The New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies struck up a little inter-division trade on Friday. The Mets began to dump some of their veterans and in return received a very nice, young piece from the Phillies.
We have acquired RHP Franklyn Kilomé from Philadelphia in exchange for Asdrúbal Cabrera. We have also signed Austin Jackson and designated Matt den Dekker for assignment. #Mets— New York Mets (@Mets) July 27, 2018
So, just who is Franklyn Kilomé?
Kilomé is the 23-year-old right-hander who made a name for himself in the Phillies system. Signed out of the Dominican Republic before the 2014 season, Kilomé climbed the ladder successfully, albeit somewhat raw still at every level. That appeared to catch up to him this season at Double-A. He is tall and lanky, listed at 6’6” and 175, but can light up the radar guns thanks to his leverage.
He is still known for very much the same thing he was when he entered professional ball; a huge fastball. His fastball can hit triple digits, but his secondary offerings are far behind. To be fair, his curveball is much improved and can be used well in a one-two combo with his big-time heat. His changeup still leaves much to be desired, with some wondering if it will ever be a serviceable pitch. That said, it has improved and it’s drop in velocity can certainly serve in deceiving opposing bats.
Kilomé’s biggest enemy has been his command, or lack there of it. This is common amongst young, tall pitchers, but it seems to get worse with Kilomé. Last season he saw his walk rate spike to 3.68-per-nine and he is currently crushing that with a 4.50-per-nne walk rate all while his strikeout rates continue to drop from his breakout 2016 in the South Atlantic League.
Those may sound like a lot of negatives, but there is still plenty to like in Kilomé. John Sickels had him No. 10 in the preseason for many of the reasons stated above:
Age 22, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2013, posted 2.83 ERA with 103/52 K/BB in 127 innings between High-A and Double-A, 121 hits; throws very hard, up to 98, mixing in an inconsistent curveball (which is sometimes very good) and change-up; strikeout rate should be higher given how hard he throws, indicator of need to improve secondaries; might end up in bullpen; high-ceiling no question; ETA 2020
The Mets have a pretty good track record of developing pitchers (keeping them healthy is another story entirely). Kilomé’s fastest path to the big leagues may be in the bullpen, where he can rely on that big fastball and use the plus-curve (most of the time, at least) more effectively as an change of pace.
Kilomé still has work to do. The Phillies have some very nice pitching depth, making him expendable, but the Mets did well to get an intriguing arm with potential for a player that was likely not on the roster next season.