2009 Analysis: Lance Broadway

Early in September, loyal MetsToday reader “The DZA” made a content suggestion:

Seeing as the off season is looking to be more intriguing than the regular – would you perhaps give us a rundown of each player on the Mets as to how you think they have performed, and their subsequent projection (i.e. where they fit in or don’t fit in for the future)?

FYI, The DZA logs in from London — so MetsToday has officially achieved worldwide influence (!).

We’ll begin with the pitching staff, going in alphabetical order — that makes Lance Broadway first.

Lance Broadway

We were treated to only 16 appearances and 30.2 IP of Lance “Off Off” Broadway, so it’s hard to make an intelligent analysis.

After a spectacular college career at Texas Christian U., Broadway was drafted 15th overall in the 2005 by the White Sox and pegged for stardom. However, he was hittable from day one as a pro, and struggled with his control at both the AAA and MLB levels.

Broadway has a sinking fastball with impressive movement down and in to RH hitters, but it rarely gets far above 90 MPH and his command of it was inconsistent as a Met. His attempts at secondary stuff were similarly futile — a cut fastball/slider appeared to be the best of a bad lot.

One positive was his demeanor and composure on the mound; he was professional, competitive, and unflappable — he appears to have the heart of a lion. That can go a long way, as it’s something that few pitchers can develop if it isn’t already part of their makeup.

It’s unlikely that Broadway will one day live up to his billing as a star collegian and #1 pick. At 26 years old, time is running out quickly. To succeed at the MLB level with his high-80s / low 90s velocity, Broadway needs to have pinpoint control AND a plus off-speed pitch. Unfortunately he has displayed neither as a New York Met. That’s not to say he can’t still “figure it out”, and considering the Mets’ lack of depth in regard to pitching at the upper levels of the farm system, they have little choice but to start him in AAA Buffalo in 2010 and hope for the best. It probably makes sense to keep him in the starting rotation as a minor leaguer, so that he can spend more time and innings developing command of his fastball and a secondary pitch. I don’t see his velocity jumping the necessary 5-8 MPH to become a late-inning relief specialist, so his best shot is probably as a 5th starter / long reliever.

If indeed Lance can take the next step in his development, it would make a great story befitting of, um, Broadway (oh, bad one, huh?).

What’s your take on Lance Broadway? Post your analysis and opinion in the comments.

Next up is the immortal Elmer Dessens.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude October 6, 2009 at 9:23 am
    AAA filler and nothing more.
  2. mic October 6, 2009 at 10:13 am
    cut or traded
  3. murph October 6, 2009 at 10:41 am
    wow. extremely brief, mic & ‘dude.

    I did not get to see Mr. Broadway pitch that much. Was he worth Ramon Castro?
    Can we get a Ramon Castro type player back if we trade him?
    If not, back to AAA and hope for the best.

  4. mic October 6, 2009 at 12:57 pm
    No. It was a good trade, a little for a little less.

    Oh and ‘Dude; http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/10/lowe-for-sale.html

  5. mic October 6, 2009 at 1:00 pm
    Joe; Nice job but as you can see a summarized version would have been fine. In fact a post on: the ML starters, the bullpen, the AAA staff, the AA staff (in bulletted comments preferably) would be excellent. To do the above with the 85 pitchers who pitched for the Mets this year would be in short…a waste of vowels.
  6. edfever October 6, 2009 at 1:40 pm
    Looks like a middle reliever to me – he has options stick him in Buffalo until you need him…

    Nice work up on him Joe

  7. joejanish October 6, 2009 at 3:14 pm
    Mic – we have about 180 days between now and Opening Day 2010. Plenty of time to discuss 85 pitchers and then some!

    Murph – you bring up an excellent point. If the Mets were to trade Broadway, could they get a Ramon Castro-type player back? Absolutely not — more likely they’d get a Robinson Cancel-type in return.

    In other words, this is probably Broadway’s last shot to prove he can be an MLBer … once he leaves this organization, he either will be an MLB pitcher or tagged as a AAAA player.

  8. sincekindergarten October 6, 2009 at 6:21 pm
    If Broadway hasn’t done it (made the impression needed to get to the bigs) yet, chances are that he never will. Having said that, it is possible that he gets to be a middle reliever at CitiField. He’s got to develop that offspeed pitch.
  9. TheDZA October 7, 2009 at 8:39 am
    I wonder how many of the bullpen staff we will be unable to form a solid conclusion on due to the mismanagement by Jerry Manuel…jus sayin’…
    Alot of the guys seemed to go missing for huge swathes of time, yet they were not on the DL.

    Generalising here, but why does it seem bullpens are so often misused?
    Does a coach need to be a former catcher to manage a bullpen? Scioscia? Girardi?

  10. edfever October 7, 2009 at 9:44 am
    I’m not sure if it was just a bad draft or were expecting too much to fast because he’s pretty much in line with the rest of his draft….

    Mike Pelfrey ( # 9) was the third pitcher selected in that year’s draft and is arguably the most accomplished pitcher from that round. The two pitcher’s selected before Pelfrey are still in the minors and the very next pitcher selected is none other then Broadway. Broadway the the #2 prospect in the White Sox organization in 2007 but has only appeared in 19 major league games (40 innings-.500 winning pct./ERA 4.69).

    Chris Volstad (#16) has a better winning percentage and ERA ( 5.17/ERA 4.07) but in only half the games (40 gms- 234 innings), the only starting pitcher to appear in more games is Matt Garza with 79 gms. ( 476 innings) and a has a better ERA but worse winning pct. (.464 /ERA 3.93).

    What other pitchers from the 2005 first round draft are in the majors, relievers Craig Hansen (#26- ERA 6.34 in 93 innings), Joey Devine (#27 – ERA 2.48 in 65 innings) and Ryan Tucker (#34- ERA 8.27 in 37 innings). Garrett Olson (#48) has a .419 winning pct. /ERA 6.56 in 44 starts/57 games (240 innings) with the Orioles/Mariners.

    Then there’s the much heralded Boston pitchers Clay Buchholtz (#42) and Michael Bowden (#47). Buchholtz has 28 games ( 141 innings) with a 5.40 ERA and a .350 winning percentage, while Bowden has appeared in nine games ( 9 innings) with a 9.00 ERA.

    Including the two minor leaguers selected in front of Pelfrey there are 15 pitchers from the first round that haven’t even broken into the majors ( overall 48 players selected in the round 25 were pitchers) of the seven starters Chris Volstad is off to a fast start but really doesn’t have a big enough pool for a comparison and Matt Garza has a better ERA by 0.50 but a worse winning percentage.

  11. joejanish October 7, 2009 at 10:09 am
    DZA – have you been here long enough to remember the Bullpen Blueprint that I put together over last winter? If not there are some interesting numbers related to BP management that you may want to see … you can download it from this page: http://www.metstoday.com/3262/bullpen-blueprint/is-the-bullpen-overused/

    I believe part of the reason that bullpens are overused is because pitchers were using PEDs in the past and now they’re not, but managers aren’t aware of the difference the PEDs made. Another reason is that most managers and pitching coaches are former players rather than experts on conditioning, and think that as long as the pitcher says he’s “OK”, then it’s fine to keep putting him on the mound.

    edfever – good points there, thank you for bringing attention to that draft. As a side note, if I remember correctly, Pelfrey was the #1 pitcher in the draft but “slipped” to the Mets due to signability concerns.