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2023 Mets Minor League In Memoriam: Left-Handed Pitchers

With the deadline to set their 40-man rosters and protect players from the Rule 5 Draft having come and gone, let’s take a look at the minor league players who were released over the course of the 2023 season.

Quinn Brodey during a Syracus Mets game on May 20, 2021.
Quinn Brodey
Chris McShane

Quinn Brodey

Released: July 31

A two-way prep player from Loyola High School in Los Angeles, California, Quinn Brodey excelledcon the diamond, at the plate, and in the outfield and was selected by the Washington Nationals with their 37th round selection in the 2014 MLB Draft. He did not sign with them and instead electing to honor his commitment to Stanford University. The left-hander spent three years there and hit a cumulative .291/.340/.473 in 159 games, highlighted by a junior season where he hit .314/.371/.556 with 11 home runs, 3 stolen bases in 6 attempts, and 22 walks to 33 strikeouts, leading the Stanford Cardinals in batting average, slugging percentage, home runs, RBI, and total bases and finding his name among the league leaders in the Pac-12 Conference in slugging percentage, RBI, total bases, doubles, triples, and home runs.

With their 3rd round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, the Mets selected Brodey and signed him for $500,000, just under the MLB-assigned slot value of $553,200. With a “Stanford swing” much better suited for college baseball than professional baseball, Brodey struggled. Appearing in 432 total games from Single-A all the way up to Triple-A, the left-hander hit a cumulative .229/.291/.369 with 36 home runs, 58 stolen bases, and 126 walks to 457 strikeouts.

Brodey pitched a bit in college, but never pitched as a professional. In 2023, he was converted full time to a relief pitcher. He appeared in 20 games for the Brooklyn Cyclones and posted a combined 6.75 ERA in 23 games with the Brooklyn Cyclones and Binghamton Rumble Ponies, allowing 39 hits, 23 walks, and striking out 36 before being released.

To the best of my knowledge, the last position player the Mets attempted to turn into a pitcher besides for teammate Manny Rodriguez was Pedro Perez, the corner-infielder-turned-relief-pitcher who appeared in 12 games for the 2017 Kingsport Mets and posted a 13.50 ERA in 16.0 innings over 12 games. While his transition was not successful, Ismael Tijerina, another infielder-turned-reliever, actually had some solid success as a pitcher, appearing in 17 games for the 2014 Kingsport Mets and posting a 2.21 ERA in 20.1 innings.

Rogert Cortez

Released: October 30

Southpaw Rogert Cortez was signed by the Mets shortly after the 2023 international signing period began, signing him out of Maturin, Venezuela, a city in the northern part of the country crucial to Venezuela’s’ petroleum industry. The 17-year-old was sent to the Dominican Summer League and appeared in 8 games total, 7 for the DSL Mets Blue and 1 for the DSL Mets Orange. Unfortunately for the left-hander and the Mets teams he played on, Cortez gave up at least two runs in six of his eight games, posting an 8.36 ERA in 14.0 innings, with 13 hits allowed, 8 walks, and 22 strikeouts. His best outing on the season came on June 16 against the DSL Nationals, where he tossed three scoreless innings, not allowing a single hit, not walking a single batter, and striking out 5.

A low-level international signing, we can only hope that the signing bonus that Cortez received was able to provide him and his family some degree of additional financial security.

Arlison Rodriguez

Released: November 2

The Mets signed Curaçao native Arlison Rodriguez to a minor league contract on December 10, 2021, just days before the end of the 2020-2021 signing period. The 19-year-old was assigned 18 to the Dominican Summer League and appeared in 18 games for the DSL Mets 1, posting a 4.78 ERA in 26.1 innings with 29 hits allowed, 9 walks, and 30 strikeouts. He remained in the Dominican Summer League for the 2023 season, appearing in 14 games for the DSL Mets Orange and 2 more for the DSL Mets Blue. In total, the southpaw posted a 3.05 ERA in 44.1 innings, making three starts, with 41 hits allowed, 11 walks, and 38 strikeouts.

A low-level international signing, we can only hope that the signing bonus that Rodriguez received was able to provide him and his family some degree of additional financial security.

Juan Veliz

Released: August 26

Juan Veliz was a day one 2021 international free agent signing, signed out of San Antonio, Venezuela. Like all of the other international rookies signed during that window, Veliz received less than seven-figures, as the Mets did not give a single million-dollar plus bonus for the entirety of the signing class. The 17-year-old left-hander was assigned to the Dominican Summer League and made his professional debut in July 2021, appearing in 10 games and posting a 1.08 ERA in 16.2 innings with 10 hits allowed, 8 walks, and 15 strikeouts. The left-hander missed the entirety of the 2022 and 2023 seasons due to injury, presumably Tommy John surgery given the length of his absence from the mound.

Given his age, Veliz was understandably raw as a baseball player. He threw with a long, slingy arm capable of running his fastball into the high-80s and spinning a low-to-mid-70s curveball and firm changeup. The value Venezuelan Bolivar is in flux due to high inflation and other related factors, but whatever Veliz’ signing bonus was, it certainly had the potential to be life-changing for his immediate family. Regardless of how his future as a ballplayer goes- if he even has one- hopefully the majority of that money went to improving his life as well of that of his family.