METS' TOP 50 PROSPECTS: # 11 - 15 by Tom Brennan

                       TOP PROSPECTS
TOP 50 METS PROSPECTS: #11 THRU 15 – Tom Brennan
A minor league system that in 2015 promoted several, traded many, had several prospects run into the Tommy John buzzsaw, and saw a few guys go from prospect to suspect.  Leaving a diminished, but still solid, minor league system prospect-wise. 
(See website sidebar for list of my #16-50 dudes, covered in prior articles.)
Today, here’s my #11 thru #15:  

11.          JEFF MCNEIL: I thought he should have been co-MVP of the FSL with Dominic Smith, but my ballot had a hanging chad on it so it was not counted, despite Al Gore's complaints.  Gore got quite heated about it, which is not good for global warming.  McNeil played 119 games for St Lucie and hit .312/.373/.382 with 80 runs scored and 16 of 21 steals.  Only 59 Ks.  A whole lot to like.  Solid D. Add some pop and his value will be indisputable. 

12.          PATRICK MAZELKA: I am ranking this 2015 8th round selection high, high, high (perhaps too high), after a superlative season in Kingsport rookie ball.  He hit a robust .354/.451/.540 in 62 games, and made but a single error catching for the K Mets.  Should have been the league’s MVP. Got gypped.  Get him into a full season league in 2016.  In my opinion, make that assignment St Lucie and let's see what he's got. 

13.          LUIS GUILLORME: A 10th round pick in 2014, Luis impressed in 2014 in rookie ball.  How would he do in full season ball in 2015?  How about MVP of the S. Atlantic League.  He shouldn’t have won it – he should have been promoted mid season instead, but with a glut of infielders in higher leagues, he stayed, played 122 games, hit .318/.391/.354, and drove in 55 runs, stealing 18 of 26 and flashing leather.  Great year, period.  Only area of focus would be more extra base hits.  Most likely slated for the FSL, where he will try to win another MVP. 

14.          EUDOR GARCIA:  This 2014 4th rounder manned 3B for the Gnats and had a sweet year. In 105 games, he raked with a line of .296/.340/.442.  Needs to tamp down a little on the strikeouts, and boost his walk rate, but he is one possible candidate to replace David Wright at some point at the hot corner. 12 errors, needs to tighten that up. 

15.          WUILMER BECERRA:  We got two great players from Toronto for RA Dickey – Thor and d’Arnaud – who could ask for anything more? Well, Sandy was greedy and asked for Becerra too.  Request granted.  Wuilmer’s year (.290/.342/.423) virtually cloned Eudor Garcia’s for Savannah, except he stole more (16 of 24).  A real possibility for the OF in Queens by late 2017 or 2018, at which point another thank you note should be sent to the Blue Jays.  Headed most likely for St Lucie in 2016
40 prospects (#11 - #50) have been covered, so...
the top 10 is coming up in my next 2 articles.

11.30.2015 Winter League Results | All Quiet in the Caribbean, No Rest for Alvarez Though


Arizona Fall League
Completed. Final Game was November 19th

Mexican Pacific League
- No Games Scheduled

Venezuela Professional Baseball League
- No Games Scheduled

Dominican Baseball League
- Leones del Escogido 2 - 6 Tigres del Licey
- Estrellas de Oriente 4 - 5 Toros del Este

  • LHP Dario Alvarez: 0.1 IP

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League
- No Games Scheduled

The Morning Report 12.1.2015 | Some Trade Interest in Juan Lagares, Mejia Expected to be Tendered a Contract, Mets Lose 2 More Minor League Free Agents


Brian Devine Metsmerized Online- Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports that the Mets have received several trade inquiries on CF Juan Lagares recently. Lagares is still owed $22.5 million over the next three years and took a major step backwards this year as he hit .259/.289/.358 with a 80 wRC+ in 465 plate appearances. He eventually lost his starting job in centerfield after the team acquired Yoenis Cespedes over the summer.

