Baseball America has a great evaluation of Jenrry Mejia, written by Ben Badler who watched him pitch in Arizona.
Hat tip to FireJerryManuel.
According to Badler, Mejia’s fastball ranged from 90-95 MPH and touched 96.
His fastball is a swing-and-miss offering, not just because of its velocity but because of its outstanding movement. Mejia generates tremendous cutting action on his fastball, and he’ll also put some sink on his heater as well. Between the velocity and movement, Mejia has a pitch he can use as an out pitch or to induce grounders—71 percent of his outs on balls in play were groundouts during the minor league season.
It’s not all roses for Mejia in the Fall League, however. Badler also notes that the top Mets prospect has had major issues with control, walking 11 in 11 1/3 IP. Scouts the league agree that Mejia needs to find more consistent command of his fastball, and develop his offspeed pitches.
Mejia’s current coach in Arizona, Tom Phelps, had this to say about his repertoire:
“He has a fastball that will cut, and he also has a fastball that will sink. As long as he keeps it down in the zone, he gets a lot of ground balls and a lot of early outs and quick innings. The big thing for him is controlling it in the zone and not getting behind hitters and walking hitters.”
“When he just throws it and doesn’t try to overthrow it, he’s got a good curveball,” Phelps said. “It looks like his heater, he’s got good deception and it’s got some quick break to it. Also his better secondary pitch is his changeup. His changeup has a lot of depth, has real good arm speed and looks like his fastball. He’s got the pitches to complement (his fastball), it’s just a matter of him being able to control it in the zone and keeping it down in the zone.”
It sounds like Mejia is a legit prospect, but is also at least a year or two away. In fact all the comments about his command and offspeed stuff remind me of Mike Pelfrey when he was 22 and rushed into MLB. Mejia just turned 20, and I see no reason to push him up the ladder. Let the kid develop — and let HIM force the issue, much like Doc Gooden did back in 1984.
About the Author
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.