7/28/14

MLB - New Top 100 Prospect Rankings - #65 - Kevin Plawecki

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Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 35 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55


Plawecki was named the 2012 Big Ten Player of the Year, and he then made a good impression on scouts in '13, his first full professional season. He took another step forward this season, reaching Triple-A Las Vegas and starting the 2014 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game behind the plate.

Plawecki has impressive bat control and a knack for making contact. His swing is built more for hitting line drives than for power, but his natural strength gives him a chance for more pop in the future.

Defensively, Plawecki is a good receiver and earns praise for his leadership skills. He has an average arm and his game calling is making strides. Plawecki's play has alleviated pre-Draft concerns about his ability to stay behind the plate, and he now looks like he'll be more than capable of being an everyday player in the big leagues.

Other Lists: Top 10 Catchers Prospects (#4) | Top 20 Mets Prospects (#2)

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2014/#list=prospects
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2014 Draft: Team-By-Team Spending

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TeamTotal SpendingBonus SpendingBonus Pool+/- Pool% +/- PoolRec. Distribution
Marlins$13,112,900$12,293,400$12,741,700-448,300-3.52%Yes
White Sox$10,460,600$9,984,600$9,509,700474,9004.99%
Blue Jays$9,308,700$9,194,700$9,458,500-263,800-2.79%
Cubs$9,783,000$8,764,000$8,352,200411,8004.93%
Royals$9,888,700$8,561,700$8,602,900-41,200-0.48%Yes
Indians$9,317,800$8,355,300$8,234,100121,2001.47%
Rockies$8,853,800$8,216,300$8,347,300-131,000-1.57%Yes
Brewers$8,102,300$7,604,100$7,605,600-1,500-0.02%Yes
Pirates$8,186,400$7,412,400$7,063,700348,7004.94%
Twins$8,067,600$7,305,600$7,525,600-220,000-2.92%Yes
Diamondbacks$8,357,900$7,205,900$7,228,300-22,400-0.31%Yes
Mariners$8,237,500$7,085,000$6,767,900317,1004.69%
Reds$7,929,900$6,958,400$6,973,400-15,000-0.22%Yes
Cardinals$7,613,800$6,901,800$6,582,800319,0004.85%
Phillies$7,187,800$6,785,300$6,896,700-111,400-1.62%
Red Sox$7,814,800$6,559,300$6,373,300186,0002.92%
Giants$7,275,900$6,238,400$5,949,800288,6004.85%
Rays$7,141,319$6,138,319$5,848,400289,9194.96%
Padres$6,637,600$6,098,600$6,098,60000.00%Yes
Angels$6,387,500$5,774,000$5,774,00000.00%
Mets$6,488,800$5,290,800$5,308,300-17,500-0.33%
Dodgers$5,901,100$5,148,600$4,947,700200,9004.06%
Astros$6,154,500$5,090,500$5,069,60020,9000.41%
Rangers$6,089,200$5,047,200$4,820,700226,5004.70%
Tigers$5,405,300$4,782,800$4,890,200-107,400-2.20%
Athletics$5,386,000$4,775,000$4,778,300-3,300-0.07%Yes
Braves$5,069,800$4,487,800$4,557,700-69,900-1.53%
Nationals$5,188,600$4,349,100$4,142,000207,1005.00%
Yankees$4,050,200$3,290,200$3,202,30087,9002.74%
Orioles$3,410,600$2,273,100$2,204,40068,7003.12%
Total$222,809,919$197,972,219$195,855,7002,116,5191.08%

http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/2014-draft-team-team-spending/
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D-Whit - Where Could Bartolo Go? What about Miami?

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Colon a Marlin?

Crazy idea? Yes! Impossible? Not At All.

 Ozuna

The Miami Marlins have let it be known they are buyers heading into the trading deadline. They are still feeling the loss of Jose Fernandez and would like to bolster their rotation with a veteran starter. Bartolo could be their man. The Marlins have the kind of young and talented OF bats the Mets seek. One in particular could improve the team’s hitting immediately-no I’m not talking about Giancarlo Stanton (he’s not going anywhere for now)-and that’s LF Marcel Ozuna.

