Mets Acquire Chris Bassitt For Pair Of Pitching Prospects
The Mets continued their aggressive building in year two under owner Steve Cohen, acquiring all-star righthander Chris Bassitt from the Athletics for a pair of pitching prospects in righthanders J.T. Ginn and Adam Oller.
Ginn was the Mets No. 6 prospect and becomes the eighth first-or second-round pick since 2016 that the Mets have traded. Oller, a minor league Rule 5 draft pick, had a breakout season split between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Syracuse and was the Mets No. 20 prospect.
Chris Bassitt, RHP
Bassitt has quietly been one of the better starters in the American League the last three seasons, including going 12-4, 3.15 last year and finishing 10th in AL Cy Young Award voting. That despite a scary August incident in which he got hit in the head by a 100 mph line drive off the bat of Brian Goodwin and needed surgery to repair a facial fracture. He remarkably returned to the mound a month later and made two starts at the end of the season. Bassitt lacks the power of other frontline starters, but his advanced control and deep arsenal of pitches allow him to keep hitters off balance. He mixes both four-seam and two-seam fastballs, a slider, cutter, curveball and changeup, all of which play at least above-average to give him one of the deepest arsenals in the majors. A reliable mid-rotation option, Bassitt should slot in behind aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer and provide consistent, efficient outings.
Adam Oller Vaults Into Mets' Plans
The minor league Rule 5 pick commands three pitches and stands poised to contribute to the Mets' big league pitching staff in 2022.
J.T. Ginn, RHP
A former standout at Mississippi State, Ginn suffered an elbow injury in 2020 and had Tommy John surgery just days before the college season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Mets still drafted him in the second round and gave him an above-slot $2.9 million bonus. Ginn returned to the mound last season with 18 starts across the Class A levels and went 5-5, 3.03 with 81 strikeouts and 22 walks in 92 innings while holding opponents to a .220 batting average. Ginn shows advanced feel for the strike zone with a three-pitch mix and keeps the ball on the ground. His arsenal is led by a low-90s sinking fastball with heavy arm-side run that generates ground balls at an exceptionally high rate, and he pairs that sinker with a tight, mid-80s slider that he locates well to make it an effective pitch despite its below-average spin rate. He also mixes in a firm changeup, but it lags behind his other two offerings. Ginn's sinker-slider mix and plus control give him a chance to be a No. 3 or 4 starter as long as he stays healthy and continues to develop his changeup. He should see Double-A Midland at some point during the 2022 season.
Adam Oller, RHP
A late-bloomer, Oller went from non-prospect in 2019 to likely major leaguer by the end of 2021. He went 9-4, 3.45 with 138 strikeouts and 47 walks in 120 innings, all career-bests despite being at the minors' highest levels. Armed with a four-pitch mix, Oller saw a 2 mph jump on his fastball and improved the pitch’s shape in his breakout campaign. He additionally ditched his curveball and added a cutter, a pitch that became one of his primary secondaries. His slider is a unique pitch, as it has well below-average spin—with average raw spin rates below 2,000 rpm—but two-plane break and above-average velocity. These elements allow his slider to play as his best swing-and-miss and go-to out pitch. His cutter sits 88-92 mph with a more vertical spin-axis than his fastball. His changeup is his go-to secondary versus lefthanded batters and is an effective pitch despite it being his fourth offering. Oller's reconstruction of his arsenal gives him a well-rounded mix he locates with average control. He has a chance to be a back-end starter or swingman as soon as this season.