The New York Mets today announced that they have acquired minor league righthanded pitcher Zack Wheeler from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for outfielder Carlos Beltran and cash considerations.
Wheeler, the Giants’ first-round selection and the sixth player picked overall in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, is 7-5 with a 3.99 ERA (39 earned runs/88.0 innings) with 98 strikeouts this season for San Francisco’s Advanced Class-A affiliate in San Jose. The 21-year-old was named a California League mid-season All-Star and ranks fourth in the league with a .224 batting average against and fourth with 10.02 strikeouts per nine innings.
“We’re excited to add a player of Zack’s caliber to our organization,” said Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson. “Zack is one of the top pitching prospects in the game and we are fortunate to have him in our system.”
Wheeler began his professional career in 2010 at Augusta (A) of the South Atlantic League, where he went 3-3 with a 3.99 ERA (26 earned runs/58.2 innings) and 70 strikeouts in 21 games (13 starts). He pitched in Major League Baseball’s Futures Game last summer earning a hold with a scoreless inning.
Baseball America ranked Wheeler as the 35th best prospect in minor league baseball in their mid-season report. The publication also ranked him as the top pitcher in the Giants’ minor league system.
The 6-4, 185-pounder graduated from East Paulding High School in Georgia and was named Gatorade Georgia Player of the Year for the 2008-2009 season after posting a 9-0 record with a 0.54 ERA.
Beltran is batting .289 this season, with a National League-high 30 doubles, 15 home runs and 66 RBI. During his career with the Mets, Beltran hit .280 with 149 home runs and 559 RBI. He signed a seven-year deal with New York on January 11, 2005.
“We thank Carlos for all he has done for this organization – both on and off the field – and wish him well,” Alderson said. “It has been a pleasure for me personally to know and be able to work with Carlos. He has been the consummate professional.”
Alderson will address the media on a conference call at noon today.