MLB Trade Deadline: Did the New York Mets Just Form Their Next "Generation K"?
In the mid-1990s, the New York Mets boasted a young trio of pitchers who were supposed to revive the franchise and lead the orange and blue back to its level of dominance in the 80s.
Bill Pulsipher, Jason Isringhausen and Paul Wilson made up "Generation K," but due to various injuries, the trio never panned out.
Fast forward almost 15 years later, and the New York Mets appear to be on the fast track to creating another three-headed monster in their farm system.
After the deadline trade of Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants netted the Giants' top pitching prospect in Zack Wheeler, the future of the Mets' pitching staff appears to be destined for greatness.
Along with highly touted prospects Matt Harvey and Jenrry Mejia, the Mets have in place the makings of a dynamic pitching rotation for years to come.
Let's take a closer look at the three young pitching phenoms who may be able to lead the Mets back to the pinnacle of the baseball world.
Jenrry Mejia, RHP
After signing as an international free agent in 2007, Jenrry Mejia quickly caught the attention of the Mets' brass.
The Mets were so enamored with Mejia that they were willing to stunt his development as a starting pitcher in favor of bringing him up to the big league level out of spring training in 2010 as a reliever.
This move, while undeniably controversial at the time, also proved to be costly for the young fireballer's growth.
After posting a 4.62 ERA in 33 games with the Mets in 2010, new Mets management felt it would be for the best to allow Mejia to gain more experience and seasoning in the minor leagues exclusively as a starting pitcher.
However, Mejia was pulled from his first start of the 2011 season in Triple-A Buffalo with discomfort in his shoulder. Ultimately, Mejia underwent Tommy John surgery, causing him to miss the remainder of this year.
Despite the surgery the Mets are confident that Mejia will make a full recovery in time for spring training.
The 21-year-old's electric young arm, which has evoked comparisons to that of Doc Gooden, showed enough promise in 2010 for the Mets to count on Mejia as a future piece to the puzzle.
Matt Harvey, RHP
After being drafted by the Mets seventh overall in 2010, Matt Harvey has done nothing but impress.
Harvey signed too late to make his professional debut in 2010, but got off to a fast start in 2011. He posted an 8-2 record to go along with a 2.37 ERA with Single-A St. Lucie before being called up to Double-A Binghamton.
Harvey has struggled considerably since his recent call-up, posting an 0-3 record along with a 5.76 ERA. However, that's common place for a young pitcher and, at 22 years of age, hardly anybody in the Mets' organization is concerned over Harvey's recent growing pains.
One positive note is that his strikeout numbers are still there, as Harvey's punched out 38 batters in 29.2 innings pitched.
Expect Harvey to begin 2012 in Binghamton again, most likely being paired in the rotation with fellow phenom Zack Wheeler.
Zack Wheeler, RHP
In case you haven't heard by now, Wheeler, the sixth overall pick of the San Francisco Giants in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, was the prized prospect that Sandy Alderson acquired in the Carlos Beltran trade.
At 6'4" and 185 lbs, Wheeler possesses what scouts call a "perfect pitcher's body." However, it's not just his body that has scouts clamoring over him.
Wheeler has a lively arm, boasting a fastball that consistently sits in the mid-90s. He also utilizes a nasty 12-to-6 curveball.
The greatest knock against Wheeler in his professional career has been his lack of control, but that's a common theme among young pitchers.
The Mets brass feels that Wheeler is still about two years away from the big leagues, so he'll have more than enough time to work some of those kinks out.
Bottom line is, at 21 years of age, Wheeler is a dynamic prospect with all of the upside in the world.