Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler: The Next Mets’ Big Three?

harvey wheelerThis year, the Mets decided to do their fans a favor and tank in June instead of late-July. This way, we can get a jump on our summer plans without having to bother paying attention to a possible pennant race. It certainly warms the heart that 2014 was supposed to be the year and the front office loosened the purse strings to bring in the likes of Mighty Chris Young.

But seriously, folks…

No, the Mets haven’t given us much reason to pay attention so far this season – 5-1 vs. the Phillies and flirtations with .500 at points notwithstanding. However, there are a couple of occasions that will make your intrepid columnist stop and take notice: whenever Zack Wheeler or Jacob deGrom pitches. These are two of the vaunted young guns for whom Met fans have been told to hold out hope. Ad nauseum. So far, they’ve appeared to outstrip the hype. Yes, it’s true that Wheeler needs to be spot-on with command of his fastball or he falls into scary patterns. Yes, deGrom only has six big-league starts under his belt and the League might figure him out eventually. Still, the mind starts to race forward to 2015 in anticipation of Matt Harvey and Wheeler bookending deGrom at the top of the rotation. Just picture NL batter after NL batter, walking away from the plate muttering. This group has the potential to unseat the Braves as the dominant pitching staff in the NL East.

New York Mets v Philadelphia PhilliesIt also has the potential to fail loudly. Harvey, of course, will be in his initial post-Tommy-John-surgery season and Wheeler and deGrom will both be wary of the sophomore jinx and the fact that they really haven’t proven anything at the big league level. It’s possible Wheeler never finds consistent command of his oh-so-potent fastball and becomes Mike Pelfrey. deGrom could have his weaknesses exposed quickly and never match the performance he’s shown in his initial go-around. And if Jon Niese and/or Dillon Gee are plying their trade elsewhere – hopefully dealt for some offense – the burden will fall to Noah Syndergaard, essentially a rookie. As is usually the case with this team, that’s a lot of “ifs” that need to break right. The hope here – for that is all we can do – is that Harvey, deGrom and Wheeler all pitch as we’ve heard they’re capable and up to the standards they’ve already set.

That should be really fun to pay attention to.

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieHangley .

19 comments for “Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler: The Next Mets’ Big Three?

  1. blastingzone
    June 12, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    You didn’t mention Montero if he isn’t traded should be competing for a spot in
    2015 and even though he didn’t have a great start with the mets this year every
    thing I’ve read or seen says he’s going to be a good one! Trade Colon, Niese,
    and Gee and you will have room for Harvey, Wheeler, Degrom, Syndergaard, &
    Montero next year which could just be the best starting rotation on the planet!!

  2. Chris F
    June 12, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Sorry, Im not buying this at all. The only proven winners in the rotation we have are Gee and Niese, and tentatively, Harvey. Why on Earth would we trade the only sure fire arms we have. For your inspection:

    Wheeler so far is a project with command and control issues that could keep him from being anything other than a back end guy. I am convinced he will spend some time in LV this year still. Every interview we get is about mechanical issues that keep him flying open and the fast balls tailing well out of the zone. Ok, maybe our pitching magician Dan Warthen can fix these matters, but so far theres no evidence of that. Some peripheral numbers are improving, but all I see is an 18 pitch per inning, 5-6 inning guy that places huge burden on a shaky pen.

    Montero is at best dream based on what we have seen so far. His MLB cup of coffee was pretty horrific. I saw nothing that made me think he is some sort of reliable starter. He may need to be in LV all year. AAA ERA this year is 3.8, WHIP 1.34 and his K/BB ratio is dropping like a rock.

    If Montero is a dream, Syndergaard is a dream within a dream. His ERA is 4.5 with a 1.5 WHIP in 2014. His K/BB ratio is the worst it has been since rookie ball. With those numbers, dont expect him to be in Flushing this year at all.

    Meanwhile we are ready to part with MLB proven arms who names dont ring like Darvish, Tanaka, King Felix etc, yet are doing great work. Thats not the route Im ready to go.

  3. Jerry Grote
    June 12, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Here is the part I agree on with the author (Ha. Like Charlie cares.):

    Your “core” should be young, incredibly young and talented. Someone else here was talking about building a core around Murphy, Wright and Lagares … and well, not to sound like a broken record here but which one of these things is not like the others?

