Height: 6' 0" Weight: 150 lb
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
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.