"Pitching has got to be the foundation in the organization. Everybody wants a good pitcher. The more pitchers we have, the stronger our organization will be."
- Dayton Moore, Kansas City Royals General Manager

Thursday, October 11, 2007

2008 New York Mets Organizational Depth Report

1. mike pelfrey, RHSP
2. phil humber, RHSP
3. kevin mulvey, RHSP - may 2008
4. jon niese, LHSP - 2009
5. eric brown, RHSP - 2009
6. deolis guerra, RHSP - 2012
7. joe smith, RHRP
8. jacob ruckle, RHRP - 2009
9. german marte, RHRP - 2009
10.bobby parnell, RHSP - 2009

i really like eric brown. i'm not sure that he'll make the show as a starter, but i think, at the very least, he will be a quality major league reliever in the mold of another guy i've looked at on this site, sean green.

parnell and ruckle should be followed next season, as i think both are possibilities for a step up in performance.

i'm not a huge fan of deolis guerra, though he does show a lot of tendencies that i like. i don't think he's particularly close to being ready to pitch at the major league level, and i think there is way too much time between now and his major league debut for him to experience a significant injury. that's true for any pitcher, but for an 18 year old in A+, the fact sometimes gets lost.

mulvey is close to being ready to take the ball every 5th day for the mets, but i'm not quite sure he's there yet. humber and niese are in the same boat. all three are solid bets to be average major league starters, and none really stands out above the others, but that's a bit of a problem when the team across town has three pitchers that are looking to be studs, in the form of phil hughes, joba chamberlain, and ian kennedy. those three starters combine substance and flare to take their spots atop most minor league prospect rankings.

but there is one guy who has shown that level of flare in the mets organization...

Spotlight: Mike Pelfrey

i've done 3 of these writeups to this point, and i assume that i'll be doing 26 more afterwards. in that time, i don't think that i will find a fastball with better movement than mike pelfrey's. if there is a better example of a plus-plus fastball than the one he throws, i haven't seen it.

but there is a downside to having this amount of movement: pelfrey has trouble spotting his fastball for strikes. when i looked at kyle kendrick, i made a point of mentioning that his fastball could tail inside, dart outside, or sink straight down. pelfrey doesn't have those different faces. his fastball has one look, and only one look.

now, getting behind hitters is always a bad idea, but for pelfrey, it takes on a higher level of importance because of his reliance on getting hitters to swing at his fastball. if pelfrey gives hitters the advantage of a first pitch ball, they are then able to sit back, and wait for his mediocre offspeed offerings.

teams that approach pelfrey with sustained patience will have the most success against him. they might not win every game, but more often than not, they will get ahead in the count and force pelfrey to throw a lot of pitches early in the game, leading to an early exit.

one thing i'd like to see pelfrey start doing next year is throw his changeup as a first pitch offering. his fastball is an excellent swing and miss pitch, but he can have problems locating it. getting ahead 0-1 with his changeup would allow him to really let loose with his fastball, and put hitters at a real disadvantage.

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