There are reports circulating that the Red Sox are talking to the Mets about Zack Wheeler. This is an arm the Red Sox should snap up.
Tommy John Surgery History
Wheeler came on for the Mets with a bang in 2013 with a 3.42 ERA as a rookie in 17 starts. The next year he went he had a 3.56 ERA and seemed to figure it out: His strikeout rate rose from 7.96 to 9.08 K/9. Alas, soon after he went under the knife, and lost 2015 and 2016 to Tommy John surgery and recovery. It was a long road, but it is a road in the past. He’s starting to pick it up.
Recent History & Potential Cost
In 2018 Wheeler finally looked like himself again. He maintained a 3.31 ERA and got his K/9 back to 8.84. This year that rate is at a career best 9.8. Yes, he has a 4.49 ERA on the year, but the Mets have been a mess, even more than the Red Sox. And his last start against the Yankees was a great one. He went 6.1 innings, struck out seven, and allowed two runs. Can you imagine that in London?
Wheeler has a lot of potential, and is still only 29 years old. He walks guys, with a career walks rate of 3.4 BB/9 (down to 2.6 this year), which is why he will fetch a lesser price. Jarren Duran has turned some heads lately. He was just in the minor league Future’s Game. But he’s a no power, batting average guy. Those guys don’t go much beyond bench pieces in the Majors. Think that type of prospect, rather than a power bat like Bobby Dalbec.
Wheeler is right handed, which has already shown dividends against the Yankees. He’s topped 100 MPH with his fastball this year. He would look great as the number four or five starter in this rotation, with possibilities for more.
Featured image via the New York Post