Quick Looks: Lamet & Mejia

Dinelson Lamet (Padres)

Note: The camera angle was a little off, so my takes on his horizontal breaks may be off also.
The 24-year-old righty throws out of a high 3/4 arm slot. He’s a maximum effort guy and at times falls off to the mound’s first base side.

  • Fastball (4-seam): 95-98 mph and straight. For such a basic pitch, it is not even near the strike zone at times and he threw too many away. I’ve read several souces the pitch breaks late break but I could never see it.

  • Sinker: 92-96 mph with glove side run and small sink. It’s not that much different than his 4-seamer and change to be a difference maker. Overall, it’s just an average pitch but it and doesn’t separate itself enough from the other three pitches. I could see him drop it in the future.
  • Slider: 83-88 mph, Again, the angle is tough, but the pitch seamed to break differently each time but ideally it went down and away. It is his slowest and could play up on hitters swinging early. Here is a nice back door slider which some horizontal and drop.

 

  • Change: 88-91 mph with some release side break. It’s has more break the slower he throws it. He used it almost exclusively against left-handed hitters. With no little drop and not being 10 mph slower than his fastball, I am just not a fan of it. It’s a below average major league change.
  • He was wild at times. He’s always had a high minor league walk rate so the wildness could be here to stay. On the other hand, it was his first major league start so he could have been overthrowing his pitches.

I can see the talent with a fast fastball and above average slider. He still needs to work on his change and control. If he has to tinker with them while in the majors, his results could be erratic. I think he’s ownable in 15-team or deeper leagues but I would be hesitant to start him immediately.

 

Adalberto Mejia (Twins)

The big-boned 23-year-old lefty throws from a 3/4 release point. It’s a fairly straightforward delivery for a left-handed pitcher.

  • Fastball (4-seam): 91-95 mph. Straight with some release-side run and rising action (only 27% GB%). It would be acceptable if he had plus breaking pitches.
  • Fastball (2-seam): 90-94 mph with glove side run and sink. This pitch has potential as a groundball pitch (56%) but has generated no swings-and-missed (2% SwStr%) so far this season.
  • Slider: 80-86 mph and breaks to glove side and down. He hung and few but Kansas City didn’t make him pay. A couple were plus, most weren’t.
  • Change: 82-85 mph and straight. It’s a BP pitch. Publications had the pitch as plus but no way. He’s not fooling anyone with it.
  • Curve: 78-80 mph. He threw it twice and it’s a nice pitch. I’m not sure why he doesn’t use it more.
  • Like Lamet, Mejia throws too many pitches not even near the strike zone. The wildness has led to his high walk rate (5.5 BB/9).

I can’t find a single reason to recommend Mejia at this point. Besides generating a few BABIP reducing flyballs, his fastball is average at best. His change is horrible. His slider could be good if thrown consistently. His curve could be good if thrown at all. At best, his stuff is average. At worse, useless. Unless he makes some majors changes, I don’t see him as any more than a 5th starter/long setup man.





Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won four FSWA Awards including on for his Mining the News series. He's won Tout Wars three times, LABR once, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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Mattabattacola
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Mattabattacola

I keep looking at the change and maybe it’s just that one good pitch, but it looks like it gets a lot of drop (??). The analysis of the others pitches seem on point, I just feel like I’m missing something with that change up.