Zack Wheeler

Zack Wheeler

34-Year-Old PitcherSP
Philadelphia Phillies
Day-To-Day
Injury Back
2024 Fantasy Outlook
Wheeler heads into an interesting season in the final year of his five-year contract with Philadelphia. The righty has been everything the club had hoped for when it signed him to the deal as he has missed just five starts in his time with the club while giving the staff the consistency Aaron Nola could not. Wheeler had a strong regular season and an even stronger postseason with a 1.95 ERA over five games with 35 strikeouts and three walks in 27.2 innings of work. Wheeler turns 34 in the first third of the season and is pitching for his final big deal of his career. His four-seam fastball was exceptional last year with a .199 xBA and a 31% whiff rate, but his increased usage of the pitch has cut into the groundball tendencies from previous seasons. You should have supreme confidence in taking Wheeler as your staff ace because he has pitched like one as a Phillie and we see little reason why he won't do so again in what is likely his final year with the team. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
Rest of Season From Preseason
#28
ADP
$Signed a three-year, $126 million contract extension with the Phillies in March of 2024.
Returning for Minnesota series
PPhiladelphia Phillies
Back
July 14, 2024
Wheeler (back) played catch in the outfield Sunday and is expected to make his next start for the Phillies on July 22 or 23 versus the Twins in Minnesota, Matt Gelb of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
A bout with back spasms caused Wheeler to miss out on a start in the Phillies' final game before the All-Star break Sunday versus the Athletics, and it'll also prevent from making his second appearance in the Midsummer Classic on Tuesday. However, the back issue wasn't significant enough to force Wheeler to the injured list, and if he continues to remain free of setbacks in his throwing sessions over the next week, he should be ready to take the hill July 22 or 23 without any restrictions. With a 10-4 record, 2.70 ERA and 0.99 WHIP through 116.2 innings over his 16 outings on the season, Wheeler had been a leading candidate to start for the National League in the All-Star Game, but those duties will now fall to Pirates rookie phenom Paul Skenes.
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Pitching Stats
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2024
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2024 MLB Game Log
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2023 MLB Game Log
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2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
98
Last 10 Games
98
Last 5 Games
96
How many pitches does Zack Wheeler generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Zack Wheeler generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2022
 
 
-15%
BAA vs RHP
2024
 
 
-34%
BAA vs RHP
2023
 
 
-26%
BAA vs RHP
2022
 
 
-16%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2022vs Left .234 958 231 73 204 46 7 25
Since 2022vs Right .200 903 270 35 170 30 2 19
2024vs Left .229 251 58 25 51 14 1 8
2024vs Right .152 216 68 10 30 4 0 3
2023vs Left .261 413 90 25 99 23 2 10
2023vs Right .194 374 122 14 69 12 0 10
2022vs Left .201 294 83 23 54 9 4 7
2022vs Right .240 313 80 11 71 14 2 6
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2022
 
 
-25%
ERA at Home
2024
 
 
-58%
ERA at Home
2023
 
 
-23%
ERA on Road
2022
 
 
-52%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2022Home 2.68 0.97 238.2 18 7 0 9.9 2.1 0.8
Since 2022Away 3.59 1.12 223.0 17 10 0 9.6 2.1 0.9
2024Home 1.77 0.88 71.1 7 2 0 10.2 2.4 0.5
2024Away 4.17 1.17 45.1 3 2 0 8.9 3.2 1.4
2023Home 4.13 1.12 89.1 5 2 0 9.8 1.9 1.3
2023Away 3.16 1.04 102.2 8 4 0 10.1 1.8 0.6
2022Home 1.85 0.88 78.0 6 3 0 9.7 2.0 0.6
2022Away 3.84 1.20 75.0 6 4 0 9.5 2.0 1.0
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Zack Wheeler compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 120 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
3.60
 
