Will Wheeler, Familia, and Harvey Repeat History?

NOTE: this is a guest post by Jimmy Prinzler. Enjoy.

The Mets’ top three pitching prospects at this time are Zack Wheeler, Jeurys Familia, and Matt Harvey. Assuming they remain with the organization, what will they bring to the Mets?

My best guess is that all three will pitch together in the 2013 rotation — unless Wheeler surprises us all early by arriving in Flushing in late 2012. Regardless, once they arrive, what do those hurlers bring to the table?

It’s pretty obvious that they will strike out many hitters. In the minors, Wheeler posted 124 Ks in 113 IP, splitting his time in advanced “A” ball in San Jose and Port St. Lucie; Familia had 128 Ks in 119 IP in Port St. Lucie and AA Binghamton; and Harvey struck out 154 in 132 2/3 IP between Port St. Lucie and Binghamton. All told, that’s 406 strikeouts in just 364 2/3rd IP — or, 1.1 Ks per inning. In comparison, Stephen Strasburg dominated in the minors with a 10.6 K/9 in his first year of minor league ball, which translated to 12.2 K/9 at the MLB level with the Nationals last year — why can’t the Mets’ three future aces deliver similar numbers?

Looking at the big picture, there is another benefit to one strikeout per inning — it means the defense needs to procure only two outs each frame, which may reduce errors. Ergo, having these kinds of strikeout pitchers could make this team more solid on defense. Bases loaded with one out? No problem — the pitcher strikes out one and the defense gets the third out on a ball in play. (OK, that’s only a theory, and it would be great if it really worked out that way, but you get the idea.)

I know a lot of Mets fans are eager to see three pitchers from the farm come up together and I believe it’ll happen. The 2013 Mets rotation could consist of Harvey, Wheeler, Familia, Dillon Gee and Jonathon Niese (not to mention, if he gets healthy, Jenrry Mejia could sneak in as well). Historically, the championship Mets teams were built around good young pitchers from within their farm system — maybe history is about to repeat itself.

Jimmy is currently in Seymour Joseph Institute in Staten Island, studying for an A.S. Degree as a Certified Deaf Interpreter. When he moved to NYC in 2001 from Cleveland, he started to take an interest in Mets and has been a loyal fan ever since. When he's not watching baseball, Jimmy is an avid bowler and frequently travels for deaf bowling tournaments, mostly on the East Coast. Since English is technically his second language (American Sign Language is his first), please cut him a little slack in regard to typos and grammatical errors.
  1. gary s. September 5, 2011 at 8:26 am
    with our luck and success rate, we will be lucky if one of them becomes productive at the mlb level.Remember, being a top pick is no gaurantee for later success.Lucas Duda was considered a non prospect a few years ago.Hopefully if one of the 3 pitchers make it and a non prospect pitcher like Gee surprises, we might have something special in a year or 2
  2. NormE September 5, 2011 at 9:44 am
    In September, when your team is out of the race, it’s nice to have something positive to dream about.
  3. Joe September 5, 2011 at 10:28 am
    The idea all three will pitch together seems a bit much. I’ll believe it when I see it.
  4. Sebastian September 5, 2011 at 10:38 am
    Not that he is the end all, be all, but Keith Law keeps claiming that he thinks Familia is ultimately going to the bullpen. Interesting to see what happens moving forward.
  5. tommy September 5, 2011 at 12:38 pm
    Lets hope they don’t end up like WIlson, Pulsipher and Isringhausen…Generation K…history just as likely to repeat itself…cynical Mets fan
  6. argonbunnies September 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm
    Um, Jimmy, you realize Strasburg is like the ONLY guy whose K rate jumped from the minors to the majors, right? It’s much more common for 10 K/9 in AA to mean 8.5 K/9 in AAA and 7 K/9 in the majors…

    As raw arms with little command/control, I think Mejia and Familia are extreme longshots to ever be reliable. Great upside, but every team’s minor leagues have guys like that. Harvey’s draft scouting reports were similar, but his walk rates this year were a pleasant surprise. His odds of being major league material seem better, though I’ve yet to hear any of his pitches described as unhittable.

    Wheeler seems to get good mileage out of his secondary stuff, so I’d say he has the best odds to fan major leaguers. Let’s hope he’s blessed with a healthy elbow…

  7. Danny September 5, 2011 at 4:30 pm
    Jimmy- Well said on the future Mets. It’s up to them to stay humble and bring the best ouf of their arms. Im seeing that Mets’ payroll will be lower with better talents. I would love for us to talk about Citi Field itself. Those fences need to adjust somehow.


  8. Izzy September 6, 2011 at 9:27 am
    Sure, dream about the future…. Remember tomorrow is always a day away. Meanwhile every team out of the hunt and ready to rebuild calls up their kids for September learning processes the Sandy Alderson know it alls bring up 40 year old pitchers and 32 year old first basemen to show their stuff. There is no good future with this group of has beens….
  9. Walnutz15 September 6, 2011 at 10:29 am
    “why can’t the Mets’ three future aces deliver similar numbers?”

    …..because none of them are even remotely close to Strasburg.