1/31/09

New Mets Numbers

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Numbers assigned to new Mets invited to ST:

Rocky Cherry - 30 Sean Green - 48 Brandon Knight – 35 Eddie Kunz – 40 Darren O'Day - 36 JJ Putz - 20 Connor Robertson - 29 Robinson Cancel - 4 Alex Cora - 12 Jeremy Reed – 18 Cory Sullivan - 3 Adam Bostick - 72 - Matt DeSalvo - 66 - Nelson Figueroa - 27 - Casey Fossum - 47 - Freddy Garcia - 56 - Dillon Gee - 73 - Tom Martin - 38 - Heriberto Ruelas - 68 - Kyle Snyder - 65 - Tobi Stoner - 71 - Jon Switzer - 70 - Rene Rivera - 77 - Omir Santos - 76 - Josh Thole - 78 - Michel Abreu - 63 - Jose Coronado - 79 - Andy Green - 10 - Rob Mackowiak - 26 - Fernando Martinez – 67
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1/30/09

More Word on Weekend Sign of OP

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From: NY Sports Digest:

According to a league source with knowledge of the team’s plans, if the Mets do not have Oliver Perez either locked up, or having made huge strides in negotiations by the end of this coming weekend, they are likely to move on to other options. Those options include oft-injured righty Ben Sheets and lefty Randy Wolf. As of today, I was told, the Mets “prefer Wolf to Sheets by a small margin. A lot of people are severely concerned about the medical records of Sheets.” As far as Perez goes, the Mets are not going to overpay for him, meaning he’s not getting a 5 year deal at any financial dollar. A deal the Mets would be comfortable with is a 3 year deal with a 4th year option, but may go 4 years if the annual dollar amount is lower. For instance, they probably won’t go above 4 years $40-$43 million, and might go as much as $12 million per on a 3 year commitment. If Boras/Perez still demand beyond that, they will move on. Should there be a cause for concern? No there shouldn’t. The source went on to say that “it will get done. The Mets love Perez, and Perez loves the Mets. I doubt he would be happy anywhere else. The big stage is him.”
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Mack's Mets Prospect - IF Ruben Tejada

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Toby Hyde on his #19 - IF Rueben Tejada (currently only on ‘honorable mention’ part of Mack’s Mets Prospect List):

Tejada survived the entire 2008 season playing nearly every day in the Florida State League at the tender age of 18. Tejada did not turn 19 until the final weekend of the season, so time is certainly on his side. Tejada has very soft hands, and an average arm at shortstop. He showed nearly average range at short where he was more comfortable moving to his left, and was working on improving his backhand pick. Evaluating Tejada’s offensive ability is made more difficult by balancing 1. his youth, 2. the four level jump he made from the GCL in ’07 to the FSL in ’08, 3. his size. Tejada’s swing works to put the barrel on the ball, but he was generating very little power or loud contact. 2008: Rushed to the FSL, Tejada had one month (June) where he hit over .300, two where he hit in low.200s (April & August) and two where he hit below .200 (May & July). The best part is that he persevered and played everyday as the smallest player on the field. Projected 2009 Start: I just can’t make the argument that Tejada is ready for AA, and with Adam Wogan indicating that Jose Coronado will start in Buffalo in ’09, there aren’t a lot of candidates to play SS everyday in Binghamton. The Mets could put Tejada on the Coronado track - that of gifted defensive SS SS - aggressively assigning him to Binghamton, despite the fact that he has not conquered the FSL. Moreover, the St. Lucie middle infield could be crowded with Greg Veloz and Reese Havens also vying for playing time. St. Lucie is the call, with the staff working hard to find everyone enough pt.

Mack: Tobi has seen much more of this kid than I have, so there’s a good chance he’ll be back on my list as soon as he starts to deliver. The few times I saw him at ST, he was a mess defensively, and he had a horrible season last year at the bat. Was he rushed? Yes. Should he stay in Lucy for another year? Yes. We’ll see from Tejada v1.0 (not to be confused with Miquel in the chain )as the season progress.

Past Mack's Facts on Tejada:

Ruben Tejada SS R R 5-11 165 9-1-89 Panama

Tejada started the 2007 season with the VSL Mets where he had a wonderful season (.364/.466/.479 in 121 at bats, 16 SB). He was promoted and came stateside to finish the season starting for the GCL Mets (.283/.401/.367 in 120 at bats, 16 SB).
2007 Tejada was named the recipient of the 2007 Sterling Award as the MVP of the VSL Mets.

In November 2007, Scouts.com named Tejada the 25th top Mets prospect.

In late January 2007, Baseball America raked Tejada as the 18th top Mets prospect, adding:
"best present tools are on the defensive side, as he has above average arm strength and range that allow him to make all the plays at shortstop"
In February 2008, Baseball Prospectus aarded him a 2-star prospect rating and named him as the 10th overall Mets prospect.

Also in February 2008, Rotoworld ranked Tejada as the #2 Mets prospect, saying:

It doesn't happen very often, but Tejada made an in-season jump from the Venezuelan Summer League to the GCL after hitting .364/.466/.479 with 16 steals in 32 games last season. He didn't hit any homers or steal many bases in the U.S., but he did manage a .401 OBP as a 17-year-old. Tejada doesn't have the same kind of tools typically associated with the top young international properties. He's built like a second baseman, and it's doubtful that he'll ever possess more than 20-homer ability. Even that is probably pushing it. Still, that he's this young and already possesses such strong on-base skills makes him worthy of attention.

A May 2008 scouting report from Andy Braunstein:

Ruben Tejada - SS - At only 18 and not drowning in the FSL that is by his best tool. He has some hitting ability and a chance for this bat speed to go from 5.5-6 to 6.5 making him ML capable. Power should rise to 10-15. His glove is fine, and his more due to youth, not used to the English FSL hitters put on their grounders or having to learn when to throw, and when to pocket, attempts to nab guys at 1st at shots in the hole. He is the best SS prospect they have and if things work out 2B in a few years should be wide open.

In June 2008, Baseball America wrote:

High Class A St. Lucie SS Ruben Tejada (Mets) was arguably the worst hitter in the Florida State League during the first two months of the season. But Tejada, 18, showed in June that he's not as overmatched as many thought. This week, he hit .409/.458/.500 (9-for-22) with two doubles and a 2-2 walk-to-strikeout ratio. For the month of June, he's hitting .373/.428/.482 . . .

In late July, Rotoworld’s came out with their mid-season adjusted Top 150 Prospect List and Tejada was ranked 105th, with a 2013 ETA.

In late July 2008, ProjectProspect.com updated their top 10 Mets prospect list and he was ranked #8

Tejada looked rushed in 2008, playing the entire season for St. Lucie and hitting only .229/.293/.296 in 497 at bats.
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Mack's Mets Prospect #5 - OF Cesar Puello

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Toby Hyde on his # 17 – OF Cesar Puello (#5 on Mack’s Mets Prospect List):

Puello was impressive in his professional debut as a 17-year old in the GCL, showing a nice swing that produced line drives to the big part of the park. He’s strong across his upper body and has solid batspeed, but wasn’t yet driving the ball consistently in games in July. That will come as he learns to use his strength. He has the range and arm to handle right. 2008: Puello’s OPS increased in every month from .537 in June to .605 in July and .867 in August. In August, he hit .357/.410/.457, walking three times and getting plunked four times in 70 AB. Projected 2009 Start: Savannah

Mack: Same philosophy as Carson. Puello is easily the 2nd top Mets OF prospect, though he’s only 4 years old. Still, he’s a beast so far and everyone involved in the minor league Mets system is high on this kid. I hope Tobi is right about Savannah. I can’t even begin to imagine Puello, Flores, and Marte all playing for the Sand Gnats at the same time. Woop, woop.


Cesar Puello OF Dominican Republic

Puello signed as an international free agent in 2007.

He passed on Latin ball and came straight to the GCL Mets in 2008: .305/.350/.364 in 151 at bats.

In September 2008, Baseball America listed the top 20 prospects coming out of the GCL league, and Puello was ranked 12th.

In September 2008, Toby Hyde wrote:

RF Cesar Puello – .305/.350/.364 – 6 2B, 1 HR, 5 BB, 32 K, 13/18 SB – 151 AB, 40 G - I was a little surprised when I first saw Puello. He’s not built like the typical 17-year-old baseball player from the Domincan Republic. Nope, he’s got some strength and size in his chest and arms. He hasn’t turned that muscular frame into power yet, but he was just 17. Instead, he showed a really nice feel for the barrel of the bat which he was able to translate into line drives into both gaps. He didn’t use his lower half much for power, but when he integrates that into his swing, he will start driving the ball more.
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Press Release - New York Mets

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The New York Mets announced they have signed OF Bobby Kielty, RHP Tony Armas Jr., RHP Matt DeSalvo and LHP Valerio de los Santos to minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training camp.

OF Frank Diaz and RHP Tim McNab were also signed to minor league deals.

