The best Mets pitching prospects I saw this year: #8 Erik Goeddel

Chris McShane

The countdown of the best Mets prospects we saw this year continues with Binghamton righthander, Erik Goeddel

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.

8. Erik Goeddel, RHP

6'3", 185

Bats/Throws: R/R

Age: (as of Opening Day 2014) 25.3

Acquired: 24th round, 2010

2013: 134 IP, 21.4 K%, 9.9 BB%, 135 H, 14 HR

Date(s) seen: 4/13/13 vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR): 4.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 K

5/22/13 @ New Britain Rock Cats (MIN): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K

7/21/13 @ New Britain Rock Cats (MIN): 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 1 HR

The short of it: Goeddel has major league stuff, but the lack of consistency in, uh... just about everything, has hampered his development.

The long of it: Goeddel is a rather confounding prospect. The Mets gave him third-round money to buy him away from his junior year at UCLA, but he never really dominated in the low minors as you would expect from a polished college arm. After seeing him three times, I can safely say that it's because his stuff and command varies wildly from outing to outing. After my first look in April, I went as far as to suggest that he might be a better prospect than the more successful college arms, Tyler Pill and Logan Verrett. Pill's injury issues have removed him from this debate, but having seen both Verrett and Goeddel a couple times since then, I'm less confident in that initial prognostication. Goeddel's velocity dropped in each subsequent outing, and he was living 88-91 in July. I had assumed it was him wearing down on a starter's workload, but after talking to Chris Blessing, who saw a lot of Goeddel in Savannah, it seems that this has always been a start-to-start thing with him. I definitely don't see a starter here, as he has difficulty consistently finishing his delivery, and there's still no sign of a useable change-up. Still he's touched 95, and has the makings of an solid-average curveball, so if the velocity holds up better in short bursts, there's a useable relief arm in here.

The projection: Middle reliever/Low-end setup guy

Risk Factor: High. Problematic injury history, unclear if stuff will tick up with pen move.

What’s next: Goeddel's stuff is not a great fit for Vegas, especially if he's starting. I'd like to see them move him to the pen to see if he sticks at the upper end of his velocity there. It would also allow him to focus on being a fastball/curve guy. However, the Mets under Alderson have generally been in no hurry to move their mior league starters to the bullpen.

What I'll be looking for in 2014: More consistency in velocity, stuff, and performance, whether as a starter or in the pen.

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