Mets Farm System Top 5: Electric Arms

For today's minor league ranking, we're going to look at some of the top arms in the system. Now let's clarify, an 'Electric Arm' doesn't just mean velocity; we're talking about guys with hard-sinking two-seamers, late-biting sliders and yes, also some high-90's velocity. In short, these are the guys with the nastiest stuff.

Now I'm not going to include Jenrry Mejia as we've already seen his stuff on full display. It goes without saying that Mejia's bowling ball, mid-90's sinker and developing hammer curve give him the #1 spot on this list easy but for now let's just look at some of the other guys in the Mets system:

1) RHP Matt Harvey

Though he's yet to throw a pitch as a professional, Harvey almost definitely deserves to top this list with his impressive array of potential plus offerings. Harvey's bread and butter is his four-seamer, a mid-90's fastball which he can dial up to 98 mph, generating lots of swings and misses. However, thanks to a lack of movement he complements it with another fastball, a two-seamer with heavy sink and late life that works in the 91-93 mph range and produces weak contact and lots of ground balls. Harvey also possesses two major league quality off-speed pitches: A tight, low 80's slider and a slower, hammer curve both of which flash plus potential right now. Despite limited use during college, the Mets are encouraging Harvey to focus mainly on the curve. His change-up lags behind thanks to lack of use as an amateur but he shows decent feel for the pitch. Harvey's impressive overall mix of pitches paired with a perfect pitcher's build (6'4", 225 lbs) gives him the ceiling as a top of the rotation, workhorse starter.

Watch his draft video here

 

2) RHP Jeurys Familia

Despite a shaky year with Hi-A St. Lucie in 2010 due in large part to an inability to throw strikes, Familia belongs on this list for his fastball alone. In spite of his 5+ ERA, the 20-year old gained a few ticks on the heater this season which by year's end was registering in the mid to high 90's; as the Mets lone representative in the Futures Game, Familia was clocked by Pitch F/X as high as 98 mph. Factor in late, sinking action on the pitch and you've got a pretty incredible fastball which proves very difficult to square up (see, 1.61 GB:FB in '10). His other offerings -- a power 'slurve' and an improving change -- aren't really special in comparison but even so, Familia could likely make a significant impact based on his fastball alone.

Watch his scouting video here

 

3) RHP Erik Goeddel

Despite arm problems that led to Tommy John surgery as a senior in high school and a college career that had him pitch exclusively in relief, the 24th round steal by the Mets possesses a live arm that projects to the very highest levels. His fastball works in the low to mid 90's but touches 97 mph with good life. He pairs it with a very advanced breaking ball, a hard curve that he throws in the high-80's with sharp break that projects as a major league plus pitch. His change-up lags behind but thanks to the advanced feel for his curve he'll likely be able to focus mainly on the change as he gets started as a pro. If he never develops that third pitch he'll move very fast as a late-inning reliever but if he does, he has the stuff to pitch at the top of a major league rotation, health willing.

Watch his draft video here

 

4) RHP Akeel Morris

Morris was a marked exception to the Mets 2010 college pitching-heavy draft strategy. The 17-year old out of the Virgin islands is about as raw a pitching prospect as you're going to find but fortunately, the Mets just couldn't pass on an arm like his in the 10th round last June. Morris possesses a fastball that lives in the low 90's and touches 95 mph, pretty incredible when you consider he didn't turn 18 until two months after the season ended. Pair that with the makings of a hard-breaking curve as well as extremely impressive arm strength/speed and you're looking at a premium teenage talent. At 6'1", 170 lbs, Morris doesn't have the largest build but his long, wiry frame definitely leaves room for a little more projection and his excellent 2+ ERA with a .148 average against with the GCL Mets in 2010 certainly point to dominance down the road.

Watch his draft video here

 

5) RHP Domingo Tapia

Tapia was a relatively unknown IFA making his pro debut in 2010 but by year's end the 18-year old righty had firmly planted himself on the prospect radar as one of the many impressive teenage pitchers for the GCL Mets. What distinguishes Tapia though is 1) his very projectable, very strong 6'4", 190 lbs build and 2) his advanced ability to throw strikes at such a young age (see, BB/9 <2). As far as his stuff, Tapia uses his strong frame to dial up a two-seamer in to the mid-90's; most pitchers have to switch to four-seams to reach those velocities. What's more, the pitch features tremendous life and when paired with an advanced change-up for a teenager, adds up to very high GB rates. Tapia is the definition of projectable and is about as good a bet as you'll find to hit the upper 90's before his growth is through.

 

Honorable Mentions: RHP Ryan Fraser & RHP Nick Carr

Drafted out of Memphis by the Mets this June, Fraser reminds me a lot of Bobby Parnell. Like Parnell, Fraser was a starter/middle reliever who pitched to middling results at a college in the south when he was drafted as a junior in the middle rounds. Fraser too can dial up his fastball into the 95+ mph range -- though it is very straight -- and features a sharp yet inconsistent slider as well as spotty command of both pitches. His change-up is a below average offering. Also like Parnell, the feeling is that despite projecting as a dominant late-inning reliever the Mets will try Fraser as a starter in the minors before determining his long-term role. 

Carr profiles much in the same way. Drafted out of high school way back in '05, Carr pitched to so-so results until he saw his velocity jump after switching to relief full-time in '09. Unfortunately, like Fraser his fastball is stright, his sharp slider is highly inconsistent, his change-up is sub-par and he too features spotty overall command. What's more, Carr required TJ surgery in '09 but the good news is that after returning in 2010 he flashed velocities in the upper 90's out in the Arizona Fall League. Carr could move fast if he ever learns to consistently throw strikes but as of now he's more a thrower than a pitcher. Exhibit A: The Mets left him eligible for the Rule 5 in December and he went undrafted. Watch his fastball here.

 

Catch up on the other Farm System Top 5's below!

Top 5 Sleepers

Top 5 Power Hitters

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