Scouting Jays' Prospect #30: Aaron Wideman

Scouting Jays' Prospect #30: Aaron Wideman

Aaron Wideman was selected by the Montreal Expos in the 11th Round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft out of Mississauga, Ontario. The native Canadian was traded to the Blue Jays in spring training and spent the 2005 season pitching for the Lansing Lugnuts. Wideman is a young arm with lots of upside and many talent evaluators are high on this southpaw. Read our complete scouting report on Wideman right now!

Vital Statistics:
Name: Aaron Wideman
Position: Pitcher
DOB: June 8, 1985
Height: 5'11
Weight: 190
Bats: Left
Throws: Right

Wideman chose to sign with the then Montreal Expos after being selected in the 11th round. The decision was a quick one for Wideman, who signed on June 9, just several days after the draft was held. Wideman, who had a scholarship with the University of Arkansas, agreed to a signing bonus worth just over $100,000 US dollars, which also included a future education package.

"I told the teams that were interested in drafting me to give me a good offer and I would be willing to sign," Wideman told InsideTheDome.com. "It was a good opportunity for me. The pro way was the way to go since that was the ultimate goal. Toronto has more time to work with me, mold me the way they want, and guide me through my prime."

Wideman spent 2003 and 2004 dominating short-season baseball and continued his acceleration in minor league baseball in 2005 with the Blue Jays. Although his numbers might not pop out off the stat sheet, do not think there is no potential in Wideman's left arm. The southpaw turned 20-years-old during the middle of the season, and was pitching in a league many 19 and 20 year-olds would not even be able to survive in. Wideman held opponents to a .250 batting average against mark, while showing good command of his pitches and the ability to overpower hitters.

"My goals are the same for every season- get quality starts every time," said Wideman. "No one can be perfect every single game. I just want to go out and give the team a chance to win, get a quality start, and hope the bats take us the rest of the way."

Wideman was excited when he was traded from the Nationals to the Blue Jays this spring and continued to play for the hometown team.

"It's a very unique opportunity. I'm originally from outside of Toronto and grew up a Blue Jays fan. I remember as a kid when they won the World Series in back to back years. Not many guys get drafted, let alone traded to their hometown team. I might be able to make my debut in my hometown."

After the 2005 Wideman was kept busy as he pitched for Team Canada in the XXXVI Senior World Cup, which took place in Holland.

"That's something different where you get a chance to play for your country and it is a unique opportunity" said Wideman. "I look forward to it and I hope it goes well. I'm excited to go."

The 20-year-old season didn't end in Europe, as the organization invited him to their Instructional League camp to work on his breaking pitches more.

"They have really been coming along a lot better the last 12 months," Wideman said when asked of his breaking pitches. "I think it is something the organization really want to see me accomplish. Also I'll be working on my two seam fastball and keep that going and develop it further and make it my fourth pitch."

"Lansing was a great place to pitch. Overall this was a great experience, I loved Lansing. We always had great turnouts and we never had problems that way. People are very supportive of the Lugnuts and I along with everybody else on the team really appreciate that."

Year

Team

W-L

IP

H

BB

K

ERA

2003

GCL Expos

2-4

40.1

37

7

37

2.01

2004

Vermont

3-1

44.2

26

13

38

1.81

2005

Lansing

7-10

143.0

135

38

121

4.91



Repertoire: Fastball, curveball and changeup.

Fastball: Wideman does not throw hard, but he knows how to pitch effectively and locate his pitches well. He uses all of his three pitches well, and each pitch compliments the other, making him more effective on the mound and harder for hitters to guess what pitch might be coming.

Other Pitches: Wideman uses both his curveball and changeup effectively. He hopes to add a two-seam fastball to give him a little bit of an advantage on the mound, but his current three-pitch arsenal works for him at the moment.

Projection: It's still too early in his career to make an accurate assessment. Wideman could remain a starter with just three pitches in his repertoire, if he continues to polish his breaking pitches up. Adding a fourth pitch will give him that extra advantage on the mound, and make it harder for hitters to strategize against the southpaw.

2006 Outlook: Wideman could be challenged with a promotion to Dunedin, however, because of his young age, a little more fine-tunning in Lansing will not hurt his development. Regardless, we expect and hope Wideman will finish the season off in Dunedin.

ETA: It's still too early to make an accurate ETA on Wideman. So far he has progresses one level per season and a start in Dunedin this April could show the organization is extremely high on this left-hander. Expect Wideman's ETA to be around the 2009-2010 seasons.

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