Robert Gsellman lets his pitching do the talking. A self-described man of few words, the son of former Phillies minor league catcher Bob Gsellman was picked by the Mets in the 13th round of the 2011 amateur draft out of Westchester High School in Los Angeles, California. There, Gsellman was a two-way player in baseball and also played basketball and soccer.
He started his professional career at the age of 17 with the Gulf Coast League Mets. Since then he has consistently moved up the minor league ranks, most recently getting promoted to Double-A Binghamton after starting the year in High-A St. Lucie and putting up 1.76 ERA in eight starts and earning a pitcher of the week award in May and a Florida State League All-Star Game nod. While pitching in Florida, Gsellman caught the eye of Jeff Moore of Baseball Prospectus, who gave him rave reviews after seeing a couple of his starts.
Listed at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, the 21-year-old Gsellman throws three pitches: a two-seam fastball, a curveball, and a changeup. The two-seamer is relatively new, he says, something he picked up during offseason workouts and started throwing last year in Savannah. And he knows that staying down in the zone and getting ground balls is a big part of his game—something for which Moore praised him in his reports. There’s also the curve, which our own Jeff Paternostro pointed out as a pitch to watch after seeing him in 2013. Gsellman says he’s continued to work on it since the end of last season.
"My curveball was one of my best pitches, so I worked on it, and then I worked on it with [St. Lucie pitching coach] Phil [Regan] in St. Lucie, and I’m comfortable to throw it whenever I want. I’ve got the right mechanics down, so it’s fun to throw."
Having played with so many affiliates—the GCL Mets, Kingsport, Brooklyn, Savannah, St. Lucie, and Binghamton—in the four years since he was drafted, Gsellman has enjoyed the variety of feedback and tips he’s gotten along the way.
"They all have different mindsets, and they’ll all teach you something different," he says. "I think it’s pretty cool that you get someone new every year because then you get to learn more from somebody else."
With Noah Syndergaard having graduated to the big leagues and Steven Matz probably joining him there in the near future, Gsellman could very well be one of the Mets’ best pitching prospects by the end of the season, especially if he handles his Double-A Binghamton assignment well.