Zack Wheeler appears to be moving away from the mechanics he had with the Giants towards a return to the way he threw the ball in high school.
He alluded to this on the video I posted yesterday. In regards to a question about what he’s working on:
“I’m just trying to go out there and be consistent every time. Commanding all of my pitches. And like I said, going back to my new or old windup like I had in high school, my old mechanics, I think that’s going to help out a lot. “
Tim Bontemps in the New York Post elaborates after Wheeler’s first start for St. Lucie:
One thing Wheeler was pleased about was his control. After struggling with walks this season with the Giants, he decided to make some changes to his mechanics two starts before he was traded.
Since the switch, Wheeler has walked a combined two batters in his last 15 1/3 innings, after walking 45 batters in his first 76 2/3 innings this season.
“I’m back to what I was doing in high school — a high leg kick and high hands in my windup,” he said. “Before, the Giants tried to settle me down a little bit, and I guess settle down my motion.
“But I felt like I was counting . . . I was just thinking way too much. I had too much time, and it wasn’t really flowing. I just feel more comfortable now.”
I’d be curious to see what the Mets’ reaction is to all of this. Obviously, the team has scouted him extensively, both as a professional and as an amateur and has to have liked, and liked a lot, what he was doing. If Wheeler’s more comfortable with a high leg kick and high hands, as long as he stays on time in his windup, well, that’s what he should stick with. Flow in a windup is good. Tempo is good.
This video, embedded below, of Wheeler taken this year in San Jose from Project Prospect shows a normal enough looking leg kick and a delivery where his hands stay high. It does look like he’s a little tentative through the beginnings of the windup, but it’s hard to say anything definitive without having seen him a lot now and in high school.
Judge for yourself.