Kielty, 32, played just 49 games last season and split the majority of that time between Rochester and Pawtucket. He hit .233 with five home runs and 32RBI in 163 at-bats in the minors. Kielty has played 599 major league games with Minnesota, Toronto, Oakland and Boston. His last major league at-bat was with the Red Sox: a pinch-hit home run in Game 4 of the 2007 World Series.

Armas Jr., 5-7 with a 2.54ERA in 17 starts with the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate last season, the New Orleans Zephyrs. He also appeared in three games for the Mets and went 1-0 with a 7.56ERA. Armas Jr. is 53-65 with a 4.65ERA in 185 career MLB games with Montreal, Washington, Pittsburgh and New York.

DeSalvo, 28, was the New York Yankees’ Triple-A Pitcher of the Year in 2007 after going 9-5 with a 2.70ERA with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Last season, he pitched two games out of the bullpen for Atlanta while going 2-11 with a 4.87ERA in 34 games with Richmond.

de lo Santos, 36, was 4-5 with a 5.63ERA in 23 games and eight starts last season for Triple-A Colorado Springs of the Pacific Coast League. He also made two appearances with the Colorado Rockies in 2008. The southpaw is a career 9-13 with a 4.57ERA in 235 big league games with Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Toronto, Florida and the Rockies.

Diaz, 25, reached the Triple-A level for the first time in 2008. In 38 games with Columbus, he hit .291 with six doubles, 11 RBI and four stolen bases. He was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Montreal Expos in 2000.

McNab, 28, was 3-3 with a 5.55ERA in 50 games with New Orleans last season. He is a career 32-31 with a 4.28ERA in 256 career minor league games.
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Mack's Mets Prospect #7 - P Robert Carson

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Toby Hyde on his #18 – P Robert Carson (#7 on Mack’s Mets Prospect List):

Carson shares many of the attributes of pitchers ranked below him on this list: really good size and a good fastball with average or better MLB velocity, sitting in the low 90s, from the left side. Carson differentiates himself in part from those below him was the development of his slider, a pitch that became an effective weapon for him in 2008. The trouble that hitters had driving the ball against Carson is reflected in the fact that he allowed just one homer in over 50 innings of work in 2008. Moreover, he’s already filled out to some degree, and that’s not a bad thing. 2008: Carson missed almost all of 2007 after getting hit on the head by a baseball, but the high school draftee made up for lost time with a strong ’08. He announced that he was done with the GCL in early July when he allowed a combined, two hits, no walks, no runs and fanned 16 over back-to-back six inning performances. Promoted to the Appalachian League, Carson’s walk rate moved up, and his strikeout rate dropped, but he induced nearly three times as many ground balls as fly balls. Projected 2009 Start: Savannah if all goes well in spring training.

Mack: Tobi and I are on opposite poles on this kid, but that’s probably caused from the criteria used to rank these kids. I don’t care how many years they’ve been in the organization, or if their turn comes next. All my rankings are based on my opinions on who has the most tools, highest ceiling, and projects out (if they continue to produce as they have in the past) as a future major league star player. This is why kids like Bobby Parnell and Nick Evans are lower on my list that most bloggers that project prospects. Yes, Parnell and Evans will make it to the Bigs, but I don’t see their starting potential as high as some of the younger kids, like this one.
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The Mack Attack - Sunday, 2-1-9

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Mets News:

A report out of the Dominican Republic on Wednesday says New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya has expressed interest in re-signing Pedro Martinez. The report by The Associated Press cites no source and seems to represent a complete change of heart by the Mets, who had indicated repeatedly re-siging Martinez was unlikely.

Mack: 1st priority remains Oliver Perez and no one will be signed to nothing until that is completed. Assuming that OP stays a Met, the question becomes where would Pedro fit it. I can’t see him accepting any role other than a rotational pitcher. His lack of success in the first inning he pitches just doesn’t make him a good candidate for a relief pitcher. There’s no job for someone that pitches well in the 2nd through 4th inning they pitch.



The Lovemyteam.com Fan Friendly Seal of Approval recognizes 5 Major League Baseball players for their generosity of spirit towards baseball fans everywhere and for their recognition of the fans' importance to the game. Please visit Lovemyteam.com to vote for your favorite Fan Friendly player.

Winners were Jeff Francoeur, Jason Giambi, Lyle Overbay and:

Vance Wilson

Vance earned the Fan Friendly Award back in 2006. This year, in praise of Vance, one fan wrote "Vance spent all of 2007 on the DL, and started there in 2008, but he has stayed SO involved as a true ambassador for the Tigers. He is often stationed at the wall and takes as much time as is necessary to make sure each kid has a positive, personal experience." Clearly, Vance understands that fans really just want that personal connection. In 2009, Royals fans will get to see why Vance is the 2009 Fan Friendly Award winner.

David Wright

This is the third year in a row that David has won the Fan Friendly Award. David also won the Joan Payson Award, given out by the NY chapter of the Baseball Writers for his service to the community. At that ceremony, he noted what an honor it was to be in a position to use his name to help others. The David Wright Foundation isn't the only way David touches the lives of fans. Mets fans see it in everything he does. Thanks David, and keep it up!



Buffalo Bisons Spring Training Schedule:


March 18 v New Orleans Port St. Lucie, FL

March 19 CAMP DAY Port St. Lucie, FL

March 20 v Memphis Port St. Lucie, FL

March 21 @ New Orleans Jupiter, FL

March 22 @ Memphis Jupiter, FL

March 23 CAMP DAY Port St. Lucie, FL

March 24 @ New Orleans Jupiter, FL

March 25 CAMP DAY Port St. Lucie, FL

March 26 @ Memphis Jupiter, FL

March 27 v New Orleans Port St. Lucie, FL

March 28 CAMP DAY Port St. Lucie, FL

March 29 v Memphis Port St. Lucie, FL

March 30 CAMP DAY Port St. Lucie, FL

March 31 @ New Orleans Jupiter, FL

April 1 @ Memphis Jupiter, FL

April 2 v Memphis Port St. Lucie, FL





New Mets:

OF Bobby Kielty

Positions: OF-353, RF-267, LF-189, DH-70, CF-49, 1B-8 - Born: August 5,1976 - Fontana, California - 6-1 : 215 Bats: Both Throws: Right - High School: Canyon Springs (Moreno Valley, California) - College: University of Mississippi, Riverside Community College - Drafted: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Minnesota Twins in 1999 - Per Baseball America: 2001 - 8th ranked for Minnesota Twins

Major League Totals - 7 Seasons: G: 599 Abs: 1,792 .254/.348/.408/756



P Tony Armas Jr.

Positions: P-288 - Born: April 29,1978 Puerto Pirtu, Venezuela - 6-4 : 205 Bats: Right Throws: Right - Drafted: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Yankees in 1994

Prospect Rankings per Baseball America: 1997 - 10th ranked for New York Yankees… 1999 - 90th ranked MLB… 1999 - 5th ranked for Montreal Expos… 2000 - 27th ranked MLB… 2000 - 1st ranked for Montreal Expos… Son of Tony Armas, Nephew of Marcos Armas

2008: New Orleans AAA/Mets 5-7 2.54 1.20

NYM MLB 1-0 7.56 1.44

Major League Total (10 seasons): 53-65 4.65 1.43



P Matt DeSalvo

Positions: P-65, OF-1 - Born: September 11,1980 New Castle, Pennsylvania - 6-0 : 170 Bats: Right Throws: Right - High School: Union (Rimersburg, Pennsylvania) - College: Marietta College - Drafted: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Yankees in 2003

2008: RIC/AAA 2-11 4.87 1.66

Atlanta/MLB 0-0 31.50 6.50

Major League Total (2) 1-3 7.89 2.19



P Valerio de los Santos -

Major Leaguer 1998-2008 - Positions: P-366 - Born: October 6,1975 Las Matas, Dominican Republic - 6-2 180 Bats: Left Throws: Left - Drafted: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1993 Prospect Rankings per BA: 1997 - 52nd ranked MLB… 1997 - 1st ranked for Milwaukee Brewers… 1998 - 89th ranked MLB… 1999 - 3rd ranked for Milwaukee Brewers

2008: Col/AAA 4-5 5.63 1.49

Col/MLB 0-1 5.63 2-13

MLB Total (9 seasons): 9-13 4.57 1.38



Prospect News:

2B Kyle Suire has been removed from the Mack’s Mets Prospect list, after testing positive for for metabolites of the performance-enhancing drug Stanozolol. The shit-for-brains is now suspended for 50 games.



