9/22/17

Mack – Draft Stuff – Top 10 College Prospects, Travis Swaggerty

4 comments


Good morning.


MLB has gone to print with their current Top 10 College picks in the pcoming June draft. 

They are –

1. Brady Singer, RHP, Florida - For the third straight time, a Gators pitcher will enter the year as the top college prospect and a strong favorite to go No. 1 overall. After playing a major role in Florida's 2017 College World Series championship, Singer once again will look to carve up hitters with a 92-96 mph fastball with nasty life and a slider with which he can alter the depth and speed at will.

2. Shane McClanahan, LHP, South Florida - McClanahan redshirted in his first year with the Bulls while recovering from Tommy John surgery, then came back this spring and maintained a 93-96 mph fastball. He needs to further refine his secondary pitches and command, but he's a lefty with a big arm.

3. Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn - Unlike Singer and McClanahan, who took the summer off, Mize pitched for Team USA -- but got shut down with a tired arm after having the same thing happen during the spring. When healthy, he offers the best combination of stuff (lively 93-96 mph fastball, devastating 83-88 mph splitter) and command of any college pitcher.

4. Nick Madrigal, 2B/SS, Oregon State - Scouts have to get past Madrigal's small stature (5-foot-7, 161 pounds), but they do so pretty easily because he has outstanding instincts in all phases of the game and good tools as well. He is a premium hitter with some gap power and plus speed, and defensively he'll become either a respectable shortstop or a quality second baseman as a pro.

5. Griffin Conine, OF, Duke - The son of former All-Star Jeff Conine, Griffin led the Cape Cod League with nine homers and scouts voted him the top prospect in the prestigious summer circuit. He provides left-handed power to all fields, manages the strike zone well and fits the right-field profile with his pop, athleticism and solid arm.

6. Jeremy Eierman, SS, Missouri State - Jake Burger became the first Bears position player to get picked in the first round this June, and Eierman should become the second next year. His right-handed power is his calling card, and he also has soft hands and a strong arm that could make him a plus defender at third base if he lacks the quickness to remain at shortstop.

7. Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama - Swaggerty reached double figures in homers (11) and steals (19) during the spring before serving as a catalyst atop Team USA's lineup with Madrigal. He is an on-base type with plus speed and flashes of power, and he covers a lot of ground in center field.

8. Seth Beer, 1B, Clemson - Beer is the most polarizing player in the college crop. Scouts who like him point to his 1.157 OPS and 34 homers in two years with the Tigers and say he has the best combination of hitting ability and power in the 2018 Draft. Those who don't note Beer's .631 OPS in two summers with wood bats with Team USA and his lack of athleticism and defensive value.

9. Ryan Rolison, LHP, Mississippi - The Rebels' best starter as a freshman this spring, Rolison continued to shine in the Cape League and is on course to become a first-rounder as a sophomore-eligible. He can miss bats with both his low-90s fastball and his sharp curveball, and he continues to throw more strikes as he gains experience.

10. Logan Gilbert, RHP, Stetson - Another potential frontline starter from the program that produced Corey Kluber and Jacob deGrom. Gilbert rivaled Rolison as the Cape's top pitching prospect after winning Atlantic Conference Pitcher of the Year honors during the spring. He has size (6-foot-6), velocity (93-97 mph) and life on his fastball, plus deception and strike-throwing ability, though he needs to develop the rest of his repertoire after being more of a position player in high school.


BA had their own Top 10 High School players for the draft –

           1 Brice Turang SS Santiago HS, Corona, Calif.
2 Ethan Hankins RHP Forsyth Central HS, Cumming, Ga.
3 Kumar Rocker RHP North Oconee HS, Bogart, Ga.
4 Will Banfield C Brookwood HS, Snellville, Ga.
5 Nander De Sedas SS Montverde (Fla.) Academy
6 Luke Bartnicki LHP Walton HS, Marietta, Ga.
7 Jarred Kelenic OF Waukesha (Wis.)West HS
8 Slade Cecconi RHP Trinity Prep HS, Winter Park, Fla.
9 Mason Denaburg RHP/C Merritt Island (Fla.) HS
10 Carter Stewart RHP Eau Gallie HS, Melbourne, Fla.


Mack's Mets Target - Travis Swaggerty

College stats from Baseball Cube:
2016: .303/.431/.422, 12 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 20 SB, 11 CS, 42 BB, 49 K
2017: .361/.487/.567, 11 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 19 SB, 9 CS, 47 BB, 43 K

MLB Pipeline's Top 10 college prospects for the 2018 Draft:
7. Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama
Swaggerty reached double figures in homers (11) and steals (19) during the spring before serving as a catalyst atop Team USA's lineup with Madrigal. He is an on-base type with plus speed and flashes of power, and he covers a lot of ground in center field.

