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Top 25 Mets Prospects for 2024: Dominic Hamel (10)

Next on our list is a right-handed pitcher.

Amazin Avenue Prospect List

Name: Dominic Hamel
Position: RHP
Born: 3/02/1999
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 240 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Acquired: 2021 MLB Draft, 3rd Round (Dallas Baptist University)

2023 Stats: 26 G (25 GS), 124.0 IP, 108 H, 56 R, 53 ER (3.85 ERA), 49 BB, 160 K, .317 BABIP (Double-A)

After lettering twice at Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona, Dominic Hamel went on to graduate and attend Yavapai College, a community college in Prescott, Arizona. He posted a 2.67 ERA in 67.1 innings in his freshman year and a 3.68 ERA in 73.1 innings in his sophomore year. His peripheral numbers in 2018 were excellent, with 29 walks and 79 strikeouts, but he regressed a bit in 2019, walking 44 and striking out 84. His 2019 sophomore season would end up being his last at Yavapai, as he transferred to Dallas Baptist University for the 2020 season, his junior year.

Appearing as the Patriots’ Sunday starter, the 21-year-old Hamel started four games before the NCAA cancelled the remainder for the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In those 4 starts, he posted a 4.58 ERA in 19.2 innings, allowing 13 hits, walking 7, and striking out 27. He went undrafted in the 2020 MLB Draft and returned to Dallas Baptist in 2021. He was the Patriots’ Friday night ace, throwing 91.2 innings with a 4.22 ERA, allowing 68 hits, walking 34, and striking out 136, a Dallas Baptist record and the most in the Missouri Valley Conference that year by a wide margin. With their third-round draft pick, the Mets selected Hamel, signing him for $755,300, exactly the MLB-assigned slot value.

Hamel threw a handful of innings that summer with the FCL Mets, but his professional career began in earnest in 2022. Assigned to the St. Lucie Mets along with the many other college pitchers that the Mets drafted in the rounds following Hamel’s selection, the 23-year-old right-hander posted a 3.84 ERA in 63.1 innings over 14 games with 48 hits allowed, 29 walks, and 71 strikeouts. He was promoted to the Cyclones in early July and finished the season in Brooklyn, posting a 2.59 ERA in 55.2 innings over 11 games with 35 hits allowed, 25 walks, and 74 strikeouts. All in all, the right-hander had a successful season, posting a combined 3.25 ERA in 119.0 innings, allowing 83 hits, walking 54, and striking out 145, the most by a minor leaguer in the entire organization in 2022.

The right-hander was promoted to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in 2023 and pitched there for the entire season. Appearing in 26 games, starting 25 of them, Hamel posted a 3.85 ERA in 124.0 innings, allowing 108 hits, walking 49, and striking out 160. His strikeout total once again led the minor league system for the second consecutive year.

Standing 6’2” and weighing 205-pounds, Hamel has a solid pitching frame. He leads the Mets minor league system in innings pitched since being drafted, throwing the most innings of any pitcher in 2023 and the third-most in 2022, and logged nearly 100 innings additional in his 18 starts with Dallas Baptist in 2021. The right-hander throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot, with a long action through the back. He drops and drives off the mound with a low release point and a bit of crossfire. These mechanics are not inherently problematic in relation to his control, but his command occasionally comes and goes based on how his different pitches are moving on any given appearance.

Hamel’s fastball has fringe average velocity, sitting 91-94 MPH, generally averaging 92 MPH, but the pitch still misses plenty of bats thanks to its high spin rate and low vertical approach angle. The Dallas Baptist University baseball program is known to be on the cutting edge of utilizing and incorporating advanced baseball analytic data, and Dominic Hamel certainly benefitted from their mentoring, optimizing his grip and mechanics to maximize both traits. The right-hander’s fastball consistently averages higher-than-average spin rates for a four-seam fastball, and with a peak that has been measured as high as 2560 RPM, it can have borderline elite spin for a fastball. The carry and rise that it has generates a ton of swings-and-misses, and it is especially effective up in the zone.

Complementing his fastball, the right-hander has a full assortment of secondary pitches: a slider, curveball, and changeup. The best of these pitches is his slider, a low-80s offering that has been measured between 2700 RPM to 3000 RPM, giving it elite spin. The pitch has late, sharp gyroscopic break. He generally uses the pitch down-and-away against right-handed hitters, but when he has a good feel for the pitch can backfoot it against them or use it more often against left-handed hitters.

His curveball has also flashed high spin rates, measuring between 2600-2900 RPM. The pitch sits in the mid-70s, with a large speed variance, with pitches as low as 71 MPH and as high as 77 MPH. Hamel has improved the pitch since going pro, and generally throws it on the higher side of its velocity band, where the pitch has tighter shape and more bite to it. The right-hander gets hurt when he throws the pitch on the lower end of its velocity band, giving it more vertical drop but making it easier to make contact with thanks to its easy, loose 12-6 rise-and-fall, and harder to command.

His changeup lags well behind both his slider and curveball and is generally reserved against left-handers; against right-handers, it is generally used to change a hitter’s eye and set up his next pitch. The pitch sits in the mid-80s and has a bit of arm-side fade and sink. Like his slider against right-handers, he uses the changeup to get left-handers chasing down and away, but unlike his slider, the pitch is still too raw to be used as an effective crossover offering.