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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

FANTASY BASEBALL WELCOME TO THE SHOW: ZACK WHEELER SP NEW YORK METS

The hot prospect promotions are coming fast and furious over the last few weeks as the Super 2 arbitration deadline has passed.  On the heels of Wil Myers being promoted Sunday by the Tamp Bay Rays, the New York Mets follow up by bringing up universally considered the top PITCHING prospect in Zack Wheeler to make his debut Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves.  Having a classic power arsenal that all fantasy baseball players covet, Wheeler is a major person of interest for the remainder of the 2013 season and beyond.  Now is the perfect time to dig a bit deeper into Wheeler in order to determine if the Mets have another Matt Harvey in their midst.

The comparisons to Harvey make sense in that upon the Met ace's promotion during the second half of 2012, he had pretty much the same scouting report coming up to the majors.  Upon his promotion, Harvey was coming off a Triple-A campaign that many thought should have been better.  Despite having the power stuff, Harvey had some control issues that showed up in a high walk rate which is the major red flag for Wheeler coming into his debut.  However we than saw Harvey instantly turn into one of the best starters in all of baseball who combined dominant strikeout stuff to miniscule hit and walk rates.  Many in the Mets organization felt Harvey was bored in the minor leagues and than turned it on when he did get the call as the numbers seem to bear this out.  I mention this because Wheeler Triple-A numbers of a 3.93 ERA and 73 K's in 68.2 innings don't exactly scream out "Ace."  However keep in mind that Wheeler compiled those stats with the Las Vegas 51's which is part of the offensively-drive Pacific Coast League where his 3.93 ERA is more like 2.93.  Going from that Colorado Rockies Coors Field setting to one of the best pitching parks in the game in Citi Field, Wheeler is going to be set up perfectly to hit the ground running as a decent bet the rest of the 2013 season.  The walks are an issue anywhere no matter the location which is something that has to be watched but Wheeler's ability to rack up the strikeouts is potentially significant.  Sure the wins won't be there on the awful Mets but Wheeler surely could be a SP 3 the rest of the way for this season and than even more so heading into into the 2014 campaign.  Pick him up immediately if available which is not likely and enjoy the run if you already are blessed to be an owner.


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