Carlos Beltran left the Mets for San Francisco two summers ago with the hope of playing in the World Series.
Beltran did his part, batting .323 with seven homers in 44 games with the Giants, but it wasn’t to be. Even so, Beltran believes the Mets got the better end of the deal that sent pitching prospect Zack Wheeler to New York.
“It worked out better for them,’’ Beltran recently said. “I thought we were going to go to the playoffs and it didn’t happen. But it is what it is. I took the chance of going to the team that was fighting for a playoff spot and it didn’t work out for me. But it worked out for the Mets.’’
While Beltran has a few more years left to his career, the ceiling seems unlimited for Wheeler, currently sidelined with a strained oblique muscle.
“All I’ve heard is he’s a good prospect,” Beltran said. “He has good stuff. I mean, he’s a young guy. I think they’ve got the people here to mold him to be the pitcher he can be for the organization – the ace that they’re looking for.’’
Beltran was impressed with the Stephen Strasburg comparisons Wheeler is getting, but that’s premature, as is the proclamation the Mets won the trade. It is even too soon to create a plaque for Strasburg in Cooperstown. As good as he appears, he has a lot to prove, like pitching a complete season.
Trades aren’t won or lost overnight. In this case, the Mets have the edge because Beltran left San Francisco. Even so, Wheeler has yet to pitch a game in the major leagues. He has his whole future ahead of him. There is the potential for injury and he could become the next Mike Pelfrey.
So far, the reviews have been favorable in terms of his stuff and poise. But, there is working the hitters and developing his secondary pitches.
There’s a lot of work to be done.
NOTE: I will be back around noon with another post.