Toby Hyde on SP Eric Beaulac (Mack’s Mets Prospect #6)

Beaulac had a nice debut split largely between Kingsport and Savannah, complemented by equally strong scouting reports. Scouts praised both his arm strength, seeing an average to better MLB fastball, and a power breaking ball. 2008: Beaulac set a new Le Moyne Dolphins single-season strikeout record (113) on his way to the 2008 Division I Independent Pitcher of the Year Award. The Mets started Beaulac out in Brooklyn where he made just two relief appearances in June, the second of which was a perfect, five strikeout performance over two innings. That earned him a demotion to Kingsport where he was excellent in three relief appearances before two starts in mid-July. And that prompted the Mets to promote Beaulac to Savannah where he made six strong starts from the end of July to August. One statistical red flag from his Savannah time was the increased walk rate. Projected 2009 Start: A-ball

Mack: Scouts that visited Savannah last year were raving about this kid at least a month before being transferred here... then things got even better. This is an excellent, young pitcher with lots of stiuff, including one the best curveballs I’ve seen since Matt Durkin (before his injury)… h’s ranked 6th on my prospect list due to ceiling alone…


Baseball America on SP Dillon Gee (Mack’s Mets Prospect # 9)

The Mets drafted Gee in the 21st round in 2007 out of Texas-Arlington, and the 6-foot-1 righthander enjoyed a nice 2008 season before opening more eyes in Puerto Rico. He went 4-0, 2.22 in 48 2/3 innings, finishing third in the circuit in ERA. He struck out 43 and issued 13 walks as he showed a 92-93 mph fastball and a slider with a short break. "I know Ian Kennedy is a bigger prospect, but I liked Gee more in Puerto Rico," an AL scout said. In 2008, Gee was 10-6, 2.92 with 114 strikeouts and 24 walks in 154 1/3 innings as he pitched for high Class A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton. He’s slated to return to Binghamton in 2009.

Mack: Haven’t talked to the Gee’s since Dillon was first assigned to winter ball… there doesn’t seem to be a test this kid doesn’t pass… excellent starting pitching will begin to stack up at the AA level, with a bunch more right behind the at Lucy. Expect Gee to open up at the B-Mets and be a starter for the entire year. After that…


Toby Hyde on OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis (unranked on Mack’s Met’s Prospect List)

Nieuwenhuis has a big league frame with length and some room to fill out. He has big league tools, notably the speed, range and instincts to play center and the arm to play right. He has big league taste, listing sushi as his favorite food. Nieuwenhuis has a clean swing mechanically, and gap power right now. 2008: Nieuwenhuis was one of the most productive and consistent Brooklyn Cyclones, hitting for a modest average, reaching base and knocking some doubles. Projected 2009 Start: St. Lucie CF

Mack: I’ve never seen Kirk play. Most of the kids that go to Brooklyn, go straight to Lucy and pass my eyes here in the Low Country. I have to catch up with them later on in their career. Some of the Clones do sometimes come here so I have a chance to ask about who they left behind. His stats were, err, okay, last year (what do you want from a team that doesn’t know what outfielder to draft?), but no one ever bragged on him…



Alumni:

Former MLB star Lenny Dykstra earned the nickname "Nails" for his tough and aggressive playing style. But four men have a new nickname for him: Deadbeat. According to a lawsuit filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court, Dykstra has yet to fork over the cash he promised to pay four pilots in exchange for flying his private plane. Dykstra had until January 12 to pay up, the lawsuit says, but thus far he hasn't. What's more, the four pilots claim Dykstra promised them a four-month gig, but didn't deliver on that either. They are suing for damages, lost wages, attorneys' fees and court costs. – TMZ



The Boston Red Sox signed OF Chip Ambres to a minor league contract.



The Hardball Times has written a wonderful article on which catchers are on the way to the HOF.

Of the catchers to play in major league baseball after 1920, Mike Piazza was clearly the best with the bat in his hands, as he ranks first by a healthy margin among all the backstops I studied in batting and slugging while rating second only to Mickey Cochrane in OBP among the long-prime group. Piazza’s defense is another story. Other aspects of his defense may have gotten a bad rap—Piazza handled balls in the dirt well enough and took his share of lumps blocking the plate—but when it came to gunning down baserunners, his record was just bad, the worst opposition stolen base percentage among the long-prime catchers. Opposing baserunners gave Piazza no respect and no quarter, as he was victimized by the most steal attempts relative to the league of any catcher in the study. Piazza ended up confounding expectations that he’d eventually move to another position—an experiment at first base went badly (Piazza’s the only first baseman I have ever seen who blocked throws in the dirt with his shins) and he broke down physically by the time he was tried as a DH. Piazza is probably the only catcher in the game’s history who could make the Hall on the strength of the same hitting numbers even if he’d been a first baseman or corner outfielder.





There has been some talk in Metsdom lately of the Hernandez curse. Surely it's. been mostly from bloggers looking for something to write about on an otherwise cold quiet morning. Clearly there is no Hernandez curse, but I am here to tell you about the Lee Mazzilli curse. Lee, as you all know, is the golden child of the late 70s and should have had a 15 year run in center field but no they had to give the job to that Mookie guy and trade Lee away for some 'prospects' that essentially wound up being Darling and Hojo. Lee moved on to Texas who turned their back on him after 58 games. How many World Series has Texas won since? He went to the Yankees who also shunned him - how many World Series did the Yankees win before they realized about the Mazzilli Curse and hired Lee's old Mets manager? Off to Pittsburgh. No championships for them since they released him in 1986. Meanwhile the Mets had put together a good club, but they couldn't get over the hump. So they brought Mazzilli back in 1986. Bingo, championship. When Lee returned, sure-fire future Hall of Famer Dwight Gooden was now wearing Lee's old #16. Doc offered it to Lee, but Lee being a gentleman wasn't going to take the hall of famer's number. That was Gooden's biggest mistake - and the curse of Lee Mazzilli led Doc to drugs and a ruined career.

http://www.metspolice.com/2009/01/lee-mazzilli-curse.html
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New Met: Bobby Kielty

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OF Bobby Kielty

Positions: OF-353, RF-267, LF-189, DH-70, CF-49, 1B-8 -

Born: August 5,1976 - Fontana, California -

6-1 : 215 Bats: Both Throws: Right -

High School: Canyon Springs (Moreno Valley, California) -

College: University of Mississippi, Riverside Community College -

Drafted: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Minnesota Twins in 1999 -

Per Baseball America: 2001 - 8th ranked for Minnesota Twins

Major League Totals - 7 Seasons: G: 599 Abs: 1,792 .254/.348/.408/756
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1/29/09

Oliver Perez Signing Still On Schedule

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Sources continue to tell me that the Mets will finalyze their deal with Scott Boras regarding Oliver Perez by the end of this weekend.

Both parties are in the same ballpark and details still have to be worked out that don't include amount of years, monies, etc. These contracts tend to be lengthy and include all sorts of bonus encentives, housing musts, travel restrictions, etc.

Don't worry Mets fans. Oliver Perez will pitch for the Mets in 2090.

I'm also told that there is some interest in signing Pedro Martinez, but no one is quite sure what his role would be if OP comes aboard. Martinez hasn't had much success in the first inning and there's no place on a team for someone that only has the ability at this point in his career to pitch well from the 2nd through 4th inning. Pedro Martinez has the mindset of a starter and, unless you have room for him in your rotation, there really isn't anyplace to slot him.
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1/27/09

Mack's Met's Prospect #9 - SP Dillon Gee

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Baseball America on SP Dillon Gee (Mack’s Mets Prospect # 9):

The Mets drafted Gee in the 21st round in 2007 out of Texas-Arlington, and the 6-foot-1 righthander enjoyed a nice 2008 season before opening more eyes in Puerto Rico. He went 4-0, 2.22 in 48 2/3 innings, finishing third in the circuit in ERA. He struck out 43 and issued 13 walks as he showed a 92-93 mph fastball and a slider with a short break. "I know Ian Kennedy is a bigger prospect, but I liked Gee more in Puerto Rico," an AL scout said. In 2008, Gee was 10-6, 2.92 with 114 strikeouts and 24 walks in 154 1/3 innings as he pitched for high Class A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton. He’s slated to return to Binghamton in 2009.

Mack: Haven’t talked to the Gee’s they Dillon was first assigned to winter ball… there doesn’t seem to be a test this kid doesn’t pass… excellent starting pitching will begin to stack up at the AA level, with a bunch more right behind the at Lucy. Expect Gee to open up at the B-Mets and be a starter for the entire year. After that…

More info on Gee:

Dillon Gee P R R 6-1 195 4-28-86 Univ. of Texas (Arlington)

Here is the highlights of a local Texas article written the day Gee was drafted by the Mets:

“UT Arlington junior right hander Dillon Gee became the 12th Maverick player drafted since 2002 when the New York Mets selected him with the 663rd pick in the 21st round on the second day of the 2007 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft. Gee is the fifth UTA player to be selected by the Mets and the first since Matt Mize went in the 30th round in 1999.

Gee (Cleburne, Texas) ends his three-year career at UTA with a record of 15-25 and a 5.16 ERA. He ranks second on the all-time innings pitch list with 298.1, fifth in strikeouts (198) and eighth in appearances (58 ). His 111.2 innings pitched in 2007 ranks fourth on the single-season list, while his 96 strikeouts are tied for third.

The two-time honorable mention all-SLC selection burst onto the scene as a freshman. In just his fourth career start, Gee tossed a complete-game four-hit shutout against then-No. 12 Baylor.

