Final 2002 Scouting Report: RHP, Jeremy Griffiths

Jeremy Griffiths was the Mets' 3rd round selection in the 1999 draft. Griffiths pitched for Toledo University.

Griffiths has developed a solid repertoire for a pitcher who has only been pitching for 4 years. But, his inexperience shows in his high ERAs and inability to maintain his mechanics. Despite the poor stats, Griffiths has pitched extremely well beginning in July. Mechanical issues led to Griffiths' poor start - his shoulder flew open early and left his pitches high in the strike zone. With his late season charge, Griffiths lowered his ERA by a run and a half. His late season success as due largely to an improved FB that he relied heavily upon.

Over his last 11 starts, Griffiths record was 7-3 covering 78.3 innings pitched in which he allowed 64 hits, issued 6 bases on balls, yielded 4 home runs and struck out 75. Griffiths' earned run average was 2.30. Griffiths dominated AA hitters by relying heavily upon his fastball.

Griffiths' ratios were solid: 9.3 hit per 9 IP; 3.2 BB per 9 IP; and 7.4 K per 9 IP. The hits ratio is high, but the walks and strikeouts are solid ratios. He allowed 12 HR most of which occurred early in the season. His FB and slurvy slider are difficult to elevate when low in the strike zone.

Year

Team

W-L

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2002

Binghamton

8-6

153

157

54

126

3.89

2001

Binghamton

2-0

13

8

4

12

0.70

2001

St. Lucie

7-8

132

126

35

95

3.75

2000

Cap City

7-12

129

120

39

138

4.34

1999

Kingsport

3-5

76

68

36

74

3.30


*Stats as of 10/01/02.

Repertoire. 4-seam fastball (FB), curve ball (CB), slurvy slider (SL) and change up (CU).

Fastball. Griffiths's FB sits at 92-93 mph topping off at 95-96 mph with outstanding sinking action.

Other pitches. Griffiths' SL is a borderline out-pitch which he effectively speeds on. The CB and CU are still developing.

Pitching. To remain a starter, Griffith must become more consistent, develop better command and improve his secondary pitches (CB, CU). His strength is that he throws his SL,and CU from the same arm slot he throws his FB from, thereby his CU and SL are very deceptive the first 2 times through the lineup.

Projection Griffiths has the stuff to be a #2 or #3 SP should he develop an effective CU and improves his command and pitchability. He most likely should begin his major league career in the bullpen where he has the potential to be a good closer.

ETA. 2004. Griffiths has too much to learn to move very quickly.

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 remains the strength of the organization. Championships are built around pitching, and with the emergence of Peterson, the Mets have enough quality arms performing well to foster dreams of great Mets rotations of the past. More importantly, the depth of quality to arms suffices so that 1 or 2 injuries won't be as devastating.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

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 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.

6. 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 Binghamton will soon regulate him to marginal prospect status. It's not likely the Mets will return him to their 40-man roster.

7. Luz Portobanco continues to struggle at Columbia and has not pitched recently for the Bombers. Tanner Osborne 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.

8. 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.

9. With the depth of quality arms, the Mets can move Seo to the bullpen to serve a Mario 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.

10. David 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.

11. 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).

12. Joseph 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.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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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