For a third straight year, Eric Orze gets an invite to spring training.
Orze was one of six players the Mets selected in the 2020 draft. Their first pick, Pete Crow-Armstrong, was traded for Javier Baez. J.T. Ginn was traded for Chris Bassitt. Iasiah Green was part of the package for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco. Matthew Dyer was traded for Rich Hill. Anthony Walters was released.
This all happened before last season. So, for a second straight year Eric Orze is the last player in the Mets organization from the 2020 draft.
Orze was listed as the Mets #17 prospect by MLB Pipeline for the 2022 season. They projected that he would make the majors sometime during the 2022 season. In 2021 he pitched across three levels of minor league ball, including 10 games in Syracuse posted a 3.08 ERA over 49 2/3 innings with a 1.047 WHIP.
The results on the field were not good in 2022. Over 50 1/3 innings he had a 4.83 ERA with a 1.152 WHIP. Hitters figured out how to homer off of him. In 2021 he had a 0.9 HR/9 rate. In 2022 that increased to 2.0. His BB/9 and K/9 remained unchanged between the two seasons (BB/9 2.5, K/9 went from 12.1 to 12.3).
He pitched in a career high amount of games last year (39) and posted a 5.31 ERA, 1.525 WHIP over 61 innings. His K/9 rate still remained unchanged (12.0) but his BB/9 sky rocketed to 6.0. On the positive side, he addressed his homer problem and returned to a 0.9 HR/9.
Eric Orze in 2021 went from making his pro-debut to Syracuse in one season. He’s spent the last two years stuck in neutral. Colby Morris did a great profile on Orze at the end of last season. In his profile he talks about how Orze changed the frequency that he used certain pitches throughout the season last year.
Due to Orze’s age and when he was drafted, there is a high likelihood that we see him at some point this year with the major league team. This spring I’m going to be looking for three things. First, is his strikeout rate around 12 K/9, as it has been the last three seasons. Second, can he return to his 2021 and 2022 BB/9 rate. Finally, can he keep the ball in the park. He’s done all three of these things before at the same time. If he can do this throughout March, he’ll find himself climbing up the depth chart.