Mack Draft - John Stilson, Kyle Winkler, Miquel Frias, Colby Holmes , and Drew Stankiewicz

We continue the list today with number 24 with Texas junior RHP John Stilson. The Texarkana, Texas native attended Texas High School where he was a three time letter winner as a shortstop. He helped his school to the postseason all three years and was named District MVP his senior season in 2008. He was also the district MVP in basketball his senior season, and earned three letters in football at wide receiver, earning first team all-district honors as a senior. Stilson went to Texarkana College to play shortstop, but was converted into a starting pitcher. The experiment worked, and he was named NJCAA All-American after going 12-1 with a 2.44 ERA and 78 K’s. The Minnesota Twins drafted Stilson in the 18th round of the 2009 draft out of Texarkana, but he declined to sign and moved on to Texas A&M. - http://www.collegebaseballdaily.com/2010/12/31/john-stilson-texas-am-top-100-countdown-24/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CollegeBaseballDaily+%28College+Baseball+Daily%29&utm_content=Twitter

We continue the list today with number 25 with TCU junior RHP Kyle Winkler. The Sugar Land, Texas native attended Kempner High School where he was a three time letter winner. As a senior, he was named first-team all-state and all-district honors while being named the 167th top prospect in the country while being 19th in the state of Texas. He ended up being selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 37th round in the 2008 MLB Draft. Winkler’s freshman year saw him make 17 appearances (14 starts) as he went 7-1 with a 4.15 ERA. He ended up striking out 48 batters in 73 2/3 innings pitched. After the season was over, he was given an invite to the 2009 USA Collegiate National team but was not selected for the final roster. - http://www.collegebaseballdaily.com/2010/12/30/kyle-winkler-tcu-top-100-countdown/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CollegeBaseballDaily+%28College+Baseball+Daily%29&utm_content=Twitter

Miquel Frias: - Miguel Frias is a junior outfielder at Lake Mary High School in Longwood, Fla., who plays for travel team powerhouse FTB Mizuno during the summer. Perfect Game has Frias ranked No. 418 in the national class of 2012 (No. 83 in Florida) so he has already caught the eye of people in the know. Frias was at the Boston Red Sox 5-Plex Player Development Complex Wednesday (Dec. 29) to participate in the Perfect Game National Underclass Showcase-Main Event along with six of his Mizuno teammates. This is a dead period for NCAA Division I recruiting, so there are no college coaches at the event. That didn’t seem to matter to Frias. He knew the value of being at the National Underclass-Main Event. “It shows your skills and how you’re doing overall,” he said. “You get to show your speed and stuff and in games you (sometimes) don’t. “ - http://www.perfectgame.org/Articles/View.aspx?article=5149 

My next top performer from the 2010 summer season is Colby Holmes of the Florence RedWolves. Colby is a 5-11/200 pound rhp from the University of South Carolina. He hails from Conway, SC and he attended Conway High School. He was rated as the 7th best prospect in the state by Perfect Game. The Atlanta Braves selected him in the 47th round of the 2009 MLB Draft. It looks like his decision to attend South Carolina paid off, as he was a midweek start for the Gamecocks and he picked up a NCAA Championship ring with South Carolina. - http://www.collegesummerbaseball.net/2010/12/top-performers-from-2010-colby-holmes.html  

Drew Stankiewicz: - 2b/ss - Gilbert HS, Gilbert, Ariz. - Stankiewicz is an undersized middle-infielder with a nice glove and solid arm strength. He is capable of making the flashy play (and showcased that ability on multiple occasions at the event), but can get a little lazy with his footwork on the routine plays, causing some throws to sail. At the plate, Stankiewicz has a balanced set-up and does a decent job getting the barrel to the ball. He can over-swing and spin-off, providing evidence of some holes away, and he still needs to refine his strikezone command and ability to pick out pitches to drive. He's a slightly below-average runner, both out of the box and underway. http://diamondscapescouting.com/articles_2010acg_wraps_part1_11162010.html

