In the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft Thursday morning, the Mets added one pitcher – Jonathan Velasquez from the Twins and lost three pitchers: RHP Carlos Vazquez to the Astros, LHP Jimmy Fuller to the Twins and RHP Martires Arias to Washington. There are no roster restrictions outside of the Major League phase, so the Mets will be able to keep Velasquez, while the other three guys are gone.
Jon Velasquez – Turned 28 in October, was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Phillies. He’s spent the last three years in Independent baseball with Rockland in the Can-Am League and Camden in the Atlantic League. This past year was his best as he put up a 1.95 ERA in 61 relief appearances in 73.2 innings. That’s a strikeout rate of 27.1% and a walk rate of 8.6%.
He never pitched above advanced-A for Philadelphia. The Twins had signed Velasquez as a minor league free agent in the last few weeks.
LHP Jimmy Fuller – Velocity is coming back for the little lefty after labrum surgery that kept him out of the entire 2011 season.
Jeff Paternostro at Amazin’ Avenue wrote up Fuller in September:
Fastball has ticked back up to the upper 80s, touching 91, and one scout referred to it as ‘invisible.’ The same scout called him ‘a major league arm.’ Fuller still throws the slow curve and appears to be working a low 80s slider into the mix as well, but it’s the fastball deception that’s going to be his ticket to the majors as a left-on-left guy.
LHP Carlos Vazquez
Limited to one start and nine relief appearances in St. Lucie this past season to complement nine relief appearances in Mexico. He was a big part of the Savannah bullpen in 2012, with 41 appearances and a 2.96 ERA. He’s a soft-tosser, working in the mid-upper 80s. If memory serves, he mixes in a slurvy curve often. I don’t see big league stuff here.
RHP Martires Arias
Arias is Rule 5 eligible because he spent two years in the DSL in 2009 and 2010 and then repeated the Appy League in 2012 and 2013 as a 21 and 22 year-old. His size is the most notable thing about him as he stands 6’7″, a half to a full head taller than most of his teammates. I missed Arias when I saw Kingsport, but with 36 K against 28 walks in 52.2 innings in 11 starts and a relief appearance. That’s not really impressive though.