Overview of Starting Pitching Prospects - Part II

All Eyes Will Be on Kazmir's Progress in 2003

Part 2 of Calvin's Analysis of Starting Pitching Prospects - Starting pitching remains the strength of the farm system. Talented arms exist throughout the organization from Norfolk to Brooklyn to Venezuela/Dominican Republic in 2002. Some arms began to emerge in 2002 as quality prospects. The group included Jeremy Griffiths (RHP), Matthew Peterson (RHP), and Dave Mattox (RHP). The Mets have a number of quality arms that might emerge or re-emerge in 2003.

The system now has plenty of left-handed pitching prospects due to stockpiling in the 2001 and 2002 drafts, and International free agent signings. So, the Mets have decent balance.

Long Season Leagues


Peterson, Aaron Heilman (RHP), Scott Kazmir (LHP), Bob Keppel (RHP) and Patrick Strange (RHP) represent the cream of the crop. The long season leagues include a number of prospects with similar upsides yet to emerge such as Adam Elliott (RHP), Luz Portobanco (RHP), Lenny DiNardo (LHP) and Neal Musser (LHP). DiNardo has been working hard to build himself up and he should have a breakthrough season in 2003. Miguel Pinango (RHP) and Kevin Deaton (RHP) are two good prospects that should make their long season debut in 2003. Phil Seibel (LHP), despite not having overpowering stuff, has a repertoire that works nicely together. And, he might be an overachiever. Chad Bowen (RHP) who has been plagued with injuries in 2001 and 2002 could be a sleeper.

Short Season Leagues


The Mets lack returning short-season pitchers who would be considered stud prospects. Nonetheless, several arms exist that possess good potential including Jason Weintraub (LHP), Ryan Danly (LHP), Celso Rondon (RHP), Ivan Maldanado (RHP), Edgar Alfonso (LHP), and Kelvin Garay (LHP). The Mets' Latin teams should also provide 5-6 pitching prospects. The best appear to be Yusemeiro Petit (RHP), Jose Sanchez (RHP), and Heriberto Peralta (LHP). Chris Munn (RHP) is the best potential draft and follow signee. He's 6'4", and weighs 175 lbs. Munn possesses a good arm and has lots of projectability. Good fastball and change up in a repetoire that already includes a slider that has bite and a sweeping curve. He started pitching in the summer 2001 so he's short on experience. He's attending Manatee CC. DeWayne Carver (RHP) is another possible draft and follow pitcher to keep an eye on. Great athlete was signed to play quarterback by Louisville Univ. He's attending Daytona Beach CC.

Capital City Bombers - possess good depth. The likely starters will be Pinango, Deaton, Elliot and Kazmir. The remainder will be competing for the last slot with pitchers from St. Lucie. During the season, Kazmir, Elliot and Pinango might get promoted to St. Lucie opening opportunities later in the season for others.

Player (Repertoire)

Age

Stats (W-L, ERA, IP)

Comments

Yunior Cabrera*  (4-FB, CB, CU)

22

(4-4, 2.42, 48)

Plagued by shoulder pain in 2002. Caught non-fatal DR aging-itis disease. Needs to start to build arm strength, but future is likely to be in the bullpen. Outstanding CB will dominate left-handed hitters. Had nice ratio (47 K/17 BB).

Jason Scobie (2-FB, CB, SL, CU)

24

(4-4, 2.77, 76)

Good repertoire, but lack of durability so a future RP. Great CB and SL combination. 2-FB has good sink. Adding 4-FB might help. Ground ball pitcher allowed only 2 HR. Good ratio (67 K/24 BB).

Miguel Pinango (4-FB, 2-FB, CB, SL, CU)

20

(2-7, 3.59, 80)

Great command. Unbelievable ratio (64 K/14 BB). Pitched well in Winter League (3-4, 2.43, 56) with good ratio (28 K/4 BB). GB pitcher allowing only 2 HR. Strike throwing machine. Best pitches are low 90s FB and CU. Has some projectibility.

Kevin Deaton (4-FB, CB, CU)

21

(7-1, 3.07, 82)

Good FB. Has good movement and tops off at 93-94 mph. Complemented nicely with CB and CU. Occasionally, drops arm angle. Former offensive lineman still sculpting body to a pitchers body. Excellent ratio (93 K/ 18 BB).

Adam Elliot (4-FB, CB, SL, CU)

19

(2-3, 3.69, 54)

Great stuff, but needs to improve command. Strong body with limited projectibility. Currently FB sits in 87-90 mph range topping off at 93 mph. Won't gain more than 2-3 mph. Movement similar to Peterson's. CB is best pitch complemented with a nasty SL. CU is developing. Allowed 7 HR. Decent ratio (51 K/16 BB). Will need to cut down on BB.

Tanner Osberg (4-FB, CB, CU)

20

(4-3, 2.20, 49)

Canadian is still developing. Hs some potential. Whether a RP or SP not determined but needs to get some starts to develop. Good ratio (37 K/11 BB).

