Report Card Grades for Zack Wheeler and Wil Myers' Much-Anticipated MLB Debuts
Two more elite prospects made their MLB debuts on Tuesday, adding to the wave of extremely talented rookies.
The New York Mets sent Zack Wheeler to the mound for the first time, while the Tampa Bay Rays unveiled Wil Myers, one of the best hitting prospects in the country.
There have been quite a few spectacular MLB debuts so far this year, but did Wheeler and Myers keep that trend going? Let's take a look at how each mega-prospect fared in their big league debuts.
Wil Myers, Power (Game 1): C
Wil Myers didn't exactly show off the powerful bat that smashed 14 home runs in 64 games games at Triple-A Durham this season.
As you can see in his first at-bat, Myers swings at the very first pitch and gets the fastball he wants. However, he just misses and it barely even clears the infield.
While his power would improve from there, he would still only fly out to right and center and strikeout looking.
It was a disappointing start for Myers in terms of power, and we're still waiting to him get a hold of a ball.
Wil Myers, Contact (Game 1): D
If there was anything worse than Myers' power in his first game, it was his contact.
Myers got the bat on the ball in three of his four at-bats, but he never really got solid contact, lifting three easy pop-ups and striking out looking.
He didn't swing and miss much, but Myers couldn't even challenge the defense.
Wil Myers, Fielding (Game 1): C-
Sadly, Myers didn't make up for his pitiful slugging performance on defense, possibly hurting himself even more.
Myers isn't known as an incredible athlete who can field like Willie Mays, and his performance in the field Tuesday was poor.
While he did make all the routine plays, Myers wasn't as quick to the ball as we'd like to see, surrendering two triples out in right field. His arm also looked weak at times, which is not something you want to see from your outfielders.
Wil Myers, Final Grade (Game 1): C-
It was a rough start to Myers' MLB career.
Not only did he struggle at the dish, going 0-for-4, but his fielding was subpar and he didn't do anything to impress fans.
While this was obviously just one game, we need to see a lot more from Myers if he is going to live up to the hype.
Zack Wheeler, Control: D
I hate to get what turned out to be a good start off with a horrible grade, but Zack Wheeler's control was pitiful against the Braves.
Of his 102 pitches, only 55 were strikes, which is simply pathetic. He also walked five batters, which is more than the four hits he let up.
While he wasn't throwing wild pitches, Wheeler wasn't hitting the strike zone either, which is why he could only go six innings.
Zack Wheeler, Velocity: A-
We knew that this kid could throw pretty hard, and he didn't disappoint in his debut.
While there were rumors that he could hit 98 or even 99 mph, Wheeler's consistent velocity of 95 or 96 mph throughout the night was impressive. His slider also hit 88 mph on a consistent basis.
We've seen young prospects like Stephen Strasburg and even Gerrit Cole use high velocity as the centerpiece in their pitching arsenal, and it looks like Wheeler has the speed to do so as well.
Zack Wheeler, High-Pressure Situations: A+
Zack Wheeler didn't make things easy on himself, but he kept finding ways to work out of jams.
The Atlanta Braves sent 10 batters to the plate with runners in scoring position against Wheeler, and not a single one could get a hit off him.
Wheeler allowed nine runners to reach base and wasn't helped by his catcher Anthony Recker's throwing error that allowed Andrelton Simmons to reach third base. However, Wheeler didn't let anyone get as far as Simmons did and got Jason Heyward to ground into a double play.
It was almost impossible to get past Wheeler when runners were on base, and he put on a show when it mattered most.
Zack Wheeler, Final Grade: B+
It's tough not to give Wheeler an A after throwing six shutout innings and mowing down opponents with runners in scoring position, but his control really brought his final grade down.
Wheeler's final line was very impressive:
Wil Myers, Contact (Game 2): C+
Wil Myers ripped his first hit of his MLB career in the second inning of his second game, driving it to left.
While another strikeout (looking) marred an otherwise solid game in terms of making contact, Myers still showed signs of improvement.
He still isn't where he needs to be, but he's getting there.
Wil Myers, Power (Game 2): B-
We still haven't seen Myers' power on display, but at least he had enough power in the second game to make his three at-bats count.
While his shot to left was the obvious highlight of his night, his pop-out in his third at-bat was better than his first pop-out in the first game.
Myers looks like he is slowly getting more comfortable with each at-bat.
Wil Myers, Fielding (Game 2): A-
Myers was lackluster defensively in his first game, but he changed that in the second.
In the third inning of the game, Myers made a nice grab in right field off the bat of Jose Iglesias.
He made all the routine plays again, and while his arm could be better, there was noticeable improvement in terms of how he made plays.
Wil Myers, Final Grade (Game 2): B
To be fair, 1-for-3 with a strikeout and a single isn't the type of line you want to see from your superstar prospect, but it's still a solid effort at the plate.
Myers' fielding and approach at the plate definitely improved in the second game of the doubleheader, as he seemed to adjust to the pressure.
It's tough for young hitters to succeed early on despite what we've seen from Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Yasiel Puig. Don't expect Myers to put up those kinds of numbers, but he is getting more comfortable, and Rays fans have to be happy with that.