The New York Mets promoted left-hander Daniel Zamora on Friday after a strong first season at Double-A in the organization.
As the season has gone on, the New York Mets have given plenty of opportunities for young relievers to make an impression on the coaching staff.
Another one got their chance on Friday as left-hander Daniel Zamora got the call-up from Double-A Binghamton. Zamora is a fascinating story as he gone from a 40th Round pick in 2015 to someone that has now pitched in the big leagues.
If Zamora’s name sounds familiar to you, you might remember that the 25-year-old out of Stony Brook University was traded to the Mets from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Josh Smoker deal back in January. Smoker was designated for assignment by the Pirates in late July and was later claimed by the Detroit Tigers.
Zamora made his big league debut on Friday night in Philadelphia and threw pretty well. Over 1.1 scoreless innings, he struck out two batters (Cesar Hernandez and Nick Williams), walked one (Rhys Hoskins), and got Asdrubal Cabrera to hit into a double play.
As for Zamora, he has a high ERA for a reliever (3.48 ERA in 40 games). Despite the high ERA, the strikeouts have been plentiful for him this season. Over the course of 51.2 innings, he had 69 strikeouts to just 16 walks and the Eastern League All-Star held opponents to a .197 batting average.
When he is not striking hitters out, teams have put the ball more in the air against Zamora this year compared to a season ago when he was Double-A Altoona with the Pirates. According to FanGraphs, his flyball rate was at 25 percent last year and it is now at 35.3 percent this year.
In an interview with Rob Piersall of MetsMerized from last month, Zamora talked about how he would describe his pitches and mentioned how the changeup is a pitch that he was trying to work on this year:
“The biggest thing is that I throw strikes. I have a good slider and can throw it whenever I want, a fastball I can throw whenever I want. I have a changeup developing right now and I just mainly throw strikes and try to go after guys.”
Zamora is not going to blow hitters away with his fastball, but he comes to the Mets after having a 1.59 ERA in six outings this month with the Rumble Ponies (.111 opponents batting average). It is a big jump to go from Double-A to the big leagues, but he has earned the opportunity for sure.
The question now is what happens with Jerry Blevins the next two weeks in terms of the waiver trade deadline. It has been a rough season for Blevins, but the 34-year-old has not allowed run in the six innings he has thrown this month. With teams looking for left-handed bullpen arms, don’t be surprised if the veteran gets traded since he is a free agent at the end of the year.
For the rest of the season, the theme for the New York Mets is to see which young players can help their team in the future. For Zamora, this is his opportunity to make a name for himself in the big leagues.
Regardless of how his career ends up, it is a success for the 40th round pick just to put on a big league uniform.