K/9
9.7
 
BB/9
2.7
 
HR/9
0.8
 
Fastball
95.0 mph
 
ERA
2.70
 
WHIP
0.99
 
BABIP
.256
 
GB/FB
1.31
 
Left On Base
76.5%
 
Exit Velocity
80.5 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
3.1%
 
Spin Rate
2383 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
18.3%
 
Swinging Strike
12.8%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Zack Wheeler See More
MLB Barometer: Predicting Second-Half Risers
6 days ago
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Rankings for DraftKings Post-Break Best Ball
6 days ago
Todd Zola takes a look at second-half best ball leagues from DraftKings and has Shohei Ohtani topping his rankings in the format.
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Let's Take a Break
12 days ago
Philadelphia Phillies ace Zack Wheeler has been one of the top pitchers in baseball, and Todd Zola has him at the top of the final Weekly Pitcher Rankings before the All-Star break.
Mound Musings: Midseason Review – My 2024 “Home” League Pitching Staff
14 days ago
Brad Johnson offers a midseason glimpse into his favorite fantasy league's team and is patiently waiting for Mets pitcher Kodai Senga to make his first start of the season.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, MLB Best Bets & Player Props, July 3
15 days ago
Shohei Ohtani's hot-hitting ways will boost the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Juan Carlos Blanco features that game and two others in his MLB Best Bets and Player Props for July 3.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
Wheeler was barely beaten out for the National League Cy Young Award in 2021 by Corbin Burnes, and the Phillies ace responded with another impressive campaign last year. Wheeler missed a month with forearm tendinitis to take him out of the Cy Young race for 2022, but he still looked the part in 26 starts with a 2.82 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 163:34 K:BB across 153 innings. The right-hander saw a minor dip in both his strikeout and walk rates, though his K-BB% (21.3 percent) is still the second-best figure of his eight-year career. He lost a tick off his fastball after he averaged about 97 mph over the past couple seasons, but there's not much cause for concern given he still averaged nearly 96 mph in 2022. Wheeler will turn 33 years old in May, but he's established himself as an ace the past couple years and has shown no signs of slowing down.
Wheeler's 2.92 ERA in 2020 represented a career low, but it was reasonable to doubt its repeatability given that it came in a shortened season and was paired with a career-low 18.4 K%. Rather than having his ERA rise to match his peripherals in 2021, he instead improved his ERA again to 2.78, and this time it looked fully deserved. He took a massive step forward in his strikeout rate, which came in at a career-high 29.1%, while cutting his walk rate to a career-low 5.4% and maintaining a solidly above-average 49.8% groundball rate. No other pitcher who threw at least 100 innings met all three of those rate stats, and only Clayton Kershaw came within two percentage points of all three. There's some risk here in that Wheeler has only pitched at this level once, and he's heading into his age-32 season, but that all-around excellence means he can fall off a fair amount and still remain quite good. There's some injury concern following last year's heavy workload as he dealt with shoulder soreness during the offseason, resulting in a delayed start to spring training. Wheeler won't be ready for Opening Day but isn't expected to miss much time beyond that, though it's worth keeping an eye on his status throughout the spring.
There was some concern last year that the birth of Wheeler's first child could cause him to opt out of his first season in Philadelphia. Not only did he stick around the entire campaign, however, he wound up with arguably a career year, setting career bests in ERA (2.92) and FIP (3.22) while posting his second-lowest WHIP (1.17). His underlying numbers changed fairly significantly, though, making him somewhat difficult to evaluate heading into this season. He produced a career-low 18.4 K%, down more than five ticks from his 2019 numbers, but made up for it with a career-best 5.6 BB% and a career-high 55.9% groundball rate, the latter more than 12 points higher than his 43.2% groundball rate from 2019. If he gets some of his strikeouts back while keeping his walk and groundball gains, he could take another step forward, though he could of course also lose the positive changes while not regaining any whiffs.
After throwing a career-high 195.1 innings in 2019, Wheeler declined the Mets' qualifying offer and ultimately signed a five-year, $118 million deal with the Phillies. The 29-year-old improved his average fastball velocity to 96.7 mph (fourth among qualified starters) and the pitch also had above-average spin. The slider was a plus and Wheeler leaned on his changeup a little more to strong results. He was especially impressive after the break, posting a 2.83 ERA and 5.0 BB% in his final 76.1 innings, though Wheeler once again underperformed the estimators overall. Elbow issues cost Wheeler two full years in the middle of the decade, but he did enough on the field over the past two seasons to warrant a sizable financial commitment. The Mets had a bottom-five defense last year, and with a significantly better one behind him, Wheeler should benefit. This is probably the last chance for a full-on ace breakout.