Scott Kazmir*  (4-FB, CB, SL, CU)

19

(0-1, 1.50, 18)

The top pitching prospect. Working hard with weights and running program to gain durability. Durability will dictate whether he's a SP. Adding a CU to what might already be a dominating repertoire. Dominant ratio (34 K/7 BB) in limited IP.

Chad Bowen (4-FB, CB, SL, CU)

20

(2-4, 3.22, 50)

Since having a solid start in 2000 when rated as the Appalachian Leagues' #14 prospect, Bowen has been plagued by injuries. Good ratio (41 K/16 BB).

Brooklyn Cyclones - also expect June 2003 players drafted out of college to be on the roster. Again the Mets have good depth. And, promotions to Columbia might occur for 1 of these starters before the season ends. There are no sure fire stud pitchers among this group but several have excellent upside.

Player (Repertoire)

Age

Stats (W-L, ERA, IP)

Comments

Ryan Danly*  (4-FB, CB, CU)

21

(2-3, 4.79, 57)

Low 90s FB with CB that has great potential. 6'7" frame has great projectibility. Poor ratio (29 K/17 BB). Probably, a future RP. Potential power pitcher.

Matthew Lindstrom (4-FB, CB, CU)

23

(0-6, 4.84, 48)

Excellent FB and CB combo. Very inexperienced and raw. Lacked coaching. Lost time on Mormon mission. Might eventually be a closer prospect. Poor ratios (39 K/21 BB).

Edgar Alfonzo*

18

(0-0, 1.13, 8)

Son of Mets minor league coach Edgar Alfonzo. Signed late so he didn't pitch a lot in 2002.

Maikel De Leon

23

(0-2, 5.40, 23)

Another who suffered from DR aging-itis. Prospect status DOA. Great command.

Celso Rondon (4-FB, CB, CU)

18

(2-1, 6.37, 35)

Good FB.

Jason Weintraub (4-FB, SL, CU)

20

(1-6, 5.91, 46)

Good FB and CU. FB sits at 87-89 mph occasionally touches 93-94 mph. Has growing 6'4" frame and strong legs provide great projectibility but he needs to begin that development. Could add 5-8 mph to FB (maybe more.) Needs to develop secondary pitches. Good ratio (37 K/ 14 BB).

Rafael Castro (4-FB, CB, CU)

22

(3-5, 4.80, 54)

Struggled in his debut at Kingsport. Was a solid performer for the DSL team in 2001. Adequate ratio (40 K/22 BB).

Ivan Maldanado (4-FB, CB, CU)

22

(0-0, 3.86, 7)

Suffered from mononucleosis in 2002. Has 88-90 mph 4-FB with good CU. Good control.

Kingsport Mets - The roster will be made up of draftees, draft and follows and Latin summer league players. The list includes pitchers from the Latin Summer Leagues. The Mets have tremendous depth of talent to bring over from their DSL teams to start. I am just listing the most likely to be brought over. The actual pitchers brought over won't be known until May.

Player (Repertoire)

Age

Stats (W-L, ERA, IP)

Comments

Kelvin Garay*  (4-FB, CB, CU)

18

(0-0, 6.48, 8)

Big strong and very young kid. Throws low 90s FB with occasional exceptional movement sinking or runs in on left-handed hitters. CB and CU have promise. Has excellent potential.

Elvis Camilo

-

(1-3, 3.92, 64)

Great command (61 K/10 BB). Solid 2nd season with DSL Mets.

Ramon Cruz

-

(6-4, 2.95, 76)

So-so command (56 K/29 BB). Didn't improve much over solid season in 2001.

Heriberto Peralta*

-

(7-1, 1.78, 61)

Tied for lead in wins, and finished 3rd in ERA in Santo Domingo West Division of the DSL. DSL Mets best first-year player. Good command (54 K/22 BB).

Amauris Rosario*

-

(3-2, 2.37, 57)

Finished 2nd in Ks. Great command (76 K/18 BB).

Aristides Almenar

19

(3-4, 3.05, 56)

Not quite as good in his 2nd season. Decent command (40 K/22 K). He's a solid ground ball pitcher (77 GB/38 FO).

Jose Sanchez

18

(2-3, 2.37, 57)

Excellent first season. Great command (60 K/8 BB).

Yusemeiro Petit (4-FB, CB, CU)

18

(3-5, 2.43, 56)

Excellent first season. Good command (62 K/16 BB).


· * left-handed pitcher
· & composite stats from 2 or more teams.
· age as of 4/3/03.
· 4-FB – 4-seam fastball
· 2-FB – 2-seam fastball
· ct-FB – cut fastball
· spl FB – split-fingered fastball
· CB – curve
· K-CB – knuckle curve
· SL – slider
· sl SL – slurvy slider
· ct SL – cut slider
· CU – change up.
· C-CU – circle change up.
· ct-CU – cut change up.
· GB ground ball outs.
· FO fly ball outs.



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