Now that the Mets have accepted the fact that their 2009 season is all but over they are looking to rebuild their roster with hopes of returning to the post season. Over the past year we have seen them add names such as Pat Misch and Lance Broadway to help bring some youth to their beleaguered farm system.
Today the Mets continued this trend by picking up pitcher Jack Egbert off of waivers from the Chicago White Sox.
Egbert was a top pitcher for Rutgers University from 2002 to 2004 before being drafted in the 13th round by the White Sox. Egbert joins David DeJesus and Jason Bergmann as byproducts of Rutgers to make it to the big leagues.
Egbert’s career in affiliated baseball started rather promising. In 2006, he was solid with both the White Sox’s Class A and Class AA affiliates, posting a combined ERA of only 2.67 in 161.2 innings.
In 2007, he followed up with another solid season this time exclusively in Class AA. In 28 games started, he pitched to a 12-8 record and an ERA just a hair over 3 (3.06).
Upon being promoted to the Class AAA Charlotte Knights in 2008, Egbert could not find the same success he had in his previous two seasons in the lower levels of the farm system. His earned run average nearly doubled to 4.65 and he had a disappointing record of 4-12.
Not wanting to give up to quickly on their young pitcher, the White Sox opted to give Egbert a second season in Class AAA to work out the kinks. However, he soon found himself in the majors pitching out of the bullpen. Unfortunately for him he gave up eight earned runs in only two appearances before finding himself back in Charlotte.
He did not fare much better throughout the rest of the season and ended up with a 6-11 record and a ERA over 5.
The numbers suggest that Egbert’s chances of becoming a major league caliber pitcher are relatively low. However, it is important to recognize the fact that prior to the 2008 season, he was ranked the #3 prospect in the White Sox farm system.
The Mets have found themselves relying on players like Egbert to sure up their bullpen over the past few seasons. Guys like Pedro Feliciano and Brian Stokes were both acquired in low profile moves and now both players play a large part in the bullpen.
This is an intriguing pickup for the Mets, and it should be interesting to see how Egbert fares in Buffalo next season.