MMs Top 25: #23 LHP Adrian Almeida

#23 LHP Adrian Jose Almeida (LRnot ranked)
Bats: L Throws: L
Height: 6' 0" Weight: 150 lb
Age: 20
Acquired: 2011 International Signing, $170,000 bonus, Puerto Cabello, Venezuela

2014: (Rk)    3-2, 2.13 ERA, 38.0 IP, 9.5 K/9, 5.4 BB/9, 1.289 WHIP
2013: (DsL1) 3-3, 3.89 ERA, 41.2 IP, 9.3 K/9, 5.8 BB/9, 1.392 WHIP 
2012: (DsL1) 0-3, 2.50 ERA, 39.2 IP, 7.5 K/9, 5.4 BB/9, 1.487 WHIP

     Who is Adrian Almeida? Well......quite frankly, not many people know. So much so, that there's not even any pictures of him on Google! Almeida was part of the same 2011 international free agent class that brought the Mets Marcos Molina and Amed Rosario. Besides the obvious throwing hand comparison, the primary difference between Molina and Almeida is their physicality. Molina grew into his body almost immediately after his signing going 170 lbs to 190 lbs and growing an additional inch. Almeida has not seen that growth spurt yet. At 6 feet, 150 pounds, his arm speed and skinny build could add more velocity to his already 91 mph fastball.

     In the Dominican Summer Leagues, Almeida actually had more pure movement on his pitches than Molina did K'ing 7.5 per 9 innings in his 1st season. After an off-season of professional training, Almeida jumped that up to 9.3 K/9 and then again up to 9.5 K/9 after coming stateside in 2014. That same movement though is also currently his downfall as he struggles with control due to an inefficient motion and trouble repeating his delivery. 

     Despite the control problems though, the stuff is REALLY good. As we said earlier, he already brings a 89-91 mph fastball with good movement on it. However, his best pitch is actually his curveball which is extremely advanced for a foreign born player. Scouts believe it has the potential to be an MLB "60 grade" plus pitch if he can tighten up the spin a bit more and improve his control of it. He also has a fairly decent change-up in his arsenal too. Like his curveball, the spin on it is more advanced than most foreign born players as he is able to stay through it and keep in low in the zone instead of letting it run away from his arm and leaving it up. 

     Bonus Babies are extremely hard to project, especially, when they have not been seen much. However, when a left handed pitching prospect comes around and has two secondary pitches that are more advanced then his peers AND his fastball already has league average velocity...with room to grow....you have to put him on your prospect radar. Unfortunately, right now, I see more Oliver Perez in him than I do David Price, but, that can change very quickly. Outside of Steven Matz, Almeida could be the highest upside left handed arm in the Mets system right now. He'll spend some time in extended spring training with coaches to try to improve his control before heading out to fill the large shoes that Marcos Molina left for him in Brooklyn. We'll be very anxious to see him in person during the 2015 season.

Ceiling: Unknown. Has tools to at least be a LOOGY. (Oliver Perez)
Floor: Struggles to adjust to Full Season A ball
Anticipated Assignment: (SS-A) Brooklyn Cyclones starting rotation.


Thomas Brennan said...

I'd definitely slot him in behind Alvarez and Jack L in the lefty pecking order, and Brad Wieck for that matter, until he shows more. But he will be interesting to watch this year.

Maybe he had a growth spurt over the winter, but it seems at age 20 that would be weight, not height.

Hobie said...

Hoping 2014 was "mainland adjustment freakout" for Jose Medina (still 18), who blew up in GCL.

The LEFTY's 0.35/0.79 ERA/WHIP as a 17 yr old in the 2013 DSL still has embers glowing in my memory bank.

Thomas Brennan said...

Boy, Hobie, he went from theDSL Penthouse in 2013 to the GCL Outhouse in 2014. He hhad an interesting final outing:1 inning, 1 hit, no walks, 2 runs and 4 Ks. He'll not turn 19 until late August, so last year can be attributed to eztreme youth. But it makes the case again as to why I don't rank DSL guys...seems real baseball starts in GCL. His ERA last year was almost 9 runs higher than his DSL ERA.

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