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Adam Ottavino is the bullpen upgrade the Mets need

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After successful 2018 season, Ottavino is one of the premiere relievers left on the market.

MLB: NLDS-Colorado Rockies at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets have been aggressive this offseason, already addressing several needs on the roster. After the acquisition of Edwin Diaz from Seattle and the signing of Jeurys Familia, the club should turn its attention to free agent reliever Adam Ottavino to further bolster their bulpen. The 33-year-old right hander, a former first round draft pick out of Northeastern University and a Brooklyn native, spent the last seven seasons with the Colorado Rockies.

Over an eight year career, Ottavino has put up an ERA of 3.68. In 2018, he enjoyed his most successful campaign, showcasing a 2.43 ERA and striking out 112 batters in 77.2 innings of work. Opposing batters had a difficult time making consistently solid contact against Ottavino, hitting a measly .158 against him. Ottavino put up a 29.9% hard-hit ball rate, further limiting the damage against him.

His most valuable attributes are his ability to strike out batters and keep the ball in the park. Last season, Ottavino struck out 12.98 batters per nine innings, and recorded a 36.3 K%. Additionally, he has an outstanding ground ball rate (43%), and allowed just 5 home runs all season (0.58 home runs per nine innings).

Ottavino employs a five pitch arsenal, in which he relies heavily on his slider and sinker,along with a cutter, fastball, and changeup. According to Statcast <https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/adam-ottavino-493603?stats=statcast-r-pitching-mlb>, 46.8% of Ottavino’s pitches are sliders and 41.6% are sinkers. In 2018, batters hit just .148 against his slider and .156 off his sinker.

His heavy reliance on breaking pitches allows him to force batters to chase pitches out of the strike zone. Statcast recorded that 24% of Ottavino’s pitches were balls chased out of the strike zone. In addition, Ottavino has a very high spin rate on his pitches, which adds to more chasing. Ottavino recorded an above average spin rate on his slider, which was 2,787 RPMs. The spin rate on his sinker was also impressive at 2,287 RPMs.