New York Mets News

New York Mets: Zack Wheeler best and worst case scenarios for 2019

By Shlomo Aminsky
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22: Zack Wheeler (45) of the New York Mets pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during their game at Citi Field on June 22, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22: Zack Wheeler (45) of the New York Mets pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during their game at Citi Field on June 22, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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Best Case Scenario

The best case scenario for Wheeler is a simple one, live up to the lofty standards he has set for himself. After Wheeler’s electric second-half, expectations could not possibly be higher. Hyperbolic or not, if there were a second-half all-star game, Wheeler could have been the starting pitcher for the NL.

And yes, that includes possibly beating out the herculean deGrom.

The most obvious indicator as to how he was able to turn around his season so effectively was the impressive return of his pre-surgery velocity. His average four-seamer velocity dipped to below 95MPH at a point in the first half of 2018 but skyrocketed back up to over 96MPH, a pre-surgery figure. Maintaining that velocity throughout the stretch-run is a great sign that Wheeler will be able to retain those numbers for the season ahead.

If Wheeler can maintain his flamethrowing velocity, matched with actually being on the Mets come opening day, hopefully with an extension already signed (I’m looking at you, Brodie), the former phenom can make good on the promise of his promise.

As for what this promise can practically translate to? A top five Cy Young finish, of course. Realistically, we can’t assume Wheeler will consistently put up those 2018 second-half numbers but a sub 2.50 ERA is viable.

Only Aaron Nola and Jacob deGrom finished with sub-2.50 ERAs in the NL this past year. Wheeler will definitely be a player to keep an eye on this offseason and surely into next year.

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