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Johan Santana / LHP / starter

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Santana brings three excellent pitches to the mound. He has a hard fastball in the low-90s which he can spot on both sides of the plate. His changeup is known as one of the best pitches in the game; a soft pitch, floating, then sinking under bats as it reaches the plate. Santana's third pitch is his slider, which gets sharp, late, sweeping action. Santana does not bother to experiment with any other offerings. In 2007, he saw a significant jump in homeruns allowed and seemed to lose a little velocity on his fastball in 2008. However, Johan has been the best starting pitcher in baseball over the last five seasons, and the Mets expect years of success from him. 5/14/09 CSJ

*fastball(88-94), change(77-83), slider(80-84)

 

Francisco Rodriguez / RHP / closer

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Francisco throws a tough breaking ball and can dominate with it. His fastball has lost some of that old velocity, but 92 mph with some natural cut is still tough to hit. He has begun to mix in more and more changeups to both LHs and RHs. Rodriguez uses an unbelievable amount of tork to deliver all his pitches, and it's all about "showtime". 8/2/10 CSJ

*fastball(89-95), curve(76-82), changeup(83-87)

Pedro Feliciano / LHP / reliever

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Feliciano throws from a very low 3/4 arm angle. This low release point creates dramatic movement on his pitches, making up for his lack of velocity. His fastball flies around 87 MPH with good sinking and running action. Feliciano's bread and butter is his two different breaking balls. He'll throw a tight slider in the low-80s to both LHs and RHs. Then he'll mix in a slower, sweeping breaking pitch that LHs wave pathetically at. Against RHs, Feliciano relies on a good changeup that fades off the plate. This deceptive repertoire has made him a very valuable member of the Mets bullpen over the last few seasons. 8/1/09 CSJ

*2-seamer(86-89), slider(81-84), curve(74-77), changeup(74-77)

Bobby Parnell / RHP / reliever

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Parnell is a hard thrower that seems to sling his pitches across his body. His fastball gets some sinking action in the low 90s or can rise up the ladder in the mid 90s. His slider looks fairly standard at this point, but can miss bats after a hitter sees multiple fastballs in a row. Parnell has shown a straight changeup as his third pitch. 8/2/10 CSJ

*fastball(92-98), slider(84-90), changeup(85-87)

Pat Misch / LHP / starter-reliever

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Misch is a soft-tossing, junk-balling lefty. He throws his fastball in the upper-80s with some movement, and follows it with a sweeping curve and straight changeup. I've noticed Misch begin to throw tight sliders. 6/5/09 CSJ

*fastball(85-89), curve(75-79), changeup(78-82), slider(83-85)

Ryota Igarashi / RHP / reliever

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Igarashi is a longtime veteran of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan. He put together nine solid seasons of relief there, including a 37 save season in 2004.

Problem is, this is 2010, and Igarashi has struggled with his command in the Major Leagues. He has a live arm that can bring upwards of 95 mph heat. Ryota will spin a 12-6 curveball that doesn't seem like an effective pitch at this time. The "Big R-Ig" will also drop a split-finger that looks like a decent finishing pitch. 9/10/10 CSJ

*fastball(92-95), curve(77-81), splitter(85-87)

Fernando Nieve / RHP / reliever

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Nieve showed some promise in the lower minors, but struggled at both the AAA and Major League levels for the Houston Astros organization. However, since being acquired by the Mets he has shown a good arm and some reliability out of the bullpen.

He throws the standard four pitches, and tries to come right after hitters. Fernando is always battling his control and at only 27 years old, he is already pitching as if he has nothing left to lose. 6/4/10 CSJ

*fastball(90-94), changeup(82-85), curve(75-78), slider(80-85)

John Maine / RHP / starter

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Maine changed his approach multiple times during 2008. He always uses good 2-seam and 4-seam fastballs to get ahead of hitters, but it's his secondary pitches that he needs to tinker with. He went from being a fastball/slider pitcher, to a fastball/changeup pitcher, and as of July 2008 he is finally using his entire repertoire in the same game. Maine's changeup tails considerably to his arm side, making it effective away from LHs and inside to RHs. The slider is a very tight pitch that has a tendency to lose bite when he's throwing poorly. Maine has also broken out his old curveball but he's still reworking it. Maine's pitches are difficult to hit and all this sounds great, but Maine still walks too many batters and has trouble finishing hitters off. 5/1/09 CSJ

*fastball(89-94), slider(82-87), changeup(82-86), curve(76-77)

Eddie Kunz / RHP / reliever

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Kunz was the closer for one of Oregon State's national championship teams. Now he's dominating minor league baseball in that same role for the Mets organization. He throws a sinking 2-seamer, a sinking changeup, and a tight slider. 8/14/08 CSJ

*fastball(89-95), slider(88-89), changeup(87)

Sean Green / RHP / reliever

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Green throws from a very low 3/4 arm angle, giving his fastball some good movement down. He has a slow, sweeping curve for his breaking pitch. Green will mix in a sinking changeup as his third pitch. He allows lots of baserunners because his stuff is hittable, but in Seattle he showed a 'knack' for pitching out of trouble. 8/1/09 CSJ

*sinker(84-91), curve(72-76), changeup

Mike Pelfrey / RHP / starter

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Pelfrey has been a strange case so far. He has a great arm and his varied fastball appears to be a plus pitch, but he has trouble missing bats. He throws moving 2-seamers around 92 MPH and can pump in a 4-seam fastball at 95 MPH. The 2-seamer really dives when it's thrown low and to his arm side. As a top prospect at Wichita State, he was known as having a hammer of a curveball. Somewhere along the way he lost that pitch, until halfway through the 2008 season, when he started mixing a few in per game. The pitch seems to be back again in 2009, but he's still just tinkering with it. His slider is hard, but fails to get the necessary movement to be a strikeout pitch. His changeup actually looked like it regressed in '08, as Mike began to slow down his motion when he delivered it. Pelfrey's strategy is simple, pound the 2-seamer low in the zone to try and get groundouts and strikeouts. 8/1/09 CSJ

