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NY Mets: Three non-roster invitees to monitor during Spring Training

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Pitcher Arodys Vizcaino #38 of the Atlanta Braves pitches in an interleague MLB baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on July 4, 2018 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Yankees won 6-2. Both teams wore clothing and accessories to honor America during the Independence Day weekend games. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Pitcher Arodys Vizcaino #38 of the Atlanta Braves pitches in an interleague MLB baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on July 4, 2018 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Yankees won 6-2. Both teams wore clothing and accessories to honor America during the Independence Day weekend games. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
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LAKELAND, FL – FEBRUARY 25: Ryley Gilliam #83 of the New York Mets pitches during the Spring Training game against the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on February 25, 2020 in Lakeland, Florida. The Tigers defeated the Mets 9-6. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

3) Right-handed pitcher Ryley Gilliam

One of the younger arms in terms of experience that received a non-roster invite to Major League camp is right-handed pitcher Ryley Gilliam. Gilliam is one of the more intriguing young arms to monitor during Spring Training, as he was recently ranked as the Mets 21st best prospect by MLB.com last season but has a proven track record as a reliever and he had made it all the way up to Triple-A during his first full professional season in 2019.

A previous fifth-round selection in the 2018 MLB Draft, Gilliam was Clemson’s closer during his college days and he registered a minuscule 1.41 ERA in his final season over 27 appearances with 11 saves. Gilliam has the pedigree to be an effective late-inning reliever down the line for the Mets, but there is also the possibility that he impresses the coaching staff enough during Spring Training that he is brought back north.

According to MLB.com’s scouting report, Gilliam’s arsenal contains a fastball that sits between 94-96 mph, and a curveball gives him a quality second out pitch that contains plenty of arch. As a result of those quality pitches that Gilliam possesses, he currently leads all Mets Minor League pitchers with a 35 percent strikeout rate since 2018. Those types of strikeout numbers will stick out to the coaching staff which is a big reason why the front office invited him to big league camp.

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If those strikeout numbers continue to translate to games this spring, the Mets will have to seriously consider the possibility of adding Gilliam to the bullpen. Relievers are usually fast-risers through the Minor League ranks and I don’t envision that trend changing in Gilliam’s case. If he does not break camp with the Mets this spring, I don’t envision it will be much longer before we see him in Queens.

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