As a sophomore, Gee tied a UTA record by starting 17 games and led the team with six victories. He would toss his second complete-game shutout of his career in a victory over Stephen F. Austin before closing out the regular season with a career-best 11 strikeouts in a nine-inning no decision against Dallas Baptist.

Last season, Gee overcame a slow start to become the ace of the staff. Gee tossed 53.1 innings with 58 strikeouts and only seven walks in his final seven starts. He had three double-digit strikeout performances over that span, including a complete-game three-hit shutout against Northwestern State. He would tie his career-high with 11 strikeouts in his final start against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.”

Gee signed with the Mets and played the 2007 season with Brooklyn. He had an outstanding season, going 3-1, 2.47, 1.06 in 14 games, 11 starts. He also had 56 Ks in 62.0 IP.

In 2008, Gee began the year with St. Lucie (8-6, 3.25), but ended with Binghamton (2-0, 1.33).

Gee won the Sterling Award as the the top Met player for the 2008 St. Lucie team.
In October 2008, Toby Hyde on Dillon Gee:

Gee had a successful run in the Florida State League posting a great strikeout-to-walk ratio of nearly 5 (4.95). It’s worth pointing out that like Carr, Clyne and Owen, he jumped straight from Brooklyn to St. Lucie and thrived. However, I’m suspicious of pitchers who experience success at the advanced A level without fanning a batter an inning. In July, Gee was throwing 89-91 with his fastball which he spotted reasonably well. I had heard reports of slightly better velo at other times. His second best pitch was a changeup with some nice run. His soft curve was his third pitch. Likely 09 start: AA
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Mack's Mets Prospect #6 - SP Eric Beaulac

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Toby Hyde on SP Eric Beaulac (Mack’s Mets Prospect #6)

Beaulac had a nice debut split largely between Kingsport and Savannah, complemented by equally strong scouting reports. Scouts praised both his arm strength, seeing an average to better MLB fastball, and a power breaking ball. 2008: Beaulac set a new Le Moyne Dolphins single-season strikeout record (113) on his way to the 2008 Division I Independent Pitcher of the Year Award. The Mets started Beaulac out in Brooklyn where he made just two relief appearances in June, the second of which was a perfect, five strikeout performance over two innings. That earned him a demotion to Kingsport where he was excellent in three relief appearances before two starts in mid-July. And that prompted the Mets to promote Beaulac to Savannah where he made six strong starts from the end of July to August. One statistical red flag from his Savannah time was the increased walk rate. Projected 2009 Start: A-ball


Mack: Scouts that visited Savannah last year were raving about this kid at least a month before being transferred here... then things got even better. This is an excellent, young pitcher with lots of stiuff, including one the best curveballs I’ve seen since Matt Durkin (before his injury)… h’s ranked 6th on my prospect list due to ceiling alone…

Eric Beaulac RHP R R 6-5 190 11-13-86 Le Moyne College (NY)

The Mets drafted Beaulac in the 9th round of the 2008 draft.

2008 stats from Le Moyne: 14 GS, 2.83 ERA, 113K/43BB, 54 Hits allowed in 92 1/3 IP, 11 XBH allowed all season but also 15 WPs.

From a local paper before the draft:

At 6-foot-5, 195 pounds, the lanky Beaulac looks every inch the part of a Grade A prospect. His hard stuff sizzles up to 94 MPH, and his tabletop-drop slider sends hitters raking through the dirt to find it. He set a school record with 113 strikeouts (in 92 1/3 innings) this season, to go along with a 9-2 record and a 2.83 ERA.

Beaulac entered the Mack’s Prospect List for the first time in August 2008, coming in at # 19: RP Eric Beaulac/K-Port – 21 years old – I’ve been told by a couple of so-called ‘inside sources’ that the Mets are very high on this pitcher. He got his first professional start on 7-15, gave up 1 run in 4.0 IP, then followed it up with 5.0 IP, 1 ER, for his first professional victory on 7-15. Then, on 7-25, he returned to a relief role, pitching 3 scoreless innings and lowering his ERA to 1.89. On 7-29, Beaulac was promoted to A-Savannah and should be used as a starter for the remainder of the season.

In 2008, Beaulac pitched for 3 teams, Savannah, Brooklyn, and Kingsport, and turned in a combined record of 2-2, 3.38, in 14 games, 8 starts.
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The Mack Attack - 1-28-9

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Manager Jerry Manuel on Manny: “probably one of the best right-handed hitters in our generation….to have a shot at managing [him] would be exciting for me… I'd love to have the opportunity to watch Manny hit every day… I don't have a problem with people that produce in the form and fashion that Manny Ramirez produces… we don't spend, shouldn't spend that much time in the locker room, anyway.”

Mack: Sure sounds like a manager talking about someone that’s going to be in the same dugout… wonder how Mr. Wilpon enjoyed reading that over his poached eggs…

The Mets signed RHP Tim McNab and released RHP Jason Lavorgna, 2B Michael Parker, and OF Darren Clark

RHP Kyle Snyder and LHP Jon Switzer were signed to minor league contracts.

The State of Met’s SPs:

We’ll be setting up our annual stat check on the spring training starters and who is fighting it out for the rotation spots. My educated guess is the SP1 is Johan Santana (DOH), followed by Mike Pelfrey and John Maine. Contenders, until Ollie’s rented car arrives at Traditions, are: Jon Niese, Nelson Figueroa, Noel Redding (couldn’t help that…),Freddy Garcia, Bobby Parnell, and Brandon Knight.


New Mets:

RHP Kyle Snyder – September 9,1977 - Houston, Texas - 6-8 220 Bats: Right Throws: Right - High School: Riverview (Sarasota, Florida) - College: University of North Carolina - Drafted: Selected by Kansas City Royals in 1st Round (7th overall) of 1999 amateur entry draft (June-Reg) - Prospect Rankings according to Baseball America: - 2000 - 70th ranked MLB - 2000 - 3rd ranked for Kansas City Royals - 2001 - 10th ranked for Kansas City Royals - 2002 - 8th ranked for Kansas City Royals - 2003 - 7th ranked for Kansas City Royals

MLB (5 seasons): 8-17 5.57 1.55
2008 – Boston: 0-0 21.60 2.40

Mack: Like I said many times before, sign as many 1st rounder to minor league contracts as you can… you never know if they were managed correctly by their last pitching coaches…

LHP Jon Switzer – August 13,1979 Bowling Green, Kentucky - 6-3 190 Bats: Left Throws: Left - High School: Clear Lake (Houston, Texas) - College: Arizona State University - Drafted: Selected by Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2nd Round (47th overall) of 2001 amateur entry draft (June-Reg) - Prospect Rankings per Baseball America : 2003 - 7th ranked for Tampa Bay Devil Rays

MLB (4 seasons): 2-4 6.11 1.79
2008 – PAW-AAA: 5-1 4.40 1.37

Mack: Okay, this was a second rounder… but why not… the Mets can always cut him after ¾ outlings…


Of Cory Sullivan – Positions: OF-478, CF-253, LF-27, RF-14 - August 20,1979 Tulsa, Oklahoma Map - 6-0 180 Bats: Left Throws: Left - High School: North Allegheny (Wexford, Pennsylvania) - College: Wake Forest University, Cypress College - --Drafted: Selected by Colorado Rockies in 7th Round (214th overall) of 2001 amateur entry draft (June-Reg) - - MLB Debut: April 4,2005

2008: Colorado AAA 94 G 381 AB .320/.373/.475/848
Colorado MLB 18 G 23 Abs .217/.250/.304/.554

Mack: Err… nice AAA numbers, but so does Michel Abreu. Would someone try and explain to me why the Mets are signing all these dud outfielders? Don’t they realize they have a ton of dud outfielders already in their system?

Mack’s Prospect List Update:

Don’t Forget The “Ruckle Shuffle” - SP Jacob “Jake” Ruckle is getting ready to return to Traditions Field and reclaim his SP role at Binghamton. He leaves his west coast home tomorrow, with sidekick Nick Evans. Reports are that Jake feels better than ever and has bulked up to 207 lbs in the off-season/rehab program. I can vouch for the fact that he has worked his ass off to get back in shape and pick up before he injured his arm last year. Jake’s been training with his father for the past two months somewhere in the Mohave desert, a place thankfully without internet/cell phone access. His father Mark is basically a legend down there when it comes to personal training. He's a former college linebacker and is known for facilitating intense workouts. He's currently the football strength and conditioning coach for a 3A High School in Mohave Valley Arizona. Jake spent many a day running up and down sand dunes along the Colorado River with boots on, in the blistering desert heat. When Jake was a Draft and Follow in 2004 and attending Chandler Gilbert Community College, his Dad made the 500 plus mile round trip to Phoenix nearly every weekend… for a year and a half! But let’s get back to Jake. Ruckle was drafted in the 41st round of the 2004 amateur draft. That was the 1,214th person draft pick that year, which just be more people that live in his home town of Mohave Valley, Arizona. Scout Dave Birecki liked what he saw and the rest was the start of Mets Life with Ruckle.

