Scouting Mets' Prospect #42: Jason Scobie

The New York Mets drafted right-handed pitcher Jason Scobie in the 15th round of the 2001 MLB Draft out of LSU. After breaking in the Mets' system as a reliever, Scobie has become one of the most reliable starting pitchers for the Mets at the minor league level. Ranking #42 among the Mets' Top 50, here's a scouting report on Jason Scobie.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Jason Scobie
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: September 1, 1978
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 195
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

At first thought, Jason Scobie bristled at being included in the Mets' Top 50 Prospects.

"Well, I'm not a prospect," Scobie said.

The 27-year-old righthander posted the best season of his four-year minor league career in 2005, leading the International League and tying a Norfolk Tides club record with 15 victories in 27 games (26 starts).

But despite the solid season – overall, Scobie was 15-7 with a 3.34 ERA in 167 innings pitched – his birthday wish of a callup to New York on Sept. 1, when rosters expanded to 40 players, went unfulfilled.

The omission troubled Scobie, a 15th round selection from Louisiana State in the 2001 draft. After four years in the Mets' farm system, Scobie has a 29-24 record, a 3.29 ERA and a 2005 All-Star selection to show for his efforts, but he's left searching for a major league debut.

Admitting that he's "a little frustrated," Scobie clarified his earlier prospect comment.

"I've always considered myself a prospect," Scobie said. "But nobody else does. I feel like I've got to prove myself every day. I felt I did that this year with no return, so I don't know. I don't feel like I get recognized for what I'm doing, so I guess I'm not a prospect."

Scobie believes a drop in his velocity may hurt his overall rankings. When Scobie was pitching at Class-A Capital City in 2002, he says he was throwing his two-seam fastball between 93 and 94 MPH.

Those numbers have dropped, and even though Scobie's strikeout-to-walk ratio approached 2-to-1 in 2005, he believed his ground-ball style went overlooked in a system highlighted by strikeout pitchers like Brian Bannister and the since-traded Yusmeiro Petit.

If Scobie is not added to the Mets' 40-man roster this winter, he will be eligible for the Rule V Draft, meaning he could go to any club that claims him as long as he stays on their roster for the entire season.

"I guess I've got to put a good resume together for someone," Scobie said. "Maybe not with the Mets, but with somebody."

Scobie is currently pitching in Puerto Rico, hoping to rediscover some of his lost velocity.

Meanwhile, the Mets appear to have a full boat of starting pitching candidates for 2006 – one of them, Aaron Heilman, was relegated to relief work last season. Regardless, Scobie believes he has what it takes to be competitive at the major league level.

"I've seen people pitch in person behind home plate, and I didn't think their stuff was as good as my stuff," Scobie said. "They're going up to the major leagues. I know I can compete up there. If I didn't think that, I wouldn't be playing right now."

Mindful of the fact that minor league players can be traded, released or picked up in other manners like the Rule V Draft, Scobie said he's also considered pitching in Japan or Korea, where his salary could multiply several times over a minor league agreement.

"Possibly," Scobie said. "I'm [27] years old and still haven't been in the big leagues. There's a big difference [in pay] compared to the minor leagues and there. But that's not really the main thing.

"I'm going to go into spring training ready to pitch, and hopefully I get a big league invite. If I don't get a big league invite, then something's wrong."

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2005

Norfolk

15-7

0

167.0

163

55

96

3.34

2004

Binghamton

5-5

1

147.0

137

49

95

2.82

2003

Norfolk

1-3

0

27.2

37

10

15

6.83

2003

Binghamton

2-4

0

50.0

50

13

24

4.14

2003

St. Lucie

2-1

0

20.2

19

4

20

1.31

2003

Brooklyn

0-0

0

1.0

0

0

0

0.00

2002

Cap City

2-2

4

35.0

29

12

33

2.57

2002

Brooklyn

2-2

1

41.0

36

12

34

2.07

2001

Brooklyn

3-0

7

40.1

22

8

32

0.89



Repertoire. Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup.

Fastball. As mentioned above, Scobie, who once threw his fastball in the 93-94 MPH range, now sits in the 87-91 MPH range. He has an average Major League fastball, but he's very aggressive with his fastball, even with the decreased velocity, and he has excellent control of his heater. His fastball could be a little more effective if he were able to change speeds a little more.

Other Pitches. Scobie's best secondary pitch, a pitch he goes to most often, is his slider. His slider, which sits 78-82 MPH, has good downward action to it, which is why he's predominantly a groundball pitcher. He throws a curveball around 74 MPH and a changeup around 81 MPH, which are both average pitches for him the last couple of seasons. Scobie tends to stick with a fastball-slider combination in his starts.

Pitching. Scobie is not a gimmick pitcher. He tends to go right after batters, pounding the strike zone with fastballs before getting opposing batters to hit his slider on the ground and allow the defense behind him to make plays. At times, Scobie can be his own worst enemy. Despite pitching well with runners in scoring position, he continually puts himself into holes by walking batters with the bases empty. He's better at the start of his games and is more of a five or six inning pitcher, as batters tend to hit him harder in the second and third turns around the batting order. Scobie lasted six or fewer innings in 17 of his 27 starts with Norfolk this past season. He's successful against both right-handed and left-handed batters, which is an encouraging sign of his flexibility.

Projection. Scobie is not a strikeout pitcher by any means. And while he has been passed on the depth charts by the likes of Brian Bannister and others among the starting pitching prospects for the Mets, the fact remains that he owns a solid 29-24 record with a 3.29 ERA in his career. If not for the fact that he is part of a large-market organization like the Mets, Scobie could break into the majors as a starting pitcher. However, considering the Mets' depth of starters, Scobie projects to be more of a long reliever and spot starter in emergency situations.

ETA. 2006. Scobie has little to prove at the minor league level. He's arguably the pitcher in the Mets' farm system most ready for the Major League level. It remains to be seen if Scobie will be back with the Mets in 2006. If he is, expect to see Scobie at Shea Stadium as early as 2006 as an emergency spot starter and possible reliever.

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