Mack - 2015 Prospect List - #24 – RHSP – Rainy Lara


My rankings is solely subjective and based on nothing more than what is in my head at time I’m writing this. I’ve followed the Mets minor league players for many years and I feel I can recognize talent at various levels of their development. What I have failed at is how to determine when this talent seems to diminish. It’s amazing how many first round picks never make it in this game. 
I’m old school, so you won’t seem much SABR-discussion here, I do research and, when I find a good quote or two, I’ll add them to my analysis, but, like I said in the beginning of this post, most of this us subjective.

Let’s get started.

# 26 –  RHSP Rainy Lara – 23-years old - 6-4, 180 – R/R – International Free Agent sign –

            2011 – 16-G, 0-ST, 2.25, 1.25, 24.1-IP, 18-K

            2012 – 12-starts – 2.91. 0.96, 68-IP, 77-K

            2013 – High-A – 8-starts – 1.41, 0.88, 50.2-IP, 51-K

                       – A+ - 14-G, 13-ST, 3.76, 1.24, 79-IP, 54-K

            2014 – AA – 20-starts, 4.29, 1.37, 108.2-IP, 71-K

Rainy has a three pitch repertoire… slider, changeup, and an 89-91++ fastball.
He basically breezed through the low levels waiting for the inevitable bump in the road in Binghamton. Shit did happen but it could have been worse.

The bottom line… through almost 300 professional innings Lara has produced a 2.61 ERA and has struck out more than four batters for every walk allowed. Ain’t bad for a kid just finding his way around town.

Outlook – I would hope the Mets would leave him in Binghamton come opening day and let him work on a good secondary pitch to back up his surgical fastball. Then, put him on the bus, Gus to join the Mets pen.


Thomas Brennan said...

Rainy did not make my hybrid top 30 (20 closer to majors, 10 "rookie' level), but Lara would have been around 30th on my overall list.

He is likely significantly better than a Tobi Stoner mentioned by Lew earlier. Mack, I like your major league bullpen call, likely elsewhere than in Queens. I am a stat guy and do love that 2.61 ERA (Stoner's minor league ERA was 2 runs higher, at 4.58).

Mack Ade said...

God, I could go hours on Stoner...

James Preller said...

I always had this wild hope of Stoner making it on some modest level, if only for the cult Mets jerseys that would pop up all over the place.

I never thought he could pitch.

Mack Ade said...

James -

Re: Stoner

But he sure must have done something excellent.... he was always surrounded by excellent looking girls from the local college, SCAD

Thomas Brennan said...

The ladies did not care if he hit 95 on the radar gun. As long as they were on his radar.

Lew Rhodes said...

I am glad my Stoner reference could give everyone a good laugh today!

Glad I didn't say Schwinden - no fun in that

I have some major red flag concerns with Lara - the declining strike out numbers, rising ERA, WHIP, and hits/9 - those are signs that he isn't fooling many people as he climbs and he could be hitting a ceiling.

Rare is the young RHP who can succeed with a 90 MPH fastball - even with good command.

He is young, so I am hoping he has a bounce back in AA next year, his 1.37 WHIP and 5.9 K/9 do not give me great confidence. This is made worse by his 10.16 H/9.

Yes, his A ball numbers - when hitters are easy to fool - are great, but they swan dive across the board starting in St Lucie

I love to be wrong when I am a downer - but I am not so sure here.

Let's look at some comps:

Since we discussed our boy Stoner: in 2009 a 24 year old Stoner had a 1.38 WHIP and a 6.72 K/9 in 79 AA innings with a 9.11 H/9

Every stat better than Lara's and we know where he ended up

Dillon Gee - our other beloved soft-tossing righty - went through AA is a "by your leave" - making a whopping 27 IP as a 22 year old in 2008 - he had a WHIP of 0.85, K/9 of 6.67 but only gave up 6 H/9.

Chris Schwinden - another glass ceiling guy - as a 23 year old had a better K/9 (7.86)than Lara and slightly worse H/9 and WHIP.

Given those four comps, I would temper my enthusiasm on Rainy.

That being said, I will gladly eat my words if he repeats AA with numbers similar to his A ball numbers.

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