A-Ball Weekend: Jacob deGrom’s Strong FSL Debut

Friday: St. Lucie Mets 2, @ Fort Myers Miracle (MIN) 1
Saturday: St. Lucie Mets 3, @ Fort Myers Miracle 0

Lets start on Satuday, with RHP Jacob deGrom’s St. Lucie Mets debut. The 24-year old was very good: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K. Listed at 6’4″, 185, deGrom uses those long, loose ¬†limbs, to generate one of the best fastballs in the system, regularly throwing 95 and 96 mph. On any given night, he might be 92-96. He uses both a two-seamer with sink, and a four-seamer to spot and use as a chase pitch up. At times, he’s shown a usable changeup and slider, while in other starts, he’s struggled with feel on his breaking stuff and pitched almost exclusively off his heat.

DeGrom’s fastball is among the top five in the Mets system from the right side clearly behind only Domingo Tapia and Zack Wheeler and in a class with Michael Fulmer and Jeurys Familia. I think deGrom’s fastball is enough to get him to the big leagues. How his secondary stuff, specifically his slider, develops will dictate whether he can remain a starter. At 24, deGrom (pictured at right, in Savannah) has given up just 78 hits in 96.2 innings between the two a-ball levels this year with a K/BB ratio of 5.1 (86 K/17 BB). He had Tommy John surgery in the fall of 2010, and did not throw a professional inning in 2011, but even at 96.2 innings now, the Mets plan to push deGrom’s innings, and have him pitch all the way through the playoffs for St. Lucie.

Mets pitching coordinator Ron Romanick described deGrom’s as having a “young arm.” Degrom was largely a shortstop in college, and only converted to pitching full-time in his junior year at Stetson. Even so, deGrom has taken to pitching quickly, leading Romanick to praise him for his “real aptitude for what he’s doing.”

An 0-for-7 weekend dropped RF Cesar Puello down to .241/.303/.371 with a 48/5 K/BB ratio in 48 games at age 21.

Three hits Friday, and a triple on Saturday, pushed CF Alonzo Harris to .291/.366/.437. The 23-year old has a 51/42 K/BB ratio in 99 games. That increase in plate discipline from his former hack-tastic days in Savannah is a really remarkable development for Harris. The speedster is on the old side for a prospect in advanced-A, but as a former 2B, could emerge as a 4th OF/bench type who can also slide down to play second.

Age matters. It always does. What kind of numbers do you think Puello would put up in the FSL in 2014 as a 23-year old?

Friday, Logan Verrett hada nice start: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. In 18.2 innings in the FSL, he’s fanned 11 and walked two. Verrett has a better slider than deGrom, but a more ordinary fastball. When he’s been good, it’s 90-91, touching 93, and when he’s been off, it’s 88-91.