No. 5 prospect Scott joins Mets on eve of MLB debut

May 3rd, 2024

ST. PETERSBURG -- Right-hander Christian Scott, the Mets’ top pitching prospect, will make his Major League debut on Saturday night, and manager Carlos Mendoza says that will make it a lot more than just another game.

“It’s obviously a big deal for the organization,’’ Mendoza said before Friday night’s series opener against the Rays at Tropicana Field. “Not only for Christian, but for the scouting group, the player development [staff]. … There are a lot of people who put a lot of hands on the development of this kid, which is a credit to a lot of people.

“I told him, ‘Just go out there and be yourself. Don’t try to do too much. Keep doing what you’re doing.’’’

It’s also a very big deal for Scott’s family and friends.

Scott, who pitched at the University of Florida, is from the South Florida community of Coconut Creek, about a four-hour drive from the Trop.

“I’ve got a lot of people coming … let’s say around 50,’’ said Scott, the organization’s No. 5 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. “My dad is taking care of [getting tickets], so that definitely helps out for sure. A lot of people supported me and sacrificed a lot for me to be here. So to be able to do this for them, it’s awesome.’’

Scott, a fifth-round Draft pick in 2021, was 3-0 with a 3.20 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings at Triple-A Syracuse. He’s known for throwing a hard slider, but has added a sweeper while transitioning to a four-seam fastball, a pitching assortment that rapidly boosted his status within the organization.

He learned of his promotion on Wednesday, while eating in the lunchroom at the Syracuse complex. Word came of an immediate team meeting.

“I thought that was weird,’’ Scott said. “I walked in and everybody was gathered around. They told me and I was super excited. I got to share [that moment] with all the guys in Triple-A too, which was really nice.

“It means a lot. I’ve worked really hard for this opportunity. I’m really grateful to be here. I just want to go out there and compete at a high level. This has always been my dream. So I’m just trying to put one foot in front of the other, compete every time I get the ball and see what happens after that. You know, just control the controllables.’’

With the Mets in the middle of a treacherous portion of their schedule -- playing 26 games in 27 days -- Scott is a needed addition to the pitching staff, but the long-term plans are not as clear.

Mendoza said that Adrian Houser, whose ERA has ballooned to 8.16, will begin working out of the bullpen.

“[Houser will be in the bullpen] for the next time through, so that could be as early as Monday because he pitched [Thursday], but for sure on Tuesday,’’ Mendoza said. “Then after the off-day [next Thursday], we’ve got another 13 games in a row. That’s when we have to make a decision on whether we go to a six-man rotation or stay with a five-man rotation. We’ll make that decision when we have to make that decision.’’

As for the short term, Scott said he’s relishing the opportunity to make his MLB debut in his native state before a Fox national television audience.

“I’m going to take the ball and pitch until they take it away from me,’’ Scott said. “I’m going to pitch to the best of my ability and control what I can.’’