    I look at what the Braves have done, look at their lineup and their pitching staff. The talent on that team is decidedly short of 27. Now look at us; outside of a certain CFer, every single talented player is the *other side* of 27.

    Other than pitching. I have no problem dealing Gee, Niese, Duda, Montero and Hefner, maybe even Kevin Plawecki and Murphy as a package deal to get two talented, young infielders.

    Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo sounds about right. Now THAT’s how you get a strong core.

    • Jerry Grote
      June 12, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      And a classic example of why Ike Davis is and will be a better long term solution than Lucas Duda … is Adrian Gonzalez. (or for that matter, Anthony Rizzo).

      Gonzalez, by 24, had two seasons and over 200 PA. At age 24 his BR “comp” is Paul Goldschmidt, and his #4 comp is Ike Davis.

      I know it makes me sound ridiculous because of the things I’ve said about Tejada, but at the end of the day giving up on players that have made solid contributions in the major leagues before the age of 24 is a flat out mistake.

      • Name
        June 12, 2014 at 7:06 pm

        Like i stated earlier in the year, that BR comp is a total farce. Davis played in 36 games that year, Paul Goldschmidt had 145 games, Gonzalez 156 games. Should i compare Tejada to Jeter based on his 30 game hot May? And even if you did want to use that very flawed “stat”, i’d point out that his #1 comp for Davis career is Mitch Moreland.

        And using what you always preach, OPS by season for Davis:
        .791, .925, .771, .661, .726.

        Which one is the outlier?

        • Jerry Grote
          June 12, 2014 at 7:28 pm

          Clearly – .661. Otherwise you have the first three seasons at close to or well in excess of 800.

          Davis is an 800 OPS player, longer term. He has 5.9 WAR and Duda is *n….e ….t ……n….e…g…a…t…i…v…e.

          You’d like to ignore a career that has consistently produced positive value in Davis, but I’m sorry I won’t let you.

          Even this year, when all the bullshit excuses for that waste of roster space is over (position, not being able to play consistently, whateverthefark) Lucas Duda still sucks.

          Editor’s Note – Please do not capitalize words in your post, as that is a violation of our Comment Policy.

        • Jerry Grote
          June 12, 2014 at 7:40 pm

          also as a side note, you are showing your complete lack of understanding about the comps.

          The fact that Davis had played 36 games is irrelevant. It takes into consideration the totality of their professional careers *up to that point*.

          I’ve shown you this before, but to help you again:
          28 HR 108 RBI 764 PA 840 OPS 124 OPS+
          26 HR 98 RBI 750 PA 817 OPS 123 OPS+

          Without looking can you tell me which one is Goldschmidt?

          Sweet Jesus, how much more alike do two players careers have to be to say that yeah, that looks like a comparable player?

          • Name
            June 13, 2014 at 8:34 am

            And like i’ve told you a million times before, combine Duda’s stats to the same period as Ike/Goldy and you’ll find he has exactly the same stats as well. (you’ll need 2010,2011, and the first part of 2012)

            And for their careers… tell me which stat line belongs to whom…
            .244/.340/.422 113 OPS+
            .242/.336/.428 111 OPS+

            WAR is irrelevant when comparing these 2 as Duda was forced to patrol the OF. Currently this year Duda ranks better than Davis in most defensive metrics.

            I see no reason why you feel the need to badmouth Duda and praise Davis when Davis has been exactly the same as him so far in his career defense notwithstanding. Either badmouth both, praise both, or say nothing about both.

            • Jerry Grote
              June 13, 2014 at 12:03 pm

              if you see no reason why I bash one and not the other, then you are reacting and not listening to what I am saying.

              It is simply because players that start and are successful earlier in their careers are ultimately better players.

              And yes, WAR is a component of comparing these players, since Duda has had the chance to display any sort of fielding competence this year at his desired position. And as bad as his statistical fielding has been, its been worse because of the errors he’s forced on other players (notably, Wright) in making plays.

              • Name
                June 13, 2014 at 1:25 pm

                “It is simply because players that start and are successful earlier in their careers are ultimately better players”

                That seems like a stereotype statement to me. While stereotypes do not arise for no good reason (they are true more often than not), at some point I think you have to use what you see and what you have seen than continue to rely on a stereotype.

