Draft Profile: Joey Wentz

Draft Profile: Joey Wentz

With the 2016 Draft fast approaching, we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class.

Name: Joey Wentz
Position: LHP
School: Shawnee Mission East HS, Kan.
Rank on Draft Top 20012
DOB: 10/6/1997
Bats: L Throws: L
Height: 6'5" Weight: 210 pounds
College commitment: Virginia

Tools
(Future grades on 20-80 scouting scale)
Fastball: 
60
Curveball: 55
Changeup: 55
Control: 50
Overall: 55

Stats
W-L: 
9-0
IP: 51 1/3
Hits: 7
Runs: 0
ERA: 0.00
K: 104
BB: 12

Scouting report: Traveling the showcase circuit last summer as a first baseman because he had a dead arm, Wentz showed enough power potential to go in the top three rounds. He belted a 543-foot shot (with a souped-up metal bat) in the Junior Home Run Derby during the All-Star Game festivities in Cincinnati. His arm has bounced back so well that there's no longer any question whether his future is brighter as a hitter or a pitcher, and he now projects to go in the upper half of the first round.

Wentz's fastball topped out around 90 mph before his hiatus from the mound, but after getting on a throwing program and nursing his arm back to health he has operated at 90-95 mph this spring. There could be more velocity to come from his projectable frame, and his fastball already plays up because it has armside run and his size creates a difficult angle. He has a pair of solid secondary pitches in a curveball with depth and a changeup with fade, and he could have three plus offerings when fully developed.

A Virginia recruit, Wentz has good body control for a 6-foot-5 high schooler. His arm action is clean and his athleticism allows him to repeat his delivery and throw strikes with ease. Scouts also laud his competitive makeup and envision him becoming a frontline starter in the big leagues.

Fun fact: Wentz is good friends with another Kansas City area prospect, St. Thomas Aquinas High School right-hander Riley Pint (No. 2 on the Draft Top 100).

He said it: "I had a really productive off-season," Wentz told USA Today. "I just worked hard and was able to have a good start. The biggest difference this year is probably my velocity. Last year, I threw as hard as 91. This year, I'm up to 95. That and a better command of my pitches has made the difference."

They said it: "The day we saw him, I would dare you to see a better high school pitcher than him. He's a 6-5 left-hander with good control. You don't see that every day."
-- Blue Valley Northwest High School (Kan.) coach Corby Lange, via USA Today.

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jalaymance. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.