2015 Draft Profile - LHP - Justin Hooper - De La Salle (CA) HS - UPDATED 9-11-14


9-11-14 – Fangraphs Top 50 Players in Draft - 9. Justin Hooper, LHP, De La Salle HS (CA), UCLA commit: The 6’7/230 lefty has been up to 97 mph with an above average curveball and, late in the summer, flashed an above average changeup, though the command lags behind due to the effort in his delivery. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2015-mlb-draft-top-51/

8-14-14 - Hooper was a known prospect last summer when the 6’7 underclassman sat 88-92 mph at the Area Code Games, then created buzz this spring when his velo jumped into the mid-90’s as a junior.  Last summer, his delivery forced him to throw well across his body and this held back his potential while he now is much more online, though there’s still some effort and inconsistency in the delivery.
The NorCal product hasn’t been on the summer showcase circuit much, so last week’s two appearances at Area Codes (multiple innings) and the Perfect Game All American Classic (one inning) were the first time most scouts have paid close attention to him.  Hooper didn’t throw a changeup last year and had no feel for a well below average 82-87 mph changeup at Area Codes, then threw one very good changeup at 80 mph to end his PGAAC inning, so I’m splitting the difference on that grade.

Fastball: 55/65, Curveball, 45/55, Changeup: 40/50+, Command: 35/45+�

Fastball: 55/65
At his best, the player’s four-seam fastball possesses above-average cutting life, sitting 94 mph and topping out at 96 mph over the course of a short, one inning burst. In an extending outing, he is presently unable to hold his plus-plus fastball velocity, instead showing more of what amounts to an above-average fastball. When that is the case, he is comfortable switching to his two-seam fastball, which shows sinking life at 88-90 mph.
It shouldn’t be an issue in the long-term, accounting for physical maturation of his presently lanky, extra-large frame. However, struggles with repeating his delivery and mechanical issues (as noted below) subsequently lead to a murky present and future command profile, thus making it difficult to project the offering having the complete effectiveness of its true plus-plus potential, hence the half-grade knock on the future potential.
Curveball: 45/55
In my first look, a heavy dose of the 74-78 mph curveballs the player spun off would have earned just a present 45-grade mark. But it’s worth mentioning the offering looked better than that under the bright lights this past Sunday at PETCO Park. Given his immense size and long levers, there isn’t a need to fight his three-quarters arm slot like many pitchers with similarly lower slots would have to in order to get the desired vertical break of a curveball.
The offering shows two-plane break and shape, but needs additional tightening and sharpness as it travels towards the hitter. His highly projectable frame leads me to believe there is additional strength on its way, which will help speed the arm and create a stronger bite in its action. However, consistency is once again an issue, as there’s a clear wrap in the arm action when throwing the breaking ball, creating not only additional stress on the arm, but also making it more difficult for the offering to reach its 60-grade potential, hence the half-grade knock once again.
Changeup: 40/50+
There is feel for the changeup, but it is largely inconsistent and lagging behind his other offerings in terms of development and confidence. He threw it only a handful of times over five innings, and none of the five ever flashed averaged or better potential. However, the first (and only) changeup he did throw in my second viewing was as good as one could expect. His ability to manipulate his other offerings allow for a full grade projection in the changeup, but issues within his delivery once again are causing him to be inconsistent with his stuff once it reaches the plate.
Command: 20/45+
The pitcher will be more control than command, but that doesn’t mean he will be a strike-throwing machine. Presently, his fastball command is all over the place, and I don’t think that will ever be completely cleaned up. Furthermore, there are issues within his delivery that need tweaking. He’s made several mechanical changes in the past year, but it’s a mixed bag of good and bad. His back leg and lower half are no longer finishing at the end of his delivery, but that can be improved as he was doing it the year before.
Then there is the direction to home plate; he’s striding towards the left-handed batter’s box, in an attempt to create deception, but this only forces him to throw across his body while pitching to the batter’s box rather than home plate. There is a wrap in his arm action, putting additional stress on his elbow and causing his arm to be late at foot strike. These are legitimate issues causing his delivery to fail to reach the “clean” label, but more importantly affecting the player’s present command and consistent ability to tap into the potential of his offerings.
Hooper’s arsenal and command presently suggest a mid-rotation arm, the type of profile that usually gets selected in the back end of the first round of the draft. However, “it only takes one team,” and a prep arm with his size and projection could, with a strong spring, sneak into the top 5 as Tyler Kolek did last June. Even if Hooper fails to show much improvement between this summer’s showcase circuit and next year’s draft, some organization could already be dreaming of what their player development system could mold this ball of clay into.