All Ruckle did was: Go 8-1, 2.10 1.06 in 11 games (8 starts) for the GCL Mets in 2005…. Go 5-3 3.44 1.20 in 14 starts for the Clones in 2006 … Get promoted to Lucy and finish up 4-3, 1.60 1.07 in 2006 … And then go 6-6 3.47 1.18 in 27 games , 11 starts for Lucy again in 2007.

2008 started out strong, and then came the bum are. It’s hard to tell when the injury hit, but you can always tell something is wrong when a good pitcher goes rubber… immediately… Jake went 1-3, 7.36, 1.67 in only 6 starts until he was shut down and sent to the Doctors. 2008 was over and all of us switched gears and started writing about guys like Gee, Antonini and Holt. But me? Nah, I stayed in touch and followed this kid through all the rehab. No letdown, no loss of speed, bulked up, and ready to go. Trust me here. Jake Ruckle will start the 2008 season in AA-B-Town as a rotational pitcher. I still am a firm believer that his unconventional delivery (there’s a You Tube video and rap song on “the Ruckle Shuffle”) will make him an eventual one-inning specialist, but we’ll see. What I will tell you this. No one has worked harder (okay, so has Shawn Bowman) to be successful at his trade, and don’t be surprised if you are reading feature stories on him at www.MiLB.com right after the season starts.



Prospect News:

2B Greg Veloz (Mack’s Mets Prospect # xx) - from Toby Hyde:
Veloz hit his way out of the SAL with a scorching performance after the All-Star Break at age 20. He brings plus big league speed to the ballpark every night. Veloz has the ability (range, hands and arm) to play MLB caliber defense at second, one of the tougher positions on the diamond to fill. 2008: Veloz hit .258/.304/.352 in 267 AB before the All-Star break but decided he’d had enough of the SAL and went out and hit .324/.388/.473 in 188 to earn his promotion to St. Lucie and the FSL. Projected 2009 Start: St. Lucie as the team’s everyday 2B.

Mack: I know there are a lot of doubts in many of the scouts that Veloz will someday make to CitiField, but he is easily the top 2B prospect in the system. I watched him mature after the all-star break in Savannah, where he batted 1st, was pitched around every game, and still hit .324. His speed is Reyes-like. I like him and I’m not afraid to rank him where I have him.

SP Michael Antonini (Mack’s Mets Prospect # XX)

Antonini was lit up Saturday night in the PRWL championships, giving up three unearned runs, on seven hits, in 2.1 IP.

From Toby Hyde:
Antonini graduated from both full-season A-ball leagues in his first full professional season, and that success from a left-hander counts for something. His fastball is fringe-average from the left side, sitting at 88-89 when I saw him in July. He touched 91, but did not pitch at that velocity. The fastball plays up thanks to good command as he can spot it to both sides of the plate. His changeup is his second pitch, but when he didn’t finish the pitch, it stayed up, and got hit hard in AA. 2008: SAL? Check. FSL? Check. AA? Working on it. Winter ball? No problem. That’s a great year. Projected 2009 Start: AA Binghamton rotation

Mack: One of the nicest kids you will ever meet, Antonini is, in my opinion, not in the class of Bradley Holt or Jonathan Niese. Actually, he’s not in the class of Tobi Stoner or Dillon Gee either. He’s one of those control pitchers that bore you to death, but wins more than they lose. I’m not sure what his future is, especially since none of his pitchers stand out that would make him a great relief pitcher either. Sort of another Aaron Heilman.

Keith Law/ESPN came out with his annual minor league prospect ranking and put the overall Mets system as 17th in the league, saying: “It took a few major trades, but their system finally has thinned. Their international scouting department has saved the system, with three of their top six prospects (Fernando Martinez, Wilmer Flores and Jefry Marte) all coming via that route. Keep an eye on Brad Holt, a potentially fast mover from the 2008 draft whose curveball is improving.” It’s hard for someone like me, who follows only the Mets, if that’s a proper placement, and I frankly don’t remember where he had the Mets last year (though I expect it was lower). Anyone out there remember where Lew ranked the Mets system in 2008?

Inside Pitch Top 20 Mets Prospects –

1. Fernando Martinez - - 2. Wilmer Flores - - 3. Jonathon Niese - - 4. Bradley Holt - - 5. Eddie Kunz - - 6. Dan Murphy - - 7. Nick Evans - - 08. (Mike Carp) - - 09. Bobby Parnell - - 10. Tobi Stoner - - 11. Brant Rustich - - 12. (Ezequiel Carrera) - - 13. Scott Shaw - - 14. Dillon Gee RHP - - 15. Matt Bouchard - - 16. Ruben Tejada - 17. Juan Lagares - 18. Reese Havens - - 19. Mike Antonini - - 20. Greg Veloz

Mack: This is supposedly a new list. If so, why not remove Carp and Carrera? Also,they ranked Bouchard and Tejada in the top 20 prospects… are they watching the same games as the rest of us? How do you rank Matt Bouchard 15th and Jenry Marte 26th? The list was 51 players on the list, but I stopped listing them here after continually getting annoyed at the names being listed here. A real bad job.

Keith Law’s full report on his 17th prospect – OF Francisco Martinez:

Martinez's big issue is staying healthy; he has yet to reach 400 plate appearances or play in 100 games during any of his pro seasons, excluding winter ball. This is a shame, because Martinez has a special bat and the injuries plus some aggressive promotions have obscured it. Martinez offers huge power potential, putting on a display in BP, but it has only briefly started to emerge in games. He has very quick and strong wrists, letting the ball travel on him before exploding quickly and making solid, hard contact. In the field, he's looking more likely to end up in right field; the Mets have one of the game's best center fielders in the big leagues and don't need to groom Martinez for that position. His pitch recognition, while good for his age, hasn't progressed over the last two years, and the more he's pushed up the system the less likely it is that the skill will develop. Martinez has now played the equivalent of a full season in Double-A before his 20th birthday, and the Mets are faced with the difficult decision of whether to promote him to Triple-A because he has "graduated" from the lower level or return him to the Eastern League for the third consecutive year so he can work on his plate discipline and, maybe, catch his breath.

Keith Law on his 55th pick – SS Wilmer Flores:

Flores is, more than anything else, young -- he doesn't turn 18 until the first week of August, and could start the year in a full-season league after finishing with 30 at-bats in Brooklyn. 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. 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. 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. Had he been born in the U.S., he'd be a top 10 pick in the upcoming draft.


Alumni:

Razzball listed their top 40 outfielders in fantast baseball:

39. Carlos Gomez - Now for the last tier of the top 40 outfielders for 2009. I call this last tier, “Probably not the 39th thru 41nd most valuable outfielders, but I’m just pointing out some upside guys.” There’s a chance for 10 HRs and 40 steals with CarGo. Granted, his average might be tremendously bleh. I wasn’t crazy about CarGo last year, and I’m not completely sold on him yet, but a sleeper is a sleeper is a sleeper. I could have wrote Denard Span here instead of Gomez, but he’s not as exciting to me. 2009 Projections: 90/10/60/.260/40

40. Lastings Milledge - At some point early on last year, I said get rid of Milledge. He’s not ready yet. He needs more time to season and absorb some of his juices. Of course, Bowden left him on the grill for those first four months, and, by August, Milledge started to finally cook. 2009 Projections: 75/18/90/.280/20

Mack: It never bothered me that Gomez was shipped, but I’m starting to thing the Mets should have sent F-Mart instead of this kid. Regarding Lasto, long term Mack readers know how I feel about him…

The Cincinnati Reds released P Jon Atkins

The Detroit Tigers signed OF Timo Perez to a minor league deal

Former Met minor leaguer, OF Raul Gonzales, homered and drove in two runs in Ponce’s 9-6 victory in the 4th game of the Puerto Rican World Series, against Arecibo. Mets AAA- veteran OF Jesus Feliciano went 3-for-5 with two RBIs for Arecibo.

P Aaron Heilman to a Seattle reporter:

"Playing in New York is the only existence I've known and I think you get used to it," Heilman said, standing by a heater Sunday in the Mariners dugout. "You learn to accept the fact that you are dealing with a very passionate, very knowledgeable fan base. "New York's one of those markets where unless you win the World Series, it's not a good year. There's a lot of competition in New York from all sides, whether it's the Mets against the Yankees or whether it's between the newspapers."

Mack: I will always remember Aaron as a gentleman, who treated my brother-in-law, and his son, with absolute respect during a remote broadcast at car dealership last year. I wish him, and his family, well.

From ajc.com: Convicted steroids dealer Kirk Radomski, the New York man who was one of the central witnesses in baseball’s Mitchell Report, told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” on Sunday that he twice took urine tests in place of Dwight Gooden when he was a clubhouse boy for the Mets. Radomski, 39, of Manorville, N.Y., has written a tell-all book called “Bases Loaded” that is to be released Tuesday. He was a Mets clubhouse boy from 1986-95 and says he directly or indirectly sold steroids or human growth hormone to “maybe two, three hundred” former or current baseball players, including Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, David Justice and Miguel Tejada.

Mack: Excuse me, but does anyone care which one of these two pissed in who’s cup anymore?