It would be odd for the Mets and Marlins to make an intradivision deal involving two starting players during a pennant race-especially one which could improve your competition. The Marlins though are seeking a starting pitcher who, like Colon, would be under club control. He wouldn’t cost them too much and perhaps more importantly, would provide a veteran presence for the young Marlin staff to learn from and observe. Much like at Citi Field his flyball tendencies wouldn’t hurt him at cavernous Marlins Park.  I’m not sure Sandy Alderson would want his team to face Colon on a regular basis for the next year or so but with the return of Matt Harvey and the expected arrival of Noah Syndegaard adding to what’s already there the Met rotation would be seven deep heading into not counting the veteran Colon.

As for the key piece they’d acquire in return?

Well if it would be Ozuna they’d be acquiring the type of team controlled position player small-market minded teams like New York covet. His 10 HRs and .901 OPS at home shows that his power wouldn’t be sapped by a big stadium like Citi Field. In fact his home numbers are much better than what he does on the road. He strikes out a ton but has a home OBP of .355. so Ozuna seems to excel in large ballparks. 

The 23 year-old is not arbitration eligible until 2016 and can’t file for Free Agency until 2020. Why would the Marlins trade a player like this? Well, for one we’re talking about the Marlins remember? Anything is possible with them plus they also they have highly touted OF prospect Jake Marisnick waiting in the wings. Marisnick, acquired from Toronto in the Jose Reyes deal, has struggled in his MLB appearances but he’s a Top 100 MLB prospect who’s hit 10 HR and has 24 SB at AAA New Orleans. His power will probably fade in the big leagues but there’s nothing wrong with having a Brad Gardner-type atop your line-up. 

 Marisnick

Though of the two Miami is more likely to move Ozuna, if the Marlins offered Marisnick instead as the key player in a Colon deal I wouldn’t say no. New York could use a talent like him leading off for the next several years. There is more risk associated with Marisnick since he’s struggled to show his minor league form so far in the big leagues but at 23 he’s a risk worth taking. 

If the Mets and Miami talked about a Colon deal but the Marlins balked at those two, an intriguing player to consider would be AAA slugger Kyle Jensen. At 26 he’s a few years older than Ozuna and Marisnick but he's widely considered to be one of the Marlin's best power hitting prospects. His .838 OPS and 20 HR in New Orleans this season shows that he has little left to prove in the minors. His big swing leads to a lot of K’s so major league pitchers could expose the holes in his swing and just make him a strike out machine at the plate. Still on a power starved team like New York rolling the dice on Jensen isn’t the worst of ideas. Although if Jensen were to be traded for Colon, the Mets would want a second B+ prospect from the lower minors-maybe a left-handed starting pitcher prospect.    

 Jensen

I think it’s remote possibility that Colon would be dealt to Miami at the trading deadline because if the Marlins were to deal Ozuna it would probably be for a much-younger starter and I doubt they'd deal Marisnick at all. Still, either would be welcome additions. 

As for Jensen, I'd imagine that Alderson is looking for a higher ceiling player in return for Colon but if the offers don't come flooding in for Bartolo and Miami is interested they could do worse than grabbing Jensen and a left-hander from the stable of Miami power pitching arms. 
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Craig Mitchell -- Daniel Murphy, your days are numbered......

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Bye-bye Daniel Murphy. Yes it’s true; Daniel Murphy was the Mets lone all-star representative this year. But I will venture to say that he will NOT be on the Mets in 2015 and there is some chance he may be gone in the next five days.

If that happens I imagine most Met fans are preparing to rip up their season tickets and toss their stuffed Mr. Met toys out their windows in protest. But, that wouldn't change the writing on the wall. Daniel Murphy’s time with the Mets…is about up.

Murph is a true professional hitter. That has never been a worry.  This year Murph is batting .293 with 7 homers and 38 RBI providing 125 hits currently tied for 7th in MLB.  Hitting has never been Murphy’s problem. Murphy has a career batting average of .290 along with a career OPS of .755 and OBP of .334.

