By Seth Tow
Frederick Keys left-handed pitcher Alex Wells told
Glenn Clark Radio
July 11 that he's ready and excited to pitch for the World team in the All-Star Futures Game at Nationals Park July 15.
"I'm prepared," Wells said. "I'll be ready to pitch on one of the biggest spotlights I'll ever pitch on. I'll be ready for the challenge, and I'm really looking forward to it."
The Australian joins Orioles third base prospect Ryan Mountcastle, who will play for the U.S. team, as the Orioles' representatives in the Futures Game.
Wells said his friends and family in Australia will be able to watch -- if they get up early enough.
"I think it'll be on at 6 a.m. back home, so everyone will be waking up just in time to be able to catch a glimpse of it," Wells said. "There's going to be a lot of people watching back home, supporting myself and the other Australian guy, Lewis Thorpe. We're really looking forward to it."
Wells, 21, owns a 4.13 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP at High-A Frederick this season after posting sub-three ERAs in short-season Class-A Aberdeen in 2016 and Low-A Delmarva last year. He came to the Orioles' organization in 2015 as an international free agent. He was named the Orioles' Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2017.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound southpaw said his family won't come over from Australia for the Futures Game, but his brother, Lachlan Wells, a pitcher in the Minnesota Twins organization, will come up from Fort Myers, Fla. The brothers don't cross paths often during the season, so Alex Wells is excited to spend time together.
"He recently had Tommy John surgery, so he's out of action for a while," Wells said. "We talk a lot; I talked to him a little bit this morning. We try to talk at least every second day when we can, maybe every day, just to see how we're both doing, just check up on each other. [Typically the] only time I get to see him is spring training, so maybe once or twice in spring training, but I won't see him until when we both get home in the offseason."
In June, Wells played in the Carolina League All-Star Classic. He pitched one inning, surrendering two unearned runs on one hit.
The World team's coaching staff is filled with several former major league players, including manager David Ortiz and 2018 Hall of Fame inductee and former Oriole Vladimir Guerrero. Wells is eager to spend time around some baseball legends.
"It's going to be awesome," Wells said. "I'm looking forward to meeting David Ortiz, a guy I grew up watching on TV. A couple other coaches played in the big leagues as well, it's going to be good to feed off their baseball knowledge and hopefully learn a bit while I'm there as well."
Wells has had back-to-back difficult outings. In his last start July 8, he lasted just 4.1 innings, giving up four runs on six hits. He said his downfall has been falling behind in the count and early-inning walks, and he's focused on correcting his mistakes.
"I've just been trying to work on pounding the strike zone," Wells said. "I've just been trying to, in my bullpens, focus on pitching inside more and keeping the ball down. That's what I've been working and will continue to work on for the rest of the season."
For more from Wells, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Kyle Huson/Frederick Keys