(Chris Soto: It is very unlikely that the Mets will trade Lagares, however, they absolutely should entertain offers. As good as Lagares is defensively, his bat lags way behind his defensive abilities. If he had not lost his job and qualified for batting titles....Lagares would have ranked 22nd out of 24 qualified centerfielders in OPS only ahead of Washington's Michael Taylor and San Francisco's Angel Pagan.)

Danny Abriano | Rising Apple- The non-tender deadline is Wednesday and the Mets are planning to tender a contract to RH reliever Jenrry Mejia. Mejia was suspended for 162 games this past July after his second positive test for illegal performance enhancing drugs. At the time of his suspension, Mejia had recently returned from his first suspension for illegal PED’s that he received in March. The Mets are monitoring Mejia’s performance for the Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter Leaguein order to make a decision regarding whether to tender him a contract.

(Chris Soto: I've been saying it all winter long.....Since the Mets still own cost control of Mejia, there is ZERO downside to keeping him. He not going to get a raise from his 2015 salary of $2.59M; in fact, it is more likely that the Mets offer the maximum reduction allowed via arbitration and sign him for $2.076M for 2016. On top of that, since Mejia is suspended, the Mets don't even need to pay him until his suspension is complete on July 26th so he would truly only cost the Mets $692k in 2016. There is plenty of upside in him being a potential late inning addition to the bullpen that outweighs the moral desires of the fanbase to release him.)

HOT STOVE REPORT (courtesy of mlbtraderumor.com)
  • In addition to C Anthony Recker signing with the Cleveland Indians yesterday, two additional Mets minor leaguers signed contracts with new teams. According to Baseball America's Matt Eddy, 1B Brandon Allen signed a minor league deal with the Cinncinnati Reds. The 29 yr old hit .273 AVG last season with 16 HR and 68 RBI for the Mets AAA Las Vegas team. 
  • Mr. Eddy also updated the Baseball America MiLB free agent tracker. His update shows that 3B Josh Rodriguez has also signed a minor league contract with the Oakland Athletics. The 30 yr old Rodriguez played most of 2015 with the AA Binghamton Mets hitting .282 with 19 HR and 76 RBI.


11.29.2015 Winter League Results | Jairo Perez Continues Monster Winter, 0-fer for Lagares, T.J. Rivera Stating His Rule 5 Case, Berrios Starts and Impresses


Arizona Fall League
Completed. Final Game was November 19th

Mexican Pacific League
- Charros de Jalisco 3 - 5 Caneros de los Mochis
- Charros de Jalisco 1 - 4 Caneros de los Mochis
- Mayos de Navojoa 5 - 6 Yaquis de Obregon
- Venados de Mazatlan 4 - 3 Aguilas de Mexicali
- Naranjeros de Hermosillo 3 - 4 Tomateros de Culiacan

Venezuela Professional Baseball League
- Caribes de Anzoategui 4 - 2 Tiburones de La Guaira
- Leones del Caracas 3 - 8 Tigres de Aragua
- Aguilas del Zulia 3 - 0 Bravos de Margarita
- Cardenales de Lara 2 - 4 Navegantes del Magallanes

  • LF Jairo Perez: 1 for 3, R, HR(8), RBI(29), BB

Dominican Baseball League
- Estrellas de Oriente 0 - 2 Gigantes del Cibao
- Leones del Escogido 6 - 1 Toros del Este
- Aguilas Cibaenas 2 - 3 Tigres del Licey

  • CF Juan Lagares: 0 for 4, K

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League
- Indios de Mayaguez 7 - 1 Cangrejeros de Santurce
  • 2B T.J. Rivera: 2 for 4, R, 2B
- Gigantes de Carolina 1 - 3 Criollos de Caguas
  • C Johnny Monell: 1 for 4
  • LF Arnaldo Berrios: 2 for 2, R, 2B, BB

The Morning Report 11.30.2015 | All Eyes on Ben Zobrist, Recker Signs with Cleveland, Nationals Lose Zimmerman to Detroit, Arias Signs with San Diego


Maria Guardado NJ Advance Media- The Mets appear to be making a strong effort to sign Ben Zobrist. According to sources, the Nationals along with Braves, SFGiants, others are also in. Per Ken Rosenthal, the Zobrist market likely will become more defined in next few days. A team's willingness to guarantee fourth year likely will be the deciding factor.

