Zack Wheeler was dominant once again during his Thursday evening start for Double-A Binghamton, allowing just one run on three hits and striking out eight over seven innings of work:
Wheeler carried a one hitter into the sixth after retiring 19 of the first 20 batters he faced en route to his fifth victory of the season. According to Ashley Marshal of MiLB.com:
[Wheeler] retired the side in order in each of the first three innings before third baseman Miguel Abreu singled on a line drive back up the middle.
Abreu was the only batter to reach base against Wheeler until the Phillies used consecutive one-out doubles to push across a run in the bottom seventh.
Selected sixth overall in the 2009 Draft by the San Francisco Giants, Wheeler struck out Sebastian Valle and retired Jiwan James to strand Tripp in scoring position before turning things over to the bullpen for the final six outs.”
Following the game, the Mets number one prospect told Marshal he had “pretty good” command, saying:
I felt good. My command was pretty good tonight and I was able to attack the hitters and let my defense work behind me. My slider was struggling a little bit, but I was using my curveball, changeup and fastball and getting ahead of people. …There are good hitters in this league, but so far I’m doing well. I want to command my fastball more and keep developing my off-speed pitches. Coming into this league, I wasn’t confident throwing strikes. I was worried about it, because all you hear is that guys are more patient at Double-A and that they see a lot more pitches because they know what they’re sitting on. Luckily, every team I’ve faced so far has swung the bat pretty early.”
With the victory, Wheeler improved to 5-2 while lowering his ERA to 1.88 on the year. He has an impressive 60 strikeouts over 52 2/3 innings with 21 walks. In nine starts for Binghamton, he is yet to allow two or more earned runs:
With the kind of numbers Wheeler is putting up, it’s hard not to get REALLY excited about what he might bring to the table for years to come.
It’s been a while since the team has had a pitching prospect of this caliber and to think, Sandy Alderson was able to get him for a few months of Carlos Beltran. To read how Sandy did it, be sure to check out Andy McCullough’s post for the Star-Ledger.
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