Logan Verrett was tabbed as having the “Best Slider” in the Mets system by Baseball America last week in their annual “Best Tools” feature.
The 23-year old righty finished the 2013 season with a 4.25 ERA in 146.0 innings. He won 12 games and struck out 132 batters over that span and held opposing hitters to .249 batting average against him.
Verrett’s best month was in April when he led all Mets pitchers with a 4-0 record and a 2.48 ERA over 32.0 innings. Opposing players hit just .196 against him that month and he was absolutely dominant.
I find myself naturally appreciating guys like Verrett — who aren’t naturally gifted with a 98 MPH fastball, but still find ways to succeed. That’s the kind of stuff that makes pitching an art form — and ever so attractive to someone like me. Verrett’s repertoire consists of his fastballs (both a two-seam and four-seamer), a slider, curve and change-up. His command is solid, and he can throw any of his pitches for strikes in any count.
“He’s aggressive with all his pitches. He’s not afraid of contact and as a starting pitcher, when you do that, you find yourself pitching deep into ballgames. He’s been able to pitch deep into games just because he goes after hitters. That’s what he does best. He goes after hitters and he puts it in play early.”
Teammate Jack Leathersich sees the same thing, and from a pitcher’s perspective, adds that Verrett’s deceptiveness also plays a part in his success. “He’s not a 95 [mph] guy, but his fastball jumps out of his hand. I feel like as a hitter, it would look harder than what it actually comes in at. His slider is very, very sharp and looks exactly like his fastball coming out of his hand. That’s kind of his bread and butter.
“He’s really polished,” continues Leathersich, “and that’s how he was in college in the Cape league when I saw him there. He’s pitching really well and giving us a chance to win every time he goes out there.”
With such a plethora of pitchers in our organization that all have the potential to succeed, we sometimes overlook arms like Verrett. I was glad to see him noted as having the best slider — he deserves it. He’ll take his talents to Triple-A Las Vegas next year and perhaps even see some time with the Mets out of the pen late in the year.
(Photo Credit: Gordon Donovan)