Starting today, The Real Dirty Mets minor league staff will be revealing their list of the Mets top 10 prospects heading into the 2011 season. We will be counting down one a day for the next ten days until we reveal number 1.
Starting off our list at number 10 is right-handed pitcher Jeurys Familia. Familia is a 21-year-old from the Dominican Republic, who has pitched in the Mets minor league system for the last three seasons. With his 6’3’’ frame, his velocity sit in the low 90’s, and has the potential to increase even more as his body fills out. Familia held a sub-3 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in his first two years, which are really impressive numbers for a young pitcher. Upon making the move to high-A ball in 2010, he struggled greatly with his control for much of the season, putting up an inordinate amount of walks, which caused his ERA to skyrocket from what it was in the previous two seasons. However, Familia was able to return to form in August where he won three of his final four decisions, finishing with a 6-9 record. But more importantly, Familia appeared to resolve his control issues while also striking out batters at a high rate, accumulating 137 strikeouts in 121 innings over the course of the season. Believing that the guy who pitched in August and early September is the real Familia is what places him tenth on our list.
Familia’s velocity and ability to get strikeouts gives him the potential to be a real good middle of the rotation starter, especially if his secondary stuff improves. His velocity alone, should give him a chance to be in a major league bullpen. Other than his secondary stuff, the key for him going forward is going to be his control and not walking batters at the rate he did for most of 2010. After his strong finish last year the Mets should feel comfortably bumping him up to AA Binghamton. If all goes well for him in 2011, Familia could be in the mix to fight for a spot on the major league roster this time next year.