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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mets Newest Pitching Prospect, Zack Wheeler

Late night at work last night, so I'm just getting around to the scouting report of Zack Wheeler, who the Mets acquired for the 2-month rental of Carlos Beltran. Wheeler was considered the #2 prospect in the Giants system by Baseball America, ESPN's Keith Law, and Baseball Prospectus. He was the #6 draft pick in the 2009 draft and got 3.3 million from the Giants out of high school.

Wheeler is a 3/4 pitch pitcher, with a fastball that sits 90-94 and touches 96-97 mph with natural sink, a big and slow curveball mid-70s, an average slider (85 mph), and a below-average change that still needs work. He was pitching in High A ball this year after only throwing 58 2/3 innings last year in A ball secondary to a cracked finger nail. That helped him refine his mechanics slightly, but there are some concerns about his arm action (as you will see in the video/article below).  He still has command issues (walking > 4.5/9 innings), and has trouble with left-handed hitters which may be a result of his arm angle. But he is striking out > 10/9 innings; don't forget he is 21 years old, so he has plenty of room to grow and project to the front-line starter many scouts see him as.

His ETA to the majors would be 2013, so the Mets rotation could be headlined by Harvey and Wheeler, with Mejia,and Niese rounding out a solid young quartet of pitchers for many years to come (hopefully).

Here is a great video review of Wheeler from one of his starts in May (http://projectprospect.com/article/2011/05/23/zack-wheeler-scouting-report).

What do you guys think? Should Sandy get a lifetime contract for this deal?

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