Oakland A’s: Jack Weisenburger turning heads early in minor league season

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 24: Members of the Michigan Wolverines Joe Pace (L), Jack Weisenburger (C) and Harrison Salter (R) arrive at the stadium, prior to game one of the College World Series Championship Series against the Vanderbilt Commodores on June 24, 2019 at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
OMAHA, NE - JUNE 24: Members of the Michigan Wolverines Joe Pace (L), Jack Weisenburger (C) and Harrison Salter (R) arrive at the stadium, prior to game one of the College World Series Championship Series against the Vanderbilt Commodores on June 24, 2019 at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /
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It is understandable that Jack Weisenburger has slipped under the radar. A 20th round selection by the Oakland A’s in the 2019 MLB Draft, he had been a setup man at the University of Michigan during his three years in college. Although he had posted a solid 3.86 ERA in his 63 innings, striking out 64 batters, he struggled with his command. Weisenburger issued 48 walks while hitting eight batters and uncorking seven wild pitches.

However, as he possessed an excellent fastball/slider combination, he was worth the gamble. He pitched in the Arizona League in 2019, striking out 28 batters in 15 innings, but those same command issues limited his effectiveness. If Weisenburger was to get anywhere in the A’s system, he would need to harness his stuff.

Jack Weisenburger turning heads thus far in 2021

He has done just that in 2021. Weisenburger has fired four shutout innings heading into Friday, allowing just one hit. Notably, he has not walked a single batter in that span, although he has struck out ten of the 14 batters he has faced.

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That type of swing and miss stuff gives Weisenburger the potential to develop into a solid reliever for the A’s. He is already being discussed as possibly being the A’s closer of the future, potentially taking over for Lou Trivino should he continue to develop as hoped. Oakland may well have another home grown option for the ninth inning on their hands.

His stuff, while already solid, has improved since being drafted. The fastball is in the mid 90s now, sitting at 95 MPH with the potential to add a bit more velocity. His slider has the potential to be a plus offering, with late break and impressive depth. Weisenburger also has a changeup that he does not throw as much, but has the potential to be a plus offering as well.

It is all going to come down to command. The pure stuff if there, and the results have been impressive in his first four outings for the Lansing Lugnuts. But he needs to prove that he can continue this level of dominance, and to have this sort of command, for an extended period of time. Should that happen, Weisenburger could rise quickly through the A’s system.

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Jack Weisenburger has been nearly untouchable thus far in 2021. If this continues, the Oakland A’s may have found their closer of the future.

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