Scottsdale, Arizona —— I teased the possibility of this the other day in a post about the left-handed pitcher, but here we are — back so soon with more on New York Mets southpaw Kyle Regnault from out at the Arizona Fall League. I had the opportunity to catch up with him on camera for an interview before Thursday night’s Scottsdale Scorpions game at home against the Salt River Rafters, and (in ten minutes) we tried to cover the story and the aftermath of Regnault’s remarkable rise to the brink of the big leagues.
Before watching our video interview here, I recommend you read this wonderful piece on the New York Mets pitcher from Betsy Helfand of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. It tells some of the backstory and sets the stage on Kyle Regnault, and his unique path to the Arizona Fall League, and it’s a good starting point for what we jump off on in the video interview.
And once that’s done, here is our chat from Thursday night in Scottsdale:
For more on the New York Mets prospect and his on-field arsenal and stuff, Kyle Regnault threw in Thursday night’s home game for Scottsdale; we’ve got some video of that outing against Salt River:
And still more video of an outing the New York Mets farmhand had last week in Scottsdale, too:
I’ve written up some scouting notes on Kyle Regnault before, and we’ll do so again this winter after AFL ends with a more complete, in-depth scouting report (expect something like this), but just to reiterate now: this guy has a legitimate shot to be a big league contributor in 2018. Maybe he spends most of the year in Triple-A Las Vegas and makes two big league appearances, or maybe he comes out of the bullpen 75 times for the New York Mets as the go-to lefty (most likely it’ll be somewhere in between), but regardless of how it plays out, Regnault is going to be in the big league conversation and his needs to be a name you know going into spring training. There’s some advanced pitchability here with enough life and velocity to reasonably survive, and while his stuff isn’t overpowering, Kyle Regnault has feel for four pitches and the knack for spinning two distinct breaking balls with some ability to miss bats. Especially as a lefty, that’ll keep you employed at a high level.
It’s interesting — we talk about this a bit in the video interview up top, but you can see my assumption that he’s destined for left-handed specialist work may not be completely right. As Regnault points out to me in the clip, his deep arsenal could point the lefty to middle/long-relief work, and the slider/curve combo will help him match up better against both righties and lefties in low-leverage situations, negating some matchup shortcomings. San Diego Padres prospect Jerry Keel, also out here at the AFL in Peoria, told me the other day that whether it’s starting games, long relief, or short relief, he wants to get on a 25-man roster any way he possibly can; I have a feeling, considering Kyle Regnault’s long road to this point, that the New York Mets prospect feels the same way. (We’ll have a feature interview with the lefty Keel coming out this weekend, by the way.)
Beyond the baseball, Regnault’s remarkable perseverance and big-picture story is refreshing and fun to cover in an AFL world where everybody’s a prospect with big league talent and a fast-track to The Show. Having seen Kyle Regnault throw now six or seven times this year, too, it’s always nice to finally put a face to a name and — at least for ten minutes — get a little bit of a window into the person behind the uniform. The New York Mets have about five hundred worries heading into 2018 that come before a 28-year-old rookie reliever fighting for a job at the low-leverage end of the bullpen, but developing and now nearly graduating a player like this says something very good for the organization — and something better about the pitcher himself, and the people (like minor league pitching coach Phil Regan) who’ve always had his back along the way.
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