Round 13, Pick 380 – Christian Tripp, RHP
Ht: 6’ 7″ Wt: 220 DOB: 3/13/1997 (21)
School: University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
2018 – 2-3, 2.33 ERA, 21 G, 8 SV, 27.0 IP, 1.259 WHIP, 3.7 BB/9, 9.7 K/9
2017 – 0-3, 5.14 ERA, 23 G, 6 SV, 28.0 IP, 1.714 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 8.4 K/9
2016 – 2-2, 4.54 ERA, 27 G, 4 SV, 35.2 IP, 1.430 WHIP, 3.8 BB/9, 6.3 K/9
Stats (Kingsport Mets)
2018 – 2-0, 4.05 ERA, 15 G, SV, 20.0 IP, 1.30 WHIP, 3.6 BB/9, 6.3 K/9
When looking at Christian Tripp’s official photo for the Kingsport Mets, one might immediately think of another Mets pitcher: Noah Syndergaard. Further examination of Tripp’s biography might also invite Syndergaard comparisons: both are tall, went to high school in Texas, and share a fairly close physical resemblance (i.e., long, blond hair). Similarities notwithstanding, the two are quite different when it comes to pitching styles.
Unlike the starting Syndergaard, the right-handed Tripp pitched as a reliever and occasional closer for the University of New Mexico. In his freshman and sophomore seasons, he struck out less than one batter per inning, allowed more than a hit per inning, and his ERA was 4.81. As a junior, Tripp took the next step in his development, striking out over one batter per inning, giving up fewer hits, and more than halving his ERA to 2.33.
This development likely caught the attention of the Mets, who took him in the 13th round of this year’s draft. Now in Kingsport, Tripp is pitching to mixed results partially due to his spotty control. Furthermore, his strikeouts are down compared to his last year in college, with a 6.3 K/9.
Tripp features a fastball in the low-90s with plenty of sink. That sinker has produced a 52.4 percentground ball rate. Tripp also throws both a changeup and slider, the latter of which runs in on left-handed hitters and registers in the mid-80s. Lastly, his delivery provides some added deception to his pitches.
At 21, Tripp could add some muscle which could conceivably add MPH to his fastball. His sinking fastball is what will drive his success, but he ultimately needs to improve his strikeout rate to truly be a consistent weapon out of a major league bullpen. Though Tripp does not pitch like his doppelganger Syndergaard, he profiles similarly to another long-haired Mets reliever named Robert Gsellman.