Tigers Prospect Profile #49: Adam Wilk

Wilk has made it to Detroit, but can he stick?

Adam Wilk spent much of 2012 in Toledo, and had great success with the Hens, posting a sub-three ERA over the course of the season. But he wasn't able to replicate that success in multiple cameos in Detroit? Can Wilk solve those issues?

Adam Wilk
Position: Left-handed Pitcher
Height: 6-2
Weight: 175
Born: 12/9/1987
Bats: Left
Throws: Left

Acquired: 2009 Draft, 11th Round
Ranking History: #42 (2009), #35 (2010), #33 (2011)

Background
Wilk has had a very successful minor league career after being an eleventh round pick of the Tigers in 2009. In just four seasons he has mastered every level of the Tigers system, reaching Triple-A in 2011 and repeating that level in 2012.

In nearly 500 minor league innings, Wilk has amassed a 30-23 record with a cumulative 2.66 ERA. He has allowed a paltry 430 hits and 73 walks while striking out 385 batters.

Wilk reached the big leagues in 2011, sporting a 5.40 ERA in five relief appearances while allowing 14 hits in 13 1/3 innings. In 2012 he again saw some nominal big-league time, posting an 8.18 ERA in three starts while giving up four home runs in just eleven innings.

Scouting Report
Wilk has nothing left to prove in the minor leagues but he lacks the stuff to continuously succeed at the Major League level. With a rail thin 6-foot-2 frame, Wilk has yet to add significant strength since turning pro and it is highly unlikely he will at this point.

Wilk's fastball sits in the 85-86 mph range and he can push it up to 88-89 mph on rare occasions when he reaches back for more on his four-seam heater. His fastball has occasional movement, but not significant sink or run that he can rely on to miss the fat part of the bat.

Both Wilk's change-up and command are among the best in the Tigers system. He locates his fastball and change-up to all four parts of the zone, with excellent command of his fastball in particular. Wilk's change-up shows as a solid-average pitch but isn't an overwhelming offering that can miss bats against Major League hitters.

Wilk's breaking ball gets caught between a true curveball and a slider, falling more in the "slurve" range. He doesn't get real tight rotation on the pitch and it lacks deception or depth. Despite considerable work and tinkering, his breaking ball continues to be a below-average pitch.

Despite his thin frame, Wilk has shown good durability with better than 140 innings in three of his last four seasons; only missing that mark because he spent so much time as a long reliever in Detroit in 2011.

While Wilk does offer the ability to amass innings, the lack of a true go-to pitch keeps him from being able to effectively work through a big-league lineup multiple times. On the other hand, Wilk's below-average breaking ball prevents him from projecting as a situational left-on-left reliever.

Caught in between two profiles and without any remaining projection, Wilk looks like an up-and-down guy or quality Triple-A starter long term.

Performance

Level

Team

W-L

ERA

G

GS

SV

SO

BB

IP

BAA

AAA

Toledo

7-11

2.77

24

24

0

128

28

149.2

.208

ML

Detroit

0-3

8.18

3

3

0

7

3

11.0

.412


Health Record
Wilk has proven durable throughout his career and he has yet to have any significant issues with his arm.

Projection
Wilk will be in the mix for the final bullpen spot in Detroit during spring training. If he pitches well against big-league hitters, he could snag the long man role to start the year but will more than likely end up back in Triple-A Toledo.

Wilk is more of a 4-A starter that could get a chance at the back of a second-division rotation. With a loaded rotation in Detroit, Wilk's best bet for a big-league shot is to continue pitching well in Triple-Aand become a trade chip later in the year.

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