- Full name Casey McGhee Weathers
- Born 06/10/1985 in Elk Grove, CA
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 205 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Vanderbilt
Drafted in the 1st round (8th overall) by the Colorado Rockies in 2007 (signed for $1,800,000).
View Draft ReportWeathers was a light-hitting junior-college outfielder when he and a teammate climbed atop a mound one day after practice to see how hard they could throw. Weathers hit 92 mph, and his days in the outfield were over. He transferred to Vanderbilt and has flourished in the back of the bullpen for college baseball's best team, routinely blowing 96-97 mph gas. He was summoned from the Alaska League last year and joined USA Baseball's college national team's bullpen. He establishes his fastball early in counts, will elevate it late in counts and pitches to both sides of the plate. His delivery is generally fine, though his arm action occasionally gets long, which prevents him from getting on top of his pitches and leads to erratic command and hanging sliders. His slider has touched 91, and when he stays through the pitch upon release, it has hard, three-quarter tilt with power. He's been durable in his brief pitching career, and his two-pitch mix (he also has a changeup) could allow him to close in the majors. As a senior, he should sign quickly and won't make it out of the first round.
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Rockies took Weathers eighth overall and signed him for $1.8 million in 2007, and he likely would have gotten to Colorado in 2009 had he not injured his elbow throwing a bullpen session in the Arizona Fall League after the 2008 season. After Tommy John surgery, he missed all of 2009 and has a 5.74 ERA in full-season ball since returning. He came to the Cubs with Ian Stewart in the December trade that sent Tyler Colvin and D.J. LeMahieu to the Rockies. Weathers' command wasn't sharp before he got hurt and is now the chief obstacle he must overcome. He has regained his two power pitches, a live fastball that sits at 95-98 mph and an 86-88 mph slider with good bite. Both can be wildly inconsistent. He also can mix in a below-average changeup. If he can learn to locate his fastball and slider better, Weathers has the stuff to be a late-inning reliever in the majors. He has toned down his high leg kick, so it's not a mechanical issue. Weathers faces a crucial season in 2012, when he could determine whether he's a big league contributor or an eternal puzzle.
Weathers did not begin pitching until his second year in junior college, having been an outfielder prior to that. Drafted by Detroit in the 25th round after his junior year at Vanderbilt, Weathers made the decision to return to college for another year to develop as a pitcher. Initially projected to be in the big leagues by sometime in the 2009 season, if not sooner, Weathers' development has been slowed by Tommy John surgery. His operation was on Oct. 21, 2008, and he is still working his way back. After missing the entire 2009 season, he began the 2010 season in extended spring training, reworking his mechanics. He has a power fastball that will sit at 95 mph and touch 99, and he complements it with a hard slider. Weathers gets himself in trouble by losing his balance on his back side. The Rockies are working to lower his leg kick to alleviate that. Colorado thought enough of Weathers' comeback to add him to the 40-man roster this offseason for the first time, protecting him from the Rule 5 draft.
When they drafted him eighth overall and paid him a $1.8 million bonus in 2007, the Rockies expected that Weathers could make their big league bullpen by last season. That was before he blew out his elbow in the Arizona Fall League after the 2008 season, causing him to miss all of 2009. He did throw bullpen sessions during instructional league and should be ready to go in the spring. Converted from an outfielder to a pitcher in junior college, Weathers has to re-establish his quality fastball. It's most effective in the low-90s, when it has late life, and can reach the mid-90s. He throws a late-breaking slider that sits in the mid-80s, giving him two swing-andmiss pitches. Weathers has the aggressive mentality that teams want from a closer, and he needs to show it more often against lefthanders, who at times appear to intimidate him. He has to refine the command of both of his pitches. The Rockies will take it slowly with him to open 2010. He's expected to spend the year in Triple-A, but it's not out of the question that he could start the season in Double-A.
Converted from outfielder to pitcher in junior college, Weathers was on a fast track to the big leagues until he threw a pitch in the Arizona Fall League and felt something pop. Turned out he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right forearm, requiring ligament transplant surgery that will knock him out of the 2009 season. He was coming off a solid season at Double-A Tulsa that included a bronze Olympic medal with Team USA. His fastball can hit the mid-90s but loses movement when the velocity rises. In the low 90s he has late life that makes hitters jump. He complements the fastball with a late-breaking slider that will sit in the mid-80s. The combination provides swing-and-miss opportunities for Weathers, who has a late-inning mentality. Command and health are Weathers' two biggest challenges. He has to not only throw strikes, but also quality strikes. He can be timid at times against lefthanded hitters, who batted .319 against him (as opposed to .165 for righthanded hitters). Weathers will get a chance to get stronger while rehabbing in 2009. He should return in 2010 without any problems and will be in the big leagues that season as soon as he shows there are no lingering concerns from the injury.
Originally an outfielder at Sacramento (Calif.) CC, Weathers began to blossom on the mound in the summer of 2006, when he was named closer of the year in the summer Alaska League. The highest-drafted college senior in 2007, he went eighth overall after an All-America season at Vanderbilt and signed for $1.8 million. Weathers has a power arm with two swing-and-miss pitches. His fastball sits at 96-97 mph and becomes even nastier because he throws it on a nice downhill plane despite his short stature. His power slider can reach the low 90s. He has the confidence, cockiness and aggressiveness needed to be a closer. Weathers can get long with his arm action and too quick with his delivery, costing him command and life on his pitches. He doesn't have a changeup or a third pitch, but won't need one in a bullpen role. He needs to work on controlling the running game, so in instructional league he broke out a slide step. Weathers is on the fast track. He most likely will open the 2008 in Double- A Tulsa and could reach the big leagues later in the year. He eventually can become a closer but figures to break into the majors as a setup man to Manny Corpas.
Minor League Top Prospects
The eighth overall pick in the 2007 draft, Weathers spent his first full pro season in Double-A. Projected a future closer, he served as a setup man for the Drillers before spending August with the U.S. Olympic team. Weathers' fastball was as good as advertised, sitting in the mid-90s and topping out at 98 mph on scouts' radar guns. (It registered as 100 on a few scoreboards at opposing ballparks). The Rockies also emphasized that he needed to use his power slider and his changeup more often than he had in the past, and at times he battled the command of his secondary offerings. He'll especially need to come up with an improved change or better spot his fastball against lefthanded hitters, who batted .319/.458/.404 against him.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Fastball in the Texas League in 2008