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Zack Wheeler 2019 Outlook


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What's everyone's thoughts on Wheeler's age 29 season?

 

Picked him up off waivers last year and he carried my staff for a stretch in 2018.

 

It looked as if it was a break out campaign, but after looking at his numbers, he put up a similar line in 2014, so it looks like when he's healthy he can be pretty damn good.

 

Just kind of going off memory, what was he doing differently in 2018?  Using his slider more?

 

Anyway, I kept him as my SP4 over Berrios, hoping for a bit more consistency from Wheeler.

 

 

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You bring up good points. The fact of the matter however is that there, at least in my opinion, aren’t 30 starters that I feel very secure both with the performance and the durability. There’s probabl

The 11k’s are fantastic but I’m thrilled to see the zero walks. His stuff is so good and he is so proficient at inducing weak contact that it’s so frustrating to see him give up free passes. 

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9 hours ago, crotchcrickets said:

What's everyone's thoughts on Wheeler's age 29 season?

 

Picked him up off waivers last year and he carried my staff for a stretch in 2018.

 

It looked as if it was a break out campaign, but after looking at his numbers, he put up a similar line in 2014, so it looks like when he's healthy he can be pretty damn good.

 

Just kind of going off memory, what was he doing differently in 2018?  Using his slider more?

 

Anyway, I kept him as my SP4 over Berrios, hoping for a bit more consistency from Wheeler.

 

 

 

big fan.  had a great 2nd half.  im all over him as an SP3 with SP2 upside

 

@colepenhagen - also taking him as SP2 right after flahrety or clevinger.  going bat heavy early as well

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It all comes down to command with Zack. He had a career low walk percentage last year, and specifically in the second half was excellent in this area. If he just throws strikes he will be elite with the stuff he has. Hard to tell if he keeps it up, but the stuff is certainly still there and he looks primed to be a 200 IP workhorse.

 

As for specific pitches, he added a splitter which seemed to really help him. Further detailed in article below:

 

https://goodfundies.com/zack-wheeler-is-back-and-hes-brought-a-new-friend-along-a7542f731b4e

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  • 3 weeks later...

Seems people are kinda sleeping on Wheeler this year. He goes for $10 in Y! standard auctions, but often I've got him for less. 

This guy had an amazing second half last year. Single handedly road him to the playoffs. If he's anything like his second half he will be a top 15 SP. 

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1 hour ago, CrypTviLL said:

Seems people are kinda sleeping on Wheeler this year. He goes for $10 in Y! standard auctions, but often I've got him for less. 

This guy had an amazing second half last year. Single handedly road him to the playoffs. If he's anything like his second half he will be a top 15 SP. 

 

Thats why I plan to have him on all my teams if I get my way. Seems like a solid upside play for where he’s going so far.

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To anyone who's drafted yet, where is Wheeler going in your drafts ?

There's no question Wheeler was a stud the second half of last year but there is risk here too. Both injuries and inconsistency with command have plagued him. The hope is he's figured something out and cured his command issues but would anyone be shocked if his BB/9 jumped back up or he breaks down ? The only year prior to last he pitched 180+ innings (2014) he tore his UCL the next spring. I am intrigued with Wheeler but don't want to reach.

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10 minutes ago, fletch44 said:

To anyone who's drafted yet, where is Wheeler going in your drafts ?

There's no question Wheeler was a stud the second half of last year but there is risk here too. Both injuries and inconsistency with command have plagued him. The hope is he's figured something out and cured his command issues but would anyone be shocked if his BB/9 jumped back up or he breaks down ? The only year prior to last he pitched 180+ innings (2014) he tore his UCL the next spring. I am intrigued with Wheeler but don't want to reach.

 

done 2 redraft on yahoo pro.  9th round and 10 round (12 teamers)  hes gone as early as 63rd pick in NFB league tho...with his avg right around 92...so 7th/8th rounder

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16 hours ago, fletch44 said:

To anyone who's drafted yet, where is Wheeler going in your drafts ?

