Just before the Winter Meetings, I wrote two articles about my concern that the Mets did not protect Paul Sewald from the Rule 5 Draft. Those of you who remember, I was pretty worried that we ran the risk of losing him by not adding him to the 40 man roster. I went on and on about how he was ready to pitch in a big-league bullpen – namely ours – and yada, yada, yada.
Funny how things work, because as one scout in PSL put it to one of my writers last week, “Front office must be thrilled they didn’t lose this Sewald kid, he looks legit.”
I try to find my little baseball victories wherever I can these days. And as far as adding Paul Sewald to the 40 man roster, better late than never.
The Las Vegas native probably doesn’t mind pitching a few blocks from home for the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate 51’s, but he’s making himself a good case this spring to make the 25 man roster. That’s like advancing to Go and collecting $200 dollars.
All this talented right-hander has managed to do is log a 1.29 ERA and 0.431 WHIP in seven Grapefruit League innings so far, allowing just one measly hit all spring and striking out three.
“He’s a strike-thrower,” manager Terry Collins said after Sewald tossed two scoreless innings on Saturday. “Ultimately, when we get down toward the end, when we decide where we stand with our bullpen, he might be in that mix.”
Sewald was selected by the Mets in the 10th round of the 2012 draft, and all he has done since that time is succeed at a very high level at every stop in his pro career, probably more so than any other Mets pitching prospect in that same span.
He has worked his way through all five levels of the Mets minor league system since making his professional debut with the Short-Season Brooklyn Cyclones and posting a 1.88 ERA, 0.98 WHIP while picking up four saves in four chances. The Mets knew early on that the plan would be to groom Sewald as late inning reliever and potential closer, and so far the results have been staggering.
Sewald, 26, would go on to rack up some impressive numbers over the next four seasons, posting a 1.77 ERA for Low-A Savannah in 2013, a 1.92 ERA for High-A St. Lucie in 2014, a 1.73 ERA for Double-A Binghamton in 2015, and finally a 3.23 ERA in hitter friendly Las Vegas in 2016.
Along the way, he has racked up 66 saves with a 1.032 WHIP and a 10.7 K/9 rate in 194 appearances. While In Binghamton, he was named to the Eastern League All-Star roster but didn’t play because he participated in the Pan-Am games for Team USA.
I’ve been pulling for him since day one and now here he is at the precipice of his big league debut. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy too. Read the interview Mike did with him during the offseason and you’ll see what I mean.