Devaney The Magician

Michael Devaney doesn't have the best stuff nor has he been considered one of the top pitching prospects in the Mets' organization. However, after entering the season 15-4 with a 3.23 ERA in his career and pitching to a combined 12-4 mark with a 2.02 ERA in two stops between St. Lucie and Binghamton this season, he continues to baffle hitters and earn the nickname 'The Magician'.

After starting the year 8-3 with a 1.62 ERA and earning a Florida State League All-Star nomination with the St. Lucie Mets, Devaney has had a bit more difficult transition to the double-A level, going 4-1 with a 2.81 ERA in his first ten games with the B-Mets.

"It's been a little bit of an adjustment period for me," Michael Devaney said of his time in Binghamton. "I'm not really comfortable mentally yet. It's been slow to come around but I've been battling to keep my body settled down."

"With my mechanics, we've tried to switch something up and it's kind of been a slow transition. It's been tough, but at the same time, I'm happy with the progress that I've made."

Devaney has had control issues at the double-A level thus far, walking 31 batters in his first 48 innings in the Eastern League. Problems locating his fastball with his new mechanics, which in turn has rendered his developing changeup less effective, has been the culprit.

"I'm not real confident in throwing it right now," Devaney said of his fastball, "I'm just trying to spot it. Once I get more comfortable with coming straight over the plate I think the velocity will come back."

"I was throwing more across my body down in St. Lucie and I kind of adjusted to throwing that way and they think in the long run it will be better to straighten out my body more, come straight toward home. It's been a little bit of an adjustment. Throwing strikes has been the biggest problem for me right now. But hopefully [down the stretch] I can get it straightened out."

"I was cutting my fastball a lot - it helps me to cut it sometimes - but it got to the point where my cut wasn't as consistent as I would like it," Devaney continued, "so we figure if we straighten out my delivery more, I will actually know what's going to come out of my hand."

When a pitcher is not commanding his fastball, the domino effect makes his secondary pitches less effective. Such has been the case with Michael Devaney in Binghamton.

"My curveball makes my fastball better, but once you get up here, they start guessing curveball a lot more and then they just sit on that," said the 24-year old hurler. "I'm probably going to throw them at least one in every at-bat and I can definitely tell when they stand up in the box they take that away from me. I'm going to need that third pitch for strikes to keep them honest."

While the overall results have been quite good, Binghamton pitching coach Mark Brewer has seen Devaney be inconsistent, but he also has been impressed with his mettle on the mound to date.

"At this point he's had two or three real good games from a command standpoint and then he's had some starts were he's been short on his command," said the pitching coach. "Somehow he's getting through the fifth inning into the sixth inning without his best stuff. He's not going to overpower anybody. He's a bulldog when he gets out there."

"His mindset is to beat these guys or whoever he pitches against," Brewer continued. "Hopefully that pays off for him and he continues to be able to execute the way he will have to execute at the big league level. Whether or not he does it remains to be seen. He's still young and he's got some time to develop all of his stuff."

While his ERA has nearly doubled and his command has faltered, Devaney is still happy with his whole body of work in 2006.

"Extremely," he said of his performance this year. "I'm extremely happy with the way things are going. The only thing I'm unhappy with is I haven't developed my changeup as much as I would have liked, but I think that comes back to not throwing my fastball for strikes."

"I've had to rely on my curveball so much this year. It's helped me to throw with confidence with runners in scoring position but it's also hurt me with developing my changeup. This offseason it will be a big goal of mine to get that changeup going for strikes all the time."

A 23rd round pick in the 2004 MLB Draft, Devaney has certainly posted the necessary numbers to open some eyes in the organization and now that he's putting up adequate numbers at the higher minor league levels, he's hoping he has propelled himself into top pitching prospect discussions.

"Well I hope so," Devaney said if his performance with the Mets the past three seasons have put him on the prospect radar. "In the beginning of every year I've had to start over, kind of show everybody that I can throw. Brooklyn I had a good year and then I came back and they wanted me in the bullpen in Hagerstown. Then I had to prove myself there before they put me back in the rotation."

"So in the beginning of this year they gave me a spot in the rotation," he continued. "It gave me the confidence I had the previous two years to come out and pitch. Hopefully I can keep improving and maybe next year start here and end up in triple-A."

Putting up numbers as a late-round draft pick is necessary to keep getting opportunities to develop, but despite the fantastic results in his career thus far, he still has work to do with his stuff to garner a possible big league call-up in the future.

"Well at this point you see flickers of that," Brewer said if he believes Devaney has a pitch in his arsenal to get out big league batters. "His curveball is a good curveball and it keeps guys off stride, that's for sure. Sometimes you see it, but on a consistent basis at this point, no he doesn't have it. But that doesn't mean he's not going to have it."

"He's 23-years old [actually he's 24] and he's got some time to continue to develop into getting to know himself and to know what it takes to pitch at the big league level through the ranks at the minor leagues."

In a stats-driven world where numbers seemingly dictate perceived value in the game of baseball, everyone is impressed with how Michael Devaney continues to get hitters out with average stuff.

"He gets it done somehow," said former St. Lucie teammate Corey Coles. "He doesn't throw extra-hard. He's got the good curveball, fastball, and I guess an okay changeup. He just finds a way to get guys out. He's amazing. We call him the magician because when you look at hard he throws, and he's got just three pitches, it's just amazing how he gets guys out."

Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nAfter starting the year 8-3 with a 1.62 ERA and earning a Florida State League All-Star nomination with the St. Lucie Mets, Devaney has had a bit more difficult transition to the double-A level, going 4-1 with a 2.81 ERA in his first ten games with the B-Mets.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's been a little bit of an adjustment period for me,\" Michael Devaney said of his time in Binghamton. \"I'm not really comfortable mentally yet. It's been slow to come around but I've been battling to keep my body settled down.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"With my mechanics, we've tried to switch something up and it's kind of been a slow transition. It's been tough, but at the same time, I'm happy with the progress that I've made.\"
\r\n
\r\nDevaney has had control issues at the double-A level thus far, walking 31 batters in his first 48 innings in the Eastern League. Problems locating his fastball with his new mechanics, which in turn has rendered his developing changeup less effective, has been the culprit.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm not real confident in throwing it right now,\" Devaney said of his fastball, \"I'm just trying to spot it. Once I get more comfortable with coming straight over the plate I think the velocity will come back.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I was throwing more across my body down in St. Lucie and I kind of adjusted to throwing that way and they think in the long run it will be better to straighten out my body more, come straight toward home. It's been a little bit of an adjustment. Throwing strikes has been the biggest problem for me right now. But hopefully [down the stretch] I can get it straightened out.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I was cutting my fastball a lot - it helps me to cut it sometimes - but it got to the point where my cut wasn't as consistent as I would like it,\" Devaney continued, \"so we figure if we straighten out my delivery more, I will actually know what's going to come out of my hand.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhen a pitcher is not commanding his fastball, the domino effect makes his secondary pitches less effective. Such has been the case with Michael Devaney in Binghamton.
\r\n
\r\n\"My curveball makes my fastball better, but once you get up here, they start guessing curveball a lot more and then they just sit on that,\" said the 24-year old hurler. \"I'm probably going to throw them at least one in every at-bat and I can definitely tell when they stand up in the box they take that away from me. I'm going to need that third pitch for strikes to keep them honest.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile the overall results have been quite good, Binghamton pitching coach Mark Brewer has seen Devaney be inconsistent, but he also has been impressed with his mettle on the mound to date.
\r\n
\r\n\"At this point he's had two or three real good games from a command standpoint and then he's had some starts were he's been short on his command,\" said the pitching coach. \"Somehow he's getting through the fifth inning into the sixth inning without his best stuff. He's not going to overpower anybody. He's a bulldog when he gets out there.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"His mindset is to beat these guys or whoever he pitches against,\" Brewer continued. \"Hopefully that pays off for him and he continues to be able to execute the way he will have to execute at the big league level. Whether or not he does it remains to be seen. He's still young and he's got some time to develop all of his stuff.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile his ERA has nearly doubled and his command has faltered, Devaney is still happy with his whole body of work in 2006.
\r\n
\r\n\"Extremely,\" he said of his performance this year. \"I'm extremely happy with the way things are going. The only thing I'm unhappy with is I haven't developed my changeup as much as I would have liked, but I think that comes back to not throwing my fastball for strikes.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I've had to rely on my curveball so much this year. It's helped me to throw with confidence with runners in scoring position but it's also hurt me with developing my changeup. This offseason it will be a big goal of mine to get that changeup going for strikes all the time.\"
\r\n
\r\nA 23rd round pick in the 2004 MLB Draft, Devaney has certainly posted the necessary numbers to open some eyes in the organization and now that he's putting up adequate numbers at the higher minor league levels, he's hoping he has propelled himself into top pitching prospect discussions.
\r\n
\r\n\"Well I hope so,\" Devaney said if his performance with the Mets the past three seasons have put him on the prospect radar. \"In the beginning of every year I've had to start over, kind of show everybody that I can throw. Brooklyn I had a good year and then I came back and they wanted me in the bullpen in Hagerstown. Then I had to prove myself there before they put me back in the rotation.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"So in the beginning of this year they gave me a spot in the rotation,\" he continued. \"It gave me the confidence I had the previous two years to come out and pitch. Hopefully I can keep improving and maybe next year start here and end up in triple-A.\"
\r\n
\r\nPutting up numbers as a late-round draft pick is necessary to keep getting opportunities to develop, but despite the fantastic results in his career thus far, he still has work to do with his stuff to garner a possible big league call-up in the future.
\r\n
\r\n\"Well at this point you see flickers of that,\" Brewer said if he believes Devaney has a pitch in his arsenal to get out big league batters. \"His curveball is a good curveball and it keeps guys off stride, that's for sure. Sometimes you see it, but on a consistent basis at this point, no he doesn't have it. But that doesn't mean he's not going to have it.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"He's 23-years old [actually he's 24] and he's got some time to continue to develop into getting to know himself and to know what it takes to pitch at the big league level through the ranks at the minor leagues.\"
\r\n
\r\nIn a stats-driven world where numbers seemingly dictate perceived value in the game of baseball, everyone is impressed with how Michael Devaney continues to get hitters out with average stuff.
\r\n
\r\n\"He gets it done somehow,\" said former St. Lucie teammate Corey Coles. \"He doesn't throw extra-hard. He's got the good curveball, fastball, and I guess an okay changeup. He just finds a way to get guys out. He's amazing. We call him the magician because when you look at hard he throws, and he's got just three pitches, it's just amazing how he gets guys out.\"
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