2002 Scouting Report: Pitcher, Harold Eckert

The Mets signed Harold Eckert, who hails from New Jersey, following a tryout. The Los Angeles Dodgers drafted and signed Eckert in 1999. He was selected in the 19th round. His contract was voided when Dodgers found he had a pre-existing arm injury. Eckert was a standout pitcher for the Florida International University Golden Panthers striking out 13 hitters per 9 innings.

Apparently, Eckert blew out his elbow in his final start for FIU in the College Baseball World Series. He returned to FIU to have the surgery performed and where he rehabbed. Eckert was a teammate of Bobby Paulk, the Mets signee taken in the 24th round of the 2002 draft.

At his age, it's not likely that Eckert has the development time to be a successful starter at the major league level. His ERA has been high considering his ratios, but it's likely the high number of hit batters that causes the problem. He's struck out about 10.1 hitters per 9 IP. The lack of a promotion hints that he doesn't have an extensive enough repetoire to succeed at higher levels.

Year

Team

W-L

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2002

Cap City

11-7

126

108

47

139

3.86

2001

Brooklyn

9-1

70

51

21

75

3.34

2001

Kingsport

1-0

12

8

1

17

2.25


*Stats as of 8/21/02.

Repertoire. 4-seam fastball (FB), slider (SL), change up.

Fastball. As a starter, Eckerts' fastball sits at 88-90 mph and tops off at 91-92 mph. His fastball has late movement.

Other pitches. Eckerts throws a nasty slider which represents his best pitch. His CU needs work. Only Aaron Heilman and Jake Joseph throw better sliders in the Mets system.

Pitching. Eckert lacks the repertoire to start.

Projection. Setup RP. With the nasty slider, his FB should be a very effective pitch out of the bullpen.

ETA. N/A. Depends upon when the Mets move him to the bullpen F/T.

Right-Handed Relievers Team
Tyler Yates AAA - Norfolk Tides
Heath Bell AAA - Norfolk Tides
Steve Bennett A - St. Lucie Mets
Tim Lavigne A - St. Lucie Mets
Nick Mattioni A - St. Lucie Mets
David Byard A - St. Lucie Mets
Quentin Patterson A - Capital City Bombers
Jason Scobie A - Brooklyn Cyclones


COMMENTS


Yates was clearly the top RP in the system and the only one with much hope of being a closer. The Mets have depth in RHP RPs in the system and Scobie might be the best of the rest. The raw Patterson still has the repertoire to close, but he's a long ways from being ready. More than likely, the Mets need to convert a SP to obtain a closer prospect from within the farm system. Among the SP prospects, Tyler Walker, and Jeremy Griffiths. Matt Lindstrom would be a good candidate if his secondary pitches (SL, CU) don't develop.

1. Harold Eckert should make a good setup type RP. His best pitch being a SL will make his FB much more effective.

2. Jason Scobie has the best CB and SL combination among the RPs. He effectively mixes in his 2-seam FB to set up hitters from strike out. The Mets currently have Scobie starting at Brooklyn. He has a history of injuries that raises questions about the efficacy of converting him to a SP.

3. Tim LaVigne mixes a 88-89 mph FB with a big breaking CB. He projects to be a middle RP.

4. Steve Bennett's FB and SL combination also project to become a possible setup RP.

5. David Byard has a solid repertoire of FB, CB and SL.

6. Quentin Patterson is the hardest thrower.

7. Kevin Deaton leads the New York-Penn League in strikeouts. He possesses a low 90s FB with excellent movement and a good CU.

8. Wayne Ough has an excellent FB and CB combination. Both are outpitches. His FB sits at about 91-94 mph as a starter.



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