Wilmer Font is a 27 year old RHSP for the OKC Dodgers. He is not on the 40 man roster, and is a little old to be considered a prospect, but he has had a tremendous season and is more than worthy of a September callup.
The La Guaira, Venezuela native stands 6’4” and weighs 209 pounds. He signed with the Rangers and began his professional career as a 17 year old in the AZL in 2007. His career was postponed by TJ surgery in 2010, but continued his climb and became a very highly regarded pitcher in the Rangers organization. In 2012, Baseball American rated Wilmer Font as having the best fastball in the organization. Wilmer made his ML debut in September 2012. He moved up and down with the Rangers in 2013, and was released at the end of the 2014 season.
Font signed with the Reds but was again released in March 2015. He resurfaced in a Canadian Independent League team in Ottawa, and was signed by Toronto on July 4, 2016. In December 2016, Font signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers, and was assigned to OKC to be one of the starting pitchers.
All he has done since becoming a Dodger is impress.
ERA 3.58 #1 in PCL – next best is 4.11
K 170 #1 in PCL – next most is 144
WHIP 1.13 #1 in PCL – next best 1.26
Wins 9 #4 in PCL – #1 has 11 (Justin Masterson)
IP 128.1 #6 in PCL
He was honored and chosen to be the starter for the PCL in mid-season ASG against the International League. With his 170K, he has allowed 34 BB for a K/BB ratio of 5.0.
Font has a full arsenal with curve, slider, a nasty swing and miss splitter, and a devastating fastball.
OKC pitching coach, Matt Herges, has been asked if he is ready for the Big League. Herges believes he is ready. If not as a starter, then definitely as a middle innings reliever. Asked if he could become a one inning high leverage reliever, per Herges “That’s something that I think about, I mean he could sit on 99, he’s got that in him, I mean he’s touching 97 multiple times a game.” Herges added, “That’s why I think it would work in any role, the ability to land a curveball, the ability to control both sides of the plate with his slider and the split-finger is rarely thrown for a strike and with the elite elevation, there’s not a role he can’t do in my mind.”
When asked why they turned him loose and why the high fastball has been so effective, Herges opined,
“I think his whole life, it’s probably been you got to throw the ball down, you got to the throw the ball down, and that’s harder to do for some guys than for others.” “So we’ve opened that up for him and we have encouraged him to throw his curveball on 0-0 counts.”
Wilmer Font has experienced it all. From La Guaira, Venezuela to the United States and professional baseball, TJ surgery, making a major league roster, being released, continuing his dream in a Canadian Independent League, to being perhaps the best pitcher in the PCL, to being on the verge of making a ML roster again. The Dodgers love the high rising fastball, especially from their relievers. He is younger and more effective than Fabio Castillo and Jordan Jankowski. IMO he deserves a chance. I want an opportunity to see him challenge Nolan Arenado with a high rising fastball as Ross Stripling did earlier this year. The Dodgers freed him up with his fastball, now let’s see them free him up to be on the 40 man and get called up in September.