Where They Are Now: Yusmeiro Petit
Remember Yusmeiro Petit? About 4-5 years ago, he was ranked as highly as #2 among the Mets prospects by Baseball America, who were impressed by his ability to throw 4 pitches over the plate. As a 21-year-old, Petit whipped through AA, posting a 9-3 record and 2.92 ERA for the Binghamton Mets — striking out 130 batters in 118 innings, walking only 18, and holding opposing hitters to a .209 AVG. He was a sure-fire back-end starter at worst, and some believed he’d eventually develop into a #2 or #3.
Cashing in while his value was at its apex, the Mets traded Petit, Mike Jacobs, and Grant Psomas to the Marlins for Carlos Delgado. A good deal for both teams at the time, and, looking back, still a decent deal for both sides.
However, Petit hasn’t exactly lived up to the expectations.
The Venezuelan hurler continued to throw with good control at the AAA level, but was more hittable and missed fewer bats. Nonetheless the Marlins promoted him to MLB in 2006 and he was abysmal in 15 appearances (14 from the bullpen). At the tail end of spring training 2007, the Fish flipped him to the Diamondbacks for Jorge Julio.
Petit was so-so with the D-Backs, occasionally impressing and putting up OK numbers for a pitcher in his early 20s. He swung back and forth between AAA and the bigs — and the bullpen and rotation — in 2007 and 2008, and kept his ERA in the mid-fours and his WHIP in the 1.2 range despite nagging injuries. In 2009, however, he was awful, going 3-10 with a 5.82 ERA and 1.52 WHIP. He continues to throw strikes, but they often are hit — both hard and long, as evidenced by his 1.92 HR/9 IP rate.
The Diamondbacks gave up on Petit, and he’s been plucked off waivers by the Seattle Mariners.
Is Petit on the last legs of his career? Hardly. He’s still only 25 years old, and throws tons of strikes. In that respect, he’s not unlike new teammate Carlos Silva, who had some strong seasons in Minnesota before landing a multimillion dollar contract. Petit also joins former Met (and Marlins) prospects Jason Vargas and Gaby Hernandez on the Mariners’ roster, which leads me to believe they have a former Met scout somewhere in their organization. Hernandez, by the way, was ranked just behind Petit by BA in 2006, is only 23, and is known for a sharp-breaking curveball. He was one of the players traded by the Mets in the Paul Loduca deal.