71.2 innings of work. It was almost polar opposite across the board for Wells. He limited lefties to a .222 average but righties walloped him for a .326 average.

Wells was a pitcher who liked the comfort of home. His ERA was a full run better at home than it was away in both leagues

It wasn't quite the walk through the park for Wells but the Padres remain very high on the righty.

"Here is a guy that is just learning how to pitch," Tye Waller, the Padres' Director of Player Development, explained. "He is a football player that is becoming a pitcher. He definitely has a power arm. I think that is just game experience. He needs to get out there and figure out what works best for him, command the strike zone that works for his benefit."

Wells needs work on his mechanics as his release point will be erratic at times. He has a fastball that touches 95 but does not possess the ability to hit his spots with confidence just yet, a trait that many feel will come.

Despite the power arm, Wells is a groundball pitcher that doesn't get many strikeouts. Wells' goal is to eliminate wasted pitches.

One National League scout did question his dedication to the game but it is not something that the Padres are concerned about.

"This is going to be a guy that is just going to get better every year," said Waller. "Definitely has a pitcher's body, strong as an ox. We are looking for good things from Jared."

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