In an Aberdeen season that featured the likes of Cody Sedlock and Matthias Dietz, there weren’t many who tabbed 19-year-old Alex Wells as the standout Ironbirds star.
Signed last offseason, the teenager entered the Orioles system with, to the general public, little information to sift through. However, once he began to take over in Aberdeen, there was little doubt that Wells was going to be a name to watch throughout the season.
In 13 starts, Wells worked 62.2 innings with a 2.15 ERA and 0.91 WHIP against. He struck out 50 and allowed just 48 hits, the latter an impressive number, even considering the talent level in the NY-Penn League.
Most impressive, Wells walked just nine batters in his 13 outings. Not too shabby for a 6’1” unknown who found his life turned upside down when he arrived in Harford County this summer.
Through all of the numbers, the journey to Wells’ pro-ball beginnings might just be the most interesting storyline when combing over the information on his 2016 season.
Back in June, MASN’s Steve Melewski wrote up a small profile on Wells. The piece included how he was able to sign with the Orioles as such a young prospect in the first place:
“We have an Australian baseball academy which runs for three weeks on the gulf coast of Australia,” Wells said. “They saw me there and also at the Junior National championships in Australia. Brett Ward was the scout that followed me closely.”
There’s little information about Wells’ background, but it sure appears to be one that the Orioles are at-least somewhat optimistic about.
In an article for MLB.com earlier this year, Lindsay Berra noted that Wells, who has a twin brother in the Twins organization, is thought of by the Orioles as a prospect who can develop, both in baseball terms and still physically, as well.
Clearly, his first year in Aberdeen went swimmingly.
Honoured to win the @IronBirds MVP for the season it was a pleasure playing with my teammates this season pic.twitter.com/daAQ83Y02w— Alexander Wells (@wellzy97) September 5, 2016
Wells held left-handers to a .194 average against on the year, a number that rose to just .225 against batters on the right side. With two outs, he was deadly — a .131 average against with 17 Ks and just two walks in 18.1 “innings” of two-out situations.
As he’s able to put more work on film throughout the offseason and into next year (where he’ll likely start in full-season), Wells provides one of the quieter prospect stories that could end up being a big plus for the organization in the coming years.