Wheeler Endures Rocky First Outing

The prize of the Carlos Beltran trade made his debut in the Mets organization on Monday night. Zack Wheeler, formerly of the Giants farm system, took the ball in St. Lucie. However, it was a rather tough first outing for the highly-touted right-hander. But Wheeler's arrival is more than just the box score. He represents further quick actions of an improving farm system.

Zack Wheeler allowed four earned runs and seven hits over four innings with four strikeouts in his first Florida State League start. One plus out of the start was that he did not walk a batter after issuing 47 free passes 88 innings with San Jose in the California League. Nearly every out record came through the air, but overall Wheeler displayed many of the assets that make him such a high-upside prospect.

Reports came out from Wheeler that he was throwing his standard 93-94 MPH, at times hitting 95. He was able to generate swings and misses with a power fastball that is one of the best in the system on his first day on the job. What made it a tougher outing for Wheeler was that his curveball command was not as sharp, allowing hitters to sit back on the fastball. When thrown proper, however, it has the potential to be a real wipeout pitch. His changeup was very much just a mix-in pitch. He throws it infrequently and the pitch has yet to come around.

That all being said, Wheeler's polish is just slightly behind that of Matt Harvey, but the organization is looking at two pitches who have similar tools at the moment. Both have the overpowering fastball and a breaking ball that can be devastating. But more importantly, the two of them represent the speed in which the top of the Mets farm system has changed in the past 12-plus months.

Yes, it was the former regime that drafted Harvey, but the dramatic change at the top of the Mets prospect list start then and continues now with the acquisition of Wheeler. The expectations were that when the Alderson and Co. took over, it would lead to quick improvement in the farm system. The deftness with which the organization pulled off a deal, taking an expiring contract and flipping into a potential front end start cannot be understated – nor the depth instantly added to the system.

Often times in recent memory, it was the Mets that traded away the top of their farm system – regardless of the prospects' national value – for a crack at deadline deals or other established veterans. Now, it was this organization that was able to coax a top-end talent from another organization.

Combine the arms of Harvey and Wheeler, with Familia, Mejia (when healthy) and you've got a top four collection of pitchers in the system that far, far exceeds anything they've had in the last five seasons. The change in large part goes back to decisions made since the 2010


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nZack Wheeler allowed four earned runs and seven hits over four innings with four strikeouts in his first Florida State League start. One plus out of the start was that he did not walk a batter after issuing 47 free passes 88 innings with San Jose in the California League. Nearly every out record came through the air, but overall Wheeler displayed many of the assets that make him such a high-upside prospect.\r\n

\r\nReports came out from Wheeler that he was throwing his standard 93-94 MPH, at times hitting 95. He was able to generate swings and misses with a power fastball that is one of the best in the system on his first day on the job. What made it a tougher outing for Wheeler was that his curveball command was not as sharp, allowing hitters to sit back on the fastball. When thrown proper, however, it has the potential to be a real wipeout pitch. His changeup was very much just a mix-in pitch. He throws it infrequently and the pitch has yet to come around.\r\n

\r\nThat all being said, Wheeler's polish is just slightly behind that of Matt Harvey, but the organization is looking at two pitches who have similar tools at the moment. Both have the overpowering fastball and a breaking ball that can be devastating. But more importantly, the two of them represent the speed in which the top of the Mets farm system has changed in the past 12-plus months.\r\n

\r\nYes, it was the former regime that drafted Harvey, but the dramatic change at the top of the Mets prospect list start then and continues now with the acquisition of Wheeler. The expectations were that when the Alderson and Co. took over, it would lead to quick improvement in the farm system. The deftness with which the organization pulled off a deal, taking an expiring contract and flipping into a potential front end start cannot be understated – nor the depth instantly added to the system.\r\n

\r\nOften times in recent memory, it was the Mets that traded away the top of their farm system – regardless of the prospects' national value – for a crack at deadline deals or other established veterans. Now, it was this organization that was able to coax a top-end talent from another organization. \r\n

\r\nCombine the arms of Harvey and Wheeler, with Familia, Mejia (when healthy) and you've got a top four collection of pitchers in the system that far, far exceeds anything they've had in the last five seasons. 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