(Chris Soto: Ugh...I just don't like this potential move one bit. You've got a guy who's already 34 yrs old and his primary asset is "versatility." Versatility is only good if the defensively play at each position is average to above average. Unfortunately for Zobrist, his defensive metrics have been in decline the past 2 years and will likely only get worse as he continues to age. This is not the way to spend the first $12M+ of the off-season.)

Steve Schreiber | Amazin Avenue- After a disappointing final season with the Mets, Anthony Recker is headed to the Cleveland Indians' organization via a minor league deal that includes an invitation to spring training. Recker, who served as Travis d'Arnaud's backup for parts of 2013, 2014, and 2015, was removed from the 40-man roster on November 6 after clearing waivers. With Kevin Plawecki positioned as the backup for 2016, the Mets have no immediate need for Recker.

(Chris Soto: Say what you want about Recker...but the back-up catcher's main job is to be a solid defensive provider on days where the main catcher needs some rest. From that angle.....Recker did a great job during his time with the Mets as most of the starters praised his work behind the plate with some showing even better results with him over d'Arnaud. That said...despite providing the occasional super clutch HR...he struggled to stay over the Mendoza line on an annual basis. With Plawecki now MLB ready, it was time for Recker to go. GOOD LUCK in Cleveland!!)

Joe D. | Metsmerized Online- Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Detroit Tigers have agreed to a deal with free agent RHP Jordan Zimmermann. The former Washington Nationals rotation mainstay will receive a five year deal worth $110 million dollars. He is the Nationals’ all-time leader in wins, innings, strikeouts and games started. He is also one of four pitchers to work at least 190 innings and make 32 starts in each of the past four seasons.

(Chris Soto: Here's the first big blow to the Nationals 2016 team. Zimmerman has been a major piece of the Nationals rotation for years and was the guy behind Scherzer and Strasburg that you could always count on to provide you with a quality start week in and week out. His replacement, Joe Ross, certainly has talent and the potential to become a solid arm himself....but the immediate downgrade from Zimmerman will likely result in 2-3 more losses in 2016 alone.)

HOT STOVE REPORT (courtesy of mlbtraderumor.com)
  • Mets lost a minor league free agent over the Thanksgiving Break, RHSP Martires Arias signed a new minor league contract with the San Diego Padres. Despite being 25yrs old, Arias only reached A-ball Savannah with the Mets organization. Before 2014, Arias was statistically one of the worst arms in the Mets system due to his poor control. However, he finally was able to harness his stuff and posted solid numbers in Brooklyn, and Savannah including double digit K/9 rates.
  • Nothing else......just Zobrist, Zobrist, Zobrist, Zobrist......


Mack’s Morning News – 11-29-15 – Xander Bogaerts, Brett Lawrie, Asdrubel Cabrera, Neil Walker, Michael Choice


Good morning.

Gary Seagren sent –
Good Morning Mack, Hope you had a great Thanksgiving and here's my thought on a trade idea. Harvey, Niese, Flores and Duda for Bogaerts, Bradley and Holt. I would resign Murph for 1st until Dom Smith is ready hopefully by mid/late 2017. That would give us a super sub in Holt and a platoon in CF until one really takes charge of the position. Bogaerts gives us a long term SS and all are cost controlled. WE KNOW Harvey is not going to sign with us so were left with do we trade him now or can we recoup more next off season. The problem with that that I see is he pitched the most innings of any pitcher coming off TJS and there is a risk that he'll regress some next year. Your thought's, Gary Seagren

Mack – You’re asking me if I would be interested in a 22-year old shortstop that hit .320 and knocked in 81 runs?

