Final 2002 Scouting Report: RHP, Kevin Deaton

Kevin Deaton was an undrafted free agent signing of the Mets in 2000. Deaton who was the high school teammate at Merritt Island HS of Justin Barnes (drafted by the Mets in 2001) and Brandon Winn (drafted by the Mets in 2000 and 2002.) Deaton went undrafted because he had a full scholarship to attend Florida University to play football. Deaton, a highly regarded offensive lineman, chose Florida over the University of Alabama.

He weighed in the 285-305 range in HS. I was wondering if any 5'9", 165 lbs. types charged the mound after being hit by him. The Mets won the bidding war when Deaton declined the scholarship and was all set to attend junior college to play baseball.

Although Deaton's started this season, he's been primarily a reliever prior to 2002. Deaton performed well in both 2001 and 2002. His combined record is 12-3 allowing 108 hits, issuing 28 bases on balls and striking out 136 in 129 inning pitched. These are solid ratios for short-season leagues.

Year

Team

W-L

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2002

Brooklyn

7-1

82

68

18

93

3.07

2001

Kingsport

5-2

47

40

10

43

2.09


*Stats as of 09/07/02.

Repertoire. 4-seam fastball (FB), curve ball (CB), changeup (CU).

Fastball. Deaton's FB sits at 90-91 mph topping off at 94 mph with solid movement. When he drops to a ¾ motion, his FB has excellent run action (moving from right to left.) As Deaton resculpts his body, Deaton's ability to sustain velocity should improve. He should also add 2-3 mph to his FB.

Other pitches. Deaton has a sharp breaking CB that sits at 76-78 mph and a good CU.

Pitching. Deaton needs to continue to improve his stamina and improve his secondary pitchers to remain a starter. The ability to change speeds on his CB would help a lot.

Projection. N/A. Too early to tell.

ETA. N/A.

Right-Handed Starting Pitchers Team
Jae Weong Seo AAA - Norfolk Tides
Patrick Strange AAA - Norfolk Tides
Tyler Walker AAA - Norfolk Tides
Nick Maness AA - Binghamton Mets
Jeremy Griffiths AA - Binghamton Mets
Joseph Cole AA - Binghamton Mets
Jake Joseph AA - Binghamton Mets
Bob Keppel A - St. Lucie Mets
Dave Mattox A - St. Lucie Mets
Tanner Osberg A - Capital City Bombers
Luz Portobanco A - Capital City Bombers
Matthew Peterson A - Capital City Bombers
Miguel Pinango A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Kevin Deaton A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Chad Bowen A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Adam Elliot R - Kingsport Mets
Rafael Castro R - Kingsport Mets
Matthew Lindstrom R - Kingsport Mets


COMMENTS


1. Kevin Deaton needs to improve his stamina, and now possesses enough of a repertoire to be considered a starting pitching prospect. He bears watching as he re-sculpts his body. If so, he could eventually develop into a front-end starter. He needs a 4th pitch and the ability to change speeds on his CB to be more than an end of the rotation starter.

2. Jeremy Griffiths has emerged as the organization's second hardest thrower in 2002. He's plagued by inconsistent mechanics and command that is not unusual for a 6'7´pitcher with limited experience. Griffiths first began pitching in 1999. He'd make an ideal candidate for conversion to the bullpen.

3. Matthew Peterson in his past 5 starts demonstrated his ability to dominate with his high ceiling repertoire. Perhaps, the most impressive aspect of his performance is his ability to sustain velocity late into games. He was reaching 97 mph in the 7th inning of one of his starts. When considering any prospect, it's far more important to know the velocity late in games than at the beginning of games. This means the pitcher has the ability to close out victories themselves, or hand the game over to the closer rather than setups or middle RPs.