Fans have come out and asked Alderson if he was planning on trading Murphy. And to his credit, Alderson answers have been cagey. But Murphy is one of the Mets best bargaining chips. Sure, the Mets have a ton of pitching they can trade for a position player, but does a team ever have enough pitching?  I mean, a year ago who would have guessed that Matt Harvey, Bobby Parnell and Jeremy Hefner would all go down with TJS (Tommy John Surgery)? Besides, a pitching prospect alone isn’t going to get the Mets their Giancarlo Stanton type impact player. They will need to put a package together that can fairly compensate a team like the Marlins for a player of that magnitude.

But why Murphy you say?  He’s our all-star second baseman. He’s a solid piece of our infield, our line-up. True he is. But the issue is, he’s also one of the players the Mets can replace almost instantly from within.  Met fans have been confounded by the fact that Alderson and Collins have not installed Wilmer Flores at short. Sure, he’s had stints at the position, but they have been hesitant to give Flores a long look at the position. Most fans, can’t figure out why. Surely it’s not misplaced faith in Ruben Tejada. It’s probably safe to say that the Mets do not see Tejada as the shortstop of the future.  The only adequate part of Tejada’s game is his fielding. His hitting, power and speed are all subpar.  So why isn’t Flores our starting shortstop? Frankly because if the Mets deal Murphy, Flores is the Mets answer at the position. Why create a hole to fill one?

It’s true. Flores is not a short stop. His trials at the position haven’t been horrible, as a matter of fact they've been pretty good, but he’s still only 22 and is expected to bulk up more. He is expected to be a corner position player, a DH or at the very least a second baseman.  The Mets have watched Flores tear up the Pacific coast league the past two years. Flores has not only flourished, but has dominated in the Mets highest level of the minors. If the Mets where to trade Murphy tomorrow, Flores would be installed as the regular second baseman. I’m thinking Alderson feels not much would be lost in the exchange. Maybe initially, but they are fairly confident Flores will hit.

So, if Murph is gone and Flores is at 2nd…..how will that affect the Mets defense up the middle? I’m
thinking not too much.  Flores has a much better arm than Murphy. His range is questionable, but it’s got to be equal to Murphy’s or better. From the sampling I’ve seen of Flores at short and third, I’m guessing it’s at least even, with an edge going to Flores for his arm and softer glove. Friday night’s game against the Brewers really explained why Murphy is expendable.  He committed 2 errors and his slow execution of a double play ball in the game came back to hurt the Mets as well. Murphy is not anywhere near a good fielder. He is inconsistent at best. He’s just as liable to let a sure double play ball hit right at him go through his legs as he’s liable to make an amazing diving play.  In the booth even Keith Hernandez has even said that Murph’s more spectacular plays would be routine with a player with better range.  It’s no secret that Murphy regularly plays a very deep 2nd base to compensate for his lack of range.  But, giving credit where credit is due, Murphy has worked very, very hard to get to where he is as a fielder. Learning the pivot on a double play has cost Murph two knee operations, but he executes that as well as anyone now. Likewise, it’s not his fault that he’s just not a natural second baseman.  He never will be. That’s just a fact of life for Murphy.

The Mets are also bolstered by the rising star of Dilson Herrera.  Herrera, a natural second baseman was
acquired last year in the Marlon Byrd trade with Pittsburgh.  Just 20 years old, Herrera was promoted to AA Binghamton earlier this year and he is ripping it up batting .353 with 5 homers and 30 RBI in 33 games with a .978 OPS.  In 67 games at single A St. Lucie he batted .307 with 3 homers and 23 RBI with a .765 OPS.  Herrera is just getting better and better. There is talk he may join AAA Las Vegas by the end of the year or may even be called up to Flushing In September for a look see.

Both Flores and Herrera could also be used a trade fodder as well, but the Mets would get a lot more for an established all-star in any deal that comes down the pike. Plus, it’s tough to argue that a better fielder up the middle would make the pitching heavy Mets even stingier defensively.

So, while I’m not privy to any “official” Met news. If you are fan of Daniel Murphy, I’m just giving you fair warning to prepare yourself. With team control over Murphy ending at the end of next season and his value being the highest it’s ever been, it’s a no brainer that Murph will be playing elsewhere between now and April of 2015.


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Robert Flax – ‘The Future’, Flax Style

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Forget the big big moves lets make some forward thinking moves for the fans that we can.

