Niese Takes the Next Step

After just four months in Double-A, left-hander Jonathon Niese has moved on to Triple-A where anticipation exists that he is just one phone call away from the big leagues. For now though, he will continue to fine tune his game for whatever may be in store. Inside Pitch spoke with Niese to get his early impressions of the next stage.

At 21 years old, Jonathon Niese, a lefty with a powerful curve ball is the Mets top pitching prospect in the organization. Listed at #8 by on Top 50 Prospects List last November [and has since moved up], the Mets 2005 7th round draft pick was promoted him to Triple-A New Orleans for the first time in his professional career.

Niese was called up from Binghamton on July 29 and a day later was a success on the mound as he recorded his first Triple-A win with the Zephyrs in a 7-1 victory over Tucson.

"It's exciting," Niese said of his move to Triple-A. "It's a great opportunity for me to move up and obviously I'm one step closer."

Along with the excitement of a promotion comes the added pressure of success at the next level and the pressure to make an even greater advancement to the big leagues. For such a young athlete, pressure and attention can be difficult to handle but Niese's performance on the mound doesn't seem to be affected.

"No pressure. I kinda handled the pressure of big league camp well, and it's the same game I just have to continue pitching the way I have. I just let it go [extra attention] whatever happens, happens," Niese said.

In his debut with the Zephyrs, he held Tuscon to three hits in his seven innings and allowed just one run to score. Niese's success in New Orleans is a continuation of his success with the B-Mets. In his last game in Binghamton, Niese pitched seven scoreless innings against Erie.

He may be a newcomer to New Orleans, but there is one face familiar to him on the Zephyrs. Pitching Coach Rick Waits worked with Niese at the beginning of his professional career in 2005 as Waits was the minor league pitching coordinator and then again in spring training in February. Waits has success coaching lefties as he was a left handed pitcher himself.

He's a great guy [Waits], easy to work with and easy to understand," Niese said. "He was actually the pitching coordinator when I first got with the Mets, that's part of the reason I'm here."

In the past year with Binghamton, Niese has worked on improving his off-speed pitches, and now with Waits' guidance, he is looking to brush up on all his pitches in the hopes of getting the call-up to New York. While only 21, Niese feels that he is ready to make the final leap to the big leagues.

"I feel I'm ready, I just need to be polished up a little more. Just make quality pitches, and making sure each one is at its best," he said. "My fastball, curve ball and change up, just mastering those pitches."

The future looks bright for Niese as he is sure to break in the big leagues soon. He has quickly advanced though the Mets organization due to his promise as a successful left handed pitcher and the improvement in his repertoire.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nAt 21 years old, Jonathon Niese, a lefty with a powerful curve ball is the Mets top pitching prospect in the organization. Listed at #8 by on Top 50 Prospects List last November [and has since moved up], the Mets 2005 7th round draft pick was promoted him to Triple-A New Orleans for the first time in his professional career.
\r\n
\r\nNiese was called up from Binghamton on July 29 and a day later was a success on the mound as he recorded his first Triple-A win with the Zephyrs in a 7-1 victory over Tucson.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's exciting,\" Niese said of his move to Triple-A. \"It's a great opportunity for me to move up and obviously I'm one step closer.\"
\r\n
\r\nAlong with the excitement of a promotion comes the added pressure of success at the next level and the pressure to make an even greater advancement to the big leagues. For such a young athlete, pressure and attention can be difficult to handle but Niese's performance on the mound doesn't seem to be affected.
\r\n
\r\n\"No pressure. I kinda handled the pressure of big league camp well, and it's the same game I just have to continue pitching the way I have. I just let it go [extra attention] whatever happens, happens,\" Niese said.
\r\n
\r\nIn his debut with the Zephyrs, he held Tuscon to three hits in his seven innings and allowed just one run to score. Niese's success in New Orleans is a continuation of his success with the B-Mets. In his last game in Binghamton, Niese pitched seven scoreless innings against Erie.
\r\n
\r\nHe may be a newcomer to New Orleans, but there is one face familiar to him on the Zephyrs. Pitching Coach Rick Waits worked with Niese at the beginning of his professional career in 2005 as Waits was the minor league pitching coordinator and then again in spring training in February. Waits has success coaching lefties as he was a left handed pitcher himself.
\r\n
\r\nHe's a great guy [Waits], easy to work with and easy to understand,\" Niese said. \"He was actually the pitching coordinator when I first got with the Mets, that's part of the reason I'm here.\"
\r\n
\r\nIn the past year with Binghamton, Niese has worked on improving his off-speed pitches, and now with Waits' guidance, he is looking to brush up on all his pitches in the hopes of getting the call-up to New York. While only 21, Niese feels that he is ready to make the final leap to the big leagues.
\t\r\n
\r\n\"I feel I'm ready, I just need to be polished up a little more. Just make quality pitches, and making sure each one is at its best,\" he said. \"My fastball, curve ball and change up, just mastering those pitches.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe future looks bright for Niese as he is sure to break in the big leagues soon. He has quickly advanced though the Mets organization due to his promise as a successful left handed pitcher and the improvement in his repertoire.
\r\n
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