Week: 2 G, 6 AB, .500/.700/.500, 3 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 4 BB, 0 K, 0/0 SB (Triple-A)
2022 Season: 112 G, .260/.374/.511, 107 H, 22 2B, 0 3B, 27 HR, 70 BB, 123 K, 0/0 SB, .300 BABIP (Double-A/Triple-A)
Finally! Our first McNeil since 2018!
Bryce Montes de Oca
Week: 1 G (0 GS), 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (Triple-A)
Season: 44 G (1 GS), 51.1 IP, 35 H, 22 R, 19 ER (3.33 ERA), 38 BB, 80 K, .359 BABIP (Double-A/Triple-A/MLB)
Injuries have defined Bryce Montes de Oca’s career more than anything else. In April 2013, he underwent Tommy John surgery while a junior in high school. In 2016, his second year at the University of Missouri, he missed most of the season after undergoing ulnar nerve transposition surgery. In 2018 and 2019, he underwent four different surgeries, procedures on his arm, shoulder, back, and knee.
Despite being drafted back in 2018, the 2021 season was Bryce Montes de Oca’s first professional season, having missed all of 2018 and 2019 due to injury and 2020 due to the cancellation of the season due to COVID-19. He began the season with the Brooklyn Cyclones and spent the majority of the season with them, getting promoted to Binghamton and appearing in two games for them in mid-September. All in all, he appeared in 28 games and posted a 4.50 ERA in 34.0 innings, allowing 23 hits, walking 27, and striking out 47.
He began the 2022 season with Binghamton and he spent roughly a month there before being promoted to the Syracuse Mets. In early September, he received a major league call up and appeared in three games for the Mets before being put on the injured list with left hamstring tightness. All in all, he posted a 3.33 ERA in 51.1 Double-A and Triple-A innings over 44 games with 35 hits allowed, 38 walks, and 80 strikeouts, and a 10.80 ERA in 3.1 innings over 3 games with the Mets, allowing 7 hits, walking 2, and striking out 6.
Montes de Oca throws very hard. In his limited innings in the majors, his fastball averaged 99.9 MPH and while pitching with Binghamton and Syracuse, hitting 101, 102 MPH was a common occurrence for the right-hander. His other two pitches, his cutter and slider, are thrown with equal velocity, the former averaging 95.4 MPH, and his slider averaging 86.8. Unfortunately, for as hard as he throws and for as many batters he fans, de Oca has terrible control. His mechanics are suboptimal, to put it lightly, with a lot of moving parts and a great deal of effort. A tall pitcher, his balance is not always even during his leg lift, his whippy arm drags behind his body relative to his foot landing, and his upper half can get out of sync with his legs. It’s unlikely de Oca’s command ever gets much better- he might be succeeding partially because of them- and the right-hander will need to strike out batters at an elite rate in order to mitigate the batters he puts on the basepaths.