1/24/09

The Mets Mack Attack - 1-24-9

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MLB – NY Mets:

John Sickles on: - Brian Schneider, 10 win shares - Drafted in the fifth round in 1995 out of high school in Pennsylvania. Prospect Grades: 2000, Grade C+. 2001: Grade C. I compared him to Darrin Fletcher in the books. Schneider is a career .253/.325/.376 hitter, +83 OPS. Fletcher hit .269/.318/.423, +92 OPS.

Sickles’ Top Catching Prospects – 1995-2004:

1995 (Eddie Epstein list) - Raul Casanova, Grade A-: Career .236/.304/.379 in 1081 at-bats. - Casanova never lived up to his early potential, partly due to injuries, but is still hanging around as a backup catcher

2003 - Justin Huber, Grade B+: Career .220/.273/.302 in 159 at-bats. - Huber moved to first base, has had some nagging injury problems, and looks like a bust right now

The State of Met’s SPs:

I have no problem with the current pitching staff.

A rotation of Johan Santana, John Maine, Mike Pelfrey, Tim Redding, and Jon Niese is okay in my books. The addition of Freddy Garcia may work out, but I expect him to start the season in AAA-Buffalo so everone on the Mets can make sure he is healthy and sound. In addition, veteran Nelson Figueroa will be next to him, waiting for the phone to ring if and when a sixth starter is needed.

Relief wise, I expect this to be the best bullpen in many years. The eighth and ninth innings are a lock for J.J. Putz and Francisco Rodriquez, allowing both Pedro Feliciano and Duaner Sanchez to concentrate on the middle innings. Don’t be surprised this group doesn’t turn in the best stats in the league.

Don’t get me wrong… I would love to have Oliver Perez back. He would slot in at SP4, allowing the development of Niese to continue in Buffalo. In turn, it would slow down the growth of prospects Bradley Holt and Dillon Gee, which also would give the Mets a needed bargaining chip when trade talks come around.

But, if this is our staff, then this is our staff.

So, for the off season, the Mets signed a couple of relief pitchers, two questionable starters, and a bunch of second string guys.

Fits my plan for predicting for the third year in a row that that they’ll finish third.



New Mets:

Freddy Garcia - Positions: P-346 - Full Name: Freddy Antonio Garcia - Born: October 6,1976 in Caracas, Venezuela - Height: 6-4 Weight: 235 Bats: Right Throws: Right - Drafted: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Houston Astros in 1993 - Signed by Scout: Andres Reiner - MLB Debut: April 7,1999 - Prospect Rankings: 1999 - 61st ranked MLB - 1999 - 2nd ranked for Seattle Mariners (according to Baseball America)

Major League Totals - 10 Seasons 118-77 4.07 1.29 1,264 K’s in 1,716.2 IP
2006: 17-9 4.53 1.28 135 216.1
2007: 1-5 5.90 1.60 50 58.0
2008: 1-1 4.20 1.13 12 15.0

Rob Mackowiak - Positions: 3B-319, RF-279, 2B-262, OF-186, CF-174, LF-151, 1B-52, SS-7, DH-2, C-1 - June 20,1976 in Oak Lawn, Illinois - 5-10 168 Bats: Left Throws: Right - High School: Oak Lawn Community (Oak Lawn, Illinois) - College: South Suburban College - Drafted: Selected by Pittsburgh Pirates in 53rd Round (1498th overall) of 1996 amateur entry draft (June-Reg) - MLB Debut: May 19,2001

Major League Totals - 8 Seasons 856 G 2,328 Abs .259/.332/.405/.737
008: Wash. 38 G 53 Abs .132/.254/.208/.462

Mack’s Prospect List Update:

Player rankings continue to be updated based right now on results from the winter leagues, injury reports, and general opinions from the many Mets writers who turn out lists like this.
The current top ten goes as follows
:

1. SS Wilmer Flores
2. SP Brad Holt
3. OF Fernando Martinez
4. 3B Jefry Marte
5. OF Cesar Puello
6. SP Eric Beaulac
7. SP Robert Carson
8. SP Jeurys Familia
9. SP Dillon Gee
10. 1B/OF Nick Evans


There are currently 46 Mets minor leaguers on the list because, in my opinion, that is the extent of the talent pool. Recent additions were 1B Giovanni Ortiz, at #40,and P Kyle Allen at #39.

Rotoworld: - According to ESPN Radio's Andrew Marchand: The Mets will eventually be willing to go to four years for Oliver Perez. Meanwhile, the Mets have growing interest in Ben Sheets. A source says that the Mets don't think Sheets' arm is perfect, but it is not terrible either. Marchand's source expects the Mets' negotiations for Perez to continue to drag. If there's another club willing to go to four years for Perez, that info has been kept away from the media thus far. Sheets, as you know, met with Rangers brass yesterday. Dan Graziano provides his take on the Mets' plans over at his blog.

