Friday, February 28, 2014


                                                           Zack Wheeler

It was quite possibly the biggest gut punch any fantasy baseball owner of any player took for all of the 2013 season when it was learned that the New York Mets' Matt Harvey, in midst of a Cy Young monster campaign, would be forced to undergo Tommy John surgery.  The procedure would finish Harvey off for the rest of 2013 and all of the upcoming 2014 season as well.  For a guy who would have been a rock solid top five overall fantasy baseball ace, his loss is tremendous.  However there are many who are looking for the next Matt Harvey (of which we are certain we have discovered him.....just sign up to the INSIDER package to find out who it is) and that search has stayed in the New York Mets clubhouse in the form of rotation-mate Zack Wheeler.  The comparisons are easy to make on face value.  Both were groomed as power pitchers coming up the farm system and both shared a New York Mets uniform in 2013.  While both Harvey and Wheeler have extreme power arsenals, the comparison should not go very far when you break down the advanced stats and numbers which were are going to do below.  After reading this post, you will see why Wheeler is not even in Harvey's ballpark as a pitcher and how his upside is not as vast either.

Now I am not going to say there are not some similarities with the two.  Their Triple-A numbers are incredibly similar which you can see below:

Harvey:  3.69 ERA  9.2 K/9  3.9 BB/9
Wheeler: 3.93 ERA  9.6 K/9  3.5 BB/9

In fact looking at the numbers above, Wheeler was better than Harvey in two of their three categories.  However the stark differences between the two were seen at the highest level in 2013 with the Mets.  Harvey rocked a pure domination 10.6 K/9 while Wheeler checked in only at 7.6  Harvey's walk rate improved dramatically while Wheeler suffered from poor pitch efficiency and bouts of walks.  Finally Harvey struck out a ridiculous 28 percent of the batters he faced to Wheeler's 19.5.  Wheeler's fastball, which measured out as fast as Harvey's, didn't have the movement his teammates had which led to the lower K rates.  Also opposing hitters allowed Wheeler to throw more pitches and create trouble for himself with his lack of control which gave them fat offerings to smack later on.  While Wheeler did a fine job as a rookie, he is not even in the same area code as Harvey.

Now Wheeler has every right to improve in 2014 as he gains more experience.  Remember when Harvey had his cup off coffee run with the Mets late in 2012, he struggled with his control and walked more guys than he should have.  However Harvey was a strikeout monster even than which Wheeler has not done at the major league level.  I am not ready to say that Wheeler is anything more than an SP 4 in all formats but one who carries good upside.  Just keep the distinction between the two in your mind at the draft.

If you want to find out who our pick is as the next Matt Harvey for 2014, subscribe to our Fantasy Sports Boss INSIDER package for a one-time payment of only $49.99 using the BUY NOW tab below.


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