Two players in the New York Mets organization were named among Keith Law's Top 100 MLB Prospects (ESPN Insider) in a list that was published on Thursday.
The top-rated Met, Zach Wheeler (No. 27), is a 21-year-old right-handed pitcher who came to the organization as part of the Carlos Beltran deal. Wheeler pitched in High-A last season, finishing the year 9-7 with a 3.52 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 115.0 innings.
"Wheeler was stolen from the Giants for two months of Carlos Beltran's services in a deadline deal that should benefit the Mets for much of this decade," writes Law.
"He will touch 97 mph and sit at least 91-94 with an above-average curveball that has shown it can miss bats. He has a fringy changeup that's a little too firm, giving up a .283/.375/.452 line to left-handed hitters as a result (although that improved after the trade in a small sample). His control is still below-average, and he'll have to show durability to match his frame, as he retired more than 18 batters just twice all year."
The Mets' other top prospect, Matt Harvey (No. 38), is another right-handed pitcher. Harvey, 22, ended last season in Double-A and could be closer to reaching the Major Leagues than Wheeler. Harvey was a combined 13-5 with a 3.32 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 135.2 innings in High-A and Double-A during 2011.
Harvey's strong season in Double-A showed that he's not that far away from contributing in the big leagues, but also masked some of the ongoing questions about his repertoire and command that probably push him toward a good No. 3 or average No. 2 ceiling.
He will sit 91-97 mph as a starter with good downhill plane, and his changeup is a weapon for him against both left- and right-handed hitters. His curve and slider tend to run together, and he'd probably be better off just picking one or the other and using it exclusively to avoid throwing in-between pitches that will get hammered at higher levels.
The UNC product didn't dominate Double-A like you'd expect him to based on his velocity, but a sharper breaking ball could produce those results and get him to the big leagues by the middle of this year.
Law rated the Mets farm system No. 22 among all farm systems, but SB Nation's Minor League Ball sees considerably more promise, ranking the Mets farm system No. 15.
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