I know the season hasn’t started yet and everyone is excited for opening day coming up. But I think we can all agree unless the Mets do what the Diamondbacks did last season it may be a long year in Met land. I obviously hope I am wrong, but what I am excited about is the future developments of this Met pitching staff along with what the rotation could look like in two years.
I know prospects don’t always work out, but you can tell with the pitchers the Mets have lined up for the future its hard for me not to be ecstatic about it. If you go on mets.com and under the roster section you can look at the 2012 top Met prospects. The three main guys that jump out at me are Zach Wheeler, Matt Harvey, and Jeurys Familia.
Wheeler as you know was the one the Mets got back last season for Carlos Beltran. Remember it was him and Gary Brown the Mets wanted and came away with Wheeler. The Giants may be regretting this deal with what they got out of Beltran last year. The situation is though you can’t say the trade worked yet until Wheeler gets to the Majors and shows what he’s got, but I hate to bring this up it kind of reminds me of the Zambrano Kazmir trade.
Being just 21 years old and coming straight out of high school Wheeler has been developed slowly and carefully not rushed like most prospects. His fastball can reach in the mid 90′s, he has a devastating curve ball, and he is working on a change up. The Mets have him in double A for now, but know they don’t want to screw up his psyche and put him ahead of the game only to see him get bashed around. The Mets need him to succeed and be what Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, and David Price are. That is being a top prospect who is drafted early and become the ace of the team for many years to come. They tried to rush Pelfrey and Phillip Humber and that did not work out, so hopefully the Mets learned there lesson with that.
Matt Harvey is a guy who I know many Met fans wanted to make it out of camp this year, but I agree with Terry Collins. It also goes back to my last point you can’t rush a guy to the Majors. He still has parts of his game that need work like getting his WHIP down a bit, and adjusting on his command of the game. I noticed it in spring training with him and Familia that when things get rough they mentally break down. If you have that problem you aren’t ready for the Major yet no matter how upset Matt was. He bounced back after struggling to adjust in Double A, and his fastball is a plus along with his breaking stuff. I can see this pairing of Wheeler and Harvey being Lincecum, and Matt Cain. I hope I am right with that.
Jeurys Familia intrigues me. He has an excellent breathtaking fast ball, but he must still work on his breaking stuff and I have no doubt that he will get that down. He is only 22 so he has about maybe another year in the minors. His WHIP needs to improve a bit, and the hits need to come down as well. One thing I noticed this spring from Jeurys is he just always throws strikes. Fans may love it now, but he can’t be afraid to throw one outside and get a batter to chase. Pedro Martinez made a living off of that getting the pitches on the outside part of the plate instead of throwing it down the middle. If he can work on his outside pitches I have no doubt this 1-2-3 punch with these guys can work.
Jonathan Niese is one I have always been a fan of. When I heard he was being rumored in trades this off season I thought the Mets were insane to get rid of this guy, and keep Mike Pelfrey on the team. Niese has the most devastating curve ball I have seen since Tom Glavine’s. His endurance needs work since he has finished the last two years on the DL. What he brings is well rounded lefty pitcher who can solidify the middle of the rotation so it isn’t just right handed pitchers every time. He locates his pitches as good as anyone and it makes him a star in the making.
The last starting spot is tough because you always need a veteran in your rotation. Especially since I think Jenry Mejia will be the closer for the team in a year or two. But I would say go out and get a veteran because every staff needs that leader who the young guys can look up to. Who knows maybe R.A. Dickey will still be around and be pitching well like he is now. And he would only be your number five so it isn’t horrible to have that leadership.
Hopefully this is something Met fans can ponder and see the light at the end of tunnel from the last few years of suffering.