Zack Wheeler of the New York Mets had a tough assignment for his major league debut on Tuesday night.
Not only was the 23-year-old pitcher facing Atlanta, the National League’s sixth-highest scoring team this season, but he had a tough act to follow in the back end of a day/night doubleheader.
Earlier in the day, fellow hurler Matt Harvey flirted with a no-hitter in a 4-3 Mets victory, striking out 13 in seven solid innings (three hits, three earned runs).
Wheeler, though, showed why many baseball observers consider him one of the better pitching prospects in the game, blanking the Braves on four hits over six innings while walking five and fanning seven in a 6-1 to complete the doubleheader sweep.
"It was definitely an experience," the 2009 first-round draft pick told reporters.
Several other highly touted players have been summoned in the first two months of the season, many of whom have more than held their own and remained on their respective team’s roster.
The list includes fellow pitchers Jose Fernandez (Miami), Gerrit Cole (Pittsburgh) and Tony Cingrani (Cincinnati) along with position players Jurickson Profar (Texas), Nolan Arenado (Colorado) and Yasiel Puig (Los Angeles Dodgers).
They, along with seven others, are featured in the gallery above as we present what could be the next wave of stud major leaguers.
Have your say in the comment section below and tell us which rookie has surprised and/or impressed you with their performance this season, and what up-and-comer you’re hoping to see reach the majors before the end of September.