State of the Farm: “I informed him on the third night, when fortune gives...Be alright, be alright. Right, right, right, right.”
Prospect rankings primer
The Top Ten
1. Zack Wheeler
Height/Weight: 6’4’’ 185 lbs.
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2009 draft (Giants), East Paulding High School (Dallas, GA)
2012 Stats: 3.26 ERA (116 IP, 92 H, 117 K, 43 BB) at Double-A Binghamton; 3.27 ERA (33 IP, 23 H, 31 K, 16 BB) at Triple-A Buffalo
The Tools: 7 FB; 6+ CB; 5+ SL; 5 CH
What Happened in 2012: Wheeler continued on his path to the show without losing any of his prospect shine, showing major league-quality stuff at the highest levels of the minors.
Strengths: Excellent size/leverage; high-end arm strength; fastball works in plus-plus velocity range; very easy cheese; good late action to the arm-side; present curveball is plus offering and projects to be a true 7 pitch; heavy depth/tight rotation; slider plays above-average; can manipulate length; can feature very sharp slice; impressive secondary command; pitchability in addition to stuff.
Weaknesses: Delivery works despite some rough edges, but he doesn’t always finish; tendency to elevate and work up in the zone; fastball command isn’t sharp; changeup can get too firm and lose depth/action.
Overall Future Potential: 7; no. 1 starter
Explanation of Risk: Moderate risk; pitchability and stuff; already achieved success in the upper minors.
Fantasy Future: Has the raw stuff to dominate and the feel to execute a four-pitch mix at the highest level. He has legit top-of-the-rotation potential, which means he could win 20-plus games and strikeout 200-plus hitters.
The Year Ahead: Wheeler could use a few more starts at the Triple-A level to refine his fastball command and add more depth to his changeup. At some point during the season, Wheeler will arrive in New York and become one of the brightest stars in town, thanks to a fastball that can sit in the mid-90s and approach elite velocity, a curveball that has the bite to buckle the best hitters in the game, a slider that plays well off the fastball and forces weak contact and a changeup that should be able to keep lefties honest. Wheeler has a chance to become the most electric arm in Flushing since the Doc, which sounds like hype and hyperbole but could end up being the honest truth.
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