he True Fans Bleed Blue and Orange: Coach: Mets May Have Gotten First-Round Talent in Mulveyh

Friday, August 11, 2006

Coach: Mets May Have Gotten First-Round Talent in Mulvey

Here is my article I wrote about a month and a half ago for NY Baseball Central. Here is the link, but I'll save you the trouble of clicking, and re-post the article here:

Left without a first-round pick, after the signing of Billy Wagner, the Mets ironically found themselves going back to the Philadelphia area for their first pick of this year’s draft, second rounder Kevin Mulvey of Villanova University.

Mulvey, a 6-1, right-handed pitcher, who was taken with the 62nd pick of the draft, was the first of a bushel of pitchers the Mets picked on draft day. But after speaking to his college coach, Joe Godri, despite not being a first-round pick, there’s a lot for Mets’ fans to be excited about. Yes, he’s talented, but he is a excellent person, too, his college coach said.

“His quality of person is impeccable” Godri said of the Parlin, N.J. Native who grew up rooting for both the Mets and the Yankees. “He always plays for the name on the front of his jersey, and never ever for the name on the back. He is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet and is very coachable.”

Nice and coachable only goes so far, though.

Mulvey has a 92-94 mph fastball, with a plus slider that he is not afraid to throw in any count, according to Godri. In fact, Mulvey has better control of his slider than he does of his fastball. Godri said he believes that Mulvey is a power pitcher, with good off speed stuff, a deadly combination.

Not only does Mulvey have good stuff, said Godri, but he has a lightening-quick arm, a smooth delivery, and he has a “tremendous presence [on the mound].” The 21 year old has very good control, too good in fact. Godri said he thinks that Mulvey needs to mix up more balls to go along with his strikes, because he can become too hittable at times, and should become effectively wild more often.

But he’s far from a pushover, Godri explains.

Mulvey “will knock you down if he needs to” Godri said when asked if Mulvey would be willing to protect his hitters. When runners are on base Mulvey has a slide step, described by Godri as “nice,” despite a normally slow delivery. He is a “plus fielder” and “there aren’t many things that Kevin can’t do on a baseball field.” He is a pitcher who can even overpower his opposing hitters. Pitcher is the key word. When asked if Mulvey was a pitcher as opposed to a thrower Godri responded with a resounding “absolutely.”

Godri said he was a little bit surprised that Mulvey dropped to the 62nd pick, because the Indians, Yankees, Cardinals, Phillies, and obviously the Mets all liked Mulvey, he said. Godri said he believes that Brian Slocum, a Cleveland Indians farmhand, and Mulvey are similar pitchers based on talent. Godri would not say which one is a better pitcher, but Slocum has played in the majors and he currently has a 3.82 era through 30.2 innings in the bullpen and the rotation at AAA Buffalo.

Right now Mulvey needs to fill out in his body a bit more, Godri said, and become more “man strong.” Also, his former coach said Mulvey needs to learn how to pitch a complete season in the minor leagues, because a 56 game college schedule with 15-16 starts is different from the 30-35 starts a year that the major leagues demands.

All in all, Godri, currently busy as the assistant Head Coach for the USA National team, seems pretty confident that the Mets got a steal with the 62nd overall pick. To hear his coach speak, it seems Mulvey, who remains unsigned, has all of the tools to become a dependable pitcher in the Major Leagues when it is all said and done. A plus fielder, a great personality, a slider that he can throw in any count, and a New York fan is the makings of the next great star in the Mets minor league system.

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