5 under the radar pitchers the Mets could target before the trade deadline

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NY Mets under the radar trade target: Cole Irvin

Cole Irvin has been one of the more underappreciated starters in baseball over the last couple of years. 

The crafty lefty has largely diminished in the game, but that’s exactly what Irvin is. He’s made 16 starts and pitched 95.1 innings this season. He’s allowed 86 hits, 34 earned runs, 19 walks, and struck out 62 batters. His ERA is 3.21, his FIP 3.97, his WHIP is 1.10, and his ERA+ is 115.

“Swirvin’ Irvin” throws six pitches. He throws his four-seamer 31% of the time, sinker 25%,  changeup 22%, curveball 17%, slider 4%, and he has a cutter that he almost never uses. Hitters have a very hard time squaring up his 4-seamer in particular, as they are hitting just .187 and slugging .327 off it. It has about three more inches of ride up in the zone than average, and he’s figured out how to use it up and tunnel his secondary pitches off of it.

The Savant metrics don’t love Irvin (except for his sparkling walk rate in the 89th percentile), but he’s not the kind of pitcher metrics value. Metrics look for the high-velocity, high-spin, crazy-movement pitchers who avoid bats. Irvin is a contact pitcher who relies on a good defense behind him. 61.8% of his batted balls go in the air, but since hitters can’t square him up, almost 65% of his contact allowed is considered medium or soft.

Irvin is 28 and under team control for four more seasons, he doesn’t even hit arbitration until next winter. This would be a great depth piece to add to the Mets’ rotation.