Phillies: Power Ranking the Top 5 Free Agent Pitchers
The Phillies will have plenty of options on the free agent market to restock their pitching staff.
The Phillies starting pitchers were, quite frankly, horrendous in 2019 after the front office gave a crew of young arms one last opportunity to prove themselves. They allowed the 11th most runs in baseball, could barely pitch through six innings, and had only 36 percent of their starts be deemed “quality.”
This offseason the Phillies will have plenty of options on the free agent market to restock their pitching staff. A hometown hero, playoff ace, and Cy Young contender will all be on the open market this offseason, the perfect storm for the Phillies front office to add a piece or two.
Here are a couple of names to watch for on the starting pitching market for the Phillies.
Jake Odorizzi: 29 years old, right-handed, 3.51 ERA in 2019, had a career high 15 wins in 2019 and was selected to his first All-Star game.
Cole Hamels: 35 years old, left-handed, 3.81 ERA in 2019, 4 career All-Star selections and a World Series win with the Phillies in 2008.
Tanner Roark: 33 years old, right-handed, 4.24 ERA with Cincinnati in 2019, averaged 8.8 Ks per nine innings.
#5 Zack Wheeler
One of the hottest names this past trade deadline, the New York Mets righty is expected to receive a fair amount of attention this offseason. At just 29 years old and only five years of work under his belt, many feel Wheeler is set up to enter his prime any second now. With 23 wins and 374 strikeouts in his past two seasons, Wheeler will be sure to attract pricey offers from a multitude of teams, both contending and rebuilding.
Despite a raise in ERA and WHIP from Wheeler this season compared to 2018 (3.31 to 3.96 and 1.124 to 1.259), he did manage to improve slightly in a few categories. Wheeler’s strikeout rate and walk rate both improved by a few percentages. Seeing as the Mets just parted ways with a seemingly below average manager in Mickey Calloway, the general consensus is Wheeler can continue to get better under different leadership.
At 6’ 4” and roughly 200lbs, Wheeler is your stereotypical “power pitcher”. He relies heavily on his four-seam fastball, utilizing it close to 60% of the time. With an average velocity of 97 mph along with some sinking action, it’s understandable why scouts around the league are so high on him. His strikeout pitch is a slider, one that he throws at an absurd 91/92mph. With an opponent batting average of just .230 and a top speed of 95 mph, it works wonders late in at-bats.
Of the 5 players to be listed, Wheeler is the one I am most confident in saying will change teams this winter. The Mets just recently acquired a new starter in Marcus Stroman, and Wheeler is all but gone according to sny.tv. Like most contracts, the highest bidder probably lands Wheeler this offseason.