The New York Mets are no strangers to incredible starting rotation results. Think back to their 2015 World Series run. A daunting rotation led by Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom. While deGrom has blossomed into the best pitcher in the game in Queens, Harvey and Syndergaard have had setbacks and the Mets have failed to capitalize since. However, the Mets do have some very intriguing pitching prospects in their system, and it might not be long until we see them thrive in the blue and orange.
Matt Allan leads the way for Mets pitching prospects, coming in at New York’s number four overall prospect. Allan may have dropped to the 89th pick in the 2019 draft, but don’t let his position fool you. His strong commitment to the University of Florida drove some teams away, but the Mets built a game plan around college seniors in the later rounds to save the money for Allan, and he signed for $2.5 million, more than four times the slot value.
When Allan is on the mound, it’s easy to see the stuff that made him a first round talent. He has an ultra smooth delivery which lets him generate high velocity. His fastball sits in the high-90s and can get it higher. He commands it well and dances arounds the corners of the plate with ease. His curveball features a plus spin rate and he’s made good strides with his changeup. He impressed the Mets’ brass with his clean mechanics and quick adjustments in 2020 before blowing out his elbow before the season began. He ultimately required Tommy John surgery and is out until early 2022, but still has a lot of hype around him.
J.T. Ginn sits just one spot below Allan, at number five on the Mets top 30 list. Coming into the 2018 draft, Ginn had some helium on his name as an intriguing high school righty and ultimately found himself as the 30th overall pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He ultimately decided to bet on himself and attend Mississippi State, where he looked the part of a first round talent, but blew out his elbow and required Tommy John surgery. Eligible for the draft again as a sophomore, the Mets took him in the second round and signed him for $2.9 million, the equivalent of first round money.
Like Allan, Ginn shows three plus pitches. His fastball sits in the low-90s but can go to around 95-97 mph. Ginn has a lot of polish on his fastball to make up for the velocity dip. His slider sits in the mid-80s but he has exceptional command on it, painting across both sides of the plate with ease. His changeup still requires some tinkering, but he’s starting to get a professional feel for it. Ginn has split his time between Low-A and High-A for his professional debut this year, and he’s performed well. He’s expected to be a fast riser in the Mets’ system.
A 2019 international signing out of the Dominican Republic, Robert Dominguez is a bit of a different profile than that of Allan or Ginn’s. The ninth overall prospect on the Mets top 30 list, Dominguez was originally eligible to sign in the 2018 IFA period, but ultimately found his home a year later. He’s yet to appear in an official minor league game, but did get to work with the Mets’ spring training facility in 2020 during the pandemic.
Dominguez’ best pitch is his fastball. He uses his large 6-foot-5 frame to generate major heat, and it shows. It sits regularly in the mid-90s and has touched 99 before. New York has made big strides with his off speed deliveries as well. His slider started out fairly raw but now shows potential with an increased spin rate. His changeup lacks a little in comparison but has some potential as well. There are some command concerns with Dominguez’ delivery, but the Mets are adjusting his release point in hopes that will solve any future problems. His plus fastball gives him big league reliever status alone, but at only 19 and yet to see an official contest, there’s plenty of time for Dominguez to develop into a starter.
A 2017 international signing out of Venezuela, Jose Butto signed for just $5k and has looked like a steal ever since. He lines up as the 13th overall prospect on New York’s top 30. At 23, he’s a little older than some of the others on this list, but he’s also the furthest along in his development. Butto could realistically see Queens by 2022.
While Allan, Ginn and Dominguez all have their fastball as their go-to pitch, Butto’s changeup is his premier offering. He’s able to slow the ball down by 10-11 mph while using the same arm action as his fastball. He’s able to consistently make hitters look silly with their swings. That’s not to say his other offerings are below average. His fastball sits around 93 mph with good command. He sports a two-seam fastball, which might not be fully ready as Butto is still trying to distinguish it from his four-seamer with different movement. His breaking ball has made some improvements with sweeping and slurvy characteristics on it. Butto is able to command all four of his pitches well. There is some reliver risk on his profile, but his early success with Double-A Binghamton as a starter is encouraging.
A 2018 international signing out of the Dominican Republic, Jordany Ventura signed for $20k and quickly made an impression on New York’s front office. The now 20th overall prospect on the Mets’ top 30, Ventura made three starts in the Dominican Summer League before going stateside and looking equally as impressive there in his 2019 campaign. He continued a trend of Mets’ pitchers undergoing Tommy John surgery, as he underwent the infamous procedure in the spring and likely won’t be ready for a mound until Summer 2022.
Ventura’s biggest asset on the bump is his clean delivery. His mechanics are sound and repeats his motion smoothly. It allows him to throw a fastball in the low-90s that’s almost at cutter status. It’s Ventura’s go-to pitch, as he’s used it almost 90 percent of the time in his starts. Ventura is still trying to find his groove on his off speed offerings. His breaking ball sometimes looks like a slider. Other times it looks like a curveball. His changeup has good potential, the kinks still need to be ironed out first. Ventura’s offerings aren’t overpowering, but his ability to consistently throw strikes is a plus and his top level athleticism should get him back on track once his recovery is complete.
These pitchers have a long way to go to make an impact in Queens. The talent is there however, in each and every one of these young arms. It’s not a good sign when 60 percent of the names on the list have underwent Tommy John surgery, as well as other pitchers on New York’s top 30 not named on this list, but what is injury if not motivation? Don’t be surprised if most of these pitchers are leading the way in the Mets starting rotation come 2025.