After a string of college selections, the Mets finally went back to the high school well to draw Sixto Torres, a large prep southpaw from Texas who was ranked 174th in the nation on Baseball America’s list of the top 500 prospects.
As I said, Torres is large: at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, there is not much projection here. He’s also a year older than most high school seniors, so he’s already pretty much filled out and I wouldn’t expect any sort of velocity boost, just more consistency. Right now, he throws 88-90 with his fastball but will brush 94 with some run to it. The hope is that with more experience he’ll end up throwing a reliable 90-92, which would be solid average velocity from a lefty.
Torres also adds in a change and a hard curve. The changeup might actually be the better of the two pitches right now. He throws it in the low-80s with good deception. I’m not quite sure that the pitch is really a swing-and-miss affair, but it will get the job done with a little more refinement. The breaking ball has more upside, but right now it’s more of a 2-to-8 (10-to-4 if he were a righty) pitch; in other words, it’s leaving his hands a little too slurvy. With more consistent spin, this pitch will get both more drop and more bite. It’s a potentially above average offering and I’m optimistic he’ll get there, thanks in part to a high three-quarters arm slot that should be conducive to its development.
Mechanically, I like him a lot. His arm action isn’t super short, but he turns the ball over quickly, and he has a lightning-quick arm that catches up to his body in short order. He also takes a long stride and gets some good torso rotation, which may be impacting his command some, but that will be something he has to learn on his own. More worrisome is some head violence that may not be easy to shake. Time will tell on that count. On the whole, I like the way the arm works, and that’s a big thing when discussing a lefty with solid average velocity and developing offspeed stuff. The less he has to learn at once the better.
Torres had been an Alabama State commit, but he’s already signed with the team. I’m actually quite shocked Torres lasted as long as he did. With his stuff, I would have expected him to go inside round five, and if not by five then certainly shortly after round ten when teams get a cushion to work with bonus-wise. Teams may have thought him unsignable, but Alabama State is not usually an especially difficult college commitment to buy out, and he did sign for a reasonable $100,000, which does not count toward the Mets’ pool allotment. It’s also possible that teams had reason to believe he was hurt, but I’ve heard nothing to report on that end.