Get to Know…Zack Wheeler

Zack Wheeler was the 6th overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft by the Giants.  He seems to be the primary piece going to New York for Carlos Beltran.  While Beltran has had a rebound this season, the Giants are getting a player who struggled last season, playing in just 145 games in 2009 and 2010 due to microfracture surgery (the same surgery that may again doom Grady Sizemore – https://thebaseballhaven.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/the-next-mickey-mantle-or-not/).  Beltran has a nice .904 OPS, his highest since posting a .982 mark in 2006, but what about the cost of the rental?

Zack Wheeler is an excellent prospect.  Typically, posting a 3.99 ERA leaves you into the land of mediocrity.  However, the California League isn’t your normal pitching environment.  Wheeler’s 3.99 ERA ties him for 11th in the league in ERA.  At 21, Wheeler has struck out 98 in 88 innings, good for a 10.02 K/9IP mark, while his 4.80 BB/9IP shows that he still needs to work on his location.  His stuff is electric, though, as he has a fastball that touches 96 and a devastating curveball, which will be his out pitch.

Wheeler’s long-term value could get a boost moving to Citi Field, a known pitchers park, but that isn’t to say that San Francisco’s AT&T Park wouldn’t have been nice to pitch in.  The Mets will be an interesting team to monitor.  They could move David Wright due to Jefry Marte’s presence in the Minors, Reyes may leave in Free Agency this winter, and they will have a group of arms to build around in Wheeler, Matt Harvey, and Jenrry Mejia.  Maybe they’ll be on a sweet baseball card like Bill Pulsipher, Paul Wilson, and Jason Isringhausen some day.

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