The best Mets pitching prospects I saw this year: #4 Jacob deGrom

Matthew Lug

The countdown of the best Mets prospects we saw in 2013 continues with fast-moving pitcher, Jacob deGrom

Disclaimer (because someone will ask why a player I didn't see isn't on this list): This is a ranking of the best Mets prospects I saw in person this year. This is not a comprehensive Mets prospect list. I did not see Las Vegas, St. Lucie or the GCL team this year. If a player is not on the list, it is most likely because I did not see him. Otherwise, all rankings are consistent with how I would order the players within the Mets system. Oh yeah, and I am not a scout.

4. Jacob deGrom, RHP

6'4", 185

Bats/Throws: L/R

Age: (as of Opening Day 2014) 25.8

Acquired: 9th round, 2010

2013: 147.2 IP, 18.7 K%, 7.2 BB%, 168 H, 11 HR between St. Lucie (A+), Binghamton (AA), and Las Vegas (AAA)

Date(s) seen: 5/21/13 @ New Britain Rock Cats: 4.2 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 3 K

(Additional notes from 8/13/13 start on in order to see curveball)

The short of it: System sleeper opened some more eyes in 2013, buzzing through three levels and making a case for major league action in 2014.

The long of it: deGrom is long and lean. He uses his height well, getting good extension and has an easy arm action. Fastball was only 91-94 in look, though reports have him touching 96. Labored under the humid conditions and was down to 90-92 by the end of his start. Showed a four-seamer and a two-seamer. Works sinker down and will elevate the four-seamer to put batters away. Command is only so-so, and was prone to bouts of wildness when I saw him, especially as he tired. In May he used an inconsistent slider that flashed solid-average with good tilt as his primary breaking ball. Has since switched to a curveball, which seems to be a more consistent offering, but has a rather short break to it. deGrom also has a potentially average change, but I don't know if the secondaries are good enough for him to start. The potential of the fastball to play up in shorter outings makes him an intriguing option out of the major league pen.

The projection: 8th inning guy

Risk Factor: Low-Medium. TJ surgery on his resume, command can be spotty, but close to major-league-ready with two solid-average fastballs. Will pitch in the majors.

What’s next: Depending on the success of the Mets offseason shopping, deGrom could compete for a 25-man spot. More likely he heads back to Vegas and sticks as a starter for now.

What I'll be looking for in 2014: Can the curve develop into a legitimate major league offering?

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