Nothing to see here. Seriously. Ryan Wheeler might pan out at some point, but right now there is not a whole lot to talk about.
Think back and remember that Wheeler was acquired for Matt Reynolds, and that makes things sting just a little bit. Reynolds isn’t so great a pitcher that we should dwell on his departure too much, but he was tremendously solid in 30 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks this season. In 27.1 innings he posted a tiny 1.98 ERA, striking out 23 hitters. The Rockies bullpen ended up overworked and desperate for answers, especially in the middle innings. They could have used Reynolds.
In the meantime Wheeler could fill a need for the Rockies. They need pop and they need a guy who can play first base. Unfortunately that just hasn’t happened up to this point. Wheeler’s limited time with the Rockies this season was forgettable, to say the least. He batted .220/.238/.268 in 28 games. He had zero home runs and drove in only seven runs.
The sample size is small. There is still time for development (Wheeler is only 25). But if he is going to become the left-handed slugger that the Rockies hope he will, it would be nice to see some positive signs soon. There is certainly hope to be found in his minor league numbers: at AAA he posted a .306/.351/.463 slash line with 12 home runs and 89 RBI.
Wheeler won’t start the 2014 year with the Rockies, but if he keeps up that kind of production in another minor league stint he will have a chance to have an impact yet. As for a grade, let’s be generous and call it an “incomplete.”