The New York Mets have some intriguing prospects in the lower levels of the minor leagues that are making some strong, positive impressions to scouts this season. It is evidenced as the Class-A affiliate St. Lucie Mets won the first half division title in the Florida State League and are 15 games over .500 on the season.
One of those prospects making a name for himself is 19-year old right handed pitcher Calvin Ziegler. Ziegler is originally from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada who was draft-eligible in 2020, but his season and draft stock were negatively impacted due to the COVID-19 pandmeic, so he pitched in the TNXL Academy in Ocoee, Florida last year to improve his draft stock. And the Mets were sold on him that he was the team's second round pick (46th overall) in the draft last year. Ziegler made his professional debut this spring.
Ziegler began this season as the 11th ranked prospect on MLB.com's Mets prospect rankings.
Calvin Ziegler is pitching his way into future Top 10 Mets prospect rankings at Class-A St. Lucie.
Ziegler has put together a solid 2022 campaign so far, pitching to a 3.57 ERA in 10 starts, allowing just 15 hits in 35.1 innings pitched, with 57 strikeouts and 21 walks, with just a .130 batting average against him and a 41 percent strikeout rate.
Scouting reports at the start of the season hinted that Ziegler needed to work on his changeup, and getting it into the mid-80s in velocity, similar to other pitchers that came out of high school. And a changeup has appeared, as he's been using it for swing and miss material this season, especially when manager Robbie Robinson allows him to pitch deep into games.
Ziegler's fastball can also go into the mid-90s in velocity and could occasionally top 97 on that pitch too, so that is something else scouts should monitor.
Before landing on the injured list in mid-May, Ziegler was approaching six innings and 85 pitches per start, and he racked up 9 strikeouts in three of those starts in less than six innings. His ERA is high mainly because he is averaging 5.3 walks per nine innings. But it seems right now that they are letting Ziegler throw and show off his talent and aresnal of pitches.
The tuning of his pitching artistry and mechanics will come later in his development, but it is hard not to be impressed with Ziegler in his first professional action. We must imagine that Ziegler will crack the top 10 Mets' prospects list sooner rather than later.