Here are three names that Mets fans know all too well. Bill Pulsipher, Jason Isringhausen and Paul Wilson. Better known as Generation K, these three pitchers were supposed to usher in a new era of Mets baseball in the mid ’90s. The three pitchers would turn out to be busts of the highest caliber and outside of Isringhausen who developed into a solid closer, none would have a lengthy major league career. Pulsipher, Isringhausen and Wilson combined to win 31 games in New York and the lowest earned run average was by Isringhausen at 4.59.
Fast forward 20 years to Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard. Like Generation K, a name we dare not bestow upon them, these are three high profile arms with proven minor league track records. The comparisons are eerily similar. All of these up and comers had stellar seasons in the minors before being promoted to the majors, posting 100+ strikeouts to go along with 9+ wins and ERA’s in the 3′s. In fact, Matt Harvey had the highest ERA before being promoted at 3.32 (Isringhausen had the lowest with a 1.97 ERA in 1995).
The lesson to be learned is in trusting minor league pitching. Prospects pan out at an alarmingly low rate. On the rare occasion that a young team grows up together, dynasties are born.
The Mets are in a slightly different position now. Unlike in 1995, Harvey has already distinguished himself as a front of the line starter and Wheeler is in the process of doing the same. While neither is a fortified ace yet, you can see the road laid out in front of both pitchers.
So that leaves Syndergaard. If you buy into the idea that Wheeler is developing into a co-ace or even a #2 or #3 starter, then the odds that Syndergaard develops at that same level seems low. What are the odds that the Mets hit with all three guys? Just like flipping a coin, the odds of any single pitching prospect panning out has nothing to do with the pitcher that came before. Still, you can see the risk involved with holding onto Syndergaard, instead of trading him for a high caliber offensive player.
If you believe the rumors, Syndergaard might already be the one that is on his way out the door. Sandy Alderson seemed to be ready to offer him up in a trade for the Rockies Troy Tulowitzki according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. If you ask me, there are dozens of reasons to trade Syndergaard and they begin with how good Wheeler has looked this year and the anticipation of Harvey’s return in 2015. Throw in the recent emergence of Jacob deGrom as a force in the rotation and another top arm in Steven Matz along the way, Thor’s value to the Mets may be more in what he could bring us in a trade than what he can do in the rotation.
A Message For Our Readers
I wanted to take a brief moment to introduce myself to the MMO community. My name is Harris Decker and I have joined the team as the Managing Editor to assist Joe in bringing the best content to our amazing readers. Before joining MMO, I served as the Head Writer for The Knicks Blog and remain a contributor on that site in addition to running The Truth About Music, a pop culture blog that I launched when I was in college.
As with every single person at MMO, my goal is to bring the highest quality content to Mets fans all over the world. I have been a Mets fan since I was a little kid and witnessed some amazing moments both at Shea Stadium and to a lesser extent Citi Field. As we see better days ahead for the Mets I look forward to being a part of the team that shares in the glory, triumph and great joys of winning in New York, the greatest city in the world.