New York Mets prospect Zack Wheeler is working hard in spring training to make a good impression on the team’s coaching staff. Does Wheeler have a shot at being on the Opening Day roster as a starting pitcher?
Wheeler was drafted sixth overall by the San Francisco Giants in the 2009 MLB Draft but was traded to the Mets in 2011. Last season, he posted a combined record of 12-8 with a 3.26 earned run average and 148 strikeouts in 25 starts in Double-A and Triple-A. New York has high expectations for one of their top prospects, but that does not mean he is ready for the big leagues quite yet. It appears the 22-year-old will start the 2013 season at Triple-A, where he can continue to build confidence and work on his arsenal of pitches.
“He needs to go to Triple-A and pitch,” manager Terry Collins said. “He wants to be on the staff? Go be the best pitcher in Triple-A. Force us to call him up.”
Just because Wheeler understands the decision to keep him in the Minor League at least one more year, it does not mean he will go down without a fight.
“They’ve said they want me to start the season in Triple-A, but I’m going to make the decision hard on them,” Wheeler said. Mets fans cannot help but smile at that statement knowing they have a true competitor on their side who is going to stop at nothing to win games and prove he is the best. New York has waited a long time for someone like Wheeler to come around and by the looks of it, the patience is going to pay off.
The power pitcher consistently throws his fastball between 95 and 97 miles per hour with good movement. He also has an outstanding curveball that is by far the best in the Mets organization. These two pitches alone are what gives him the superior ability to pitch in the majors one day. By staying in the minors for the majority of this season, he can then work on his slider and changeup without losing confidence by having big leaguers crush them all over the ballpark.