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Is Jacob Rhame ready to be a contributor to the 2018 Mets?

Rhame has an major league fastball, but the whole package needs to be refined before he can be counted on to get major league outs.

MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Mets
Jacob Rhame
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the sixth round back in 2013 out of Grayson County College, right-hander Jacob Rhame spent most of his minor league career grinding up the Dodgers’ minor league ladder. By 2017, he had reached Triple-A and was generally considered to be a back-end Top 25 prospect for the Dodgers. In mid-August, the Mets traded Curtis Granderson for a player to be named later, and by the end of the month, Rhame had been announced as that player. He threw a handful of innings with Triple-A Las Vegas but was quickly called up to the majors thanks to the expanded September rosters and posted a 9.00 ERA in 9.0 innings with the Mets, allowing 12 hits with seven walks and seven strikeouts.

Rhame’s fastball sits in the mid-90s, and regularly reaches the upper-90s. The pitch gets on hitters fast, features some life, and is a bit deceptive. Rhame sinks his fastball as well, giving the pitch downward momentum at the expense of a bit of velocity, as the two-seamer generally sits in the low-90s. Outside of the fastball, the rest of Rhame’s pitching arsenal is very raw. His slider occasionally shows glimpses of being an average or better pitch, but it has been inconsistent throughout his career and is still almost more of cutter than slider, with velocity rather than sharp break. His changeup, while improved since he began incorporating it into his repertoire, is still considered a below average pitch.

Rhame has one of the better arms in the system, and he certainly has a fastball that is good enough to challenge hitters in high-leverage situations, but he needs to refine his secondary stuff before he will be able to have sustained success with a major league club.