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Friday, February 1, 2013

18 Going on Famous- Jonah Wesely

Thanks to Jonah for the use of this picture.

18 Going on Famous- An Interview with Jonah Wesely
by Jared Webb @webberoo11

The life of a normal 18 year old is one of excitement and anticipation.  Most high school seniors are focused on graduation, prom, or simply going to college.   

Jonah Wesely isn't what most would consider your normal 18 yr old senior, because he is focused on making it to The Show.  Jonah is a 6'2" 215 pound left handed pitcher from Tracy, California.   

 Jonah uses a low 90's FB, that has peaked as high as 96 with good late bite, to bore into the hands of right handed hitters and hard breaking curve to sit them down.  Jonah also has some feel for a change-up, which is a key considering most HS pitchers don't develop that pitch until late due to lack of need.  His 3/4 arm slot and fast pace delivery add to his deception, making the ball tough to pick up.  He has an incredibly strong build, with strong legs, which he uses to surge off the mound helping his velocity.   

Ranking at #61 on Baseball America's top 100 HS list, Jonah stays incredibly humble and seems to handle the spotlight with great poise.  He also received honors as a Perfect Game HS All-American.  Don't start thinking that Jonah is only a baseball player, though, as he as committed to UCLA attending college while he plays for the Bruins.   

This draft has a very deep pool of LHP, and if you've read my posts, you know I have a weird obsession with LHP.  Jonah could be among the best.  I expect that Jonah could come off the board in the first 3 or 4 rounds, and with a good senior season, he may even be a day one selection.  So as a left hander enthusiast, I wish Jonah the best of luck in the upcoming season.  Hopefully Jeff Lunhow will make him an Astro.

 I asked Jonah about being in consideration for the 2013 draft:

Webb: What's it like knowing that at every game, there is someone there who wants to try to sign you to be a major leaguer?

 Wesely: It's a crazy feeling. Every baseball player starts out with the dream of playing in the big leagues. My Senior year of baseball is the last stepping stone into becoming a professional and I hope to take advantage of it and shoot up the draft boards next June.

 Webb: How long have scouts been coming to see you play, and how many usually show up to see you?

Wesely: Scouts have told me they have watched me as early as my sophomore year. However it appears more scouts will be showing up this season then ever before.

Webb: What is your normal baseball workout? i.e. long toss/bullpen

Wesely: During the season I throw a bullpen every third day. I do a lot of sprints as well as long distance running to keep my stamina up. I love to long toss and workout my legs also.

Webb: What kind of voodoo comes from being a LHP?

WeseIy: I just say a prayer before every game

Webb: Has it really sunk in that you have a good chance of being drafted this year, and how tempting is it to sign and be a Major Leaguer rather than going to college?

Wesely: It's a dream come true for me. It is very tempting to sign pro but I have to weigh the options when the draft happens

Webb: What has helped your development more, high school ball or travel ball?

Wesely: I believe high school baseball develops myself more because I get to practice every single day with my team.

Webb: How do you approach pitching to good hitters?

Wesely: I like to pitch inside and challenge hitters with my best stuff. I believe in the philosophy of "here it is and try to hit it." I love to compete.

Webb: Who is the best hitter you've struck out?

Wesely: I struck out Trey Ball in the PG All-American game. That's probably the best hitter I've ever struck out. He's a great player.
Writers Note: For those who don't know, Trey Ball is considered one of the best two way talents in this draft.  He is said to have one of the best swings in the class

Webb: Tell me about what a day on the showcase is like.
Wesely: It's intense. Just being out there with some of the best guys in the country is overwhelming but it's always fun to play against them. 
Webb: Who is your pitching mentor, and who do you style yourself after?
Wesely: My Grandfather is my pitching mentor. I always try to compare my mechanics after Clayton Kershaw or CJ Wilson. Maybe someday I'll get to meet them!
Webb: Also, my brother wants to know if you'd transfer to his high school to pitch for him?

Wesely: That would be fun! But I'm a proud Tracy High Bulldog and I love pitching in my hometown.  Thanks for the interview! You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Jonah Wesely.

The video above is of Wesely from the Perfect Game.

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