Aaron Wilkerson

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Aaron Wilkerson
Milwaukee Brewers – No. 56
Pitcher
Born: (1989-05-24) May 24, 1989 (age 29)
Fort Worth, Texas
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 15, 2017, for the Milwaukee Brewers
MLB statistics
(through July 14, 2018)
Win–loss record 1-1
Earned run average 6.52
Strikeouts 17
Teams

Aaron Daniel Wilkerson (born May 24, 1989) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers of Major League Baseball (MLB).

After breaking two pitching records in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Cumberland University, Wilkerson overcame Tommy John surgery,[1] and four independent league trades in a single season, to join the Boston Red Sox organization.[2] The Red Sox traded him to the Brewers in 2016.

Although he features a four-pitch mix, including a curveball, slider, and changeup, Wilkerson throws the secondary pitches sparingly in comparison to his fastball, which usually sits 91–93 mph and tops out at 95 mph, according to a Red Sox scouting report.[2]

Amateur career[edit]

Wilkerson attended Midway High School in Waco, Texas.[3] He enrolled at Cumberland University, where he played college baseball for the Cumberland Bulldogs. With Cumberland, he won a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) World Series championship in 2010.[4] Wilkerson posted a 14–1 win-loss record with 14 consecutive victories, 11 complete games, and a team-best 2.13 earned run average (ERA) in ​101 13 innings pitched, while leading the nation with 125 strikeouts and being named both a Second Team All-American and the NAIA World Series All-Tournament Team.[5]

As a senior in 2011, Wilkerson set an NAIA record by pitching 54 consecutive scoreless innings streak from February 9 to April 8. He finished that season with a 12–0 undefeated mark and a 1.49 ERA, closing his college career by setting other NAIA record while winning 26 straight decisions. Besides, he earned First Team All-American honors and was named TranSouth Conference Pitcher of the Week three times.[5]

Doctors revealed that Wilkerson had pitched that season with a frayed ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.[1] As a result, he underwent Tommy John surgery went undrafted out of Cumberland in 2011. He left baseball for two years while stocking frozen food shelves.[6]

Professional career[edit]

Wilkerson started his professional career in 2013 with the Fort Worth Cats in the independent United League Baseball. At the time, Wilkerson had to rebuild his mechanics completely with the help of his Fort Worth pitching coach and a private instructor introduced to him by his brother.[1] He had a 9–1 record and a 2.74 ERA in 13 games.[7] He then was traded to the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League in the midseason, and finished the year with the Grand Prairie AirHogs of the American Association. Overall, he went 10–2 with a 2.96 ERA in 19 starts in the three leagues.[7]

In 2014, Wilkerson was 3–1 with a 3.35 ERA in 13 games for Grand Prairie, before joining the Red Sox organization when his contract was purchased from the AirHogs in August. After that, he went 5–1 with a 1.62 ERA in eight starts at short-season A-level Lowell Spinners.[7]

After that, Wilkerson posted a 7–2 record with a 2.96 ERA, 1.05 walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) ratio and .218 batting average against in 17 outings (12 starts) for High-A Salem Red Sox in 2015. He then went 4–1 with a 2.66 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and .192 BAA in seven starts for Double-A Portland Sea Dogs. Wilkerson followed with a brief stint in the Arizona Fall League, as the starter sent to the Scottsdale Scorpions from the Red Sox,[8] but he had to left the Scorpions to pitch for the USA squad in the inaugural World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier12 Tournament held in Taiwan and Japan in November 2015.[9]

In 2016, Wilkerson appeared in eight games for Portland, posting a 2–1 record with a 2.12 ERA and .175 BAA, striking out 48 batters while walking 14 in 44⅓ innings. He then gained a promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox in late April. In 41 innings across eight Pawtucket appearances, Wilkerson went 4–1 with a 2.20 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, .222 BAA, 49 strikeouts, and 10 walks.[10]

On July 7, 2016, the Red Sox traded Wilkerson and Wendell Rijo to the Milwaukee Brewers for Aaron Hill.[11] He spent the rest of the 2016 season with the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox. In 2017, he began the season with the Double-A Biloxi Shuckers. On September 15, 2017, Wilkerson was added to the Brewers' 40-man roster.[12][13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Salem Red Sox pitcher Wilkerson the ultimate survivor. The Roanoke Times. Retrieved on April 23, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Aaron Wilkerson page. SoxProspects.com. Retrieved on June 25, 2016.
  3. ^ "Pro baseball notebook: Midway's Wilkerson pitches gem in Double-A | MCC". wacotrib.com. August 23, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2017. 
  4. ^ Cumberland Wins 2010 Avista-NAIA World Series Title. National Association of Collegiate Athletics website. Retrieved on June 22, 2016.
  5. ^ a b #8 Aaron Wilkerson. Cumberland University Athletics website. Retrieved on June 22, 2016.
  6. ^ Aaron Wilkerson goes from stocking frozen food to brink of majors. Boston Herald. Retrieved on June 22, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c Aaron Wilkerson – Minor League Baseball career. Baseball Reference. Retrieved on June 22, 2016.
  8. ^ Red Sox Arizona Fall League Update: November 3–9, 2015. BoSox Injection. Retrieved on June 22, 2016.
  9. ^ USA Baseball names WBSC Premier 12 roster. MLB.com. Retrieved on October 22, 2015.
  10. ^ Aaron Wilkerson profile. MiLB.com. Retrieved on June 25, 2016.
  11. ^ "Red Sox acquire infielder Aaron Hill from Brewers in exchange for prospects". Boston Herald. July 7, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Brewers call up RHP Wilkerson". Fox Sports Wisconsin. September 15, 2017. Retrieved September 15, 2017. 
  13. ^ McCalvy, Adam. "Wilkerson on his way to give Crew extra arm". MLB.com. Retrieved September 13, 2017. 

External links[edit]