Filed under: San Francisco Giants
By Wes Yee
Took in last night’s San Jose Giants game featuring Giants top prospect, RHP Zack Wheeler. Wheeler was outstanding, going seven shutout innings with 12 strikeouts. He primarily featured an 88-89 MPH 2-seam fastball with run when pitching early in the count and dialed up his four seam as high as 96 MPH as a put away pitch. Early in the game he showed a 70-72 MPH changeup and a 75 MPH sharp spike curveball. His delivery is a bit herky-jerky with a slow leg kick and accelerated drive towards home. His arm action appears clean and he keeps his weight back well.
Wheeler projects as a #1 or #2 SP at the major league level, but will need to throw his 4-seamer more often to keep big league hitter’s respect. He threw probably 60-70% 2-seam fastballs at lower velocity. He seemed to have great confidence in his curve while limiting the usage of his changeup. The curve is a plus pitch that will get swingthroughs at all levels. It’s likely that he’ll be sent to AA sometime soon, as he showed improved command. The Giants have to like what they’ve seen in 2011, as he’s recorded over a strikeout per inning. He’s a valuable trade piece who could push for a call up as soon as 2012.
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