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Tylor Megill could be a dark horse candidate in 2021

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He might not be well known outside of Mets prospect circles, but Tylor Megill might pitch innings at the MLB level sometime in 2021.

Tylor Megill
Steve Sypa

His name might not make top prospect lists, but Tylor Megill impressed me when I saw him pitch in Columbia in 2019 and clearly Mets executives felt that, as he was invited to spring training as a non-roster invitee. Drafted in the 8th round of the 2018 MLB Draft out of the University of Arizona, Megill was far from a must-follow. Possessing a solid-if-unspectacular peripherals and a cumulative 4.61 ERA in 125.0 innings thrown over three seasons at Loyola Marymount University and the University of Arizona, the right-hander signed for $50,000, well below the MLB-assigned slot value of $176,700. He pitched for the Brooklyn Cyclones that summer, posting a 3.21 ERA in 28.0 innings with a concerning walk rate but impressive strikeout rate, and then pitched with Columbia, St. Lucie, and Binghamton in 2019, posting a combined 3.52 ERA in 71.2 innings with a solid walk rate and an impressive strikeout rate.

At 6’7”, 230-pounds, Megill has an ideal pitcher’s frame. He throws from a high three-quarters arm slot, throwing downhill with a long, low-effort arm action and a bit of crossfire. The delivery makes it difficult for opposing hitters, but it sometimes negatively affects his command, as he frequently misses arm-side when he releases the ball too early and missing to the glove-side when he releases the ball too late.

His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, peaking at 96 MPH, and features a high spin rate. Thanks to his long stride, long arm extension, and crossfire delivery, the pitch has late life and tailing action. He works better to his glove side but can throw strikes arm side when necessary, though his command there is not as precise. His go-to strikeout pitch is a mid-80s slider that, while inconsistent, flashes being an average-to-above-average pitch when it does not flatten out. He also throws a developing changeup that is still fairly firm and rudimentary, as he has only recently had to add it to his repertoire.

With a very crowded rotation at the major league level, Megill’s most likely route to the show is as a reliever. He has experience both starting and reliving dating back to his collegiate days; while at Loyola Marymount and Arizona, he started 11 games and made 46 appearances out of the bullpen and as a professional, he has started 13 games and made 19 appearances out of the bullpen. Pitching out of the bullpen would also allow the tall righty to air out his fastball, living at the top of his velocity band, and get rid of his rudimentary changeup, focusing on getting his slider to be a more consistently above-average pitch.

Megill would have to really impress during spring training in order to make the major league club. While the right-hander reached Double-A in 2019, it was only for a single five-inning start at the end of August. Barring an eye-opening performance in March, Megill is most likely opening the 2021 season in Binghamton or Syracuse, with the possibility of moving up and joining the big league club later in the year with a strong campaign.