Wheeler logged 17 erratic starts in 2017, but that was an achievement, considering he was working his way back after two lost seasons due to Tommy John surgery and a subsequent flexor pronator issue. As is the case with many TJS patients, Wheeler’s control didn't return until the second post-surgery season, and his velocity followed suit during his brilliant 2018. The former top prospect cut his HR/9 by more than half, maintained his almost-great K/9 and led starting pitchers (min. 500 batted-ball events) with an 84.7 average exit velocity. The Mets wisely shut him down in September to limit his innings during a meaningless season after he dazzled with a 1.8 BB/9 and 1.68 ERA in the second half. At just 28 years old, Wheeler has the potential to take another step forward in 2019. Don’t bank on more starts, but Wheeler's skills are close to ace-level, and the best part is you don't have to pay an ace price.
After missing two entire seasons rehabbing from Tommy John surgery followed by a flexor strain issue, Wheeler's prognosis in 2017 was anyone's guess. After topping out at 97 mph in the spring, Wheeler broke camp as the fourth starter, starting 13 games before being sidelined with biceps tendinitis. Wheeler returned for four more outings before he was shelved again, this time with a stress reaction in his throwing arm. After setbacks in his recovery, Wheeler was shut down for good with an eye toward returning at 100 percent in 2018. For the season, Wheeler was expectedly inconsistent, especially with control. He was also victimized by the long ball, serving up 15 homers in only 86.1 stanzas. Wheeler is expected to be ready to go for spring training, where he'll again look to impress and earn a spot in the Mets' rotation. He continues to have mid-rotation upside, but remains a health and performance risk.
Wheeler underwent Tommy John surgery in March of 2015, with an anticipated return to the majors around July of the 2016 campaign. In early June, that target was moved to after the All-Star break as the one-time, top prospect was slow to work breaking pitches into his recovery. In late June, Wheeler experienced soreness in his throwing elbow which turned out to be sensory nerve irritation, treatable with a cortisone injection. The right-hander continued his rehab, finally throwing in a game for High-A St. Lucie on August 6, tossing 17 pitches with excellent velocity. However, Wheeler felt more elbow soreness and was diagnosed with a mild flexor strain. This nixed Wheeler's return in 2016 and shut him down completely until pitchers and catchers report to spring training in February. His progress is worth monitoring in the spring, but for now, Wheeler is a reserve-round flier at best.
Concerns regarding the health of Wheeler's pitching elbow began to surface late in 2014 (among Mets officials, not publicly), but doctors initially diagnosed the right-hander with tendinitis, and Wheeler himself later said that he never considered skipping a start. However, after more tenderness in spring training, Wheeler was sent for an MRI, which revealed a completely torn ulnar collateral ligament. Tommy John surgery followed, and due to the extensive damage to the ligament, Wheeler was not cleared to resume throwing on flat ground until almost six months later. He appeared on the verge of a breakout before the injury, having struck out a batter per inning with improved groundball and walk rates over 185.1 frames in 2014. We likely won't get a glimpse at Wheeler until June, making him a risky target in single-season leagues. If Wheeler comes back and continues to flash plus stuff with mid-90s heat, he could be a difference maker down the stretch, but that is what FAAB dollars are for.
Wheeler was once considered a brighter prospect than Matt Harvey. It wasn’t an unreasonable position by any stretch. Inconsistency plagued Wheeler's first half of 2014. Just look at this 10-start run that began in early-May: 0, 5, 5, 2, 1, 0, 4, 4, 0, 6, and 1 earned run in 63 innings with 62 strikeouts, but just a 2.2 K:BB ratio. He found the missing consistency in the second half, allowing more than three earned just once in 15 starts from July through September. He wound up with a 2.80 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 90 innings while boosting his K:BB ratio a more palatable 2.5 mark. The biggest issue right now is the walk rate. He can’t live at 10 percent and still be a frontline option, but this is the kind of profile that you bet on. Unfortunately, a potential breakout will have to wait at least one more year, as Wheeler was diagnosed with a torn UCL in March and will miss the entire 2015 campaign due to Tommy John surgery.
