Over at ESPN.com Keith Law has put together his list of baseball's Top 100 prospects. It's behind their pay wall so for those not inclined to shell out for ESPN Insider access, two Mets made the list: the dynamic duo of Zack Wheeler at no. 27 and Matt Harvey at no. 38.
Here's a snippet of what Law had to say about the 21-yr old Wheeler:
"He will touch 97 mph and sit at least 91-94 with an above-average curveball that has shown it can miss bats. He has a fringy changeup that’s a little too firm, giving up a .283/.375/.452 line to left-handed hitters as a result (although that improved after the trade in a small sample). His control is still below-average, and he’ll have to show durability to match his frame, as he retired more than 18 batters just twice all year."
"He will sit 91-97 mph as a starter with good downhill plane, and his changeup is a weapon for him against both left- and right-handed hitters. His curve and slider tend to run together, and he’d probably be better off just picking one or the other and using it exclusively to avoid throwing in-between pitches that will get hammered at higher levels"
Good stuff, but nothing we haven't heard in any previous top prospect list. More interesting was his evaluation of fellow electric righty Jeurys Familia, who he included in his ten prospects that "just missed":
"If I thought there was any chance he could start, he would have made the list, but he’s headed for the bullpen with a plus fastball and not enough command or secondary stuff to remain in the rotation."
Pretty surprising that he seems to feel that there's literally no chance of a major league career as a starter for Familia. The prevailing sentiment has indeed been pessimistic on the subject but most give him at least a slim shot. And I'm in that group as I think I'd need to see him really falter at one of these higher levels before I completely relegate him to relief.
There have been too many starters that have either survived or even thrived while featuring a mostly two-pitch repertoire to make me think otherwise. Look at a guy like Alexi Ogando who basically lives on his fastball and sharp slider alone, mixing in his sub-par change-up under 5% of the time. Now he admittedly has the luxury of leaning on an electric fastball, but hey it's not like Familia doesn't.
What do you think?
Will Jeurys Familia be able to remain a starter in the majors?
Yes (169 votes)
No (76 votes)
245 total votes