Top 50 Scouting Report: #15 LHP Eric Niesen

The New York Mets selected the left-hander out of Wake Forest University in the 3rd round of the 2007 MLB Draft. He exudes a lot of confidence to go along with his stable, effective repertoire, and seems destined to move quickly through the system. Here is a scouting report on Brooklyn / St. Lucie pitcher Eric Niesen.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Eric Niesen
DOB: September 4, 1985
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 192
Throws: Left
Bats: Left

Eric Niesen may not have the velocity or the name recognition of other pitchers selected atop the Mets' draft board, but what he does bring the mound each time out is a cool poise that allows him to pitch with max efficiency. When he reported to Brooklyn last summer coaches saw right away exactly what kind of talent the former three-year star Wake Forest possessed.

He will not throw it by hitters with serious heat, but his low-90's fastball is made more effective by superior command of the strike zone. Tack on a terrific slider and a rapidly improving changeup and Niesen has the tools for success as a starter.

His adjustment to professional ball was not immediate. As a reliever and starter in college it took him a few outings to get the feel of pitching on a five-day schedule.

"Pitching in Brooklyn took a little bit of getting used to," said Niesen. "Mentally I felt I was prepared for what was ahead, but physically after coming out of the bullpen in college, I had to get myself on track to pitch at a starter's pace."

"I wouldn't say much changed from college to pro. I've always been aggressive, but I had to learn to mix it up more in pro ball. My mentality didn't change at all, I was still aggressive and went about doing my thing," he continued.

Niesen's biggest trouble while pitching for the Cyclones was with his usually steady command. Runs came at a premium versus the southpaw, but he averaged nearly one walk per inning pitched. There were no mechanical flaws, but at points fatigue did set in which would lead him to be too fine with his pitches.

"I think my control problems had to do with the physical nature of throwing so much. I threw a lot of innings in college, and by the time the season in Brooklyn rolled along I think I just got a little tired and tried to over do it," he explained. "The coaches didn't want to see me to do too much. I started to be too picky at the corners and they just wanted me to go after hitters."

Eventually, Niesen did settle down and capped off his stay in Brooklyn with three strong starts before moving on to St. Lucie. The promotion was a significant step and a great sign of the organization's belief in him as he was the only pitcher from the 2007 draft class to make the jump from short-season ball to St. Lucie.

"I was very excited to get moved up. It showed me that the club had confidence in me to succeed at that level," he said.

Though he made just one outing, his three scoreless innings on September 1 signified that he will not need to change his game as he sees his ability fitting well in the Florida State League.

"I see being able to go out in the Florida State League and do great things. I don't expect anything less than that. I thought I had a good outing there. It was the same thing, I just need to throw pitches and make outs. It showed that no matter what level I move to I just need to hit my spots, mix it up and if I do that, I'll be successful at any level," he said.

His brief stay in St. Lucie gave him a target to shoot for when he returns to spring training. Filled with the knowledge that he can pitch at the next level, he feels ready to tackle High-A ball or wherever he may end up.

"I would say my goal is to go into camp in great shape and be placed at the best possible location for me," said Niesen. "I'd like to break camp as high as possible which is what I'll be ready to do. I would say at least I make it to St. Lucie because I want to go out and impress people and show what I can do."

" I'm very excited about what happened last year. It makes me look forward to next season a lot because I had a real good summer. I think I can do a lot more taking what I learned from my first season and adapting that my work in the future."

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2007

St. Lucie

0-0

0

3.0

3

1

3

0.00

2007

Brooklyn

0-3

0

30.0

30

25

27

3.30



Repertoire: Fastball, Slider, Changeup

Fastball: As noted, Niesen will not often throw his fastball by anyone, but with a strong ability to locate his 92-93 MPH heater, he can be very sneaky. He will typically use the fastball to start off at-bats, but at times he does throw it in counts where hitters may be expecting one of his secondary pitches. Location is paramount for his fastball.

Other Pitches: Niesen relies on his slider as a finishing pitch and a way to induce groundballs. The pitch spins in high-70's to low-80's with good downward movement, making him able to work it under the hands of righties or down and away to lefties. The pitch can be touch and go at times, but when it is on, it is a very tough to pitch to drive. He finishes things up with his changeup which sits in the low-80's. He is still developing greater command of the pitch, but respectable speed difference and good movement make it a very reliable pitch.

Pitching: Niesen does not try to be fancy with his style. Though he currently has three pitches, he will show them all with confidence and go right after hitters. He will change speeds with his fastball and changeup to get ahead, and then challenge hitters with his slider. His walk total was a bit deceiving as he is more consistent within the strike zone then he appeared to be last season, and that should come out with more experience and rest in the new year. What the Mets found in Niesen is a battler who is willing to work his tail off on the mound.

Projection: His promotion to St. Lucie at the end of the year was a sign of the organization's belief that he can be a contributor at the big league level in coming years. He will need to add a fourth pitch along the way but that element figures to be a part of his learning process as he works his way up to be a middle of the rotation starter, best suited as a number three or four.

