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The 11 best Mets minor league pitchers I saw this year: 2, Simeon Woods Richardson

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Counting down the best minor league pitchers I saw in 2019.

I’m an idiot that forgot to charge my camera when Woods Richardson was pitching, so here is is chilling in the dugout instead
Steve Sypa

DISCLAIMER: This is a ranking of the best players that I saw during the 2019 season. I saw a wide cross-section of teams, attending Kingsport Mets, Brooklyn Cyclones, Columbia Fireflies, and Binghamton Rumble Ponies games, but I did not see the GCL Mets, St. Lucie Mets, or Syracuse Mets, nor did I attend every single game of the teams that I did see. As such, this is not a comprehensive Mets prospect list. If a player is not on the list, I either did not see him, or considered the listed players better.

Name: Simeon Woods-Richardson

Team: Columbia Fireflies

Position: RHP

Born: 9/27/00 (18)

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 210 lbs.

Bats/Throws: R/R

Acquired: 2018 MLB Draft, 2nd Round

2019 Season: 20 G (20 GS), 78.1 IP, 78 H, 44 R, 37 ER (4.25 ERA), 17 BB, 97 K, 1 HBP, 1 BLK, 5 WP, .358 BABIP (Low-A)

Date(s) Seen: June 10 (5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

The Man

The combination of strong numbers at Fort Bend Kempner High School and solid stuff made Simeon Woods Richardson a lock to be drafted in the 2018 MLB Draft, but the Mets surprised everyone- including Woods Richardson and his family- by drafting the young right-hander in the second round, the 48th pick overall in the draft. The family had no idea the Mets would take his name so early, and were at a local Buffalo Wild Wings when his agent called him to tell him the news. He had a commitment to the University of Texas but elected to sign with the Mets and play professionally after receiving a $1.85 million bonus, roughly $400,000 over slot value. The 17-year-old right-hander made his professional debut with the GCL Mets and was impressive in the 11.1 innings he pitched there. He did not give up a single run, allowed 9 hits, walked 4, and struck out 15. He was promoted to the Kingsport Mets to end the season and in 6.0 innings posted a 4.50 ERA, allowing 6 hits, walking 0, and striking out 11. The Mets were aggressive with his assignment in 2019, promoting him to the Columbia Fireflies, and the right-hander responded. In 20 starts, he posted a 4.25 ERA, allowing 78 hits, walking 17, and striking out 97. In late July, he was promoted to the St. Lucie Mets, but never actually got to pitch for them, as he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, along with Syracuse Mets left-hander Anthony Kay, in exchange for Marcus Stroman.

The Pitcher

At 6’3”, 200-pounds, Simeon Woods-Richardson has a solid frame for a pitcher. There is very little room left for additional development, but he is surprisingly developed as a pitcher for someone so young. Throwing from a high-three-quarters arm slot with a whippy arm, his fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, 90-94 MPH. Though reports of the pitch sitting or touching higher exist- some that he sits higher and can touch as high as 99 MPH- he did not exhibit this kind of fastball velocity at any point during the 2019 season, and as a result, such claims are dubious at best. The pitch has slight arm-side movement, but when coupled with its high spin rate, fools batters as it appears to move more than it does. Complementing his fastball is a curveball with big 12-6 drop that sits in the mid-to-high-70s and a changeup in the low-to-mid-80s. He is able to command all three pitches, pounding the zone, attacking hitters, and throwing strikes.

Looking to 2020

We wish Simeon Woods Richardson all the best in his future endeavors.

The List

3: Junior Santos

4: Thomas Szapucki

5: Ryley Gilliam

6: Mickey Jannis

7: Bryce Hutchinson

8: Garrison Bryant

9: Tylor Megill

10: Nick MacDonald

11: Josh Hejka