Some people were born to do certain things. When Wynn Isaiah Pelzer was born in 1986, he was given the perfect name for a baseball pitcher. His name is the type of gift sports editors can only dream of, as headlines like “Pelzer Wynn’s Again” and “Pelzer Runs Wynning Streak to Ten” are ready made for the papers. Fortunately, Pelzer grew into his name and is a pitcher on the cusp of the major leagues.
The right-handed Pelzer enjoyed a stellar career at the University of South Carolina, starting and relieving with equal success and consistently being one of the best hurlers in the SEC. He was already a hot commodity following his junior year in 2007, and after being drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 9th round of that year’s draft, he decided to sign and start his professional career. He made steady progress through the San Diego system as a starter, but near the 2010 trade deadline, he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles with cash considerations for shortstop Miguel Tejada. The fact that Baltimore was willing to trade one of its last established veteran players for Pelzer shows how much regard they have for the pitcher.
Since joining the Baltimore organization, Pelzer has been transitioning back to relieving and made it as high as Triple-A in 2011. So far in his minor league career, Pelzer has a 32-31 record in 126 games, with a 3.89 ERA. He has also struck out 422 batters in 472 innings, while relinquishing an impressively low 32 home runs. More information about his statistics is available here.
The scouting report on Pelzer is that he has major league stuff, highlighted by a low 90’s fastball. Consistency in his delivery and command are the last challenges he has been addressing, as he continues to progress through the minors. Heading into 2012 there is little reason why he won’t make his major league debut at some point during the season. There’s not much left for him to prove in the minors, and the rebuilding Orioles are likely to have many holes on their pitching staff to fill, with prospects like Pelzer eager to show what they can do.
Keep an eye out for Pelzer in Baltimore in 2012. He is a great follow on Twitter and was gracious enough to recently answer some of my questions. #Wynning!
Wynn Pelzer Interview: