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July 26, 2013

Pebble Hunting

The Real Reason Why Zack Wheeler is Predictable

by Sam Miller


The beguiling thing is that, to you or I and probably even to people smarter than you and I, there was really nothing to differentiate Matt Harvey from Zack Wheeler.

Both pitched in Single-A St. Lucie; Harvey was 22, Wheeler 21:

  • Wheeler: 10.3 K//9, 1.7 BB/9, 0.0 HR/9, 2.00 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 27 innings
  • Harvey: 10.9 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 0.6 HR/9, 2.37 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 76 innings

Both pitched in Double-A Binghamton at age 22:

  • Wheeler: 9.1 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 0.2 HR/9, 3.26 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 116 innings
  • Harvey: 9.7 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 0.6 HR/9, 4.53 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 60 innings

Both pitched in Triple-A at 23:

  • Wheeler: 9.2 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, 1.0 HR/9, 3.72 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 102 innings
  • Harvey: 9.2 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 0.7 HR/9, 3.68 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 110 innings

Add them up and, since Wheeler had joined the Mets organization, until he reached the majors at age 23, he had been almost identical to Harvey in the time between Harvey joining the Mets and reaching the majors at age 23:

  • Wheeler: 9.3 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 0.5 HR/9, 2.87 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 245 innings
  • Harvey: 9.8 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 0.7 HR/9, 3.48 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 246 innings

Here’s one of the last scouting reports we ran on Harvey before his promotion:

Harvey attacks hitters with a 92-95 mph fastball that can touch 97 and features plenty of life. His slider gives him a second bat-missing offering with its heavy two plane break, and Harvey is comfortable throwing it at any point in the count. He's an efficient pitcher who throws strikes and has the kind of body and delivery designed to handle a big league workload.

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Related Content:  Matt Harvey,  Zack Wheeler,  Pitch-tipping

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Raising Aces: There an... (07/26)
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Pebble Hunting: Baseba... (07/22)
Next Column >>
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Premium Article Eyewitness Accounts: J... (07/26)

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