Pitching Prospects: Could Wheeler, Harvey and Familia Be the True Generation K?

Alex GiobbiAnalyst IAugust 19, 2012

August 10, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey (33) throws a pitch during the third inning of a game agains the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

Hype is a dangerous thing in baseball. Sometimes it is played well, and a phenom becomes a superstar. Other times, it goes wrong and said prospect becomes a regular, or worse, a bust. 

This year, baseball fans have had the chance to see hype in its true form, thanks to star rookies Yu Darvish, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. With more prospects coming as the season progresses, hype could be showcased even more come September.

Each club has its own hyped prospect or set of prospects. In the case of the Mets, it's their three big arms: Matt Harvey, who has already made his major league debut, Zack Wheeler and Jeurys Familia. Together, they make a potentially dangerous trio that could anchor a rotation for years to come. 

In terms of hype, the trio of Harvey, Wheeler, and Familia evokes memories of a similar pitching trio for the Mets. The trio, which included former first overall draft choice Paul Wilson, second rounder Bill Pulsipher and late-round standout Jason Isringhausen, was given the moniker "Generation K."

Alas, hype failed the Mets, and, with the exception of Isringhausen, the trio failed to meet expectations.

Wilson struggled in his Mets tenure and was sent to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, then the Cincinnati Reds, where he carved out a half decent role as a starter. Pulsipher bounced around as a journeyman for several seasons, and Isringhausen went on to become a top-notch closer for the Athletics and the Cardinals.

Maybe the Generation K moniker was not suited for them. Perhaps Harvey, Wheeler and Familia. is the true version of said trio. 

With Harvey already in the majors, possibly for good, he has had his successes so far. In his first start, he broke the strikeout record for a Mets pitcher in his debut. Since then he's been solid, even if he's been victimized by lack of run support. But when everything clicks, he's dangerous and looks like a rotation anchor. 

Wheeler, who was recently promoted to Buffalo, may not make a September call-up but could find himself in the majors by May or June of next year. He's been lights out in Binghamton and, despite a hiccup in Buffalo, seems primed to make his big league debut sooner than later.

Prospect Pipeline feels that Wheeler could be a Cy Young winner in the future, so if he's progressed along the right way, there is no doubt that he'll be a future star. 

Familia also is on the right track and could make his debut come September. He has the stuff to be a solid middle-rotation starter and could be the right arm in a long line of swings and misses. 

If this decade's trio works out, then things could look up, and Generation K could potentially mean success from now on.