BALTIMORE — The trade deadline helped the Mets infuse the farm system with talent at all levels. Talent evaluators have been generally positive about the haul general manager Billy Eppler got back for David Robertson, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Mark Canha, Tommy Pham, Dominic Leone and even Eduardo Escobar way back in June when the Mets traded him to the Los Angeles Angels for two pitching prospects.
The Mets used their best resource — money — to get better prospect returns at every level from rookie ball to Triple-A. Infielder Luisangel Acuña is the star of the prospect group, but the Mets are content to let him continue his development for a few more years. The first one to be called up might be right-hander Justin Jarvis, the pitcher the Mets received from the Milwaukee Brewers in the trade for Canha.
The 23-year-old finally gives the Mets some much-needed pitching depth at the upper levels of the organization. The club has struggled to develop starting pitching in recent years with left-hander David Peterson and righty Tylor Megill both struggling to stay in the Major Leagues.
Jarvis isn’t a sure thing, but a talent evaluator told the Daily News that he’s a good bet. However, staying there is a different story.
“I’m not confident yet that he stays [in the big leagues],” a source told The News.
Jarvis, who was drafted in the fifth round in 2018 out of high school in North Carolina, throws from a high arm slot, which allows him to pitch at the top of the zone. His fastball, which was clocked as high as the mid-90s this spring, has a ton of ride which makes it extra deceptive. He added a splitter in recent years but it’s his curveball that has been more impressive. It’s a big, looping curve and a scout said he’s very sharp with it.
The curveball/slider mix is above average, but the changeup hasn’t impressed.
Control isn’t too much of an issue but he did give up 19 homers last season, which were tied for the most in the High-A Midwest League last season.
However, durability is a legitimate question. Jarvis is listed at 6-2, 183 pounds, which is a pretty skinny build for a starter. He might need to put on more weight in the future.
Overall, Jarvis has projectable stuff and a deep arsenal but hasn’t quite “wowed” yet. He went 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA in three Triple-A starts before the trade after starting the season 6-4 with a 3.33 ERA in 14 Double-A starts.
Still, Jarvis is part of a group of pitchers that could make their big league debuts as early as 2024 or 2025. Right-hander Mike Vasil was recently promoted to Triple-A. Right-hander Dominic Hamel has had some good games and bad this season in Double-A. Right-handers Coleman Crow and Landon Marceaux, who were acquired in the Escobar trade, round out the group.
With 2024 looked at as a “transition” year, the Mets might have to give some looks to young pitchers in this group. If one or more were to graduate to the Major Leagues, it would show the club is on the right track when it comes to developing starting pitching.