6-11-14 – Kevin Askeland/MaxPreps – Top 10 High School Players To Watch for 2015 Draft – Justin Hooper, De La Salle (Concord, Calif.), LHP - Tall and rangy at 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, Hooper went 6-3 and had the win in De La Salle's section championship win over San Ramon Valley. Struck out 58 batters in 44.2 innings pitched with a 2.04 ERA. http://www.maxpreps.com/news/RE_IkTleBU-vFF_g8YCOQg/top-10-high-school-players-to-watch-for-2015-mlb-draft.htm

6-20-14 - We went with Justin Hooper over Stephen Kolek as the top arm in the class, but we’re sure you can make an argument either way. Hooper was selected as the No. 33 pitcher in the Area Code Games (Athletics). He is a big lefty, standing in at 6-foot-7 and hails from De La Salle (Concord, Calif.). He sat 88-92 in the Area Code Games and showed the ability to change speeds. He threw two innings for the Athletics and struck out three.  http://www.studentsports.com/blog/2013/10/17/baseball-top-25-2015-class/ 

August 2013 - 

Mack - Hooper was chosen as the 33rd pitcher in the Area Code games, sitting 88-92, and striking out three over two innings.


Mack - No one likes to start out the 'mock' season as the favorite player in any position, but, in the case of left-handed pitchers, it has to fall to De La Salle (CA) High School junior, 6-6, 220 pound Justin Hooper.

Arsenal includes: 90-93, 96 fastball , and a 74-76 curve (hard break and change-up are still developing). Most of the velocity on the fastball was added over this past season and is estimated to still have some projectablity on that pitch.

Hooper has a quick arm a very projectable body. 

Hopper did commit to UCLA in early May but it's hard to believe that he's spend one inning on that mound.

Areas of concern:  command Junior year stats so far:  35.1-IP, 48-K, 31-BB


D-Whit - It Was 45 Years Ago Today...Thursday September 18th 1969


September 18th

Kranepool's bat propels Seaver to 23rd win
It was a pitcher’s duel in Montreal as Tom Seaver and Bill Stoneman duked it out on the mound in game that only saw two runs scored. Seaver was brilliant going all the way for the 9 strikeout complete game en route to his 23rd win of the year. Eddie Kranepool was Stoneman’s nemesis in this game. He drove in both Mets run-an RBI single in the 1st and a solo HR in the 6th.

As the Mets dream September marched on, the Cubs nightmare month continued, as the fell to the Phillies at Wrigley. Heading into the final two weekends of the season New York (91-58) now held a commanding 5 game lead over Chicago (87-64). The battle in the wild, wild NL West continued however, with just two games separating four teams-two of those four trailing by just a half game.

Gary Giordano - Remembering The Early Years


After their inaugural season 1963 seemed to offer hope since there was no where to go but up.  This was the last year the Mets would play at the Polo Grounds whose neighborhood was only slightly better than the one around Yankee Stadium.

1963 was the year Duke Snider returned to NY as a Met and the zany Jimmy Piersall became a Met long enough to hit his 100th homerun.  He celebrated by running the bases backwards.  He touched them all unlike "Marvelous Marv" Thornberry.  Perhaps Marv should have run the bases backwards.  Besides seeing the Jim Hickman walkoff homer to beat the Cubs I got to see the major league debut of Willie Stargell of the Pirates.  He struck out a number of times in a brillantly pitched game by Carl Willey who lost 2-0 on a 2 run homer to Dick Lynch.

Baseball has stats for everything these days but if they kept stats for the most foul ball home runs Mets catcher Choo Choo Coleman would have led the majors.

The Mets had a new beginning in 1964 opening the season at Shea Stadium in Queens.  It made it an easier sell to get dad to take me to games at Shea since we lived on Long Island.  We went to one of the first games in April and saw the Mets beat the Cardinals (who went on to win the World Series that year) 4-3 behind Jack (Fat Jack) Fisher.

We shared Father's Day watching on t.v. Jim Bunning of the Phillies pitch a perfect game against the Mets.

1965 saw the retirement of Casey Stengel and Sandy Koufax pitch a perfect game against the Mets in L.A. (Has any team had 2 perfect games thrown against them in consecutive years)?

The Mets had a knack in those years of setting records of dubious distinction.  The life lessons of learning to deal with adversity, failure and heartbreak continued for me and other Mets fans.

