As Zack Wheeler wrapped up the 10th start of his young and promising career on Saturday night, I was all set to compare his first ten against Matt Harvey‘s until I saw the incredible job that Brian Joura did over at Mets 360. Rather than churn out 500 words to basically say the same thing, I figure you would all be better served by reading what Brian had to say and let him do all the heavy lifting.
Most intriguing were his two charts, one for you traditionalists, and the second one which is the one that is most revealing to me and says a lot.
“There is a lot to chew on in the above chart,” Brian says. “Both pitchers were remarkably similar in their ability to limit BABIP, a skill Harvey has duplicated here in 2013 with a .258 mark this season. However, we see a huge difference in their ERA estimators. Given Harvey’s abundance of strikeouts and Wheeler’s elevated HR rate, the difference in FIP is not a big surprise. But even after we normalize homers, Harvey still enjoys a substantial advantage in xFIP.”
This is not intended by Brian (or myself) to be some sort of “Harvey’s Better” post. Rather it puts into perspective just how remarkable and special Harvey is, even when compared to what has so far been an excellent rookie season for Zack Wheeler.
Aside from the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, you can pit any other National League pitcher up against Harvey and you’ll likely get the same disparity and in fact even more separation than what you see here.
This is further validation that in Harvey we may just have our Tom Seaver, and so far, handedness aside, in Wheeler we may have our Jerry Koosman. Two foundation pieces for a rotation that is shaping up to be one of the most dominant forces in the league and possibly in the game once those other pieces arrive (Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, etc.) as soon as next season.
This is an exciting time to be a Mets fan… I know there are still some of you bandwagon fans that are holding out for more, but for those of us who can put what we are seeing into it’s proper context, it’s clear that our future is going to be a bright one.