Baseball America's TOP 10 COLLEGE PROSPECTS FOR 2018:
4 Travis Swaggerty           OF       South Alabama      5-11   180
The twitchy center fielder has the power-speed combo to earn Jacoby Ellsbury comps.

2080 Baseball: THE GRIND: PROSPECT EVALUATIONS FROM A VETERAN SCOUT (USA BASEBALL NOTES, VOL. 2)
Travis Swaggerty, OF, Univ. of South Alabama
Ht/Wt: 5’11”/185 lbs. B/T: L/L Age (as of 2018 MLB Draft): 21y, 9m
Notes: Played both center and left field in viewings; compact, athletic frame with both present strength and room for additional weight and strength gain over course of physical maturation; plus athlete; slight open stance to start, closes with good trigger; quick bat with ability to manipulate the barrel and use the entire field; comfortable will going the other way; good plate discipline, ability to make adjustments; will fight off pitches he can’t handle to get counts in his favor; good pull power with loft and leverage in his swing; projects to plus hit/power guy; arm plays average to above-average with good carry; average glove, steady fielder; plus runner underway with fringe average times out of the box (4.25 seconds home-to-first times).

Videos:
Travis Swaggerty (7-1-2017) vs Chinese Taipei (Cary, NC)

TRAVIS SWAGGERTY, OF, SOUTH ALABAMA

Read more...

Richard Herr - Don’t Wait Until Next Year! It Starts Now - 1

4 comments


I’m throwing aside that old cry of “Wait until next year.” Next year starts right now. 2017 is creaking its way toward the end of the season, but preparations for next year have to begin. There are a couple areas of concern that have to be handled right away so they are in place at the end of the season. The club has to be ready to move forward with the off-season programs in place. Needless to say, this series is going to stretch into the off-season as I consider the whole list of topics, rendering the title of this series obsolete as time goes along.

Now let’s see... Where do I start? What is the most crying, screaming need that this ballclub has that needs to be straightened out  before we go into the off-season?

OWNERSHIP

-----Boy! How about them Dodgers? Are they the envy of the league or aren’t they? Record earnings. Record profits. An on-the-field juggernaut that is plowing through the league. A stunning lineup. An incredible list of starting pitchers. A minor-league system that is just oozing with prospects.

Wasn’t it just a few years ago that the franchise had a lot of problems? The owner was going through an ugly divorce. He was siphoning money out of the club to help make alimony payments. The club was floundering around, directionless, in one of the largest markets in baseball.

So Commissioner Rob Manfred stepped in and forced a sale of the franchise. What was the result? In few short years the club is the envy of the industry.

At that same time, there was another club that was going through a lot of pains. The owners had imprudently sunk a lot of money into a Ponzi scheme headed by a guy named Madoff. They were scrambling around for money, borrowing from various sources including Major League Baseball to keep themselves afloat. A lot of people were calling for the commissioner to take the same action with them as was taken with the Dodgers: force a sale, bring in new blood. The commissioner in that case was Bud Selig, an old friend of the embattled owners. He chose to select a general manager for the club who was known for his close-fisted practices with money.

And he accomplished those goals. He took a payroll that was well over $150 million and got it down to about $50 million. He was so interested in cutting payroll, he let go two all-star infielders and a centerfielder who was given a a long-term contract and started for a World Series team.

But more on the General Manager in a later article in this series.

In the meantime, the owners set stringent budgets on the GM as far as payroll was concerned. This large-market team had payrolls that were restricted to under $100 million. There was a string of sub-.500 seasons as the owners tried to patch their Ponzi-Scheme-induced debt. Their alleged main business was in construction and real estate, but they didn't seem to be very active there. It appeared that they were using the team as a source of cash. (That sounds kind of similar to getting alimony payments out of the club.) The GM resorted to dumpster diving to find players to fill out his roster.

What else happened with the ownership? Son of Wilponzi was appointed COO of the Mets. He promptly went about not returning phone calls from the team's AAA affiliate in Tidewater putting their noses so out of joint that they took the first opportunity available to move their affiliation away from the Mets. That started the team on the death spiral that eventually left the team with Las Vegas, the worst possible AAA franchise for developing young talent.

Additionally, the new COO made snide comments about an employee who was having a child out of wedlock, costing them a large amount of money settling a lawsuit.

