Paul Sewald, the Mets' 10th-round pick, spent his first three seasons stuck in San Diego's bullpen before being given a chance to shine in the weekend rotation. Sewald went 8-3 with a 2.83 ERA with a 3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 82.2 innings. Solid numbers across the board, but his lack of stuff left me wondering whether he'd even get drafted.
Some have suggested that Sewald, 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, could still add some velocity, but he's a college senior, so I wouldn't count on it. Right now, he throws in the high 80s, topping out around 91. Just knowing that, you'd think Sewald is a finesse-pitching control artist. You'd be absolutely right. Sewald can spot his heater on both sides of the plate, and he doesn't walk many. But what's probably helped Sewald the most this season was his decision to scrap his ineffective slow curve in favor of a tighter high-70s slider, which has been a little more effective at getting hitters to swing and miss, elevating him from pure organizational fodder to someone with at least a chance of pitching his way into the back end of a big league bullpen. He also adds a changeup which is fringe-average.
The Mets will probably begin Sewald as a starter until he proves he can't, and he has a chance there, too. The delivery is clean, he can throw strikes, he has three pitches, and he goes right after hitters, which I like to see, but he'll need to watch his location. Up in the zone, he'll get killed, since he lacks the velocity to throw the ball by hitters. But if I had to bet, I'd bet on him ending up a reliever, where his stuff will play up a little more.