Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Seeing is all part of believing when it comes to baseball and nothing exemplifies that more than the Milwaukee Brewers’ trust in Wei-Chung Wang. The Brewers clearly have some faith in the kid and maybe it’s deservingly so.
That said, we’ll have to see how he does in the next month to determine if he’ll even be a factor for the Brew Crew.
When the Brewers signed the 21-year-old Taiwanese lefty, they did so thinking that a glimmer of hope in a young prospect could go a long way. He may be nothing more than trade bait at this point should he do well in Spring Training, but at the same time, it’s not as if the Brewers themselves have a lot of bustling options to choose from in the minors. Wang is a different case since he was picked in the Rule 5 Draft.
What the Rule 5 Draft selection means is that the Brewers must have him on the 25-man roster on Opening Day and he cannot be moved from that spot, meaning demoted to the minors. Wang has only pitched one season in rookie ball during his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates, so obviously it’s a huge transition for him. However, players like Jose Bautista, Shane Victorino and even Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente were Rule 5 picks, so you can never count out a guy just yet.
I’m not trying to place expectations on Wang, because only time will tell how he’ll fare, but if he does well, I would implore the Brewers not to trade him. General manager Doug Melvin said back in December that Wang has the potential to be a “high-level prospect”, so clearly there’s something he knows that we don’t.
Wang is interesting because the Brewers do have a lack of high-level pitching talent in the minors. If the Brewers decide they don’t want work with Wang anymore, then they’ll forfeit him back to the Pirates. That said, Wang had exposure in 2013 to live action baseball unlike in 2012 due to Tommy John surgery, so he’s still fresh. We’ll just have to see what happens with him in the next month because who knows, maybe there is a lot of upside to him.