Joey Wentz

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Joseph Barrett Wentz

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Joey Wentz was drafted 40th overall in the 2016 amateur draft, by the Atlanta Braves; the pick in Competitive Balance Round A had been obtained in an earlier trade with the Miami Marlins.

He made 12 starts in his first season as a professional in 2016, split between the GCL Braves and the Danville Braves of the Appalachian League. He went 1-4, 3.68, logging 44 innings and striking out 53 opponents. On July 16th, he combined with three other pitchers to pitch a no-hitter in the Gulf Coast League. In 2017, he spent a full season with the Rome Braves of the South Atlantic League where he was 8-3, 2.60 in 26 starts totaling 131 2/3 innings. He allowed just 99 hits and struck out 152 batters to confirm his high draft rank had been justified. He was named the league's Pitcher of the Year as well as a postseason All-Star. In 2018, he continued to impress with the Florida Fire Frogs of the Florida State League where he was 3-4, 2.28 in 16 starts. However, he was limited to just 67 innings. He was headed for a tremendous season and had a 2.03 ERA in mid-July, but then missed the rest of the month and most of August, before losing his last 2 starts.

Wentz began the 2019 season with the Mississippi Braves, but struggled at first in this initial taste of AA action. through his first 14 starts at the level, Wentz limped to a 5.51 ERA. However, following six scoreless innings against the Jackson Generals on June 26th, he was on the upswing. Wentz recorded a 3.25 ERA in his final six games with Mississippi. (a number that falls to 1.67 if you cut out his final outing on July 27th against the Mobile BayBears) On July 31th Wentz was on the move, but not to a new level. Instead, he was packaged with Travis Demeritte in a deal for Detroit Tigers closer Shane Greene. The move to the Southern League and the Erie SeaWolves, however, did not slow his role, as Wentz went on to post a 2.10 ERA and a 13.0 K/9 in five outings with Detroit's AA outfit. Prior to the 2020 season, Wentz was named Detroit's 8th best prospect by MLB Pipeline. However, his upward trend was slowed from there, as he was forced to undergo Tommy John Surgery in March, but then he did not miss much as the minor league season ended up being cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Joey was back on the mound in 2021, splitting the year between the Class A Lakeland Flying Tigers and AA Erie. His combined record was 0-7, 4.50 in 18 starts, although he was never allowed to pitch very deep into games, logging just 72 innings, which helps to explain why wins were hard to come by. he did strike out 82 batters, against 64 hits. He reached AAA for the first time at the beginning of the 2022 season, with the Toledo Mud Hens. He was 0-1, 4.12 after 5 starts when he was called up to Detroit on May 10th, pencilled in as the starting the pitcher against the Oakland Athletics the following day. That outing did not go great, as in 2 2/3 innings, he allowed 6 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks and was charged with a 9-0 loss.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Pete Grathoff (Kansas City Star): "Tigers call up former Kansas City high school star who should make MLB debut Wednesday", Yahoo! News, May 10, 2022. [1]

Related Sites[edit]