Last year, a very stunning event happened in the Mets organization. Down on the Port Saint Lucie Farm, a man who did not profile as dominant lit up the Florida State League. He went 11-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 138.2 innings, and struck out 9.09 every 9 with a 1.88 walk rate. Eighty-one percent of the runners who got on against him were stranded. While he has not been nearly as good as he climbs through the levels, Darin Gorski is still a very interesting case in the Mets Organizational Pitching Pool.
Gorski, who throws your standard fastball, slider and change-up, was drafted by the Mets in the 7th round of the 2009 draft out of Kutztown University. His first go at professional baseball was immediately thereafter when he pitched for the 2009 Brooklyn Cyclones. He started 11 games and wasn’t very good, with a 3.75 walk rate and a 4.91 ERA in 62.1 innings. he struck out 7.22 per, but close to half of the runners who got on against him scored, with an LOB percentage of 50.3. He played all of 2010 in Savannah as a Sand Gnat, pitching 114 innings with a 6-8 record and a 4.66 ERA. He did, however, raise his strikeout percentage to 8.61 and lower his walk rate, but not by much. He still walked 3.39 per 9. The Mets, however, thought him improved enough to send the 23-year-old to the Port in 2011, and he delivered as the Mets Organizational Pitcher of the Year.
This year in Binghamton, Darin has experienced some much needed growing pains. Overall, he is 9-7 with a 3.66 ERA in 137.2 innings. He is striking batters out less at 7.58 per 9, and he is back to walking over 3 per 9 at 3.20. He has given up 19 home runs in his first 24 games.
“He has the same velocity as last year, he’s commanding his pitches well, but you’ve got to understand this is a new league,” said B-Mets catcher Francisco Pena, who caught the majority of Gorski’s starts last season. “You’ve got better hitters in this league, better umpires as well. He’s locating his pitches well, but sometimes he is trying to be too fine and that’s when he gets hurt.”
When I asked if a big part of the difference between last season and this season was last year he could rely on his “stuff” to get batters out, Gorski said, “Oh yeah, definitely. You make mistakes down there, they’re not going to get hit as often.”
–Lynn Worthy, Press & Sun-Bulletin
When taking a look at his season by the month, you’ll see that in April he was pretty good, with a 2-0 record, a 2.45 ERA and a .189 AVG against. He did not allow a home run in 25.2 innings of work. In May, however, the bottom fell out. He had a 7.58 ERA with a .312 AVG against and an 0-3 record. He gave up 5 home runs in 19 innings of work. June brought better numbers, with a 3-1 record, a 3.45 ERA and only 2 home runs against in 31.1 innings of work. They unloaded on Gorski in July, though, with 7 home runs hit against him, but he limited the damage with a 3.54 ERA in 28 innings of work, going 1-1 as well. August has brought his best month since April, with 3-2 record, a 2.67 ERA and a .210 AVG against in 33.2 innings of work. It seems he’s learning from his mistakes and working on his mechanics to get his location under control.
Still, at age 24, one has to wonder whether Gorski is just a late bloomer or a future journeyman. I wouldn’t be surprised if Darin is no longer in the Mets Organization come next year, as I expect the front office to use their new found pitching depth to their advantage this off-season. Or, Gorski continues to grow in the Orange and Blue, and we’re watching him make his Major League Debut come July 2013.
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