9. Franklyn Kilomé, RHP
Height: 6’6”, Weight: 175 lbs.
DOB: 6/25/95 (23)
Acquired: Trade (Philadelphia Phillies)
19 G (19 GS), 102.0 IP, 96 H, 61 R, 48 ER (4.24 ERA), 51 BB, 83 K, .305 BABIP (Double-A)
7 G (7 GS), 38.0 IP, 31 H, 19 R, 17 ER (4.03 ERA), 10 BB, 42 K, .289 BABIP (Double-A)
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, pitching for the Williamsport Crosscutters, the Lakewood BlueClaws, the Clearwater Threshers, and Reading Fightin Phils. He began the 2018 season with the Fightin Phils, his second season playing for the Phillies’ Double-A affiliate. Through 19 starts, the 23-year-old posted a 4.24 ERA in 102.0 innings, allowing 96 hits, walking 51, and striking out 83. In late July, just before the trading deadline, the Phillies traded right-hander to the Mets in exchange for infielder Asdrubal Cabrera. The Mets assigned Kilomé to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies and he went on to make seven starts with them, posting a 4.03 ERA in 38.0 innings, allowing 31 hits, walking 10, and striking out 42. After the season ended, the right-hander was set to pitch for the Leones del Escogido, a team in the Dominican Winter League. He never made it, as the right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery in late October, costing him not only the chance to pitch for the Leones del Escogido but the entire 2019 season.
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 keep his upper and lower halves in sync to failing 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.
Steve Sypa says:
Kilomé was an excellent return for a few months of Asdrubal Cabrera, a guy that was a back-end Top 100 prospect over the last couple of years. Tommy John surgery knocking him out of the picture for the 2019 season is a big downer, and we can only cross our fingers and hope that the the fastball and curveball are still top notch when he is able to get back on the field. His age and loss of developmental time due to the surgery will probably prompt the Mets to move the right-hander into the bullpen, but really, that was probably the optimal thing to do to begin with.
Lukas Vlahos says:
Kilomé has a really impressive two-pitch mix when he’s at his best, with a mid-90s fastball and a plus(-plus) curve that will send batters flailing. Unfortunately, he’s been plagued by consistency issues, an inability to find a third pitch, and now Tommy John surgery that will knock him out for all of 2019. Even with that last point, he’s an exciting guy to pick up for half a season of Asdrubal Cabrera, and he’ll be a really exciting reliever prospect if/when he’s healthy again. There’s still a chance at starting too of course, but given the age and extensive track record of struggles as a starter, a move to the bullpen is probably optimal.
Kenneth Lavin says:
The Mets system took a big hit when it was announced that Kilomé was going to miss the entire 2019 season to Tommy John surgery. He performed well enough for the Rumble Ponies after coming over from the Philadelphia Phillies in the Asdrubal Cabrera trade last season, posting a 4.03 ERA and 3.17 FIP in 38.0 innings pitched across seven starts after the trade. While he is prone to losing his mechanics at times, Kilomé’s command generally improved after the trade, as he struck out 9.95 batters per nine innings and only walked 2.37 batters per nine innings during his time in Binghamton. Kilomé primarily relies on a mid-90s fastball and a plus curveball to get hitters out. If he hadn’t gotten injured, he would have served as much needed starting pitching depth for the Mets in 2019, even if he ultimately profiles best as a high-leverage reliever long-term. Hopefully, the stuff will come all of the way back post-surgery, and Kilomé will be healthy and ready to contribute to the team in 2020.