According to people within the Mets’ organization, Erik Goeddel is getting close to making his major league debut. In November, Goeddel was added to the Mets’ 40-man roster, along with three other pitchers—Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, and Jeff Walters.
Matz is still a couple of years away, but the other three could find themselves pitching in the big leagues at some point in 2014.
When looking at Goeddel’s stats, it’s easy to see why Goeddel gets lost in the shuffle of pitchers like Zack Wheeler, Rafael Montero, and Noah Syndergaard. His stats may cause him to get overlooked, but his intangibles have him on the Mets’ radar. In fact, here are some quotes from vice president of player development, Paul DePodesta, in a recent issue of Baseball America:
“He (Goeddel) obviously hasn’t gotten as much attention as some of the other guys, but we think he’s a big leaguer, and we think he’s close.”
“I think we’ve seen a lot of progress over the last couple of years. He has a plus fastball. We like both his breaking balls—he’s got a curve and a slider.”
“He holds his stuff deep into games. It’s been good against both right-handed and left-handed hitters. He’s an interesting guy and could end up helping us sooner rather than later.”
As you can see, promotions in the minor leagues are not based on statistics alone. If that were the case, Goeddel would be returning to Binghamton. While statistics should not be thrown out the window, there is more traditional scouting that takes place at the lower levels, and organizations tend to look for players to be hitting certain milestones in their development that show whether they are ready for the show.
More than likely, a player will be performing well statistically, but statistics in minor league play and winter league ball should be taken with a grain of salt. Let’s put it this way, if a guy is performing at a specific level, the statistics should be there, but there are other things that organizations are looking for as well. While Goeddel has shown he has the intangibles, now he has to show that he can consistently get hitters out.
While Goeddel flashes great stuff at times, he lacks the overall polish of a guy that pitched in a high-level college program (UCLA). There are times where Goeddel looks like he could be a top-tier prospect, but his inconsistency have prevented him from getting there.
If batters were hitting him in Binghamton, I can only imagine what the hitters in the PCL will do. The best bet for the Mets would be to transition him to a bullpen role with Las Vegas in 2014, setting him up to help the Mets bullpen around the All-Star break.
Goeddel’s stuff should transition very well in the bullpen. As DePodesta said, his stuff holds up well late into games, which could make him a prime candidate to be a long or middle reliever.