The Brewers acquired pitching prospect Aaron Wilkerson (and infield prospect Wendel Rijo) from the Red Sox this afternoon in exchange for Aaron Hill.
Who is Aaron Wilkerson? The short answer is that he’s a 27-year-old right-hander who went undrafted out of Cumberland University, where he threw an NAIA record 54 consecutive scoreless innings. He underwent Tommy John surgery, then pitched independent league ball before being signed by the Red Sox during the 2014 season. He’s far exceeded expectations. In 17 games this season between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket, Wilkerson has a 2.14 ERA and has allowed just 69 hits in 92-and-a-third innings. He’s fanned 102 and walked 25.
Here is a snapshot scouting report on Wilkerson, courtesy of Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles:
“Interesting fastball. There’s some deception (and) late ride. Every night that he pitches, he gets about six to eight swings-and-misses off his fastball. Hitters seem to chase up in the zone with him. His velocity is 88-92. He sits around 90-91 (but) it looks like he’s throwing harder than that. With the deception that’s in there, guys don’t pick the ball up very well.
“He can pitch to both sides of the plate. His breaking ball and slider are developing pitches right now. Changeup, he’s got pretty good hand speed. He’s very aggressive. Attacks the zone. Great work habits. Quiet demeanor. Studies what’s going on — studies the opposing hitters — but he trusts his stuff. There’s a game presence there where he’s attacking and doesn’t fear contact. There’s a lot to be said for that.”
David Laurila grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and now writes about baseball from his home in Cambridge, Mass. He authored the Prospectus Q&A series at Baseball Prospectus from December 2006-May 2011 before being claimed off waivers by FanGraphs. He can be followed on Twitter @DavidLaurilaQA.
Is that supposed to say 54 scoreless innings??