Cameron Planck RHP
Throws/Bats: R/R Ht: 6’4 Wt: 218 Age: 19 (DOB 3/5/98)
When the Mets drafted this tall right handed thrower from the Kentucky prep ranks in the 11th round of the 2016 MLB draft, they knew it would be an uphill battle to sign him. However, when supplemental 1st round pick Anthony Kay’s medical showed partial ligament damage in his throwing elbow, the Mets were to use the savings they garnered in signing Kay to a significantly below-slot deal. The Mets went ahead and gave Cameron Planck an above slot signing bonus of $1,000,001 and his professional career was underway.
Well, kind of. Heading into the 2018 season, Cameron still has not gotten into a professional game. After signing during the summer of 2016, the Mets did not send him out to an affiliate, and chose to let his arm rest after a significant workload during the spring. Planck did participate in extended spring training the following spring of 2017. You can read some great insight about the development process that had begun, as Ernest Dove over at MetsMinors.net posted in a great article.
The fact is, Planck is now a risky pitching project. Although still young, about to turn 20 in a few weeks, Planck now needs to see if he can recoup 100% of the raw velocity he showed prior to last season’s season ending shoulder surgery. Anytime a pitcher needs surgery on the shoulder, caution needs to be heeded.
But Planck still has plenty of time to see what he can become as a pitcher. While he threw in the mid 90’s with his heater in high school, there are many tests for Planck to pass. What kind of velocity will he show pitching every 5th day, as opposed to the 6 day rotations used in high school? What happens to the repertoire if and when Mets instructors continue to smooth out the delivery? Sometimes mechanical changes never take, sometimes they unlock gold. If Planck continues to recover well from his shoulder surgery, it will be fascinating to see, after another invaluable extended-spring down in Port St.Lucie, what kind of pitcher shows up at Kingsport in June 2018.