Well, this is a weird one. With their eleventh round pick the Mets selected Connor Buchmann, a right-handed pitcher out of the University of Oklahoma. I know absolutely nothing about him other than the following:
- He barely pitched for Oklahoma this season. When he did pitch he did not pitch especially well, walking 12 batters in his 12 innings of work.
- Prior to that, he pitched for Howard College in Texas. He did not pitch much or well there, either.
- He’s a recent convert to pitching, and as such he’s quite raw on the mound.
- He’s a little on the short side, standing 6-foot-1, which will usually mark a guy as a future reliever.
- He throws from a low three-quarters arm slot, which will typically define a prospect as a future reliever.
- He works primarily fastball-slider, and the slider has more lateral movement than depth, making it more effective against righties than lefties. This typically screams middle reliever.
- He supposedly throws 98 miles-per-hour.
Say that last part again?
Ninety-eight miles per hour doesn’t happen very often in the eleventh round, and he’s pretty interesting just because of that fact, because before I knew that, I had questions. When I saw his career numbers, I questioned why the Mets took Buchmann where they did. He didn’t fit in like most college picks in the 11th round. Not only that, I questioned why Oklahoma gave him a spot in the rotation after a lackluster junior college career. I questioned why Howard College, one of the very best junior college programs in the country, kept him around.
Now I know.
He pitched so infrequently this year that it must have been difficult for scouts to even see him, so Mets might have really found a guy who slipped under the radars. He’s a serious project, so Mets fans shouldn’t get excited about him. It appears that there’s very little polish here, and after all, I cannot endorse him as a future starting pitcher, just a reliever. I’m expecting plenty of hiccups in his future, things like terrible command, inconsistent velocity, and poor repeatability in his mechanics, but he has the ceiling of a closer, and that’s pretty unusual at this stage of the draft. I do wonder if Buchmann will be difficult to sign, if only because his ceiling is so high that a half-decent college season as a senior could really improve his draft standing.