Reviewing Baseball America’s 2018 Top 30 Mets Prospects: #23 Jacob Rhame

Players ranked 23-25 are all familiar to Mets fans as they all have made their major league debut’s either this season or last. At #25 was Gerson Bautista, acquired in the Addison Reed trade in 2017, then at #24 was PJ Conlon and now at #23 is Jacob Rhame who the Dodgers sent to the Mets for Curtis Granderson. Rhame made his debut in September 2017 and one outing dominate his entire pitching for the season. The ledger says he pitched 9.0 innings in 9 games with a 9.00 ERA. However in one game he allowed 5 runs over 0.1 innings. He still had more outings allowing a run (5) than clean sheets (4). The hope was Rhame would move up to the next level at some point in 2018.

BA talks about how when the Dodgers drafted Rhame, his only reliable pitch was a fastball, so they turned him into a reliever. This should ring a bell for Mets fans because pretty much every pitcher traded for in 2017 threw serious heat and the hope was 1-2 of them would end up developing into a dominate reliever. He has developed a change-up with the Mets and an average to below average slider, neither of which are an out pitch yet.

Rhame got his chance last year due to injuries on the Mets but it wasn’t a great season for him at first. Over 30 games he pitched 32.1 innings posting a 5.85 ERA, 5.48 FIP, 1.423 WHIP and 64 ERA+. He ended the season on a 6.2 inning scoreless streak over 6 games and had only a 3.14 ERA in his last 12 games (which was every game after he allowed 6 runs over 2.0 innings against the Nationals in a game the Mets lost 25-4, so take that for what its worth). It is also worth noting he was one of the few pitchers who did not struggle in Las Vegas this year posting a 3.06 ERA over 25 games and 32.1 innings.

Out of other young relievers trying to push into the bullpen next year, Rhame has a leg up due to a higher volume of work last year at the major league level, his improvement over the last couple of months and the velocity of his fastball. If he impresses at camp, he will have an inside track to the active roster, otherwise he’ll be on the short list for injury replacement call-up at Syracuse.

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