Tool Time: Top Curveballs, Changeups, and Sliders

After listing the <a href=http://mets.scout.com/2/367184.html><b>top fastballs in the Mets' farm system</b></a>, InsidePitchMagazine.com analyzes the top secondary pitches in the Mets' farm system. Who has the best curveball? Who has the nastiest slider? Which changeup is already Major League ready?

Top Curveballs: Many scouts not only believed RHP Philip Humber had the top rated curveball in the entire 2004 MLB Draft, but many believe his curveball would rank among the Major League's top five curveballs if he were to pitch in the Major Leagues right now - it is that good! Humber doesn't throw your typical 12-6 curveball. It is more of an 11-5 hard curveball, averaging 80-82 MPH on the radar gun and some scouts say his curveball is as good as that of Matt Morris. If not for Humber, RHP Robert Paulk's curveball would rank as the system's best. He has a nasty hook, sweeping tight curves over the plate at will. The one knock on Paulk has been the fact that he throws too many of his curves for strikes. RHP Scott Hyde, the Mets' 7th round pick last season, had a curveball that earned a 65-70 rating (on a scale of 80) which means it is already Major League caliber. Hyde averages 78-82 MPH with his curveball and it currently serves as his best out pitch.

Top Changeups: LHP Neal Musser, drafted by the Mets in the 2nd round of the 1999 draft, has a devastating changeup that ranks among the best in the Mets' farm system. His changeup runs away and drops really well. Musser uses his changeup as his out pitch and he can throw it for strikes consistently. He'll throw it to any hitter, in any count, and in any situation. LHP Evan MacLane also has a plus changeup, a pitch that is arguably the biggest reason for his success as a professional thus far despite not having a dominant fastball. MacLane's changeup, which averages 76-80 MPH, is devastating to right-handed batters. RHP Yusmeiro Petit baffles hitters constantly and his incredible changeup is a big reason why! His changeup has phenomenal sinking action and tails away from the batters. He has very good arm action and hand speed on his changeup, giving batters the illusion he is throwing his fastball.

Top Sliders: LHP Shane Hawk: throws one of the dirtiest sliders going when it is on. He averages 79-83 MPH with his slider and once he learns to throw it more consistently for strikes, Hawk could theoretically become untouchable. RHP Bob Keppel is primarily a 2-seam fastball pitcher, trying his best to induce ground balls. But when he needs to rip off the big strikeout, Keppel uses his 84-86 MPH slider to get batters to miss. RHP Brian Bannister only really began working on his slider, which some scouts say resembles a cutter, this past offseason in the Arizona Fall League and already scouts believe it could be the pitch to get Bannister over the hump.

Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\nTop Curveballs: Many scouts not only believed RHP Philip Humber had the top rated curveball in the entire 2004 MLB Draft, but many believe his curveball would rank among the Major League's top five curveballs if he were to pitch in the Major Leagues right now - it is that good! Humber doesn't throw your typical 12-6 curveball. It is more of an 11-5 hard curveball, averaging 80-82 MPH on the radar gun and some scouts say his curveball is as good as that of Matt Morris. If not for Humber, RHP Robert Paulk's curveball would rank as the system's best. He has a nasty hook, sweeping tight curves over the plate at will. The one knock on Paulk has been the fact that he throws too many of his curves for strikes. RHP Scott Hyde, the Mets' 7th round pick last season, had a curveball that earned a 65-70 rating (on a scale of 80) which means it is already Major League caliber. Hyde averages 78-82 MPH with his curveball and it currently serves as his best out pitch.
\r\n
\r\nTop Changeups: LHP Neal Musser, drafted by the Mets in the 2nd round of the 1999 draft, has a devastating changeup that ranks among the best in the Mets' farm system. His changeup runs away and drops really well. Musser uses his changeup as his out pitch and he can throw it for strikes consistently. He'll throw it to any hitter, in any count, and in any situation. LHP Evan MacLane also has a plus changeup, a pitch that is arguably the biggest reason for his success as a professional thus far despite not having a dominant fastball. MacLane's changeup, which averages 76-80 MPH, is devastating to right-handed batters. RHP Yusmeiro Petit baffles hitters constantly and his incredible changeup is a big reason why! His changeup has phenomenal sinking action and tails away from the batters. He has very good arm action and hand speed on his changeup, giving batters the illusion he is throwing his fastball.
\r\n
\r\nTop Sliders: LHP Shane Hawk: throws one of the dirtiest sliders going when it is on. He averages 79-83 MPH with his slider and once he learns to throw it more consistently for strikes, Hawk could theoretically become untouchable. RHP Bob Keppel is primarily a 2-seam fastball pitcher, trying his best to induce ground balls. But when he needs to rip off the big strikeout, Keppel uses his 84-86 MPH slider to get batters to miss. RHP Brian Bannister only really began working on his slider, which some scouts say resembles a cutter, this past offseason in the Arizona Fall League and already scouts believe it could be the pitch to get Bannister over the hump.
","mobileBody":" \r\n\r\nTop Curveballs: Many scouts not only believed RHP Philip Humber had the top rated curveball in the entire 2004 MLB Draft, but many believe his curveball would rank among the Major League's top five curveballs if he were to pitch in the Major Leagues right now - it is that good! Humber doesn't throw your typical 12-6 curveball. It is more of an 11-5 hard curveball, averaging 80-82 MPH on the radar gun and some scouts say his curveball is as good as that of Matt Morris. If not for Humber, RHP Robert Paulk's curveball would rank as the system's best. He has a nasty hook, sweeping tight curves over the plate at will. The one knock on Paulk has been the fact that he throws too many of his curves for strikes. RHP Scott Hyde, the Mets' 7th round pick last season, had a curveball that earned a 65-70 rating (on a scale of 80) which means it is already Major League caliber. Hyde averages 78-82 MPH with his curveball and it currently serves as his best out pitch.
\r\n
\r\nTop Changeups: LHP Neal Musser, drafted by the Mets in the 2nd round of the 1999 draft, has a devastating changeup that ranks among the best in the Mets' farm system. His changeup runs away and drops really well. Musser uses his changeup as his out pitch and he can throw it for strikes consistently. He'll throw it to any hitter, in any count, and in any situation. LHP Evan MacLane also has a plus changeup, a pitch that is arguably the biggest reason for his success as a professional thus far despite not having a dominant fastball. MacLane's changeup, which averages 76-80 MPH, is devastating to right-handed batters. RHP Yusmeiro Petit baffles hitters constantly and his incredible changeup is a big reason why! His changeup has phenomenal sinking action and tails away from the batters. He has very good arm action and hand speed on his changeup, giving batters the illusion he is throwing his fastball.
\r\n
\r\nTop Sliders: LHP Shane Hawk: throws one of the dirtiest sliders going when it is on. He averages 79-83 MPH with his slider and once he learns to throw it more consistently for strikes, Hawk could theoretically become untouchable. RHP Bob Keppel is primarily a 2-seam fastball pitcher, trying his best to induce ground balls. But when he needs to rip off the big strikeout, Keppel uses his 84-86 MPH slider to get batters to miss. RHP Brian Bannister only really began working on his slider, which some scouts say resembles a cutter, this past offseason in the Arizona Fall League and already scouts believe it could be the pitch to get Bannister over the hump.
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