One of the key stages in a young pitcher's development is the jump from Single A to Double A ball. This jump is arguably the largest jump any young pitcher will have to make, and it is the juncture that Met prospect Zack Wheeler found himself at the beginning of the year. Wheeler, who was acquired for Carlos Beltran and ranks second on Mets 101 top prospect list, has done more than survive the transition. He's thrived at AA Binghamton.
Wheeler has been lights out at Binghamton, going 1-2 with a 1.75 ERA in his first five starts there. While his ERA is outstanding, his other numbers are also very impressive. Wheeler has 30 strikeouts in only 25.2 innings pitched and opponents are only hitting .198 against him. Wheeler has to try and improve his command, as he has walked 14 batters in his starts.
Wheeler does not, however, look intimidated by the increase in competition at Binghamton. Wheeler is currently on the seven day DL with an injury to a fingernail that isn't considered serious. If Wheeler continues to pitch well upon his return, he may force his way up to Triple-A Buffalo before the season is over. With the team in the midst of a transition from the free spending ways of Omar Minaya to the fiscal conservativity of Sandy Alderson, it is nice to see the team developing young pitchers like Wheeler, Matt Harvey, and Jeurys Familia. The Mets have always been an organization that develops young pitching, and the next generation is well on its way to Flushing.
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