John Lepore | December 4th, 2019
Zack Wheeler has signed with the Philadelphia Phillies for 5 yrs/$100+ million. Now over four years removed from Tommy John surgery, the righty looks to continue his progression toward being an ace with his new team. Let’s take a look at who the Phillies are getting.
Zack Wheeler was drafted sixth overall by the San Francisco Giants in 2009 out of High School. He was then traded to the New York Mets at the deadline in 2011 for Carlos Beltran and cash. He debuted with the Mets in 2013 and had a solid season and a half. Wheeler experienced arm troubles and in May of 2015 underwent Tommy John surgery. He had complications and didn’t pitch again until 2017, which didn’t go well. But the past two seasons have been solid for Wheeler.
He is just 29 (will be 30 in May) and has shown durability the past two seasons throwing 182.1 and 195.1 respectively. His K/BB rate has improved from 3.25 in 2018 to 3.90 in 2019. His ERA increased from 3.31 to 3.96 but his FIP only increased by 0.23. That was largely due to a career-low in LOB% 71.4 and a .311 BABIP.
The bottom line here is Zack Wheeler is a pitcher who was drafted out of High School, spent nearly two years in a system, got traded and spent two years in another system, hit the big leagues for two years and then missed two years. Progression isn’t often linear in pitching, but with the success, he’s had the past two years, I think it is safe to say the Philadelphia Phillies got a solid pitcher for five years.
Prediction: 31 starts, 192 IP, 14-8, 3.33 ERA, 1.185 WHIP, 201 Ks
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