Posted by Mack Ade at 7:32 AM
Mike O'Connor was the 7th round draft pick in the 2002 draft by the Montreal Expos (who are now the Washington Nationals).
The Expos converted him from a reliever out of George Washington University, to a starter and his eight year career with the Expos/Nats begun.
At times he was a very good starter and won the Nats minor league player of the year in 2005. The Nationals were very high on this guy, though his ERA/WHIPs throughout his minor league career weren't as low as desired.
He did make it to the Bigs in 2005 and posted a 3-8, 4.80 record, in 21 games, 20 starts. The real bad news was only 59-Ks in 105-IP, but also 45-BB.
After that, things got a little fuzzy. Back to the minors... 16 starts in 2006 at AAA (5-3, 2.17), back up to Washington as a reliever (13.00)... starting again at AAA in 2009... and eventually was traded to San Diego in June, 2009. Things didn't go well there, he was released in August, and signed a minor league contract with Kansas City. He finished the 2009 season starting again for the Royals' AAA franchise.
I'm not sure who cut fish first, but O'Connor was a free agent in the spring of 2010 and he was signed by the Mets and assigned to Buffalo.... as an exclusive reliever. period.
The 29-year old O'Connor, which would sound old as a starter but frankly, is young for a reliever, just went to Buffalo and did what he used to do well in high school and college... pitch flawless relief.
Forget what I said above:
6 foot three inches tall
29 years old
51 appearances in 2010 for Buffalo
5-2, 2.67, 1.16, 70-K, 70-IP, only 17-BB
Go ahead. Go back 10 years in the Mets chain. Find me these kind of relief stats at AAA.
You need to remember this name and you need to pray there is someone left in the front office next week that understands they need to resign this guy for the 2011 season.
This could easily be your long man out of the Willets Point pen next season.