Indians outfielder Nick Weglarz was a big reason for Canada’s first-place finish at the final Olympic qualifier in Taiwan last week. The 20-year-old went 9-for-20 (.450) at the tournament with three homers and a double, and impressed manager Terry Puhl with his power.
"He hit a line-drive home run in the Korea game that the first baseman jumped at to try to reach the ball," Puhl said. "I’m talking about shooting it out of a shotgun—it’s scary. I’m still waiting for the day when he gets all of one with backspin on it. I see them in batting practice and its incredible how hard he can hit the ball. But this guy’s going to get bigger and stronger, going to get a bit of a better idea of how to elevate the ball."
At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, the lefthanded-hitting Weglarz batted .276/.395/.497 in 532 plate appearances for low Class A Lake County last year, showcasing his excellent power and patience at the plate. The 2005 third-rounder soared up to his No. 6 ranking among Indians prospects after missing all but two at-bats of the 2006 season, when he broke the hamate bone in his right wrist in spring training. He should begin this season with high Class A Kinston.