With the confluence of all the NFL trades /signings and the MLB Trade Deadline deals, I can’t remember a more exciting time to sit and watch the sports news cross the tape. This is truly one of the most amazing few days of meaningful major sporting news flow to digest that I can ever remember. If the freakin’ Republicans and Democrats weren’t so interested in playing out the Hatfield’s and McCoy’swith our economy and playing chicken with the August 2nd deadline of defaulting on the countries obligations, perhaps we could all enjoy this a bit more. I feel like locking both the Republicans and Democrats in a room in D.C. with no air conditioning and leaving them there until they figure this crap out. If I see one more politician from either side step up in front of a microphone to tell me that the other side is to blame, – yada yada yada -, I’m going to puke. And they get up there in groups taking turns talking about it. No one cares! Shut up and figure it out! Jerks! Sorry, I just had to say something….
Wednesday Carlos Beltran was traded to the San Francisco Giants for minor leaguer Zack Wheeler. The fact that Beltran went to the Giants was no surprise, he was the perfect fit there. The fact that Giants GM Brian Sabean traded one of his prized pitching prospects was however somewhat of a surprise. As you know, Sabean knows a thing or two about pitching (we’ll just pretend we didn’t know that he signed Barry Zito to one of the worst MLB contracts ever) and most pundits thought that he would not give up his best pitching prospect to get Beltran. But he did, and Beltran is certainly what the Giants needed. The Giants currently have the best pitching staff in Major League Baseball with a team ERA of 3.09 (Phillies 3.11), however, the Giants currently rank 28th out of 30 MLB teams in runs scored with 373 as only the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners have less.
We’ve been talking about this issue all year in our MLB Power Rankings. The Giants (60-44) are currently a top the NL Central with a three game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks. However while they are 16 games over .500, they have only scored 15 more runs on the year than they have given up! And at 358, they’ve given up the second least runs in MLB. So something had to give here and Sabean went out and tried to defend his Worlds Championship.
Zack Wheeler was the sixth overall selection in the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft. Wheeler is 21-years old and is this season pitching for San Francisco’s Class A Advanced San Jose affiliate team, he was 7-5 with 3.99 ERA with a WHIP of 1.449, striking out 98 batters and walking 47 in 88 innings.
Wheeler also had a 3.99 ERA last year pitching for Class A Augusta last summer in his professional debut. There he went 3-3 with a WHIP of 1.375, striking out 70 batters and walking 38 in 70 innings. So far Wheeler has averaged giving up 7.4 hits per nine innings, 5.2 walks per nine innings, and 10.3 strikeouts nine innings. Like most hard throwing young pitchers, walks are his primary nemesis.
Wheeler is known for having a “heavy” fastball and was widely regarded as the Giants’ number two prospect in their organisation behind Brandon Belt who is currently on the Giants roster. The most reliable independent scouting outfits have Wheeler ranked as the 33rd best prospect in baseball, which is higher than any Mets player on the list.
The 2009 MLB Draft has already sent a number of high profile names to the majors. Here are some other names how have already reached “the show” that you might recognise.
- No.1 – Stephen Strasburg, RHP – Washington Nationals
- No.2 – Dustin Ackley, 2B – Seattle Mariners
- No. 7 – Mike Minor, RHP – Atlanta Braves
- No. 8 – Mike Leak, RHP – Cincinnati Reds
- No. 10 – Drew Storen, RHP – Washington Nationals
- No. 11 – Aaron Crow, RHP – Kansas City Royals
- No. 25 – Mike Trout, OF – Los Angeles Angels
Here’s the entire 2009 MLB Amateur Draft in .pdf format for some bathroom reading. Perhaps you can do what the Mets did and find a diamond in the rough here for your Fantasy Baseball team.
Wheeler certainly isn’t polished and doesn’t appear anywhere near major league ready. Our best guess is that the earliest you will see Wheeler in a Mets uniform will be 2013. Like many trades for MLB prospects, only time will tell if this trade works out for both parties; barring any health issues, on the surface it appears that it should.
Much like last October, Matt Cain shut down the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, outpitching Cole Hamels limiting Philadelphia to four hits in seven-plus innings as the Giants won 2-1. The Phillies get most of the press for their pitching prowess and it’s well deserved, but the Giants showed again that they are every bit as good from top to bottom. The NLCS is likely to come down to these two clubs once again and Carlos Beltran knows the Phillies pitching as well as anyone. This is just one of the reasons that makes the trade a potentially very good deal for the Giants.
- MLB Power Rankings Week 17
You may email Mike @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @MikeCardano. Listen to Mike Cardano on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew Tuesday mornings at 10am ET.
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