14. Jeurys Familia
Weight: 230 lbs.
Jeurys Familia probably has the highest ceiling of any true reliever in the Mets system. His fastball is unequivocally electric as it consistently sits in the mid 90’s and has recently been clocked at triple digits. You might be saying okay, what’s the big deal, plenty of pitchers can throw that hard. Well, when a pitch is coming in at 95-100 mph with the amount of movement that Familia’s arm action generates, said pitch is virtually unhittable. Watching videos of him completely baffling hitters with just his fastball is mind-boggling. His slider is not quite plus, but its short and quick bite make it an above average pitch that works quite well in cahoots with his fastball. When you throw in a changeup that will most likely develop into an average offering, you’re talking about a pitcher with an arsenal to become one of the top closers in baseball.
There is a catch, however. Familia has struggled to stay healthy up to this point in his career and his command has always been rather deficient. In 9 major league games (10.2 IP) last season, Familia registered a 4.22 ERA and 1.9 WHIP. He also walked 9 batters and only struck out 8. There is hope on the horizon though because in 6 Dominican Winter League games (6.2 IP), Familia only gave up 2 ER with a 12:3 K:BB ratio. This recent success suggests he may have been completely healthy and found a rhythm.
Outlook: Familia has every chance to make the opening day roster. In fact, if the Mets fail to add a veteran bullpen arm by the start of the season, it’s almost a certainty. He has a leg up on some of the young relievers coming to camp because unlike most of them, he’s had a taste of the big leagues the last two seasons. The only way I see Familia starting the season in Las Vegas is if he has a dreadful spring training. I’m hopeful his winter league performance will carry into the spring and he’ll slot into the very young and promising 2014 Mets bullpen. If Familia shows an improved ability to throw the ball over the plate, his pitches are destined to miss bats and he might even give Vic Black some competition as the potential set-up man behind Bobby Parnell.
24. Juan Centeno, C
20. Luis Mateo, RHP
19. Jayce Boyd, 1B
16. Vic Black, RHP