Each year at 213 we look through the Non-Roster Invitees to spring training and get to know them a bit. Are they in camp to get a look at big league hitting/pitching to aid their development? Are the Mets just trying to get a better look at a future rookie? Are they a veteran trying to get back to the major league level? What can we expect from them this season?
The Mets acquired Stephen Nogosek in the Addison Reed trade from several seasons ago (the trade included Gerson Bautista who was part of the Kelenic trade last year and Jamie Callahan who is no longer in the Mets system). Nogosek debuted in the majors last year at age 24, seeing time in 7 games and 6.2 innings where he allowed 12 hits, 8 runs, 2 homers, 2 walks while striking out 6. The righty didn’t have the greatest first season in the world.
The Mets depleted their top level prospects last year, a theme we are repeating now for a third day in this article series, which leaves the door open in 2020 for players like Nogosek, not on the roster yet but if players really falter, end up on the 60 day IL, etc, then he could find himself on the 40 man and later in Queens, again.
After the trade that brought him to the Mets, the Mets put him in St. Lucie where he posted a 5.06 ERA over 9 games and 16.0 innings with a 1.500 WHIP and a 8.4 K/9. The following year, when he was exactly the right age for St. Lucie, he destroyed it, posting a 3.06 ERA over 23 games and 32.1 innings with a 1.237 WHIP and 10.3 K/9.
The Mets then moved him up to Binghamton where he struggled in in his 16 games and 20.0 innings posting an 8.10 ERA. But then last year in 11 games he had a 0.95 ERA in 19.0 innings. Breaking the pattern, he went to Syracuse where he posted a 1.15 ERA in 31.1 innings despite being 2.2 years below the average age.
Essentially I go through this to note that with the exception of Syracuse, in the Mets system he goes from struggling at a specific level on year, to dominating it the next (and struggling at the next level). So if the pattern continues, then he should be better in Queens this year. While that is meant to be more tongue in cheek than predictive – Nogosek has shown improvement in performance at each level at the Mets system. It makes a lot of sense that a player who got a cup of coffee with the Mets last season and performed well in Syracuse last year gets a long look for a 40 man spot this spring. His ability to come back each year better than the previous is why we are rooting for him at 213.