NEW YORK—He arrived in big league camp midway through the spring, brought over from the minor league side by an injury to lefty reliever Tim Byrdak. He was a 25-year-old who had never pitched above the high Class A Florida State League.
When lefty Josh Edgin left camp on April 1, en route to close for Double-A Binghamton, he left with a message from big league manager Terry Collins.
"I told Josh, we'll see him again," Collins said. "We'll see him real soon."
With a mid-90s fastball and an effective slider, Edgin outclassed the other high-profile prospect pitchers—and he wasn't even officially invited to camp until March 12.
Righthanders Jeurys Familia and Matt Harvey both looked anxious on the mound at times, attempting to spot the ball with precision rather than trusting their arsenals. Edgin displayed none of their apprehension, finishing with 13 strikeouts in 10 scoreless innings, while allowing just three hits and four walks.
He pleased the Mets with his willingness to attack hitters. Edgin's 6-foot-1 frame holds 225 pounds, with ample power generated from his legs.
"He's got a good arm," Collins said. "Durable. Big, strong guy."
After two unsuccessful years at Ohio State, Edgin transferred to tiny Francis Marion (S.C.), a school with a little more than 4,000 students. The Mets tabbed him with a 30th-round selection in 2010, signing the senior quickly and assigning him to the Rookie-level Appalachian League, where he fanned 41 in 32 innings.
Edgin continued to pitch well through 2011, notching more than three times as many strikeouts (76) as walks (23) at two Class A stops. He recorded 27 saves, with a 1.50 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and just two homers allowed in 66 innings.
The top pure relief prospect in the system, Edgin may be racking up saves for Binghamton now, but he could move quickly through the farm system.
"He's got to make some better pitches once in a while," Collins said. "But his stuff is very, very good."
The kind of pitcher he is, and the way he pitches, he'll be back."
• Harvey and Familia will team together in Triple-A Buffalo, while righty Zack Wheeler will begin the season in Double-A.
• Top 2011 pick Brandon Nimmo, an outfielder, will start the year in extended spring training, and he appears destined for short-season Brooklyn in June.