2002 Scouting Report: Pitcher, Heath Bell

Pitcher, Heath Bell

The Mets signed Heath Bell in 1998 as an undrafted free agent. He attended Rich Santiago Junior College. Bell has actively been involved in the Baseball in Education Program. A nationally acclaimed organization, Bell made several appearances at local Binghamton schools and spoke of the importance of staying in school and staying off drugs and tobacco.

Entering into 2001, Bell had been an extremely consistent reliever with 56 saves over three seasons and an ERA between 2.60 and 2.54. He's BB-rate consistently low and his K-rate high. Bell struggled in 2001, after yielding 12 HR in 169 IP in 3 years prior to 2001, Bell allowed 13 in 61 IP at Binghamton. Welcome to the AA test. For the first time, Bell yielded more hits/IP and it was 22 more hits than IP. He earned only 4 saves and is likely to repeat AA in 2002.

After dominating at Binghamton, Bell struggled at Norfolk. The problem appears to have caused by mechanical issues that deprived his FB of velocity, movement and deception. Bell's control and strikeout ratios have been excellent even when he has struggled which happened upon being promoted to Binghamton and again when promoted to Norfolk.

Year

Team

W-L

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2002

Norfolk

3-4

31.2

38

9

28

4.26

2002

Binghamton

1-0

38

22

6

49

1.18

2001

Binghamton

3-1

61

83

19

55

6.02

2000

St. Lucie

5-1

60

43

21

75

2.55

1999

Cap City

1-7

62

47

17

68

2.60

1998

Kingsport

1-0

46

40

11

61

2.54


*Stats as of 9/3/02.

Repertoire. Heath Bell's repertoire features a fastball (FB) and a slider (SL).

Fastball. Bell's FB sits at 92-94 mph and tops out at 95 mph. His FB has solid movement.

Other Pitches. Bell has a solid slider to complement his fastball.

Pitching. Bell has decent control.

Projection. Right-handed setup.

ETA. Late 2003.

Right-Handed Relievers Team
Tyler Yates 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 repetoire 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, Jeremy Griffiths, and, perhaps, Matt Lindstrom might be the best choices for a closer.

1. 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.

2. Tim LaVigne mixes a 88-89 mph FB with a big breaking CB. He projects to be a middle RP.ph is probably the Mets' best right-handed set up reliever in their system. Joseph was primarily a reliever at junior college.

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

4. David Byard has a solid repetoire of FB, CB and SL.

5. Quentin Patterson is the hardest thrower.

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

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

8. Harold Eckert is another SP that should eventually be converted to the bullpen. Eckert has an exception SL that's probably the third best in the Mets farm system behind Aaron Heilman and Jake Joseph. As a SP, his FB sits in the low 90s and would likely add 2-3 mph if Eckert shifted to the bullpen. I like the fact that his best pitch is his SL, since it makes it easier for Eckert to blow the FB by hitters since hitters will have to worry about the SL first.



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