Baseball BeatJuly 22, 2005
Golly Gee, Weav
By Rich Lederer

Overheard in Simi Valley this morning:

"Well, hello Mrs. Weaver, and how is young Jered today?"

"Why Eddie, he's doing just fine. Thank you."

After last night's performance, Mrs. Weaver might be understating just how well the li'l squirt is doin'. Her son Jered threw seven innings of scoreless ball against the Inland Empire 66ers on Thursday, allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out ten. Weaver was credited with his fourth victory of the season as the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes edged their California League rivals, 1-0.

Jered struck out the first four batters while fanning ten or more for the second straight game. Over his last four starts, Weaver has thrown 23 2/3 innings, allowing 9 hits, 6 runs (4 earned), and 4 walks, while striking out 36. Yes, 36 Ks in less than 24 innings. You don't need to be a math major to figure out that Weaver has been whiffing Class-A batters at a rate of 1.5 per inning during July.

Game Log:

           IP   H    R   ER   BB   SO 
6/20/05   3.0   3    1    1    2    4      --
6/25/05   2.1   5    4    4    0    5   (L, 0-1)
6/30/05   4.0   8    7    5    1    4      --
7/05/05   5.0   2    2    0    0    7   (W, 1-1)
7/11/05   5.2   3    3    3    1    8   (W, 2-1)
7/16/05   6.0   3    1    1    1   11   (W, 3-1) 
7/21/05   7.0   1    0    0    2   10   (W, 4-1)

Totals 33.0 25 18 14 7 49

Rate Stats:

 H/9   SO/9   BB/9   K/BB   HR/9   WHIP    ERA
6.82  13.36   1.91   7.00   0.82   0.97   3.82

If you can look past that ERA (which actually is much more respectable than it was at the end of June), it is pretty easy to see just how dominating Weaver has been thus far. Including his two poor outings, Weaver is once again putting up numbers like he did in college in 2003-2004 when he was a two-time first team All-American at Long Beach State.

In fact, Weaver is pitching so well I fully expect that the Angels will promote him to Double-A Arkansas before the month is out as predicted after his last start on Saturday. I'm now going to up the stakes and say that Weaver will wind up in Anaheim before the year is out. Yup, I see him leapfrogging Triple-A, passing go, and collecting $200 four million dollars before the year is out. Heck, Weaver could find himself pitching against the A's in Oakland or the Rangers in Texas during the last week of September and the first weekend of October.

Unlike in 2004 when he pitched 144 innings for the Dirtbags, Weaver's arm is fresh this year. He has completed his so-called spring training during the summer and has nothing left to prove with the Angels' High Class-A affiliate. I'll be surprised if he's not pitching for the Arkansas Travelers by the beginning of August. A month in Little Rock anywhere close to his last month in Rancho Cucamonga and the Angels will undoubtedly call him up when the rosters expand in September.

Three months ago when the Dodgers were riding high at 12-2 and the 2004 College Player of the Year was laying low as an unsigned first round draft pick from the previous June, who'da thunk that Jered--and not older brother Jeff--would be the more likely one to wind up pitching during the pennant race THIS year? Although it is far from a done deal, I think the odds are now approaching 50-50 that Weaver is assigned a Los Angeles Angels jersey with 34 on the back. Why not? The guy can flat out pitch and nobody else on the team is wearing that number.

Just as "Leave it to Beaver" brought to television viewers an image of late 1950s/early 1960s suburban prosperity and stability, Weaver has the potential of bringing both to a ballclub situated in the Big OC for many, many years to come. For the sake of Angels fans, let's just hope Jered continues to mature--something Theodore never seemed to do.


There's absolutely no way Weaver sees Anaheim this year!

Stoneman and Co. have been historically slow and cautious in calling up prospects. Also, once Escobar gets bac--and if a trade is made (lots of talk about Tomko to ANA)--there'll be no room for Ervin Santana, let alone Jered Weaver.

How does Jered compare to his brother Jeff at the same stage in their careers?

Jeff was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the first round (14th overall) in June 1998.

At two Class-A levels that year, Weaver put up the following combined stats:

IP   H   R   ER   BB   SO   ERA
25  14   7    4    1   33  1.44

If you exclude Jered's June totals (in which he was, in essence, in spring training), their numbers are somewhat comparable--small sample sizes notwithstanding.

Jeff pitched all but one game in the big leagues the following season. He went 9-12 with a 5.55 ERA with 163 2/3 IP, 176 H, 56 BB, and 114 SO.

The next obvious question, then: what do you think he's going to be in the big leagues? A good 2-3 guy?

Oh yes, Rich, but I meant more in terms of velocity, movement, control, arsenal, upside and so on, all the things you can't find at Baseball Cube! Sorry, I should have made that clearer.

Yeh, really, what I'm getting at I suppose is what do you project Weaver to be in the big leagues. Better than his brother, for instance?

Where do you get game logs for minor league players? I know yahoo is great for major leaguers.


kevin has logs right next to the box scores. The site is in dire need of a more user-friendly layout, but if you want to spend the time digging for past logs, the info's all there.

I don't spend a lot of time worrying whether a young pitcher is likely to be a #1, a #2, a #3, and so forth. It depends as much on the team and the rotation as it does the pitcher himself.

Is Roy Oswalt a #1 or a #2 with Houston? Most would say he has been the second-best SP for the Astros in 2005. While that may be true, he has been one of the top ten pitchers in all of baseball this year.

Weaver projects to be a very good major league pitcher, in my opinion. He may end up as an ace or perhaps as a member of a staff's Big Three (like in the case of the A's the past several years). Either way, I strongly suspect that he will be an elite pitcher for many years.

As far as who he is most like, well, we went through this exercise about a year ago. He has a lot in common with his brother Jeff in terms of size, looks, windup, arm angle, and stuff. That said, I've felt from the first time I saw Jered pitch that he had more upside than Jeff. His four-seam fastball is more of a strikeout pitch, and he may have better command of his pitches than his older brother, as well as a potentially better attitude on the hill.

Jered is a 6-foot-7 RHP with a 91-92 MPH fastball but his deceptive delivery (including a big turn) has the appearance of adding another 2-3 MPH, which effectively puts him toward the mid-90s. Weaver is also an extreme flyball pitcher at this point in his career so he will be prone to giving up home runs once he reaches the big leagues.

Unless Weaver is going to continue to strike out one batter per inning (which I highly doubt), it is my feeling that he needs to develop a more effective two-seam fastball, cutter, sinker, or splitter. If he adds such a pitch to his repetoire and learns to hold runners on base, there is no reason why Weaver won't rank among the best starting pitchers in baseball during his peak years.