Glendale, Arizona —— Originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays out of Cal State-Bakersfield all the way back in 2010, right-handed pitcher Mickey Jannis hasn’t yet reached the big leagues, but he’s still getting closer and closer after years adjusting to, honing, and perfecting a knuckleball. Originally drafted as a conventional righty, Jannis picked up the knuckleball late in his career as a way to differentiate himself and stick with an organization, and 2017 now marks his third year with the New York Mets and second spent in Double-A Binghamton, where he finished 8-7 with a 3.60 ERA over 21 starts.
Now, Mickey Jannis is also out at the Arizona Fall League for the second time (2015 being his first shot at the AFL), and he’s in good spirits and trying to make the most of the prestigious offseason circuit as he continues to work on the knuckleball. The righty took some time late last week to sit down with Baseball Census on-air host Sande Charles to discuss his unique arsenal, working his way through independent league ball with it, and what’s next for him and the Mets as he finds success in the upper minors.
You can watch all that right here:
While you’re watching, please don’t forget to click here and subscribe to the Baseball Census YouTube channel. We still have several dozen more AFL interviews to film and post as we wrap up our coverage of the season, and all winter long we’ll be posting another thousand-plus prospect videos from all around the minor leagues across 2017.
Speaking of prospect videos, we couldn’t put up a Mickey Jannis story without sharing some of his actual game footage — just so you can watch that knuckleball dance. Below, you’ll find two Mickey Jannis game videos from October 20 and October 27 starts he made for the Scottsdale Scorpions out at the Arizona Fall League late last month:
Entering 2018, the right-hander is conceivably going to get a shot to spend some time in Triple-A with the New York Mets, where we should be covering him quite a bit more out in Las Vegas. Knuckleballers are a bit of a wild card, of course, but if Mickey Jannis keeps throwing strikes and is able to show consistency with the pitch, the 29-year-old could yet contribute to a big league club at some point down the road. What a journey that would be — and not unlike another Mets pitcher out at the AFL this offseason.