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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Scott Kazmir

By Schuyler Dombroske

DOB: 1/24/84, Age: 18, Height: 6’0’’, Weight: 184, Bats: L, Throws: L. Acquired: Mets - Drafted in the 1st Round of the 2002 Draft (Cypress Falls HS, TX). 2001 Stats: High School. 2001 Stats: (S-Season A - Brooklyn) 0-1, 0.50 ERA, 18 IP, 5 H, 0 HR, 7 BB, 34 K.
   Scott Kazmir is an electric-armed southpaw that the Mets selected with the fifteenth pick in this summer’s amateur draft. He slid that far because of the predictable signability issues, but after graciously accepting a few million clams ($2.15M) from the Mets, he proceeded to set the NY-Penn League on its ear for the last month of the season. Success is no stranger to Kazmir, who threw four (!?!) no-hitters as a high school junior and allowed 38 baserunners against 172 strikeouts as a senior, and from the early returns, that won’t be the end of the ridiculous numbers that he will post. Kazmir, who is a bit undersized, throws like a giant, sitting between 93 and 97 with his fastball. He also has an excellent slider that he uses as a strikeout pitch, a curveball that is above average already, and a changeup that appears to be developing nicely. His control is decent: not a strength just yet, but much better than you would expect from a young flamethrower. His mechanics are very solid as well, with a fairly effortless delivery. His fielding is not going to be a strength, as he falls off the mound a bit toward third, but I think that’s looking too hard for a flaw. Frankly, the numbers speak for themselves, because with this kid, health (both mental and physical) will be his only stumbling block on the road to the majors. He is the best high school pitching prospect to come along since (gasp) Rick Ankiel.
    The Mets are a franchise in disarray right now, with their “go for it now” philosophy resulting in one NL crown and a roster full of players that won’t be worth having in a few years. After trading away a number of high-quality prospects in the past twelve months, they have one decent hitting prospect (Reyes), one or two pitching prospects (Heilman and Strange), and a whole bunch of guys that probably will not help them in the future. In Kazmir, however, they may have a jewel. He is as polished a high school pitcher that has come into the professional ranks since Ankiel, which of course causes everyone’s hair to stand on end. The odds are that no one knows why Rick Ankiel has not fulfilled his potential to this point, so no one can guess what attributes a player might have that would make him susceptible to inexplicable failure, be it temporary or permanent. Ankiel aside, Kazmir is as likely to succeed as any high school pitcher ever could be. He reminds me of Ankiel, and he also reminds me of Billy Wagner. He could end up like either one (to this point in their respective careers), or better. I expect him to be the ace of the Mets’ rotation by 2006.


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