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New York Mets report card for starting pitchers in 2018

jkamilhor
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 08: Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the third inning of a game against the New York Yankees at Citi Field on June 8, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Mets 4-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 08: Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the third inning of a game against the New York Yankees at Citi Field on June 8, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Mets 4-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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Zack Wheeler

The Nicknames: Wheels, The Wheel Deal (thanks to Studius Metsimus in 2013)

The Review: I have to admit I was in the camp that wanted the Mets to trade Zack Wheeler at the deadline during what seemed like a hot streak and ended up a whole new Wheeler. Glad they didn’t do it, because Wheeler not only started to reach his great potential but he passed Syndergaard in the rotation to become the Mets second most reliable starter.

The biggest improvement was increased control, which led to a 2.71 BB/9 and a 7.4 BB%.

Improved control led to quicker innings, fewer baserunners, and a much-improved ERA of 3.31, which was a whopping 1.4 earned runs per nine innings better than his ZIPS projection.

Wheeler’s IP/start in 2018 was 6.28 compared to 5.63 IP/start in his previous three big league seasons. That’s basically giving the bullpen two fewer outs to get each time he pitches.

His average velocity ticked up on his four-seamer from 94.6 mph to 95.9, and he added a split-finger fastball which he threw almost 8% of the time, to give him five pitches to keep batters off-balance.

The Pitching stats (with ZIPS projections in parentheses):

  • G  29 (16)
  • GS  29 (16)
  • IP  182.1 (99.3)
  • ERA  3.31 (4.71)
  • FIP  3.25 (4.60)
  • WHIP  1.12 (1.39)
  • K/9  8.84 (8.61)
  • BB/9  2.71 (3.71)
  • HR/9  0.69 (1.36)
  • GB%  44.2 (N/A)
  • WAR  4.1 (1.0)

The Offensive stats: PA 60 .196/.193/.232/.425

The Defensive stats: 8 stolen bases allowed

The Grade: A- (the minus is for his slow start which led to being left off the opening day roster).

Notes: Check out Wheeler’s season to season improvement in BB/9:

  • (2013) 4.14
  • (2014) 3.84
  • (2017) 4.17
  • (2018) 2.71
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