Thoughts on Yusmeiro Petit
I get a lot of questions about this guy. Mets fans want me to tell them that Petit will be excellent, helping make up for the sting of trading Scott Kazmir. Mets haters want me to tell them that Petit is overrated and will get hammered in the majors.
I just wrote up Petit for the 2006 Baseball Prospect Book last night, so he is fresh in my mind. Statistically, he puts up strong K/BB and K/IP ratios. His fastball has picked up some velocity and is now in the low 90s consistently, which helps make his breaking ball and changeup more effective. Eastern League observers I have communicated with say his overall stuff is average, slightly above average on good days, but he mixes it extremely well and hits his spots. He also has a deceptive delivery that makes it hard for hitters to get a good read on him.
He pitched brilliantly in Double-A, but was hit hard in three Triple-A starts for Norfolk. I think he'll need at least a half-season in Triple-A before being ready for the majors.
Many of these "pitchability" guys turn out to be disappointing, and I can understand why some scouts retain skepticism about him. Pettit is also a fly ball pitcher, and he could face the same kind of adjustment problems that Zach Greinke faced this year, given that his margin of error is thinner than it is for a guy with stronger pure stuff.
However, given Petit's exceptional command, his young age (just 21), and his track record to date, he still has to be rated among the better prospects in the game. He still looks like a Grade B+ guy to me, but if the Mets rush him, there's a good chance he will struggle initially.