The New York Mets signed right-handed pitcher Adonis Uceta during the 2012-2013 international free agency period out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
He spent the majority of his first three pro seasons in the Dominican Summer League as a starter with control issues. In 2016, he started 11 games for the Kingsport Mets finishing with a 4.99 ERA, 1.52 WHIP and the Appalachian League hit .301 against him.
The Mets decided it was time to move Uceta and his two plus pitches to the bullpen where he has absolutely thrived there.
The 23-year-old Uceta allowed only six earned runs for the Columbia Fireflies in 43 innings to begin the season and was placed on the South Atlantic League All-Star squad.
Uceta then took his mid-to-high 90s fastball to the St. Lucie Mets, where he allowed only one earned run in 10.2 innings with 15 strikeouts. He had a span from May 11 to August 11 covering 36 innings that he didn’t allow an earned run.
To finish off the regular season Uceta was sent to Double-A as the Binghamton Rumble Ponies secured a playoff spot. He allowed three runs in six innings.
For the regular season, Uceta went 6-0 with an 1.51 ERA, 14 saves in 14 opportunities, 0.91 WHIP and 67 strikeouts in 59.2 innings. He held opponents to a .166/.264/.244 slash line with only two home runs allowed.
Uceta features a fastball that sits mostly at 94-96 MPH that touched 99 this year and it appears to get on the hitter even quicker with his short-arm action. His changeup is a plus pitch that he can throw in any count that is a swing and miss pitch. His slider has improved throughout the season, but right now is an average pitch.
He will be Rule 5 eligible for the first time this offseason and I would be surprised if the Mets didn’t protect him.
Minors News and Notes
Baseball America has the Mets as the favorite to sign 15-year-old catcher Francisco Alvarez, who they rank as a top 10 prospect in the 2018 international free agency field. Read more about him here. The Mets look to be active in the IFA market after signing four of the top 50 prospect this year.
The Mets have added RHP Mickey Jannis, RHP Matt Pobereyko, RHP Tim Peterson and LHP Kyle Regnault to their Arizona Fall League contingency. Their four position players in the AFL will be outfielder Kevin Kaczmarski, infielders Luis Guillorme, David Thompson and catcher Tomas Nido.
Peter Alonso has gone 3 for 6 with two walks, three RBI and three runs scored in the Binghamton Rumble Ponies two playoff games. The Rumble Ponies opening round series is tied at 1-1 against the Trenton Thunder.
Relief prospect Tyler Bashlor struck out three to get the save for Binghamton in their game one win. He now has 84 strikeouts in 49.2 innings this year.
Matt Blackham, Rule 5 eligible for the first time, was the only Mets full season pitcher to go at least 50 innings (56.2) without allowing a home run this year.
Photo by Ed Delany