That completes all of the Giants top picks. They signed their first 17 draft picks this season (and 34 of 50, reported Haft). Wheeler is probably the second highest overslot signing the Giants have done in the draft. Posey, obviously, was the highest. Ishikawa is probably third, as he was signed for almost $1M but was drafted in the 21st round. Both Lincecum and Bumgarner got about $200K more than their slots.
Here are some stats on his high school career, courtesy of Chris Haft:
Wheeler posted a 9-0 record with a 0.54 ERA in 13 games for East Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga., this season. The 6-foot-4, 185-pounder struck out 151 and walked 20 in 77 2/3 innings. He allowed 31 hits as opponents batted .118 against him. Named 2009 Gatorade High School Player of the Year for Georgia, WheelerGiants Thoughts
compiled a 95-36 record in four varsity seasons.
All in all, I think it's better to get him signed than not. He sounds like he has a lot of talent and moxie (he knew Sabean was in the crowd, so he reared back and threw 97 MPH, if I remember right). And as tempting as it would be to wait until next season, you don't know exactly what type of talent you will be getting. In addition, 8 of the top 10 prospects were pitchers anyway, and the other two were catchers.
I just wish that he could have signed earlier and gotten in some playing time. But he got a $1M+ over slot, so it was clearly worth it for him. I only have problems with them waiting until the last minute and still only get roughly slot (like Wendell Fairley; should have figured that it was a sign that he is more talk and looks, than substance and action). If the market will bear it, the market rules, I believe in the invisible hand.
Henry Schulman reported that Dick Tidrow said about the same thing about Wheeler as he had said about Bumgarner, that he believes Wheeler will rise quickly through the minors (Tidrow and Sabean both said that Bumgarner would rise quickly and could make the majors in two seasons or so). Following that game plan, the Wheeler era would encompass 2013-2019. Our rotation of the near future:
Lincecum: Control to 2013
Cain: Signed to 2011
Sanchez: Control to 2012
Zito: Signed to 2013
Bumgarner: control 2011-2016
Wheeler: control 2013-2019
I think the Giants will be able to sign Cain to a nice big extension to at least 2013 if not 2014 when he'll turn 30. Lincecum I hope they can sign him to his early 30's, which would bring him out to 2014-2016 or so.
If those come to fruition, there will be a period around 2012-2014 where the Giants rotation could be ridiculously good, even better than it is now, when they are leading the majors in ERA by a little and leading the majors in runs allowed per game by a lot.