Updated: Sunday, 13 May 2012, 6:52 PM EDT
Published : Sunday, 13 May 2012, 6:52 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, IN. - For Matt Wisler, simply starting his professional baseball career is cause enough to smile. But in one of those classic twists of fate - the 19-year-old is doing it close to home.
A native of Bryan, Ohio - the right-handed pitcher grew up learning the game just an hour from Parkview Field in downtown Fort Wayne. A prolific high school hurler, Wisler had a standing scholarship offer to attend Ohio State. It seemed like a perfect scenario, the homegrown product joining the Buckeyes - then the pro's came calling.
The San Diego Padres selected Wisler in the 7th round of the Major League draft last year - ironic given that Wisler had visited with several rookies on the TinCaps roster that season to get a feel for making the jump from high school to the pros.
After talking it over with his parents - who reinforced that he would have to commit himself 100-percent to his new profession - Wisler opted to make the jump.
Following what he considered the be a subpar spring training, it was assumed an extended stay in Arizona at Padres spring training or a move to Eugene, Oregon for rookie ball would be the next stop. That's when Wisler received the shockingly good news that he was on his way to the TinCaps.
After a slow start to the season, the right-hander has rounded into shape and is finding a groove on the mound. With a fastball that registers in the low 90's and a stingy slider, Wisler has strung together several solid starts in recent weeks, solidifying his spot in the TinCaps rotation.
The fact that friends and family are able to make the short drive to the Summit City to see him in action is simply icing on the cake.
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