Scouting Mets' Prospect #45: Orlando Rengel

The New York Mets signed international free-agent Orlando Rengel back in 2001 and assigned him to Kingsport in 2003. Rengel has one of the more extensive repertoires at the lower levels and it's this reason that he's our #45 Mets' prospect. Here's a scouting report on Orlando Rengel.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Orlando Rengel
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: May 11, 1983
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 175
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Orlando Rengel was signed by Gregor Machado of the Mets on March 11, 2001 as an international free agent out of Venezuela and did not make his professional debut on U.S. soil until he was sent to the Appalachian League with the Kingsport Mets in the summer of 2003. Rengel had a rough professional debut with the K-Mets in 2003, going 1-5 in 12 starts with a 5.76 ERA. Opposing batters were able to pick up on is pitches quite easily as he did not hide the ball very well. He would consistently finish his wind up at a 10 o'clock angle, giving the hitters a very good look at the pitch coming their way.

The Mets sent Rengel back to Kingsport in 2004 after Extended Spring Training to work on his control and to get some more seasoning at the rookie level. Rengel responded very well to being sent back. Instead of sulking, he took it as a challenge and worked very hard on improving his command. Despite having a solid repertoire for such a young pitcher, Rengel had to hide the ball a lot better in his delivery and had to learn to pitch hitters inside more to prevent them from leaning to far over the plate. And that's exactly what he did in 2004.


























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* Stats as of 10/1/04

Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Slider, Changeup.

Fastball. Like Jose Gomez, Rengel has a fastball that he's able to throw at different speeds. His fastball averages between 88-92 MPH and can bring it as fast as 95 MPH. He averages around 91-92 MPH, which gives him an above average heater.

Other Pitches. Rengel throws a fair bending curveball that sits around 76-80 MPH. His slider averages between 81-83 MPH and he compliments his repertoire with a nicely disguised circle changeup that is clocked between 80-82 MPH.

Pitching. Rengel has one of the more extensive repertoires at the lower minor league levels and has displayed improving command of his pitches. He throws from a 10 o'clock arm angle and hitters were able to pick up his pitches a lot easier in 2003. He hides the ball a lot better than he used to. That, combined with his improved command, has been the reason for his recent success. As is the case with most young pitchers, he'll need to learn to pitch hitters inside more if he's going to keep hitters from slapping the ball the other way.

Projection. Rengel has a solid repertoire and has improved the velocity on his fastball. The fact that he has improved his command and learned to hide the ball better shows he's got a lot of room to grow. He's got a good chance of becoming a back-end rotation starter down the road.

ETA. N/A. Rengel is going to be 22 next season and he's going to have to have some success at the higher levels before he's looked at as a solid pitching prospect by the Mets (and other clubs). He has the repertoire, command, and work ethic to do just that. Rengel is going to have to be challenged and its because of this fact that the Mets will have to make room for him in the Hagerstown rotation next season by allowing one of the Brooklyn starters to jump right to St. Lucie.

Starting Pitchers

2004 Team

Aaron Heilman

AAA - Norfolk Tides

Bob Keppel

AAA - Norfolk Tides

Neal Musser AA - Binghamton Mets
Brian Bannister AA - Binghamton Mets
Yusmeiro Petit AA - Binghamton Mets
Miguel Pinanago A - St. Lucie Mets
Kevin Deaton A - St. Lucie Mets
Matthew Lindstrom A - Capital City Bombers
Vincent Cordova A - Capital City Bombers
Greg Ramirez A - Capital City Bombers
Evan MacLane A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Scott Hyde A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Michael Devaney A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Joseph Williams A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Mike Swindell A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Gaby Hernandez R - GCL Mets


The Mets have some good pitching prospects and the system's depth is only going to get better with the additions of Alay Soler, Matt Durkin, and Philip Humber. Considering they have not pitched a professional inning in the Mets system as of yet, we'll focus on the pitchers that have. Among the Mets' pitching prospects, Yusmeiro Petit and Gaby Hernandez seem to have the highest ceilings simply because of their age and talent. However, the Mets do have a number of other good pitching prospects that still have time on their side to make their mark. The following starting pitchers are currently in our Tier One group...the top starting pitching prospects in the Mets system.

1) Aaron Heilman - Heilman struggled out of the gate in 2004 but was perhaps the hottest pitcher in the entire Mets' system the second half of the year. All Heilman needs is a chance. Give the guy 30 starts and see what he can do. But that day may never come with the Mets as he appears to be in New York's doghouse. It's a shame too. He's a better pitcher than people think.

