Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mets Get Giants Top Pitching Prospect

Though the Mets didn't get Gary Brown for Beltran, they did succeed in getting San Francisco's top pitching prospect, Zach Wheeler. Though armed with a fastball that's reached 98 mph, Wheeler hasn't lit up the Minor Leagues in his two seasons in it. This season with San Jose in the California League, which is at the same level as the Florida State League, Wheeler ranks 11th in ERA.

The right-hander has had much more success against lefties than righties. His ERA against righties is 2.93; whereas, against lefties it's 6.41. That's makes me wonder about the quality of his secondary pitches. Another fact I've observed is that, from the numbers, he hasn't improved since the season began though he's been with the same team.

Here are his ERAs for the season's first four months.
April: 3.38
May:   3.45
June:  4.24
July:  4.43
Further, before the league's All-Star game, his ERA was 3.26; after, it's 5.60.

One other striking stat: with no runners on base, his ERA is 1.00, but with runners on base, it's 7.12.

Those numbers could indicate why he slipped two spots below Gary Brown in Baseball America's Midseason Top 50 Prospects List though Wheeler's ranked above Brown in Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects List for the Giants.

Though Wheeler's a good return for Beltran, I would have been quite happy if the Mets had acquired Gary Brown, whom I think might have an even better pro career.

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