Athlete of the week: Zionsville Community High School pitcher’s increased velocity leads to more success


Zionsville Community High School pitcher Mateo Wells has started to develop his 6-foot-6 frame.

Wells said he stopped growing this year, so he has been able to add some strength and weight. He has boosted his weight to 225 pounds.

“Pitching mechanics is something kids work on nonstop,” Eagles coach Jered Moore said. “When they are still growing, it impacts things. Now that he’s done growing, he can focus on getting stronger. His fastball velocity has increased.”

Wells said his fastball averages 87 to 90 mph. Moore said his fastball has reached 92 mph several times this year. As of May 14, Wells has a 5-0 record with a 0.46 earned run average. He had 62 strikeouts in 46 innings.

Wells was 3-0 as a junior with 24 strikeouts in 35 innings.

“My main improvement is adding 2 mph to my fastball, which is pretty significant, especially in our conference,” Wells said.

Wells said being able to throw his changeup more consistently has been a boost, too.

“Last season, I was only a two-pitch guy, and being able to add a third pitch has made me more efficient this year than I was last year,” Wells said. “I was more of just a fastball and curveball-type of guy, but in the offseason, I changed my two-seam (grip) to four-seam and developed a better changeup.”

Wells became a pitcher his freshman year and stuck with it for high school and his travel baseball team, the Indiana Mustangs. He will play for the PRP Mambas this summer.

“He was a very good pitcher last year,” Moore said. “But being able to get command of his changeup this year and throwing it any count has definitely helped him this year.”

Wells learned from former ZCHS pitchers Drew Dickson and Nate Dohm. Dickson now plays for Northwestern University, and Dohm is at Mississippi State University.

“I watched how they tried to be perfect in everything they do and everything they do has a specific reason,” Wells said.

Moore said being around other high-caliber pitchers and seeing on how they trained was a positive for Wells.

“Now, Mateo is helping our young guys,” Moore said.

Wells will pitch for High Point (N.C.) University, an NCAA Division I program, next season.

“I wanted to be in a place with good weather, so that obviously was a plus,” said Wells, who plans to major in sports management. “The academics are really good. The overall feel of the campus is more my type. It’s a little bit smaller, so I can get to know my teachers more.”

Wells’ parents are from Colombia, and he still has relatives there.

“My great-grandfather played baseball and helped baseball grow in Colombia,” said Wells, who organized a baseball equipment donation drive to send equipment to Colombia in the past.

AA ATHLETE OF THE WEEK 0521 Wells head shot

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Favorite movie: “The Benchwarmers”

Favorite vacation spot: Cancun