Mack Draft: - Top 35 Shortstops in Draft


1. Francisco Linder 5-11 170 Montverde Academy (Fl.)

2. Jason Esposito 6-1 195 Vanderbilt - junior

3. Phillip Evans 5-10 185 LaCosta Canyon High School (Ca.)

4. Christian Lopes 6-0 180 Edison High School (Ca.)

5. B A Vollmuth 6-4 210 Southern Miss. - sophomore

6. Tyler Greene 6-2 185 Roswell High School (Ga.)

7. Javier Baez 5-10 170 Arlington Country Day High School (Fl.)

8. Julius Gaines 5-10 154 Luella High School (Ga.)

9. Brad Miller 6-0 180 Clemson - sophomore

10. Joe Panik 6-1 180 St. John’s - junior

11. Austin Slater 6-2 180 Bolles High School (Fl.)

12. Chris McFarland 6-1 195 Lufkin High School (Tx.)

13. Deven Marrero 6-1 172 Arizona State - sophomore

14. Patrick Leonard ??? ??? Creekside High School (Fl.)

15. Derek Dennis 6-3 170 Michigan - sophomore

16. Taylor Featherstone 6-1 175 Texas Christian - junior

17. Trevor Story 6-0 170 Irving High School (Tx.)

18. Kevin Kramer 6-1 175 Turlock High School (Ca.)

19. Gabriel Rosa 6-4 175 Intl Baseball Academy High School (P.R.)

20. Deion Williams 6-2 180 Stone Mountain High School (Ga.)

21. TJ Costen 6-0 180 First Colonial High School (Va.)

22. Adam Smith 6-3 200 Texas A&M - sophomore

23. Brandon Loy 6-0 170 Texas - junior

24. Drake Roberts 5-9 170 Breham High Schoolm (Tx.)

25. Peter Mooney 5-8 170 South Carolina - junior

26. KC Serne 6-0 185 Oregon - junior

27. Kelly Tomlinson ??? ??? ???

28. Johnny Eierman 6-1 195 Warsaw High School (Mo.)

29. Drew Stankiewicz 5-9 160 Gilbert High School (Az.)

30. Nicholas Howard 6-3 200 St. John’s High School, (D.C.)

31. Marcus Semien 6-0 175 Cal - junior

32. Ryan Rua 6-2 170 Lake Erie College - junior

33. Adam Ravenelle 6-3 185 Boston High School (Ma.)

34. Brandon Martin 5-11 163 Santiago High School (Ca.)

35. Joe Sciafani 6-0 185 Dartmouth - junior

Honorable Mention: - Austin Nola, Addison Russell, Jack Lopez, Kenneth Gaines, Carlos Garmendia, Troy Channing, Darian Ramage, Taylor Motter, J.P. Crawford, Ricky Santiago, Tyrone Wiggins, Joel Sedden, Shain Stoner, Matt Brandy, Jake Hager, Corey Oswalt, Garrett Wittels, Gabriel Rosa, Scott Woodward, Reed Seeley, Justin Atkinson

"Top 50 Mets of All-Time" - From Mike Silva's NY Baseball Digest - And My Own Spin on Mets Lists

By David Rubin

Let's face it- it's all David Letterman's fault! After all- he's the one who helped us fixate on "top 10" lists - and ever since, it's spilled over to every portion of our society. I've even seen lists that include "top 10 places to sleep in your car" and "top 10 most comfortable sweat-shirts" - so it's no surprise that these lists are now commonly used in sports discussions. Even the MLB Network gets into the act, with their "Prime 9" shows (many of which are quite interesting, I might add.)

Now lest you think I don't like these lists, let me be clear about this right now- I actually enjoy most of these lists, as quantifying things brings out the better parts of my OCD!! That being said, it was only a matter of time before these lists found their way to the New York Mets- and, lo and behold, yesterday Mike Silva of "Mike Silva's NY Baseball Digest" published his "NYBD Top 50 Mets of All Time" list - and it's an excellent list at that! (Click on the link to see it for yourself.)

I'm not going to get into an argument over "who deserved to be where" on this list, because Mike was honest right from the start when he stated that "I didn't see all of these players, and some I saw after their prime.." So before you take Mike to task, know that he didn't get a chance to see players like Cleon Jones, Bud Harrelson, Jerry Grote and Tommie Agee in their prime.

What I find most interesting about this list are the connections to the Baseball Hall of Fame- those players on the list who are already in, those who are locks to get in, and those who should have - or could have- been in the HOF. Let's face it- it's the end of the year, which means we are less than a week away from the announcement of the 2011 entrants into the HOF- and many of us have Hall-of-Fame fever, anyway. Therefore, as a companion to Mike's list, here are some accompanying lists of my own.

Top 50 Mets Already in the Baseball Hall of Fame

1.) Tom Seaver- the only current player wearing a Met uniform in the hall, aka "The Franchise" - and still, some 24 years since he's thrown his last pitch, 27 since doing so "officially" in a Met uniform, he remains the most important Met, historically (and sentimentally) speaking. Although Seaver remains my favorite player of all-time, it's almost sad that the Mets still don't have anyone to rival Seaver's long-term popularity or relevance. Piazza wasn't a Met long enough; Gooden get close to reaching his potential; ditto for Straw; Wright has the potential to get there, one day, but has to remain a Met for his entire career to do so. For the foreseeable future, "Tom Terrific" will remain the king of all Met fan lists.

2.) Gary Carter - "The Kid" may have gone into the hall as an Expo, but his preference at the time was to wear NY on his cap. He didn't get his wish, but Carter will always have a prominent role in Mets lore as the catcher for the teams' second World Series winning team in 1986. Carters' unfortunate break with the organization has left some hard feelings in its wake, but he will always be the heart of the '86 team.

3.) Nolan Ryan - There's no doubt that Ryan reached greater heights as a pitcher once he left the Mets; however, he was only part of one World Series-winning team, and that was was, indeed, as a New York Met. I will always treasure that card, as the finality of "Ryan Saves The Day" meant that no one could take that World Series victory away from us - it was "saved". A year after seeing my first live Met game, I can still remember the shock and excitement that my grand-father and father felt once those miraculous Mets capped off what remains the most unlikely World Series victory in baseball history. Ryan was a valuable role player on a team of valuable role players, which is why, with only 4+ years as a Met under his belt, he remains a Met in the hearts of those of us old enough to remember him in the orange and blue.

Top 50 Mets Soon to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame

1.) Pedro Martinez - Pedro signified the "return to greatness" that all Met fans prayed for; sadly, and not his fault, but Pedro's tenure as a Met ended up representing a period of great frustration, perhaps THE most frustrating period for Met fans, as 3 years in a row - from 2006 - 2008 - the team found a way to blow it and fall short of expectations in the most frustrating of fashions. Pedro was so dominant over a 6-year period that comparisons to the great Sandy Koufax were inevitable. He's a lock first ballot Hall-of-Famer, when he ever decides (shades of Rickey Henderson) to finally retire.

2.) Mike Piazza - Not much needs to be said about Piazza, who for most fans has moved into second place in their hearts, behind only Seaver, on the all-time Mets list. He should be a first ballot Hall-of-Famer, and hopefully will go in as a Met; the only other hat he might possibly wear is that of the Dodgers, but he played one more season as a Met and went to his only World Series in a Met uniform. Regardless of his Dodger contributions, Piazza will always remain a Met in the hearts of NY fans!!

3.) Tom Glavine - Glavine is a born and bred Atlanta Brave who never should have left the organization. He was a great pitcher who manipulated the strike zone better than any of his contemporaries, short of one Greg Maddux. He'll be in the Hall, perhaps in his second year of eligibility, and deservedly so.

