Wyatt Mills is going to pitch in the big leagues, it’s just a matter of when. Mills is a low sidearm slinger, with a fastball and slider that both provide value for the right-handed Gonzaga product. Mills was a money-saving third-round selection in 2017, to help the team pay for Sam Carlson, but is already knocking on the door of MLB in 2020.
Mills’ fastball won’t blow up the radar gun, but thanks to his arm slot and deception, it plays up more than the 92 mph on the radar gun will show. It also has a good sink and induces a lot of groundballs, not something that is unusual with low side-arm pitchers.
The slider is the swing-and-miss pitch. It is a tighter offering than other sweeping sliders but has a tremendous spin rate. Mills has tinkered around with a changeup to give him a better offering to lefties, a big concern for Mills’ long-term future in the big leagues.
Some scouts don’t believe Mills uses the slider enough, so a gameplan tweak could help him reach his potential. Mills throws strikes, though his command isn’t what we would consider “pinpoint”.
Last year in AA Arkansas, Mills posted 66 strikeouts in 52.2 innings, along with 17 walks and a 4.27 ERA. He also posted a 1.14 WHIP, a 1.64 GB/FB ratio, and opponents hit just .222 against him.
Mills’ ceiling is limited to a middle reliever, but that is also his floor. Many fans will grimace at the common comparison given to Mills, but Steve Cishek is a good comp for Mills. Cishek had some memorable blow-ups, but has carved out a nice career and even racked up 3 careers 25 (or more) save seasons.
Next time we talk, we will enter our Top 25 Mariners prospects. While we aren’t quite in the “household name” territory, these players are critical as depth, trade chips, and developmental dice roll to keep sustaining the churn of player development success going to the big leagues.