I’m writing this pre deadline, but here as some things as a Met fan that I would like to see the organization do.  Friday night’s thrilling win was a great example of why I love baseball and here are a few things I’d like to see my favorite team and my general manager who I like and believe in do.  None of them are gigantic pie in the sky trade for Tulo type stuff. More about the future becoming the present and how as a Met fan I’d like to see them behave. 

First: I’d like the front office to come in and talk to both David Wright and Daniel Murphy

The Murphy conversation goes: how would you like to be traded to a contender in a pennant race.  If we get a great offer we are going to have to think about trading you.  If not we might think about trading you this off season.  If you don’t want to, we should talk about an extension that’s team friendly. I respect your opinion but if we get overwhelmed we will still make the move.

David Wright is a little different: David you are our captain so we are keeping you informed. We might be trading Daniel Murphy.  We need to get a guy next to you or behind you on the diamond who can play at an all star level and we think trading Murphy will help us. We have organizational strength at 2nd base.  But if we do here’s what we have built already.  This year we think we found you some protection in the line up. Duda is coming along big.  Grandy is here to hit homeruns, bat 1-2 or 6th and be a leader with you in the community and with this young team.  T’DA is coming on and he might take the spot in the 2 hole or Flores will be stepping in for Murphy and we think hit 280 too. And if Flores can’t do it with 50 games left Herrara is hitting .340 in AA and is a leadoff hitter who is going to get on base for you to drive in after super 2 next year. Lagares is going to have his ups and downs, but that defense as a 7 or 8 hitter is worth the hitting struggles.  We have 3 young guys in a bullpen that can be dominant (all cheap too) and next year we are adding Parnell to build a monster 4 some out there.  We will not be losing games from now on because we don’t have talent in the bullpen.  Then there are the starters.  Neise is locked up.  Harvey is coming back.  Wheeler is looking like an ace in the making. Gee is a great number 3 in the 4 roll. DeGrom might win rookie of the year and look who is right behind him.
Now David if you wouldn’t mind also hitting righties like an all star again that might help too. 

The moves:

1.        Sign Wheeler to one of those team friendly 30 mm guaranteed 55 mm extensions. The kind that creates cost certainty for the player and the organization. No team that would trade for him would mind if he was locked up.  It actually increases his trade value.  It also puts some pressure on Matt Harvey to show he’s the ace next year, bc he wants to get paid.

2.        Trade Colon and pick up 4 mm in salary 2 this year 2 next for the best asset you can. Not necessarily a ss or outfielder but a tradable asset.  We are stockpiling assets to trade. Either for Stanton, Tulo, Lindor or someone that will cost a fortune and is virtually untouchable.  When we trade right now it’s to be able to top the red soxs for someone game changing. This would be the case for Murphy too so pitching is great.  You can never have enough pitching.

3.        After trading Colon announce the Thor is coming up to make his debut. No giving up on the season this guy throw 97 and is going to be our next big guy come out to the ballpark and see the next superhero.  It takes about a year for these guys to get comfortable so we’ll deal with the bumps and bruises now while we aren’t in the pennant race.  You like Harvey days welcome to Thor days too.

4.        In the off season we are going to go out and get a high priced older reliever 6-8 mm with an option year. I know this seems a strange way to spend or limited resources, but its thinking ahead.  He won’t be the closer because we have two right now and a 3rd who has the best stuff in Familia in waiting, but we are doing this because guys with closer experience are highly tradable and every contender needs that. And if we are a contender we will already have him.  Look at what the just traded to get Street and he’s not even good.  So either next year we are contenders or we have another big asset to trade. We don’t expect to worry about his full year salary anyway.


This is what we are going to do. The future is bright and the future is just about now.  We aren’t in win at all costs mode yet, but we expect to be a wild card team at least next year and we have the pitching to beat any team.
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Morning Report – July 28th – Wild Card Update, Hot Stove, Mail Box

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Last 5 starts for SP Zack Wheeler - 1.41 ERA in 32 IP



Lucas Duda has 25-HR and 75-BB over last 162 games played



Jacob deGrom now has a 1.37 ERA in his last 7-ST, 45-IP, 1.13 WHIP... 0.66-ERA over last four starts



The prospect side bars are up-to-date through Saturday’s games.




