Acquired by the Mets along with Gerson Bautista and Stephen Nogosek in the Addison Reed trade, right-hander Jamie Callahan was unimpressive in his first few years in the Boston Red Sox minor league system. After he was transitioned into a reliever full-time in 2016, his career turned around, as he was able to maximize his strengths and hide his weaknesses.
In 2017, he was even better, spending time pitching with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs, the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox, and the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s. The right-hander posted a 2.94 ERA in 52.0 innings split between the three teams, allowing 48 hits, walking 17, and striking out 66. At the end of the year, Callahan even got a brief cup of coffee with the Mets, making 9 appearances with the major league club.
Callahan’s primary strength is his fastball, which sits in the mid-90s. Thanks to his overhand delivery, the pitch jumps on hitters with late, downward life. He complements his fastball with a splitter and a cutter. The former sits in the mid-80s and has flashed plus thanks to its late dive, while the latter sits in the mid-to-high 80s and is more of an average pitch, with short, horizontal movement. His mechanics generally have been stiff and jerky over the course of his career, leading to control issues throughout the course of his career, as both a starter and a reliever.
The right-hander is on the cusp of being able to contribute at the major league level and has high enough upside to make an impact as a middle reliever or better. With a strong showing in spring training, the right-hander might be able to make the club outright, but even if he does not, there is no doubt that Callahan will throw major league innings in 2018.