4.) Jeff Kent - One of the best slugging second basemen of all time, Kent, a Met for parts of 5 seasons, should eventually get into the Hall, if not on the first ballot. After putting up with Barry Bonds for 6 seasons, I'm sure he won't be to unhappy if he and not Bonds reaches the HOF first. Kent's 48th all-time in RBI's (1518) and his lifetime WAR is 59.4, or 155th on the all-time list. Kent moved over to first base late in his career, but he will be remembered as the rare slugger at second; for Met fans, he'll be remembered for being part of the David Cone trade.

Top 50 Mets Who Just fall Short of Being Baseball Hall of Fame Players - But Who SHOULD or COULD Be in The Hall

1.) Keith Hernandez

2.) Jerry Koosman

3.) Carlos Delgado

4.) Rusty Staub

All of these players, save for Delgado, have already had their time on the ballot and have fallen off. Delgado still has a chance to make it into the hall, but I suspect that he will end up with the likes of Dale Murphy, Alan Trammel and Dwight Evans - just short of election. I've gone on at length about why both Keith and Kooz belong in the hall - in fact, at my old blog, Mets Trades, I went on about how I thought Kooz belonged at length, back in 2006, which you can read by clicking that link. I hold out hope that, somehow, Mex will get the support from the Veteran's Committee one day soon, but the ship has sailed for Rusty and Kooz.

Top 50 Mets Who MIGHT One Day Be Voted into The Baseball Hall of Fame

1.) David Wright

2.) Johan Santana

3.) Carlos Beltran

It's far too soon to speculate about either of these 3 Mets; Wright has a long career still ahead of him, and both Beltran and Santana have been plagued by injuries recently. If both of them can rebound and put up numbers similar to prior years, and if Wright can maintain his 30-homer, 100+RBI seasons for another 7-8 years, then we may see another Met Uniform in the Hall. Of course, if all goes well, that won't happen for at least another 12-14 years, so Piazza remains the best, last hope to see another Met player in the Hall any time soon.

As this is my last post of 2010, to our wonderful readers, I wish you a Happy & Healthy 2011 and may all your dreams (especially Met-related dreams) come true!!!

To Mack, thank you so much for bringing me on-board your site, and may we have many more years as friends and co-bloggers together- you are a wonderful friend and an amazing source of Minor/Major League info and you are already on your way to a place in the Met Blogger's Hall of Fame!!!

Mack Draft: - Top 25 Third Basemen in 2011 Draft

1. Anthony Rendon 5-11 185 Rice - junior

2. Harold Martinez 6-2 195 Miami - junior

3. Levi Michael 5-11 175 UNC - junior

4. Matt Skole 6-1 195 Georgia Tech - junior

5. Riccio Torrez 5-11 190 Arizona State - junior

6. Dante Bichette 6-1 215 Orangewood Christian High School (Fl.)

7. Hunter Cole 6-1 185 Westwood High School (SC)

8. Tyler Goeddel 6-4 170 St. Francis High School (Ca.)

9. Steven Procia 6-2 210 Virginia - junior

10. Matt Dean 6-2 190 The Colony High School (Tx.)

11. Kyle Raubinger 6-2 190 Arroyo Grande High School (Ca.)

12. Sean Trent 6-0 200 Bishop Moore High School (Fl.)

13. John Hinson 6-0 175 Clemson - sophomore

14. Ricky Santiago 5-10 160 Flanagan High School (Fl.)

15. Mark Ginther 6-4 200 Oklahoma State

16. Matt Leeds 6-0 185 College of Charleston

17. Joe Napolitano 6-3 195 Lawrence Academy (NH)

18. Corey Thompson 6-2 200 East Carolina

19. Troy Channing 6-0 210 St. Mary’s College - Junior

20. Tyler Marlette 5-11 195 Hagerty High School (Fl.)

21. Andy Burns 6-2 190 Kentucky - sophomore

22. Cody Ashe 6-2 211 Nebraska - sophomore

23. Tyler Beam 6-2 195 Missouri State - sophomore

24. Tony Thompson 6-4 219 Kansas - Graduated

25. Scott Woodward 6-2 205 Coastal Carolina - senior

Honorable Mention: - Kyle Gaedele, Cole Gleason, Wet Delatte, Kevin Lusson, Stuart Tapley, Derek Odell, Mark Threlkeld, John Lorenz, Jordan Steranka, Alex Santana, Jose Brizuela, Sherman Johnson, Jacob Tanis, Ryan Coward, Garrett Buechele, Chas Crane

The Keepers: - #6 - Juan Urbina

Juan Urbina – LHP –

Urbina was signed this past year as a 16-year old international free agent. Reports are that he is already “hitting 90”, but that’s what everybody says about everybody, including their grandmother.

The same experts have said that he was the top pitcher to come out of the international kiddie signing day. In the past, the Mets used to start these newbies off in Latin America, but not anymore. Watch for him to debit in Florida with the GCL Mets.

7-2-09 from: - http://myworldofbaseball.com/wordpress/?cat=42  - The international signings have begun, with the first salvo reported by the New York Mets.

According to http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=1327  the Mets have signed Juan Urbina to a bonus of over $1 million. Juan Urbina is the son of Ugueth Urbina who has a fastball that sits at 88-89 but reaches 91. As he matures and gets stronger that fastball should increase in velocity. He also has a curveball that is advanced for his age per Baseball America. For those of you who may not remember, Ugueth had his major league baseball career interrupted because of an incident in the Dominican Republic. In 2007 he began serving a 14 year old jail sentence when he attacked five workers on his farm with a machete and poured gasoline on them. He contended that the workers were trying to blackmail him for money with these false allegations. By the time he gets out of prison his son should have his major league future mapped.

