Not all great pitchers are picked at the top of the draft, like Clayton Kershaw or David Price, or imported expensively from overseas, like Masahiro Tanaka or Yu Darvish. As we all know, young, quality arms often sneak up on us, emerging from under the radar to provide an unexpected boost.
For these four young pitchers, there's hope that what they've shown in 2014 is just the start of things to come -- that soon, despite fairly modest pedigrees, they could prove to be an irreplaceable part of a big league roster for years to come.
Much has been made of the collection of young pitching the Mets have been stockpiling. Yet before this season, we rarely heard deGrom's name mentioned. Fans talked about Matt Harvey, still only 25, who had established himself as one of the best pitchers in baseball before injuring his elbow. They dreamed about Noah Syndergaard, 21, the prize of the R.A. Dickey trade, who has been striking out more than a man per inning in the offensive haven that is Triple-A Las Vegas; and 24-year-old Zack Wheeler, obtained in return for Carlos Beltran and well into his second season as a solid big leaguer.