There's no question Wheeler was a stud the second half of last year but there is risk here too. Both injuries and inconsistency with command have plagued him. The hope is he's figured something out and cured his command issues but would anyone be shocked if his BB/9 jumped back up or he breaks down ? The only year prior to last he pitched 180+ innings (2014) he tore his UCL the next spring. I am intrigued with Wheeler but don't want to reach.

 

You bring up good points. The fact of the matter however is that there, at least in my opinion, aren’t 30 starters that I feel very secure both with the performance and the durability. There’s probably closer to 15.

 

I’ve been pondering Wheeler, a player I like a good deal, for awhile. And I think he’s someone I’m pretty much willing to be a “plant the flag” sort of guy for me this year. I have him way above consensus in my current iteration, and don’t really see that changing at this point. 

 

Im a repertoire and diverse repertoire guy. Wheeeler did some amazing things in this regard. 5 Pitch Mix. The Breaking Balls (Curve / Slider) were pretty on point from end-to-end last year and were both just excellent pitches. I really find the way he used his off-speed pitches interesting. Brooks has him throwing a Change and Split, with a new Split, which effectively for Wheeler, IMO, is like another variation off his Change like the way Kyle Hendricks commonly throws multiple change up grips in a game.

Regardless of how you classify the offspeed, via Brooks, all five pitches performed well. Highest SLG Allowed for any of Wheeler’s five offerings was .340. Lowest Whiff% for a pitch type was still north of 10%. That’s universal lack of damage with universal swing-and-miss. 

 

On top of all that, he was an absolutely elite contact manager in 2018. Fangraphs has him with the 4th Highest Soft% and the absolute lowest Hard% among qualified starters. The best kind of contact manager isnt the kind where the prediction relies on it, but rather one where it makes the argument stronger. K/BB and stuff alone make Wheeler interesting. The fact that he can add to that potentially the ability to manage contact among the league leaders, and things can start to get real interesting. 

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On 3/5/2019 at 6:51 AM, fletch44 said:

To anyone who's drafted yet, where is Wheeler going in your drafts ?

There's no question Wheeler was a stud the second half of last year but there is risk here too. Both injuries and inconsistency with command have plagued him. The hope is he's figured something out and cured his command issues but would anyone be shocked if his BB/9 jumped back up or he breaks down ? The only year prior to last he pitched 180+ innings (2014) he tore his UCL the next spring. I am intrigued with Wheeler but don't want to reach.

I think you are missing one big piece of the context. He has been healthy, which has allowed him to evolve as a pitcher. The ability to throw innings has led to him being able to improve his command. I don't expect him to lose this skill. 

I have no idea if he will break down again or when that happens. All I know is that he is mature, he doesn't have a lot of miles on his arm, his team is looking to compete, and he is in his prime. I like all of those things a lot and someone once said this and it sticks in my head a lot....everyone is injury prone until the're not. He has demonstrated health. I know the counter to this thought. I just think he is at that age where he knows how to allow himself to string together a healthy season. 

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On 3/5/2019 at 7:51 AM, fletch44 said:

To anyone who's drafted yet, where is Wheeler going in your drafts ?

There's no question Wheeler was a stud the second half of last year but there is risk here too. Both injuries and inconsistency with command have plagued him. The hope is he's figured something out and cured his command issues but would anyone be shocked if his BB/9 jumped back up or he breaks down ? The only year prior to last he pitched 180+ innings (2014) he tore his UCL the next spring. I am intrigued with Wheeler but don't want to reach.

I popped him in Rd6-89th overall in a roto best ball. He's (hopefully) my #2 if not co-ace with Clev...

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1 hour ago, thezing1 said:

someone once said this and it sticks in my head a lot....everyone is injury prone until the're not. He has demonstrated health. I know the counter to this thought. I just think he is at that age where he knows how to allow himself to string together a healthy season. 