6-23-10: - Last year’s big 16-year old international signee, SP Juan Urbina, debuted yesterday for the GCL Mets and done well. His stats were impressive: 5.0-IP, 2-H, 0-ER, 0-R, 3-K, 1-BB. He turned 17 last month. Everybody says this kid is going to be the real deal, but we’ll just have to wait four more years… when he turns 21! Urbina is already hitting the low 90’s and we’ll keep a special look out on him throughout the season.

6-30-10: - Super-prospect Juan Urbina continues to impress at the GCL-level. On Monday, Urbina tossed: 4.2-IP, 1-ER, 6-K and finished the day with a seasonal 0.93 ERA for his first two starts.

8-5-10: - http://www.minorleagueball.com/2010/8/5/1606179/2010-top-20-new-york-mets  -Juan Urbina, LHP, Grade C: 5.76 ERA with 28/11 K/BB in 30 innings in rookie ball, 32 hits. Just 17 years old, much too early to conclude anything.

8-5-10: - Stock Up – Urbina had another great outing yesterday, going 5.2-IP, 0-ER, 3-K, 0-BB, 4-H. Remember, he’s only 17. His ERA is high (4.84), but that’s due to three horrendous outings where he gave up 16-ER in 10.0-IP. His other eight outings produced 3-ER in 25.1-IP.

In 2010, Urbina pitched for the GCL Mets and faired well for an 18-year old: 5-3, 11-starts, 5.03, 38-K, 14-BB, 48.1-IP.

2011 Forecast: - I can't even imagine what it's like for a kid to come to a brand new country and pitch for the New York Mets. Urbina did exactly what the Mets had hoped for when they signed him and he's one of the top young prospects in the system. The good news is he's blocked pretty solid by the plethora (great Howard Cosell word) of young starters ahead of him, and I'm sure you'll see him as part of the rotation in Brooklyn come the spring.

9-24-10 from: - http://www.nyfuturestars.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=33367  - The son of former big league reliever Ugueth Urbina, Juan signed for $1.2 million in July 2009. He made his pro debut in the GCL this summer, and though he posted a 5.03 ERA, there was plenty to like. His fastball currently sits at 89 mph and tops out at 92, but it's easy to think more velocity will come because he has a projectable frame and an easy delivery. He repeats his mechanics well, which also will help him continue to throw strikes. Urbina maintains good arm speed on his changeup, his second-best pitch, which has good sink and fade. He also throws a slider, but it's a work in progress. At times it has sharp, two-plane break, but he gets around it too much, making it more sweepy.

9-28-10 from http://www.metsminorleagueblog.com/2010/09/28/q-a-with-kevin-goldstein-of-baseball-prospectus  - He’s younger than most eventual 2011 high school draftees, so my thought on his progress going forward is that he should move forward. I’m guessing that he’ll pitch in Brooklyn next year after another spring in extended, but sure, there’s very real potential here. He could end up with special velocity for a lefty, and his secondary pitches at least show promise. His ceiling is sky high, but the gap between that ceiling and what he is now is the size of the Grand Canyon.

11-24-10 from: - http://www.metsgeek.com/showthread.php?658-Mets-Top-Twenty-Prospects&p=187156  - 7. Juan Urbina. I debated having this kid so high on this list considering no one has really seen him other than scouts. He’s not even old enough to buy smokes in this country. With that said, he already features a plus sinking changeup with great arm action. He key for him is that change up. Best case scenario sees him becoming a top flight starter. Worst case scenario is getting trapped in the lower minors without developing his arsenal. He should start 2011 in extended spring training with a jump up to Brooklyn, Kingsport or Savannah.

12-20-10 from: - http://bleacherreport.com/tb/b7Jdl  - Juan Urbina, pitcher – Son of Ugueth. Lefthanded, throws in the low nineties with good control, doesn’t turn eighteen until May. Long way off, so forget about him for a while, but has value as an easily projected prospect.

R.I.P. - Steve Boros

Former big league manager and infielder Steve Boros, who later played a key behind-the-scenes role in one of baseball's most thrilling World Series moments, has died. He was 74.

Boros died Wednesday night in Deland, Fla., where he had spent his recent years, the Detroit Tigers said Thursday. The team said it didn't have any other details on his death.

Boros hit .245 with 26 home runs and 149 RBIs in parts of seven seasons with Detroit, the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds. He managed the Oakland Athletics in 1983 and part of 1984 and guided the San Diego Padres in 1986.

Born in Michigan, Boros made his major league debut with Detroit in 1957 and mostly played third base. He hit three homers in a game in 1962 -- no other Tigers player accomplished the feat until Bill Freehan in 1971.

Relief Is On The Way

Manny Alvarez: - Keeper #18 – Alvarez was a kid out of the old VSL team that went through three very unimpressive years… 4.29 ERA for the VSL Mets in 2007, 6.58 ERA for Kingsport in 2008, and 5.09 for St. Lucie in 2009. Why the jump from K-Port to Lucy after a 6+ ERA at a rookie level? Did someone see something no opposing batter seems to let get in their way? Frankly, I was surprised to see the 5-11, 200 pound tank come back this past year, but the 24-year old throws down a 0.00 ERA for St. Lucie (18-games, 9-saves, 24-K, 4-BB, 25.2-IP), then 3-1, 2.87 for Binghamton (34-G, 8-saves, 57-K, 6-BB, 47.0-IP) followed by four more appearances for Buffalo. The year ended at: 6-4, 2.17, 56-G, 17-Sv, 84-K, 12-BB, 78.2-IP… and Alvarez went from Kingsport to Buffalo in two seasons. Mets pitching coaches say that his greatly improved slider led the way to his stellar year. Late bloomer? Ya think?

