Young Pitching Prospects Show Promise Early

With still 147 games to play, a small winning streak gets us right back near .500. But, while the big club continues to struggle, some of the promising young pitching prospects down in the minors are showing their potential early.

The trio of Jeurys Familia, Jenrry Mejia, and Matt Harvey, who are the top 3 pitching prospects in the Mets farm system, have all made 2 starts apiece to begin the 2011 campaign. In those 6 starts combined they have pitched a total of 36.2 innings, striking out 41 batters, allowing just 1 Earned Run on 17 hits. Yes, you read that right.

Jenrry Mejia, who is ranked as the top pitcher in the Mets farm system, has not allowed an Earned Run his first 2 starts. Mejia has pitched 12.2 innings so far this season, allowing 7 hits and striking out 11. Jenrry has not pitched a full season in the minors, and coming into this season that was the plan. Last season may have held him back a little bit in terms of his readiness for this season, but he does not seem to have lost any of his dominance in the process. Mejia is currently pitching for the Mets Triple-A affiliate the Buffalo Bisons.

Jeurys Familia has started out the 2011 campaign strong. He has allowed 2 hits (1 in each start), struck out 13, and given up just 1 Earned Run over his 13 innings pitched. In his second start he took a no hitter into the sixth inning. After a disappointing 2010 season where Familia pitched to a 5.58 era and went 6-9 in 24 starts, this is more of what the Mets expected. Being that he was ranked as one of the top 3 pitching prospects in the Mets system coming into this season, he has very high expectations set upon him. Familia is starting his second season for the Mets Single-A affiliate the Port St Lucie Mets.

Matt Harvey has been overpowering in his first 3 starts of his professional career. He has not allowed an Earned Run over his first 16 innings, while striking out 20 batters. Harvey had a somewhat inconsistent collegiate career, but being drafted 7th overall has given him very lofty expectations. His fastball has consistently sat in the 94-96 range, and topped out at 97 MPH in his last start. Harvey has joined Jeurys Familia as a formidable 1-2 punch in the St Lucie Mets’ rotation.

Keep your eyes on these young pitchers as the season goes along. Monitoring their progress will be very exciting. The only pitcher of this trio I can see being called up this season is Jenrry Mejia because he is pitching in Triple-A, and was on the Major League roster last season. There is an outside chance that we could see all 3 of these guys battling for a spot in the Mets rotation at some point in 2012 or 2013.