Top pitching prospect likely headed to MLB Draft

By Joshua a. Davidson

Top pitching prospect likely headed to MLB Draft

Every week throughout the spring, members of the local media outlets flood into Bill Davis Stadium to talk to Ohio State U. pitcher Alex Wimmers. Every time the Buckeye ace is set to make a start, a slew of scouts are in attendance, radar guns in hand.

To some, it might seem extreme how much attention is devoted to one player on OSU’s 33-man roster. But those who have seen the junior pitch would say he’s worthy of such attention.

The right-hander started the season 9-0 for the Buckeyes, which tied him for the best start in OSU history.

“He’s an All-American. He’s undefeated on the season, obviously he’s a huge talent,” senior Ryan Dew said. “Every time he’s on the mound, we know we’re going to win.”

Wimmers’ attempt to collect his 10th win of the season was put on hold after he pulled his left hamstring in a pre-game warm-up on April 30.

The injury caused him to miss his start that day against Michigan, the team he tossed a no-hitter against the previous year. Altogether, Wimmers missed three consecutive starts because of the injury.

“Not being out there is killing me,” Wimmers said before the team’s trip to Iowa City, Iowa, on May 14. “With the conference so close, you want to be out there and help your team as much as possible. I’m trying to get as much treatment as possible. I’m practically living in the training room.”

Wimmers’ dedication to his rehabilitation paid off as he was able to return to the mound in a must-win game against Minnesota. Nearly a month after his last start, Wimmers took the mound for his team.

“It just shows you how much of a competitor he is and how much he cares about this team more than anything else,” Dan Burkhart said. Burkhart is a long-time friend and teammate of Wimmers, having caught him since they were nine years old.

If Wimmers was rusty, he didn’t show it. He recorded three of the first four outs of the game by strikeout and looked dominant. But a weather delay caused the game to be postponed until the following day.

When play resumed Saturday, Wimmers again took the mound. Admittedly in pain and fighting fatigue, the hurler risked further injury by pitching, but said that wasn’t his concern.

“I didn’t think about it like that. I just did the best I could to try and get a win for my team,” Wimmers said.

The Buckeye ace completed six innings, allowing just one run. The scouts on hand saw not only Wimmers’ mid-90s fastball and knee-buckling curve, but also his tremendous heart and competitive fire, coach Bob Todd said.

“He’s a competitor and I think he’s proved that with his two outings this weekend,” Todd said. “He put the team in front of his own goals. I couldn’t say enough good things about Alex Wimmers.”

In a post-game press conference, an emotionally and physically drained Wimmers addressed the media. Although the question was never formally asked, the consensus in the room was that, with the MLB Draft less than two weeks away, Wimmers’ gutsy performance would be his last for the Scarlet and Gray.

Read more here: http://www.thelantern.com/sports/did-osu-ace-alex-wimmers-pitch-his-final-game-in-scarlet-and-gray-1.1484723
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