Texas Rangers Prospects: Joseph Wieland and Matt Thompson

Joseph Wieland. RHP, 6' 3", 175 lbs, Born: January 21, 1990. Normally, when you talk about a skinny high school pitcher with an 88-91 mph fastball, you expect a certain amount of projection. A scout for the Major League Scouting Bureau said, "There isn't much to project; he's not going to be a very physical guy." I'm definitely not a fan of the overly generic and often hedged Scouting Bureau draft reports, but this comment left me confused. After being drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 4th round of the 2008 MLB First-Year Player Draft, Wieland had a very strong debut with the Arizona Rookie League Rangers. By the time fall instructionals arrived, Wieland's fastball was consistently 90-93 mph - a modest but solid 2 mph gain in only 4 months. There may or may not be more where that came from, but there's definitely room for projection. [continued] [Video.] Matt Thompson. RHP, 6' 3", 210 lbs, Born: February 10, 1990. A 7th round pick in last year's draft, Thompson recieved a signing bonus worthy of a 2nd round pick. He impressed the Rangers in a pre-draft workout at Rangers Ballpark with a fastball that flashes into the mid-90s and a sharp curve in the 74-77 mph range. Thompson is a local product from Burleson, TX and attended Grace Preparatory Academy in Arlington, TX - practically in the Rangers' backyard. He had an awful debut statistically. In only 8.1 innings, Thompson allowed a staggering 25 hits. He walked 4 hitters as well but struck out 12 to maintain a 3:1 K:BB ratio. Thompson was really impressive at spring training, but he might not make his 2009 debut until Spokane takes the field in June. [Video.]
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