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Top 25 Mets Prospects for 2024: Tyler Stuart (15)

Next on our list is a right-handed pitcher.

Amazin Avenue Prospect List

Name: Tyler Stuart
Position: RHP
Born: 10/08/1999
Height: 6’9”
Weight: 250 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Acquired: 2022 MLB Draft, 6th Round (University of Southern Mississippi)

2023 Stats: 14 G (14 GS), 75.2 IP, 56 H, 14 R, 13 ER (1.55 ERA), 23 BB, 84 K, .280 BABIP (High-A), 7 G (7 GS), 35.0 IP, 34 H, 16 R, 14 ER (3.60 ERA), 9 BB, 28 K, .291 BABIP (Double-A)

A three-sport star in high school, Stuart attended the University of Southern Mississippi after graduating from Herscher High School in Illinois and going undrafted in the 2018 MLB Draft. He redshirted in his freshman year, having agreed with Southern Miss pitching coach Christian Ostrander that his delivery needed a complete overhaul. He got back on the field at a competitive level that summer, playing for the Amsterdam Mohawks in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, but his time back on the diamond was short. At some point prior to his joining the team, he hurt his UCL. The right-hander had been ignoring it up until that point, but the elbow bothered him to the point that he finally underwent an MRI, which revealed that the ligament was partially torn and would need surgery to fix.

Stuart missed the entire 2020 season recovering from Tommy John surgery; not that it really mattered much, as the NCAA ended the season early due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was cleared to resume baseball activities that summer and ended up pitching in the Deep South Summer Collegiate League, a pop-up college summer league that operated that summer. He faced live batters for the first time in years there, felt fine, and returned to Southern Mississippi in the fall ready to finally to pitch for the Golden Eagles. There were ups and downs, but in the Spring, he finally took the mound at MM Roberts Stadium. Appearing in 13 games in relief, the right-hander posted a 7.16 ERA in 16.1 innings, allowing 16 hits, walking 7, and striking out 9. While the numbers weren’t the best, Stuart was pleased with his season, as he was focusing mainly on keeping his mechanics consistent and developing his slider. That summer, he played for the Bourn Braves of the Cape Cod League, and it was there that everything seemed to click in place for Stuart. Appearing in 4 games and logging 6.0 innings total, he did not allow a run, scattering 4 hits, walking 4, and striking out 6. More importantly than the surface stats, he felt good before, during, and after his appearances, he learned a four-seam fastball grip and was able to throw with more velocity as a result and began developing a changeup.

Everything came together for Stuart in 2022. Starting four games and appearing in 22 total, the 22-year-old posted a 3.38 ERA in 40.0 innings, allowing 34 hits, walking 13, and striking out 38. The Mets selected Stuart in the 6th round of the 2022 MLB Draft and signed him for $220,000, slightly under the MLB-recommended slot value of $288,700. He made three appearances at the end of the season, 1 for the FCL Mets and two for the St. Lucie Mets and posted a 9.82 ERA in 3.1 innings, allowing 4 hits, walking 3, and striking out 7. In 2023, he began the year with the Brooklyn Cyclones and has put together an incredible first half, leading the South Atlantic League in ERA by a wide margin. All in all, he posted a 1.55 ERA in 75.2 innings, allowing 56 hits, walking 23, and striking out 84. In mid-July, he was promoted to Double-A Binghamton, and while he was unable to continue pitching as he had in Brooklyn, the right-hander was still solid, posting a 3.60 ERA in 35.0 innings, with 34 hits allowed, 9 walks, and 28 strikeouts. His 2.20 ERA led all qualified pitchers at all levels of the minor leagues in 2023.

The 6’9”, 250-pound right-hander throws from a low three-quarters, almost sidearm arm slot with a short action through the back. This whippy, slingy motion gives his pitches some natural tail, and Stuart naturally developed a sinker as a result. The pitch is his bread-and-butter, a low-to-mid-90s offering with some arm-side run and sink. He also throws a four-seam fastball that has a little more velocity, sitting in the mid-90s, but rarely uses it, preferring his sinker almost entirely.

Complementing the pitch is a slider that sits in the low-to-mid-80s, ranging 81 to 86 MPH. The pitch has sweeping, two-plane break and has been an effective weapon against right-handers and left-handers alike, as Stuart can command it to both sides of the plate. He leans heavily on the pitch, throwing it almost as much as he did his sinker in 2023, but it sometimes loses its bite, particularly when thrown away. He also mixes in a fringy changeup that sits in the mid-80s that may one day be a more viable pitch with more repetition, use, and development.

Stuart showed some regression when promoted from High-A Brooklyn to Double-A Binghamton; his 49.5% ground ball rate dropped to a 39.6% while his 26.1% fly ball rate ballooned to a 37.7%. There are a lot of factors to take into account, from the amount of innings Stuart threw in 2023 to the quality of his arsenal to the stadiums he was pitching in to the quality of the hitters he was facing. Regardless of the reason, the big right-hander will need to get his ground ball rate back on track in order to continue having success as a professional.