When the New York Mets report to Port St. Lucie in a matter of a few weeks many of us will have our eyes locked on the organization's big acquisitions this winter, as well as our normal star players like Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, etc. But Spring Training is also a time for many players who may not be a household names to shine and find themselves heading north with the club after a strong showing during camp as well as exhibition games.
One player who I would not be shocked to find locked into a bullpen role with the Mets on Opening Day is right-handed reliever Bryce Montes de Oca. Standing at 6'7 and weighing 265 lbs, the 26-year-old hurler is an intimidating figure on the mound that is equipped with a live arm. Montes de Oca had a small cup of coffee with the big league club last season and made three appearances to give Mets fans a small preview of the electricity his arm possesses.
The Mets have a reliever with an electric arm in Bryce Montes de Oca who has the opportunity to make a huge impression this spring
In those three appearances, he had struck out 6 batters, walked 2, and allowed 4 earned runs over 3.1 innings pitched. Ideally, they aren't eye-popping numbers but the arm talent is evident when watching him pitch last season.
Montes de Oca regularly can touch triple digits with his fastball and outside of closer Edwin Diaz, there is no other pitcher in the Mets bullpen who could bring that type of heat on the mound on a daily basis. For a team that has made it a priority to reconstruct their bullpen this offseason, Montes De Oca would be an intriguing option to add if he has a big spring.
I believe for Montes de Oca to head north with the club he will not only have to be impressive in putting away hitters with his velocity but also cutting down on his walks, as his command has shown to be a bit iffy at times throughout his Minor League career as he has averaged a rough 6.9 walks per nine innings. If he cuts down on his free passes, he very may well force Manager Buck Showalter's hand as there are arguably two roles still available in the bullpen to be had.
With three weapons in his arsenal that includes a fastball that touches over 100 mph, a nasty slider, and a cutter, the ingredients are there for him to have a big spring. I fully believe he will bring his A-game and shock many fans with his performance to make the Opening Day roster.