2) Bob Keppel - Like Heilman, Keppel struggled mightily to begin the 2004 campaign but finished the year strong. Keppel's always had the repertoire and pitching ability to become a Major League starter. The question has been his strikeout rate. Still only 22 years old and seems forgotten.

3) Neal Musser - With the trade of Scott Kazmir, Musser becomes the Mets' best left-handed starting pitching prospect. A top prospect a couple of years ago, Musser was beset with injuries and had a bounce back year in 2004. Musser is still only 24 years old and should not be forgotten.

4) Brian Bannister - His stats do not accurately portray how good a pitcher he is. Bannister has four plus pitches in his repertoire and has the chance to be a front-line starter someday. Remember, Bannister has only been pitching for 4 seasons...two in college, two in the pros. So as good as he is, he is still learning which is a scary thought.

5) Yusmeiro Petit - The Mets #1 pitching prospect the minute the Mets traded Kazmir. Forget about the pundits and all their talk about lack of "stuff". Petit knows how to pitch at such a young age (19). Drawing comparisons to Greg Maddux, Petit has the ability to change speeds on his fastball and is very deceptive on the mound. Bottom line is he's been baffling hitters from the word go.

6) Miguel Pinango - Pinango was cruising through the Mets system until an injury in St. Lucie ended his season in 2004 after just three starts. Pinango's command is superb. Only Petit's command is perhaps better and even that's not a lock. Still only 21 years old (he'll be 22 by the start of next season), Pinango is still a very good pitching prospect for the Mets.

7) Kevin Deaton - Growing up as an offensive lineman, Deaton is an imposing figure on the mound. Like Pinango, Deaton's rise through the system hit a speed bump in 2004 when he was plagued by injury (tendonitis). His fastball tops off at 94 MPH with solid movement and is still only 23 years old.

8) Matthew Lindstrom - Nobody throws as hard as Lindstrom does in the Mets' organization...nobody! Lindstrom is a fascinating talent that is getting a chance to showcase his stuff in the Arizona Fall League this year. With a fastball that regularly sits in the 94-96 MPH range, he can top it off at 100 MPH at times. Used primarily as a starter up to this point, his future seems to be in the bullpen...possibly as a closer.

9) Vincent Cordova - Cordova has the talent to be a very good pitching prospect for the Mets. Drafted out of college in 2003, Cordova needs to prove he can get hitters out at the higher level. Like Pinango and Petit, Cordova's success is predicated on his control. He's a Tier One prospect for now but time is not on his side.

10) Greg Ramirez - Used as both a starter and a relieve in his short career thus far, Ramirez is like Cordova. He has the talent and the stuff to be a Tier One pitching prospect for the Mets, but like Cordova, he's going to have to prove it at the higher levels to remain in this group. It's unclear how he will be used in the future.

11) Evan MacLane - MacLane gives the Mets' pitching in their farm system they seriously lack: quality left-handed pitching among their starting pitching prospects. MacLane was dominating South Atlantic League hitters in 2004 before being sent to Brooklyn where he had the same success. MacLane should be challenged in 2005 and will most likely be part of the St. Lucie staff. Like Ramirez, Cordova, Petit, and Pinango, MacLane is all about the control. He has great command of his pitches.

12) Scott Hyde - Hyde was not scheduled to pitch in live games this past season after being drafted but still managed to showcase some good pitching in his stint with the Cyclones. Hyde has the chance to be the "sleeper" among the Mets' 2004 draft picks.

13) Michael Devaney - Among the NY-Penn League leaders in ERA, Devaney is very solid. As is the case with most of the Cyclones' rotation, he'll have to duplicate the same success at the higher levels to remain in the Tier One level of starting pitching prospects.

14) Joseph Williams - Like Devaney, it's hard to dispute the success Williams had in Brooklyn this past season. The fact that he's a lefty aids his chances to be challenged quickly in the Mets' farm system.

15) Mike Swindell - Another college arm that was drafted in 2004 that will have to quickly prove he can become a solid starting pitching prospect for the Mets.

16) Gaby Hernandez - The Mets' third round pick in 2004, right now, Hernandez appears to be second behind Petit with the highest upside among the starting pitching prospects. It's too early to tell, but Hernandez has the talent to duplicate Petit's fast track through the minors.

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