Commentary

Alex Wimmers' disastrous '11 debut

Twins' No. 1 pick can't find plate -- what comes next for top prospect?

Updated: April 13, 2011, 12:00 PM ET
By Kevin Goldstein | Baseball Prospectus

On Monday night, right-hander Alex Wimmers, the Minnesota Twins' first-round pick in the 2010 draft, had a season debut that could only be classified as disturbing.

Pitching for High-A Fort Myers in the Florida State League, he faced six batters and walked them all, throwing 28 pitches in the process and delivering almost as many wild pitches (three) as he did strikes (four).

That's a troubling line for any pitcher, but it's made even more so by the fact that Wimmers always had above-average command and control, a skill the Twins have always favored more than other big league teams when it comes to amateur pitchers.

What actually happened is still a mystery, as Wimmers was placed on the seven-day disabled list Tuesday morning with what the team called "flu-like symptoms," while the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that he had struggled in his final exhibition outing as well and will work on his mechanics before attempting a return to the rotation.

Wimmers and the Twins don't have to look far to see what they fear most, as his Fort Myers teammate and 2008 supplemental first-round pick Shooter Hunt has walked 178 in 154 career innings while also hitting 27 batters and uncorking 45 wild pitches. For now, Wimmers gets the benefit of the doubt, but there's surely some concern in the back of everyone's mind.


To see what Kevin uncovered about full season debuts for first round pitching prospects and what that means for WImmers and the Twins, you must be an ESPN Insider.