Columbia's bullpen has been lighting up like - well, fireflies. 

Columbia has a 54-45 record largely due to its pitchers having a 2.96 ERA.

Much of that was due to the dynamic starting duo of Merandy Gonzalez and Jordan Humphreys.

But there've been great pen performances too.  Here goes:

ADONIS UCETA - 4-0, 1.26, 11 saves by the 23 year old 6'1", 230 righty.  47 Ks in 43 IP.  Move him up, up, up. (And, hours after writing this on Wednesday, the Mets did exactly that, as he fanned 3 of his 4 outs in a nifty debut).

He had a 4.99 ERA as a Kingsport starter in 2016, so the switch to the pen?  Makes a lot of sense to me.

MATT BLACKHAM - 24 year old Tommy John survivor (missed half of 2015, all of 2016) is now a thriver.  4-1, 1.90, 1.10 WHIP, 62 Ks in 43 IP.  Move him up, up, up.  Fast, fast, fast.  Hard thrower. 29th rounder in 2014, likely due to being just 5'10", 170.  Queens or bust by 2019.

AUSTIN MCGEORGE - he is more St Lucie Met than Columbia man, having been promoted to St Lucie a while back.  Some combined levels' performance: 34 IP, 45 Ks, 0.95 WHIP, 1.60 ERA.  2016 7th rounder: looks like a nice selection indeed.  Maybe he shows up in Queens in 2018.

ADAM ATKINS - in his last 10 games, 15 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 15 Ks.   This 6'3", 220 righty (18th round, 2016) seems quite competent.

MATT POBEREYKO - this is a real interesting one.  Undrafted, 25 years old, the Mets picked him up not too long ago.  The 6'3", 230 righty relieved in 10 games total, but the last 7?  Whoo hoo!  11.1 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 21 friggin' Ks.  Nice.

JOE ZANGHI - 0-2, 3.02 4 saves in 28 games.  Still fans a lot, with 49 in 42 IP after crazy high K #'s in Brooklyn last year, but his WHIP is a bit high at 1.39.   A 24th round selection in 2015, by Cincy, he is 6'0" and a hefty 254.  He feels to me like a Beck Wheeler type to me so far; we'll see how he fares in his 3rd season in 2018 at a higher level.

MAX KUHNS - the 21st rounder in 2016 was really kicking it until a mid-June injury - 17 games, 1-0, 2.10, 0.90 WHIP, 5 of 6 saves, 37 Ks in 26 IP.  I hoped it was not too serious an injury for the high performing 6'2", 210 righty, but bad news: he just had (you get 3 guesses) Tommy John friggin' surgery!

An excellent batch of bugs, lighting up Columbia. 

My advice to one and all of the above righty hopefuls - learn a knuckler - as good as your numbers are in full season A ball this year, they may not be good enough as you climb further up the slippery slope towards Queens.  And send out a bounty hunter to track down Tommy John, once and for all.  Tell them to bring silver bullets.


Mack Ade said...

I try very hard not to get excited about players at the rookie level, especially relievers.

I'm old school. I like to fill up my pen with ex-major leaguers and excess starters.

That being said, Uceta looks like the real deal

Thomas Brennan said...

Agree on Uceta as a future Met...but I also like Blackham a lot, but it is time to push him up, like they just did in getting Bashlor up to AA.

Bashlor's debut in AA has been sweet - 3.1 IP, 2 walks, 5 Ks. He, to me, is the next Mets minor league reliever who will get to (and stay in) the bigs, I believe during 2018. Other than Drew Smith, of course.

Blackham is 4-1, 1.85 with 13 K / 9 IP for the Flies. High velocity, if not quite as high as Bashlor. Time to push Matt up to St Lucie. Demote someone else if you have to, in order to make room.

Adam Smith said...

Mack, I think the game is changing in that they seem to be grooming guys for the pen from the beginning of their careers a lot more than they used to.

Thomas Brennan said...

Adam, I think so - I just wonder how many of these guys will throw hard enough to be MLB pen arms - Bachelor, Uceta, and Blackham are definitely 3 who can bring it.

I wish the Ramos trade had Harol Gonzalez included instead of Merandy Gonzalez. I'd have thrown in 2 former 2nd rounders to sweeten it...Blake Taylor and Andrew Church. Florida, of course, would have laughed in my face!

Thomas Brennan said...

Atkins and Pobyrenko got it done tonight

Mack's Mets © 2012