While all the attention has been in Flushing regarding the Mets bullpen’s hot start, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies bullpen has been off to an at least equally as good start. In fact, you could even argue, they are off to an even better start.
Tyler Bashlor, 24, is showing that he very much enjoys Binghamton. In 2017, he allowed zero runs in 14.2 innings after being promoted from St. Lucie. He has extended that streak to 18.1 innings in his first two appearances this season.
Equally as impressive as the scoreless streak is his improved control. He has yet to allow a single base runner this year while striking . Bashlor is truly showing why he has the best-rated fastball in the Mets organization. On top of his fastball, he has shown off his plus curveball, and is successfully using it as an out-pitch. He is also been excellent keeping the ball inside the ballpark with his last allowing a home run nearly a year ago.
Gerson Bautista, 22, who came to the Mets in the trade that sent Addison Reed to the Red Sox, is the youngest of the Binghamton fire throwers. As it so happens, he’s not just the youngest, but also the hardest throwing member with a fastball touching triple digits. Bautista has been running on all gears so far this year. In 5.0 innings, he’s struck out 11 batters, which gives him a ridiculous 19.80 K/9.
He is also yet to walk a batter, and he has only allowed just two hits. That’s an astonishing low 0.40 WHIP. Of the six times batters who have made contact in fair territory against Bautista, only one has hit the ball in the air. Simply put, Bautista is completely over-matching opposing batters.
With him now showing control which had eluded him before coming to the Mets organization, Bautista is putting up phenomenal numbers. On top of his 0.00 ERA, Bautista also holds a ridiculous -0.73 FIP and xFIP (yes, negative).
Eric Hanhold, 24, who was the player to be named later in the Neil Walker trade, has incredible stats. In 3.2 innings this season, he has a 1.69 ERA, 2.16 FIP, and a 2.52 xFIP. These great numbers are driven by an 11.8 K/9, 81.8 percent ground ball rate, and an 83.3 percent left on base percentage. Overall, batters are only hitting .167/.286/.222 against him.
Hanhold has been noted as a mid-90’s fastball thrower, who occasionally hitting 99 MPH on the radar. While he has typically had decent control throughout his career, it seems the added MPH since becoming a reliever is helping him get better results, and play up his secondary offerings.
Adonis Uceta, 23, rocketed through the Mets minor leauges last year. Initially used as a starter, Uceta was moved to the bullpen and started the year in Columbia, and he would dominate and eventually work his way up to Double-A Binghamton.
Once again, Uceta has gotten off to a hot start with 4.0 scoreless innings over his first three appearances. He is striking out 15.8 batters per nine, and when batters are making contact they are hitting it into the ground (57.1 groundball percentage). His velocity continues to challenge hitters, and they continue to fail to live up to the challenge.
If you think this group is impressive consider this list doesn’t even include Drew Smith or Corey Taylor. Both pitchers got off to impressive starts this season, and they were promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas.
Overall, the members of the Binghamton bullpen have the ability to continue to impress. Certainly, this bullpen in particular has show themselves to be one of the strengths of the entire Mets farm system. With their collective talent and improvement over the past year, it is difficult to temper expectations. Really, with them on their current trajectory, the sky is the limit for what could be the best bullpen in the entire Mets organization.