PORT ST. LUCIE — One rising Mets talent has caught the eye of this week’s guest pitching instructor in camp.
Former Mets ace Al Leiter says he watched Tylor Megill for much of last year from afar and remains intrigued with the right-hander’s stuff as his likely sophomore season with the team approaches.
Megill was thrust into the Mets rotation last season because of injuries, but with veterans now ahead of him could be in the bullpen or with Triple-A Syracuse when Opening Day arrives next week.
“I like that Megill is 97 [mph] with a really good changeup and I like guys with depth breaking balls,” Leiter said Tuesday. “I like the look. There’s a look for some people … I get that from him. Not that you are going to be great every time. But to have the presence of ‘This is going to be tough. I am going to do everything I can to make quality pitches and let’s hope it’s favorable. And I also get the fact that if it’s not, OK what did I do wrong.’ ”
Leiter has joined Keith Hernandez, Mike Piazza and Mookie Wilson among former Mets who have participated in camp in some form. David Wright is expected later this week.
In recent years Leiter had been in camp in his role as a Mets adviser. That allowed him to develop a relationship with Jacob deGrom, with whom Leiter spent time on this day.
“I use [deGrom] as an example of what it’s supposed to look like for pitching mechanics,” Leiter said. “Whether I am talking to college kids, high school kids, minor league kids, big leaguers, he is the benchmark.
“[DeGrom] is perfect. If you have a kid and you want to have a delivery, it’s Jacob deGrom — not just because he is really good, but the delivery is solid.”
Leiter said he spoke with Max Scherzer and could feel a connection with the demonstrative right-hander: during his own career Leiter often stomped behind the mound between batters and had much nervous energy.
“[Scherzer] gets me and I get him,” Leiter said. “I relate more to that and he’s made it work better than I did, but as we often say as pitchers, there is a guy in the box who is trying to take food off your table. It’s like the whole mentality of me against you and [Scherzer] has the look and the presence of something I always liked.”