All the buzz from Mets minor league pitchers has come from Bryan Harvey and Zack Wheeler. Harvey has already impressed since being called up to the Mets and Wheeler was recently promoted to Triple-A.
Not much has been said about Collin McHugh, but he was the story this afternoon. He made his major league debut against the Rockies and dazzled.
The 25-year old righthander left to a standing ovation in the seventh inning as he struck out Willin Rosario to retire the side in order. Ronny Cedeno pinch hit for him to start the bottom of the inning and the Mets didn't score leaving him with a no-decision.
McHugh pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing two hits, one walk and struck out nine. He threw 100 pitches, 63 for strikes. The last Mets pitcher to throw seven scoreless innings in his Mets debut was Masato Yoshii on April 5, 1998 against the Pirates. Harvey struck out 11 in his major league debut this season and the nine strikeouts by McHugh are the second most for a Mets' pitcher making their MLB debut.
The first batter McHugh faced was Charlie Blackmon and he hit an opposite field double to leftfield. After a sacrifice bunt, McHugh got two strikeouts. He retired 16 of the final 17.
The scouting reports said McHugh has a good curveball and it was on display. In the fifth inning against Chris Nelson, McHugh threw one that was headed towards Nelson’s body and then broke over the plate to freeze Nelson for a strikeout.
McHugh was the Mets’ 18th-round pick in 2008. He made 12 starts for Triple-A Buffalo and went 2-4 with a 3.39 ERA with an 8.7 K/9 and held hitters to a .218 average.
McHugh began the season with Double-A Binghamton and went 5-5 with a 2.41 ERA in 12 starts. In 74 2/3 innings, he struck out 65.