Let’s take a closer look at 4 Mets’ pitchers that are flying under the radar coming into Spring Training.
The Mets acquired Drew Smith in the 2017 trade for Lucas Duda with the Tampa Bay Rays. The 26-year old was held out of action in the 2019 season recovering from Tommy John Surgery, but in his brief cup of coffee with the Mets in 2018, he impressed. Smith, who Tim Healy of Newsday stated, has begun throwing bullpen sessions, should be ready to go for the start of spring training.
Smith was a useful bullpen arm when he pitched in 2018, amassing a 0.5 WAR in 28 innings pitched with a 3.54 ERA. He is a fastball-curve pitcher and will sprinkle in a change up 5% of the time. His fastball averages 96.7 MPH and shows the optical illusion of having late-life do to his quick arm action towards the plate. He was the lone reliever that shown success in the big leagues from the abundance they got back in the 2017 sell-offs of Lucas Duda, Addison Reed, and Curtis Granderson.
It’s worth watching how Smith bounces back from Tommy John this spring, as he is a player that can slot into the pen and serve as high-value depth for the bullpen.
Gonsalves, 25, was selected off waivers in November from the Minnesota Twins. He was a top prospect for the Twins, and only played in a handful of games for them, and put up a 6.57 ERA in 2018 in 24.2 innings. His repertoire consists of a fastball, change, slider, and cutter. His fastball averages only 90, but his windup causes deception, which makes his stuff play up. Gonsalves’s changeup is his best-rated pitch.
In his minor league career, he has a 2.50 ERA across seven minor league seasons. Gonsalves will serve as either bullpen or starting pitching depth, and with being as high as the twins #3 prospect in prior years, he is one to watch this spring.
Ramirez signed as a non-roster free agent with an invitation to spring training. He has spent time with Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Boston. He has worked as a starter and worked out of the bullpen during his career. His best stretch came with Tampa Bay in 2015 and 2016, when he put up a 3.77 ERA. He is an interesting sign with the Mets who don’t have a lot of starter or bullpen depth in their system.
Ramirez could be piece the Mets use as an emergency starter or a swingman out of the bullpen if some pieces go down during the season.
The Mets first-round pick in 2017 (20th overall) from Oregon, has advanced up the system reaching Double-a last season. The 6’6″ lefty is projected as a mid-rotation starter. His fastball isn’t overpowering, but he has enough control of it to make it a compelling pitch to build off of. His breaking pitches project to be average but serviceable in the majors.
His changeup will be something to watch for in spring to see if it can be located effectively, as of now, it’s only a chase pitch.
Peterson is the highest upside pitcher if the Mets require a starter midseason, but he may need to be more seasoned in triple-a before he can make an immediate impact.
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