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Top 25 Mets Prospects for 2024: Mike Vasil (8)

Next on our list is a right-handed pitcher.

Amazin Avenue Prospect List

Name: Mike Vasil

Position: RHP

Born: 3/19/2000

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 245 lbs.

Bats/Throws: L/R

Acquired: 2021 MLB Draft, 8th Round (University of Virginia)

2023 Stats: 10 G (10 GS), 51.0 IP, 35 H, 22 R, 21 ER (3.71 ERA), 8 BB, 57 K, .220 BABIP (Double-A)/16 G (16 GS), 73.0 IP, 70 H, 44 R, 43 ER (5.30 ERA), 38 BB, 81 K, .311 BABIP (Triple-A)

Born in Wellesley, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, Mike Vasil attended Boston College High School, an all-male, Jesuit prep school. Over the course of his career there, the right-hander was named to various honorary teams, and received various accolades from local media, posting a cumulative 1.06 ERA in 191 innings pitched with 217 strikeouts. He was considered a prep player of interest by reputable national scouting and evaluation organizations coming into the 2018 MLB Draft, but an arm issue that arose early in his senior season prompted Vasil to announce that he was going to follow through on his commitment to the University of Virginia and would not sign with a professional team if drafted.

His tenure at the University of Virginia was not disastrous by any means, but he certainly did not live up to expectations. In his freshman year in 2019, he posted a 5.93 ERA in 57.2 innings for the Cavaliers, allowing 68 hits, walking 22, and striking out 40. Prior to the NCAA cancelling the 2020 season, he posted a 2.45 ERA in 22.0 innings over four starts, allowing 21 hits, walking 10, and striking out 23. Serving as Virginia’s Saturday starter in 2021, his junior year, he posted a 4.52 ERA in 81.2 innings over 16 starts and a relief appearance, allowing 101 hits, walking 18, and striking out 75. All in all, he posted a cumulative 4.74 ERA in 161.1 innings, allowing 190 hits, walking 50, and striking out 136.

After the completion of the season, he was drafted by the Mets in the 8th round of the 2021 MLB Draft, the 232nd player selected. He signed for $181,200, exactly the MLB-recommended slot value, and was assigned to the FCL Mets for the remainder of the season. Appearing in three games and pitching 7.0 innings, he allowed one run on three hits while walking none and striking out ten. He was promoted to St. Lucie in 2022 and got off to an excellent start, posting a 1.81 ERA in 35.0 innings over 8 games with 23 hits allowed, 11 walks, and 37 strikeouts. He was promoted to Brooklyn at the end of May and his performance took a 180, posting a 5.40 ERA in 28.1 innings over 6 games with 23 hits, 12 walks, and 39 strikeouts due to irritated bone spurs in his elbow. He returned to the mound after nearly two months and made a handful of appearances at the end of the season, posting a cumulative 3.53 ERA in 71.1 innings, allowing 51 hits, 26 walks, and striking out 85.

After the 2022 season ended, the Mets sent him to the Arizona Fall League to log a few more innings, and he was excellent in 6 games, posting a 2.93 ERA in 15.1 innings with 10 hits allowed, 9 walks, and 18 strikeouts. He continued that run of success once the 2023 season began. Assigned to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, the right-hander started 10 games and posted a 3.71 ERA in 51.0 innings, allowing 35 hits, walking just 8, and striking out 57. He was promoted to Triple-A Syracuse in mid-June and remained there for the rest of the season, but his performance once again suffered upon being promoted. Pitching in the highly offensively charged environment of the 2023 International League, Vasil started 16 games and posted a 5.30 ERA in 73.0 innings, with 70 hits allowed, 38 walks, and 81 strikeouts. All in all, at the two highest rungs of the minor league ladder, he posted a 4.65 ERA in 124.0 innings, allowing 105 hits, walking 46, and striking out 138, the third-highest total in the organization in 2023.

The big right-hander throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot with a simple, clean delivery using a short arm action through the back. He uses his lower half well and is able to maintain his release point, as his mechanics feature very little unnecessary movement. As such, his control is solid, though he is not always able to command his pitches. In college, Vasil sometimes nibbled too much, trying to avoid the strike zone and batters making contact with his pitches, but since going pro, he has been a bit more aggressive and trusts in his stuff to get batters out.

Primarily a sinkerball pitcher, the Mets made some major alterations to his pitch selection and in-game sequencing after being drafted. The coaching staff at the University of Virginia had him mainly throw a two-seam fastball, but the Mets have had him focus on throwing his four-seam fastball instead. He continued using the two-seamer periodically as a pro, but has weaned himself off of the pitch almost completely, throwing it only a handful of games in 2023.

Vasil’s four-seam fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, ranging 90-95 MPH, averaging 93 MPH in 2023. He struggled to maintain his velocity in 2023, with his fastball fading after the first few innings and his average, minimum, and maximum velocities all down in the dog days of summer as compared to earlier in the season and his total average. While Vasil did make more starts and throw more innings in 2023 than he ever has, this is a development that must be watched. His command of it also came and went. The pitch is most effective located up in the zone, but the right-hander can get into trouble when he is unable to reliably pitch at the letters and leaves the pitch in the meatier parts of the strike zone, as both its velocity and movement don’t work well enough there.

The right-hander complements his fastball with a slider, curveball, and changeup, all considered fringe-average. Stuff+ models score Vasil’s arsenal at slightly below league average, with his slider considered slightly above league average and his curveball and changeup below. His slider is a hard mid-80s offering with sharp two-plane life. It’s cutter-like movement darts away from right-handed batters and induces swings-and-misses at a decent clip, but much like his fastball, it leaks into the middle of the zone too often and is generally not up to snuff to induce whiffs there. His curveball sits in the high-70s-to-low-80s, averaging 79 MPH in 2023. The pitch gives batters a second breaking ball to be on the lookout for but is more of a get-me-over offering than a strikeout pitch. His changeup is very much the same, a firm mid-80s offering that doesn’t get too many whiffs. The curveball is the better of the two pitches at the moment, and he does use it effectively against left-handed batters.