Jose De La Torre: - Keeper #37 – we’ve discussed De La Torre a number of times. 5-9 25-year old out of Puerto Rico… signed with the Mets in 2006 and has now played four seasons (out for the entire 2008 season due to TJS). Has had two outstanding seasons at the high-levels: 2009 for AA-Binghamton: 3-2, 2.67, 18-G, 37-K, 30.1-IP) and 2010 for both Bing and Buffalo (3-2, 2.69, 51-G, 80-K, 70.1-IP. Consistently pitches to bottom of zone, creating ground balls and walks. De La Torre was actually first signed by Milwaukee in 2004, but didn’t survive his first extended camp there. He then went to college for two years and eventually signed with the Mets. 4-seaom fastball hits 93… 2-seamer, change-up , and a real nasty slider. Omar Santos said about Jose: “He’s got a nasty slider. He had surgery, and he was throwing good. His fastball, it wasn’t there yet, but it was coming around. He almost got Rookie of the Year in winter ball. He was working on the changeup this winter. He’s got good stuff. He threw the ball good. He’s not afraid of anybody. He just goes after people.”

Michael O’Connor: - Keeper #64 – The 29-year old lefty was a 2002 Montreal Expo draft pick and spent parts of eight seasons in the National’s chain. The Nats used him twice as a starter, most which resulted in negative stats. He came to the Mets as a free agent before the 2010 season and really put together a banner season: 5-2, 2.67, 1.16, 51-appearances, 70-K, 70.2-IP, 17-BB. He has a career 3.90 minor league ERA. From the Bisons: O'Connor allowed just nine of 35 inherited runners to score in 2010 (26%) and pitched more than one inning in 21 of his 51 outings with the team. He posted a sub 3.00 ERA in the final four months of the season: June (1.76), July (2.38), August (2.25) and September (1.69). Opponents hit just .191 (13-68) against O'Connor with runners in scoring position.

Ronny Moria: - Keeper #29 – Moria was a recent minor league Rule V signing. He pitched 2010 for A-Peoria (Cubs): 4-3, 4.00, 43-games, 78-IP, 86-K, 20-BB. Will pitch 2011 as a 23-year old. Another 6-4 righty.

What the Cubs said when they signed Moria in 2009: “Ronny Morla may be the key to the deal, and could be a good one. The 21 year old fireballer had an ERA near five in A-ball last year and a 1-7 record. So what am I talking about? First of all, learn to be open to ignoring crappy ERAs for low-level prospects. Yes, it’s always a good sign when the pitcher isn’t giving up runs, but sometimes, when the kid is, it’s not reflective of his ability. Sometimes he’s being instructed, and is working on certain things (new pitches, for example), which can result in runs given up. Also, the defense behind you isn’t quite the same caliber as you’ll see at higher levels. So why am I excited about this kid? Well, he’s struck out over 10 guys per 9 innings, and sports a 3 to 1 K:BB ratio, which means he has good stuff and good control. That’s a combination that I’ll take every time over low-level ERA and win/loss.”

Jonathan Mayo added: “Morla is a solid mid-range kind of prospect. His numbers in the Northwest League don't look all that exciting, but what probably interested the Cubs is that he was throwing 93-94 mph with his fastball and maintaining it in his starts. He complements the fastball with a good slider. It's the breaking ball that largely was the swing-and-miss pitch that allowed him to rack up over a strikeout per inning with Vancouver.”

Ricky Brooks: - signed from this year’s Rule V draft. Brooks was a 3rd round draft pick in 2005 and has been part of the White Sox organization for his entire professional career. Six year minors stats: 20-29, 4.50, 1.43. Dicey 2010 at AA-Birmingham: 1-3, 4.54, 24-G, 41-IP, 38-K, 10-BB. Some scounts early on in his professional career compared him to Mariano Rivera, both for his style and junk. He has plaed the past two years in AA and should start the season in his home town of Buffalo, probably as the closer.


R.I.P. - Tom Vandergriff

Tom Vandergriff, once known as Arlington's "boy mayor," died Thursday afternoon at Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth.

The former Arlington mayor and Tarrant County judge, who is widely credited with bringing the Texas Rangers baseball club, General Motors and Six Flags Over Texas to the area, died about 3 p.m., his son Victor Vandergriff said.

"We weren't expecting it today," Victor Vandergriff said in a phone interview. "We haven't had a watch on him. He just gave out."
Tom Vandergriff, 84, earned the nickname "boy mayor" in 1951 when he became the city's youngest mayor at age 25.

During his 26-year tenure as mayor, the longtime civic leader is credited with luring the Texas Rangers baseball team and the General Motors Assembly Plant to Arlington.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/12/30/2735004/arlingtons-long-ago-boy-mayor.html#ixzz19dhmUS7E

Mack Draft: - Top 13 Second Basemen in 2011 Draft

1. Josh Tobias 5-9 190 SE Guilford High School (NC)

2. Zach MacPhee 5-8 172 Arizona State - junior

3. Matt Jensen 5-10 190 Cal Poly - sophomore

4. Ryan Wright 6-1 198 Louisville - junior

5. Connor Castellano 6-0 180 Evangel Christian Academy (La.)

6. Mikal Hill 5-11 180 Mallard Creek High School (NC)

7. Brett Harrison 6-0 180 Green Valley High School (NV)

8. Cory Spangenberg 6-0 184 VMI - freshman

9. Jon Schwind 6-0 185 Marist - junior

10. Kevin Medrano 6-0 160 Missouri State - junior

11. Tyler Grimes 5-11 181 Wichita State - junior

12. Tyler Rahnmatulla 5-11 175 UCLA - sophomore

13. Jeremy Patton 6-0 190 FIU - junior

Honorable Mention: Drew Stankiewicz, Dan Paolini,Ross Heffley, Sherman Johnson, Garretts Wittels, Matthew Dean, Jon Berti, Marquis Riley, Drake Roberts, Kevin Tokarski, Brett Hoffma, Matt Puhl, Leon Byrd, Keith Werman, Dante Flores, Kevin Kramer, Avery Romero, Jarred Smith, Tyler Hanover, Tommy LaStella

The Keepers: - #5 - Aderlin Rodriguez - 3B (RF-1B)

Allan Greene
 5. Aderlin Rodriguez 3B

In July 2007, The Mets signed 16-year old Dominican 3B Aderlin Rodriguez, which included a bonus of $500,000+.

