A Mets prospect not named Ronny Mauricio who can contribute in 2023
By Rohan Patel
There’s no doubt that the New York Mets starting pitching has been their weakest unit in 2023, ranking near the bottom in nearly every major pitching stat. Between aging veterans underperforming and injuries, the rotation is in dire need of a spark, and that spark may be waiting on the farm.
Drafted in the 8th round of the 2021 MLB Draft out of the University of Virginia, Mike Vasil has quickly risen through the Mets system. In his first professional season in 2022, Vasil posted a 3.53 ERA with 85 strikeouts in 71.1 innings, rising through three minor league levels.
Why NY Mets prospect Mike Vasil can have an impact in 2023
Vasil possesses three plus pitches between his fastball, curveball, and slider and makes great use of all three. His fastball has been particularly great, as it averages over 2500 RPMs and touches 96 mph, which has contributed to his success. His curveball has also been elite, averaging around 2700 RPMs with almost -14 inches of Induced Vertical Break, which measures a pitch’s movement relative to gravity (courtesy of Will Hoefer). Vasil also possesses a cutter/slider hybrid which produced a 42% Whiff rate last season.
Here's a look at Vasil making Braves star Matt Olson look silly:
This season, Vasil has broken out:
- 41 IP
- 3.29 ERA
- 0.78 WHIP
- 30.8 K%
- 3.8 BB%
- 32 Whiff %
While these stats are unbelievable, they were even better prior to his last start where he struggled due to a minor injury. Nonetheless, Vasil has been able to strikeout hitters at an elite clip, while also keeping his walks astronomically low. Furthermore, his 32% overall Whiff rate would put him in the 88th percentile in MLB.
While he only has about two minor league seasons under his belt, Vasil can be a real contributor at the Major League level this season. Given that he pitched in college, the 23-year-old Vasil has more than enough experience at lower levels to succeed in the majors.
Vasil seems primed for a promotion to AAA Syracuse, where he’d immediately be on the fast track for an MLB appearance. With the advanced age of Mets pitchers, giving a guy like Vasil a chance down the stretch would give the aging rotation a rest and also allow the Mets to see what they have in Vasil.