When the Craig Kimbrel deal was announced hours before Opening Day, fans were bittersweet. On one hand, we lost a fan favorite and the best closer in baseball. On the other hand we got rid of Melvin Upton Jr.’s contract, finally opening up the doors financially for the Braves starting next offseason. But what was seemingly overlooked was the fact that we acquired the top prospect in the Padres organization in Matt Wisler. The 23-year old starting pitcher was drafted out of high school in the 7th round of the MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres in 2011. Ever since, Wisler has constantly impressed scouts and flown up prospect lists left and right. Prior to the 2014 season, Baseball America ranked Wisler the 44th best prospect in all of baseball. Prior to this season, Wisler saw his stock move up ten spots, as he ranked 34th. The right-hander has the perfect build for a pitcher: tall and lanky. He measures in at 6’3”, 195 pounds. Wisler’s arsenal consists of a slider, changeup, fastball and curveball. He strikes out a ton of batters and has future front-line starter written all over him. He has exceptional control, being voted as having the best control in the Padres farm system by Baseball America. He also had his fastball voted best in the system in 2014, and his slider was voted best in 2012. Wisler absolutely dominated the minors until he hit the AAA Pacific Coast League in 2014, which has a reputation for being very hitter friendly. He owned a 5.01 ERA in 22 starts, but still came away with 7.8 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. This is an impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio, and he is looking to build on last year’s campaign this season with AAA Gwinnett. This season, Wisler has a 4.59 ERA with a 7.8 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9. The ERA is not eye-popping, and is high due in part to a horrendous outing in which he gave up 7 earned runs on April 29th. However, Wisler has only given up 2 earned runs in his past 2 starts. Matt Wisler is very near MLB ready, but I think the Braves want to see more consistency out of him. I estimate that when it’s all said and done, Wisler wears a Braves uniform at some point during this season. If Eric Stults continues to struggle, he will join Cody Martin and Williams Perez as strong candidates to join the Atlanta rotation. I have Wisler ranked as the best prospect in the Braves organization, but I want to see him have more success at the AAA level before the Braves give him the call.
EST. Debut: 2015
You can get to know Matt Wisler here:
You can see Wisler’s stuff here: