Mets Minors: Building from the bottom up – Jack Leathersich

Jack Leathersich:  Leathersich had a pretty impressive 9 game audition in 2011.  The 5th round pick managed 12.2 IP with only 6 Hits, 3 Walks and 26 K’s!  He followed up that impossible feat with 12 games and 24.0 innings at Savannah in 2012.  Through A ball he’d managed 63 K’s in 36 innings (a 15.49 K/9).  Then he got promoted to Port St. Lucie and he showed he was human.  His ERA in A+ ball was 4.12 and H/9 and BB/9 both rose.  His K-Rate remained spectacular: 14.2 K/9 (76 K’s in 48.0 IP).

Scouting: At 5’11”, Leathersich is not a dominating looking player.  He’s not really built like a modern pitcher at all.

Fastball: A pitcher who gets a K/9 that high must have a killer fastball, right?  WRONG!  Leathersich lives at 90-91 MPH and touches 92.  Or a lefty that isn’t bad but Aroldis Chapman isn’t worried about someone having more gas than him.  Leathersich get’s those K’s because he’s got a deceptive delivery which makes that 90-ish fastball look a lot harder to hit than it might be on paper.

Secondary Pitches: Leathersich employs a slider that is still a hit-and-miss pitch as he has trouble locating it from time to time.  The secret to his future success lies in this secondary pitch as he will need it to succeed in AA and beyond.

ETA: I would start Mr. Leathersich in Port St. Lucie and let him close, but a lot of people want to promote him to AA right away.  I’m okay with this to, but he’s still going to be a middle reliever if he makes that jump.  If he can get a grip on his slider there is no reason not to think that Leathersich could be in the Met bullpen in 2014 and if he can make that slider a + pitch he could have a future as a closer… albeit one who doesn’t have that 98 MPH heat of most MLB closers these days.

Mets Top 20 Prospects:

17. Jack Leathersich, LHP (AA) [2014 Bullpen… 2015 Closer?]
18. Cory Vaughn, OF (AA) [AAAA]
19. Jacob deGrom, RHP (AA) [2014 Bullpen]
20. Steven Matz, LHP (Full Season A) [2016 Bullpen]

7 comments for “Mets Minors: Building from the bottom up – Jack Leathersich

  1. steevy
    March 30, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    His minor league abilty to K people without the evidence on the gun reminds me of Sid Fernandez.Remember,the Dodgers thought “he can’t do this in the Majors”.Wrong than,maybe wrong about this guy.

    • David Groveman
      March 31, 2013 at 11:06 am

      While he doesn’t have the typical closers velocity. Scouts believe in his deception. He will be good but how good is in question.

    • AV
      April 1, 2013 at 8:19 am

      As I read this piece, I was thinking the same thing. I haven’t watched video of Leathersich but the line about Sid Fernandez was that he looked like he was “pitching uphill”.

  2. March 31, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Leathersich is probably the guy in the system that I have the least “feel” for what he could do in the majors, so it’s interesting to me that he makes your Top 20. He’s probably a guy I would have left off and then looked silly with for not ranking him.

    • David Groveman
      March 31, 2013 at 11:07 am

      You look at a lefty who gets righties out and strikes out the world and you have to give him credit for even his work up to Port St. Lucie

  3. Metsense
    March 31, 2013 at 9:15 am

    I’ve seen Leathersich twice, and for whatever reason, he got K’s. The polnt about his seconary pitch is excellent. It will separate him from being a good reliever or just a reliever. In either case I see him in the majors. It really doesn’t matter how he does it as long as he does it. Small minds don’t look at results they only look at style, so Jack may have a problem until Collins/Warthan move on.

    • David Groveman
      March 31, 2013 at 11:08 am

      Leathersich is likely 1-2 full seasons away anyway.

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