Video: Jeff Walters Mets Minor League Report

There’s good stuff from Walters, who credits his off-season training regime for his good 2013, B-Mets Pitching Coach Glen Abbott and manager Pedro Lopez in there.

Walters was very good for the B-Mets in 2013, setting a franchise record with 38 saves. Look deeper though. The 25-year-old’s success this year was a pleasant surprise.

His crude chronology:
2011 – Ordinary starter for Brooklyn
2012 – Dominant first half for Savannah, as a 24-year-old reliever, old for the SAL
2012 – ordinary second half as a reliever for St. Lucie where he was still old for the FSL
2013 – Excellent 2013 for AA Binghamton, where he was old for the EL

His more detailed (numerical) chronology

2011 NYP3.3214/14656229243244845
2012 SAL0.9517/028.332073043013
2012 FSL3.7619/026.33271311181923
2012 Total2.3136/054.664720141124936
2013 EL2.0953/0564613132166013
EL LEAGUE AVG4.0014768.3314340753365691249578712812730930

2011 NYP3.
2012 SAL1.
2012 FSL2.
2012 Total2.
2013 EL2.

Anyone who predicted Walter’s slightly improved fastball, or dramtically improved results moving from the Florida State League to the Eastern League should just hop up and take a bow.

Walters is a fastball/slider guy who was mostly 92-93 in Savannah a few years ago. This year, he was 92-94, touching 95 and 96. That matters. He’s up to a comfortably plus fastball.
HIs slider at 82-86 can be a big league pitch.

I strongly suspect the Mets will add him to the 40-man roster this fall to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. From there, he will start 2014 in AAA, and as long as he’s pitching well, find his way to the big leagues by the heat of summer.

Mets Minor League Blog
Mets Minor League Blog

That's all reasonably fair. The vast majority of MLB relievers are failed starters this includes Parnell, for example. Age matters, it always does, but a little less so for pitchers than position players who have more unpredictable career arcs.

Jeff Robins
Jeff Robins

When I'm thinking about prospects, I'm much less concerned about age when it comes to relievers than I am about starters. For many relievers, it takes longer toxins themselves. They may start out as starters, only to find themselves better suited for relief work. You can go all the way back to Tug McGraw and Rick Aguilera for examples. Bobby Parnell and Scott Rice come to mind. Walters' improved fastball may be attributed to the idea that he only needs to pitch one inning and knows he can go all out instead of pacing himself over 7-9 innings.