Who’s Next? The Top Pitching Prospects Left in the System, #5 - John Gant | Astromets Mind

Friday, July 3, 2015

Who’s Next? The Top Pitching Prospects Left in the System, #5 - John Gant

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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.

John Gant

            Gant flies under the radar in the system, but he’s actually an interesting arm. He throws a fastball that I’ve heard range from 88-93 MPH this year, but I don’t have consistent start-to-start readings on. He has an advanced feel for his changeup, which ranges from the high 70’s to the low 80’s, and he throws two breaking pitches: a big curve and he’s been working in a slider over the past year+.
            I’ve heard/read that his fastball has topped out at 90 in some starts, but the St. Lucie radio announcer has been reporting him at more 92-93 since his demotion. He struggled with his control of the pitch while with Binghamton, which led to a 12.8 BB% - it’s a big jump from A-ball to AA, so it would’ve been more surprising if he was great from the start.
His overall line with the B-Mets in the first half was not very good, but he had a pair of very good starts, suggesting he could survive in the league after some adjustments. At the time, I didn’t think it was necessary for the Mets to demote him, but I thought he would benefit from going down a level and dominating, which is exactly what he’s done. His FSL numbers actually compare favorably to Gsellman’s: Gant has a 29.6 K%: 6.2 BB% and 1.79 ERA/2.94 FIP over 6 starts (40.1 IP) with St. Lucie, Gsellman had an 18.9 K%: 5.6 BB% and 1.76 ERA/2.84 FIP over 8 starts (51 IP). Now we need to see Gant do this against some tougher competition.

From 2015 (with GIFs): April 14, April 19, May 4, May 16

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