After dominating in the first 8 turns of the St. Lucie rotation, Brad Holt and Jenrry Mejia were simultaneously promoted to AA Binghamton 3 days ago, with Holt debuting Saturday, Mejia Sunday. In 41.1 innings for St. Lucie, Holt had an excellent 50/10 K/BB ratio. Mejia posted 44 K and 16 BB in 40.1 inning, but had the better ERA at 1.94. On Friday, Bradley pitched well, but in an uncharacteristic way. He struck out 3 and walked 3, while inducing 11 groundouts to 5 flyouts. Mejia, not to be outdone, pitched 7.0 innings, struck out 5, walked 3, and got 11 groundouts and 3 flyouts.
Holt and Mejia, ranked the 4th and 7th Mets prospects respectively before the season by both BA and BP, share more similarities than just fast success. Both pitchers have birthdays in the second week of October; Holt will turn 23 this year, while Mejia will just be 20. Both are fastball-first pitchers, who have made tremendous strides on their secondary offerings. Holt's great strikeout numbers and classic power pitcher makeup attracted due attention to his heater last season, but Mejia's may be just as good. Kevin Goldstein wrote before the season:
[Mejia] has the best pure arm in the system—even topping Holt at Brooklyn—with a fastball that sits at 94-97 mph consistently and touches 99.
Entering this season, both pitchers threw a "slurve," but are now throwing what seems to be more curveball than hybrid.
In terms of pitching-style, however, Holt and Mejia are different. Many of you have probably already read the contradictory John Manuel quote from last year: "[Holt] sounds like he might be a little sinking action. Grounders are also the reason Mejia has been able to outperform Holt so far this season:with a bit less downhill or sink, a better breaking ball and considerably less hype." All the reasons Manuel gave against his own comparison have since become more and more true, as Holt demonstrated none of Pelfrey's groundball tendencies and has improved his curveball. The Pelfrey comparison may be more apt for Mejia instead, who sported an incredible 66.0% GB rate in A+ ball. By contrast, Pelfery, who pitched in St. Lucie 3 years older than Jenrry, has a career 54.7% GB rate in the minors. Mejia's groundball tendencies come from his big fastball and 88 mph changeup that has
Most people talk about these guys downside as being power relievers, because of their dominating fastballs and questionable secondary offerings. Given Mejia's groundball tendencies, and his age, he figures to have plenty of time to develop secondary pitches that he may not have to rely on too much. The rate of attrition for pitchers is high, hence the phrase "There is no such thing as a pitching prospect," but it's hard not to be excited about these guys. Given Flores' and Martes' struggles and Fernando's promotion, Holt and Mejia may be considered the Mets top-two prospects soon. You pick the order.