Mets who wore #17: Jason Anderson, Kevin Appier, Mike Bordick, Choo Choo Coleman, David Cone, Wilson Delgado, Larry Elliot, Gil Flores, Rod Gaspar, Satoru Komiyama, Dae-Sung Koo, Frank Lary, Graeme Lloyd, Luis Lopez, Teddy Martinez, Brent Mayne, Jeff McKnight, Felix Millan, Jerry Morales, David Newhan, Dennis Ribant, Bret Saberhagen, Jimmie Schaeffer, Dick Stuart, Fernando Tatis, Ellis Valentine, Don Zimmer… and Keith Hernandez.
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Mets SP: Jake Ruckle

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Don’t Forget About The “Ruckle Shuffle”

SP Jacob “Jake” Ruckle is getting ready to return to Traditions Field and reclaim his SP role at Binghamton. He leaves his west coast home tomorrow, with sidekick Nick Evans.

Reports are that Jake feels better than ever and has bulked up to 207 lbs in the off-season/rehab program. I can vouch for the fact that he has worked his ass off to get back in shape and pick up before he injured his arm last year.

Jake’s been training with his father for the past two months somewhere in the Mohave desert, a place thankfully without internet/cell phone access. His father Mark is basically a legend down there when it comes to personal training. He's a former college linebacker and is known for facilitating intense workouts. He's currently the football strength and conditioning coach for a 3A High School in Mohave Valley Arizona. Jake spent many a day running up and down sand dunes along the Colorado River with boots on, in the blistering desert heat.

When Jake was a Draft and Follow in 2004 and attending Chandler Gilbert Community College, his Dad made the 500 plus mile round trip to Phoenix nearly every weekend… for a year and a half!

But let’s get back to Jake.

Ruckle was drafted in the 41st round of the 2004 amateur draft. That was the 1,214th person draft pick that year, which just be more people that live in his home town of Mohave Valley, Arizona.

Scout Dave Birecki liked what he saw and the rest was the start of Mets Life with Ruckle.

All Ruckle did was:

Go 8-1, 2.10 1.06 in 11 games (8 starts) for the GCL Mets in 2005.

Go 5-3 3.44 1.20 in 14 starts for the Clones in 2006

Get promoted to Lucy and finish up 4-3, 1.60 1.07 in 2006

And then go 6-6 3.47 1.18 in 27 games , 11 starts for Lucy again in 2007.

2008 started out strong, and then came the bum arm. It’s hard to tell when the injury hit, but you can always tell something is wrong when a good pitcher goes rubber… immediately… Jake went 1-3, 7.36, 1.67 in only 6 starts until he was shut down and sent to the Doctors. 2008 was over and all of us switched gears and started writing about guys like Gee, Antonini and Holt.

But me? Nah, I stayed in touch and followed this kid through all the rehab. No letdown, no loss of speed, bulked up, and ready to go.

Trust me here.

Jake Ruckle will start the 2008 season in AA-B-Town as a rotational pitcher. I still am a firm believer that his unconventional delivery (there’s a You Tube video and rap song on “the Ruckle Shuffle”) will make him an eventual one-inning specialist, but we’ll see.

What I will tell you this.

No one has worked harder (okay, so has Shawn Bowman) to be successful at his trade, and don’t be surprised if you are reading feature stories on him at www.MiLB.com right after the season starts.

Mack –
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1/26/09

Don’t Forget The “Ruckle Shuffle”

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New Met - LHP Jon Switzer

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LHP Jon Switzer

August 13,1979 Bowling Green, Kentucky - 6-3 190 Bats: Left Throws: Left - High School: Clear Lake (Houston, Texas) - College: Arizona State University - Drafted: Selected by Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2nd Round (47th overall) of 2001 amateur entry draft (June-Reg) -

Prospect Rankings per Baseball America : 2003 - 7th ranked for Tampa Bay Devil Rays

MLB (4 seasons): 2-4 6.11 1.79

2008 – PAW-AAA: 5-1 4.40 1.37

Mack: Okay, this was a second rounder… but why not… the Mets can always cut him after ¾ outlings…
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New Met - RHP Kyle Snyder

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RHP Kyle Snyder –

September 9,1977 - Houston, Texas - 6-8 220 Bats: Right Throws: Right - High School: Riverview (Sarasota, Florida) - College: University of North Carolina - Drafted: Selected by Kansas City Royals in 1st Round (7th overall) of 1999 amateur entry draft (June-Reg) -

Prospect Rankings according to Baseball America: - 2000 - 70th ranked MLB - 2000 - 3rd ranked for Kansas City Royals - 2001 - 10th ranked for Kansas City Royals - 2002 - 8th ranked for Kansas City Royals - 2003 - 7th ranked for Kansas City Royals

MLB (5 seasons): 8-17 5.57 1.55
2008 – Boston: 0-0 21.60 2.40

Mack: Like I said many times before, sign as many 1st rounder to minor league contracts as you can… you never know if they were managed correctly by their last pitching coaches…
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Mets Sign 1, Release 3

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The Mets signed RHP Tim McNab and released RHP Jason Lavorgna, 2B Michael Parker, and OF Darren Clark
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Oliver Perez Met deal done by Saturday

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Sources tell me the deal will be dne by Saturday night, Sunday the latest.

4 years + a 5th year team option

No amount of monies have been disclosed as of yet

If this is done... and I assume my info is accurate... OP will be slotted into the SP2 slot. Slotting is a big thing in negotiating. Many people think it is only money and amount of years, but players want their suites, and red jelly beans, as well as an earlier slotting.

The Mets may; however, slot him SP3 to mix up the lefties and righties. If they do, Pelfrey probably gets the SP2 because of his proven ability last year to last a little longer than Maine.

Maine would be pushed to SP4 followed by Redding, with Garcia and Figueroa in Buffalo, being flown up for the spot starts.

Watch for both Garcia and Figueroa not to pitch back to back in Buffalo. They will spread the two of them out so all ends of a possible slot start become available to them without missing a rotational spot.

As for Niese, bummer dude. You go back and pitch SP1 for the Bisons with Holt and Gee right up your arse.



Mack
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Inside Pitch Top 20 Mets Prospects

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1. Fernando Martinez - - 2. Wilmer Flores - - 3. Jonathon Niese - - 4. Bradley Holt - - 5. Eddie Kunz - - 6. Dan Murphy - - 7. Nick Evans - - 08. (Mike Carp) - - 09. Bobby Parnell - - 10. Tobi Stoner - - 11. Brant Rustich - - 12. (Ezequiel Carrera) - - 13. Scott Shaw - - 14. Dillon Gee RHP - - 15. Matt Bouchard - - 16. Ruben Tejada - 17. Juan Lagares - 18. Reese Havens - - 19. Mike Antonini - - 20. Greg Veloz

Mack: This is supposedly a new list. If so, why not remove Carp and Carrera? Also,they ranked Bouchard and Tejada in the top 20 prospects… are they watching the same games as the rest of us? How do you rank Matt Bouchard 15th and Jenry Marte 26th? The list was 51 players on the list, but I stopped listing them here after continually getting annoyed at the names being listed here. A real bad job.
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1/25/09

Mets Mack Attack - 1-27-9

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MLB – NY Mets:

John Sickles scouting report in 1994 on:

Ramon Castro, Puerto Rico HS: First Puerto Rican ever drafted in the first round. 1996: Grade B-; 1997: Grade C; 1998 Grade C+; 1999 Grade C+; 2000 Grade C+. Castro is still hanging around as a reserve due to his defense, but lack of offensive consistency prevented him from living up to first round status.

Mack – never realized he was the first 1st round P.R…. still consider him a great find as one of the best backups in the game


The State of Met’s SPs:

Michael Salfino on Jonathan Niese: - “Yes, he’s a curve ball specialist and you can count those guys in the Majors now on two hands. But his velocity keeps increasing. He’s not physically mature yet. I can see him being a guy who can throw 92 or 93 consistently with that curve and a decent cutter. But he’s not likely to peak until age 27 or 28. Then, I think he can be a middle-of-the-rotation starter on a championship-caliber club. This year, I’d have no problem beginning the season with him as my No. 5 starter even though he’s a contact/command guy at the moment.”

Mack: Sounds good to me. His lips to God’s ears.


Prospect News:

Michael Salfino on: SS Wilmer Flores (Mack’s Mets Prospect #1):

Flores ceiling right now at the plate is Miguel Cabrera — he had the most projectable power in the Appalachian League despite only turning 17 in August.

Mack: That’s quite a compliment and a lot of people are now jumping on the Flores bandwagon. God, I pray he comes to Savannah in March.

Michael Salfino on: Jenry Mejia (Mack’s Mets Prospect #14):

But the worst case for him, barring injury (an awfully big caveat), is to be a Brad Lidge-type of two-pitch closer.

Mack: I don’t know how anybody can predict a kid with this little experience. Ya know, we make prospect lists based on what we see and, yes, many young kids get ranked high because how they start out, but I would never try and predict where someone who has only played at the rookie level or below would wind up in the majors. Frankly, I seldom predict people that last played in Brooklyn or Savannah. You just don’t know until they reach the A+ or AA level (exception being Brad Holt).

