Young Pitching Source of Optimism for New York Mets

By Craig Williams

New York Mets fans may remember the trio of young pitchers dubbed “Generation K” back in the early-mid 90’s.  Paul Wilson, Jason Isringhausen and Bill Pulsipher were the young stud pitching prospects that were supposed to carry the New York Mets into contention.  They were supposed to battle it out with the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and whoever else used to be good in pursuit of the National League pennant.  That obviously didn’t work out, but the New York Mets have a new crop of pitching prospects that may warrant a nickname of their own.

John Harper of the NY Daily News spoke with Wally Backman, the manager of the Mets’ Double-A affiliate in Binghamton, and the latter could not contain his enthusiasm for what the future held for the Mets and their pitching rotation.  Backman mainly discussed RHPs Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia as they are currently pitching for his Double-A team.  He talked about their big fastballs and “great” curve balls and suggested that each could eventually become a quality No. 2 or 3 on a championship contender.  Usually you might get some exaggeration when talking to a manager or GM about his prospects, but a scout from another organization supported Backman’s assessment.

In addition to the two Double-A flame throwers, the Mets just acquired RHP Zack Wheeler in the Carlos Beltran deal and still have Jenrry Mejia who is recovering from Tommy John surgery.  Wheeler – pitching at High-A St. Lucie – was the No. 2 prospect in the San Francisco Giants’ organization at the beginning of the season and Mejia – Triple-A when he went down with his injury – was the No. 1 prospect in the Mets’ organization so they clearly possess plenty of talent.

This quartet of young and potentially impact pitching prospects is not quite ready to break into the bigs yet, but New York Mets fans can see the wave off in the distance.  In the meantime, guys like Dillon Gee, Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese will need to compete with one another over the next 1.5-2.5 years to remain in the Mets rotation.  Even though the near future is not particularly bright for the New York Mets, their young, developing pitching still gives fans something to get excited about.

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