Bernie Pleskoff

Scouting profile: Matt Wisler

Scouting profile: Matt Wisler

Right-handed pitcher Matt Wisler came to the Braves in a huge early-April deal with the Padres that sent star closer Craig Kimbrel and center fielder Melvin Upton Jr. to San Diego.

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Wisler, 22, is rated No. 2 on Atlanta's Top 30 Prospect list. He was the cornerstone of the Braves' transaction with the Padres.

Wisler was a seventh-round selection by San Diego in the 2011 Draft. He signed directly out of Bryan (Ohio) High School. Wisler was heading for a baseball career at Ohio State University but chose to sign with the Padres.

Wisler pitched for parts of four seasons in San Diego's farm system before starting 12 games for Atlanta's Triple-A Gwinnett team this season. He was called up to the big league club and made his debut for the Braves on June 9, against the Mets. Going eight innings in the start, Wisler got the win, yielding only six hits and one earned run. Most impressively, he walked none while striking out two.

Wisler has a very complete repertoire that includes a 93-mph fastball, a 92-mph sinker, an 86-mph changeup, an 80-mph slider and a curveball that sits at 77 mph.

Wisler mixes his pitches almost equally. It is his ability to sequence through a quality arsenal that gives him an advantage on the mound.

Wisler gets good movement on his pitches, keeping the ball down in the strike zone, giving himself an opportunity to induce ground balls.

Because of late pitch movement, Wisler misses the barrel of the bat and gets his share of swings and misses. While he isn't a huge strikeout pitcher, his deception makes it difficult for the hitter to make solid contact. When Wisler gets his normal movement and all his pitches are working, it is very difficult for the opposition to string enough hits together to generate a rally.

At 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, Wisler has the strength and stamina to eat innings, stay in games and give his team a chance to win.

Wisler's good control and command are key components of his success. In his Minor League career, he never had a season in which he averaged more than 2.8 walks per nine innings. Wisler's career average was 2.3.

Composed and confident, Wisler has a textbook type of delivery that is usually very "clean." There is little, if any extraneous movement. However, if he does change his arm slot the slightest bit, the ball tends to straighten out. Straight pitches, regardless of velocity, can be taken out of any park. If Wisler repeats his normal delivery, he usually avoids trouble.

Landing with good balance has been a positive aspect of Wisler's delivery as well. When he gets off kilter and lands incorrectly, it contributes to poor control. His balance continues to improve.

Wisler's first MLB strikeout

Like every pitcher with late movement, if Wisler's pitches don't move, he can get in trouble. The ball will stay straight as a string and he can get hit. However, those times are few.

Wisler may not be able to slip strike three past a hitter or get the swing-and-miss strikeout he needs at a crucial time. However, in the overall scheme of his pitching patterns, strikeouts aren't essential. Sink is more important.

Left-handed batters can give Wisler some trouble. He has to keep the movement of the ball away from the middle of the plate on all hitters, but especially against lefties.

I find this interesting
In 2010, Wisler had a 6-1 record with an incredible 0.17 ERA at Bryan High School. He struck out 71 batters in 42 innings while walking just seven and allowing 13 hits. Outstanding.

Wisler on his second ML start

The future
Wisler may not have one dominant pitch, but he can remain a middle-of-the-rotation starter. His multipitch arsenal, his command and control and his mechanics are of Major League quality. When Wisler is on the mound, he has the look and feel of a winner.

Wisler in a word

Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.