Appreciate the insight and perspective of @StevePhillipsGM, however, I disagree with his assessment of Wheeler. The cumulative stats are not a fair valuation of his performance. His last two seasons are much better and more consistent than the first three which included injuries. https://t.co/DMmZ2Lx6Vt
— John Strubel (@johnstrubel) November 26, 2019
Wheeler struggled with consistency his first three seasons, recording a 21-23 win-loss mark in 371 innings pitched, but the more glaring concern was his health. Wheeler missed all of the 2015 and 2016 seasons before coming back as a starter for the New York Mets in 2017. He was shut down after 86 innings and a 3-7 record in ’17. Tears, strains and fatigue had come to define Wheeler’s early career.
But, it is clear he’s been more effective over the last two seasons, than the previous three seasons he’s pitched. Over the past two seasons Wheeler has compiled a 23-15 over 60 starts (374 strikeouts in 377 innings pitched). Wheeler hit the free agent market healthy, more mature and on the threshold of a breakout season.
Andy Martino of SNY said:
“He’s a 1A or a 2, with the potential to be more. In the second half of 2018, the year that deGrom won the Cy Young, Zack Wheeler’s numbers were better over the entire second half of that season than Jacob de Grom’s were. He was actually the ace of that staff for a couple months. He took a small step back this year from that high level of elite excellence. But he’s a guy who’s really become a polished pitcher. He’s really turned himself into a top guy after facing some adversity with injuries and a little bit of a later bloomer … but he has that kind of talent and he’s become more refined. So there’s a real ceiling there.”
But is he worth $30 million per season? That remains to be seen.