For the purpose of our series of posts, we define the word fringe as any prospects, which we considered, that were absent from MMN’s own Top 40 Prospect lists. The purpose of the series is to identify prospects that are showing promise above what fans might expect and what their futures will hold within the Mets organization.
Randy Fontanez – P
2013 Total Stats: 45 appearances, 9-6, 3.41 ERA, 1 SV, 83 K, 60.2 Inn, 17 BB, .231 AVG
Randy Fontanez was promoted to Class-A Advanced St. Lucie for the 2013 season and compared to his 2012 stats, he took a step in the right direction. He earned six more wins in relief, giving up 16 less hits, 10 less runs, striking out 24 more batters, all in three less innings of work. He is currently competing in the Puerto Rican Winter League and in five appearances he is 1-1, with a 1.69 ERA, and an opponent batting average of .235.
Fontanez showed that he is able to be a productive relief pitcher, especially with the improvements he made in almost every area this past season. Also by pitching against quality major league hitters in the 2013 World Baseball Classic with Team Puerto Rico, he proved that he can pitch on the big stage. He has worked on giving up less runs per game and getting more batters out, and that shows as he has recorded 168 strike outs in 162.2 Inn in his brief minor league career. Most of that has been from the improvements he showed over the past season, which will help as he continues to develop and reach his goals. The numbers are getting better as he continues to mature in the role of relief pitcher.
Fontanez had a good 2013 season and there is no reason why he shouldn’t be promoted to Double-A Binghamton to start the 2014 season. A good showing in Puerto Rico this winter and in spring training and he should be ready for the season. Not picked as a Top Prospect yet, but that should all change real soon. It’s easy to say that he will do well in 2014, but from what he has shown over the past year there is no reason to doubt that he will not continue to develop. He is coming into his own and understanding what it takes to get batters out and 2014 will be the big test for him; will he continue to progress or take a step back. That can be the million dollar question, but the answer is simple, he will turn heads and people will start to take notice. He is a quality pitcher with a bright future ahead of him.
Prospects On The Fringe:
(Photo Credit – MiLB.com and Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America)