JUPITER, Fla. — UCLA head coach John Savage has a list of 96 traits for successful pitchers. The list becomes Commandments when recruits show up on campus and Bruins pitchers are continually quizzed as they work to commit the list to memory.
Lefthander Jonah Wesely from Tracy (Calif.) High is committed to UCLA and showed that he already has a good feel for the list, even if he hasn't studied it yet. Pitching for Team Elite, Wesely threw a complete-game (seven innings), three-hit shutout against the On Deck O's while walking three and striking out seven.
His fastball started in the 89-92 mph range with natural cut. He was 88-90 in the middle innings and was mostly 85-87 in the final inning, but still touched 89. Wesely has strong legs and uses them well to drive toward the plate. There's a little funk to his delivery, but it adds deception and he hides the ball well. He has a four-pitch mix with a 70-72 mph curveball, a nasty 79-82 mph slider and a 79 mph changeup. Wesely pitches with a good tempo and generated lots of ground balls.
Here are a few items on Savage's quiz that Wesely aced today . . .
Rule No. 1: Hit The Glove (Prefer The Pocket).
Wesely was getting squeezed by the umpire a little bit, but threw 62 percent of his pitches for strikes and issued three walks.
"Jonah is a very good pitcher and a very good prospect, as well," Team Elite founder and manager Brad Bouras said. "He threw three pitches for strikes and was pounding the zone. He did exactly what he wanted to come in here and do and what we wanted him to do, so we're excited for him."
Rule No. 11: Establish The Inner Half — Must Own The Inner Half To Win.
With his broad shoulders, thick, strong legs and muscular arms, Wesely is an intimidating presence on the mound. He showed an aggressive approach and pounded hitters inside on both sides of the plate.
"I love to hit the corners, especially inside," Wesely said. "I try to get it in on the hands of the hitter, that's a big part of my game."
Rule No. 20: Be Efficient With 12-15 Pitches Per Inning.
Wesely threw 98 pitches over his seven innings of work, which averages out to 14 per inning.
Rule No. 50: Confidence Comes From Being Prepared.
Wesely has been preparing for this start all fall and scouts were commenting that he looked like a different person. Ever since he pitched in the Perfect Game All-American Classic, Wesely has been working tirelessly—running and hitting the weight room—to lose 25 pounds. He now stands 6-foot-2 and 204 pounds.
"I've worked very hard this fall, preparing for this outing in Jupiter," Wesely said. "My plan all fall was to work really hard and gain a lot of stamina and endurance to be able to come out here and put on a good show.
"I love to be able to finish what I started and this just puts a nice exclamation point on the fall for me, to be able to do this."
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