The owners built a new ballpark, one that seemed more devoted to the Brooklyn Dodgers than the Mets. They imprudently decided to make the field a large, pitcher-friendly park, because they thought that fans wanted to see tight, well-pitched games. The rest of the league was rushing in the opposite direction, making parks smaller and smaller, encouraging more and more home runs. The Mets hitters became frustrated and disoriented trying to launch the ball out a Grand-Canyon-sized park. The team was finally forced to bring the fences in in a process that took two steps to finally settle on the proper dimension.

There are two other things I've observed with this ownership,which I have no proof on, but I would be willing to bet serious money on (maybe even a whole nickel).

I'm quite certain there was an edict put out by ownership that if a player was making a certain amount of money, (I'd guess about $10 mil a year) they'd better be in the starting lineup rather than sitting on the bench making all that money. It didn't seem to matter how well the guy was playing.

On the second point, I'd like to walk you down memory lane. Remember the original left field home run line in Citi Field? The one that came down the foul pole, ran horizontal for a bit, did a quick loop-d-loop, cha-cha'd a bit deeper, hopped on a quick side trip to Cleveland, came back and finally ran along the top of the left field fence? My assessment of that architectural oddity is that it bears all the signs of someone who said, far too late in the process, "I don't want that."  This would be someone who owns a construction company and therefore should know how to a read an architect's rendering. He forced through a change that made the left-field home run line look like a laboratory maze.

 So what conclusion have I reached about ownership? I think it sucks. They are really no better than Frank McCourt, former Dodger owner. They were forced to take a general manager whose penurious practices put them in a slightly better financial situation. However the team took a nosedive this year and looks primed to continue a downward trend that will carry them through the next 5 or 6 years.

The franchise is bleeding. It is going to get worse. It will be a drain on the league when it should be one of the gems. Please, Mr. Manfred, send these owners packing. 
Read more...

Tom Brennan - MY PROSPECT # 3: DAVID PETERSON

4 comments


I have LHSP David Peterson as my # 3 overall Mets prospect despite his having thrown less than 4 innings last season after being drafted in the first round by the Metsies. 

And the Mets never make first round draft mistakes, as we can all agree.

I like him because he doesn't walk folks, struck out 20 in a single college game, and managed to throw almost 4 innings without getting hurt.  Hey...imagine a Mets pitcher going 4 whole innings without a career-threatening injury - pretty mind-boggling, right?

The Syndergaard-sized (if perhaps less muscled) Peterson had pitched enough in college to make his 2017 short cameo with Brooklyn a sensible approach.

Clearly, 3.2 IP is not enough a sample to draw any real conclusions on, but I read that his strikeout-to-walk ratio led all of Division-I baseball, and he followed his college pedigree by walking just 1 and fanning 6 for the Cyclonics (who often played as a team in 2017 as if they all just had colonics).

Normally, I would not put a lad with so little pro experience so high up the list, but several other would-be competitors for slot # 3 are either just coming back from, or still nursing, serious injuries. 

He throws hard with movement, and has an effective repertoire already, too. I read that Peterson sports a 94-MPH fastball and slider in the mid-80s, and a nice change and curve. Guys like him, with a well-developed repertoire and command, could move up fast.

Like 2016 first rounder righty Justin Dunn, who went straight from Brooklyn to St Lucie for his second year, let's hope Peterson also jumped straight to St Lucie in 2018, and fares far better there than the struggling Dunn did this season.

P.S.  off topic, I read that Sandy Alderson most likely will be back next year, and that Terry Collins is likely to retire.  Time will tell.
Read more...

9/21/17

Mack – Draft Stuff – Early Top 10, Alec Bohm, Greyson Jenista, Jim Callis, Tom's Bats

12 comments


Good morning.


Bless You Boys had an early look at what they think the top ten players will be at draft time. In no particular order –

            SS Brice Turang – compared to Christian Yelich – 6-0, 165

            RHP Brady Singer – returns to being a starter at Univ. of Florida - venomous movement on his fastball

            CF Jarred Kelenic – great arm – 6.57 runner - highest level defensive outfielder, good bat (not great)

            RHP Kumar Rocker – top prep righty -  high-90s fastball and nasty slider

            RHP Ethan Hankins – 6-7 – the ‘other’ top prep righty - fastball that tops out around 96 miles per hour

            OF Joe Gray Jr. - prep outfielder with a plus arm and defense that sits comfortably above average

            OF-1B Seth Beer – probably the best ‘bat’ in the draft, but limited defensive ability in the outfield