Morning Report – September 18 – Wilmer Flores, Michael Conforto, Miami Marlins, Off-season Fitness Camp, David Wright, Matt Harvey


Carson Cistulli on Wilmer Flores playing shortstop -

What appears likely, in any case, is that the Mets experiment of installing Flores as the (mostly) starter at shortstop has had relatively positive returns thus far — if only because those returns haven’t been disastrous. It’s also an experiment that probably deserves to be extended — because, as Baseball America noted in 2012, a player with Flores’ offensive upside does have a chance to be special if he’s also playing shortstop. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/wilmer-flores-not-a-disaster-at-shortstop-yet/

Mack – Wow. Somebody is actually writing a national article on Wilmer Flores playing shortstop. This has to be a first. I’m so surrounded by ‘Mets writers’ and ‘Mets readers’, that I love when I get an out my wheelhouse and get a chance to read what an outsider thinks about the potential of Flores. Judging on what I’m reading here, the Mets should have a little more patience with him and give him the 2015 season to continue to grow into this job.

Mets WAR - Lagares 3.8, Duda 2.7, Murphy 2.7, Wright 1.9, d'Arnaud 1.7, Flores 1.2, EY Jr 1.1, Tejada 1.0 , Grandy 0.8, Kirk 0.7

Buster Olney estimates that James Shields, Max Scherzer, Pablo Sandoval, Melky Cabrera, Russell Martin, Nelson Cruz, J.J. Hardy, Victor Martinez, Ervin Santana, David Robertson and Hanley Ramirez will receive qualifying offers, which should fall between $15MM and $15.5MM.

    Mack - Sadly, Hardy is on this list. However, more and more I see the Mets holding fast in 2015 with Wilmer Flores at short.

Newest Addition: Michael Conforto, OF: The 10th overall pick in the June draft, Conforto came in and did exactly what an advanced college bat should do in the New York-Penn League - hit. He hit just three home runs in 42 games, but should project for more power than that. He's not a surefire middle-of-the-order bat, but he should be an everyday player in the Mets outfield. He could move quickly through their system and may not need more than a half year at each level. http://www.mlbprospectwatch.com/mlb_prospect_watch/2014/09/organization-recap-new-york-mets.html

Brian Joura, over at Mets360, wrote a great post about the four players that attended the off-season fitness camp before this season started. The results were interesting…  Ruben Tejada increased his OPS by 103 points… Lucas Duda by 53 points… Wilmer Flores by 59 points… and Juan Lagares by 74 points.

Obviously, these guys should keep doing what they learned there, but who should the Mets send to camp this off-season?

The first guy I would like to send… back… is Duda and target all the direction from camp leaders to the eventual goal of an increased OPS against left-handed pitching. We desperately need Duda to be the real deal at first base.

Second, I vote for Dilson Herrera, both for defensive and offensive reasons. It looks like he is the future second baseman for this team and it’s going to take an awful big improvement in his OPS to top the .752 being turned out by Daniel Murphy.

Third on my list would be Eric Campbell. We know he can hit… but he needs all the help he can get in speed drills and outfield defense.

Back in June, David Wright slid and apparently jammed his shoulder; from the looks of it, he was never right again. The source of the injury seems to be Wright's rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is a network of four muscles that help keep the upper arm in the socket; it is attached to the shoulder blade and helps to stabilize the arm through motion. The inflammation that Wright is experiencing is exacerbated by a lack of rest and the repeated efforts his shoulder had to endure throughout the season.

This type of injury is not uncommon among overhead-throwing athletes. Between swinging a bat, sliding, falling, and throwing a baseball, the shoulders get a tremendous amount of abuse during the course of a season. This abuse doesn’t always manifest itself in injuries, but when small inflammation arises, the body will tend to make compensations in order to keep itself functioning. Over time, this can cause further damage or new injuries to other parts of the body. - http://www.amazinavenue.com/2014/9/14/6145019/new-york-mets-david-wright-injury
                          Mack – Read this… a very interesting analysis on Wright’s injury.

Erik Hudson -

Hey Mack, good to see Matt Harvey hitting 95 mph in his bullpen.  Are the Mets going to use what the Nats did with Strasburg as their guide next year?  Limiting him to about 160 IP, and shutting him down in September no matter what the standings are?
  Erik, I remember reading somewhere that Harvey will be limited in his pitch count next season and 2016 will be the first year he will be allowed to pitch without one. Ironically, 2016 will also be the first year of his arbitration period.
The building of the future Mets 25-man gets easier every time someone like Harvey heals and Jacob deGrom strikes out eight batters in a row.
I believe baseball has been put on notice that three-fifths of the future Mets dream rotation has been built (Harvey, deGrom, Zack Wheeler) and ‘the phones are open’ for all offers involving the rest of the pitchers we have around here.
Did Wilmer Flores get enough time to prove he can play SS in 2015?
Is an Eric Campbell-Matt den Dekker platoon enough in LF in 2015, waiting for Brandon Nimmo to mature?
And if all this is answered with ‘yes’, what do we do with all these pitchers?

