Last week, an old friend who was scouting with an AL team called me to ask if there was any hype from the Mets to Pitcher Walker Lockett of which I am his Time admittedly little knew acquired.
"He always had the stature, strength, and make-up to be a stable, rotation-dependent innings eater," the scout said. All this was new to me. "I liked him in San Diego when I saw for the first time his sinker-slider combination and his arm slit."
Lockett was deposed by the Padres in the fourth round of high school in 2012.
After six full seasons in the minor leagues, Lockett made his big league debut for San Diego about a year ago. He never appeared on a published top list.
Last winter Brodie Van Wagenen bought Lockett and Sam Haggerty a promising prospect from the Indians, but had since wound uip in a backup role. The Indians had taken Lockett from the Padres a few months earlier.
Plawecki, 28, incidentally appeared for the Indians, much as he did for the Mets, and served as a replacement for Cleveland's 30-year-old everyday catcher -old Roberto Perez .
Lockett was roughened for six runs at Wrigley Field on his first two Mets launches after being promoted on June 20, leaving four at two home runs for the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Lately, Lockett, after he had not started for the Mets in nearly a month, held the Giants down for a run in five innings at Oracle Park.
Lockett stands 6'5 "at 230 pounds, which is a few inches taller and 30 pounds heavier than the average pitcher of a big league.
" He is a big, solid child and as strong as Tim Redding or Adam Eaton If you remember him, that kind of guys. He stays in the strike zone; gets ground balls; He changes the eye level very well ̵
Lockett's first scouting reports in 2012 made a similar assessment, according to an East-East pitching instructor who had previously worked for an NL West team.
He said Lockett still has a similarly long and easy-going delivery as at the start of his career with the Padres, and he is impressed by how the imposing, young launcher took advantage of his size to his advantage by staying upright with a slow and long passage and a strong, lumbering swing home plate.
"Yeah," he said when I asked if Lockett had the potential to be a sleeper candidate for Van Wagenen's rotation next season. "He has to fight for a seat, I'm sure. But he tunnels better and shows enough control and stern and sinks on his two ships to stay here. "
I understand what the above-mentioned talent scouts see, though my guess is that Lockett will spend much of his time with the Mets hopping between rotation and bullpen.
He often reminds me Robert Gsellman who also must keep his pitches even, heavy and in the lower third of the strike zone Bartolo Colon and often by Gsellman, if Lockett has no idea in his execution, his pitches are hit hard, especially if he is on left-handers
However, his size and arm strength are encouraging He has improved the past few seasons by repeating his delivery and making his pitches more similar in flight, he is also more relaxed and seems to be better at tackling every situation and every inning dominate when he did it in San Diego.
Lockett should be on Van Wagenen's 25-man roster this and next He is already a useful beginner, a role he can easily reach during his career. At the age of 24, however, he has enough time to improve his off-speed spots slightly. And if he does so, like the Scouts mentioned above, he has the potential to be a reliable Season 4 or 5 pitcher already next year, capable of sustaining beyond the sixth inning.
] Lockett will almost certainly never win a Cy Young Award or attract the attention of the entire league for his abilities. Equally rare today are people throwing 200 innings and making 30 starts in successive seasons. If Lockett develops quickly and can easily be that pitcher, it would be a great win for Van Wagenen …
Matthew Cerrone Facebook Twitter | Instagram | Contact Us | is the lead author of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog podcast, which you can subscribe to here. In his new book The New York Mets Fans & Bucket List, 44 things are described that every Mets fan should experience during his lifetime. Click here to try it out!