            2B Nick Madrigal – small, scappy player –

            C Will Banfield – a rare top 10 prep catcher – significant bat 
            SS Nolan Gorman – most think he will transition to 3B – plus defender – good left handed bat


D1 broke out a feature on two emerging bats out of the Cape Cod League this summer –

Wichita State sluggers Greyson Jenista and Alec Bohm took the Cape by storm, quickly establishing themselves as two of the league’s most exciting players and premier prospects, then maintaining their high-level performance throughout the summer. Jenista hit .310 with three homers in 142 regular-season at-bats for Cotuit to win the league’s MVP award, as voted on by league managers, who were clearly impressed with his all-around game and presence. Bohm’s numbers for Falmouth were even louder: he finished second in the league with a .351 average while compiling five homers, 10 doubles and 28 RBIs in 154 at-bats. 


Jim Callis had his own top 10 picks –

1.     Brice Turang, SS, Santiago HS (Corona, Calif.)
2.      Brady Singer, RHP, Florida
3.      Jarred Kelenic, OF, Waukesha (Wis.) West HS
4.     Kumar Rocker, RHP, North Oconee HS (Bogart, Ga.)
5.      Joe Gray Jr. OF, Hattiesburg (Miss.) HS
6.     Seth Beer, 1B, Clemson
7.     Tristan Casas, 1B/3B, American Heritage HS (Plantation, Fla.)
8.     Luken Baker, 1B, Texas Christian
9.     Konnor Pilkington, LHP, Mississippi State
10. Nick Madrigal, 2B/SS, Oregon State


Tom’s ‘Bats’ –

            So for the sake of finding a bat with a mid-first round pick, we have these factors –

                        Turang and Kelenic will be gone before the Mets pick

                        Madrigal is a true soft hitting second baseman

                        And Beer, Casas, and Baker are projected first basemen

            This leaves –

                       
OF Joe Gray Jr. –

PG Grade: 10 - Joe Gray Jr is a 2018 OF with a 6-3 195 lb. frame from Hattiesburg, MS who attends Hattiesburg HS. Outstanding physical build, very projectable. 6.75 in the sixty, plays much faster on the baseball field. Outstanding range in the outfield, gets quick jumps and runs direct routes, laser arm strength, fields the ball easily and gets rid of it quickly, highest level defensive tools. Right handed hitter, hits from a wide base with a short swing and good extension out front, generates big bat speed and power in batting practice, game swing is less fluid and consistent but the big tools are there with more repetitions. Good student, verbal commitment to Mississippi. Selected for the 2017 Perfect Game All-American Classic.

                       
C Will Banfield

PG Grade: 10 - Will Banfield is a 2018 C/RHP with a 6-0 200 lb. frame from Lawrenceville, GA who attends Brookwood HS. Strong athletic build, pretty mature physically. Highest level physical tools on defense, extremely flexible and athletic in his lower half, strong hands that frame mid-90's like a professional, high energy blocker, outstanding arm strength and release, 1.74 pop inn drills, regularly 1.8's in between innings. Right handed hitter, busy hand load, strong swing with some lift, strong hands, best power at present is to right centerfield, battles at the plate and will make adjustments and find the barrel, lots of power potential. Plays the game hard. Good student, verbal commitment to Vanderbilt. Selected for the 2017 Perfect Game All-American Classic.



Read more...

Tom Brennan - 2017 Draft Report Card: PITCHERS

3 comments


All the games for 2017 in the minors have been played.  
How did the June 2017 draft class fare? 
After all, it is our pipeline.

Not so well. At all.

