Final 2002 Scouting Report: RHP, Bob Keppel

Bob Keppel was the Mets supplementary first round selection in the 2000 draft. The Mets received this pick as compensation for the Mariners signing John Olerud. Keppel was all set to attend Notre Dame -- both of his parents are alumni of Notre Dame. He would also have played point guard for the basketball team. Keppel, a community-active high school student, looks forward to continue his involvement with community programs for the Mets.

Keppel, who just turned 20 in June is on a fast track through the Mets system. Keppel struggled despite an exceptional repertoire. Keppel appeared to lose velocity often not topping 89 mph. There wasn't any indication of injury. At 6'5", 184 lbs., the loss of velocity might be related to lack of stamina.

As the season progressed, Keppel's ratios worsened: 9.6 hits per 9 IP; 2.5 BB per 9 IP; and 6.5 K per 9 IP.

Year

Team

W-L

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2002

St. Lucie

9-7

152

162

43

109

4.32

2001

Cap City

6-7

124

118

25

87

3.11

2000

Kingsport

1-2

29

31

13

29

6.83


*Stats as of 10/01/02.

Fastball. Keppel's power sinker (2-seam FB) is his best pitch and sits at 89-90 mph. His 4-seam FB sits in the 91-93 mph range and tops off at 95-96 mph. He's likely to add 2 mph to his 4-seamer.

Other pitches. Keppel's cut SL sits in the 84-86 mph range and should eventually evolve into his second plus pitch. He uses his spl. FB as his K-pitch. Keppel's CU needs substantial improvement. For this reason, Keppel has experimented with a knuckle curve as an alternative off-speed pitch.

Pitching. Keppel works both sides of the plate. He sets up his SPL for strikeouts and can get ground balls with the 2-seamer. Keppel is just learning how to utilize his repertoire to get hitters out. When that happens, he'll be more dominant.

Projection. Keppel projects to a #2 starter. Keppel has the kind the long lean body that scouts project to add 2-3 mph to his velocity.

ETA 2005.

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


Starting RHP represents a strength of the organization. The list includes 14 starters indicates the depth the Mets possess. Heilman, Keppel, Mattox, Peterson, Portobanco, Reynolds, and Strange all possess the talent to evolve into front end starters.

1. Patrick Strange's upside would improve dramatically if he's allowed to reintroduce his spl. FB into his repertoire.

2. Aaron Heilman remains the organizations top pitching prospect. Heilman's remarkable command of his FB and SL sets him apart from other starters, but he still needs to improve his secondary pitches.

3. Mets organization feels that Tyler Walker now is ready to start at the MLB level. He has recently added a SL that is critical to his long-term viability as a SP. Walker needs a pitch to throw against left-handed hitters that complements his FB and CB on the outside corner by driving left handed hitters off the plate. Walker needs to develop enough command in his SL to throw that pitch about hands high just off the inside corner.

4. Jae Seo struggles continue since having surgery in 1999. Apparently the Mets knew about his arm troubles when he signed in December, 1997. The Mets hoped that rest would cure his elbow problems. Seo has outstanding command of FB, CB, SL, CU and spl. FB. He's been plagued in 2003 by a variety of ailments. The big problem though is his failure to regain the 96-93 mph on his FB.

5. Bob 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 same age means he should not struggle as much as Strange did when promoted to Binghamton. He's also working on a knuckle CB.

6. David Mattox has come on very quickly. He was promoted to St. Lucie after starting at Columbia. His pitches have excellent movement.

7. Matthew Peterson struggled early in the season, but he has come lately. In his past 4 starts, he has a 4-0 record, pitched 25 innings allowing 3 runs, issuing 5 BB and striking out 38. His ERA was 1.08 over that stretch. He possesses the best upside in the system.

8. Luz Portobanco's repertoire is excellent stuff, but he needs to improve his control especially his CB and CU.

9. Harold Eckert pitches well for Columbia, but he's old for low A. Eckert was drafted by the Dodgers in 1999 out of Florida Atlantic University. Due to damage to his elbow, Eckert never pitched in the Dodgers organization. He sat out 2 seasons before the Mets signed him. He projects to be a solid reliever with an exceptional SL.

10. Jason Weintraub, Miguel Pinango, and Adam Elliot are excellent SP prospects. Weintraub has tremendous projectability and could be the best long range prospect. Elliot, Deaton, and Pinango also look like very good prospects, Matthew Lindstrom and Rafael Castro may also be worth watching. Chad Bowen has been plagued by injuries in 2001 and 2002. Bowen's a prospect, if he can maintain his health.



Do you have an opinion on the Mets? Be sure to let us know on the message board. NYfansonly.com is always looking for die-hard Mets fans who would like to be writers for the site. Click here to learn more on how to become a Mets beat writer for NYfansonly.com.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories