Last Tuesday, my buddy Jack and I made the 40 minute plus drive to State Mutual Stadium in Rome, GA to enjoy the second game of the Sand Gnats/Braves series. This was my two pitching prospect with one stone game of the series. Logan Verrett started for the Gnats and I had it on decent authority that Jack Leathersich would be making an appearance as well. Of course, we were denied of seeing Leathersich pitch due to a power outage; however, after a 18 hour delay (and alone this time), the game resumed. A few innings later, Leathersich made his presence felt.
Jack Leathersich has been putting up strikeout rates that make grown men blush. I had to see what the fuss was all about.
He threw three pitches, a fastball, curve and a slider. In the first inning of work, he threw exclusively fastballs. He hit a batter (see video) with a 90 MPH fastball, struck out a batter with a 91 MPH fastball and had help from Albert Cordero, who gunned down the second baserunner of the game trying to steal off of him. In his second inning of work, he recorded 2 strikeouts, one with a 91 MPH fastball and one with a 77 MPH Curve, on way to his first Sally league save.
Fastball: The Fastball explodes on the hitters. The radar gun in front of me had the pitch clocked 90-92 but it looked much faster than that. No hitter had a comfortable swing against the pitch in either inning. As I said above, he threw the pitch exclusively in his first inning of work. He struggled with command throughout that first frame, rushing his delivery a bit, as if he was too fired up. He calmed down by the second inning of work.
Slider: I really don't have enough information to write a good review on either breaking ball. He threw two, both were clocked at 83. One of them was straight nasty, one of them was a dud.
Curveball: He threw 3 or 4 curves, all registering 76 on the gun. This pitch provided a change of pace and a change in the hitter's eye level.
I'm surprised that the Mets aren't extending his innings more, allowing him to work on his breaking pitches more. He's going to need those breaking pitches more and more as he reaches the upper levels of the minors. He'll continue to dominate the lower levels, especially days where he doesn't throw many breaking pitches. With Verrett going on the DL, Leathersich could benefit with a few more innings during his appearances, something his breaking pitches will need, which will allow him to advance his overall development even further upward.
Mets Prospect Jack Leathersich (via MetsgeekTV)