Struggling Mets prospect heats up with the weather in his last 3 starts

Mike Vasil has dominated AAA hitters over his last 3 starts.
Feb 22, 2024; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA;  New York Mets pitcher Mike Vasil (97). Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 22, 2024; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets pitcher Mike Vasil (97). Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets cannot seem to catch a break as weexit the Memorial Day weekend. As David Stearns alluded to with Gary, Keith, and Ron last Friday, this team is finding different ways to lose each game. When the starters pitch well, the offense goes mute. When the Mets hit three home runs in three consecutive games, the bullpen had a meltdown. Couple this with shaky defense from every position, and you have a below .500 baseball team.

When Stearns met with SNY, he assured the fanbase that major changes to the roster would not occur until July's trade deadline. As much as fans want an overhaul to come sooner, Stearns wants to be patient and wait for a turnaround to occur. However, Mets fans have lived this story too many times. Assuming that soon-to-be free agents such as Jose Quintana and Luis Severino will be moved this summer, one AAA prospect has gotten hot at just the right time.

Mike Vasil has gotten hot down in AAA

Mike Vasil did not have the greatest of starts to his 2024 season. Entering his second season at AAA Syracuse, Vasil had a lot to prove before being labeled major league-ready. The 24-year-old right-hander allowed 20 runs in 15.2 innings pitched between March and April. He also gave up an alarming 26 hits and 12 walks during this span.

As a result, Vasil has understandably been glossed over as a starting rotation option. Had he performed well last month, the right-hander was expected to be the closest among the prospects. Instead, the Mets gave chances to Jose Butto, Joey Lucchesi, and Christian Scott. This is disappointing considering Vasil was the Mets' representative at the MLB Future's Game last all-star break.

However, Vasil has heated up faster than New York's weather patterns. In his last 3 starts, Vasil has pitched 15 innings only giving up 6 runs and 4 free passes. The 24-year-old has also struck out 12 batters, including 6 on Thursday against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders.

The most relieving part of Vasil's turnaround is that his walk rate has come down. In 2022 and 2023, Vasil's control was superb before being introduced to the ABS at AAA Syracuse. As with many young pitchers, the 24-year-old has struggled to adapt and has seen his command decline as a result. Before being considered a potential rotation option this summer, Vasil has to become more efficient with his pitch count by limiting the number of baserunners.

Furthermore, the Mets are having a bullpen implosion in part because their starters have failed to average more than 5 innings per game. Understandably, the relief pitchers have become over exposed and overworked as a result. As part of their development process, young starters such as Vasil must get used to pitching later into games before getting the call. His past 3 starts have been encouraging as Vasil has worked 5 innings with a relatively low pitch count under 90 per game.