New York Mets News

Scouting report on Zack Thornton

By Danny Abriano

Although the player to be named later is rumored to be the significant piece in the Ike Davis to Pittsburgh trade, the Mets also secured right-handed reliever Zack Thornton in the deal. Thornton will be assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas, and could wind up in the major league bullpen sooner rather than later.

Feb 21, 2014; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Zack Thornton (74) poses for a photo at Pirate City. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Thornton, 25, first reached Triple-A in 2013, and posted a 3.91 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 25.1 innings of work. He struck out 31 and walked four.

Prior to the trade, Thornton had a 1.23 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 7.1 innings pitched in 2014 for Triple-A Indianapolis.

Thornton was left unprotected during the Rule V Draft but wasn’t selected. Any team could’ve had him for noting, but would’ve had to keep him on the 25-man roster all season or be forced to return him to Pittsburgh.

While Thornton went unselected in the Rule V Draft and wasn’t viewed as one of Pittsburgh’s better prospects, he does have value.

Here’s what John Sickels had to say about Thornton:

"Thornton is a 6-3, 220 pound right-handed hitter and thrower, born May 19, 1988…his performance record is actually quite good, with a high strikeout rate, low walk rate, and lots of ground balls on his resume. His fastball isn’t especially fast in the upper-80s, low-90s range, but he uses a deceptive low three-quarters arm angle and keeps it low. His slider and changeup don’t draw raves but he’d doing something right, particularly against right-handed hitters. He’s not going to close games but has a shot at being a useful bullpen asset."

As the second piece in a deal for Ike Davis – who the Mets had buried on the bench – Thornton seems like a solid get.

Still, the key to the deal will be who the player to be named later is.

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