Mets VP of Amateur Scouting and Player Development Paul dePodesta explained what attracted the team to second round pick Andrew Church, “We feel like he has a chance to be a solid middle of the rotation starter. It’s three pitches, all for strikes. We think he has a chance for a plus breaking ball. Could also log a lot of innings. Athletic. Works fast. Fits into our overall organizational pitching philosophy.”
Tanous elaborated, “We had seen Church last summer – excellent arm action. High school kid with a three pitch mix, feel for all three pitches. It was a nice mix of stuff and command.”
Church attended three different high schools, had to sit out a season due to Nevada transfer rules, and did not pitch a full season in 2013. However, the Mets saw him both in early season tournaments and then later with his high school team and last year as well.
dePodesta and the Mets still felt they had plenty of looks at Church dating back to the summer of 2012, and multiple times this spring, “we saw him quite a bit.”
In fact at the early season tournament, Mets Scouting Director Tommy Tanous saw Church take on Mets’ first round pick Dominic Smith. Smith got the better of the confrontation. According to Tanous, “Dominic doubled and hit a home run off [Church]. But he pitched well in the game. It was a low scoring game, a 3-2 game.”
Tanous’ final look, at Church, in the state playoffs was better, “He was tremendous in that game,” Tanous said. Church was “throwing up to 93 in his last inning in punching out his last batter.”