                I guess we’ll see who is right in a few more years. My money is on them having the same career numbers.

                • Jerry Grote
                  June 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm

                  I guess we’ll see.

                  But its more than a stereotype, Name. Bill James did a pretty thorough study of it back in the 80s and again lately.

                  Always a pleasure chatting.

    • Nik
      June 14, 2014 at 11:14 am

      The Braves have never, ever, ever won anything without veterans on the team. Find me a champion without veterans in their mid to late prime taking prime roster spots; I’ll wait…



      A core is great, but without the rest of the apple it’s not going to fill you up. I’d love to have a complete apple, but slices are better than seeds in our case because the ownership has no foundation in place to grow more than a few apples trees and you’ll die if all you do is wait for tress to grow.

  4. Larry love
    June 12, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    No big three. Daily double Harvey and degrom. Wheeler another Oliver Perez What would the Mets record be if every game was 6 innings

  5. Metsense
    June 13, 2014 at 8:51 am

    I enjoyed the perspective of the following column, especially the part about Collins and the Dodgers and the part about Niese talking about his early years.

  6. Chris F
    June 13, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Hi about we talk about Matt Harvey a little. Its been so long since I’ve written his name, that it’s hard to believe.

    His interview with John Harper is an absolute must read if you havent done so.

    Basically we see every day the listless, lifeless, nearly automaton nature of the present squad. Like TC says, wrench a smile on and go out there and be your ho hum selves.

    After burning through arm after arm, game after game, I was incensed at his dressing down of Recker after being rung up on a ball that was ankle high. Rather than be part of the force to give Hernandez the grief he deserved, he yells at Recker. Recker at least showed he has a pulse after reading Hernandez the riot act. I like that he smashed a bat over his knee. Right now this team not only lacks skills, it has no life at all. When will the rage that we all feel permeate the club house and turn the team against Collins. I think its not far off.

    Jon Niese: He pretty much summed it up looking right at the camera when Collins came a’callin to yank him.

    Recker: He should be, and clearly is, pissed off.

    Wright: Benched and less one batting helmet after last nights explosion in the dug out.

    Lagares: Benched for no good reason early in the season.

    Torres: Reminds me of the scene in Saving Private Ryan at the beginning where the poor guy finds his blown off arm on the beach and picks it up off the ground. He probably has a good headache this morning after the self immolation. He should have decked TC for putting him in the game again and expecting far too much, when most relievers face 1 or 2 batters.

    and Matt Harvey: He aint happy about opposing pitchers giving Wright the daily buzz to keep him off guard for the outside pitch that DW cannot lay off, or make contact with for that matter. He’s taking notes. He’s not happy the staff is not defending Wright. And he is the most life we have. I think he wants in this season just to start settling accounts.

    None of the play I see says anything about how good a skipper TC is. He clearly has lost the fan base. And I think the signs are in: he’s losing/lost the players too.

    The season is a goner. We now need to seriously imagine a team without Murph. And if Murph is traded, expect young prospects in return. Alderson wants not part of trying to field a winning team while he is in charge. He has a profoundly bankrupt rebuilding plan coupled to a profoundly bankrupt hitting philosophy that is killing everything in its path.

    • Metsense
      June 13, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      Thanks Chris F , I checked out the article. Harvey is right but he better be careful of talking out or the Mets will trade him like they did that other outspoken individual RA Dickey.
      If you want to see a team with fight, check out this video from YouTube -1986 Ray Knight vs Eric Davis Fight – BRAWL
      Boy, do I miss those ’86 Mets.

      • Nik
        June 14, 2014 at 11:20 am

        I do wonder if the idea is to purge all the die hard fans; literally get rid of as many of us as they can because we get in the way of them doing whatever the hell they want.

        It’s not all about money… amazingly enough. They do whatever they can to create a terrible ballpark vibe and it seems like they scour social media to find out everything we hate and then do exactly those things.

        If the team were to ever win again, the bandwagon fills and they make money; until then, they’re just toying with a billion dollar toy and swatting flies.

        FYI, we are the flies.

    • June 13, 2014 at 7:07 pm

      Bankrupt is a key word. Look above Alderson…

    • Nik
      June 14, 2014 at 11:37 am

      Editor’s Note – Post deleted for violating our Comment Policy

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