Michael Baron, Contributor
In a report for MLB.com, Bernie Pleskoff said Mets RHP Jeurys Familia is one of the more promising and intriguing pitchers the Mets have in their organization.
“One has to look past Familia’s Fall League numbers to realize the upside and potential in his strong right arm,” Pleskoff said. “If he can control his best pitches, two-seam and four-seam fastballs and a slider, he will make a tremendous impact at the end of a ballgame.”
Pleskoff – who scouted Familia during the Arizona Fall League last season – said Familia still must work to improve his mechanics, but believes he can get through these problems to become a dominant reliever in the bullpen.
“There is a great deal of mechanical inconsistency in Familia’s delivery. He has to smooth out the motion, using less effort with repeated, clean finishes in his arm action to find rhythm,” Pleskoff said. “For smaller pitchers with less arm strength and not as much intensity, it might be a tall order. The task is less daunting because Familia has shown he can be reliable and overpowering. He just needs to be more consistent.”
The 24-year-old, has a 5.09 ERA in only 17 career games the big leagues, allowing 18 walks with 18 strikeouts in 23 innings. He missed most of the 2013 season after undergoing surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow.
Familia’s raw tools have always made him an intriguing arm in the organization’s crop of young pitching – it has just been a matter of finding consistency in his delivery and command. Familia is clearly viewed strictly as a reliever at this point in his development, as he really only has two pitches, and he just can’t survive as a starting pitcher without an expanded repertoire. He might not even be able to be successful as a short reliever without at least one more pitch, either.
Familia is at a similar stage to Bobby Parnell was at this point in his career, when he had to transition from a thrower into a pitcher. It’s not a perfect science – Parnell still struggles with this at times, but he has come a long way from where he was when he only had 23 MLB innings under his belt. The Mets will likely endure similar growing pains with Familia this year, and I’m ok with that considering his potential.
If Familia he can get through this and grow as the Mets need him to this season, the team will have found a fantastic value for the back-end of the bullpen not just for this season, but for many seasons going forward.
Read more: Familia shows potential to dominate with power arm (MLB.com)