Tigers Prospect Profile #11: Casper Wells

Wells made his big league debut in 2010

Casper Wells has rounded into form as he has aged, maturing into a prospect with outstanding defense and great pop in his bat. Currently competing in Lakeland for a spot on the big league roster, what might the future hold for Wells?

Casper Wells
Position:Outfielder
Height: 6-2
Weight: 210
Born: 11/23/1984
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Background
Since being drafted in the 14th round of the 2005 draft, Wells has hit every stop on the Tigers minor league ladder, along with making his big league debut in 2010.

Wells hit for power in his pro debut with the GCL Tigers, notching nine doubles, five triples, and five home runs in 45 games, but he also whiffed 59 times in just 167 plate appearances.

Splitting time between Oneonta and Lakeland in 2006, Wells posted a tough .210/.304/.319 line in 46 total games. Back in Oneonta for the 2007 season, Wells improved a ton posting a .265/.323/.523 line and earning numerous accolades in the New York-Penn league.

The Tigers sent the then 23-year old Wells to West Michigan to start the 2008 season and he again slugged well in just 50 games. Wells ripped ten home runs and seven doubles while stealing 17 bases for the ‘Caps.

When injuries hit at higher levels the Tigers were aggressive with Wells, pushing him to Double-A Erie for the remainder of the season. Wells went back to Erie for the 2009 season, and though a wrist injury shortened his season, he again saw success against advanced pitching. In 86 games Wells posted a .260/.369/.489 line, giving him 36 doubles and 32 home runs in 161 games at Double-A.

The Tigers added Wells to the 40-man roster following the 2009 season and sent him to Toledo to start the year. In 103 games at the level in 2010 he struggled to hit just .233 while knocking 22 doubles and 21 home runs.

Wells also made his big league debut in 2010, ripping the ball to the tune of a .323/.364/.538 line with eleven extra-base hits in just 36 games while also driving in 17 runs.

Scouting Report
Wells has an intriguing power-speed combination that can tantalize scouts in short stints. He is an above-average to plus runner whose speed plays very well in the outfield where he is one of the system's best defensive players. He can handle all three outfield positions when asked. Wells' arm is a true plus-plus cannon with outstanding carry and accuracy.

When Wells began standing up straighter during the 2008 season, he started seeing the ball better and made improved contact. He still has spurts where he will swing and miss a lot, and he doesn't project for more than a below-average hit tool.

His approach has improved over the last few years and he has an increased tendency to work counts and take a walk when placed in front of him. Well's raw power earns some 65 grades from scouts but the swing and miss in his game doesn't allow him to actualize all of his power potential. He is still capable of blasting 20-25 home runs annually with enough at-bats.

Wells is a high character guy that enjoys playing the game and he constantly earns high marks from coaches and teammates. He is a streaky player who can go from carrying the team to working his way out of the lineup, and that inconsistency leaves him profiling better as a power-speed fourth outfielder.

Performance

Level

Team

AB

AVG

2B

HR

RBI

SO

BB

OBP%

SLG%

AAA

Toledo

387

.233

22

21

46

111

34

.309

.483

ML

Detroit

93

.323

6

4

17

19

6

.364

.538


Health Record
Wells hasn't had many serious injuries as a pro. He missed extensive time in 2009 with a broken hamate bone in his wrist, but came back strong and hasn't had any lingering effects since. He is a physical specimen that works out like a fiend.

The Future
Wells entered spring training this year with an outstanding shot to make the Major League roster on Opening Day. With his ability to play all three outfield positions, as well as the power in his offensive game, Wells offers a nice package of skills to the big league club.

Though he is likely a very good fourth outfielder or possibly a second division starter, Wells will be a valuable big league player for an extended period of time. His all-out style of play, makeup, and physical gifts will give him plenty of chances at an extended career; one which should start with more MLB playing time in 2011.

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