ETA: 2010. Niesen's made it up to St. Lucie last season and that figures to be where he will start and remain for the entire upcoming season. From there, we anticipate he will split time at a higher level along the way as he readies to break into the big leagues in 2010.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Eric Niesen
\r\nDOB: September 4, 1985
\r\nHeight: 6'0\"
\r\nWeight: 192
\r\nThrows: Left
\r\nBats: Left
\r\n
\r\nEric Niesen may not have the velocity or the name recognition of other pitchers selected atop the Mets' draft board, but what he does bring the mound each time out is a cool poise that allows him to pitch with max efficiency. When he reported to Brooklyn last summer coaches saw right away exactly what kind of talent the former three-year star Wake Forest possessed.
\r\n
\r\nHe will not throw it by hitters with serious heat, but his low-90's fastball is made more effective by superior command of the strike zone. Tack on a terrific slider and a rapidly improving changeup and Niesen has the tools for success as a starter.
\r\n
\r\nHis adjustment to professional ball was not immediate. As a reliever and starter in college it took him a few outings to get the feel of pitching on a five-day schedule.
\r\n
\r\n\"Pitching in Brooklyn took a little bit of getting used to,\" said Niesen. \"Mentally I felt I was prepared for what was ahead, but physically after coming out of the bullpen in college, I had to get myself on track to pitch at a starter's pace.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I wouldn't say much changed from college to pro. I've always been aggressive, but I had to learn to mix it up more in pro ball. My mentality didn't change at all, I was still aggressive and went about doing my thing,\" he continued.
\r\n
\r\nNiesen's biggest trouble while pitching for the Cyclones was with his usually steady command. Runs came at a premium versus the southpaw, but he averaged nearly one walk per inning pitched. There were no mechanical flaws, but at points fatigue did set in which would lead him to be too fine with his pitches.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think my control problems had to do with the physical nature of throwing so much. I threw a lot of innings in college, and by the time the season in Brooklyn rolled along I think I just got a little tired and tried to over do it,\" he explained. \"The coaches didn't want to see me to do too much. I started to be too picky at the corners and they just wanted me to go after hitters.\"
\r\n
\r\nEventually, Niesen did settle down and capped off his stay in Brooklyn with three strong starts before moving on to St. Lucie. The promotion was a significant step and a great sign of the organization's belief in him as he was the only pitcher from the 2007 draft class to make the jump from short-season ball to St. Lucie.
\r\n
\r\n\"I was very excited to get moved up. It showed me that the club had confidence in me to succeed at that level,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\nThough he made just one outing, his three scoreless innings on September 1 signified that he will not need to change his game as he sees his ability fitting well in the Florida State League.
\r\n
\r\n\"I see being able to go out in the Florida State League and do great things. I don't expect anything less than that. I thought I had a good outing there. It was the same thing, I just need to throw pitches and make outs. It showed that no matter what level I move to I just need to hit my spots, mix it up and if I do that, I'll be successful at any level,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\nHis brief stay in St. Lucie gave him a target to shoot for when he returns to spring training. Filled with the knowledge that he can pitch at the next level, he feels ready to tackle High-A ball or wherever he may end up.
\r\n
\r\n\"I would say my goal is to go into camp in great shape and be placed at the best possible location for me,\" said Niesen. \"I'd like to break camp as high as possible which is what I'll be ready to do. I would say at least I make it to St. Lucie because I want to go out and impress people and show what I can do.\"
\r\n
\r\n\" I'm very excited about what happened last year. It makes me look forward to next season a lot because I had a real good summer. I think I can do a lot more taking what I learned from my first season and adapting that my work in the future.\"
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

Year

\r\n

\r\n Team

\r\n

\r\n W-L

\r\n

\r\n SV

\r\n

\r\n IP

\r\n

\r\n Hits

\r\n

\r\n BB

\r\n

K

\r\n

\r\n ERA

\r\n

\r\n 2007

\r\n

\r\n St. Lucie

\r\n

\r\n 0-0

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 3.0

\r\n

\r\n 3

\r\n

\r\n 1

\r\n

\r\n 3

\r\n

\r\n 0.00

\r\n

\r\n 2007

\r\n

\r\n Brooklyn

\r\n

\r\n 0-3

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 30.0

\r\n

\r\n 30

\r\n

\r\n 25

\r\n

\r\n 27

\r\n

\r\n 3.30


\r\n
\r\nRepertoire: Fastball, Slider, Changeup
\r\n
\r\nFastball: As noted, Niesen will not often throw his fastball by anyone, but with a strong ability to locate his 92-93 MPH heater, he can be very sneaky. He will typically use the fastball to start off at-bats, but at times he does throw it in counts where hitters may be expecting one of his secondary pitches. Location is paramount for his fastball.
\r\n
\r\nOther Pitches: Niesen relies on his slider as a finishing pitch and a way to induce groundballs. The pitch spins in high-70's to low-80's with good downward movement, making him able to work it under the hands of righties or down and away to lefties. The pitch can be touch and go at times, but when it is on, it is a very tough to pitch to drive. He finishes things up with his changeup which sits in the low-80's. He is still developing greater command of the pitch, but respectable speed difference and good movement make it a very reliable pitch.
\r\n
\r\nPitching: Niesen does not try to be fancy with his style. Though he currently has three pitches, he will show them all with confidence and go right after hitters. He will change speeds with his fastball and changeup to get ahead, and then challenge hitters with his slider. His walk total was a bit deceiving as he is more consistent within the strike zone then he appeared to be last season, and that should come out with more experience and rest in the new year. What the Mets found in Niesen is a battler who is willing to work his tail off on the mound.
\r\n
\r\nProjection: His promotion to St. Lucie at the end of the year was a sign of the organization's belief that he can be a contributor at the big league level in coming years. He will need to add a fourth pitch along the way but that element figures to be a part of his learning process as he works his way up to be a middle of the rotation starter, best suited as a number three or four.
\r\n
\r\nETA: 2010. Niesen's made it up to St. Lucie last season and that figures to be where he will start and remain for the entire upcoming season. From there, we anticipate he will split time at a higher level along the way as he readies to break into the big leagues in 2010.
\r\n
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