The Mets followed a similar approach with Wheeler as they did with Matt Harvey by having him come to camp with the team, start the year in the minors, and then promoting him during the summer. In Wheeler's case, he was called up in mid-June and quickly showed he belonged. Wheeler got better as the year wore on, and his challenge for the future is to improve his control, as walks, which have been an issue in the past, prevented him from going deep into games at times and resulted in too many baserunners. He was shut down before his last start with shoulder stiffness, and with Matt Harvey out at the time due to an elbow injury, the Mets opted to be cautious with the young stud. Wheeler, who mixes a mid-90s fastball that tops out at 97 mph with a nasty mid-70s curveball and work-in-progress changeup, should open 2014 as the Mets' No. 2 or No.3 starter.
Wheeler handled his promotion to Double-A well enough to get a taste of Buffalo at the end of the season, although his walk rate (4.4 BB/9) increased during his six-start run after the bump. The Mets have indicated plans to send him back to Triple-A for the start of 2013, following a similar development plan as Matt Harvey and making him a part of their rotation during the middle of the season. When opposing hitters make contact, they rarely hit Wheeler hard, as evidenced by an .078 ISO against last season. If he can take the necessary steps to improve his control, there is reason to believe that he can still develop into a frontline starter.
Wheeler immediately became the Mets' top prospect after he was acquired from San Francisco for Carlos Beltran in July. The sixth overall pick in 2009, Wheeler spent all of 2011 in High-A, tearing through San Jose and St. Lucie. He mixes a mid-90s fastball that tops out at 97 mph with a mid-70s nasty curveball and work-in-progress change-up that made some strides last year. Wheeler is also working on a cut-fastball, and if he can refine either the change or cutter, it would push him to possible ace status. Wheeler will likely spend all of 2012 between Double- and Triple-A before making his arrival at Citi Field in 2013.
Wheeler, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2009 draft, battled some wildness during his first year in professional baseball last season, posting a 5.9 BB/9IP ratio. However, he also recorded an impressive 10.8 K/9IP ratio as a 20-year-old in Double-A, revealing plenty of long-term upside. Wheeler also flashed a strong groundball rate and didn't allow a single home run over 58.2 innings. He's still a couple of years from contributing at the big league level, but he has the potential to be a future No. 1 starter.
San Francisco selected Wheeler in the first round of the 2009 draft, sixth overall, out of high school in Georgia. The right-hander has a plus fastball that reaches the low-to-mid 90s and a power curve. Look for the Giants to improve upon his almost non-existent changeup, as Wheeler opens 2010 in Low-A as already one of the team’s better prospects.
More Fantasy News
Won't start Sunday
PPhiladelphia Phillies
Back
July 11, 2024
Wheeler (back) won't make his scheduled start Sunday against the Athletics, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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MRI negative, iffy for Sunday
PPhiladelphia Phillies
Back
July 10, 2024
Phillies manager Rob Thomson said Wednesday that Wheeler (back) isn't certain to make his next start Sunday against the Athletics, though an MRI on the right-hander's back revealed no structural damage, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports. "We're going to be very cautious with him... We'll know [Thursday]," Thomson said, when asked about Wheeler's status for Sunday.
ANALYSIS
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Removed with back tightness
PPhiladelphia Phillies
Back
July 9, 2024
Wheeler was removed from his start Tuesday against the Dodgers due to left lower-back tightness, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Takes no-decision Wednesday
PPhiladelphia Phillies
July 3, 2024
Wheeler allowed two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out seven over six innings in a no-decision versus the Cubs on Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
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Goes 6.2 frames in no-decision
PPhiladelphia Phillies
June 27, 2024
Wheeler allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out five batters over 6.2 innings in a no-decision against Miami on Thursday.
ANALYSIS
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Latest Fantasy Rumors
Favorite for NL Cy Young
PPhiladelphia Phillies
May 15, 2024
Wheeler was the top vote getter in the National League in MLB.com's latest poll for the Cy Young Award.
ANALYSIS
Wheeler is off to a strong start in 2024 with a 2.53 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 65:16 K:BB over 53.1 innings, which helped him secure first-place votes from 19 of 41 respondents in the poll. The veteran right-hander has been arguably the most reliable ace in baseball since he signed with the Phillies in 2020, with a 3.02 ERA in 110 starts. He won't be going anywhere anytime soon after he inked a three-year, $126 million extension with Philadelphia in March.
See All MLB Rumors