My last draft-related article the other day focused on hitters - and offensive picks-wise, I generously gave Sandy Alderson a D- on hitters.   Why?  Two reasons: First, they only signed 9 offensive players, and second, the 9 hit anywhere from adequately to poorly.  If you missed that article, I append it after today's topic:
2017 DRAFT PITCHERS
Sandy signed 21 drafted pitchers, compared to just 9 hitters.  You can never have too much pitching, they say.  Well, I also say you can almost never have too much hitting, especially if you are a Mets fan who has seen over the decades far too many Mets teams hit below the league median. 
But today is about the pitchers, and for that batch of signings, I give Sandy a C+.  Maybe stretch it to a B-.  Why?
1) Many guys pitched well, some not so well (most of those being very young guys, so I cut some slack there).
2) I don't see a lot of projectable major leaguers in the bunch.  Hopefully, I am very wrong there, but year in and year out, guys seem to pitch well in relief in rookie ball but many end up hitting headwinds at higher levels.  Of course, a few of these guys who relieved in 2017 will be converted to starters in 2018.  In fairness, 2018 will give a much better read on all of these gentlemen.
1st rounder 6'6" 240 LHP David Peterson was the first of 7 pitchers drafted in the first 10 rounds.  He scarcely pitched because of a lot of college innings, where he fanned 20 in one game, and generally he struck out many and walked few.
In just 3.2 IP in 2017 in Brooklyn, he allowed one run, walked 1, and fanned 6. Hopefully, he will be great and be a 2020 rotation starter for the Mets.
4th rounder RHRP Tony Dibrell had an uneven season in 2017 in Brooklyn, but showed promise.  He ended up 1-1, 5.03 in 19.2 IP, allowing 19 hits (including 4 homers), 8 walks, and a fine 27 Ks.  He got better late in the season. 
6th rounder RHRP Marcel Renteria was shaky - in 9 games, spanning just 11.1 IP, he allowed 15 hits and 7 walks, ending up 1-2, 9.53.  The 17 Ks and 3 good late season outings give some reason for optimism for Marcel.
7th rounder RHRP Conner O'Neil was 1-2, 3.28 in 19 games spanning 24.2 IP, in which he allowed 24 hits, walked 9, and fanned 28.
8th rounder RHRP Trey Cobb was 1-2, 2.63 in 20 games.  In 27.1 IP, 21 hits, 10 walks, and 30 Ks.
9th rounder RHRP Cannon Chadwick was excellent, 1-1, 1.33 in 18 games and 27 IP.  He walked 14 but fanned 40!
10th rounder RHRP Steve Villines also excelled, going 3-2, 1.65, and in 27.1 IP, walked only ONE while fanning 41!!!!
Rather than go strictly in draft order for the remaining 14 pitchers, I will do the ones who did well and then circle back to the rest:
21st rounder LHRP Aaron Ford - his 4.29 ERA was mostly boosted by his 8 runs allowed in 5.2 IP in full season Columbia ball, but overall, he threw 21 innings and fanned 33, so he had a season to be proud of.
22nd rounder RHRP Joshua Payne - the 6'6" 260 hurler threw just 16.1 innings, but walked just 4, fanned 25, and was 0-1, 3.31.
23rd rounder LHRP Jose Sierra must have done it with mirrors, as he allowed no earned runs in his 11.1 IP, but walked a really high 12 and fanned 10.
24th rounder RHP Joe Cavallaro - starting 5 games and relieving in six others, Joe threw 34.2 innings and went 3-1, 2.34 with just 23 hits and 10 walks, but 35 Ks for Kingsport.
27th rounder RHRP Billy Oxford tossed for the K Mets, going 2-1, 3.75, and fanned 29 in 24 IP.
31st rounder RHRP Ryan Selmer for Kinsport had a funny year, with 21 hits, 11 walks and just 8 Ks in 21 IP, but 0-1 and a 2.14 ERA. 
33rd rounder RHRP Mac Lozer was 2-1, 4.30 for Kingsport, but allowed 29 hits and 9 walks in 23 IP, fanning 20.
35th rounder RHRP Kyle Wilson - 1-1, 1.50, 18 IP, 13 H, 7 walks, 19 Ks.  Pretty nifty for a 35th rounder.  He and Lozer should remember that Seth Lugo was selected in the 34th round, so there is hope.
Weaker reliever performances included these, 5 out of 6 of whom were quite young, at an age where struggles should be anticipated:
13th rounder RHRP Nate Peden - just 18, he had a 6.35 ERA in 11.1 IP, allowing 19 hits and 5 walks and had 9 Ks for the GCL Mets. 
20th rounder RHRP Yadiel Flores - just turned 18 on July 31, he went 8.2 innings, for the GCL Mets, allowing 12 hits, 7 walks, fanning 6 and allowing 5 earned runs. 
29th rounder RHRP Liam McCall - yeah, yeah, he was only 18, too.  0-3, 7 earned runs in 8 innings, in which he allowed 10 hits, 11 walks, and fanned 5 in the GCL.
37th rounder LHRP Josh Walker is 22, so he is not a teenager like the above.  He was 2-1, but a 9.42 ERA in 14.1 IP with 21 hits, 6 walks, and 13 Ks.
39th rounder RHRP Noah Nunez - another 18 year old, he went 11.1 innings, 1-2, 7.15, 15 hits, 2 walks, 5 Ks.
40th and final round RHRP Ronnie Taylor, also 18, threw just 5 innings, allowed 8 earned runs, with 5 hits, 7 walks, and 5 Ks.
Overall, pitchers did satisfactorily, so there is a real reason to have hope for them collectively doing well in 2018. 


