Jeff Walters Needs to Impress This Spring
Considering how the Mets have structured their roster, there is only one positional battle happening in Spring Training. That battle is over the last two spots in the bullpen.
With the Mets having no spots open on the 40 man roster, the players they select may very well have to come from the roster. If they don’t, they will be forced to expose some of their young talented pitching to waivers. One such candidate would be Jeff Walters.
Walters is a very interesting case. He’s 28 years old. In each and every level of the minors he has pitched, he has been old for that level. In 2014, he made a brief appearance in AAA, and he was terrible. Most likely, that was because he was injured. In June 2014, he had Tommy John surgery. He returned a year later, and he was dominant in AA going 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA and a 1.091 WHIP in 17 appearances. He impressed the Mets enough that they added him to the 40 man roster.
The main reason is he has talent. His fastball, although straight, can top 95 MPH. He couples that with a power slider. If nothing else, Walters seems to fit with the Mets organizational philosophy.
At some point, you have to question if Walters is worthy of a spot on the 40 man roster. This season may be that point. It’s early in Spring Training, but there’s something to be said for the fact that he’s made more appearances this Spring than anyone else. Long story, short, he’s going to get a good hard look this Spring. With his stuff, the Mets should give him a good look.
Most likely, he begins the year in AAA. He will get a chance there to impress the Mets to get called up in case anyone is injured or falters in the bullpen. It happens every year, which means if Walters pitches to his ability, he will get a shot this year. When he does get that shot, he has to make the most of it because right now, he’s too old to be a prospect, and the Mets are desperate for 40 man space.
Walters still has time to leave an impact on the Mets coaching staff before they go north. He needs to make the most of it.