Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part two…of 286. Stay tuned.
Alex Wimmers is a 6’2″, 195 lb. left-handed batting, right-handed throwing pitcher from Cincinnati, OH. Born on November 1st, 1988, Wimmer was initially a first round draft choice by the Minnesota Twins in 2010. In three seasons of Big 10 baseball with The Ohio State Buckeyes, he racked up an 18-5 record, a 2.94 ERA, a 1.30 WHIP, and 273 strikeouts in 217 2/3 innings. In his junior season, in 2010, he was 9-0 with a 1.60 ERA over 10 starts. You can follow Alex at @AlexWimmers21.
The Miami Marlins signed Wimmers to a free agent minor league contract on December 15th, 2017. This was after Wimmers refused a minor league assignment by the Minnesota Twins following the 2017 campaign, and was declared a free agent. In Spring Training, he pitched 2 2/3 inning over four contests for the Miami Marlins, and surrendered three runs on two hits and five walks. He was assigned to the Marlins triple-A affiliate, the Pacific Coast League’s New Orleans Baby Cakes.
The Miami Marlins signed Wimmers with the expectation that he may have been able to provide a middle-inning or setup guy on down the line. He was never assigned to the Marlins 40-man roster.
Initially drafted by the Twins in the first round of the 2010 draft with the 21st overall choice, Wimmers was Minnesota’s number seven rated prospect in 2011. He worked his way up through their system, and made his major league debut in 2016 with the Twins. In 22 appearances over the next two seasons, he was 1-3 with a 4.38 ERA at the major league level, with a 1.66 WHIP and 21 strikeouts in 24 2/3 innings. He’s reliant on a fastball/changeup mix mostly, but also has a decent cutter and a passable curveball. According to the 2011 Minnesota Twins prospect watch:
"Wimmers fits the description when he’s on, with three at least average pitches he can all throw for strikes. His changeup stands out as a plus pitch, he’s got a decent curve and his fastball has some life to it."
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As you may expect, 21st overall picks have done pretty well for themselves over the years. 35-of-54 have made the major leagues, led by Rick Sutcliffe (1974, Los Angeles Dodgers, 34.0 career WAR), Jason Varitek (1993, Twins, 24.2), and Gorman Thomas (1969, Seattle Pilots, 19.8).
Wimmers made his debut with the Baby Cakes on April 7th against the Nashville Sounds, and over his first three appearances allowed three baserunners in 2 2/3 scoreless innings. On April 13th, in a 10-3 loss to the Oklahoma City Dodgers, Wimmers allowed four runs in an inning of work, on three hits and a pair of walks. To date, it was his last appearance in affiliated ball.
On June 29th, Wimmers signed with the Sugar Land Skeeters in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. He has struck out 27 in 24 2/3 innings, with a 4.37 ERA over 17 appearances. The 81-45 Skeeters are currently in the first round of their playoffs, going into Game Four of their Division Championship against the Long Island Ducks.
Independent League baseball is the way that veteran major leaguers get back into affiliated ball. We may not have heard the last of Wimmers, and we wish him luck.
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