Top Mets prospect already feeling the benefits of the pitching lab

Praise for the Mets pitching lab from one of the prospects who can benefit from it most.
Oct 7, 2022; Peoria, Arizona, USA; New York Mets pitcher Mike Vasil plays for the Peoria Javelinas
Oct 7, 2022; Peoria, Arizona, USA; New York Mets pitcher Mike Vasil plays for the Peoria Javelinas / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If the New York Mets were feeling a little more adventurous, Mike Vasil would be a candidate to compete for a rotation spot this year. Playing it safe instead, Vasil falls in the long line of pitching prospects who’ll be more realistic options later in the year as injuries happen or in an even worst-case scenario—the Mets trade everyone away.

Vasil has been on the rise for two years now and finished up last season in Triple-A. A sometimes rocky stint with Syracuse in 2023, Vasil is someone the organization hopes can benefit most from the science in their new pitching lab.

Vasil spoke about his experience with the newest monster created by the Mets. He’s already feeling the benefits.

The Mets pitching lab is working for at least one prospect so far

Exactly what is this pitching lab? Based on the description, it sounds like the set of an Avatar film. Sensors on the bodies of pitchers to measure their mechanics gives this the kind of feel to remind us we’re not in the 1990s anymore.

From his interview with SNY:

"My velocity is similar to last year, but it also feels like I am recovering better, I am moving better, and my stuff just is sharper," Vasil said.

The purpose of the pitching lab is to help pitchers get better by increasing velocity, spin rates, and keeping the arms healthy. Vasil, in his own words, seems to already have experienced each of them.

The pitching lab which debuted last summer hasn’t had its pay off just yet with the team continuing with their veterans in the latter part of the 2023 season. It’s something a veteran pitcher could benefit from, but something about teaching an old dog new tricks could always apply. One would guess the younger players still trying to find themselves are the greatest benefactors of this project.

Several Mets pitchers brought in this offseason could be candidates to test the waters with more experienced arms. Sean Manaea notably saw an uptick in velocity at the end of the 2023 season with the San Francisco Giants. Luis Severino, looking to stay healthy and return to his All-Star form, is a guy everyone will be counting on to return to his glory days. Each of those hard-throwing relievers who struggle to find the strike zone will be test dummies.

If those fellow pitchers experience what Vasil does, the Mets can position themselves much better than any logical projection would have them.