Wild Card Update – 

            Mets – record since all-star break:        5-5 (thru Sun)

                         record last 20 games -               13-7

                                    This week’s opponents: - Phillies, Giants

I guess we should be thrilled going .500 on a road trip like this, but it sure feels like we lost more games than we should have. As you will see as you keep reading, very few teams are cooperating with us by letting us catch up to them. We need another 8-2 run to get things going... 

            Nats – record since all-star break:         6-3 - (thru Sun)

at this point in the 'race', we all want to definitely become Nats fans when they play the Braves. It seems to me that it will be close to impossible to pass both these teams, but we could slip in as one of the Wild Card teams if Atlanta finishes this season behind us. 

                                    This week’s opponents: - at Marlins, Phillies

            Braves – record since all-star break:     4-5

                                    This week’s opponents: - San Diego, at Dodgers, at San Diego

            Marlins – record since all-star break:   7-3  (thru Sun)

The Marlins are playing excellent baseball right now and have won six of their last seven games.
              
                                    This week’s opponents: - Nats, Reds

            Brewers – record since all-star break:   6-4 (thru Sun)

Remember, regardless of how many times this team loses to us, this is the team you want to root to win their division and knock off the likes of  St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati. 

                                    This week’s opponents: - at Tampa Bay, at Cards

            Cards – record since all-star break:       5-4  -  (thru Sun)

you need to root for Milwaukee to win the central division... thus, you want them to sweep the Cards next week in their three-games series.

                                    This week’s opponents: - at Padres, Milwaukee

Reds – record since all-star break:         1-8-  (thru Sun)

boy, it must be hard to be a Reds fan these days… you go into the All-Star break thinking you not only have a great chance to be a wild card team, but also win your division and this happens

                        This week’s opponents: - Arizona, at Marlins

Pirates – record since all-star break:     5-3 - 

the Pirates have been on a roll. Theyhave trailed most of the games they have played since the break only to fight back and win. We need some help here, both by the Giants and Arizona

                        This week’s opponents: - at Giants, at Arizona

Giants – record since all-star break:     5-5

                        This week’s opponents: - Pirates, at Mets

Dodgers - record since all-star break:   5-4

Right now, you want to root for the Dodgers to win all their games against the Giants.

                        This week’s opponents: - Braves, Cubs


Summary -  We'll keep this up for at least another week or two, but if the Mets can't play better than one or two of the teams competing for a Wild Card slot, you have to ask yourself if you are really competing anymore.





SP Noah Syndergaard pitched yesterday for Las Vegas and he once again pitched too many pitches early on. Yes, he struck out eight batters and gave up only one earned run, but all this happened over only five innings where he had  103 pitches (68-strikes). This will go down in the books as a positive outing, but he needs to go deeper into the game if he's going to be successful at this, or the major league level.




Hot Stove –

Adam Rubin/ESPN reports that Mets sources close to him have told him that the Mets are not close to any trade for nobody…

The New York Yankees have told the LA Dodgers that they have ‘no interest ‘ in OF Matt Kemp

Ken Rosenthal -  drawing interest in A. Cabrera from teams with need at either SS or 2B. CLE exploring deals for both youngsters, veterans.

The Giants have an interest in Ben Zobrist




Mail Box -

Bob Gregory to me -

Mack, one pure hitter is what this team needs.  A True clean-up hitter.  With that in mind, the Mets can choose to aim for the best or something that could possibly work out.

If the Mets choose to go with a wish and a prayer it seems that Matt Kemp may actually be the best bet.  Reports seem to indicate that the Dodgers may be willing to eat some of the contract and/or accept a lesser prospect haul.
I would hope the Mets would rather choose to aim for the best.  This will definitely be costly in terms of prospects, but I think talent wise, the Mets could be in a good position now to tempt a team that would not normally plan on trading away a talented bat.

Stanton of course would be the prime target here.  Would his every day performance be worth parting with 2 pitchers/prospects such as Wheeler, Syndegaard, deGrom.  Could the Mets maybe add an additional option by acquiring another attractive prospect in return for Colon and/or Murphy?
The result would be Stanton and possibly Flores in the line-up every day vs. losing probably Wheeler and then either Syndegaard, deGrom, or prospect obtained in Murphy/Colon trade from the rotation.