Here is a reprint of my drafted hitters' evaluations:

One player who looks like a fine pick was 17 year old 2nd rounder Mark Vientos.  The 6-4 SS played 47 games, mostly in the GCL, and hit .262 with 12 doubles and 4 homers. 24 walks, 42 Ks, and 0 for 2 in steals.

3rd rounder Quinn Brodey got into 63 games, mostly for Brooklyn, and hit .253/.303/.355 with 63 Ks.  Decent, but not great, although he did have 3 homers and 37 RBIs.  Maybe he will be good, we'll see.

4th rounder Matt Winaker also played for the Cyclones and got in just 21 games before his season ended, presumably with an injury.  He showed a fine eye, with a .402 on base %, but only had one double and no HRs.  That one extra base hit part makes him sound like a true and classic Mets offensive draft pick - but it is a small sample.

15th rounder SS Dylan Snypes scuffled mightily, hitting just .180/.301/.221 in 37 games for Brooklyn, with 52 Ks and 3 doubles, a triple, and no HRs and 3 RBIs.

16th rounder OF Rafael Gladu in 36 Kingsport games hit OK: .269/.342/.369 with 2 HRs, and was 2 for 2 in swipes.

18th round Cyclone Carl Stadjuhar had a season to forget, hitting .137 in 52 games with a staggering 76 Ks.  He did manage to hit 3 HRs.  No place to go but up, I guess.

26th round 1B Gavin Garay played for the K Mets, and in 36 games also fanned too much (47 times), but hit .246/.308/.354.  3 long balls.

27th rounder 1B Jeremy Vasquez was solid between Kingsport and Brooklyn. In 67 games, he had 15 doubles, 8 HRs, 38 RBIs, and hit .266 with 60 Ks, with the best of his production in Kingsport.

36th rounder C Robbie Kidwell struggled, hitting just 11 for 64.  One double, no HRs.

I do not need to spell it out for you...the numbers speak for themselves: the 9 drafted hitters were moderate to poor in production, especially homers and high strikeouts, and drafted in too few numbers - I mean, how do you draft and sign only 9 hitters?  NINE?

Also, in considering the overall grade, which I would say is a C- / D+, the three rookie league teams did very poorly.  While the draftees only comprised 30 of those 3 teams' players, the draftees' performance was not good.

The three teams had combined win loss records of 72-126 (Brooklyn 24-52, .316; Kingsport 29-37, .439, and GCL 19-37, .339).  I always like to compare to the Yanks, who did SO MUCH BETTER:

Brooklyn counterpart: 46-29, 22.5 games better.

Appalachian counterpart: 41-26, 11.5 games better.

The Yanks had 2 GCL teams, as compares to the Mets one. 
One was 33-27, the other was 32-27.  if you put their best on a single team, let's assume 40-18, or 21 games better than the Mets. 

Again, draw your own conclusions.

Read more...

Mack's Morning Report - 9-21 - Pipeline Position Analysis - 3B

8 comments

red - top prospects
blue - emerging prospects



MLB - Mets - 

David Wright - We have to keep listing him here, right? 

I don't expect to ever see him play again in a Mets uniform, but who would have thought a former Heisman trophy winner would play outfield next year in Binghamton? 

Still, his rotator cuff surgery should finally do him in here as a professional baseball player. May help him take out the garbage, but that's about it.

Ditto T. J. Rivera who could be lost for the entire, or most of, 2018 season.

Any number of current Mets could wind up here. (Astrubel Cabrera, Jose Reyes, Wilmer Flores, Gavin Cecchini, Matt Reynolds) and my guess if they will platoon at least two of these guys in 2018 and keep their money ready for a shite-load offer to Manny Machado for 2019+

I'd love to be able to tell you that the Mets will close a long term deal with Manny Machado to take over the hot corner beginning in 2019, but that's just a dream right now.

Look for the Mets to either renew the option on Cabrera or make it 'first one out of the parking lot plays third tonight'. 


AAA - Las Vegas David Thompson - 24/yr. old - Rd. 4/2015 - loved this kid's bat since he led the D1 Baseball RBIs as a junior. He continues to assault the baseball with 185-RBIs in 308 minor league games. Put these numbers against a 162 game pro schedule and you come in at around 100 per season. He also has raised his home run totals from three in 2015, 11 in 2016, and now 16 in 2017... and... he has cut his errors in the field from 18x (.937) in 2016 to 12x (.963) this past season. All good news here. Still too many strikeouts (90x in 432-AB in 2016... 92x in 476-AB this past season... but even the K/9 has gone down a little. 


