Wiemer stings ball during 4-hit night in AFL

October 23rd, 2021

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Joey Wiemer opened plenty of eyes during his first full professional season in 2021 and he has continued to do so in the Arizona Fall League.

The Brewers’ No. 23 prospect did a bit of everything Friday night as he went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate and reached base five times in Salt River’s 9-5 loss to Mesa.

Not only did Wiemer collect four hits and boost his AFL average to .364, he did so while showing an ability to impact the baseball, part of his game which has long intrigued evaluators.

“I was really happy with tonight, seeing it well,” Wiemer said. “Tip of the cap to their pitchers, especially [Jeff] Criswell [Oakland's No. 14 prospect]. He’s got some gross stuff, I got lucky on a couple of those. I was feeling good.”

The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder may claim a couple of his hits were “lucky,” but he hit the ball hard throughout the evening -- two of his hits had exit velocities over 100 mph. His third-inning double left the bat at 106.5 mph and his fifth-inning single got through the hole at 100.3 mph.

In a league littered with top prospects -- especially in the Salt River lineup -- it would have been easy for Wiemer to fly under the radar during his time in Arizona. However, the University of Cincinnati product has raked and put his entire skillset on display, while continuing to elevate his stock and put his name firmly on the prospect radar.

“It’s an honor to be out here with all these guys and I’ve really enjoyed the experience,” Wiemer said. “It’s laid back, but at the same time, you’re locked in for every at-bat.”

In addition to his four hits, two of which went for extra bases, Wiemer also scored a run and stole a base.

The strong AFL campaign is simply a continuation of what Wiemer has done all season. The 22-year-old, a fourth-round pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, slashed .295/.403/.556 with 27 homers and 77 RBIs in 109 games with Low-A Carolina and High-A Wisconsin in his professional debut.

The breakthrough was good, but Wiemer knows he has room to improve and he is working to further develop his game. There are concerns that he’ll strike out a lot once he reaches the upper levels and faces advanced pitching, an aspect of his game he’s working on this fall.

“Just overall shaping up my game,” Wiemer said when asked about his goals for the Fall League. “I know some of my concerns are, ‘Can he hit as he keeps going up?’ So just getting to that next level of competition and continuing to do what I do.”

What he does it certainly working. Wiemer isn’t a big fan of analytics, preferring instead to just “see ball, hit ball” and he isn’t overly worried about his unorthodox swing.

“It’s who I am,” Wiemer said. “It’s what I do. So I’m just going to keep riding with it.”

Nelson Velazquez, the Cubs’ No. 29 prospect, hit his first homer of the fall, a solo blast out to left, which extended Mesa’s lead to 4-1 in the third.

Velazquez, who finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs, also showed off his plus arm as he threw out a runner trying to score from third on a base hit to right field, helping assist the Solar Sox to their third straight win.