From Tom Seaver and Les Rohr to Zack Wheeler, a List of Met Debuts

That’s right, Zack Wheeler pitches tonight, in case you are living under a rock and haven’t heard. And as Jimmy pointed out yesterday, it is exciting when a young pitching prospect comes up and makes his first start. That got me to thinking about all the pitchers who have come before Zack. At first the greats come to mind, Seaver, Koosman, Ryan, and Gooden. Jimmy already has compared Zack to Ron Darling, who was also a first round draft choice and came to the Mets via trade. And so as we all root for Zack to become the next big thing, my mind wandered past the greats — and to all who came before him, to start their careers as Mets.

Randy-SterlingThat is a crazy long list, so I decided to pare it down. Other than me, was anyone really convinced John Pacella was going to be the next big thing?  So listed below are all the pitchers that the New York Mets parted a Number One pick to acquire (I know, The Giants picked Zack but by now it hardly feels that way), who made their major league starting debut with the Mets. The first row shows how they did in that initial outing, the second row, their entire career. If you had forgotten where in the first round we picked Randy Sterling (fourth!) don’t worry, that is the first piece of information. Since Tom Seaver is a tough call but I thought people would want to see him I called him Hat, and as Brent Strom was picked in the old supplemental draft I called him Sup. One last word before the list. I would like a moment of silence for all of those Mets number one picks who never made it to the majors. Cliff Speck, Dave Proctor, Chris Roberts, Jon Ward, Kirk Presley, Nathan Vineyard, and Bradley Holt, you are gone and forgotten.

And now that we have that out of the way, here is the list. And remember this, no matter what Zack does tonight, Les Rohr had a better debut than Tom Seaver.

Pick Player Debut IP W-L ERA BB SO
Hat Seaver 4/13/1967 5.1 ND 3.38 4 8
Career IP W L ERA BB SO
4783.0 311 205 2.86 1390 3640
Player Debut IP W-L ERA BB SO
2 Rohr 9/19/1967 6.0 W 3.00 3 6
Career IP W L ERA BB SO
24.1 2 3 3.70 17 20
Player Debut IP W-L ERA BB SO
4 Matlack 7/11/1971 7.0 ND 2.57 0 1
Career IP W L ERA BB SO
2363.0 125 126 3.18 638 1516
Player Debut IP W-L ERA BB SO
Sup Strom 7/31/1972 6.2 ND 1.35 4 7
Career IP W L ERA BB SO
501.0 22 39 3.95 180 278
Player Debut IP W-L ERA BB SO
4 Sterling 9/16/1974 5.2 W 3.18 3 2
Career IP W L ERA BB SO
9.1 1 1 4.82 3 2
Player Debut IP W-L ERA BB SO
2 Leary 4/12/1981 2.0 ND 0.00 1 3
Career IP W L ERA BB SO
1491.1 78 105 4.36 535 888
Player Debut IP W-L ERA BB SO
5 Gooden 4/7/1984 5.0 W 1.80 2 5
Career IP W L ERA BB SO
2800.2 194 112 3.51 954 2293
Player Debut IP W-L ERA BB SO
27 Schiraldi 9/1/1984 3.1 ND 10.80 0 2
Career IP W L ERA BB SO
553.1 32 39 4.28 267 471
Player Debut IP W-L ERA BB SO
1 Wilson 4/4/1996 6.0 ND 4.50 2 6
Career IP W L ERA BB SO
941.2 40 58 4.86 336 619
Player Debut IP W-L ERA BB SO
36 Jones 8/14/1993 6.0 W 1.50 1 3
Career IP W L ERA BB SO
1518.2 89 83 4.36 412 887
Player Debut IP W-L ERA BB SO
18 Heilman 6/26/2003 6.0 L 1.50 2 2
Career IP W L ERA BB SO
630.0 35 46 4.40 256 548
Player Debut IP W-L ERA BB SO
9 Pelfrey 7/8/2006 5.0 W 3.60 4 3
Career IP W L ERA BB SO
961.0 53 60 4.48 339 541
Player Debut IP W-L ERA BB SO
3 Humber 9/26/2007 4.0 ND 7.71 2 0
Career IP W L ERA BB SO
352.0 16 23 5.34 124 256
Player Debut IP W-L ERA BB SO
7 Harvey 7/26/2012 5.1 W 0.00 3 11
Career IP W L ERA BB SO
156.1 8 6 2.30 46 172

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4 comments

  1. Yes, a bunch of statistics to tell us what we already know: One start means nothing. It’s interesting to read the names though, and the memories that come with them. Our reasonable, well-founded hopes for Leary and Humber, Wilson and Heilman, Matlack and Gooden. Now we add Zack Wheeler to that list, cross our fingers, and hope. In most cases, health remains the single most important factor in the success or failure of the top pitching prospect.

  2. W.k. kortas says:

    What I always wondered is how Pacella, who was wild low and didn’t have the stuff to be wild high, could never ever ever find a way to keep his cap on.

  3. I was always amazed by his eyebrows. No, wait, that’s Danny Frisella.

    http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/pics/dan_frisella_autograph.jpg

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