All aboard the Niese train

The New York Mets are hot. Like, really hot. The Mets are 14-9 after winning eight in a row and nine of ten. While much attention has been paid to Mike Pelfrey and his 0.69 ERA, the real young pitcher to get excited about is Jon Niese.

Ranked as the fifth best prospect in the Mets farm system by fangraphs during the off-season, Niese has gotten off to a solid start in the majors. Over five starts and twenty-nine innings, Niese has a 3.10 ERA, 3.26 FIP, 3.53 tERA, and 4.27 xFIP. On top of that, his periphs include a 7.76 K/9, 3.72 BB/9, 0.31 HR/9, and 47.3 GB%.

Not too shabby. His K rate and walk rate are right around his career minor league numbers and he does not give up home runs. The only concern with Niese so far has been a relatively high BB rate. But with such a SSS, his walk rate is a little skewed. In one start he gave up five walks, or about 42% of his total walks for the season. He won’t be Greg Maddux out there, but his walk rate should improve as he adjusts to the majors.

Last night against the Phillies was Niese’s best performance of the young season. Against a great lineup, the rookie went seven innings, yielding four hits, one walk, one run, and striking out seven.

Get used to nights such at that one, Mets fans. Entering the season, the rotation was a big question mark. They had Johan and a bunch of ifs. With the emergence of Niese (and Pelfrey) the Mets might have something to say in the NL East.

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