We continue our hunt for a 2015 SS and LF replacement in the NL East. Next up is the Florida Miami Marlins.

According to Cot[i], the Marlins 2014 salaries are $45,825,400.

You’ve only got three extended contracts here, all of which are ‘cheap’… catcher Jarrod Saltamacchia (.232- $7mil-2015, $8mil-2016), 1B Garrett Jones (.241 - $5mil-2015), and 2B Jeff Baker (.260 - $2.1mil-2015).

Outfield wise, superstar Giancarlo Stanton (.291, 36-HR) is just finishing his ARB-1 year at $6.5mil and speculation is his ARB-2 year could exceed $10mil… Christian Yelich (.294) and Marcell Ozuna (.264) are still pre-ARB… chief backup and 4th outfielder is veteran Reed Johnson (156-AB, .218 - $1mil-2014, FA-2015).

According to the Marlins web site, they have only had one person play shortstop this season… Adeiny Hechavarria (.276 - $2.2mil-2014 – pre-ARB).

Mack observation – It’s no big secret that the owner of the Marlins, Jeffrey Loria, doesn’t like to spend money on this team. It’s also no big secret that the baseball world is anticipating an eventual trade of Stanton well before he becomes eligible for free agency. Add to this the six million dollar bonus that was paid out this year to first round pick, RHP Tyler Kolek, well… you can figure out priorities here.

I expect the Marlins to solve their future roster needs with a 4-6 team controlled player package deal for Stanton. They are super-duper young pitcher deep, but they still need to put a better team on the field every day (sound familiar?).

Nobody here for us. 



September 17th 2014 -- Marlins 4, Mets 3

Wednesday night at Citi Field, Henderson Alvarez allowed 2 runs through 6 innings; the Marlins beat the Mets 4-3. Dillon Gee started for the Mets and fell behind right off the bat. In the top of the first Gee tossed a wild pitch to plate Donovan Solano.  An infield hit up the third base line by Garrett Jones brought home Casey McGehee with the 2nd run.  In the 2nd Solano singled to right scoring Christian Yelich and it was 3-0. The Mets made it a 1 run game in the bottom of the 5th when Lucas Duda singled bringing home Gee and Matt den Dekker.  The red hot Wilmer Flores almost gave the Mets the lead when his long fly to center was snagged on a great play by Marcel Ozuna to end the threat.  Gee pitched into the 7th, with 2 out and a runner on second Josh Edgin came in to face Yelich, but Yelich came through against the lefty with an RBI single to make it 4-2 Fish.  Duda came home in the bottom of the 8th on a RBI ground out by Granderson to make it 4-3. Gee went 6 2/3 he allowed 7 hits 4 runs (all earned) walking 2 and striking out 4.  Gee takes the loss and falls to 7-8. Alvarez gets the win and improves to 11-6. Steve Cishek pitched the 9th and notched his 37th save.  Ozuna led the way for the Marlins going 3 for 4.  Duda had 2 hits and 2 RBI for the Mets. den Dekker also had 2 hits for the Mets out of the lead off slot.  The Mets drop 2 of 3 to Marlins and finish their last big home stand at 5-5. The Mets are 38-40 at home and 73-80 on the year.  The Mets are off on Thursday and Friday they start their last road trip of the year in Atlanta. Zach Wheeler (10-10 3.61) goes for the Mets,  Julio Teheran (13-12 2.89) goes for Atlanta. 

2015 Draft Profile - OF - Daz Cameron - Eagle's Landing (GA) HS - UPDATED 9-11-14


9-11-14 – Fangraphs Top 50 Players in Draft - 8. Daz Cameron, CF, Eagle’s Landing HS (GA), Florida State commit: The son of Mike Cameron was getting Justin Upton-type hype as a prep sophomore but hasn’t taken the expected steps forward since then, though some scouts are anticipating a jump this spring; he’s still really good, but now compares less to Upton and more to the 23rd pick in last year’s draft, Tigers CF Derek Hill, as an overall prospect. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2015-mlb-draft-top-51/

8-12-14  -  TTF Baseball -

Daz Cameron, OF, Eagle’s Landing HS (GA)