8-8-09 from: - MWOB  - The Mets used to be big players on the international market, but they got stung with the skimming of the bonuses and had to revamp. Last year the only player they signed on the international market to a six figure contract was Aderlin Rodriguez (3B) for $600,000. He’s a big kid at 6′3″ and at 17 years old he is already getting exposure in the Gulf Coast League where he is hitting .143 in only seven at bats. He’s very raw and with his size he may have to eventually move to first base, but his potential power is intriguing.

From: http://www.prosportsdaily.com/ : Assigned 3B Aderlin Rodriguez (2008, Dominican Republic) to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. The bulky (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) third baseman signed for $600,000 last summer. Now he follows in the footsteps of Wilmer Flores, Jefry Marte and Cesar Puello, three Mets’ top international signees from ’07 who debuted in the U.S. rather than in Latin America

As most fans already know, the Mets don’t spend much time promoting their International signings, so, when you do read something about one, you tend to think of that prospect as being something special.

This one looks for real.

A-Rod finally surfaced during the season and played the remainder of the 2009 season for the GCL Mets. As a 17-year old: .290/.389/.387/776, in 62 at bats.

In February 2009, Baseball America listed him as the 30th Mets prospect.

6-23-10: - Maybe prospect 3B Aderlin Rodriquez wanted to serve notice on opening night that it’s going to be one hell of a year. Or, maybe he just had a good game. The 18-year old belted two home runs, went 3-4, and put up “yearly” stats (I love when you can quote one game yearly stats) of: .750/.750/2.250/3.000. We can feel safe that these will come down but this is exciting news coming out of Kingsport.

6-26-10: - Rodriquez hit his third home run of the young season last night and has now raised his stats to: .353/.421/.941/1.392. He has 16 total bases in 17 at bats and has struck out only two times.

7-4-10: - A-Rod is one of a handful of young internaltional toosy prospects the Mets own. He doesn’t turn 19 until November and is already showing the kind of power the Mets had hoped for when they signed him. The good news is, he hit his fourth home run last night in only 48 at bats. The bad news… he only has six other total hits. The stats tell two stories… .208/.269/.500/.769. Hopefully, we’ll write more about him this season.

7-10-10 from: - http://www.minorleagueball.com/  - **I've received several questions this week about Mets third base prospect Aderlin Rodriguez, who has hit seven homers in his first 16 games for Kingsport in the Appy League, giving him a .292/.329/.692 line, four walks, eight strikeouts in 65 at-bats. Sample is tiny, of course, but a fast start is always better than a slow one, and I like the fact that he is combining a low strikeout rate with this much power production. Defense remains a problem: his .878 fielding percentage is awful, but is admittedly better than the horrifyingly Lovecraftian .774 fielding percentage he had last year in the Gulf Coast League. I suspect he'll end up in right field eventually, but the bat looks very promising to me. He's just 18 and hopefully the Mets won't rush him as badly as they've pushed some of their other prospects in recent years.

7-12-10 from: - http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100712&content_id=12218104&vkey=news_milb&fext=.jsp  - Appalachian League - Aderlin Rodriguez, Kingsport - .429/.452/.929, 12-for-28, 5 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 9 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 SB - The second consecutive Mets prospects to take Appalachian League honors -- Javier Rodriguez was Player of the Week last week -- Aderlin Rodriguez (no relation) has busted out over his last eight games. Coming into the season, the 18-year-old Dominican had just 17 Gulf Coast League games worth of pro experience under his belt, and on Monday morning he woke up with a .208 batting average through his first 12 Appy League games. He homered for his second time in as many games that night, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored. He doubled in each of his next three games, and he added two homers to Thursday's game, driving in five runs with five trips to the plate. He doubled twice more, knocking in a run and scoring, on Sunday.

7-17-10: - Rodriquez continues to shine in July and move up the prospect rankings. Last night, he went 4-5, with two doubes and four runs batted in. Yearly stats to date are quite impressive: .323/.359/.667/1.026. This is a pure third baseman and it will be interesting to see what happens in the Mets organization if Wilmer Flores is moved to third, as expected. Look for these two top Mets prospects to fight it out to become the heir apparent to David Wright some day.

8-30-10 from http://www.sandgnats.com/ : - Aderlin Rodriguez was transferred from the Kingsport roster to the Savannah roster. The 18-year old Rodriguez was recently named the Kingsport Mets Hitter of the Year. He hit .312/.352/.556 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 22 doubles, 13 home runs and 48 RBI in 61 games for Kingsport in the Appalachian League. He was fifth in the Appy League in batting, fourth in slugging, second in doubles, third in home runs, second in RBI and third in total bases (139).

8-30-10: - http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100830&content_id=14105872&vkey=news_t506&fext=.jsp&sid=t506  – Aderlin Rodriguez was honored as the Kingsport Mets hitter of the year before the Sunday August 29 game against the Bristol White Sox. Rodriguez has been a consistent producer in the middle of the lineup this season. The 18 year old third baseman is third in the Appy League with 13 home runs and 48 RBI's. In addition his team leading .555 slugging percentage is 4th in the league while his .312 batting is good for 6th.

