Jeurys Familia Throws Hard & Gets Hit Hard in Futures Game

Futures Game LogoMets RHP Jeurys Familia was the team’s only representative in the XM All-Star Futures game Sunday night.  Don’t forget, SS Wilmer Flores participated last year, and MLB, which selects the teams with help from Baseball America, generally avoids picking players in consecutive years.

The 20-year old Familia’s performance both illustrated why he was in the game, and how far he has to go.  He threw really hard, but he fell behind each of the four hitters he faced and did not throw a breaking ball.   Pitch Fx had him at 97-98 while the ESPN gun had him 96-97.  He threw one pitch at 88 that could have been a hard changeup, although pitch fx classified it as a four-seam fastball.  Of his 12 pitches, seven were balls.  Of the five strikes, was taken on a 3-0 pitch, three were lined for doubles, and one was grounded out.

Familia was getting hit hard by his peers, not older players in AA or even AAA.  He gave up doubles to the Angels’ 18 year old Mike Trout (.362/.454/.526 in the A-Midwest League), the Royals’ 20-year old Eric  Hosmer (.349/.424/.540 in A+ Carolina League) and the Yankees’s 21-year old catcher Austin Romine (.281/.360/.421 in AA-Eastern League).  Familia induced a groundout from the Twins’ 22 speedster Ben Revere (.300/.371/.356 in AA-Eastern League).

The control issues should be no surprise for any regular readers around here.
Here’s his year in St. Lucie:
2-4, 5.85 ERA, 64.2 IP, 60 H, 51 R, 2 HR, 48 (!) BB, 63 K, 48% gb…. K/9: 8.8, BB/9: 6.7, K/BB: 1.3

It’s pretty obvious, but I’m going to say it anyway: he needs to throw more strikes.

Any conversation about whether he’ll be a starter or a reliever when he grows up has to wait until he starts throwing strikes.

Familia has added some heat to his fastball since he was a teenager in the GCL working 90-94.  Now he needs to learn how to control it.

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