Bryce Monte de Oca demonstrated why he belongs on the Opening Day roster
The New York Mets have several bullpen positions locked up. However, a couple of them are still available and battled in this spring training. Among all the options, one arm shined this Thursday for its potential and stuff in an exhibition game of the World Baseball Classic against the lineup of Venezuela.
Bryce Montes de Oca threw 12 pure-speed pitches including a sinker at 101 mph to retire former Met Andrés Gimenez. In the pitched inning he allowed no hits and struck out two. Montes de Oca demonstrated stuff that opens the eyes of many, with a view to the opening day roster.
Mets reliever Bryce Montes de Oca is proving he deserves a bullpen spot on Opening Day
Bryce Montes de Oca is a tall, bodied right-hander measuring 6' 7'' with around 265 pounds. The 26-year-old display quite an arsenal of power after undergoing four surgeries, including Tommy John Surgery, throughout his professional career.
Montes de Oca was able to debut in 2021 with the Mets showing good skills but it wasn't until last year that his stuff reached a high level. Before being promoted to the majors, the young Mets pitcher retired 80 batters in 51.1 innings pitched, which is truly impressive.
His sinker fastball maintains a speed of 100 mph consistently, reaching 102 mph, as he demonstrated in his first spring training outing. His problem in the past has been his command, having a slight lack of control for which he ends up generating many walks, which is frequent in pitchers with little professional baseball experience who have high-speed power in their pitches.
His control looked much better in this last outing, which opens up the possibility that he will make the team for the opening-day roster. The Mets can use Montes de Oca in the middle of the bullpen as a pitcher who generates little contact on the ball and the movement of his sinker and cutter can retire both righties and lefties.
The Mets have in this young pitcher a flamethrower pitcher who, combined with the powerful arms of Edwin Diaz and Drew Smith, can create a very powerful bullpen with high strikeout capacity.