- Full name Neil Kannas Wagner
- Born 01/01/1984 in Minneapolis, MN
- Profile Ht.: 6'0" / Wt.: 215 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School North Dakota State
- Debut 08/30/2011
Drafted in the 21st round (634th overall) by the Cleveland Guardians in 2005.
View Draft ReportRHP Neil Wagner has raw arm strength and hit 96 mph last summer in the Northwoods League, but scouts didn't see nearly as much velocity this spring. A knee injury last fall may be the culprit. Wagner broke his left kneecap and seemed to favor it when he returned, often releasing pitches before landing on his front foot. He pitched at 88-92 mph, and scouts wondered why a 9-43 team used the player who was far and away its best pitcher in relief. With his mechanics a mess, Wagner had trouble throwing strikes and didn't show much in the way of secondary pitches. He'll still get drafted, but he probably won't get signed unless he shows signs of bouncing back in summer ball.
Minor League Top Prospects
While he's a college pitcher, Wagner isn't the average college product. A former North Dakota State player, he saw his draft stock fall in 2005 due to a left kneecap injury that altered his mechanics and sapped his velocity. Healthy again, he and Aberdeen's Luis Lebron were the NY-P's dominant relievers. Wagner had the league's best fastball, sitting at 95-97 mph in just about every outing. He was content to blow fastballs by hitters, and his above-average control of the pitch means he can throw it for strikes to all four quadrants of the strike zone. However, Wagner lacks a second pitch. He has tried both a curveball and a slider, showing little feel for spinning a breaking ball. He had more success late in the summer when he started throwing a splitter, but he lacked confidence in the pitch. It looked better in the bullpen than in games.