Who is Logan Verrett? That used to be a difficult question considering Verrett did not start the 2013 season among Jonathan Mayo’s list of Top 20 Mets Prospects. Regardless, here’s your answer. The Mets’ third round pick of the 2011 amateur draft is a native Texan who played his college ball close to home at Baylor University. Still only twenty-two years old, the right-handed pitcher’s fastball has been clocked variously between eighty-nine and ninety-three MPH. Verrett also incorporates an effective change-up and slider. Not one to nibble, Verrett consistently throws strikes, walks few batters, and has always kept his hits allowed under innings pitched. In fact, he is currently enjoying his best rate with the Binghamton Mets, limiting opposing batters to 6.1 hits per nine innings pitched.
In 2012, Logan Verrett split his first professional baseball season between Savannah and Port St. Lucie. In seventeen combined appearances, Verrett posted a 5-2 record, pitched two complete games, and finished with a 2.70 earned run average. In 103.1 innings pitched, he only surrendered fifty-seven hits and walked thirteen, for a stellar 0.97 WHIP. He struck out ninety-three batters.
After proving to be proficient at two levels of Class-A ball, Verrett began the 2013 season in AA with the Binghamton Mets. Off to a 4-0 start this season, he is currently the Eastern League’s top winner. He also has thrown the most innings in the circuit, 32.2, which translates to an average of 6.4 innings per start – a slight, if not welcome increase over last season when he averaged 6.1 innings per start. Verrett has so far limited the opposition to twenty-two hits, and ten walks, for a 0.98 WHIP, which also makes him one of only seven current Eastern League pitchers with a WHIP below one. Therein lies the key to his success. By consistently keeping runners off base, the five home runs he surrendered thus far have caused minimal damage, as he has given up nine runs overall for a 2.48 earned run average. Including Saturday’s game, he has now allowed one home run in each of his five starts, but hitters are only batting .196 against him. Otherwise, Verrett has fanned twenty batters, which at 5.5 K/9, falls well below his 8.1 K/9 rate of a year ago. His overall effectiveness, however, seems little affected by his drop in strikeouts per game facing AA batters.
Last night against the Akron Aeros, Verrett pitched eight full innings, allowing just two hits (one being a home run to Akron’s Chris Wallace), during a 7-2 winning effort by the B-Mets. Verrett allowed Akron’s two earned runs, issued one walk, and struck out eight batters, a season high.
In his second professional season, Verrett has gone about his business somewhat anonymously – overshadowed by the likes of Zack Wheeler, Rafael Montero, and a host of others currently pitching for Savannah and Port St. Lucie. But no more – after just twenty-two career starts and 136 innings pitched, Verrett is making a case for inclusion within the conversation regarding the growing cache of quality pitchers being assembled in the Mets’ mid to lower minor league affiliates. As a side note, the great majority of these pitchers are right-handed. Therefore, I do expect a few to get included in potential trades leading into the 2014 season. In any event, Verrett is now on the radar.
He and Rafael Montero currently lead the Binghamton Mets’ staff. Although Sandy Alderson continues to insist Zack Wheeler may not arrive in Flushing until some time in June, the general manager left the door quite open for a change of plans. Should New York’s staff remain unsettled for much longer, Wheeler and Collin McHugh appear to be prime candidates who may be called upon in an effort to bolster the Mets’ starting rotation. That could open the door for a possible promotion of Verrett or Montero to Las Vegas, assuming they continue pitching at their current levels of effectiveness.