P - Jeurys Familia – Mack’s Mets Prospect #8 - From Toby Hyde:

Familia ranks here on the basis of a nice pitcher’s frame and a fastball that boasts average to plus MLB velocity already. Familia, despite inconsistent velocity, consistently threw strikes. In his first start of the year, Familia was throwing 93, 94 mph while that was down to 89-92 in his second appearance. The previous fall, scouts reported that he was consistently in the mid-90s. Familia’s off-speed stuff, a slider at 78 mph and a change at 84 are both about as far away from MLB caliber as one might expect from a 19-year old. 2008: Familia had a nice 11 start run in the GCL, striking out almost three times as many batters as he walked and walking fewer than 2.3 batters per nine innings. Dr. Pangloss Says: Familia’s potential plus fastball and youth allow one to dream of seeing him in a big league rotation a few years from now. On the Flipside: Familia is largely fastball and size. He is a long way away. Projected 2009 Start: Savannah or XST on the way to the Kingsport rotation.

Mack: I’m big on this kid and agree with Toby that he’s a long way away. It will be interesting to watch if he moves to the bullpen the next couple of years.

SS – Jose Coronado (no longer ranked on Mack’s Mets Prospect List) – from Toby Hyde:

Big league skills at shortstop, one of the two most difficult defensive positions to play. Coronado has average MLB range and arm to go with fine hands. He’ll play 2009 as a 23-year old in AAA. Over the course of the last year, the switch-hitter has shown steady, modest improvement with the bat culminating in a VWL season in which he hit .308/.373/.429 in 27 games. Coronado makes contact, rarely striking out and can take a walk. There’s something to the argument that Coronado’s bat is just starting to catch up with the pace at which the Mets have rushed him through the system. In 2004, he played in 33 games in the VSL. In 2005, the Mets reasonably moved him to the GCL where he hit .404/.429/.468 in a whopping 11 games. That prompted the Mets to promote him to Kingsport, where he hit a more modest .266/.338/.382 in 39 games. Nothing strange about moving a guy who was off to a hot start in the GCL up to the Appalachian League, but what follows is harder to justify. The Mets had Coronado finish 2005 in the SAL in Hagerstown where he hit .225/.295/.282 in 18 games as a 19 year old. With no indication that he had conquered the SAL, the Mets promoted Coronado to the FSL to begin 2006 where, as a 20 year old, he hit .226/.283/.278 playing every day in 138 games. To begin 2007, for the second year in a row, after struggling at the previous level, the Mets promoted Coronado, this time to AA Binghamton. Predictably, he struggled to a .212/. 284/.257 line in 81 games. Coronado improved on that in ’08 both in Binghamton and in the VWL. While fans have focused on Mets propensity to push higher profile players, such as Fernando Martinez and Francisco Pena, few players have been hurried through the system as quickly as Coronado. 2008: Coronado hit .253/.330/.291 in 340 AB before the All-Star Break and .275/.346/.359 in 167 AB after the break. Sure, a .084 isolated slugging percentage isn’t usually something to brag about it, but it’s sure better than the .038 he put together before the ASB. Even better, Coronado showed incremental progress in the area, with an isolated slugging percentage of .119 in the winter in VWL to go along with his first .300+ AVG since 11 games in the GCL in 2005. Projected 2009 Start: AAA Buffalo where he’ll be looking to prove that his VWL showing was no fluke.

Mack: I, like many, was a big fan of Coronado, but I can’t believe Hyde would waste all this space for a guy that obviously has not developed into a major league prospect. Coronado is no, and forever will be, an organizational player a la Michel Abreu.

From Dom DiFucci: - OF – Fernando Martinez (Mack’s Mets Prospect #3)

Last season, Fernando Martinez played in only 86 games at the Double A level. While he had moderate success there, hitting .287 in 352 ABs there are some that feel he can benefit from more time in the minors, and a slower promotion through the minors. In 2007, Martinez played in only 60 games because of nagging injuries. Most likely, the Mets will start him in Double A for the third consecutive season and promote him to Triple A at some point. My guess would be that the Mets are not willing to commit more than a one or two year deal to an outfielder given the fact that they plan to promote Martinez to the major league club in either late 2010 or 2011. Clearly, Martinez has the skills to ensure a successful big league career. The biggest obstacle in his career appears to be whether or not he can remain healthy.

Mack: Frankly, I’ve seen this kind of slow growth before, first with Jay Payton, and followed with Lastings Milledge and Carlos Gomez. This was supposed to be that 50 home run hitter the Mets never has developed, and it just isn’t. I’m not saying he won’t be a decent major leaguer, and he stil could be a decent Mets outfielder, but my guess is he will wind up the same place the three guys that I mentioned in this paragraph did… on another team.

From Patrick Hickey, Jr. – C Doc Doyle (Mack’s Mets Prospect #34)

Doc Doyle- With Jason Jacobs and Jordan Abruzzo being the guys behind the plate to lead the team in the locker room and on the field the past few years, a guy like Doyle [who's timid nature doesn't give his hard-working attitude on the field it's due] is a bit of a weird choice as the starting catcher in Brooklyn next season. Nevertheless, his offensive prowess and business-first attitude make him someone that can and will flourish in Brooklyn if given an opportunity. A .300 hitter in Kingsport, Doyle can reproduce those numbers in Keyspan.

Mack: word is that C Francesco Pena will repeat a third year in Savannah, which does open the possibility of Doyle going straight to Lucy. It all depends if the Mets decide to give either Abruzzo or Sean McGraw another shot at A+ ball. At thi point in his career, Doyle is nothing to scream about, but he is off to a good start,

Kyle Suire- (Mack’s Mets Prospect #33)

Spending a cup of coffee in Brooklyn last season, Suire was nursing a sore hamstring and was never capable of showing the league what he was truly capable of. A more than solid hitter, I see Suire as a dependable six hitter and someone that will not hurt the team on the field. Not an amazing fielder, Suire does have good range and a capable arm, but makes the plays he has to, very similar to one of my favorite second baseman’s in Cyclones history, Jon Schemmel. If Wilmer Flores starts the season in Brooklyn like many expect him to, the Cyclones will have a middle infield that can hit and play the field with anyone in the NY-Penn League.

Mack: I disagree here, but who know’s at this point. I expect Flores and Suire to be in Savannah, but since I’m the beat reporter there, sometimes my predictions are more like wishful thinking.

Mike Powers- (Mack’s Mets Prospect #23)

Leading the K-Mets in saves last season, Powers, who was close to a strikeout an inning in 21 frames of work, may be one of the only players from Kingsport’s bullpen to be a real member of the Brooklyn staff next season.

Mack: I hope not. Powers will pitch as a 23-year old and needs to be pushed to Savannah for the 2009 season. Definitely someone to keep an eye on.

Jonathan Sanchez- (not ranked on the Mack’s Mets Prospect List)

The former Cyclones outfielder had a solid season with the GC Mets last season and may make his return as a middle reliever. If that is the case, you can expect a few stories on his progress throughout the season. Extremely confident in his first go round with Brooklyn despite sub-par numbers, it’ll be interesting to see how the tides of time have changed the youngster.

Mack: I hate when writers use the word “solid”. “Solid season” means not great. And not great means, no prospect. Sanchez didn’t even make my honorable mention list.

Stefan Welch- (not ranked on the Mack’s Mets Prospect List)

Aside from Suire and Flores, Welch was one of the K-Mets best hitters. Able to play both corner infield positions and the outfield should make him one of Edgar Alfonzo’s favorite players and should give him the type of versatility that put former Cyclone Eric Campbell in the lineup so much last season. Should be an interesting guy to watch.

Mack: Another guy I have on my Savannah board, but we’ll see. I’m not that big on Aussie kids, mainly because everyone the Mets have ever signed went nowhere.
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Too Many Bisons

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Too Many Bisons

One look at the projected Buffalo Bisons (AAA) board and one quickly comes to realize that a bunch of failed ex-prospects may be out of work before the season starts.

Starting pitcher wise, there are six names penciled in: Tobi Stoner, Jon Niese, Bobby Parnell, Freddy Garcia, Nelson Figueroa, and Adam Bostick. That’s fine if Niese and Parnell make the parent roster, but there isn’t any room to send guys like Stoner back to AA when they are stacked with the likes of Dillon Gee, Mike Antonini, Dylan Owen, Jake Ruckle, and Eric Niesen.