*fastball(88-95), slider(83-87), curve(74-80), change(81-85)

Jonathan Niese / LHP / starter

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Niese's signature pitch is his huge curveball. It's a big breaker, dropping from 11 to 5, and buckles LHs knees. He has good command of it and often likes to use it as his first pitch of an at-bat to get ahead in the count. In 2009 Niese introduced a cutter, and he's using it often. He'll throw it to either side of the plate, to any hitter. Jon's fastball gets some decent movement and he seems to do a decent job of working the corners with it. His fourth pitch is his changeup, a pitch that has improved mightily over the last two years.

Niese grew up in Defiance, Ohio, and was born on the same night the Mets won Game Seven of the 1986 World Series. The Mets drafted Niese in the 7th round of the 2005 draft, and he quickly climbed through the Mets' minor league system, succeeding at every level. 6/6/10 CSJ

*fastball(87-92), cutter(85-89), curve(72-77), changeup(80-84)

R.A. Dickey / RHP / starter

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Born without an ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm, Dickey has never worried about TJ surgery. However, after being selected 18th overall in 1996, the Texas Rangers discovered the missing ligament and Dickey lost out on over $700,000 in bonus money based on the fear that his arm wouldn't hold up. The Rangers then mixed Dickey between starter and closer. R.A. piled up 38 saves in high-A ball in 1998 before converting to fulltime starting pitcher of the next couple seasons. Dickey never became overly successful at either pitching role, and has become quite the journeyman.

At this point in his career, he has remade himself into a knuckleball pitcher. Dickey used to call his knuckleball "The Thing", when it was an unpredictable low 80s pitch that complemented a "normal" repertoire. Now the knuckleball is his first option over 75% of the time, with a mid 80s fastball as option two. He'll also mix in a straight changeup at times. 6/4/10 CSJ

knuckleball(69-80), fastball(82-87), changeup(72-75)

Hisanori Takahashi / LHP / starter-reliever-closer

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Takahashi came to the Mets after a nine year career in the Nippon Professional Baseball League. Hiso won 70 ballgames during that time and even spent one season as a closer. Now with the Mets he has filled in as a long reliever and spot starter.

Takahashi is what you could call a finesse pitcher. His fastball barely touched 90 mph as he attempts to pick corners with it. His money pitch is a screwball-like changeup that he can miss bats with. He throws the changeup with a modified vulcan grip. Takahashi also spins up a standard slider and curveball. 8/2/10 CSJ

*fastball(86-90), changeup(77-82), slider(77-82), curve(64-67)

Raul Valdes / LHP / reliever

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Valdes defected from Cuba in 2003 after spending time on the Cuban National Team. The Cubs quickly scooped him up and immediately sent him back to the Caribbean, to the Dominican Summer League. He dominated in the DSL but struggled in the USA. Valdes was released in 2006, played in the independent Can-Am League, the Mets minor league system, back to the Dominican, the Venezuelan League, the Caribbean Series, and finally back to the Mets again in 2010.

On the mound, Valdes spots his average fastball and follows it up with big, sweeping curves. He has a short-armed delivery that looks like it can be deceptive. When facing RHs, Raul will break out his changeup. 6/4/10 CSJ

*fastball(86-89), curve(75-77), changeup

Manny Acosta / RHP / reliever

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Acosta is a hard throwing Panamanian. He has a high velocity fastball, however it flies very straight. He also throws plenty of curveballs, which break sharply at times. His third pitch is a fairly straight changeup to LHs. Acosta's biggest problem is his overall lack of command. 6/4/10 CSJ

*fastball(91-96), curve(77-81), changeup(83-85)

Jenrry Mejia / RHP / starter-reliever

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Mejia throws a naturally cutting 95 mph fastball, a dropping curveball, and a straight changeup. Mejia is only 20 years old, with a throwing arm that's even younger. Jenrry did not start playing baseball until he was fifteen years old. Before that, he carried his wooden shoeshine box around Santo Domingo, making a few pesos a day to help his family. Now, he's the Mets' top prospect making $400,000 this year. 6/6/10 CSJ

*fastball(95-97), curve(83-86), changeup(86-88)

Oliver Perez / LHP / starter-reliever

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Oliver's stuff always looks good, starting with a fastball around 90 MPH from a 3/4 arm angle. Perez varies the velocities on his breaking stuff alot. He uses a sweeping slider between 75-81 MPH to get Ks. When thrown well, the slider will either dive towards the ankles of RHs, or break away from LHs bats. Oliver has a very slow curveball that he started to use in 2007, dropping that pitch in to mix things up. Perez' off-speed pitch is a splitter; a good change of pace that dives under RHs bats. Oliver has begun to use the split-joint more often to keep hitters guessing. Late in 2009, Perez added a cutter to the mix, and he's throwing it about five to ten times per game. Ultimately, Oliver's success will always depend on his suspect command. 8/19/09 CSJ

*fastball(87-92), slider(74-81), splitter(78-85), cutter(84-87), curve(63-71)

Elmer Dessens / RHP / reliever

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Dessens is the definition of journeyman. He has pitched for nine major league teams now, which doesn't include at least one stint in the Mexican League and a season in Japan. Now he is one of the Mets many four-A players. Dessens throws a moving fastball, a tight slider, a standard curveball, and a splitter. None of his stuff is dominant, but he keeps getting jobs. 9/10/10 CSJ

*fastball(88-92), slider(82-86), curve(73-76), splitter(81-83)


 


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