Mets prospect has failed to find his 'spin' at AAA Syracuse this season

Despite his immense spin rate, Dom Hamel has struggled to find consistency.
Mar 21, 2024; Lakeland, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Dominic Hamel (93) pitches during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 21, 2024; Lakeland, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Dominic Hamel (93) pitches during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Mets have spun themselves right out of the playoff picture in May. They lost 15 out of 18 games between May 10th and May 29th, subsequently ending their pursuit of a National League Eastern Division title. While the wild card is still in reach, fans and the organization should not kid themselves; this roster just does not have what it takes to win a championship in 2024.

When hope seems bleak at the major league level, evaluators and fans alike begin to look toward the future. In particular, we read and watch the highlights of each of the Mets' top 30 prospects. Suffice it to say, that we all want an infusion of young talent. Some of the prospects are really impressive, like Blade Tidwell and Jonah Tong. Unfortunately, others have seen the same results as the current Mets' roster.

Dom Hamel's spin rate wasn't fooling anyone in May

During Spring Training, we all speculated as to which prospects would debut first in 2024. The expectation was that Dom Hamel and Mike Vasil had an edge over Christian Scott and Tidwell because of their years of minor-league experience. However, this has all changed as Scott debuted earlier in May and Tidwell is on pace to soon follow.

On the surface level, Hamel should have already been in the conversation to be promoted by mid-season. Selected in the third round of the 2021 draft, the Dallas Baptist product has already three seasons of minor league experience. In 2023, Hamel impressed pitching to a 3.85 ERA in 124 innings with 160 strikeouts for AA Binghamton.

The reason Hamel has fallen off the radar is due to his performance. His May performance in particular has raised concerns around the organization. In 4 games started for AAA Syracuse, Hamel allowed 17 earned runs and gave up 17 walks in 14 innings pitched.

Hamel's walk rate has raised the most eyebrows since he has never had command issues in the past. In 2023, Hamel's walk rate was relatively low, allowing just 49 free passes. Furthermore, the 24-year-old has regularly pitched deep into games, a quality the Mets could really use right now at the major league level.

For a pitcher that relies on spin rate for effectiveness, Hamel must command the strike zone to be considered a major league-caliber starting pitcher. There is no question that most young pitchers struggle with their control as competition becomes greater at the upper levels. However, Hamel has the arsenal to turn his season around quickly. The question is, can he do this in time before the Mets sell-off at the trade deadline?

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