I generally agree with this statement when it comes to position players. However, when it comes to pitchers who have had arm problems, I think it's a different story. Guys who have had elbow/shoulder issues in the past are at a greater risk of having them again. Of course there are plenty guys of who are fine but that doesn't mean I'm going to just assume there is no risk with Wheeler because of a strong 2nd half

And just to be clear, I like Wheeler for all the reasons that have already been pointed out on this thread. I benefited from last year's 2nd half and watched a number of his starts. Just trying to get a feel for where he's going and use the thread as a sounding board for potential risk.

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3 minutes ago, fletch44 said:

I generally agree with this statement when it comes to position players. However, when it comes to pitchers who have had arm problems, I think it's a different story. Guys who have had elbow/shoulder issues in the past are at a greater risk of having them again. Of course there are plenty guys of who are fine but that doesn't mean I'm going to just assume there is no risk with Wheeler because of a strong 2nd half

And just to be clear, I like Wheeler for all the reasons that have already been pointed out on this thread. I benefited from last year's 2nd half and watched a number of his starts. Just trying to get a feel for where he's going and use the thread as a sounding board for potential risk.

 

I think where we disagree is that Elbow/Shoulder is not something I'm willing to list together. Having TJS doens't necessarily correlate with a ton of future arm problems the same way a lot of other arm issues do. Since then, I believe his "major" injury was a finger issue. For having missed the time he has, he doesn't have the specific injuries that spook me. 

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I worry about his huge innings jump last season given his track record.  Three previous seasons he pitched a total of 87 innings, last season he jumped up to 187. 

 

Also worth noting is he's in a contract year and playing for his first big contract.  He has everything riding on this season.

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44 minutes ago, fletch44 said:

I generally agree with this statement when it comes to position players. However, when it comes to pitchers who have had arm problems, I think it's a different story. Guys who have had elbow/shoulder issues in the past are at a greater risk of having them again. Of course there are plenty guys of who are fine but that doesn't mean I'm going to just assume there is no risk with Wheeler because of a strong 2nd half

And just to be clear, I like Wheeler for all the reasons that have already been pointed out on this thread. I benefited from last year's 2nd half and watched a number of his starts. Just trying to get a feel for where he's going and use the thread as a sounding board for potential risk.

I think everyone that throws overhand is at risk. There is nothing natural about throwing a baseball overhand so my default position on pitcher risk is that no one is risk free. Elbows and TJ really don't concern me much these days. It is almost a right of passage if you are a hard throwing pitcher that uses heavy breaking stuff (slider, split, etc.) I actually find myself targeting the guys that have recently had TJ because I would bet their elbow has more tread on it than the pitchers who have yet to get TJ. Hopefully I am explaining that properly. 

Shoulders concern me. I think it is very difficult to overcome shoulder stuff and I am in the boat where I need to see it before I trust you. We are in agreement there. But the shoulder injury needs to be substantial and not tendinitis. 

Lastly, I am not trying to attack/debate you and hope I am not coming across that way. Just supplementing your initial post being concerned about command regression. I hope my message reads like someone adding to the discussion and not someone trying to win a discussion. 

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1 hour ago, papasmurf said:

I got him in the 140s.

He's got the stuff, and he seemed to figure things out last year.

So yep, it's all about the health.

 

 

he aint lasting to the 140s in any competitive league

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27 minutes ago, Buddha said:

are you taking him over Marquez? 

The industry experts seem pretty evenly split between the two. I’m really high on both but I like Wheeler a little more and have used the half of games @ Citi Field vs half of games @ Coors as my tiebreaker.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Drafting Wheeler full expecting a sub 3.3 and 200 K's. I have been a Met fan for 25 years, watched Wheeler with baited breath for 4 years, always lacking confidence due to not knowing his role/future, no more folks, he is here and going to have a 4-5 year run that will be amazing!

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