Legends On Deck

Prospects On Deck: RHP Chasen Bradford – Mets

Chasen Bradford

Bradford delivers a pitch during spring training workouts on Sunday.

When looking at the Mets minor league system, it isn’t hard to notice that they are stacked with real good arms and some talented ball players.  The one thing that comes to mind is where are all these players going to end up, especially with limited open spots at the major league level.  But if examining a ball player that is deserving of that opportunity, I have to consider relief pitcher Chasen Bradford.

Bradford was signed by the Mets in the 35th round of the 2011 MLB June Amateur draft from the University of Central Florida.

In 2011, he started in Kingsport (R) and in 21 games, he posted a 3.51 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 33.1 innings. He was then moved to Savannah (Class A Full season) and in 37 games he was 4-5, with a 2.47 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 51 innings. In 2013, he spent time between St. Lucie (A+) and Binghamton (AA) and combined he was 9-3, with a 2.61 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 69 innings.

The Mets sent Bradford to the Arizona Fall League in 2013, and all he did was post a 2-0 record in ten games, while striking out 10 in 11.2 scoreless innings of work.

In 2014, Bradford remained with Binghamton to start the season and shared the closers role with Cody Satterwhite. In 23 games, Bradford saved 11 games, posting a 1-2 record, with a 2.02 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 26.2 innings.  He was then placed on the clubs Triple-A squad in Las Vegas on June 9th after closer Jeff Walters suffered a torn UCL to his pitching arm which required season ending surgery.

Bradford struggled in his first two outings, but then settled down and did not give up an earned run in 11 straight games. He finished the season appearing in 34 games, posting a 3-2 record, with a 3.52, five saves and 41 strike outs in 46 innings.

Bradford, a Nevada native pitched really well in Las Vegas, even though the ballpark is known for not being pitcher friendly because of the arid conditions making it very difficult to grip the ball.

But how Bradford performed in 2014 with the 51’s, is a good testament to how well he was able to adapt to a new environment and shut down opposing hitters, which is a good sign for any pitcher looking to be successful on the big league level.

The Mets look to have a strong bullpen with Jenrry Mejia, Carlos Torres, Jeurys Familia, Josh Edgin and Bobby Parnell. There could still be at least one spot open for a pitcher like Bradford who has experience in the middle part of the game leading up to the closer.  Also because he showed success closing out games in the minors, he is capable of coming in and shutting the door if needed.

The 25-year old righty, who is in Camp with the Mets, is a solid relief pitcher who has moved through the system each year, and when called upon has gotten the job done.  Triple-A is most likely his destination, unless the Mets realize that he will be best suited to break camp with the club.  But even if Bradford returns to the 51’s to start the season, it won’t be too long before he will force the Mets hands to make the call to bring him up.

The organization has quality arms ready to help the team, and by adding Bradford to the mix, he would be a solid addition to an already strong Mets bullpen.

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