This series will highlight ten potential sleeper prospects going into next season and why you should be up to speed on them…Enjoy!
Domingo Tapia was an International Free Agent. He was signed from the Dominican Republic on December 16th, 2009. Domingo stands at 6’4” and weighs 186 pounds. He is a starting pitcher that is blessed with an electric arm. He started his minor league career with the DSL Mets and has moved up a level each year.
This year, Tapia started in High-A St. Lucie and was impressive to begin the season. In the month of April, he was only 2-3, but his K/BB ratio was 2:1. Then May came and Tapia burned his hand in a freak cooking accident. After that incident, Tapia was never the same. Each month, Tapia exhibited control issues which would consistently knock him out of games early. There was some light on his dim season, however. In three out of his last four games, Tapia was able to reach five innings — a minor achievement, but he finished the year on a slightly improved run.
Tapia throws a mid 90s fastball with heavy sink and even though he stands at a 186 pounds, he projects out to be a nice pitcher who could sustain that velocity over time with some added weight. Domingo has a nice slider as well, but it tends to get wild when he has the wrong arm slot. The pitch that will determine whether he ends up as a bullpen arm or can make it as a starter, however, is his curveball. At the moment, his curveball is a no-go — hitters are aware to when he throws it. The speed in his arm action between a fastball and a curveball is really noticeable. If he can have the same arm speed for his fastball and curveball. then it will change his luck significantly.
Why is he on the list?
Even though Tapia’s season was considered a failure, there are some reasons to be hopeful in his case. Tapia certainly has some of the best raw stuff in the entire Mets Minors system — if he can learn to control his fastball more at the least, he could really find success. The average speed on that pitch is about 95 MPH — which exemplifies why he has perhaps the best fastball in the system. Another reason to look ahead with hope is that the freak accident really seemed to throw Tapia off his game. He was a different pitcher coming back from that injury, so perhaps it was a mental distraction more than anything else. . I personally am betting Tapia will overcome this injury and regain the form he had before that accident. What is your opinion, Mets fans?