And, I’ve always liked the potential of Bradley which seems to have emerged this past season.

Gary, you know how much I love pitching and I really would like to see the Mets solve their future positional problems by not losing one of their top starters, but having an all-star like this play every day for a long, long time would such clear up a few things.

Yes, this would make a lot of sense if you also could sign Murphy to play first. I don’t worry about the future on Smith, but that’s two years away.

Harvey would be a huge loss, but Duda, Flores, and Niese are expendable. You will have lost two rotation pitchers here so you are really betting on Logan Verrett, Rafael Montero, and the return of Zach Wheeler.

I will say this… I think you could have either got more or given up less in this deal because of Harvey. My guess he is worth three front line players.

Any thoughts by the rest of you out there?

While we’re on the subject of possible trades,  Rich MacCleod wrote an interesting article on the possibility if Oakland’s IF Brett Lawrie becoming a Met.

Read the article. His five year career has been a disappointment so far and his career stat line, particularly his OPS, needs a bump, but he would serve up as a utility 2B/3B, especially if the Mets chose to go with Dilson Herrera at second base. 

And, he’s only 26.

Michael Baron writes that the Mets are one of the five teams interested in signing 30-year old SS Asdrubal Cabrera, whi is older than Wilmer Flores, hits around the same as Flores, and plays worse defense than Flore (BTW… as I write this, Flores is playing second base in winter ball). I don’t see this being much of an upgrade but I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

The MLB Radio Network brought up a Neil Walker for Jon Niese possible trade. Walker is the Pirates 29-year old second baseman that could be a good bridge to Dilson Herrera in 2017. He also can play third base. Are you interesting in a one year solution for the middle infield mess?

And lastly…

          This is just me thinking out loud.

Throw the book and past stats out on OF Michael Choice, who was DFA’d this past week. Choice was one of the prime cut outfielders that came out of the 2010 draft (10th pick overall… second OF picked after Bryce Harper and two picks after Matt Harvey). He simply was in the ‘can’t miss’ category.

He did hit 30-HRs for A+ Stockton in 2011; however, his career has basically been off the rails since then. Three shots in the majors produced 272-AB and a combined .188 batting average. And last year, he spent most of his time playing in the PCL for Round Rock (normal air there), hitting 12-HRs (406-AB) and hitting .244.

Still, he’s 25 years old and he has to be a better option for some of the guys we have on the current Las Vegas roster.


Future Positional Analysis – Catcher


This one’s pretty easy.

Travis d’Arnaud is the current starting catcher of the Mets and is showing the potential to be a future consistent 20+ home run, .275+ BA hitter. He needs a tremendous amount of work on his throwing to second base (is past wrist injury still a factor here?) and I expect him to be working on that in the off season. Kansas City showed the baseball world that d’Arnaud can be easily run on and this could be an early warning of a big problem next season. Still, he’s a wonderful asset to the future of this team.  He played 2015 as a 27-year old and looks like he’ll be around at least through the remainder of this decade.

Our back-up catcher, Kevin Plawecki, disappointed during the time he was given to start in Queens. His .576-OPS lowered his trade value as well made the Mets re-think any thoughts of a position change someday for d’Arnaud. I don’t see him being traded this off-season because I don’t see any team having any desire to obtain him. He’s perfect in the role he is currently placed in.

Past this organizationally, there isn’t much.

I have only one catcher with current projectable major league potential.

22-year old Patrick Mazeika finished second in the Appalachian League in BA (.354), behind his teammate, OF Kevin Kaczmarchi. I see age being a factor that will force the Mets to jump Brooklyn next spring and start ‘Maz’ off in Columbia. A nice eight round pick out of Stetson.

Xorge Carrillo (AA - .240) and Dan Rohlfing (AAA - .230) are slated to return to Las Vegas while Anthony Recker will move on.

Nelfi Zapata (AAA - .162) is the only catcher on paper to play Binghamton and he's coming off a drug suspension.

