Top Curveballs, Changeups, and Sliders

Niese Has One Of The Best Changeups

After listing the top fastballs in the Mets' farm system, InsidePitchMagazine.com analyzes the top secondary pitches in the Mets' farm system. Who has the best curveball? Who has the nastiest slider? Which changeup is already Major League ready?

Top Curveballs: RHP Philip Humber, who throws more of an 11-5 hard curveball in the 80-82 MPH range, has one of the top curveballs in the farm system. Selected in the 2004 draft class, Humber's curveball ranked first among his peers and is widely considered one of the elite curveballs in minor league baseball. Not to be outdone, RHP Robert Paulk's curveball isn't that far behind Humber's. Paulk has excellent command of a hard-biting curveball that sits 77-79 MPH and sweeps across the plate with a tremendous loop. RHP Scott Hyde, the Mets' 7th round pick in 2004, and RHP Mike Pelfrey each possess tremendous curveballs that could serve as out pitches, but both are inconsistent at times.

Top Changeups: Not only does RHP Mike Pelfrey have the top fastball in the Mets' farm system, he also has the best changeup by far. Throwing it 82 MPH with great deception, opposing batters get caught looking more often than not after he has blazed a 97 MPH fastball by them. It is his impeccable control of his changeup that makes him so good. LHP Evan MacLane also has a incredible command of a plus changeup. Averaging 76-80 MPH with his changeup, it is the sole reason why right-handed batters have struggled to hit only .200 off of him thus far in his career. LHP Jonathon Niese is quickly rising the prospect rankings and his advanced changeup is a big reason why. Averaging 78-81 MPH with his changeup, coming off a 91-93 MPH fastball, Niese sweeps the outside corners consistently with his changeup.

Top Sliders: LHP Shane Hawk, who throws a plus fastball and an above average changeup, can make opposing batters look silly with a wicked slider. Averaging 79-83 MPH with his slider, it is a dirty and dominating pitch when it's working for him. Once he masters the command of his slider, Hawk will be ready for the big leagues. RHP Bobby Parnell dominated the NY-Penn League in Brooklyn last summer on the strength of a top-notch slider. It is a hard-biting slider that sweeps across the plate at 82-86 MPH and right-handed batters are often left looking at called strikes. RHP Marcelo Perez compliments his plus fastball with a hard slider in the 83-85 MPH range. As good as it is now, many scouts believe there is still room for improvement and his slider is a big reason why the Mets are internally very high on Perez. RHP Mike Pelfrey also possesses one of the nastiest sliders in the farm system. He doesn't have the pinpoint control of his slider just yet, but when it's on, it is nearly unhittable.

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