For most Mets fans, when they think of the organization’s top prospect, the likes of Amed Rosario or Dominic Smith. Sure, these young position players are fantastic prospects and may pan out to be quality major league players. They have earned the right to be brought up in the conversation, due to their stellar play in the minor leagues. But I believe that there is a prospect that isn’t currently being talked about enough, and he hails from the other side of the Atlantic.
P.J Conlon, a southpaw that hails from Belfast, Northern Ireland, tore up his opponents last season in Single A ball. Drafted in the 13th round out of San Diego State, Conlon was noticed for his dazzling numbers and solid mechanics. Although his fastball rests in the 86-90 range, the rest of his arsenal picks up the slack with precise accuracy. For this reason, the Mets picked him up.
In his first minor league play with the Brooklyn Cyclones, Conlon was unspectacular. In 17 appearances in 2015, Conlon didn’t have the chance to start. He didn’t allow an earned run, and he struck out 25 batters. He was accredited with a loss on the season. 2016 is when Conlon made some real noise. Between A and High A ball last season, Conlon pitched to a stellar 12-2 record accompanied by a 1.65 ERA in 25 starts. To top that, he finished with a WHIP of .979 and 112 strikeouts.
Yes, these stats are very impressive. While it is only a small sample size at a lower level of professional ball, it does show that Conlon has a very high ceiling. Compared to current Mets lefty Steven Matz at the lower ball, Conlon blows him away. Does this mean Conlon is better than Matz? Not by any stretch. It does mean that if Conlon can keep those numbers around the same area, he should be a quality starter at the MLB level.
While prospects such as Rosario and Smith deserve the talk and praise, there are some players, or pitchers at least, that Conlon deserves to be ranked above. Justin Dunn, for example, is a talented prospect. He is very talented, but he should not be ranked above Conlon. Dunn only pitched in 11 games last season, compared to Conlon’s 25. Conlon produced better numbers in every statistical category besides ERA than Dunn, while pitching more games at a higher level. I believe that Dunn can be a very good pitcher, but as of now, he should not rank above Conlon.
In conclusion, if you do not know who Conlon is, you should find out soon. The Irish southpaw is a noteworthy prospect that doesn’t receive the attention that he deserves. While he doesn’t crack any top prospect lists, or hasn’t so far, he brings a certain flair to the mound that makes the lefty a stud. Although he does not pack earth-scorching heat, he does pack a strong enough arsenal that produced a 12-2 record in 2016. Conlon also packed a 1.65 ERA and a stellar WHIP of .979. Anyway you slice it, P.J should start to standout to Mets fans and baseball writers alike in the 2017 season.