Who’s Next? The Top Pitching Prospects Left in the System, #4 - Robert Gsellman | Astromets Mind

Friday, July 3, 2015

Who’s Next? The Top Pitching Prospects Left in the System, #4 - Robert Gsellman

Image from MetsMinors

Re-ranking the Top starting pitchers within the Mets farm system now that Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard have graduated.

            Coming into the 2015 season, the Mets farm system was a consensus Top-5 system in the majors thanks to some high-end talent at the top, but they’ve graduated several top prospects, including their top-2 starting pitching prospects, and figure to take a hit in those rankings this offseason. That’s not a bad thing though, because it means that the Mets are starting to improve from within, which is the purpose of a farm system. Also, it means that the door is open for the next crop of prospects to emerge, and the Mets still have some starting pitching prospects with major league upside worth keeping an eye on.

            For this list, I have limited myself to full-season starters, because we still know relatively little about the short-season pitchers, and those guys are far from helping away. Notably absent from this list is Marcos Molina, because he’s too much of an unknown at this point. He would easily rank among the top 2-3 starters left if healthy, and he’d probably be #1 if he could pitch like he did last year in Brooklyn without the scary mechanics – everyone who saw him last year said the same two things: he has great stuff, but his mechanics are big red flags. But, he’s not pitching right now because of a forearm strain, and he’s not having Tommy John surgery either, so what are the Mets getting when he returns? Will he have the same mechanics? If so, why should we expect him to stay healthy? If not, will his stuff be as good? Either way, this is looking like a lost season for Molina, and we still have to wait-and-see if this injury carries over to next season.

Robert Gsellman

            Gsellman got some attention when BP evaluator Jeff Moore wrote him up twice earlier this season (the other write-up is behind a pay wall), and there is a lot to like about him. He features a nice, smooth motion that’s easy for him repeat, and gives little concerns about future arm injuries. He throws a low-90’s sinker with good control (sits 89-92, has topped out at 94), and features a major league quality curveball, but his changeup is still a work in progress.
            While his fastball can get nice sinking and/or running action to it, it’s generally not going to get a lot of swinging strikes, but his high groundball rate (~57% this year) makes up for that. Also, his curveball has the potential to be a plus major league offering, so he has a good out pitch. He’s reportedly been working on the changeup during his starts this year, so keep that in mind if you see a bump in K% over the second half.
Moore suggested he should fit nicely at the back of a rotation even if his changeup doesn’t develop, but could max out as a #3 starter with an improved changeup. While he’s off to a decent start through 5 starts for Binghamton, he only has a 6% swinging strike rate so far, so he still has plenty to prove at this level. He might be the most likely starter from this group to stick as a starter in the majors, but I think the guys ahead of him have a higher overall ceiling.

From 2015 (with GIFs): May 30, June 6, June 13, June 19, June 25

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