AA-Binghamton -  

Jhoan Urena - 23/yrs. old - IFA - he had 14 home runs and 70 RBIs this year for St. Lucie which earns him the bump to New York State.


St. Lucie - 

Cody Woodmansee - 23/yrs old - 5th Rd. 2016 - Played short, third and was a DH this past season. The once almost prospect had an injury plagued 2017 (core muscle tear) that awards him only 179 at-bats in the GCL-Mets, Columbia, and St. Lucie (.151). I'd put him back on his natural position here at third... if he's 100% healed... and turn him loose for the entire season. Nothing to lose here.

There's a bunch of guys that played second, short, and third and I have three of them (Michael Paez, Nick Sergakis, Leon Bird) that could back up 'Wood' here in 2018.


Columbia-

Reed Gamache - 23/yrs. old - undrafted - played third, first, and second this season, in that order.  280 combined 2017 at-bats for Columbia and Brooklyn: .246/.350 (38-BB)/.314/664.

Carl Stajduhar - 21/yrs. old - Rd. 18/2017 - exclusively played third for the Cyclones: 164-AB, .140. Not much to write home about here.

Blake Tiberi - 22-yrs. old - 3rd Rd. 2016 - on DL for TJS - only 18-ABs due to a season ending injury. Recovery is far shorter for every day players with this procedure, but his biggest problem might be if there is a job left for him in the system. Being a 5th rounder with money behind him will help.

I'm going to let these three guys duke it out in spring training for one starting position here, and one utility.


Low-A - Brooklyn - 

  Rigoberto Terrazas - 21/yrs. old - IFA - 2017: Hit .348 for Kingsport, which came in 2nd in the league behind Ryan Noda. These are fantastic numbers. Terrazas has easily earned himself the opening day start in Brooklyn.


Rookie - Kingsport - 

  Mark Vientos - 17/yrs. old - Rd. 2, 2017 - Here is our red letter third baseman prospect. Vientos came out swinging for the GCL Mets this past season and hit .259/.316/.397/713 in 174 games. Finished the season right here (17-AB, .294) where he'll open up next spring. Years away.


Rookie - GCL-Mets

Jose Perosa - 17/yrs. old - This one looks exciting. He's 17-years old and hit .300 for the DSL-1 Mets in his first pro season. Did come stateside at the end of the season for 17-at bats and he might as well stick around and find yourself an apartment in Port St. Lucie. He will open the season as the starting third baseman for the GCL-Mets.

Kenny Hernandez - 2014 signee for $1mil bonus - Hernandez has been a bust since he was signed three years ago. Starting as a shortstop, he hit .195 in 2015, followed by .203 (2016) and .208 this past season. I hope he didn't spend the money in one place. Still 18, I would still cut this embarrassment... no... I'd cut the scout that signed him. Let him back up at short and third for one more season.

DSL-1 - 

Yoel Romano - signed in 2014 for a $300K bonus -  more Milb/Baseball Cube confusion... the Baseball Cube has him not playing a single game for the Mets in 2017 while MilB has him leading the team with a .364 BA. They also can't seem to agree whether he plays... one has him at SS, the other at 3B and 2B. I'm settling with him at third and, as of the end of this season, he finished hitting with the second highest batting average in the league. So far, looks like a great international sign.


DSL-2 - 

  Cristopher Pujois - basically Pujois served as backup third baseman for Romano and made the person that signed this guy proud. Hit .349 in 63 at-bats. He's only 19 so hopefully he returned here for a full starting season in 2018

Observation - 

A few guys with some promise, but, to be honest, no stone cold lock here to be a star third baseman... which means we really have to save our change for an over the top offer to Machado.

Rating: C




Read more...

9/20/17

Peter Hyatt - Winning is Contagious by Terry Collins

8 comments

As to why his starting line up in the midst of a lost September includes:

35 year old waiver pick up Nokia, Jose Reyes and
Astrubal Cabrera, while kids sit on the bench with lost opportunities for tomorrow impossible to regain, Terry Collins defended himself with the following statement: 

"Winning is contagious."  

He said he does not focus on development, not even in the minors, because winning is contagious. The Mets promptly lost 5 in a row with the kids rarely seeing precious playing time.  Ron Darling called it "respecting the game" but only when Keith Hernandez was not in session. Keith doesn't share his view.  

