FLUSHING, N.Y., January 9, 2020 – The New York Mets today announced that the club has invited the following players to major league spring training as non-roster invitees:
Left-handed pitcher David Peterson, 24, was the Mets’ first-round selection (20th overall) in the 2017 First-Year Player Draft from the University of Oregon. MLB Pipeline ranked him as the Mets’ No. 7 prospect (No. 2 pitcher) in 2019. He made a career-high 24 starts last season and whiffed a career-high 122 hitters for Binghamton (AA). In 49 appearances, all starts, in the minors, he has gone 10-16 with a 3.63 ERA (100 earned runs/247.2 innings).
Left-handed pitcher Kevin Smith, 22, led all Mets minor leaguers with 130 strikeouts during the 2019 campaign en route to being named the Mets’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He made a career-high 23 appearances, all as a starter, posting a 3.15 ERA (41 earned runs/117.0 innings). He averaged 10 strikeouts per 9.0 innings overall as he split his season between St. Lucie (A) and Binghamton (AA).
Right-handed pitcher Matt Blackham, 27, split the 2019 season between Syracuse (AAA) and Binghamton (AA), combining to go 8-2 with six saves, a 2.60 ERA (16 earned runs/55.1 innings) with 28 walks and 70 strikeouts in 40 appearances. The right-handed pitcher owns a 21-9 career record with 16 saves and a 2.38 ERA (56 earned runs/211.1 innings) with 98 walks and 284 strikeouts in 136 appearances. He was selected by the Mets in the 29th round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Middle Tennessee State University.
Right-handed pitcher Ryley Gilliam, 23, was the Mets’ fifth-round pick in the 2018 First-Year Player Draft. In 46 appearances over the last two seasons, all in relief, the 5-10, 170-pounder has racked up 87 strikeouts in just 56.0 innings (14.0 strikeouts per 9.0 innings). He had a 0.96 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 9.1 innings over seven appearances for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League this autumn.
Right-handed pitcher Stephen Nogosek, 24, made his major league debut on June 19 last season and appeared in seven games for the Mets between June 19-July 24. He punched out six batters in 6.2 innings of work at the major league level in addition to posting a combined 1.07 ERA (six earned runs/50.1) in 35 games between Binghamton (AA) and Syracuse (AAA).
Catcher Austin Bossart, 26, was acquired from Philadelphia on July 29 last season in exchange for left-handed pitcher Jason Vargas. He spent the remainder of the 2019 season with Binghamton (AA), where he erased eight of 20 potential base-stealers (40 percent). During his minor league career, Bossart has thrown out 123 of 336 (36.6 percent) of base runners.
Catcher Patrick Mazeika, 26, was named to the mid-season and post-season Eastern League All-Star teams in 2019 for Binghamton (AA). He was tied for second in the Eastern League in RBI (69) and was sixth in homers (16) last year. Mazeika had 25 doubles while slashing .245/.312/.426. He was the Mets’ eighth-round pick in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft.
Outfielder Tim Tebow, 32, enters his fourth season in the Mets’ farm system. He had 25 runs scored, 10 doubles, four homers and 19 RBI in 77 games with Syracuse (AAA) last year.
Additionally, the club has signed outfielders Ryan Cordell and Johneshwy Fargas, infielder Jake Hager, right-handed pitchers Pedro Payano and Francisco Ríos, catcher David Rodríguez and right-handed pitcher Adonis Uceta to minor league contracts and invited all seven to major league Spring Training.
Cordell, 27, has appeared in 116 major league contests over the last two seasons with the White Sox, including 97 games in 2019. With Chicago-AL last season, the outfielder had eight doubles and seven home runs while making 63 starts.
Fargas, 24, was an 11th-round selection by San Francisco in 2013 and was in the Giants organization for the last seven seasons. The right-handed outfielder has topped 40 stolen bases in four of the last five years, including a 50-steal campaign with Richmond (AA) in 2019, good for the third-most by any minor leaguer this past season.
Hager, 26, has been in the Milwaukee minor league system for the past two seasons. In 2019, he slugged a career-high 12 home runs while making starts at first base, second base, third base, shortstop and left field for San Antonio (AAA). He was a first-round selection by Tampa Bay in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
Payano, 25, made his major league debut with Texas last season. In six major league games (four starts), the New York City-born right-hander went 1-2 with a 5.73 ERA (14 earned runs/22.0 innings). He fanned 93 batters in 84.0 innings in the minor leagues last season.
Ríos, 24, was signed by Toronto as a non-drafted free agent on July 20, 2012. He has pitched his entire career in the Blue Jays organization, topping out at Triple-A this past season before spending the majority of the year with the Diablos Rojos of the Mexican League.
Rodríguez, 23, spent the first seven seasons of his professional career in the Tampa Bay Rays organization after signing as a non-drafted free agent on August 5, 2012. He appeared in 78 games for Montgomery (AA) of the Southern League during the 2019 season. The Barcelona, Venezuela native has thrown out 164-of-418 potential base-stealers (39.2 percent) in his minor league career and allowed less than a 50 percent stolen base success rate each season from 2015-2017.
Uceta, 25, has spent his entire professional career in the Mets organization. He posted a 2.18 ERA in 38 games (one start) last season, pitching mostly for Binghamton (AA). He finished the year with Syracuse (AAA), reaching the Triple-A level for the first time in his career. He is currently pitching for Escogido in the Dominican Winter League, where he has allowed just three hits in 8.0 innings with a 3.38 ERA over 10 games.
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