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MWLFan
04-17-2013, 08:15 AM
When the idea of adopt a Prospect came up last year my first choice was Jason Wheeler for several reasons. First he is a impressive young man to talk to, second my wife thought he was a nice boy, third he met Harmon Killebrew and my son is named for Harmon, and fourth he was a member of the Snappers and I could catch some of his games. So a bit about the 6 foot 8 inch, 265 pound left handed throwing young man from Torrance, California.

Jason comes from a family of athletes, mom and dad both played college basketball and his older brother Ryan plays in the Rockies organization now after a trde from Arizona ths lats off season. So Jason has the pedigree. Jason played college ball at Loyola Marymount University, as did his Miracle team mate Matt Koch, and some Twins fans may have seen him play for the St. Cloud River Bats of the Northwoods League where he was named 2010 Pitcher of the Year with a 8 and 1 record, 1.35 ERA and 74 strike outs. He was 6-4 with a 3.84 ERA his last year with the Lions before the Twins drafted him in the 8th round in 2011. (That may make him a qualify him as one of us. I have to check the rules.)

Jason was a Junior at LMU when he left for the Twins and was looking to graduate with a degree in business law. If the whole pitching in the Majors and making a lot of cash thing doesn't work out he might end up a sports agent, we will try not to hold that against him on this blog.

His year in Beloit was a successful one, being the workhorse starter all year long for the Snappers. He ended the year 14 and 6, with a 3.45 ERA,1.36 WHIP, 6.6 SO/9, and 9.8 Hits per 9 logging 156 innings last year.

Jason is a big guy, but not possessing the big fastball that you might think. He throws a decent fastball with a very good sinker, when it is on. I saw last year when he had some sink working and when it was floating up in the zone. The days when the sink was there he was a tough guy for the opposing teams to face, but when it wasn't there he had to rely on control and some average secondary pitches. For a 22 year old Lefty he has some upside and time to get his pitches refined. Also he needs a good defense behind him in the infield, last year in Beloit there were some issues at times.

So far this year he has had one really good start, 5 innings of 4 hit and 1 walk shut out ball. Then a bad one with 3 innings of 6 hit and 2 walk work leading to 5 runs. Then yesterday was a mixed bag, 5 hits, 4 walks spread over six with 3 runs. The Walks did him in and was able to get a couple of Double plays o get him out of the innings when he got in trouble. But he gave 6 decent innings and gave his team a chance to win, which they did with a Sano GS.

What is his upside? Early to say. Back of the rotation starter? Lefty out of the BP and spot starter? But being a lefty with good sink on his ball he is the type of player that could get a good long career in the right situation. Also if he could add a bit more velocity or another plus pitch that could improve his stock. Until then we have a guy who throws left, takes the ball every time asked and has a bit of bulldog in him. Not a bad place to start.

MWLFan
04-22-2013, 04:28 PM
In the midst of the Sano high brushback, long home run payback and him and Mientkiewicz ejection melodrama Jason Wheeler was the Miracle starter. It was good for him the other stuff took place because it was not a appearance he would like to be spoken about much. So, sorry Jason, lets look at it.

For the day he picked up a no decision after giving up five runs on six hits in four innings. After his last game he cut down the walks to 2, of course in 2 less innings, and struck out 2. His thorn this game was the home run ball. This is not a trait that fits his profile with a the sink to his ball, so seeing 2 homers in 4 innings says that his ball was riding up to me. Of course I was not there, it's 80 degrees in southern Wisconsin right now, so I can't give a scouting report.

I do remember that of the 12 homers he gave up more then one game last year had multiple big flies. So he has a trend of being homer friendly in games. I am not too worried as he only 12 homeruns in 27 games so I don't see it as a trend yet. But 4 innings of work will not get him to New Britain, he needs to take the ball and work 6 or 7 per game of quality work. Lets hope we see him go on a run soon.

MWLFan
05-03-2013, 01:47 PM
Jason Wheeler has had a couple of decent outings the last week. Thursday May 2nd he went 5 innings giving up 2 runs on 6 hits, 3 walks and 2 K's. Of the 15 outs he recorded 8 came on ground balls and 3 of those 6 hits also scooted through the infield. So the ball was dropping. This was a ND for Jason.

Last Friday he went 6.2 innings with 4 hits, 1 walk and 2 K's resulting in 3 runs. He picked up his second win to get to 2-0 on the season. He recorded 9 of the 17 outs on the ground, one inning 2 of the outs came via fly ball and that inning also featured a homer that plated 2 runs. Over all Jason had a good week, not striking out players but a lot of worm killing work which is his bread and butter. If he keeps the ball dropping he should be working 6 or so innings a game and eating up innings.

MWLFan
05-08-2013, 11:27 AM
Ok thats what we are talking about!!! Last night Jason had a the game you would expect from a large lefty with control and a sinking fastball. 7 innings, 1 ER, 4 hits, 0 BB and 5k's. In his 7 innings of work he got 7 ground outs, which is slighty lower then what his rate has been. His fly ball outs were more frequent and he threw in a couple extra K's. This on a night when the Miracle needed some pitching with both Sano and Rosario on the bench. Way to step it up Jason!!!

