It’s very safe to say, after seeing his slider on Tuesday night’s debut outing with the Somerset Patriots, that he found it.
But the story of how it all happened was a fascinating one.
“So, I started throwing it in the last season we had in 2019,” Weissert said. “It was about halfway through, and I was looking for something to separate myself and felt the best way to do that would be to throw something that moves a ton. I went on Twitter and looked up Chaz Roe, his grip, and I found a clip of him in the dugout. I tested it out, and it started moving pretty good, so I just decided to commit to that, and that’s where I got it from.”
Weissert, who had steadily progressed through the system since being taken in the 18th round of the MLB Draft out of Fordham in 2016, said he knew from the get go it would be the slider he’d be wanting to add to his repertoire, which would go nicely with a changeup that he also wanted to up the usage on, and also make that pitch more effective.
“I think that pitch was something that was kind of average, and I needed to do something to make it above average,” he said. “I think I’ve always kind of had that natural ability to spin it, it’s just comfortable in my hand. So, I think just changing the grip a little bit got the pitch where it needed to be, basically.”
It is, according to Baseball America, the best slider in the Yankees farm system right now.
“I think it’s more the grip than anything, and the thought behind throwing it,” Weissert said “Just trying to throw that last ten percent of the ball on the side and just ripping it, throwing it as hard as I can.”
It’s led to early success in Somerset, where the 26-year-old righty impressed in a scoreless inning of work on Tuesday.
“I know Greg, he’s pitched for me before, and he’s made an adjustment on (the slider) to try to make it tighter and better,” said Somerset manager Julio Mosquera.
“I really enjoy watching him, I’ve had a pretty close look at Greg throughout his career. When we saw him in spring training, it was pretty electric seeing that pitch coming in, especially from a catching standpoint when we sit behind the plate and see it coming in. It’s something that has bite. He’s got an elite slider, and it’s something that’s going to help him a lot, and he’s got a two-seamer that’s going to help him a lot too. He can pitch both ways, and that’s tough on hitters. I’m excited to see him go up there, keep working on his stuff, and he can continue to get better and better throwing that slider.”