Hometown: Texarkana, Texas
Born: July 1, 1991
Wacha emerged as a serious contender for a top-ten pick last spring, when he ably took over as Texas A&M’s staff ace after John Stilson went down with a season-ending injury. He finished 9-4 with a 2.29 ERA and struck out 123 batters in 129.2 innings. Furthermore, he put together some of the more dominating performances in the Big 12 tournament (which A&M won) NCAA tournament, where he led the Aggies to the College World Series.
After a summer spent with the Team USA Collegiate squad, Wacha returned to the mound, and has been better than ever. Through ten starts, he’s 5-0 with a 2.48 ERA. He’s tossed two complete-game shutouts, has allowed a mere two homers in 69 innings and has a 69-to-12 K:BB ratio. Combined with senior Ross Stripling, Wacha has given A&M arguably the best 1-2 combo in the nation.
Hence A&M’s 29-12 record and top-ten national ranking.
Wacha has everything a team looks for in a future number one. He has great size (6-6 and 200 lbs), a blazing fastball (93-97 mph), and a couple of off-speed pitches (curveball and changeup) that have great potential. He has endured some questions, especially last season, about the legitimacy and quality of his curve/changeup combo, but this season both offerings have looked dramatically improved.
As of midseason, Wacha ranks behind the other top college arms such as Mark Appel, Kyle Zimmer and possibly even Kevin Gausman, but with a strong finish (A&M is widely expected to earn a berth in the NCAA tournament), he could shoot his way into the top-ten.
Fastball: 92-97 mph
Curveball: 72-80 mph
Changeup: 79-84 mph