12. Ty Bashlor, RHP
Height: 6’0”, Weight: 200 lbs.
DOB: 4/16/93 (24)
Acquired: 11th round, 2013 Draft (South Georgia College)
2017: St. Lucie (High-A): 34 G (0 GS), 35.0 IP, 33 H, 21 R, 19 ER (4.89), 21 BB, 61 K / Binghamton (Double-A): 12 G (0 GS), 14.2 IP, 7 K, 0 R, 0 ER (0.00 ERA), 4 BB, 23 K
Earlier in his career, Ty Bashlor looked like draft bust. Given a $550,000 signing, he seemed like an overpay for a junior college reliever. When he lost two years of developmental time in 2014 and 2015 thanks to Tommy John surgery and its subsequent rehab, the Bashlor pick looked even worse. When the right-hander finally returned to the mound in 2016, at the advanced age of 23, he only had 15.2 professional innings under his belt. In the two years since, Bashlor has emerged as a high-leverage reliever, putting up video game strikeout numbers.
Bashlor’s fastball sits in the mid-90s and has touched as high as 98 MPH. He complements it with an inconsistent low-80s slider. Earlier in the season, the slider had an inconsistent shape and was slurvier, but as the 2017 season progressed, the pitch looked consistently tighter. The same can be said of his control. Earlier in the season, he was walking a lot more batters, but as the season progressed, Bashlor seemed to able to consistently get both his fastball and slider over the plate for strikes.
Lukas Vlahos says:
There are (too) many relievers on this list, but Bashlor is my favorite. He finally started to make good on the huge bonus the Mets handed him as a prep arm in 2013, refining his control and posting gaudy strikeout numbers in High-A and Double-A. If there's a future closer in the system, it's Bashlor, and I think we'll get a chance to see him deliver on that upside in the majors late in 2018.
Steve Sypa says:
Relative to the amount of innings he pitched, Ty Bashlor notched a ridiculous amount of strikeouts. To put the number in context, in all of Major League Baseball, only Craig Kimbrel had a higher K/9 rate. Craig Kimbrel also had a sterling 1.8 BB/9 rate, as opposed to Bashlor’s 4.5, so there’s that.
11. Anthony Kay, LHP
Height: 6’0”, Weight: 220 lbs.
DOB: 3/21/95 (22)
Acquired: 1st round, 2016 Draft (UConn)
2017: DNP (Tommy John surgery)
Drafted with the 31st overall pick in the 2016 Draft, Anthony Kay underwent Tommy John surgery before he ever even threw a professional pitch, likely in part to his heavy use at the University of Connecticut. While the organization certainly was aware of the bad medicals- they used the savings of Kay’s below slot value signing to sign 11th round selection Cameron Planck overslot- he was a player that had long been on their radar, having previously been selected by the team in the 29th round of the 2013.
The southpaw has a three-pitch repertoire, a fastball, changeup, and curveball. Before his Tommy John surgery, the fastball sat in the low-to-mid 90s, with good armside run. Scouts considered his changeup his best secondary pitch. Sitting in the low-80s, the pitch got plus fade and tumble, but was regularly telegraphed to hitters because it was thrown with a lower arm slow and with less explosive arm action than his fastball. Rounding out his arsenal was a below-average slurvy curveball, that needs to be tightened up or scrapped- and with his 3/4 arm slot, perhaps a slider would instead be a better pitch.
Lukas Vlahos says:
Kay, after being run into the ground at UConn, still hasn't pitched as a pro. He also was very much another floor over upside sort of pitcher coming out of college. Really not my type of prospect, and I don't think that will change all that much even once he gets back on the mound.
Steve Sypa says:
Kay’s selection in 2016 didn’t exactly excite me, but I wasn’t against it either- especially since it freed up enough money for the Mets to sign Cameron Planck, the pick that most excited me in that draft. His upside isn’t tremendous, but prior to his Tommy John surgery, he was a durable workhorse, and if there’s one thing that the 2017 Mets taught us, the ability to pitch every five days is a very valuable thing.