Wynn Pelzer, relief pitcher
Will he develop into a useful pitcher?
Orioles fans may remember Pelzer as the player the team got from the Padres when they unloaded Miguel Tejada in 2010. Prior to the 2010 season, Baseball America rated him as a top ten prospect in the Padres’ farm system, and Orioles fans were hoping that they got a good pitcher for the future.
In retrospect, Pelzer’s prospect status said more about how barren the Padres’ system was than about how good Pelzer was. He was coming off two pretty good seasons as a starting pitcher in A-Ball, but at ages 22 and 23. Promoted to AA, he lost his control and was shifted to the bullpen; then was traded to Baltimore; then continued to struggle with his control. His walk-to-strikeout ratios in the last two seasons have been 63-103 (2010) and 54-72 (2011). He’s walking more than five batters per nine innings, which is inadequate. When he throws as hard as he can, he loses his control; when he tries to control his pitches, he becomes very hittable.
Pelzer’ll be 26 in 2012 and has yet to have mastered Double-A. He may start 2012 in Norfolk just for a change of scenery or because there’s nobody better; he hasn’t earned it by his performance. At this point, he doesn’t project to have much of a major league career.