But the real log-jam is in the pen, which currently lists Eddie Kunz, Rocky Cherry, Carlos Muniz, Darren O'Day, Connor Robertson, Edgar Alfonzo, John Madden, Eddie Camacho, Casey Fossum, Tom Martin, Sal Aguilar, Brandon Knight, and Eric Brown. That’s 13 relief pitchers, which is far more that will eventually break camp.
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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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1/21/09

The Mets Mack Attack - 1-21-9

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MLB – NY Mets:

John Maine and the New York Mets are $800,000 apart in contract negotiations for the 2009 season. The 27-year-old Stafford County right-hander asked for $3 million yesterday, the deadline for arbitration-eligible players to submit requests. The Mets offered $2.2 million. Maine earned $450,00 last year, when he went 10-8 with a 4.18 ERA in 25 starts for the Mets. He spent two stints on the disabled list and did not pitch after Aug. 26 because of a bone spur in his right shoulder. He had the spur surgically removed Sept. 30 and is expected to be ready for spring training next month. Arbitration hearings will be scheduled between Feb. 1 and Feb. 21 if the two sides cannot reach agreement before then. The Mets have gone to arbitration only once since 1992--last year, when left-hander Oliver Perez was awarded nearly $7 million. The Mets agreed yesterday to deals with outfielders Ryan Church ($2.8 million) and Angel Pagan ($525,000).

http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2009/012009/01212009/440474

Alex Cora will be the backup middle infielder, Duaner Sanchez slots into a bullpen role somewhere and Jeremy Reed will hopefully be taking the Endy Chavez role as the first defensive replacement in the outfield. These are all minor moves, but important to consider when you look at how the roster is taking shape. I continue to say that there is no room to add a free agent outfielder - even if our general manager wasn't running around with blinders on - unless Marlon Anderson is traded or released. Even if you get cute and consider Tatis the corner infield backup and Cora the middle infield backup, there's still only room for five outfielders on the roster. Daniel Murphy, Carlos Beltran and Ryan Church are the likely starters and I can't imagine Jeremy Reed was just given over $900,000 to start in center field for Buffalo. That still leaves Anderson, Angel Pagan and Nick Evans as outfielders on the 40-man roster fighting for the fifth spot. Evans is almost certainly ticketed for Buffalo and it wouldn't be surprising if Pagan was asked to join him, although I suppose it would be equally unsurprising if Pagan beat out Reed for the defensive backup job with a hot Spring Training. The Mets still can't add Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Bobby Abreu or any other free agent outfielder unless they deal with the Anderson issue.

http://productiveouts.blogspot.com/2009/01/roster-moves-mets-sign-cora-sanchez.html

Scot Gregor of the Arlington Daily Herald expects free agent pitcher Freddy Garcia to make a decision sometime this week. The White Sox, Mets and Rangers appear to be the only serious suitors. Gregor provides some analysis on the White Sox' interest:

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/01/freddy-garcia-c.html

I was talking to a well-placed baseball person this week, and he made two points that made me reconsider the Mets’ winter. The first is that the team is effectively under new ownership. The second—and it goes to a point they’ve been kicking around over at Faith and Fear—is that there’s no real pride in ownership in Flushing. I haven’t seen the new offices, for instance, but I understand that rather than what you might expect—a World Series trophy, a Tom Seaver jersey, life-sized prints of an ebullient Jose Reyes—they’re decorated with blueprints of the Fed. Which is fine enough, but conveys a certain ill ease that the Wilpon family has always betrayed, a nostalgia for a dead team and a disdain for the live one.

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/newsstand/discussion/improve_conditions_marchman

Carlos Beltran thinks GM Omar Minaya's work is unfinished, that the Mets need to use the rest of winter to find another quality starter and perhaps even an outfielder. Manny Ramirez anyone? "You hear anything about Manny? Where he's going?" Beltran asks a reporter. Told Ramirez, who is represented by Beltran's agent Scott Boras, is still looking for an employer, Beltran smiles at the vision of having the free agent patrolling the outfield to Beltran's right at new Citi Field. -- NY Daily News

AAA – Buffalo:

The New York Mets today announced that they have signed LHP Casey Fossum, LHP Tom Martin and C Omir Santos to minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training. New York also announced the signings of INF Argenis Reyes, INF Mark Kiger, C Salvador Paniagua, and RHP Julio De La Cruz to minor league deals.

Fossum, 31, was 3-1 with a 5.66ERA in 31 games in relief for the Detroit Tigers in 2008. In 234 career major league games, the southpaw is 40-53 with two saves and a 5.47ERA with the Red Sox, Diamondbacks, Rays and Tigers. Fossum pitched with Tampa Bay from 2005-2007 and won 19 games. He was originally a first round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 1999.

Martin, 38, last pitched in the majors for the Colorado Rockies in 2007. In 2008, he appeared in five games for the Long Island Ducks of the Independent Atlantic League. He injured his right oblique in May and did not pitch the remainder of the year. Martin has an 11-9 major league record with three saves and a 4.92ERA in 376 games, all out of the bullpen for the Astros, Indians, Rays, Dodgers, Braves, Rockies and Mets. In 2001, Martin was 1-0 in 14 games for the New York Mets.

Santos, 27, spent most of last season with the Norfolk Tides before making his major league debut with the Orioles (10 games). With the Tides, Santos hit .269 with one home run and 36RBI in 84 games. He has hit .258 with 32 home runs and 260RBI in 661 career minor league games.

Reyes, 26, batted .218 with 13 runs scored and three RBI in 49 games with the Mets last season. Hit also hit .283 with 11 doubles and 22RBI with New Orleans of the Pacific Coast League. Reyes spent his first seven professional seasons in the Cleveland Indians system.

Kiger, 28, hit .223 with three home runs and 40RBI in 109 games for the Double-A West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx (Mariners system) in 2009. Originally a fifth round draft pick of Oakland in 2002, he hit .312 with 10 home runs and 50RBI with the Mets’ Double-A Binghamton club in 2007.

Salvador, 25, played 45 games with Double-A Binghamton last season and hit .248 with 7 home runs and 19RBI. He holds a career .242 average in 418 minor league games.

De La Cruz, 28, spent last season at the Rich Baseball Operations owned Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals of the Texas League. With the Naturals, he was 0-1 with a 4.23ERA in 14 relief appearances. For his career, De La Cruz has struck out 316 and allowed just 358 hits in 401.2 innings pitched.


Low A – Clones:

I feel bad for not talking about something related to this team this week, but I felt the need to address the recent promotion the Cyclones announced a few days ago. In June, the team will have a promotion in which they will wear jerseys sporting a combination of Brooklyn and the first name of our current President-elect for one night. While some people think it’s a great idea and are huge supporters of this promotion, I have a serious problem with it for one simple reason. You don’t mix politics with sports.

http://www.dembrooklynbums.com

Fantasy:

Top 10 NL 3Bman

1. David Wright-he's a 5-category producer, and perennial 1st round pick in snake drafts. Bill James Projection: 33-120-113-17-.311-.402-.552

2. Aramis Ramirez-am I the only one who thought he lost alot of weight last year? Due to Mitchell report? Bill James Projection: 31-111-88-.291-.364-.524

3. Chipper Jones-when healthy, he provides very good numbers across the board-minus the SBs. The question remains-when does his body shut down and bury fantasy owners? Bill James Projection: 23-82-82-4-.315-.420-.532

4. Troy Glaus-Glaus is another guy, who, when healthy, provides solid numbers across the board, with a decent avg. Bill James Projection: 31-97-83-.260-.367-.490

5. Mark Reynolds-his avg will kill you, but has tremendous power, and could reach double digits in SBs again in 2009. Could break the top 3 in 2009 if he hits close to what James projects. Bill James Projection: 32-105-101-10-.269-.350-.515

6. Ryan Zimmerman-went with Zimm here, as Atkins declining power scares me, especially without Holliday. Zimmerman is younger, and will be hitting is a slightly better lineup in 2009. Bill James Projection: 22-87-84-3-.290-.351-.484

7. Garret Atkins-I was going to put Jorge Cantu here, but went with Atkins. He isn't as bad as 2008 says he was, is he? Bill James Projection: 22-105-90-.297-.359-.473

8. Edwin Encarnacion-this guys hits a ton of flyballs. If he can increase his HR/FB
%, he could go 30-90 one year.Bill James Projection: 25-85-83-.278-.356-.490

9. Kevin Kouzmanoff-James likes this guy, but he plays in SD. He's coming off shoulder surgery, so keep an eye on him in spring training. Bill James Projection: 25-94-76-.283-.332-.479

10. Jorge Cantu-was 2008 a fluke year for Cantu, or a sign of things to come? Bill James Projection:24-92-76-.268-.315-.467
http://www.faketeams.com/2009/1/19/727669/fantasy-baseball-top-10-nl

International:

Mets that are playing in the World Baseball Classic (WBC):

Australia - IF Stefan Welch
Canada - 3B Shawn Bowman
Dominican Republic - SS Jose Reyes
Panama - LHP Angel Antonio Cuan - IF Ruben Tejada
Puerto Rico - IF Alex Cora - LHP Pedro Feliciano - 1B Carlos Delgado - OF Carlos Beltran
OF Jesus Feliciano - RHP Nelson Figueroa
United States - RHP J.J. Putz - C Brian Schneider - 3B David Wright
Venezuela - RHP Francisco Rodriguez - LHP Johan Santana

Alumni:

The Baltimore Orioles signed 1B Craig Brazell.

The Houston Astros signed OF Jason Tyner.

The Milwaukee Brewers signed P Matt Ginter
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Mack's Mets © 2012