Position: Right-handed Pitcher
A Perth, Australia native, Wise joined the Tigers after having spent one year at Pratt Community College, and several years participating in high level Australian baseball leagues. In his one collegiate season stateside, Wise was named Jayhawk West First Team All-Conference, after a stellar season in the NJCAA.
The Tigers and particularly Area Scout Steve Taylor were extremely impressed with Wise, leading to his selection in the 8th round of the '05 draft. The organization did plenty of digging into his background and performances while in Australia, and felt they were getting a steal. Because of his age and relative inexperience, Wise joined the Gulf Coast League Tigers, where he steadily improved as the season progressed. After a very solid final month, Brendan finished the season with a 4.87 ERA in 10 starts (53 innings).
Following the logical progression, Wise was promoted to the New York-Penn League where he battled through some early season control issues to post a very solid season. Wise finished with only a 3-5 record, despite a 3.30 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 60 innings for the Oneonta Tigers. In 2007, Wise skipped the Midwest League and was challenged with an assignment to High-A Lakeland of the Florida State League. Working exclusively in relief, Wise compiled a 1-2 record in 31 appearances with a 3.12 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. During the middle of the season Wise was promoted to Double-A Erie for a brief two game stretch where he notched a win while giving up one run in 1-2/3 innings of work.
Wise's fastball has made nice progress over the last three summers, becoming a very solid offering. Since moving to the bullpen, he has gained 2-3 mph on the pitch, with it resting comfortably in the 92-94 range at this time. He has also worked diligently to be able to turn it over on occasion to induce more weak contact and easy outs. The command he maintains over his fastball is uncanny, and he doesn't shy away from challenging hitters in any circumstance.
Brendan compliments his fastball with a solid curveball-change combination that can be slightly above average on occasion. Command of both pitches lags behind that of his fastball, but he is able to throw strikes with them routinely. At times, he struggles to stay on top of his curveball, leaving it prone to becoming loopy and very hittable. The quality of both pitches is not sufficient for long term success in a starting rotation, but both could be of sufficient quality to allow him to be effective in the bullpen at higher levels.
His mechanics are generally smooth and as a good athlete he repeats them well. He understands his defensive responsibilities on the mound and is in tune with everything that is happening on the field in all situations. Wise has the mentality to work late in games, but he lacks the swing-and-miss pitch you would like to see out of a late-inning workhorse. He profiles well as a solid relief option who can get hot and carry a bullpen for extended stretches.
Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP AVG A+
Wise's durability has come under question in some circles, as he has shown evidence of tiring badly late in the season. With a lighter workload as a reliever, there is a hope that Brendan will be able to remain strong deep into the longer seasons he will face at higher levels.
Having handled the test of jumping to Lakeland last season, Wise should continue to be challenged with an assignment to Double-A Erie as a 22-year old right out of spring training. Wise made excellent strides in reducing base runners in 2007 and he will have to maintain that trend at higher levels.
The Tigers still like what Wise brings to the table, but he is just one of many potential relief options at this point in time. He will need to distinguish himself with an impressive season to garner enough attention to warrant a real shot at some point in 2009. He has the fastball and mentality to help in late-inning situations, but there are some refinements that would help make him a more reliable option. Look for Brendan to be tested mightily against the first group of truly advanced hitters he will face as a pro.
Mark Anderson is TigsTown's Managing Editor and feature Minor League writer. He can be reached at Mark@TigsTown.com.