Can New York Mets Prospect Jack Leathersich Help Bullpen?

Brad Barr – USATODAY Sports

The New York Mets bullpen has been in a state of constant fluctuation this season as injuries and ineffectiveness have given the Mets a long list of relievers that have made appearances. With the Mets starting to bring up their young prospects to the big leagues, one young pitcher that could be an option to help the bullpen is Jack Leathersich.

Leathersich is a diminutive (5-foot-11’) lefty who the Mets drafted in 2011, and he has been a strikeout machine during his time in the minors. In 72 innings in A-ball last season, Leathersich recorded 113 strikeouts, and  he has struck out batters at an even higher rate this year in Double-A.

Leathersich doesn’t have overpowering stuff, throwing a fastball with average velocity in addition to a serviceable curveball, but solid mechanics and a deceptive delivery help him to pitch effectively and strike batters out.

The one Achilles’ heel that he has had during his career is his high walk rate, something that will hurt him in the big leagues. However, he has slowly improved in that area as the year has gone on, walking three batters and allowing just five hits throughout the entire month of May, all while striking out 27 batters in 12.1 innings.

With a recent promotion to Triple-A, if Leathersich can continue to strike out batters while limiting his walks, his stay could be a brief one as his MLB debut could come later this summer.

The Mets could certainly use a lefty like Leathersich in their bullpen. As far as lefties go, rookie Scott Rice has been effective out of the bullpen this season, but he’s been overused and needs other lefties in the bullpen around him to help lessen his workload. Both Josh Edgin and Robert Carson have been below average relievers this season and are better off pitching in Triple-A.

Meanwhile, veterans Tim Byrdak and Pedro Feliciano are attempting to get back to the big leagues after suffering injuries, but there’s no guarantee that either will have a successful comeback. That means Leathersich could be the best option the Mets have to be the second lefty in their bullpen.

Leathersich isn’t quite ready for the big leagues, but he’s close. With the way things have gone for the Mets bullpen this season, they sure could use him.

 

Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at RantSports.com.  Like him on Facebook, follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him on Google+.

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