Top 12 prospects for 2012: #2

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We are just one prospect away from officially announcing the official UpAlongFirst.com number one minor league prospect for 2012. Before that, here is number two:

2. Zack Wheeler-  P

HEIGHT: 6’4”

WEIGHT: 185

THROWS:R          BATS: R

BORN: 5/20/1990

COLLEGE: none

ACQUIRED: 6/28/2011: Traded by in July of 2011

GM Sandy Alderson made national headlines last year with the acquisition of Wheeler from the Giants for Carlos Beltran. Sandy wanted this guy from the start, and held his position until the Giants finally gave in and forked over one of their top prospects in Wheeler. One could argue that Wheeler has better “stuff” than Harvey, but his is a little more raw and undeveloped at just 21 years of age. Toby Hyde of MetsMinorLeagueBlog.com described Wheeler very well in a short scouting report he wrote on him last year:

“It’s a pure upside play for the Mets who have a lot of work to do with Wheeler to turn him from a guy with a lot of strikeouts and walks in a-ball to a viable major leaguer.  I like the thought process though. I saw him for a whopping five innings with the Augusta GreenJackets, the Giants South Atlantic League affiliate in 2010. I remember a tall, lean pitcher who threw hard, but had little idea where it was going. He didn’t use his curve ball very much.  He showed some good bite with it, but for every good one he threw, there were a couple that didn’t do much.

I’d rather the Mets have Zack Wheeler, who’s admittedly a project, but one who, if everything clicks can pitch at the front of  a rotation, rather than Mike Minor, who’s basically ready to be a mid-rotation starter right now.  Put another way, Wheeler is a play for the World Series in 2014 rather than mediocrity in 2012.”

-Toby Hyde

So he isn’t the picture of consistency at this point, but he has the tools to get there. That is the reason I put him behind Harvey. Not only is Harvey going to help the team sooner, but he is more refined as a pitcher than Wheeler, who seems like a mysterious minor leaguer who can just whip the ball and strike a ton of people out. You know, urban legends? OK, maybe I’m taking this a little too far. Wheeler does have a great out pitch in his curveball that he has used for most of his pitching career with success. The problem that concerns me is with his mechanics. Wheeler tends to make an “inverted W” with his arms as he stretches out during his motion. This leads to arm injuries, and is what arguably ended Mark Prior’s career. Hopefully, Zack will be able to correct that with the pitching coaches in the minors to prevent any serious injury.

Here is a look at Wheeler’s numbers from last season:

Year Tm Lg Lev W L ERA G GS IP WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
2010 Augusta SALL A 3 3 3.99 21 13 58.2 1.449 7.2 0.0 5.8 10.7
2011 2 Teams 2 Lgs A+ 9 7 3.52 22 22 115.0 1.322 7.8 0.5 4.1 10.1
2011 St. Lucie FLOR A+ 2 2 2.00 6 6 27.0 1.148 8.7 0.0 1.7 10.3
2011 San Jose CALL A+ 7 5 3.99 16 16 88.0 1.375 7.6 0.7 4.8 10.0
2 Seasons 12 10 3.68 43 35 173.2 1.365 7.6 0.4 4.7 10.3
A+ (1 season) A+ 9 7 3.52 22 22 115.0 1.322 7.8 0.5 4.1 10.1
A (1 season) A 3 3 3.99 21 13 58.2 1.449 7.2 0.0 5.8 10.7

As Toby Hyde said, Wheeler is quite an assignment for the Mets staff, but if the Mets take the proper time to develop him, it will be a beautiful sight to see.

The list so far (click to view posts):

2. Zack Wheeler

3. Brandon Nimmo

4. Jeurys Familia

5. Jenrry Mejia

6. Wilmer Flores

7. Reese Havens

8. Kirk Nieuwenhuis

9. Cesar Puello

10.Darin Gorski

11.Michael Fulmer

12.Cory Vaughn

Come back on Friday as we reveal number one!

About Connor O'Brien
I'm a 16 year-old blogger, high school student, and lifelong Mets fan. I've been blogging about the Mets in some form or another for about four years. I embrace the new age, sabermetric way of thinking, but also recognize the importance of scouting and player devlopment.

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