MWLFan
05-14-2013, 07:59 AM
Lil Wheels keeps on rollin'. Jason Wheeler improved to 4-0 on the season with a 5 inning, 8 hit and 2 run outing. Wheeler walked 3 and struck out 4, and picked off one. Jason was working with runners all over the place in each inning, 8 hits and 3 walks and a Sano error says it all. He did get some help with DP started by Sano and Angel Morales throwing out a runner at 3rd. But this was a struggle to get to the fifth. On the plus side of the 8 hits all were singles and 2 of the infield variety, so no one really powdered the ball off Jason. He got 3 ground balls for outs and a handlful of the singles rolled through the infield, so he was keeping the ball down it looks like. Anytime you start 4-0 is a good thing and this is remindful of last years start by Wheeler when he got out quick.

MWLFan
05-20-2013, 11:32 AM
All he does is rack up wins. Another game and one more W for Mr. Wheeler in what may have been his best outing of the year. 7 innings, 6 hits, 2BB and 3k's. The groundballs he induced ended up helping his fielders rack up 3 double plays in key situations. His ERA is dropping now to 4.25, his WHIP is still not a 5-0 pitcher WHIP at 1.34. He has logged 48 innings and given up 49 hits, now he does seem to get about 2 infield hits a game against him lately I have noticed so these are not all stinging shots to the gaps.

His last 5 starts Jaos's ERA is 3.02. He has improved for May with a ERA that is 2.63, 14 K's, 6 BB's, with a GO/AO rate of 1.00. April that GO/AO rate was 1.55 and that was much to high for a guy who lives on gopher killers. DJ Baxendale is getting a lot of notice, with good reason, but Jason has formed a nice compliment to him and if he keeps improving like we have seen in May could be helping to make this Miracle Season one of those we all talk about for years to come once they reach the majors.

MWLFan
05-31-2013, 08:29 AM
Another night and 7 more innings for Jason Wheeler, not a win for him though the Miracle pulled it out. He gave up 4 runs, 2 earned, over that 7 innings. Once again he struck out a couple more then he walked, for the season he has struck out 35 and walked 20 in 61 innings. Strike outs is not his game. Ground outs are. He picked up 7 ground outs yesterday in 7 innings and should have had one more on a error by Levi Micheal. He did give up a homer and a couple of other hard hit extra base hits. Not a bad start for Seth Stoh's 48th pre Draft Twins Top Prospect.

Seth Stohs
06-04-2013, 02:24 PM
A nice story about how Jason would like to face his brother Ryan (big leaguer) in the big leagues someday. Also the article compares him to a former first round Twins pick.

http://www.news-press.com/article/20130604/SPORTS/306040027/1010/Brothers-out-meet-majors?odyssey=nav|head

MWLFan
06-05-2013, 05:00 PM
Thanks for posting that Seth. I read that last night but it is month end and time for reports to be done.

MWLFan
06-05-2013, 05:15 PM
Jason picked up his first loss of the season last night. A 3-2 final against hated Brevard County.

All 3 runs came on Solo home runs, a Radke special. Sad as it is getting into the loss column it does not look like a bad performance overall. 6 innings, 9 hits (not excited about that number), 1 walk (like that one) and 6 K's. Of those 6k's, 5 were of the swinging variety. Is that the change up getting them? I have not heard that Jason has had a velocity upgrade, so what was working last night?

Also today Jason got a honorable mention on Seth Stoh's Starting pitcher of the month list for May after a 3-0 with a 2.68 ERA performance in the month. You know not too long ago that would have gotten him up in the top five. Shows us how much the pitching is improving in the system.

MWLFan
06-13-2013, 12:19 PM
Six and one. Jason improved to that mark last night in game one of a double header. 5 innings of work, not much as he has been able to get through lately, and 5 walks and 4 hits. The 5 BB's are a high for him this year. Some year splits Left vs Right. Right handers are hitting .291 off of him and leftys are hitting .259. His ERA vs. Left handers is 2.30 and rightanders are hitting 4.42. Now he has logged 15 innings versus left handers versus 57 versus righthanders and thus some of his stats are skewed. One thing I have noticed is that batters have been improving the average against him each month so far, June is only 2 starts however so he has plenty of time to improve this. As the All Star Break comes to the FSL here is his stats overall-



Team
League
W
L
ERA
G
GS
CG
SHO
SV
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
GO/AO
AVG


FTM
FSL
6
1
3.96
13
13
0
0
0
72.2
78
36
32
8
26
44
1.19
. 285

MWLFan
08-06-2013, 04:47 PM
Where has the summer gone...already August and we head into the last lap of the season in the minors. I am back from my time with the Boy Scouts in West Virginia and Northern Wisconsin so I can now check into the progress of Jason Wheeler.

Well not a great season so far for Jason, he stands at 8 wins and 4 losses. His ERA is 4.32, WHIP 1.55, 67 k's and 48 walks, the bad guys are hitting .293 against him and his last 10 games have included some clunkers. That being said he again, like last year, is the stalwart, innings eating starter that has taken the ball and gone out for 118 innings this year for the Miracle. We also are seeing the splits that makes you wonder if he can be guy who can take care of lefties. Warning small sample size of 25 innings, here is the Lefty split for Jason.

ERA- 2.49, Batting avg against .269, 20 K's and 8 BB's, 2 homeruns of his 14 this year, WHIP 1.31.

Can Jason stay as a starter or is he projecting into the bullpen? LOOGY? Long relief? I don't know yet, thoughts from anyone else?

But he takes the ball and throws every time he is asked, he gives you 5-6 innings on average. He is also left handed. Now can he move those innings pitched to 6-7? Can he improve against right handers? Jason is intriguing and is flying a bit under the radar. So far I would say it's been a good year for him and for the second year in a row he will be pitching in the playoffs for a good team.