No. 1: Zack Wheeler
One of Dave Dombrowski's best moves since becoming president of baseball operations is signing Zack Wheeler. The hard-throwing right-hander had an up-and-down career as a member of the New York Mets. Tommy John surgery robbed him of nearly two seasons in 2015 and 2016, and general inconsistency followed when he returned to the Mets rotation on a regular basis in 2017.
Don't let the numbers fool you. Zack Wheeler is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. A yearly victim of poor run support, Wheeler has a record of 43-25 for the Phillies since joining the club in 2020. The one-time All-Star (2021) finished sixth in NL Cy Young Award voting this past season. Could Wheeler finally get the recognition he deserves in 2024?
In 2023, Wheeler went 13-6 with a 3.61 ERA in 32 starts and 212 strikeouts in 192 innings. The numbers may not scream Cy Young winner, but Wheeler was a victim of chronic poor run support last season. His 96 mph four-seamer (.199 BA) and 84.4 mph sweeper (.198 BA) were dominant offerings in 2023. It's not out of the realm of possibility to think that better run support and improved outfield defense will benefit Wheeler in 2024.
Wheeler enters the 2024 season as the ace of the Phillies rotation. With rumors of a spring training contract extension persistent throughout the offseason, Phillies fans are hopeful that all of this media noise turns into a reality when the team reconvenes in Clearwater in just under two weeks.
Have we seen the best of Wheeler? All signs point to a career year in 2024, and that's why Zack Wheeler is No. 1 on our Phillies starting pitching power rankings.