Overview of Relief Pitching Prospects - Part I

The Mets lack a sure-fire closer prospect in the system. Tyler Yates (RHP) and Franklin Nunez (RHP) represent the best candidates among minor league relievers. Yates had TJ surgery in July. Nunez was claimed off waivers after an injury-plagued season and at age 26 has to be considered questionable. The best bet for a closer from the system remains converting a starting pitching prospect.

The Mets possess a number of useful arms that could serve various roles from setup, middle relief, long relief and lefty specialist. The farm system has good balance between LHPs and RHPs.

Long Season

Heath Bell (RHP) and Paul Jon Bevis (RHP) are the best of the prospects near MLB ready. Pedro Feliciano (LHP), a minor league veteran could help out of the Mets out of the bullpen as well. Starting prospects Strange, Griffiths and Seibel might help the Mets more out of the pen than the RP candidates. John Bale (LHP) possesses good stuff but is recovering from injuries. Other prospects to keep an eye on are Tim Lavigne (RHP), Blake McGinley (LHP), Rafael Lopez (RHP), Brian Walker (LHP), Jason Scobie (RHP), Jason Weir (LHP), and Yunior Cabrera (LHP).

Short season

The Mets should have some intriguing short season relief prospects including Jeff Brewer (RHP),and Bryan King (RHP). Ryan Danly (LHP) has great potential to be a power pitcher. Mario Ramos (RHP) and Javier Pordomo (RHP) should be the best of the Latin players.

Norfolk Tides - The Mets are likely to add MLB-ready RPs to the roster until Adam Walker and Tyler Yates return from the disabled list. Patrick Strange's recovery from surgery will place less pressure to place a SP prospect in the bullpen. Jason Roach might be in the bullpen after Strange returns. Heath Bell and Paul John Bevis are likely to need a full season at AAA.

Player (Repertoire)


Stats (W-L, ERA, IP)


Tyler Yates (4-FB, SL)


(2-2, 1.32, 34)

Had TJ surgery. 94-97 mph FB w. solid SL. Setup likely, but closer possible, if he fully recovers. Good ratio (34K/13BB).

Franklin Nunez (4-FB, SL, CU, spl FB)


(2-1, 3.18, 17)

Waiver pick up from Phillies. Great stuff, but still harnessing it. A little old. mid-90s FB that tops out at 98 mph. Good CU. Plagued by injuries. In 1 appearance with the Phillis 2 IP no runs and 4 K and 1BB. But a poor ratio (16K/12BB) in minors.

Paul John Bevis (4-FB, CB)


(5-5, 2.54, 71)&

Picked up from Diamondbacks for Little. Throws 2 CB, the best is a 67-68 mph CB. FB in 92-95 mph range. Good ratio (76K/32BB). Needs to reduce BB.

Heath Bell (4-FB, SL)


(4-4, 2.58, 70)&

92-94 mph FB, solid SL. Improved command. Solid setup RP prospect. Missed time with arm ailment early in the season that caused early season problems. Outstanding ratio (77K/15BB). Outstanding ratio continued in Venezuela (18K/3BB) in 12 IP.

Pedro Feliciano* (FB, CB, SL, CU)


(3-2, 3.27, 74)&

Modest stuff, decent control.  Marginal prospect.

James Serrano


(8-6, 4.04, 74)

On his way to becoming a career minor leaguer. Despite adequate ratio (76K/31BB), he allowed 88 hits.

Jason Saenz* (4-FB, 2-FB, CB, CU)


(6-3, 4.59, 79)&

Real good stuff, but has difficulty locating the Atlantic Ocean. Ratio (50K/65BB) says it all.

Peter Zamora*


(5-2, 3.48, 62)

Not a prospect. (32K/29BB). Claim to fame, he hit Alcantara in 2001 leading to karate incident.

Binghamton Mets - Should have good depth in their bullpen. The lefties might need some improvement. Look for Saenz to repeat AA and come out of the bullpen.

Player (Repertoire)


Stats (W-L, ERA, IP)


Eric Cammack (4-FB, ct-FB, CB, SL, CU)


(3-4, 5.46, 64)

Good stuff, but lacks command. May Need to reduce pitches. Poor ratio (70K/55BB). Poor command makes him a marginal prospect at best.