Matt Harvey


After Harvey got tattooed for 7 runs in 4 innings on 12 hits with 2 walks, bringing his comeback era over 17, Terry Collins said that if the games were meaningful and needed to be won, Matt Harvey would not be pitching in the starting rotation.  

Listen to Terry Collins again about winning being contagious:

“In this particular case, when you are coming back from basically a year-and-a-half of injuries, at this particular stage, if it were about wins and losses, he wouldn’t be out there. Somebody else would be pitching, so it’s a process where we think it’s good for Matt to be out there as he continues to work on getting back into form.”

So, which is it?

Is it about winning being contagious or about developing a player?  

Conclusion:  Hypocrisy from a weak leader who has lost a divided clubhouse. 

When it comes to keeping vets happy over developing for tomorrow, Collins plays the vets because winning is contagious. 

When it comes to keeping the winning line up with the best staff, winning is not contagious.  

The hypocrisy is not likely lost on Jay Bruce who did what he could to help get younger winning-first players on the field during his tenure with the Mets. For Bruce, it became a battle to see if the Mets would begin to develop its young talent while the older vets continued to squawk.  It would mean a commitment for 2018 and beyond and it was a fight.  

He lost.  

The kids continue to sit in meaningless games.  

When he wants to play his vets, it is because "winning is contagious" over development. 

When he wants to play whiner Harvey, winning is no longer contagious and the games no longer meaningful. 

Will Ron Darling call this "respect for the game" too?

Regarding September games:  

Terry Collins said that winning  is contagious and it is not about developing players, in defense of playing his vets over kids. 

Terry Collins said that winning is not important and it is about developing a player, in his defense of having Matt Harvey pitch.  





Next up:  Why is Keith Hernandez concerned about Amed Rosario's "tutor"?


Read more...

Tom Brennan - 2017 Draft Report Card: HITTERS

8 comments

Tom Brennan - 2017 Draft Report Card: HITTERS

All the games for 2017 in the minors have been played.  How did the June 2017 draft class fare?  After all, it is our pipeline.

Not so well.

Offensive picks-wise, Sandy Alderson gets a D-.
And that might be generous.  Why?  
Two reasons:

1) They only signed 9 offensive players.  That's right, NINE.

2) They hit anywhere from adequately to poorly.

One player who looks like a fine pick was 17 year old 2nd rounder Mark Vientos.  The 6-4 SS played 47 games, mostly in the GCL, and hit .262 with 12 doubles and 4 homers. 24 walks, 42 Ks, and 0 for 2 in steals.

3rd rounder Quinn Brodey got into 63 games, mostly for Brooklyn, and hit .253/.303/.355 with 63 Ks.  Decent, but not great, although he did have 3 homers and 37 RBIs.  Maybe he will be good, we'll see.

4th rounder Matt Winaker also played for the Cyclones and got in just 21 games before his season ended, presumably with an injury.  He showed a fine eye, with a .402 on base %, but only had one double and no HRs.  That one extra base hit part makes him sound like a true and classic Mets offensive draft pick - but it is a small sample.

15th rounder SS Dylan Snypes scuffled mightily, hitting just .180/.301/.221 in 37 games for Brooklyn, with 52 Ks and 3 doubles, a triple, and no HRs and 3 RBIs.

16th rounder OF Rafael Gladu in 36 Kingsport games hit OK: .269/.342/.369 with 2 HRs, and was 2 for 2 in swipes.

18th round Cyclone Carl Stadjuhar had a season to forget, hitting .137 in 52 games with a staggering 76 Ks.  He did manage to hit 3 HRs.  No place to go but up, I guess.

26th round 1B Gavin Garay played for the K Mets, and in 36 games also fanned too much (47 times), but hit .246/.308/.354.  3 long balls.

27th rounder 1B Jeremy Vasquez was solid between Kingsport and Brooklyn. In 67 games, he had 15 doubles, 8 HRs, 38 RBIs, and hit .266 with 60 Ks, with the best of his production in Kingsport.

36th rounder C Robbie Kidwell struggled, hitting just 11 for 64.  One double, no HRs.

I do not need to spell it out for you...the numbers speak for themselves: the 9 drafted hitters were moderate to poor in production, especially homers and high strikeouts, and drafted in too few numbers - I mean, how do you draft and sign only 9 hitters?  NINE?

PITCHING: 21 guys pitched, mostly in relief.  They are subject to my next article on evaluating the 2017 draft.  Stay tuned, hombres, and damsels.


Read more...
Mack's Mets © 2012