Continuing our offseason coverage, The Baltimore Battery returns with our annual Prospect Profiles series, now highlighting the Orioles’ top 30 prospects for the 2021 season!
Next up at No. 20 is left-handed pitcher Alex Wells. The Australian-born Wells signed with the Orioles as an international free agent in July of 2015.
PITCHING GRADES: Fastball 45 Curveball 45 Changeup 55 Control 60 Overall 45
2020 Rank: 20 – 2021 Ranking: 20
After signing in 2015, Wells made his full-season debut in 2017, dominating at Single-A Delmarva and earning Baltimore’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors, while going 11-5 with a 2.38 ERA.
The 24-year-old followed that up by being named a Sirius/XM All-Star Futures Game selection in 2018. Another impressive year followed in 2019, as Wells went 8-6 with a 2.95 ERA at Double-A Bowie.
Wells possesses three quality pitches in his curveball and changeup, with a fastball that tops out at 90-91 MPH. Wells has fantastic control on both sides of the plate and has walked only 1.4 batters per nine innings during his minor league career.
Unlike most of the Orioles’ top prospects, Wells did not attend the Bowie Alternate Site or the Instructional League in Sarasota, Florida. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wells and his twin brother Lachlan (a pitcher in the Twins organization) returned to Australia. Despite this, the Orioles added Wells to the 40-man roster on November 20.
“I was able to play catcher with my twin brother. I was able to throw bullpens to a local catcher and also threw in a couple of scrimmage games that we had going on. I was able to get some type of work in, so it was good.”Alex Wells on his 2020 season
Wells’ ability to throw all three of his top pitches with control has many excited about the six-foot-one leftie’s ceiling, feeling that his skill set could translate into a back of the rotation starter, or that he could exceed expectations and become a mid-rotation starter.
Although Wells was pushed back a bit in camp while battling an oblique issue, he has been listed as available since March 1. It is unknown, as of yet, where Wells will begin his 2021 season, but we project that he will begin the year at Triple-A Norfolk.
What do you think of our No. 21 overall prospect? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Twitter and Facebook!