Friday, August 26, 2005

Pitching Prospects of The Past - Dillon, Bearnarth, and Gardner

Steve Dillon was a little lefthander drafted out of the Yankee organization who never accomplished much on either the Major or Minor League level. He was with the Mets as a drafted player who had to stay up or be sent back to his original team. I can't say I remember him pitching in any games, although he undoubtedly did.

Larry Bearnarth was a relatively high-profile signee out of St. John's. A big, solidly built righthander who didn't have overwhelming stuff, but who was almost ready for the majors when he signed. If I recall correctly, the Mets sent him to AAA where he had a record of something like 2-13 and a high ERA. Seemed like he wasn't ready, but he quickly became the "ace" of the Mets bullpen over the next three years. Whether Bearnarth would have even reached the big leagues for a cup of coffee weith another organization is questionable. But as early Mets prospects go, he was one of the more successful ones.

Richard "Rob" Gardner was a lefty drafted out of the Twins organization who got a shot at both starting and relieving for the Mets in 1965 and 1966. He had some great games, but they were few and far between. He was traded away to the Cubs for the more experienced lefty, Bob Hendley, who had some bright moments for the Mets. Interestingly, Gardner eventually wound up with the Yankees and had a good season for them in 1972, but then faded.

Next, a look at some early Mets' hitting prospects who didn't quite live up to their hype like Danny Napoleon and Greg Goossen.


Blogger Jodyrego said...

Today, as I wake up I feel more excited about the Mets than any time since about 2000...Nice young players like Reyes, Wright, Jacobs (nice swing) and Diaz (hopefully will improve in the OF)...6 starting pitchers, a bull pen less overworked...Hopefully Carlos Beltran will show some signs of life...Castro is getting clutch hits and throwing out runners and the team has responded to Willie Randolph.

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Scott said...

Regarding Bob Hendley--he gets a lot of attention on Jane Leavy's book about Sandy Koufax, since the book is structured around Koufax's perfect game against the Cubs, in which Hendley was the Cubs starter and pitched a one-hitter. Hendley says in the book that he was a physical wreck by the time he got to the Mets.

11:37 AM  

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