9-15-10: - KINGSPORT (R) OF THE APPALACHIAN LEAGUE: ADERLIN RODRIGUEZ (INF) - Height: 6-3 Weight: 205 Bats: Right Throws: Right - Born: 11/18/91 Resides: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - Obtained: Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2008 - Signing Scout: Ismael Cruz - Third baseman Aderlin Rodriguez was the offensive leader of the Kingsport Mets, hitting .312 (78-250), 44 runs, 22 doubles, 13 home runs and 48 RBI in 61 games with the K-Mets. The 18-year-old slugger ranked fifth in the Appalachian League in average, third in home runs, hits, and RBI, while also ranking second in doubles and fourth in runs scored.

9-30-10 from: - http://scoutingthesally.com/2010/09/stss-best-the-first-basemen-v-2011  - In terms of frame and the ability to project future size. Rodriguez could turn out to be a “monster”. Add to this an advanced eye at the plate and he becomes one of the highest ceiling prospects in a suspect system. In the South Atlantic League playoffs, I could argue he was the best hitting prospect on a field which included two, first round draft picks in Kolbrin Vitek and Reymond Fuentes. However, Rodriguez isn’t particularly athletic, has a soft body, and long swing which he will need to cut down. If I’m the Mets, a personal trainer for Rodriguez is already in the works to be sure he’s primed for a breakout 2011 campaign.

9-20 from: - http://www.amazinavenue.com/2010/9/20/1699625/minor-league-season-in-review  - After an injury-shortened pro debut in '09 that left us with more questions than answers, Aderlin burst onto the scene as one of the Mets most interesting young prospects in 2010. Aderlin was clearly the most talented player on the field in just about every game he played in with Kingsport and though he's not much of an all-around player, that's how good a power bat he featured this year. Despite being one of the youngest players in the circuit (at the age of eighteen), Rodriguez placed second in doubles, third in homers and top five in both SLG & OPS. This kid can flat out hit for power, there's no doubt about that. The natural loft in his swing as well as his incredible raw strength produces the kind of pop that you rarely see in a player his age Unfortunately, it's not all peaches and cream for Rodriguez: He doesn't possess much speed, nor does he profile as a third baseman long-term (think first base/corner OF) and his plate discipline/secondary skills left something to be desired. In short, his plus-plus power will have to carry him as a prospect as the other aspects of his game are all pretty sub-par.

10-25-10 from: - http://scoutingthesally.com/2010/10/scouting-report-aderlin-rodriguez-3b-new-york-mets  - In 2011, Rodriguez will be a powerful addition to the Savannah Sand Gnats lineup and is definitely a prospect to watch within the organization. I’m curious to see where he ranks on New York Mets top-10 lists and can see him ranking in the top-6 depending on how much offensive projection is taken into consideration. When compared to other South Atlantic League prospects, his bat is less refined than the best hitters in the league, but his raw power potential may be even better than Colorado Rockies prospect Nolan Arenado and Philadelphia Phillies prospect Jonathan Singleton. However, Rodriguez has a lower floor leaving him a lesser prospect overall. With Ike Davis serving as both the Mets first baseman of the present and future, David Wright entrenched at third base, and the eventual shift of Wilmer Flores to the hot corner, Rodriguez is completely blocked at the big league level. Of course things could change in three to four years and Rodriguez’ bat projects well at either corner with continued offensive development. And while I like Wilmer Flores as a prospect who combines elite contact skills with some power projection, Rodriguez is the only prospect in the organization who has the ability to become a true impact bat in the heart of the New York lineup.

10-28-10 from: - http://scoutingthesally.com/2010/10/new-york-mets-wilmer-flores-heads-the-list-for-top-sally-third-base-prospects  - - The third eighteen year old, and second Mets prospect on this list, Rodriguez is a physical presence with a better approach than the vast majority of Latin American players his age. Add to this some athleticism and impressive power, what’s left is a high ceiling bat that projects well at either corner. He’s likely to move off of the position at some point, but his floor is higher than both Marte and Salcedo leaving him entrenched in the three-hole. However, there’s admittedly a pretty steep drop off after the top two.

11-18-10 from: - http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/top-10-prospects-the-new-york-mets  - Just 18, Rodriguez produced a solid triple-slash line of .312/.352/.556 in 250 at-bats in rookie ball. He even received a late-season 30-at-bat trial in low-A ball. He showed very good power potential and posted a .244 ISO rate; he shows enough raw pop to hit balls out of the park even when he doesn’t put a great swing on the pitch. Currently, he’s surviving on pure, and raw, athletic ability. There are a lot of areas of his game where he needs to make improvements – which is not surprising, given his age. Rodriguez would make even more contact if he did a better job of following the pitch into the catcher’s glove; he often pulls his head off of the pitch. He also shows a long, loopy swing at times and needs to keep the head of the bat through the strike zone for a longer period of time. Rodriguez also needs to improve against off-speed pitches as he gets out on his front foot and lunges at the ball. Defensively, a slow first step inhibits his range at the hot corner and he doesn’t show a ton of effort in this aspect of his game. There are some similarities to a young Edwin Encarnacion, although the Mets prospect has much more patience at the plate. If Rodriguez continues to develop, the organization could have something special here.

11-24-10 from: - http://www.metsgeek.com/showthread.php?658-Mets-Top-Twenty-Prospects&p=187156  - 4. Aderlin Rodriguez. The future for the Mets A-Rod is tied exclusively to his ability to mash the baseball. I saw him this summer play for Kingsport. He’s a big kid with plus power right now. It’s reasonable to believe this will become plus-plus power before he’s through. He attacks the ball well in the zone but will swing at pitches out of the zone a lot. He’s very young and has a ways to go. If he brings his strikeouts down and his walks up, this kid could become dangers once he gets into the higher levels of the minors. He lacks the ability to stay at third base long term, most likely becoming a first baseman/designated hitter. Best case scenario sees him become a 30 to 40 HR guy in the major leagues. Worst case scenario is him becoming a strikeout machine, floundering in the high minors.

