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.

There are 6 comments

  1. NickM

    Is it possible hes just trying to throw too hard? His control wasn’t great last year, but it wasn’t THIS bad. Perhaps he realized he could hit 95+ every time if he wanted to and has developed into a ‘light up the gun, control be damned’ game plan?

  2. Toby Hyde

    That’s not a game plan. He has a coaching staff that should be smacking him in the head if that’s what’s going on.

  3. mistermet

    I happened to turn on the game the inning before he came in, so I got to see him throw the first time. I’m certainly no expert but the one thing that stood out to me was his delivery to the plate. I did not like the look of it as he seemed to short arm the ball to the plate. He was throwing gas but really had trouble finding the plate (and when he did, he was giving up liners to the gaps). I’m sure that delivery is something that is tinkered with a bit but is there any concern for injury with the way he throws? It seems like his mechanics, with the way he short-arms the ball, had a big effect on his control and cleaning up those mechanics could help curb some of the wildness.

    Once again, I don’t claim to be an expert in any of this…just an observer who likes to think he knows what he’s talking about from time to time.

  4. NickM

    It just doesn’t make much sense for his walk rate to jump up so high, unless there really is that big of a gap between low-A and high-A hitters.

  5. ExileInLA

    I was at the Futures Game, sitting 5 rows behind the ondeck circle 1B side.

    Familia’s ball just didn’t move — it was straight & hittable. His first double should have been a single – the CF did a 360 throwing the ball in, and the hitter read it quickly & sprinted from his turn down to 2B. The others were just hittable pitches.

    I don’t see much minor league ball, but it was obvious that these kids all have a lot to learn. The OFs ran bad routes. The IFs don’t know how to charge balls to avoid being eaten by hops. The 1Bs don’t handle bad throws. The Cs aren’t great at stopping pitches in the dirt. They all just need more seasoning.

    But I do want to give those kids a lot of credit for being out & signing autographs for a LONG time before the game. We spent 45 minutes collecting signatures (my son the Yankee fan got Austin Romine & Hecton Noesi on a hat, and 5 other signatures on a ball; I got Familia on a ball).

    But, when it was time for the “Legends” Softball game, they didn’t make ANY effort to come sign stuff. Not one of the vets. It was really annoying…

  6. Toby Hyde

    Big gap. Advanced-A hitters are beginning to have real approaches. The vast majority of low A guys are see ball, hit ball.

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