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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: ZACK WHEELER SP NEW YORK METS

It was certainly a big day for the New York Mets organization on Wednesday as the team embarked on a doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves that clearly showcased their pitching future with 2013 second-year monster Matt Harvey going in Game 1, followed by the much-hyped debut of fireballing top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler in Game 2.  Not to be outdone by his fellow young hurler, Harvey struck out an incredible 13 Braves in Game 1 to continue his truly dominant season that instantly has him as one of the best pitchers in all of baseball.  Thus it was hard to believe Wheeler could top that kind of excellence no matter how much promise he held in Game 2.  Well even though Wheeler didn't finish in the ballpark of what Harvey did in Game 1, the rookie opened many eyes with his effort in Game two by tossing six scoreless innings while giving up only 4 hits and whiffing 7 batters in a victorious debut.  Jiving with the scouting report going in, Wheeler showcased an explosive fastball that quickly racked up the strikeouts and points to him being a 200-K starter in the near future like Harvey already is.  Wheeler also showed tremendous stuff that yielded only 4 hits against a tough Braves lineup.  Finally Wheeler went along for the script when it came to his shaky control which was the one concern that yours truly had for him going forward and what has also plagued him during his early months in the minors this season.  Altogether Wheeler walked a very poor 5 batters in his six innings as some visions of Trevor Bauer floated around in my head.  However first game jitters no doubt were in play as Wheeler was pitching in front of dozens of family and friends near his Georgia hometown.  While his control will continue to be a source of worry, the upside is tremendous and makes Wheeler a guy who needs to be started going forward unless he really hits the skids.  All in all it was a very nice debut for what could be one of the better starters in baseball in a few short seasons.


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