Whatever the initial thoughts of the Mets return for the Jeurys Familia trade, the Mets did obtain two prospects, Will Toffey and Bobby Wahl, who are being given a fresh start in a new organization to prove they are better prospects than people had believed them to be when the trade was consummated. Ultimately, how Mets fans look back at this trade will, by and large, depend on how Toffey and Wahl perform and progress as prospects.
The good news is that in an admittedly brief sample size both Toffey and Wahl have performed quite well since joining the Mets organization.
As noted in an MMO Prospect Report when he was first acquired, Toffey’s value as a prospect, and really his long-term prospects are going to rise and fall with his ability to hit for power. With the caveat this is a small sample size, Toffey has found his power stroke.
In eight games for Binghamton, Toffey is hitting .300/.432/.467 with two doubles, one homer, and four RBI.
Perhaps some credit should be given to Binghamton hitting coach Val Pascucci on this front. Over the last two seasons, he has served as the hitting coach for Binghamton, we have seen a number of Mets prospects become better hitters while hitting for more power. The notable examples this year include Peter Alonso and Jeff McNeil, but we have seen similar development in previous years with lesser-known prospects like David Thompson.
To that end, we should not completely discount Toffey’s recent power surge to the swings of small sample sizes. In fact, it could well be a promise of things to come, especially after Toffey gets his shoulder cleaned out this offseason.
Wahl, the other player the Mets obtained in exchange for Familia, has been even more impressive than Toffey has been.
With him recording the save for Las Vegas two nights ago, Wahl is now 1-0 with one save, a 1.69 ERA, 0.938 WHIP, and a 13.5 K/9. This is all part of the excellent numbers Wahl has had in the Pacific Coast League this year. Overall, he is 4-2 with 12 saves, a 2.20 ERA, 0.867 WHIP, and a 14.6 K/9.
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One of the reasons for the dominance and huge strikeout rates is Wahl is a power pitcher who can ramp it up to 100 MPH. After the trade Dan Szymborski of Fangraphs noted that fastball made him an interesting piece in the Familia trade:
It’s hard to characterize a 26-year-old reliever as some kind of top prospect — and I won’t — but Wahl throws in the upper 90s, has an effective slider (that really feels more like a slurve to me), and can change speeds at least tolerably well. His control’s been an issue at times, though not on the Bobby Witt scale, and one of the reasons he’s not been a bit higher in the pecking order is that he has a long history of injury, losing parts of most years with varying ailments, most recently surgery for a thoracic outlet issue last season. He was fine by spring training and, as far as I know, hasn’t had any significant issues along those lines since.
With the injury history, Wahl is a 26-year-old completely dominating Triple-A competition. Given his stuff, how he’s performing, and how the Mets moved their top available trade asset to acquire him, you have to wonder what he’s still doing in Triple-A.
In any event, like Toffey, so far so good for Wahl. Certainly, with the way both players are performing, you have some hope the Mets will eventually look smart for not only acquiring these players, but for also helping get them to their ceilings.