July 3rd, 2019. The only start for the MLB club that Bryse Wilson showed his potential. 59 of his 87 pitches were fastballs, averaging 95.2 and topping out at 97. The difference in this start than his other appearances in 2020? He could locate his fastball.
And no, I’m not implying that Bryse Wilson has a control problem. Far from it. He has a “meat of the plate” problem. Looking back at all of his other appearances of which he got shelled, there were WAY too many middle-middle fastballs. They were crushed.
Bryse’s Stuff and Lack Thereof
Wilson is a 4-pitch pitcher, FB/SL/SI/CH. His 4-seamer is his best pitch and the one he leans on. His achilles heel right now is the underdevelopment of a good changeup (read on…you’ll be encouraged), and that is something that has to come along in order for LHHs to stop destroying him. Still, Bryse fared well at AAA when hardly any pitcher fared well in that league and led the International League in ERA and minimizing walks. There was talk by some of my MiLB guru friends that his change was really coming along at the end of the season, and I witnessed it watching a few of his outings at the end of the season. That’s promising news. I’m a fan of the sample size when it comes to Minor Leaguers, and after being demoted back to Gwinnett, Bryse had one heck of an ending in 2019:
6 starts, 40 IP, 0.90 ERA, 37K, 7BB. That’s bloody remarkable.
Bryse Wilson, not yet 22, has pitched a total of 27 innings in the big leagues over the course of 2 years, and they’ve been pretty bad. He’s struggled to keep the ball in the park or even on the ground, and the BABIP gods have not been in his favor. These 27 innings aren’t reflective of the skill that I’ve seen watching numerous starts of his down at AAA. There’s still pedigree here and we shouldn’t jump ship on a pitcher that could be a serious workhorse for the Braves.
Outlook for 2020
If the Braves don’t grab 2 starting pitchers, look for Bryse, along with 4-5 other candidates, to battle for the 5th spot in the rotation and if that change-up truly is ready to go, Bryse will win it.
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