There are a lot of great hitting prospects in the New York Mets’ organization but the best way for the farm system to become sustainable is to develop more pitching. Trades and poor draft decisions have depleted the system’s arms over the years, leaving Blade Tidwell as the Mets’ best pitching prospect in High-A Brooklyn. There are a few other arms worth watching, however, including RHP Mike Vasil, who is the focus of this week’s edition of Minor League Mondays.
Vasil, the Mets’ eighth-round pick in 2021 out of Virginia, has been pushed pretty quickly through the team’s farm system. 2022 saw Vasil pitch at three different levels, beginning with a first half that was excellent for Low-A St. Lucie followed by a more challenging run at High-A Brooklyn. The Mets were undaunted by Vasil’s struggles, however, and challenged him in 2023 with an assignment to AA Binghamton.
Vasil has responded well to that challenge, pitching to a 2.70 ERA in six starts for the Rumble Ponies while striking out 41 batters in 30 innings pitched. The organization is also pleased with Vasil’s control as he has walked just four batters so far this season, a good sign for his potential to be an effective big league pitcher. Vasil is also coming off of his best start of the season as he allowed just one run on four hits over eight innings against Hartford on Thursday.
MLB.com has Vasil rated as the Mets’ 10th-best prospect and third-best pitching prospect behind Tidwell and fellow Rumble Ponies’ starter Dominic Hamel. Scouts like Vasil’s pitch mix, which contains a 93-95 mile per hour fastball, a cut slider that sits in the upper 80s, a curveball and a split changeup.
The upside for Vasil may be as a back-of-the-rotation starter but the Mets could be tempted to see if his velocity plays better in relief, making him a future option for the bullpen if one or two of his breaking pitches become elite. Expect Vasil to spend most of this year with Binghamton although a promotion to AAA Syracuse could be in the cards if he continues to perform well in AA.