It simply amazes me how this Hot Stove season works… the Mets obviously have no intention of signing any other starting pitcher than Oliver Perez, yet we all have to sit around with our thumbs up our ass waiting for King Scott to place his sword on our shoulders and knight us. It’s pathetic. And, it’s a statement on the importance of signing and drafting the right youngsters each year. The Mets wouldn’t have to go through this shit if they didn’t empty the farm for Johan Santana. Trust me, in two years, this won’t happen again. Brad Holt, Dillon Gee. Eric Beaulac, Robert Carson, Jeurys Familia, Tobi Stoner, Scott Moviel, Brant Rustich, Mike Antonini, and Jenrry Mejia are all coming down the pipeline and the Mets will be in the driver seat, starting pitcher wise, come 2011.

Prospect News:

All from Toby Hyde:
SP Brad Holt – Mack’s Mets Prospect #2:
There’s still lots of speculation where SP Brad Holt (Mack’s Mets Prospect #2) is going to start the 2009 season. The experts are pretty slit between AAA-Buffalo, while the other half say AA-Birmngham. Either way, it will not be the warm weather of St. Lucie or last year’s AAA-team, New Orleans.Actually, there is still speculation if Holt is a non-roster invitee for the Mets ST team. Holt told his local college town newspaper that pitchers are due to report on February 13, but he plans on being there two weeks early. Holt’s Low-A Clones stats last year were: 1.87 ERA with 96 Ks and only 43 hits in 72.1 IP. Holt is, by far, the Mets top SP prospect and should be Queens-ready to compete for a rotational spot in 2010.

3B Shawn Bowman (not ranked on Mack’s Met Prospect List due to age):

Finally healthy after missing the better part of the previous two and a half seasons with a chronic back problem, Shawn Bowman showed that he still possessed significant tools. Bowman has soft hands and a strong arm at third to go along with average range. At the plate, he has average power and some batspeed, but a longish swing that pitchers in AA found ways to exploit. Understandably, Bowman was more interested in staying healthy in 2008 than in making major mechanical adjustments. Whether he both stays healthy and adapts in 2009 will determine whether he has a big league career or not. 2008: Shawn Bowman announced his return to health with a 3-5 performance in Jupiter for St. Lucie on June 17th. Bowman raked his way through the FSL for a month and a half before a late July promotion to Binghamton. While tearing the cover off the ball in St. Lucie, Bowman was very aggressive, drawing just four walks, an approach that would be exposed as too simple in AA. Once again as a B-Met, Bowman got off to a quick start, going 2-4 with a homer in his AA debut that sparked an eight-game hitting streak. However, in his last 84 AB in AA, Bowman hit a paltry .214/.209/.333 with no walks. Bowman was hitting well again in the Arizona Fall League before heading home to be with his ailing father. Projected 2009 Start: AA Binghamton

P Steve Clyne (Unranked on Mack’s Mets list):

P Steve Clyne flashes two average pitches – a fastball and a slider – out of the bullpen. His fastball was 89-93 for Brooklyn and the slider had average movement showing nice depth and tilt. 2008: Clyne began the year with St. Lucie where he posted ERAs above nine in April and May while fighting his own mechanics. He began to right himself in June and the early part of July before he was dispatched to Brooklyn where he had pitched in 2007. As Brooklyn’s closer, Clyne posted a ridiculously good 4.86 gb/fb ratio. Projected 2009 Start: St. Lucie bullpen, although a jump to Binghamton is a possibility too.

SS Wilmer Flores (Mack’s Met Prospect #1)

Keith Law of ESPN.com and Scouts Inc. ranked SS Wilmer Flores as his 55th best prospect in baseball, second best Mets prospect, and the seventh best middle infield prospect. Overall: Flores’ calling card is his bat — he has quick wrists and is very short to the ball, squaring very well except on balls toward the bottom of the zone. On Flores’s Defense: Flores plays short now but is below-average already, and he’ll move to another position as he fills out, probably third base given his arm strength and the fact that his bat will play there. On Flores’s Power: His power potential is an open question. He has some power now because he makes such hard contact and has loft in his finish; if he fills out physically, he should end up with plus power, topping 30 in his best years.

Alumni:

Two baseball fantasy camps are going on this week on the Treasure Coast, giving attendees a chance to rub elbows with former major league players and coaches from their favorite teams. The New York Mets are holding their camp at the Tradition Field complex in Port St. Lucie through Saturday. It will conclude with the annual campers versus instructors games, which runs 9 a.m. to about 1:30 p.m. The camp is open to the public all week. Former Mets in camp: Bobby Wine, Doug Flynn, John Stearns, Joe Pignatano, Duffy Dyer, Bernard Gilky, Steve Henderson, Anthony Young and others
http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2009/jan/22/spring-comes-early-tradition-field/?partner=RSS

John Sickles on: - Jesus Flores, 10 win shares - Signed as a free agent out of Venezuela in 2002. Prospect Grades: 2005 Grade C; 2006 not in book due to poor performance; 2007 Grade C. Flores showed power in the minors but his plate discipline was quite dismal. It remains to be seen what his career is going to look like as that remains a major weakness

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