OF Benny Agbayani is a high-fastball hitter with surprising pop. Gets poor jumps on balls in outfield. OF- INF Shawon Dunston has never had a good knowledge of the strike zone. Chases everything. Versatility a plus, but don't want him having to make a big outfield play. OF Melvin Mora has a Grade A arm and runs the bases very well. INF-OF Matt Franco is a dead fastball guy. He can be jammed. C Todd Pratt is an adequate backup with a sometimes dangerous bat. A fastball hitter who swings wildly. OF Bobby Bonilla had power but has nothing left.
Al Leiter, LHP
A great cut fastball that hovers in the low 90s, with an above-average curveball. Throws a decent slider. Doesn't throw as hard as he used to, but when he's on, he has good command. Go deep in the count, make him throw a close fastball, then jump on it.
Kenny Rogers, LHP
Deceptive and smart. Pitches below hitting speed, staying 83 to 85 on fastballs while hitters expect 90 or 91. Throws fastballs to lefthanders, changeups and curves to righthanders. Has a big slow curve that, if flat, is hittable. Changeup looks almost like a screwball. Great glove.
Masato Yoshii, RHP
Best pitch is a split-fingered fastball (84 to 86 mph) that looks like a normal heater but has more downward movement and less velocity. Complements that pitch with an average slider and changeup. Sometimes slips and leaves ball up.
Rick Reed, RHP
Best pitch is his curveball, which is 76 to 78 mph and goes from high to low. Also throws an 88-to 91-mph fastball. Doesn't have great stuff, but above-average control makes him tough.
RH Orel Hershiser doesn't have a good fastball anymore, so if his sinker isn't moving, he's in trouble. Still a battler, though. RH Pat Mahomes has a good curveball with a bite at the end and a low-90s fastball that tails. Spots pitches well and eats up innings. LH Dennis Cook is strictly a situational guy, but his two-and four-seam fastballs make him tough on lefthanders. RH Octavio Dotel has a mid-90s fastball and a big curve. With one more pitch, will be an above-average starter. LH John Franco uses the straight fastball (88 to 91 mph) as a show pitch, then throws a cutter that runs in on lefthanders, setting up one of the game's best changeups. RH Turk Wendell will challenge you with a fastball, then fool you with a slider. RH closer Armando Benitez throws a fastball in the mid-90s and a hard slider with a tilt. Can be rattled; location still a problem.
HOW TO BEAT THEM
The Braves' pitchers have to keep Henderson off the bases, pitch around Piazza and avoid making mistakes against Ventura and Alfonzo. New York won't be intimidated by Atlanta's starters. Save Mora, the Mets' outfielders all have below-average arms, so take the extra base at every opportunity.