Josh Wolf is a projectable 6-foot-3, 170-pound power arm with more room to physically mature. Here's what to know about the Mets prospect...
Weight: 170 lbs
MLB Pipeline Mets Prospect Ranking: 9
2019 Statistics: 0-1 record with a 3.38 ERA over 8 innings pitched. Allowed 9 hits and 1 walks while striking out 12.
Josh Wolf attended St. Thomas High School in Houston, Tx. Wolf was not really a heralded name in scouting circles until the spring of his senior season. Despite posting a 1.06 ERA during his junior campaign, which led to him committing to Texas A&M, scouts saw a kid who really needed to fill out and add velocity as he was topping out at 91-92 mph. Wolf showed some pitchability and a good feel for spinning the baseball, but prospects with scouting reports like this typically end up in college to develop further. Generally speaking, to be a high draft pick as a high school pitcher, a player needs that ability to touch the mid-90s where teams will believe they can get that more consistently as they mature.
However, going into his senior season Wolf added 10 pounds to his 6-foot-3 frame and was pushing 170 pounds. He also worked with a private pitching coach and toyed with his mechanics some, and in his first outing there was some surprise when the radar gun started reading 97 mph. He went through the spring sitting 92-95 mph and touching 97 mph routinely. Now, big league scouts really started to consider Wolf to be a potential top 50-type pick if he were willing to sign and forego Texas A&M. MLB Pipeline was the highest on Wolf, ranking him as the 36th best prospect in the 2019 draft. Baseball America ranked him 54th and ESPN had him at 47th.
Mets Scouting Director Marc Tramuta said the team scouted Wolf nine times during his senior campaign and came away believing Wolf would be a strike thrower with stuff that will continue to improve as he physically matures. This led to the team deciding to use their second-round pick, number 53 overall to select Wolf and being willing to pay him $2.15 million to sign, which was $779,600 above the slot value for the 53rd pick.
With the Mets
After signing with the Mets, Wolf appeared in 5 games for the rookie level Gulf Coast League Mets. After throwing 69 innings his senior season, the Mets didn't want to push him to pitch too much. In his 8.0 innings he allowed nine hits and four runs (three earned) with one walk and 12 strikeouts.
Wolf is a projectable 6-foot-3, 170-pound power arm with more room to physically mature. He currently sports a three-pitch mix, including a fastball that ranges from 92-97 mph that he shows the ability to throw for strikes. His best secondary pitch is a curveball that flashes, plus he throws in the upper 70s with a high spin rate and potential to be a consistent, plus offering. His changeup falls behind the other two pitches as of now, but he shows some feel for it. It's a pitch he just needs a lot more repetitions with, as in high school he was able to beat hitters with his fastball and curveball.
I believe Wolf really has a wide range of potential outcomes that range from a power reliever to a borderline No. 2 type of starter. How much does he fill out? How much does his stuff play up with his physical maturity? How much of a weapon does his changeup become? Tramuta said that he compared his build and mannerisms to what Tramuta saw in now-Dodgers right hander Walker Buehler when he was in high school. Buehler at the time was a projectable right hander at 6-foot-2 and 160 lbs and was ranked as the 50th best prospect in the 2012 draft by Baseball America. Jim Callis from MLB Pipeline compared Wolf to Astros right hander Lance McCullers Jr. I expect Wolf to join Brett Baty and Matthew Allan with Low-A Columbia to start the 2020 season.