A pitcher's notable level of success in the lower minors is so often not a reliable indicator of future major league stardom, or even, arrival.
The road is long and tough. Let's recount a few:
PJ Conlon was brilliant up to high A ball, solid in AA, but running into significant headwinds at AAA and in the big leagues, as was Rafael Montero.
Tom Szapucki and Jordan Humphreys were flying high until Tommy John surgery was required in mid-2017. Presumably, we will see then back on the mound in April 2019.
Marcos Molina and Luis Mateo spun off a brilliant campaigns in Brooklyn, needed TJS the next season, and failed to recapture their former pitching mojo once they returned.
On the other hand, Merandy Gonzalez did great in A ball last year, and was traded to the Marlins for AJ Ramos, remember him??? Gonzalez has logged 17 big league innings this year.
And another guy gave up 168 hits in 147 innings in AA in 2013, but has fared, oh, pretty well since then.
Name? JAKE DEGROM.
So, as Roger Daltrey just asked me, WHO'S NEXT?
JAISON VILERA, THE PRIDE OF CARACAS, VZ, THAT'S WHO!
The 21 year old, 6'0", 190 righty is handily slaying Rookie Ball dragons.
Vilera's picture, to me, reminds me a lot of former NJ Nets tough guy Kenyon Martin (pictured below). Tough is good.
Vilera has been sensational in his minor league career so far:
In 2016 in the DSL, 30 innings, 4-0, 0.88 ERA. Sweet.
Yeah, but that's just the lowly DSL, my Aunt Millie could pitch well there, and she's 85. Can he pitch in Les Stats Unis d'Amerique, these here United States of America, in REAL pro ball? You bet.
In 2017, in 62 innings in Florida's Gulf Coast League, the hard throwing righty 3-1, 1.88 ERA. No problem!
This year, he skips a level to Brooklyn. Tough, right? Yeah, for the opposing hitters, but a breeze for Vilera.
3-1, 1.08 ERA, 33 IP, 43 Ks, 0.78 WHIP in 6 starts.
And getting better, almost Gooden-esque: his last 2 starts, ZERO earned runs in 14 innings, 5 hits, 18 Ks. Hot diggity.
Oh, wait, on Sunday, he threw 5.2 shutout innings, dropping his ERA below 1.00. Make it THREE straight starts with zero earned runs.
Hey, if he is that good, promote him to Columbia. Today is fine.
After all, he's already 21: Gooden was a big league star at 19.
If Jaison is that good, move him along FAST. Hopefully almost "Gooden-fast".
P.S. ALONSO POUNDING:
It is to be expected for a Mets fan to grasp at negatives - you know the feeling, like when your golden haired star pitcher gets hoof and mouth disease and your star OF has more mineral deposit on his ankles than you might find in the Dead Sea - yep, there sure are enough reasons for negativity floating around - and when Peter Alonso was mired in quite a slump, with some Facebook fans getting negative on him. Stuff like "He's another bum." To which I reply, "Not so, grasshopper."
I MEAN...COME ON, FOLKS.
Alonso has been reviving since his titanic Futures Game home run passed through some overhead chem trails. And Pete is still hitting .275 in AA and AAA despite the fairly long slump, with a terrific 83 RBIs in 95 games. Highest in all minor league ball, no minor achievement.
In fact, in 793 minor league at bats, he has 53 doubles, 47 HR, and 167 RBIs. Ruthian.
All he needs (very soon) is a long term lease on some real estate about 60 feet to the side of the Mets pitchers' mound in Citifield - you know, first base.
I'll draw up the lease papers and get them notarized, Peter.