Wilmer Font Scouting Report (2009)
A high profile international signing, Wilmer Font‘s career has been slowed by injury which cost him almost the entire 2008 season. Now healthy, the 19-year old struggled mightily versus the Savannah Sand Gnats during my lone opportunity to watch him pitch. Font’s performance was underwhelming, but how much of it was due to simply catching him on an off night? While I can not be certain, his performance threw up a few red flags which leaves me questioning his future ceiling.
Physique & Athleticism: Listed at 6’4″, 210 lbs., Font looked closer to 230 in a uniform which he was swimming in. Thick through the hips and mid-section, Font also had a broad back and shoulders which was reminiscent of a player much older than nineteen. His size does raise the question of how much physical projection Font has left? With the best fastball velocity I saw in 2009, does he even need it?
From an athleticism standpoint, Font was a bit awkward and stiff on the mound. When his front foot lands, his stiff front leg and over the top arm action keeps his motion from being fluid.
Mound Presence: Font looked a bit shell-shocked throughout the outing as Savannah hitters peppered his mid-nineties fastball back up the middle. He had no plan “B” beyond throwing the heat early and often and did not show the ability to successfully set up opposing hitters. While it is normal for a teenage pitcher to not respond well to adversity during an outing, the truly great prospects are the ones who find ways to work out of jams.
Fastball: Consistently 90-93 MPH, Font was the only pitcher I saw hit 95 and 96 MPH last season. However, his impressive velocity was overshadowed by a lack of movement and less than stellar command. In key situations, Font was able to dial it up as needed, but when left in the strike zone, the pitch was hit hard by both Mets prospects and organizational filler.
Curveball: Font’s least impressive offering, his struggles in the bullpen carried over into game action. While he rarely threw the pitch and had trouble staying on top of it when he did. With velocity in the upper 70’s, the pitch could use a bit more velocity separation from his changeup
Changeup: A pitch with potential, Font flashed plus arm action, but frequently left the pitch up in the zone. At 80 MPH, the velocity lags a bit due to his not finishing his motion. With refinement, it could be at least an average big league offering and is currently his second best pitch.
With a 3.62 FIP and nearly a strikeout per inning, Font’s peripherals are impressive. However, his allowing nearly five BB/9 is going to have to come down significantly. The Texas Rangers will give Font every opportunity to remain a starter, but his lack of secondary offerings make it very difficult to project a role for him at this time.
22 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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