Paul DePodesta had a lengthy chat with Ken Davidoff of the New York Post about some of the Mets’ top pitching prospects and the system as a whole.
Discussing Rafael Montero, DePo said that he is certainly close, citing that the 23-year old righty spent a good chunk of last year in Triple-A, similar to what Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey had when they came up.
“That said, he got to Triple-A at a younger age,” Depo added. “In terms of overall experience. Harvey got there quick, too, but he had three years at North Carolina that Montero didn’t have. He’s certainly close.”
The Mets Vice President of Player Development also told Davidoff that Jacob deGrom is also very close and very young in pitching years, having started his career as a shortstop and also missing a year to Tommy John surgery.
One pitcher he was intrigued by is reliever Jack Leathersich.
“He’s an interesting guy. I think he led all of professional baseball [last year] in strikeouts per nine. And it’s left-handed. There’s something there. We’ve pushed him really aggressively through the system. We’ve tried to get him to the point where he’s challenged. Through Double-A, it wasn’t happening. He was able to keep striking everybody out.”
Leathersich did struggle in a short stint in Triple-A, perhaps a sign he was being pushed a little too aggressively, but DePo is eager to see what adjustments the hard-throwing southpaw makes this year.
An interesting note…
DePodesta estimated that this year’s Triple-A Las Vegas team would feature about 75 percent homegrown Mets, a high percentage for a team’s affiliate closest to the big leagues. You usually see more journeyman types there.