Spring Report: Kevin Mulvey

The 21-year-old right-hander was effective during his first trip to Spring Training. With a developing collection of pitches, Mulvey can assert his control over a lineup. He begins 2007 back in Binghamton with a rejuvenated arm and lofty goals. Inside Pitch Magazine sat down with him on Tuesday night.

Kevin Mulvey possessed great confidence and understanding of his game as he entered his second season and his first spring training. The Mets 2006 top overall selection benefited from an immediate introduction to professional ball with a brief, yet extremely sharp, appearance in Binghamton and the Gulf Coast League. Despite a full season at Villanova in 2006, he did not miss a beat at the next level.

Though he pitched just 15 1/3 innings, he excelled as he faced professional hitters for the first time. Pushed right into the Double-A playoff race, he remained unfazed and played within himself.

"It was great to get thrown right into the fire and the competition of the Double-A level. It was great to succeed, to get the positive feedback and know that I could step right in and pitch well against good young talent from the start. Taking my game beyond college and pitching well was great," he said.

Like many top draft picks, he threw more innings than ever in his first professional season. Given the amount of pitches and innings thrown by many rookies, injuries are a possibility as their arms adjust to the work. Luckily, Mulvey was able to avoid any such misfortune. He experienced first hand the rigors of a full season's load and walked away better for it.

"My arm feels good even after throwing all those innings. It was great to know I could go through a whole season, pitch every fifth day and stay healthy. I have yet to do it for a whole pro season, but I look forward to the challenge.

Mulvey's first camp allowed him to work closely with coaches for the first time. He had yet to grasp the ability to pitch inside, an obvious, necessary trait to keep his moving forward. With heat in the mid-90s and a variety of breaking and off-speed pitches, he needed to develop his plate control to mature as a pitcher.

"My inside pitching is coming. It's always a work in progress to put the ball where I want it, especially on the corners. As far as controlling the inside part of the plate, it's definitely a key to my success as a pitcher. Things are coming along with both lefties and righties," he explained.

In addition to inside command, the maturation of his curveball and changeup are huge factors to his progression. His fastball is his dominant pitch and his table-setter, though his secondary pitches will define him as a pitcher. He detailed how he focused on the development of the curve and change during camp. Now, his entire repertoire is at a high comfort level.

"I feel secure in that I can throw every one of my pitches in any count or situation for a strike. The pitches are breaking the way I want, I'm comfortable with my arm angles, and the pitches are clicking. I just want the ball every fifth day. I'd like to be in the Majors at some point this year, but if not, I want to pitch at the fullest of my potential no matter where I am and leave the speculation and questions about my game to everyone else," he concluded.

If he maintains this focus and expands upon his head-turning performances of 2006, Mulvey could have a short stay in the minor leagues. It took only one appearance in the Gulf Coast League last year before his promotion to Binghamton. If he gets off to a fast start, there is no telling where his road may end this season.

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