Wednesday, September 20, 2006

2007 Sleeper Candidate

posted by Jon Williams
Heath Bell
Norfolk closer Heath Bell pumps his fist after striking out the last three batters to end the game against Columbus. Bell’s finished all 25 games in which he’s appeared for the Tides. VICKI CRONIS/THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT


Heath Bell is the closer of the Norfolk Tides. The Mets should be using him as a key part of their bullpen judging by his Triple-A numbers. Given an extended chance as the Red Sox have with Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarmen I could see Bell being every bit as successful and more.

2006 Norfolk Tides 26.2IP 19H 4R 2ER 4BB 40K 4WP 2wins 2loses 9saves 0.67era 0.86whip as of 08/08/06

From the Virginian Pilot:

As he has become accustomed to doing, Heath Bell struck out the side in the ninth inning, and he's finished all 25 games in which he's appeared for the Tides. Bell, who picked up the win in Saturday's game, struck out Stotts, Danny Garcia and Kevin Thompson. All three went down swinging. It was Bell's 10th save and he has 47 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings. Bell hit 96 mph on four of the 14 pitches he threw.

Background:

He was selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 69th round of the 1997 amateur draft but did not begin his professional career until 1998 when he signed with the Mets as an undrafted free agent.

Bell has spent his entire career in the Mets organization. He made is major league debut on August 24, 2004 pitching two scoreless innings with three strikeouts against the San Diego Padres. He is currently on the Mets' 40 man roster.

Generally a power pitcher, Bell has averaged nearly a full strikeout per inning but also proved to be hittable in his 2005 sophomore season allowing 10.8 hits per nine innings and a very high 5.59 earned run average.

Bell is married with three children and resides in Port St. Lucie, Florida
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