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Mets Chasen Bradford Solid In Relief In Winter Ball
- Updated: January 10, 2017
In an off-season that saw the New York Mets sign Yoenis Cespedes, trade away RHP Logan Verrett to the Baltimore Orioles, and the excitement of the Mets starting pitchers gearing up for a return to dominance in 2017 gripping the city, the solid performance of Triple-A reliever Chasen Bradford in winter ball has gone under the radar.
Actually he has been under the radar since 2015, even though he has pitched well enough in his time in the Mets system, garnering at least an opportunity to earn a call up to the big club.
Signed in 2011 in the 35th round of the MLB June draft, Bradford has moved up quickly through the Mets system, only to be overlooked for a promotion to the majors the past three seasons, while pitching for the Las Vegas 51s, the Mets Triple-A affiliate. He has been a serviceable reliever proving that he can get the big hitters out when counted on, while also filling in as a closer when needed. In 2016, he finished 5-3, walking just 13 batters, while earning 54 strikeouts in 65.2 IP, along with 5 saves.
But once again a September came and went and Bradford was overlooked by the big club, so after the season ended, he chose to take his arm to the Caribbean and see how well he would perform in the talented league. After being accepted to play for the Gigantes de Carolina, in the Puerto Rican Winter League, he went out to prove that he still has what it takes to become a Major League pitcher.
In 15 games in Puerto Rico, the Las Vegas native, was 1-1, with a 1.83 ERA, earning six saves, and striking out 22 batters in 19.2 IP.
After a slow start he picked it up right away earning back to back saves on November 9th and 10th, while tossing three innings, allowing three hits, and striking out three batters. Then in his next four relief appearances, he pitched 5.1 scoreless innings, striking out 11 batters.
On December 4th, he earned his first victory, giving up just one run in two innings, then in his next five appearances, he was lights out, tossing 5.2 innings, allowing just three hits, no walks, and striking out five. Bradford has a killer slider that just drops off the table, to go along with his fastball that topped 97, while in Winter ball. A great one-two punch for any reliever.
After a holiday break, Bradford returned to Puerto Rico to help his team in the league playoffs. Currently in the postseason, he has tossed three scoreless innings, allowed two hits, hasn’t walked anyone, with four strikeouts and a save. The Gigantes of Carolina trail the Cangrejeros de Santurce 3-1 in a best of seven game series.
Game 5 will be played on Tuesday night.
Bradford is a humble young man with great knowledge of the game and over the past few years he has truly grown as he waits for the opportunity for the Mets to finally make the call and reward him with his major league debut.
I feel this is the year that the call should come and after the way he has performed in Winter Ball, the Mets answers for a relief pitcher to get the big outs, is right in their own organization.
Bradford deserves the opportunity to show the Mets fans that he is ready to make an impact on the big club. The 2017 season will be the time to finally #CallUpChasen
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