3. Justin Jarvis
One of the cavalcades of prospects acquired in July may already be under a tight microscope. Drafted by the Stearns-led Milwaukee Brewers out of North Carolina in 2018, Justin Jarvis is a solid innings-eater type of starting pitcher. His fastball is not overwhelming, just topping out at 92-94 MPH, but his splitter is an out pitch that produces a lot of ground balls. While Jarvis’ pitch arsenal will not fool many batters, he still managed to strike out 138 in 188.2 innings this past season. His windup is reminiscent of former Mets pitcher Chris Bassitt.
Jarvis really broke out in 2022 throwing to a 3.83 ERA in 141 innings between Single-A and AA. His walk rate dropped significantly from 35 walks in 63 innings in 2021 to 66 in 141 innings in 2022. Though Jarvis seemed to be progressing, he struggled mightily at AAA for both the Brewers and the Mets. After starting the season with a 3.33 ERA in AA, he had an 8.04 ERA in just 31.1 innings pitched for AAA Syracuse. His walk rate was eye-opening with 22 of them across 9 starts.
Though Stearns drafted Jarvis in 2018, he did not protect him from the Rule 5 Draft this offseason. This decision is telling that the Mets do not believe Jarvis would be a major loss had another team drafted him. He is not far from major league ready being 23 years old and making it to AAA in 2023. While there is reason to believe the new automated strike zone in AAA played a part in Jarvis’ struggles, he must make adjustments to remain on the Mets’ future depth charts.