Heck, imagine how nice Springer from the Astros would look in the Mets Line-up.  Again not available, but would the cost in prospects it would take to change the Astros mind be worth it?

In the post-steroid baseball world, is an everyday hitter like Stanton or Springer worth more than pitchers?

Just how much are things changing and are you able to be ahead of other teams in realizing just how much values have shifted?

What do you think? Thanks –


            Mack – Hey Bob, it’s always great to hear from you.

Re “one pure hitter”, there are only so many of these in the game these days and, right now, three are available in a trade… Tulo, CarGo, and Kemp.

You’re going to pay extra for these guys… they come with injury history, some grey in their beard, and a big-ass contract to fulfill.

Also, we haven’t even addressed what each team would want in return, but the Mets have what it would take to pull off a trade with either the Dodgers or the Rockies… young pitching.

We don’t have to spend any time discussing either Stanton or Springer. Neither one of these guys are going anywhere.

Nothing is worth more than young, team controlled pitching. Every successful team is built with them and every other teams want them.
What has Stanton been worth so far to the Marlins? Well, how many playoff games have the Marlins had since Stanton joined the team?
Bob, you get only so many chances to draft in the early rounds. The Mets, first under Omar Minaya and now, under Sandy Alderson, decided to concentrate both their drafting and International signings with young, talented, high ceiling pitching.

I wrote earlier this week that the Mets have 14 possible rotation pitchers through now and 2016. Fourteen. If you have fourteen pitchers that can survive as a major league level rotation pitcher, you can bargain your way for whatever you need.

I’ve said this a number of times… let’s give Alderson through next week to see what he comes up with to address left field. Brandon Nimmo seems capable of playing at the pro level, but I don’t think he’s the kind of outfielder that’s going to make you happy.

Michael Conforto just might be your cup of tea but you’re going to have to wait 2/3 years.

My guess is you will be disappointed this mid-season, but let’s give it to the end of the month.


Bob, one last thing about which pitchers to keep and which ones to offer up in a trade. The Mets have plenty of people in Flushing, Las Vegas, Binghmaton, and roving coaches sent out from the Extended Camp in Port St. Lucie.

They have seen enough of all these guys both as minor leaguers and in ‘Da Bigs, and let me tell you something… everybody that saw Matt Harvey knew he was something special and no one saw any reason to hold him back, He had the talent THEN and he was ready THEN.

What this also means is that pitchers like Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, and Rafael Montero projected as a pitcher just as great as Harvey was, but they still had to learn to translate that on the field in game conditions.

Wheeler got off to a rocky start, but he’s now becoming the SP2 that Alderson will only trade for someone like CarGo, Kemp, or Tulo… even up.

The wild card that works for the Mets was Jacob deGrob. Once in a while someone comes around like this and makes your job easier.

Syndergaard and Montero have under-preformed their expectations and could head up a list of guys like Colon, Gee, and Niese that all available for the right superstar shortstop of left fielder. Not all of them, but maybe two or three with a Wyoming outfielder thrown in for grins.





Minor Notes –


Lucas Duda is now 12th in NL in OPS, ahead of Robinson Cano, Freddie Freeman, and Adam Jones… Las Vegas OF Andrew Brown now leads team with 17 home runs… Zack Wheeler averaged 97 mph on his fastball Friday night, via Brooks Baseball, and got 16 whiffs on 51 swings… Matt Bowman has dominated after promotion to AAA. Tossed 7 scoreless innings for Vegas before surrendering solo homer in 8th to Salt Lake.,,,  

Mets SS since 2012 entering today: 596 G, 2025 PA, 13 HR, 132 RBI, .075 ISO, .249/.317/.323, .285 wOBA, 81 wRC+, 3.2 fWAR... 

Tulo since 2012 entering today: 264 G, 1090 PA, 54 HR, 161 RBI, .235 ISO, .316/.399/.551, .408 wOBA, 147 wRC+, 11.8 fWAR...
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Mack's Mets © 2012