Again, trying to highlight players that did well last year that not many others have focused on.
For these next five, I am going to focus on relief pitchers.
#25: Andrew Mitchell, Relief Pitcher, Bats Left, Throws Left, DOB 10/23/1994, 14th round, 2018 Draft. Andrew Mitchell a 6’1” Lefty that strikes hitters out. What is not to like? After striking out 32 batters in 23 innings, 18 games in Kingsport and Brooklyn in 2018 with a 1.17 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and just 6 walks, Andrew began 2019 in Columbia before ending the year in St. Lucie.
His 2019 stats: 34 games, 63 Ks, 49.1 innings, 3-0, 2.19 ERA, 16 walks, 1.12 WHIP. He spent some time on the injured list in St. Lucie so it is possible that he could start there in 2020 but he should make it to Binghamton sometime this year.
Here is an Andrew Mitchell strikeout on 76 MPH breaker For St. Lucie Mets (video posted by Ernest Dove).
#24: Stephen Villines, Relief Pitcher, Bats Right, Throws Right, DOB 7/15/1995, 10th round, 2017 Draft. Stephen is a side-armed thrower that gives managers a very different look out of the bullpen.
I saw Stephen Villines come into a game for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in late 2018 and strikeout 4 batters in 2 innings. Like a number of Mets AA pitchers this past year, Stephen did great in Binghamton but struggled when he was called to Syracuse. In Binghamton, he pitched to a 2-1 record with a 1.20 ERA, 42 Ks, 45 innings in 28 games. In Syracuse, he had a 6.75 ERA in 13 games, 16 innings.
Can he make the adjustment to move to AAA and eventually the Majors? We may find out next year.
#23: Matt Blackham, Relief Pitcher, Bats Right, Throws Right, DOB 1/7/1993, 29th round, 2014 Draft. Matt Blackham is one of those guys that always seems to pitch well but not get much attention.
He was past over in the Rule 5 Draft this past December. However, he was invited to Spring Training this year as a Non-roster invitee, so maybe he is starting to get noticed.
Last year he put up great numbers in both Binghamton and Syracuse. Overall in 2019 he was 8-2 with a 2.60 ERA, 40 games, 55.1 innings, 70 strikeouts, 1.07 WHIP. Tom Brennan profiled him here in Green Eggs and Blackham and Reese Kaplan profiled him here. Maybe this is the year that Matt makes it to Flushing.
#22: Ryley Gilliam, Relief Pitcher, Bats Right, Throws Right, DOB 8/11/1996, 5th round, 2018 Draft. From being drafted in 2018 and striking out 31 batters in 17.1 innings in Brooklyn with a 2.08 ERA to moving quickly from St. Lucie to Binghamton to Syracuse in 2019, Ryley Gilliam has been one of the top bullpen prospects in the Mets system the past two years.
He may have been moved up too quickly as he struggled in Syracuse with a 13.50 ERA in 10 games, 9.1 innings being shut down in July with an injury. He was sent to the Arizona Fall League where he rebounded to a 0.96 ERA in 7 games, 9.1 innings, 11 Ks, 2 Walks, 1.071 WHIP. His combined 2019 numbers for St. Lucie/Binghamton/ Syracuse was 5-0. 6.05 ERA, 29 games, 39.2 innings, 56 Ks, 18 walks, 1.552 WHIP. Ryley is a Non-Roster Invitee this spring.
A solid full year in Syracuse could put him in the Mets 2021 bullpen.
#21: Stephen Nogosek, Relief Pitcher, Bats Right, Throws Right, DOB 1/11/1995, 6th round, 2016 Draft. Stephen is the last player left from the 2017 Addison Reed trade with the Red Sox that also gave the Mets Gerson Bautista and Jamie Callahan.
In 2019 Stephen was lights out for Binghamton (0.95 ERA, 11 games, 19 innings, 20 Ks, 12 walks). In Syracuse he was almost perfect. His first 23 games for Syracuse he was 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 30.1 innings. In the last game of the season, the tie braking game to win the division and go to the playoffs, Stephen ended up being charged with 4 runs and Syracuse ended up losing 14-13. You can read more about that game here.
His 2019 combined line for Binghamton/Syracuse: 3-0, 1.07 ERA, 35 games, 50.1 innings, 50Ks, 25 Walks. His NY Mets 2019 Line: 0-1 10.80 ERA, 7 games, 6.2 innings.
Stephen was placed on waivers in order to make room for free agent Rick Porcello.
Since no other team claimed him, he was returned to the Syracuse roster. He did, however, receive a Non-Roster invite to Spring Training this year.