They are the number 4 and number 11 best prospects in baseball prior to 2013, according to Baseball America. Oddly enough, both of these prospects have been involved in big time trades. The Kansas City Royals had been grooming Myers since 2009. They decided that they could contend in 2013 and had enough bats. Therefore, they dealt Myers to the Tampa Bay Rays for James Shields and Wade Davis. Myers was a huge pick up for Tampa because they save money and get another big bat in the line up to join Evan Longoria for the future. Zack Wheeler was dealt to the New York Mets from the San Francisco Giants for Carlos Beltran. The Giants made this deal because they thought they could get to the playoffs in 2011, but they were unable to and did not defend their World Series title. The Mets, a team that has been struggling for a long time, got a big time starter for their future rotation. For each of these teams and players, the future is now.
Wil Myers will be a nice bat for the Rays. They need another power bat in that line up. Hopefully, their pitching can hold up after a couple of Matt Moore blow ups, and David Price and Alex Cobb injuries. Personally, I hope it doesn’t work out, but that is only in an actual baseball sense because I am an Orioles fan. However, I believe he will be a force to be reckoned with. Not at the level of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Mike Trout and Yasiel Puig but pretty damn close. He has .300 batting average and a .389 on base percentage. He also has 78 home runs in 5 seasons in the minors. Baseball America has him rated at a 60 bat and 70 power on the 20-80 scale. That should lead to a batting average around .300 over the course of his career and, in his peak years, about 35 homers. Now for this season, I expect good power. He will probably hit home runs on a 25 homer pace for the rest of the season. That should be about 14 homers over the remaining 93 games. As for his average, I am not expecting much. He will probably have a .260 batting average or so. I say this because he struck out in 21% of his plate appearances in the minors. He will probably strike out at a higher rate as he adjusts to MLB pitching. For fantasy purposes, he is definitely worth a pick up. Of course, I drafted him and dropped him in a league that I am in with the two guest writers I have had, Joe Meola and Chris Turner. But I have him in 2 other leagues, and I am very happy to see the Rays call him up. Look for a good half season MLB debut.
Zack Wheeler looks to be a great number 2, behind Matt Harvey, in the Mets’ rotation for years to come. Baseball America has his fastball at a 70 and his slider and control at a 60. This means that his fastball runs from 93-97mph and he has an above-average slider. Also, he has above-average command. He is debuting against the Atlanta Braves tonight and I have no idea what to expect. On the one hand, he could dominate the Braves and strike out 7-10 guys in 7 or so innings. On the other hand, the Braves could hit 4 homers off of him and chase him out in 3 innings. I have no idea what to expect. In terms of fantasy, he is definitely worth a speculative add in all leagues. I probably wouldn’t start him on Tuesday. If he pitches well, ride him. If he pitches poorly, drop him. Pitchers are much more volatile than hitting prospects in baseball. Baseball prospects, in general, are extremely volatile, so projections are really hard to make. Hopefully he turns into the good player that he has the potential to be and plays a big part in the Mets’ rotation for years to come.
For today specifically, I don’t know what to expect for Myers and Wheeler. They should be forces to be reckoned with. Maybe, we have the next Trout and Strasburg (injury-free Stras of course). Today, we’ll see the beginning.