We all know the story of Matt Harvey, a 2010 Draft pick of the New York Mets, who is just dominating teams in his first three starts. Every game is a must see with a fastball that touches 100 MPH and a slider that most hitters don’t come close to touching. But is he the best pitcher in the organization? Enter Zach Wheeler.
Wheeler was drafted in the first round by the San Francisco Giants in the 2009 Draft out of East Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga. When he came out of high school, teams saw a power arm with a plus curveball and changeup who projected to be a top of the rotation guy. So far he has not disappointed. Since being traded to the Mets in the Carlos Beltran trade in 2011, Wheeler has shot up scout’s and writer’s prospect boards, with many of them putting him as a top 10 prospect in all of baseball. But when comparing the two, Harvey and Wheeler, you will see why Wheeler actually has the potential to become better than Harvey.
First, we’ll take a look at their pitches. Mechanically both pitchers have a smooth and effortless throwing motion. This is very assuring since it means they have less chance of sustaining injuries. Both are able to get their fastballs up in the high 90s while being able to locate pitches pretty well. Harvey has his slider while Wheeler has his curveball. Both pitchers have the potential to develop their pitches and become one of the top 10 pitchers in the game.
The thing that I like most about Wheeler more than Harvey is his frame. Wheeler has a tall, lanky body that he can add weight to. Being so lanky, you will see more run and sink on his fastball than Harvey’s. With that frame as well, he has a chance to get stronger and possibly, if you can believe it, throw harder.
Finally, the last reason I can see Wheeler becoming better than Harvey is because of his age. At this point in Wheeler’s career, I will go out on a limb and say he is more mature than Harvey was at the same point. Wheeler is two years younger than Harvey and has already been put through the rigors of playing professional baseball for the past four years. Harvey went to college and played against easier opponents than Wheeler. In college, Harvey would have to face one, maybe two players who would become professional baseball players, while Wheeler, on the other hand, was facing opponents who were all drafted. This development may pay off for the Mets and he will be well prepared for the MLB.
Both he and Harvey will be one of the best 1-2 starting pitchers in the Majors for years to come. With their amazing talents, the Mets will be very hard to beat for the foreseeable future. For now, let’s all be happy that Harvey is dominating teams and Wheeler has the potential to top what Harvey has done so far.