By Ed Coleman
» More Columns
Even though veteran relievers like Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth are in Mets camp and have a solid shot at cracking the Mets’ bullpen, there’s no doubt that the organization would love to see one or several of their young power arms step forward, make the cut and head north with the team come April.
Noah Syndergaard is in a class by himself — he’s on the Matt Harvey-Zack Wheeler midseason (think July) promotion track. Rafael Montero — who made 16 starts at Triple-A Las Vegas comprising close to 90 innings — and Jenrry Mejia are both vying for the fifth spot in the starting rotation. You can include Jacob deGrom as well, a college shortstop who didn’t pitch until 2010 and who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011. deGrom started games at three different levels for the Mets last season, ending up at Las Vegas. Two Double-A Binghamton pitchers, Cory Mazzoni and Logan Verrett, are also under consideration.
All of the above are right-handers. And then there’s Jack Leathersich. The hard-throwing lefty led all of baseball in strikeouts/nine innings (15.7) in 2013. For his career, Leathersich has struck out a ridiculous 15.2 batters per nine innings — but has also given up five walks per nine innings pitched. Reducing those bases on balls is a point of emphasis for Leathersich this spring.