4. Aaron Heilman remains the organization's top pitching prospect. Heilman's remarkable command of his FB and SL sets him apart from other starters. Heilman also sustains his velocity deep into games and has the body and arm strength to pitch a lot of innings. He still needs to improve his secondary pitches. Due to his collegiate and International experience, Heilman may play a pivotal role in the Mets future. When the Leiter/Piazza era comes to a close, Heilman should be best able to accept the staff leadership mantle for a strong group of minor league prospects.

5. Patrick Strange also sustains and in fact increases his velocity as the game progresses. His 67-21 record is not just an accident. Strange demonstrates a remarkable ability to close out victories and hand games to the closer instead of others. His ability to sustain velocity late into games is a critical part of his success.

6. Robert Keppel is on the same fast track that the Mets had for Strange. But, Keppel's more extensive repertoire (4-seam FB, 2-seam FB+, cut SL, spl. FB and CU) than Strange at the seam age means he should not struggle as much as Strange did when promoted to Binghamton. He's also working on a knuckle CB. Keppel has the 2nd highest ceiling of any pitcher in the Mets organization, but he definitely needs to seriously bulk up.

7. Kenneth Chenard should be converted to a RP. He simply lacks the durability to become a SP. Should Chenard be relegated to the bullpen, Maness has the 3rd highest ceiling of any starter in the long season leagues. But, his continued struggles at Binghamto will soon regulate him to marginal prospect status. It's not likely the Mets will return him to their 40-man roster.

8. Luz Portobanco continues to struggle at Columbia and has not pitched recently for the Bombers. Tanner Osberg has taken his spot in the rotation. Portobanco has been plagued by poor control of his CB and CU both of which are close to MLB plus pitcher (but if he can't throw them for strikes it doesn't matter). Just as happened at Brooklyn, hitters stopped swinging at his off-speed pitches.

9. Tyler Walker's addition of a decent SL makes him MLB ready. With a loss of about 30 lbs., Walker is better able to sustain his velocity deep into games.

10. With the depth of quality arms, the Mets can move Seo to the bullpen to serve a Ramiro Mendoza type role. When healthy (he's been plagued by minor ailments throughout 2002), Seo has command of FB, CB, SL, CU and spl. FB. Bobby Valentine called him the best young pitcher he had ever seen when urging the Mets to sign Seo despite his having a sore elbow that eventually needed Tommy John surgery.

11. Dave Mattox has come on very quickly. He was promoted to St. Lucie after starting at Columbia. His pitches (4-seam FB, 2-seam FB, CB, CU) have excellent movement.

12. Jake Joseph has good stuff, however, his progress has been stifled by numerous not-pitching related injuries and a lack of confidence in his repertoire (FB, SL, CU).

13. Joey Cole probably possesses the worst repertoire of the three Js pitching at Binghamton (J. Griffith, and J. Joseph being the others), but he might turn out to be the best pitcher. He has a solid end of the rotation repertoire featuring a sinking FB and big breaking CB.

14. Adam Elliot has outstanding command of a plus FB and CB to have survived until the 6th round of the 2002 draft. Elliot also has the makings of a nasty SL and decent CU. Apparently, Elliot's perceived bad attitude cost him several hundred thousand dollars. For the Mets he's just another high ceiling pitching prospect amongst many.

15. Jason Weintraub, the great unknown, possesses a FB that sits at 88-89 mph and tops off at 92-93 mph. Weintraub's ease of motion, balance, frame, and leg strength, strongly suggests that he can add more than the usual 4-5 mph projection. The great unknown is whether his FB will eventually sit at 91-93 mph good but nothing special or sit at 96-98 while topping off at speeds in excess of 100 mph.

16. Miguel Pinango has impressive command of his FB. The Mets roving pitching instructor worked with him on developing a 2-seam FB and tightening his CB. The Mets are typically a 4-seam FB, CB and CU teaching organization for young pitchers (unless they have a SL, 2-seam FB, or spl. FB before signing.) For the Mets to teach Pinango a 2-seam FB at this stage, means either the Mets intend to move Pinango through their system quickly or the don't believe he'll develop a quality CB or both.



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