Which B-Mets Player Took The Biggest Step Forward in Their Development?

By John Bernhardt

September 28, 2013 7 Comments

darin gorski 2

The growth and development of both Cesar Puello and Allan Dykstra are obvious. Both B-Met sluggers put up huge offensive numbers that dwarfed their output in previous seasons. In Dykstra’s case, gains came from a unique slugging batting approach built around patience and discipline at the plate. In Puello’s case, the game seemed to come together in every aspect. Early the season, Puello battled tracking and hitting off-speed stuff thrown his way. His improvement hitting off-speed pitches from month to month was obvious, a huge part of his remarkable offensive output.

I’ve waxed poetic about both B-Met sluggers in previous posts. So, I think I’ll turn my attention to the improvement shown by another B-Met player, starting pitcher Darin Gorski. In some ways, Gorski’s movement through the Mets minor league system has seen the yo-yo effect. Pitching for Port St. Lucie in high Class-A ball, Gorski set the Florida State League on fire in 2011, earning Darin a selection as the FSL Player of the Year. Gorski also won the Mets franchise Sterling Pitching award that year.

Optimism ran high last season when Gorski was elevated to Binghamton. The tall left-hander was the workhorse of the B-Met rotation, but Gorski’s overall pitching effectiveness seemed to suffer. Take a look at Gorski’s 2012 statistics and those he compiled in his injury shortened summer in Binghamton this year.

Year IP W L W-L% ERA Hits H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 WHIP
2012 139.2 9 8 .529 4.00 128 8.2 1.3 3.2 7.6 1.274
2013 78.2 6 1 .857 1.83 46 5.3 0.1 2.5 7.7 0.834

What a difference a year can make. The numbers speak for themselves. An early season injury in Triple-A Las Vegas limited the innings Gorski pitched this season. The left-hander was assigned to Binghamton when he was finally ready to pitch and proved to be a major part of the B-Mets success.

High speed radar numbers are not part of his pitching profile. Gorski’s fastball sometimes touches 90 or 91 miles per hour but more typically comes in at between 87-89. Locations of his pitches, the ability to move the ball in and out and up and down, his off-speed effectiveness are critical for Gorski. The tall left-hander is a thinking pitcher on the mound.

A high percentage of batted balls are hit in the air, part of his issues keeping the ball in the park earlier in his professional career. This was not an issue at NYSEG Stadium this summer. Gorski allowed only one home run.

How Gorski figures in future Met plans is anybody’s guess. Gorski was removed from the 40-man roster in the early spring and was not selected by another organization, a somewhat ominous sign. I prefer to think that’s part of the magic of the Darin Gorski story, an unheralded pitching gem, the Binghamton Met who took the biggest step forward from a developmental aspect in 2013.

  • Tom

    They should have brought him up to pitch instead of Dice K, to 1) see if he could make the jump and 2) get a high draft pick if he (more likely) faltered and they lost more games. Gorski, unlike other guys, had no max-out-on-innings problem, so he was good to go. But Met Mgmt knows best, as we all know.
    Listening to Syndergaard last night, I wondered why he had not worked all year on both curve AND change up, and not just curve…because Mets do not want him ready before mid-June to keep future salary costs down. They also say Montero needs more seasoning…but he pitched in 16 games in Las Vegas!! And well!!! His last 7 starts, he gave up just 8 runs in 45 innings in a hitter’s league – WOW!! Not enough time to be ready? Sure it is enough…it is more salary suppression by cheap management. This guy has a career, he’s ready, let him start 2014 IN the rotation.

  • DD

    Ah, Gorski. I really wanted to see him get a call-up this September. I felt he had earned it, that he could use the innings, and besides, who really needs to see Aaron Harang in a Mets uniform? Of course I had that thought about Dice K originally, but there’s no good in bad-mouthing a pitcher who actually seems to be getting his game back — even if I don’t want him on the team next year.

    Really, is that any way to end a season that has been mostly about gearing up for a future run, when other options did exist?

    One thing that baffles me about Gorski’s 2013 is his Home Runs Allowed this year: TWO home runs allowed in 92 innings! This from a flyball pitcher, too; it is very nearly too large a sample to dismiss, but I sure do not have an explanation, except that Gorski really limited solid contact. I sort of doubt it can continue, but I do believe the man can pitch.

  • DD

    I just read Tom’s submission. Agreed, Montero should get a real chance to start the season with the Mets. Go ahead and pay the dues; let’s see what he has.

  • Todd Entel

    I gotta hope he changed some minds in the Orginization and is put back on the 40 man this offseason. You can’t build on entire rotation of hard throwing right hand pitchers. You need some guys like Gorski to give a different look. He seems to play into Citi Field perfectly as a fly ball pitcher.

  • DD

    I remember watching a thing on the telly back in the mid-1990′s dealing with the Braves. Tom Glavine and Mark Lemke were in a car driving somewhere, talking about baseball of course.

    What I remember was Glavine, paraphrased here: people say that hitting is so hard. Hey, I can hit (Lemke, playing the docile partner, agrees). Try getting major league batters out throwing 84 miles an hour; that’s difficult.

    Glavine could do it, though.

  • B-Met Fan

    I’m pretty sure he did work on his change-up, it just hadn’t yet come around the way he had hoped. The first time I saw him pitch he was firing fastballs at 96-98 mph. I was charting pitches and could pick out his curve but had trouble with a pitch coming in at 89-90 mph. Gorski was charting pitches behind home plate, so I went over and asked him what that pitch was. I was amazed when he told me it was his change-up. The last time I saw him pitch, his last home start, he was throwing that change at 83 and 84 early in the outing. It did move up toward the high 80′s toward the end of his outing, a speed I think he feels is too high. I get the feeling it’s a work in progress that is trailing behind the development of his curveball.

  • B-Met Fan

    I think it’s all about location. He was so locked in during this run in Binghamton this year. Pitch after pitch, especially in the first four or five innings of an outing just carved the lowest allowable edge of the strike zone. His fastball has movement, tail, too. That and the fact that he’s a big guy and the ball has to be arriving on a bit of a downward slant might all be contributing factors.