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November 2, 2010

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of November 1

by Kevin Goldstein

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Tom Wilhelmsen, RHP, Mariners (AFL: Javelinas): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K.

Turning 27 in December, Wilhelmsen is one of the oldest players the Arizona Fall League has seen, but his circumstances are unique. A seventh-round pick by the Brewers in 2003, Wilhelmsen impressed in his pro debut, but that debut also looked like the end of his career, as after some arm problems and drug suspensions, he left the game. After starting a comeback in the independent leagues last year, he received a tryout from the Mariners this spring, and got another chance. Treating him like a freshly drafted player, Wilhelmsen pitched in the short-season leagues before finishing the year at Low-A Clinton, and after striking out nearly a batter per inning, he's at least some kind of sleeper. At six-foot-six and in possession of a fastball that can get into the mid-90s, there's physical ability here, and with 12 strikeouts in 8 1/3 Arizona Fall League innings, it's starting to show up in games as well.

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Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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