2001 Scouting Report: Pitcher, Aaron Heilman

1st Round Draft Pick

Aaron Heilman was the Mets' 1st selection in the 2001 draft out of Notre Dame University. Beginning in 1999, Heilman compiled a 36-4 record as Notre Dame's Friday night pitcher. Heilman faced the other teams best starter in compiling that impressive record. He was also the #2 starter behind Lenny Dinardo on TeamUSA in 2000. The durable and strong-armed Heilman completed 12 of 15 starts in 2001. Heilman was a 3-time All-American at Notre Dame compiling a 43-7 won-loss mark.

Perhaps the most endearing thing about Heilman is his quoting my all-time favorite pitcher - Bob Gibson. The best pitch to follow up a knock down pitch with is another knock down pitch. Gibson was the best big game pitcher I ever saw.

Heilman signed late in August so he had only 7 appearances in 2001 for St. Lucie. Considering his late start, Heilman posted surprisingly good numbers of a WHIP- and K-rates of about 1. Heilman suffered from a lack of runs support that victimized all of the St. Lucie Mets hurlers. Often, pitchers who sign late do not perform real well.

Year

Team

W-L

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2001

St. Lucie

0-1

38

26

13

39

2.35

*Stats as of 9/4/01.

Repertoire. 4-seam fastball (FB), slider (SL) and split-fingered fastball (spl FB). Heilman also throws a circle change (CU) and curveball (CB). The Mets will allow Heilman to work on whatever he likes at the instructional league and hopefully Bobby Ojeda will have an opportunity to work with him.


Scouting Report: Pitcher, Aaron Heilman
Fastball. Heilman's fastball sat at 92-93 mph which was better than the expected 90-92 mph. He showed an ability to occasionally reach 94-95 mph. He is not expected to add much if any velocity to his fastball. Heilman's fastball has excellent movement that he can make move left, right and sink. His fastball is in general very difficult to elevate.

Other pitches: Heilman threw what was regarded as one of the top 5 sliders in college baseball in 2001. Heilman taught himself his spl. FB in January 2001 and it was a very effective pitch for him that he was able to throw for strikes.

Pitching: Heilman is extremely durable and understands how to pitch. The only concern regarding Heilman is his ability to get left-handed hitters. He really only needs to better utilize the lateral movement of his fastball and add a quality change up to get lefties out.

Projection: Heilman projects to a #1 or #2 starter. He has the make up of an ace.

ETA: 2003. If he adds a quality 4th pitch, Heilman could be ready before the end of 2002.

Right-Handed Starting Pitchers Team
Jae Weong Seo AAA - Norfolk Tides
Nick Maness AA - Binghamton Mets
Patrick Strange AA - Binghamton Mets
Jeremy Griffiths A - St. Lucie Mets
Josh Reynolds A - St. Lucie Mets
Kenneth Chenard A - St. Lucie Mets
Bob Keppel A - Capital City Bombers
Matthew Peterson A - Capital City Bombers
Jason Weintraub A - Brooklyn Cyclones

COMMENTS:

1. A healthy Kenneth Chenard still has the best stuff. Keppel and Peterson both have upsides in the system.

2. Jason Weintraub is a long-range prospect who throws consistently in the 87-88 mph range, but has reached 92-93 mph in high school. He has a body type that could add 40-50 lbs. of useful weight. So he could add more than the 4-5 mph to his fastball that you normally project.

3. Aaron Heilman heads what has a chance to be an exceptional core of right-handed, front-end starting prospects that the Mets have in their system. Heilman and Seo are the closest to being ready for the Mets (although Strange should also be ready by 2003.) It's rare for starters to be leaders on a baseball team but both Heilman and Seo may have that quality. Despite the Mets having several prospects with better upsides, I wouldn't be surprised if Heilman becomes the best pitcher of this group of golden-armed pitching prospects.



Do you have an opinion on the Mets? Be sure to let us know on the message board. NYfansonly.com is always looking for die-hard Mets fans who would like to be writers for the site. Click here to learn more on how to become a Mets beat writer for NYfansonly.com.

InsidePitchMagazine.com Recommended Stories