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MLB Rookie Profile: Chasen Bradford, RHP, New York Mets

Ground ball machine Chasen Bradford could be useful in the Mets bullpen.

MLB: New York Mets at San Francisco Giants Andrew Villa-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday June 25th, New York Mets rookie relief pitcher Chasen Bradford made his major league debut, contributing a scoreless inning of relief work against the San Francisco Giants. Here’s a quick profile on what he offers for the future.

Chasen Bradford pitched four seasons of college baseball: two at the Junior College of Southern Nevada and two at the University of Central Florida. He posted a 5.30 ERA in 53 innings as a senior in 2011 but the Mets liked him and selected him in the 35th round.

He’s had a solid career as a strike-throwing bullpen option ever since, moving gradually but steadily up the system. He reached Triple-A in 2014 and has posted a career 4.22 ERA in 207 innings at that level. That may not seem too hot, but he’s spent his entire Triple-A career in the Pacific Coast League with Las Vegas, where pitchers go to die, and a sharp 166/33 is perhaps more indicative of his potential.

Bradford is listed at 6-1, 225, a right-handed hitter and thrower born August 5th, 1989. His key pitch is a sinking fastball, 89-92 MPH but with heavy movement down in the zone. He’ll mix in a low-to-mid-80s breaking ball, throws strikes, and hammers the lower part of the strike zone. He’s always posted strong ground ball rates (2.14 GO/AO in 2017, 1.71 for his career) and avoids excessive walks but needs a good infield defense behind him and can be vulnerable to poor BABIP luck.

Bradford’s platoon splits are rather sharp and ultimately he likely fits best as a ROOGY, coming into the game to coax a ground ball from a right-handed hitter.