The best Mets pitching prospects I saw this year: #10 Miller Diaz

The countdown of the best Mets prospects we saw in 2013 continues as we kick off our top ten arms with Brooklyn righthander, Miller Diaz

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.

10. Miller Diaz, RHP

6'1", 209 lbs

Bats/Throws: R/R

Age: (as of Opening Day 2014) 21.8

Acquired: International Free Agent, 2009

2013: 66.2 IP, 31.2% K, 11.8% BB, 44 H, 1 HR for Brooklyn (SS-A)

Date(s) seen: 7/7/13 vs. Lowell Spinners (BOS): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K

The short of it: The author hates comps. However, the author also cannot get over how much he is reminded of Hansel Robles when watching Miller Diaz.

The long of it: Diaz is a short, thick righthander with a rather soft physique. His release point is a tick-below 3/4, and he has to use some effort to get to the top end of his velocity. Fastball was 92-94. He had intermittent control issues, and showed below-average command of the pitch. Diaz was more comfortable throwing slider for strikes at times. It's a low 80s breaker, slow and slurvy. Could be average if he tightens it up, but just killed Lowell hitters with it as is. Diaz had issues staying on top of the pitch early in the start, seemed to tweak the release point on the slider as the start went on to give it more depth. He popped off a few change-ups at 80 and slows his arm action on both secondaries.

The projection: Middle reliever

Risk Factor: High. Not much projection here and long talent ladder still to climb. Secondaries both need grade jumps before they'll work against upper level minors hitters.

What’s next: I was a little surprised Diaz didn't start at Savannah, as the fastball and secondaries should have allowed him to thrive there, so I wouldn't be surprised if he follows the Robles/Mateo track and skips straight to St. Lucie in 2014. One red flag: Diaz doesn't have their control, especially with the fastball, and Mets player development values strike-throwers.

What I'll be looking for in 2014: Better command/control of the fastball, a snappier slider, and he's another guy who could probably stand to come into 2014 in better shape.

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