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The Mets have agreed to trade Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants for pitching prospect Zack Wheeler. The trade will not be official until it is approved by both Beltran and the commissioner’s office, which is reported to be all but a formality.
Though I hate to see Beltran go, Mets GM Sandy Alderson appears to have made a great deal. Zack Wheeler, who was the 6th overall pick in the 2009 draft was drafted out of high school and is believed to be the Giants top pitching prospect. He was ranked the 49th overall prospect by baseball America in 2010 and 55th in 2011. He has shown some promise but has not been dominant in his two years in the Giants minor league system, pitching to a 3.99 ERA and striking out 168 over just 146 innings.
Anytime you make a trade for a lower level minor leaguer, you never truly know what you’re going to get. Even though scouts rate a player as can’t miss, does not necessarily translate into them having a successful major league baseball career as so many factors including injury, desire and maturity all must work in their favor just to make it. However, when you are drafted as high as Wheeler, the talent is most definitely there and if everything works out perfectly there is a chance to have a special player. The following was the scouting report from www.baseball-intellect.com just before the 09 draft:
“Fastball – Sits mostly in the 91 – 94 range, but can get as high as 95 or 96 in short spurts…tremendous life…gets on hitters quickly as it explodes out of his hand…will run into lefties and away from right handed batters…terrific carry through the strike zone, indicating plenty of arm strength…Wheeler has said he features two fastballs — a two-seamer and four-seamer”
“Slider – Hard slider is more like a slurve…comes out of his hand looking like his fastball and travels on a similar plane as well, which you can see in the below clip…the pitch breaks a little early, so it could use some tightening, but the break has some snap to it and will generate plenty of swings-and-misses”.
“Best Case Outcome – No. 1 starter
More Likely Outcome – Borderline No. 2 starter”
By trading Carlos Beltran for the final two months of the major league season, the Mets are trading the slight chance of making an improbable playoff run, for the chance to bring in a player that could help them for the next 15 years. It could turn out that Wheeler becomes a Bill Pulsipher or a Paul Wilson, highly taunted minor leagues, who had unmemorable major league careers. He could turn out to be a Bobby Jones, or a Sid Fernandez who had very serviceable careers and turned in some very memorable moments that will never be forgotten. He also could turn into one of the myriads of highly regarded prospects who never made it to the majors. At the same time, when you trade or a draft a top prospect, there is also always that chance he turns into a Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman or Dwight Gooden and can help lead the team to a championship. The more top rated prospects you’re able to acquire and try to develop the greater the chance of finding that one or two players that can help build a winner, which is what makes the trade of Beltran a good one for the Mets. If Wheeler ever turns out to be an ace, then the trade turns out to be an absolute steal.
Carlos Beltran, who signed a 7 year deal in 2005 with the Mets, leaves with the 6th most homeruns (149,) RBI’s (559) and doubles (208) in Met history. In 839 games he batted .280 with a .369 on base percentage and 100 SB’s. He will truly be missed.
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