Jeurys Familia hasn’t thrown a lot this winter, but when he has, he’s been lights out, missing a ton of bats and flashing the mid-to-upper-90s velocity that has scouts raving, writes Baseball Prospectus. You can’t put a lot of stock in winter league performances, but you can put a ton of stock in young pitchers returning from injury and regaining velocity and missing bats.
I alluded to that in a recent mailbag I posted, based on what one scout told me last week. Yesterday, our own Pete Anselmo ranked Familia as his top Mets closing prospect.
You shouldn’t look too much into winter league stats, but last night, Familia was hitting triple digits on the radar gun.
— DPL (@DPLBaseball) December 31, 2013
Original Post 12/28
What is the deal with Jeurys Familia? He seems to have fallen through the cracks which is odd being he was one of our top pitching prospects two years ago. Is he still in the Mets’ plans?
Joe D. replies….
That’s an interesting question. While Familia may have lost some of his luster he is still highly regarded by the Mets.
2013 was a lost year for the big righthander and he’s only pitched a grand total of 23 innings in the majors in the last two years. But it looks like the Dominican Republic native is just now starting to regain his full strength since a non-structural elbow injury wiped out his season this year.
In six relief appearances for Los Gigantes in the DWL, Familia has a 2.70 ERA in 6.2 innings pitched, allowing three walks and striking out twelve.
But it’s what some scouts noted about Familia during his play in the Arizona Fall League that should have us intrigued about this once highly regarded prospect. The hard-throwing righty was clocking in regularly at 95 mph and exhibiting the same velocity prior to his injury. That’s very significant for Familia who needs that plus-fastball to be effective.
Familia, 24, was ranked No. 5 among Mets prospects by MLB.com entering the 2013 season and was ranked No. 90 by Baseball America in their Top 100 entering the 2012 campaign. While you won’t see Familia appearing on any top prospects lists for the 2014 season, there is still reason to be excited about this young arm.
Don’t count Familia out this Spring, as he could very well break camp with the Mets and secure a key role in what should be a much improved bullpen this season.
The Mets have always had a severe lack of power arms in their pen over the last 3-4 seasons, but that should all change in 2014. Good things are coming our way.