Zack Wheeler is the Mets’ best pitching prospect, and possibly even their best overall prospect, and for good reason. Through 13 AAA starts, Wheeler was 4-2 with a 3.93 ERA and 73 strikeouts and just 27 walks in 68.2 innings.
Wheeler was originally drafted by the San Francisco Giants as the 6th overall pick in the 2009 draft. However, he was traded to New York in 2011 in the deal that sent Carlos Beltran from the Mets to the Giants. Wheeler throws a fastball that sits in the 94-95 range, although he can reach back and throw it up to 98. He also has a nifty curveball, a mid 80s changeup, and a cutter with good movement.
Scouts view Wheeler as a solid number 2 MLB starter with ace upside. He apparently has a good work ethic, but lacks a really solid third pitch, which will come in time.
Tonight, Wheeler made his MLB debut against the hot-hitting Atlanta Braves, with their impressive lineup that features stars like Justin Upton, Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, and Evan Gattis. He responded by throwing 6 scoreless innings, striking out 7. He only allowed 4 hits on the night, but did walk 5 batters, so his command clearly wasn’t where he wanted it to be. But, as the Braves often tend to do, they went up free swinging.
Wheeler will be an interesting pitcher to watch for the remainder of the season. If his command is there, then he could see Shelby Miller-level success.