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