The Mets have promoted left-handed reliever Jack Leathersich from the Double-A Binghamton to the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s. Leathersich has been a strikeout artist throughout his young minor league career, and this season is no exception, as he has struck out 15.46 opponents per nine innings to date. While Leathersich collects strikeouts in bunches, his frequent command issues have kept expectations in check for the young lefty so far.
This season with Binghamton, Leathersich has managed to lower his walk rate to 4.11 per nine innings, a solid improvement upon his 2013 numbers. While this improvement is promising, it is still higher than ideal for a relief pitcher. Leathersich has also managed to keep the ball in the park at every level he has pitched so far, giving up only 0.2 home runs per nine this season and never giving up more than 0.62 in his professional career. This ability to avoid the long ball has helped mitigate some of the risk of walking so many hitters.
Leathersich has an interesting reverse platoon split, pitching considerably better vs right-handed hitters. His slash line vs opposite handed hitters is a stellar .200/.289/.238, while left-handed hitters fare slightly better to the tune of a .254/.359/.373 line. His relative effectiveness against hitters from both sides of the plate will make him a potentially valuable weapon if he can continue to lower his walk rate as he develops.
He will face a considerable challenge in the hitter-friendly confines of Vegas, which will test his ability to keep the ball in the park, and require that he reduce his walk rates as he enters a more offensively-oriented league.