With the success that the New York Mets are having with their young pitching, what can the Arizona Diamondbacks learn from them?
The New York Mets have captured the attention of baseball with their vast amount of young pitching. It has helped lead the team to the World Series and suddenly the Mets have one of the brightest futures in baseball, with their starting rotation and the depth they have in the Minor Leagues.
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Another team with promising young pitching is the Arizona Diamondbacks. With names like Aaron Blair, Braden Shipley, Archie Bradley, an All-Star in Patrick Corbin and many other arms in the system, the Arizona Diamondbacks are hoping they can experience similar success to what the Mets are having.
The team has made it a priority under the new regime to keep their young pitching, albeit except the Touki Toussaint trade with Atlanta, which was about saving money for free agency and opening up spending room. Still, the Diamondbacks are making youth a priority in the rotation.
With the Mets having such an incredible amount of success with their young pitching, it should serve as an example to the Diamondbacks to hold own fresh arms. What are some other lessons the Diamondbacks can take away from the success of the Mets’ young pitching?
The first and perhaps only lesson is don’t trade any young pitcher away. After the organization said goodbye to Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs, can you imagine if Braden Shipley was dealt for Aroldis Chapman as was rumored? Unless you are getting a difference-making player, the lesson learned from watching the Mets is be patient with your young starting pitchers. The D-backs have three such players in Shipley, Archie Bradley and Aaron Blair. Each of them should be kept under all circumstances unless they are part of a package that brings back a Clayton Kershaw or a Felix Hernandez. In other words, they should remain with the organization.
Granted, the Mets have had an enormous amount of luck, at least for this year, that each of them has been as good as advertised. However, the Snakes will never know that until they are patient with their guys through the inevitable ups and downs of a young starting pitcher. If Shipley, Bradley and Blair are 75% of what we think they should be and paired with Patrick Corbin, then that is still a really good rotation. The D-backs already have a stacked everyday lineup, better than what the Mets have. If the young hurlers can pitch close to what New York runs out there every fifth day, then you have the makings of a perennial contender.
I think there are several key lessons that the D-backs as an organization and more importantly the fan base can learn from tracking what the Mets have done with their young pitching.
The most important lesson in my mind is that developing young pitching and getting them to an elite level where they can have a big impact in the Majors. That takes time. The organization has to patient and the fans want to be patient. That is probably the hardest thing to do.
The D-backs haven’t tasted October baseball since they won the 2011 N.L. West division title, and fans and the front office a like are desperate to get back to the postseason in 2016.
While of course that is always the end goal, the D-backs’ clear weakness is starting pitching, and unless the team is going to spend ridiculous sums of money on a high priced free agent, essentially wiping out the possibility of locking up core players, than the team has to wait for its young arms in the farm system to fully develop: Archie Bradley, Aaron Blair, and Braden Shipley can easily be the D-backs’ version of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard in the next year or two.
The team and the fans need to be patient.
Mets’ G.M. Sandy Alderson was often booed for not speeding up the process, but he didn’t listen, and trusted what his organization was doing. Now the fans are suddenly happy and are calling him a genius. The same thing has happened in Houston where G.M. Jeff Lunhow trusted his slow process much to the demise of fans, but now the team is succeeding again.
Knowing this, I encourage the fans to be patient and when they want everything right now look at the Mets and the Astros. The D-backs will get there sooner than you think.
The Mets’ success in 2015 might be a blessing for the Diamondbacks. Rather than rushing any process, they can look to the success of New York and realize that they can be patient and continue to develop and acquire young arms to help them in the future.