Waguespack came the Phils as a non-drafted free agent in June, 2015, and though he continued to work from the bullpen in the low minors as a pro, the Phillies have been testing him as a starter since mid-May, and following a 10-start run at High A Clearwater, he was promoted to Double-A Reading on July 31.
Waguespack’s delivery is full of moving parts, with a deep stab in the back and a big wrap, an extra-long arm action, shoulder tilt, and a drop-and-drive push that lowers his release point dramatically, all but eliminating the advantage of his big frame. He finishes way out over his plant foot, and it’s tough to time up and repeat the actions consistently. It contributes to his below-average control, with a 3.4 BB/9 rate over 105 innings this year (roughly in line with his 3.6 BB/9 over 72 innings in the Sally League in 2016), and it also makes him slow to the plate, with 1.52-to-1.60 second delivery times that bring some added risk when he’s working with runners on base.
His fastball was 91-to-94 mph, and while it showed some run at the higher velos, the movement was below average and it was lacking plane and mostly true. He struggled for feel for the 84-to-87 mph slider in this look, but it has the ingredients of an average pitch. It had short break and looked slurvy, but he flashed more bite when staying on top of it at its lower velo. His curveball was below average at 78-to-80 mph, and while he could drop it in for first-pitch strikes with 11-to-5 shape, the break was gradual and lacking snap. His changeup was fringe average at 81-to-83 mph, showing fading action and some tumble, and he showed confidence to use it in fastball counts to keep hitters honest.
Waguespack’s below-average control and lack of meaningful movement will make it tough to turn over lineups at the higher levels with consistency. The funk of his delivery can offer a change-of-pace look out of the pen, but his ceiling is limited to that of a Role 30, AAAA arm that’s best used in middle relief.