Tim Lavigne (4-FB, CB)


(2-5, 3.24, 61)&

Big breaking CB complemented by low 90s FB. Middle RP is likely. Adequate ratio (50K/24BB).

Aaron Hee*


(5-5, 4.66, 68)

Marginal prospect at best. Poor command (69K/38BB).

Chad Elliott* (FB, CB, SL, CU)


(5-6, 2.94, 110)

Modest stuff with decent control. Marginal prospect at best. Poor Ratio (61K/37BB).

Steve Bennett (FB, SL, CU)


(5-5, 1.97, 69)

Features low 92-93 mph FB. Adequate ratio (73K/37BB). Needs to reduce BB and is old to be debuting AA.

Andy Cook* (FB, CB, CU)


(6-3, 5.07, 55)

Not a prospect. Poor ratio (39K/22BB).

Brandon Parker



Pitched for the Jackson Senators in Central League. An independent league. (1-0, 1.64, 33).

Nick Mattioni


(4-3, 4.78, 79)

Marginal prospect at best. Poor ratio (68K/42BB).

Ryan Jamison (4-FB, SL)


(3-6, 3.99, 95)

90-92 mph FB with decent sink. Decent ratio (90K/37BB). Allowed more hits than IP.

David Byard (4-FB, CB, SL)


(7-4, 3.57, 68)

Good stuff, but poor command  (48K/43BB).

Joseph Orloski


(6-5, 5.25, 60)

Hard thrower with command issues. Poor ratio (45K/29BB).

St. Lucie Mets - The Mets generally carry more than 25 players on this roster early in the season, and generally carry 12-13 pitchers. The availability of the extended ST facility allows pitchers to get additional work. The Mets should have good depth at St. Lucie. Especially, since at least 1 starter is likely to be moved to the bullpen.

Player (Repertoire)


Stats (W-L, ERA, IP)


Rafael Lopez (4-FB, CB, CU)


(1-3, 4.02, 40)

Suffered from DR aging-itis, whether fatal is not clear. Good stuff, low 90s FB has good sink. Solid CB and CU. Long/middle RP. Possibly, a setup. Poor ratio (35K/20BB).

Rene Vega*


(2-6, 6.28, 75)

Not a prospect.

Michael Cox* (4-FB, CB)


(4-1, 6.05, 64)&

Features low 90s FB. Terrible ratio (103K/65BB).

Orlando Roman (4-FB, CB, CU)


(1-5, 2.77, 78)

Features low 90s FB. Decent stuff, but needs to begin moving in system. Great ratio (100K/39BB). Still needs to reduce BB.

Blake McGinley* (4-FB, SL)


(2-2, 3.78, 67)&

Low 90s FB with good breaking pitch. Good stuff. Lefty setup. Great ratio (75K/19BB) although he struggled at St. Lucie in 2002.

Quentin Patterson


(1-1, 1.95, 28)

Hard thrower, no longer a prospect Terrible ratio (14K/20BB).

Jason Scobie (2-FB, CB, SL, CU)


(4-4, 2.77, 76)&

Good repertoire. Lacks durability to start. Good CB/SL combo. Good ratio (67K/24BB).

Ryan Olson* (2-FB, CB, CU)


(3-1, 3.34, 59)&

Features good CB. Lefty specialist. Great ratio (70K/24BB). Needs to reduce BB.

Brian Walker* (4-FB, CB, SL, CU)



Struggled with a tired arm. Has yet to regain 89-90 mph velocity he had at Miami U. Nice CB and SL combo, but needs to regain velocity.

Harold Eckert (4-FB, SL, CU)


(13-7, 3.88, 139)

Starter in 2002, but a likely candidate for the bullpen. Recovering from serious arm injury in 1999 that cost him 2 seasons. Nasty SL is his best pitch. Probably should be converted to RP. Good ratio (149 K/51 BB), but not likely to maintain K-rate so needs to improve control.

· *left-handed pitcher
· & composite stats of 2 or more leagues
· age as of 4/3/03
· 4-FB – 4-seam fastball
· 2-FB – 2-seam fastball
· ct-FB – cut fastball
· spl FB – split-fingered fastball
· CB – curve
· K-CB – knuckle curve
· SL – slider
· sl SL – slurvy slider
· ct SL – cut slider
· CU – change up
· C-CU – circle change up
· ct-CU – cut change up

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