Developing bullpen arms hasn’t been a strength of the New York Mets. It’s not exactly a goal for most organizations. Like true love or a crime scene in the woods, good relievers are something you just happen to stumble upon at times.
In 2024, there should be plenty of room for Mets pitching prospects to snag a job. Some of the starters should be candidates for innings out of the bullpen. So should these three prospects already be very familiar with coming into the game in relief.
Although outsiders to join the team for Opening Day, this trio of young relief arms should be options mid-year for the Mets.
1) Nate Lavender
Lefty Nate Lavender has been a failure as a professional ballplayer. Draft picks from the 14th round aren’t supposed to be this good. How dare he!
Through parts of three seasons, Lavender has tossed 108.2 innings and given the Mets a 2.32 ERA. A bit wild at times with an average of 4.5 walks per 9, he has a tremendous strikeout rate of 13.7 per 9. When the inevitable happens and the Mets need a southpaw in the bullpen, Lavender should be someone to call.
Practically already a Triple-A graduate, he posted a 3.27 ERA in 44 innings last year in Syracuse. His walk rate ticked slightly above his career average. It’s truly the only concern we should have for the soon-to-be 24-year-old.
It has been a few years since the Mets have introduced us to a truly productive bullpen arm straight from the farm. Will the fresh scent of Lavender permeate at Citi Field in 2024? It’s hard to see them hold him back much longer.