Colton Plaia (A+ - .285), Tomas Nido (Sav - .259), and Adrian Abreu (80 game suspension) will start in St. Lucie. Plaia is technically reading to move up to Binghamton and there is a chance he could land there on opening day.

And Mazeike could have Tyler Moore (Sav - .181), Natanael Ramos (Sav - .288), and Jose Garcia (2011 Intl bonus: $800K – Brklyn - .286) compete with him in Savannah. Garcia has showed some potential so we need to monitor his growth.

Rookie team wise, Ali Sanchez was the prospect but his numbers faded after a quick start last season. (18-years old – GCL: .278). That being said, I have removed him from my ‘prospect’ list.

Summary – Boy, did Salvador Perez make this position look easy.

Catcher is easiest the hardest position to dominate. You not only have to hit well, you have to catch 95+ fastballs, 78mph secondary pitchers that end up in the dirt, take 100mph foul tips in the groin, but  you also are supposed to throw 100+ accurate throws to second base ahead of Olympic like speedsters.

The initial stats for Mazeika (226-AB, 5-HR, 48-RBI, .540-slug, 991-OPS) project out to 100+ RBIs for a full 162 game season. Frankly, I don’t know how he throws to second but it can’t be worse than d’Arnaud.

My guess is, if d’Arnaud went down with a season ending injury, the Mets may turn to other clubs to find a permanent replacement for the injury prone catcher.

Rating – C


Mack’s Morning News – 11-27-15 – Thanksgiving, Sandy Alderson, Daniel Murphy, Marcell Ozuna, Starlin Castro


Good morning.

First of all, I welcome you all back from your Thanksgiving festivities. We all had many reasons to be thankful this past baseball season, one that almost saw our previous New York Mets go all the way. One thing we can all agree on… they went far further than any of us thought they would go before the season started.

A few thoughts…

I think Mack’s Mets has the most intelligent ‘comment’ section of any Mets blog in existence. This of course translates into the fact that the site must also have the most intelligent and informed Mets fans on the web.

The thing I like the most about them is how everyone can come to the table each day and respectfully state their point against opposing opinions. Sure, there have been some testy exchanges, but other readers seem to police the site well and prevent anything from going over the top.

By the way… for those of you that ever wondered, Reese Kaplan and Bill Metsiac are good friends that just differ on their opinion of Terry Collins. They use this site to air their thoughts on that subject, in an amusing and professional manner.

I too have had my moments and now try to leave most of my opinions to my three Morning Reports on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Oh, I’ll still chime in when I read something that gives me a jolt, or when I’m directly asked a question, but, other than that, I now leave the majority of the comments section to ‘youze guys’.

We’re all a little frustrated right now with the lack of activing in the Met’s Hot Stove season and some of us have different opinions on how the Mets are handling this and the eventual outcome of the pre-season. I’ve been taking the high road, pointing out the new found health of both David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud, and the addition of Michael Conforto and Steven Matz. Other have questioned the ability to project good health for both Wright and d’Arnaud and question the Mets commitment of producing another winner through the usage of proper payroll levels befitting a large market team. Good. That’s what the comments section is for.

I’m going to continue to take the high road right now. I haven’t always and I didn’t think the Mets would make the playoffs last year as deep as halfway into the season, but Sandy Alderson waved his wand and proved me wrong. Nine second level pitching prospect later (jeez, was it really nine?) we had a team that won the National League pennant.

I also don’t expect him to add a huge payroll player like Yoenes Cespedes.

What I do expect, and I will be very upset if it doesn’t happen, is major help for the middle infield and relief pen. I want the infield help to stress defense, but, due to the fragile condition of Wright, bringing Daniel Murphy back does all of a sudden have its upside.

With that, let’s move on…

Let’s member to send your Q and A to me at: macksmets@gmail.com. I love answering the questions (in length) as part of one of my morning reports.

