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Getting to know Franklyn Kilomé, the Mets’ return for Asdrubal Cabrera

Who is the newest Mets prospect?

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies-Media Day
Franklyn Kilome
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Franklyn Kilomé was signed by the Phillies as an 18-year-old out of the Dominican Republic in January 2013, and his career as a professional baseball player began one year later. Skipping the Dominican Summer League, the right-handed pitcher made his professional debut for the GCL Phillies and had a solid showing for himself, posting a 3.12 ERA in 40.1 innings.

Over the next few years, he worked his way up the Philadelphia minor league system, making stops at Williamsport, Lakewood, Clearwater, and Reading. He began the 2018 with the Reading Fightin’ Phils, his second season playing for the Phillies’ Double-A affiliate. Through 19 starts, the 23-year-old has posted a 4.24 ERA in 102.0 innings, allowing 96 hits, walking 51, and striking out 83.

Kilomé utilizes a low-effort delivery, raising his hands above his head during his windup, tucking his body behind a high leg lift, and throwing from a three-quarters arm slot. The right-hander has a quick arm, and pushes off of the mound well, generating plus fastball velocity. The pitch sits in the low-to-mid-90s, topping out at 97 miles per hour. In addition to velocity, the pitch has some glove-side movement and a bit of sink. While it has plenty of velocity and a bit of movement, Kilomé’s fastball does not have a particularly high swing-and-miss rate. In fact, at times it is quite hittable, as he often leaves the pitch up in the zone.

His curveball, on the other hand, is his go-to pitch when swings-and-misses are needed. The pitch generally in the high-70s-to-low-80s, but Kilomé is able to add and subtract a little bit of velocity and manipulate the depth of its 12-6 break. Coming into the 2017, the pitch was more average-ish, but as the year progressed and the right-hander became more proficient manipulating it, it began flashing plus. He rounds out arsenal with a firm changeup that sits around 80 miles per hour, but the pitch is not well developed and lags far behind his fastball and curveball in effectiveness. It is currently a below-average pitch, but like his curveball, improved as the 2017 season progressed and could eventually become an average offering.

Control issues are a problem that Kilomé has faced throughout his professional career. From being unable to repeat his release point to not being able to harness the movement on his fastball and curveball, pounding the zone has long been the right-hander’s Achilles heel and is the biggest hurdle between him developing into a solid mid-rotation pitcher or maddening reliever that cannot be trusted in high-leverage situations.