Mets fans could be reliving the joy that was the era of R.A. Dickey sooner than expected
Every once in a blue moon, a knuckleballer is born. According to MLB Pipeline, Mickey Jannis is putting on quite a show in the Arizona Fall League:
When Jannis was released by the Rays in 2011, his ERA from Single-A ball was 7.20. Nothing about his numbers would have you believe that this was a good acquisition for the Mets. Despite being on the older side as far as prospects go, (Jannis will be 30 before the spring) his knuckleball continues to impress. And then, of course, there was R.A. Dickey, who had some of his best career years with the Mets thanks to his knuckleball. All while he was in his mid-30s.
Last season in Double-A Binghamton, Jannis went 8-7 in 21 games played. His ERA was at 3.60, the lowest it’s been since his 2015 Single-A season with the Mets. It’s likely there’s still a lot of time before we see him on a major league mound. But if Jannis continues to produce through the next season as he has in the Fall League, we could definitely be seeing him sooner rather than later. Even after being let go by the Rays, Jannis was not discouraged. As he mentioned when he spoke to MLB.com:
"I always knew I had a good knuckleball…I knew it was a longshot, but I felt more confident going that direction than sticking with what I was doing."
Personally, I would love to see the Mets have another knuckleballer in that already very deadly (when healthy) rotation. And should injuries come to plague them again, I would much rather see a prospect like Jannis come up to make a spot start rather than the likes of Tommy Milone or Tyler Pill. (Please Lord, never again.)
It could be the year of Mickey for the Mets. Maybe it’s too soon to take it as a sign of good things to come. Jannis proves that it’s never too late to reinvent yourself.