Fangraphs http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/one-marcell-ozuna-for-sale/ had a real interesting article on the availability of Marlins CF Marcell Ozuna -

Marcell Ozuna doesn’t have to be complicated. What’s his deal? He hits the ball hard.

Really hard. He has 30-home-run power, and if you’re being nice, he has 40-home-run power. Last year was a big step back for him, but even then, on batted balls captured by Statcast, Ozuna ranked 10th in baseball in average exit velocity among 152 players with at least 250 batted balls tracked. One-hundredth of a mile per hour ahead of Ozuna: Nelson Cruz. Two-hundredths behind him: Kendrys Morales. Ozuna tends to make real solid contact. When he makes contact.
That’s the strength, and what further separates Ozuna is that he’s also newly 25, and he plays a perfectly fine center field. To re-state all that: Ozuna is a young center fielder who could conceivably hit 30 dingers a year. He has four remaining seasons of team control, and because of the games the Marlins played, Ozuna didn’t qualify for Super Two. That was part of the problem between the parties in the first place, and now someone else will probably get to benefit.

Mack – Normally, I would rule out a divisional rival in a possible trade partner for someone as talented as Ozuna, but we know that the Marlins owner would sell his mother if he could rid his team of salary while, at the same time, secure team controlled prospects.

Juan Lagares probably doesn’t fit the profile here, but a package that included Brandon Nimmo could be the trick. Lagares could always be moved in a separate deal for someone to help the team.

Rafael Montero, and Amed Rosario could round out a decent package for the full assumption of the Ozuna contract. Josh Smoker or Akeel Morris could replace either.


And lastly

          Jason: People have been comparing young Cub hitters to young Met pitchers for the last year but what 1 for 1 trade between the two teams would make sense to you?

Dave Cameron: I think Castro/Wheeler is in the fair-ish range, because I'm not super high on Wheeler.

Mack – I’ve said a number of times that I’d like to see the Mets keep the Fab 5 together for the future, but I couldn’t help dropping the ‘C word’ again…



Happy Thanksgiving


Mack's Mets will be closed today.

Happy Thanksgiving




The 2015 National League Champion New York Mets will open their 2016 Grapefruit League schedule Thursday, March 3 vs. the Washington Nationals in Viera at 1:05 p.m. The Mets first home game will be Friday, March 4 vs. the Miami Marlins in Port St. Lucie, Fla. at 1:10 p.m. The Mets will play 29 exhibition games, including 14 home games at Tradition Field.
Season, group tickets and special ticket packages including the Yankees, Red Sox and weekend games will go on sale Monday, December 7 at 10 a.m. at Mets.com or by calling 772-871-2115. Single game tickets will go on sale Saturday, January 16 at 10 a.m. More information is available online at Mets.com, StLucieMets.com or by calling 772-871-2115.
The Mets will host the Yankees in Port St. Lucie Wednesday, March 9 at 1:10 p.m. and will travel to Tampa to take on their cross-town rivals on Tuesday, March 22 at 6:35 p.m. The Mets will also play the Boston Red Sox Sunday, March 20 in Port St. Lucie at 1:10 p.m.
Manager Terry Collins’ team will play the Nationals six times, the Marlins six times, the NL Central champion St. Louis Cardinals five times, the Atlanta Braves three times, the Detroit Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees and Houston Astros twice and will travel to play the AL East champion Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, March 23 in Dunedin.
The Mets today also announced the launch of the 2016 Amazin’ Getaways Spring Training packages with four separate departures from New York scheduled for March 4March 11March 17 and March 25. All packages include hotel accommodations, rental car and game tickets.
The March 4, March 11 and March 17 packages also include an exclusive pre-game brunch and Meet and Greet with a Mets player. For more information about Amazin’ Getaways visit Mets.com/AmazinGetaways.
The Mets will open their 2016 Major League season on Sunday, April 3 at Kansas City at 8:35 p.m. (ET) on ESPN. The Home Opener isFriday, April 8 vs. Philadelphia at 1:10 p.m. at Citi Field.
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