12-20-10 from: - http://mets360.com/?p=5755&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mets360%2Ffeed+%28Mets360+Feed%29  - 3B, Rookie/Low-A, .312/.352/.556 in 267 PA - This is Rodriguez’ line in the Appalachian League. He got a late call-up to the SAL, where he played in eight games. While he is a year behind Puello, and with only eight games of full-season ball to his credit, Rodriguez is ranked higher due to greater power production and potential, along with his chance to stick in the infield. Rodriguez bounced back from a wrist injury in 2009 to put up 13 HR in 250 ABs in the APPY, which ranked third in the league.

12-22-20 from: - http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=12623  - Aderlin Rodriguez, 3B -

Year in Review: The Dominican slugger electrified the Appy League with 22 doubles and 13 home runs in just 250 at-bats.

The Good: Rodriguez is a bull of a human being, with one scouts describing him as “thick from his hair to his ankles.” He has massive raw power, especially to his pull side, and is already capable of moonshots when he crushes a mistake. Beyond the power, he's also a sound hitter who makes more contact than most young sluggers. His arm is a true plus tool in terms of both strength and accuracy.

The Bad: Rodriguez has little chance to stay at third base. He's big, slow, and still a teenager, and will likely need to slide over to first base well before he's big league-ready. He's a very aggressive hitter who sits dead red early in the count, and will need to become more patient as he moves up. He wears his emotions on his sleeve, and often seems to take bad at-bats into the field and vice versa.

Ephemera: When batting in the fourth inning of games in 2010, Rodriguez went 16-for-38 (.421) with four doubles and six home runs, good for a slugging percentage of 1.000.

Perfect World Projection: He could be a middle-of-the-order slugger, but one of far less value if forced to move across the diamond.

Fantasy Impact: He could be a big-time run producer.

Path to the Big Leagues: Rodriguez will begin his first full season back at Low-A Savannah, where he struggled in a limited look at the end of the year. He's still 1,500 at-bats away from the big leagues.

Cutnpaste: - Bud, Nails, Murph, Jeurys Familia, and George Foster


50. Bud Harrelson (SS) - The Rey Ordonez of the sixties and seventies. Good field/no hit, but was very important to those Mets teams for his leadership. Finished in the top 25 of MVP three times, won a Gold Glove, and appeared in two All Star Games. Was a shortstop when the gold standard for the position was Phil Rizzuto and Pee Wee Reese, not Alex Rodriguez. - NYBD  


In a story reminiscent of Charlie Sheen's meltdown with Capri Anderson, adult film actress Monica Foster is claiming that retired baseball player-turned-businessman Lenny Dykstra wrote her "a bad check in the amount of $1000" for her companionship, RadarOnline.com has learned. - radaronline.  


Should Murphy prove himself capable with the glove in the minors, the Mets might have a credible solution to the second base problem. The other internal options at the higher levels are none too promising right now. Reese Havens can't stay on the field. Tejada looks like a backup. Depending on the respective performances of Turner and Emaus this season, a Murphy/[insert player] platoon could be a viable option going forward. If Murph is a second base catastrophe, there's really no harm done and at least an attempt was made. - amazinavenue.  

Jeurys Familia:

Pitcher – Live arm at Advanced-A (137 strikeouts in 121 innings), but command issues. Familia has value because of his age (21 this season) and the strikeouts. He might fall under my “overrated because of an odd name” theory. - bleacherreport  

George Foster:

The second of three guys signed for power but failed to produce, George Foster was a beast during his time on the Reds. In 1982, he signed with the Mets for five years, making nearly $3 million his final year. His average was no longer good, and he still had some power, but he was a shell of his former self and not worth what the Mets paid. - hlink 

Cutnpaste: - Bagwell on Steroids, Joakim Soria, Prince Fielder, Mike Antonini, and Juan Urbina

Bagwell on Steroids:

“I never used [steroids], and I’ll tell you exactly why: If I could hit between 30 and 40 home runs every year and drive in 120 runs, why did I need to do anything else? I was pretty happy with what I was doing, and that’s the God’s honest truth. All of a sudden guys were starting to hit 60 or 70 home runs and people were like, ‘Dude, if you took [PEDs], you could do it too.’ And I was like, ‘I’m good where I’m at. I just want to do what I can do.’ - baseballmusings.  

Joakim Soria:

The New York Mets need some pitching help. In regards to their two current pitching "stars," Johan Santana has shown some wear and tear, undergoing surgery for a torn ligament that could possibly shelve the Mets' ace until mid-March, making a big-league return potentially impossible until June, and K-Rod is unstable and no longer a fan favorite after an embarrassing and unprofessional incident in the Mets' clubhouse last year. - bleacherreport.  

Prince Fielder:

The Mets need to shake things up a little or quite literally be given a swift kick in the pants. It wouldn't be prudent for them to trade Jason Bay or David Wright. No one will want Carlos Beltran unless the Mets pick up a huge portion of his contract. After trading Escobar, the Brewers are thin at SS. The Mets new GM may need to make his mark early. This could be it. Jose Reyes SS, Reese Havens 2B/SS and Dillon Gee RHP for Prince Fielder.  - link  

Mike Antonini:

Antonini does pitch with his left hand, and may be close to the major leagues (the 25-year-old just finished his second stint at Triple-A), but he looks like he’s headed to the bullpen. His fastball tops out around 89 MPH and though he controls it well to both sides of plate – as evidenced by his 2.1 career minor league walk rate – he owns only a mediocre changeup otherwise. He also hasn’t been able to rack up the strikeouts you’d like to see out of a future major-league rotation stalwart (7.0 K/9 career, 6.1 at Triple-A Buffalo). Perhaps he can be a LOOGY - fangraphs  

Juan Urbina:

Pitcher – Son of Ugueth. Lefthanded, throws in the low nineties with good control, doesn’t turn eighteen until May. Long way off, so forget about him for a while, but has value as an easily projected prospect. - link