The Mets drafted Jack Leathersich in the 5th round of the 2011 MLB Draft. Since then he has shot through the organization and appears to be on the doorstep to the majors. So I figured I may as well profile him while he’s still a prospect. Leathersich came into 2013 as the Mets 16th ranked prospect by MMN.
Leathersich, who will turn 23 on July 14th, was born in Beverly, Massachusetts. He attended Beverly High School, where he would set school records for wins and strikeouts on his way to being named to the Northeast Conference All-Star team. Despite such success, major colleges weren’t lining up to giving him a starting spot– so Jack decided to attend the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, a Division II school. “I came to UMass Lowell to play; I didn’t want to sit around at a D1 school.” Leathersich told SoxProspects.com. His senior season at UMass-Lowell, he posted a 6-2 record with a 1.62, striking out 126 batters along the way.
On the mound, Leathersich has been striking out batters at an alarming rate (15.5 K/9) using a deceptive delivery and classic lefty-reliever arsenal that has drawn comparisons to Billy Wagner. He throws a four-seam fastball that sits 91-93, but can touch 95. By his own account, Jack’s breaking pitch is a slider, although I’ve often seen it called a curveball. He also has a good changeup that he can use against righties. In an exclusive interview for MMN, Leathersich was asked whether he planned on adding any new pitches, to which he responded:
”Obviously I’ve thought about it and I’ve thought about a cutter or something like that. But I don’t really believe that the more pitches you can throw the better you are. I’ve really worked hard this offseason to make my three pitches the best that they can be. Trying to work on a new pitch can make you lose sight of making the pitches you already throw, better. I think it’s important for me right now to focus and just work on refining the pitches I already have. It would be great to come into a game and have all three of them pitches working like they’re supposed to all at once.”
Leathersich has recently been promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas. A meteoric rise for a Division II kid with just 124 professional innings under his belt, but it doesn’t end there. Many believe that his ability to miss bats is exactly what the Mets could use in their bullpen right now. With all the talk about the young starters in the Mets rotation, maybe we’re about to get a glimpse into our bullpen’s future.
Follow Jack on Twitter @LeatherRocket as he continues on his path to Citi Field.
(Photo Credit: Gordon Donovan)