Like Rodgers, Cameron has all the tools and makes the game look incredibly easy with his athleticism and instincts. You can tell he grew up around it as his dad is Mike Cameron, and he carries himself like a seasoned pro. He will stick at center field and his arm continues to get stronger as he has been clocked at 91 mph from the outfield with accuracy. He has plus speed (6.61/60) and his bat speed is electric. The 6’-1”, 185 pound right-hander will gain more power as he matures and he has superstar written all over him. Over 28 games as a junior, he hit .390/.523/.695 with seven doubles, six home runs, 11 stolen bases and 18 walks to just 12 strikeouts. Committed to Florida State. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2015-mlb-draft-armour-aa-game-preview-part-1/43804#O6zgsDyBeLLBfCWU.99

Player ReportJuly 21,2014
Name: Dazmon CameronYear: Class of 2015
Date of Birth: 01/15/1997Position 1: OF
Twitter: @Daz_cameronPosition 2:
Hometown: McDonough, GAPosition 3: 
High School: Eagle’s Landing Christian AcademyBats: Right
Travel Team: East Cobb AstrosThrows: Right
Scout Team:Grad Year:  2015
Height:  6’1″Committed to: Florida State University
Weight:  186 lbsSchools of Interest:

Player  Summation:
  • Outstanding athlete with five tool potential.
  • Lean athletic frame with room to pack on strength.
  • Starts with hands near head, draws them back in sync with stride.
  • Generates outstanding bat speed.
  • Short path to the ball, keeps bat in the zone.
  • Long one hand finish.
  • All field approach, wears out the gaps.  Power to the pull side, projects to all fields.
  • 6.61 in line sixty speed plays in game on the bases and in the field.
  • Excellent blood lines.

6-11-14 – Kevin Askeland/MaxPreps – Top 10 High School Players To Watch for 2015 Draft – Dazmon Cameron, Eagle's Landing Christian Academy (McDonough, Ga.), OF - Led his team to the state championship game for the second year in a row. Batted .390 with seven doubles and six home runs on the season. http://www.maxpreps.com/news/RE_IkTleBU-vFF_g8YCOQg/top-10-high-school-players-to-watch-for-2015-mlb-draft.htm

7-9-14  -  B/R - 1. Tampa Bay Rays Select Ga. HS OF Dazmon Cameron - Nick Gordon was the son of a former MLB player who captivated scouts with his tools in the 2014 draft. Next year it will be Dazmon Cameron, son of Mike Cameron, who will wear that crown.  The Eagles Landing High School star stands out for his natural all-around ability on the field. He's well-built already at 6'1" and 186 pounds with room to fill out and shows a very nice right-handed swing with more contact ability than his father and similar power. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2085268-mlb-mock-draft-2015-brs-official-early-predictions-for-next-years-top-10/page/2

7-3--14  -   
So. Daz Cameron over 31 G: .436 w/ 12 2B, 6 HR, 27 RBI, 18 SB, 18 BB/5 K, .549 OBP/.753 SLG.

6-20-14 -

6-10-14 - Daz Cameron, OF, Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy, Georgia
The son of former MLB outfielder Mike Cameron, Daz is one of the impact bats in the 2015 class.  His tools stand out on the field and are all at least above average.  Entering the summer, he is viewed by many as the top player in the class.  Cameron’s has already been selected to the Under Armour All-America Game.  http://bigleaguefutures.net/1/2014/06/10/2015-players-take-the-stage-high-school-edition/

6-4-14 - Mack - Everybody has been waiting for this kid to come around.

Eagle's Landing (GA) HS OF Daz Cameron is the son of ex-Met Mike Cameron and has the same kind of skills his pop had when he was a prospect... excellent speed, a cannon for an arm, and outstanding instincts. He has explosive hand speed with projectable power

Defensively, he's projected to stick in centerfield. It's very hard right now to find much wrong with his emerging game.


It Was 45 Years Ago Today...Wednesday September 17th 1969


September 17th

Jerry Koosman wins 15th-blanks Expos, 5-0.
After rain washed out Tuesday’s game against the Cards in St. Louis, New York headed north of the border to visit parc Jarry for the final time this season to take on the Expos. The wild of the Mets ’69 season began against Montreal back in April at Shea. The Mets lost that opening tilt 11-10 but now in September they were hoping to further increase their lead and decrease their magic number over Chicago.

Jerry Koosman won 19 as a rookie the year before and was going after his 15th victory of 1969. RBI singles in the 4th by Ron Swoboda and Wayne Garrett staked the lefty to a 3-0 he would not relinquish. “Kooz” tossed a CG shutout, allowing just six Expo hits. The Mets added another two scores before it was over, winning for the 90th time of the season-and their 14th September victory.

The Cubs, who won on Tuesday, defeated Philadelphia and remained 4 games back with 14 games remaining.
Mack's Mets © 2012