SEATTLE — Prospects in sports often receive unfair comparisons, which can lead to disappointment when expectations are not met.
Here is one example: Mike Vasil is a bit like Tom Brady.
Vasil, a top Mets prospect and a native of Boston, showed up at the All-Star Futures Game on Saturday with cleats that featured a design modeled after the home run apple at Citi Field.
Underneath the apple was Vasil’s draft position as an eighth-round pick and 232nd overall, which recalls Brady’s obsession with being chosen 199th overall in the 2000 NFL Draft.
Vasil might have been a first-round pick coming out of high school before an arm injury knocked down his stock.
He ended up playing at Virginia and slipped to the eighth round in 2021.
“You see things about like, ‘Oh, could have been this.’ ‘Could have been that out of high school,’ ” Vasil, who was the Mets’ lone representative at the Futures Game, said before he faced two batters — walking one and striking out one — in the National League’s 5-0 win. “But for me, I would just say I’m an eighth-round pick, just here, Futures Game, moving my way through the system.”
A pitcher who fell out of the draft out of high school and fell in the draft out of college has improved his value playing in the Mets’ organization.
The righty began this season with Double-A Binghamton and posted a 3.71 ERA in 10 starts.
The organization has needed rotation options, so the Mets promoted Vasil to Triple-A Syracuse in mid-June, though he has struggled in four starts at the higher level.
The 23-year-old said he was not concerned and has been “getting used to some new, better hitters.”
Vasil, whom MLB Pipeline considers the club’s No. 8 prospect, described himself as a player who will do whatever it takes to help the team win.
Saturday, he walked Yankees prospect Spencer Jones before striking out Angels prospect Kyren Paris on three pitches.
“I love to win,” Vasil said. “One thing about me is whether it’s six innings, four runs, and that’s what the job calls for or seven innings, shutout. You gotta do your job.”
Vasil has a four-seamer that can enter the mid-90s — it topped out at 95.9 mph Saturday — a slower slider, a sharp curveball and a changeup.
He also has a personality that remembers perceived slights.
“I am who I am,” Vasil said. “I identify as the eighth-round pick in the ’21 draft class. I’m just working hard to not necessarily prove it to others, but prove it to myself that I know how good I can be and ultimately try to get to Citi Field and pitch in the big leagues.”
How good can he be?
“Personally, I think I can be pretty good,” Vasil said.
Clayton Beeter, whom the Yankees received from the Dodgers last year in the Joey Gallo trade, recorded two outs, including a strikeout, without allowing a baserunner in the sixth inning.
The righty had a strong first half in which he was promoted from Double-A Somerset to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The 24-year-old is being developed as a starter and said he is hoping to be more known for more than being part of a trade.
“I’m very competitive,” said Beeter, who has a 2.64 ERA in 14 minor league starts this year. “I feel like when I go out there, I’m all-in on winning the game and just trying to dominate.
“I know every time when my name gets mentioned, so does Joey Gallo’s. It’s cool, but at the same time, I want people to know who I am, too.”
The National League starting lineup included two former Mets prospects: Pete Crow-Armstrong, who was sent to the Cubs for Javier Baez, and Endy Rodriguez, who was a little-known catching prospect when the Mets flipped him to Pittsburgh for Joey Lucchesi in January 2021.
Rodriguez, now 23, has become one of the best catching prospects in the game.
“They gave me the opportunity to play in pro baseball,” Rodriguez, who went 0-for-1 with two walks, said of the Mets. “I think part of who I am now [is because of the Mets]. They put in a lot of effort and time to me.”