If we were putting grades on these analyses, Jon Niese would have to be given an “incomplete”.
After three starts as a 21-year-old in September 2008, Niese showed nothing to make any level-headed, objective party to believe he would be “ready” in 2009. Further, there was some question as to why the Mets would be in such a rush to force this young man to the bigs. He was making good progress in his jump from low-A to high-A, and did well going from A to AA. After 22 strong starts in AA, he was pushed to AAA, where he pitched 7 times before making his first MLB start — in the middle of a tight pennant race. Predictably, he fell flat on his face, unable to get past the third inning in two of his three starts. But, he pitched a remarkable eight innings of shutout ball against the Braves in between, prompting many Mets fans to believe he was the next Sandy Koufax.
It made a better story, after all, rather than considering that perhaps his success had something to do with