Posted by Ernest Dove at 2:00 PM
Well, the Mack's Mets crew are gonna be all over the rule 5 draft happenings like white on....... well you get the point. And unless Niese or Gee is traded before this Friday morning weekly post is published, we gonna also do plenty of reading throughout Mets universe about rumors. So, since we technically won't even know who will be all the confirmed guys on the 25 man this coming year anyway, why not stretch it out another full year, and dream about what might be.
There's no point in speculating and counting for injuries, because life happens, especially in the game of baseball to pitchers. So throw that out the window. Mets + post Madoff wilpons = cheap.... blah blah blah,, that sentiment has been played out, so we can't assume they will force our GM to trade away a Harvey, Wheeler or deGom while their value is at its peak, so scratch that to. Then, what do you have?
As has been the case (seemingly), since October 2013, it all starts with Matt Harvey. Harvey basically bypassed the whole rookie growing pains thing, and seemingly pretended to be a 27 year old international star who transferred over from Cuba or China, and he just hit the ground running. So lets get to it. Matt Harvey, in 2016, will have had another full year removed from the surgery. His innings cap will be gone, and if you take a quick peek atop the National League East, you may notice that a certain ace looked pretty darn decent in his second year removed from the same surgery (hey, no two elbows are alike, but dedication and drive is what makes that dude in DC an ace, and what makes Matt Harvey, Matt Harvey.
Anyway, here's the deal, there is no current legit argument against Matt Harvey being Harvey, not only in 2015, but also possibly being one of the top 5 pitchers in baseball in 2016 (I've seen articles where others have quoted out this projection).
Then there's Zack Wheeler. You know, the younger dude who was projected to be better and have more overall talent then Harvey in the first place? At times, in 2014, Zack Wheeler looked unhittable, (see pretty much every Mets-Marlins game). When the ball is down, the walks are down, the runs are DOWN. Zack Wheeler can follow high 90s Harvey heat with high 90s Wheelz. Wheeler, with another year of experience and managing of control, can match the projected act in overall production.
Hey, don't forget about the hair. You know, the rookie sensation with the little d and big G in the name. Jacob deGrom, in 2016, will be a nice year clear from the dreaded, stereotypical, mythical issue of the 'sophomore slump'. For deGrom, check out the quick Wheeler line about keeping ball down, and double the thought. We can say the rookie year was a fluke, but people said that about Lagares as a hitter, and he managed to maintain a decent average, and win a GOLD GLOVE. So, why can't deGrom, whose minor league coaches and experts predicted would be legit, be LEGIT.
The 4th and 5th spots can now get tricky. Skipping through all drama of rookie mistakes, super 2s and battle of being a starter vs a reliever, here's what I got. I've got Noah Syndergaard as the SP4, and Steven Matz as the SP5.
Regarding good old Thor, he's the youngest of the bunch. However, just like Wheeler before him, he's also been considered to actually have more upside then the previously succeeding starting pitcher which electrified fans the year prior. In 2016, Noah may be in his 'sophomore slump'. He may also be clear of any real innings caps or restrictions, so the sky is he limit for the young man who will also touch 97 98 99 on the gun, leaving teams with NO room for rest even during a 4 game series.
Last but not least I go with Matz, (sorry Montero). Matz just finished up an incredible year with an incredible AA ball performance for the ages (well, maybe not that important but fun to see on my phone while walking to the local casino that night). My humble assumption is that we may not possibly see Matz until September 2015, so who knows if by 2016 its still considered a sophomore slump or not.
However, there you have it. Harvey has already been called elite. Wheeler has said to have elite stuff. deGrom has surprised, while also solidifying the confidence shown in him by others with his performance. The Almighty Thor already has a cool nickname, and 'hook from hell' (I love that quote). And I've seen at least one random writer/scout/evaluator dare to compare Matz to Clayton Kershaw.
So, again, with a rotation like that (ignore health worries, and nobody is a free agent in 2016 or 2017 in the group), who else can project with equal 1-5 talent?
5 possible top-of-the-rotation caliber pitchers. All on the same team. All with such hype and high ceilings. All under TEAM CONTROL, and all seemingly without serious innings caps/restrictions. What more can you ask for. And, more importantly, what better overall talent will be found I baseball during this time?