Mets Release 17 - some old friends

 RHP Travis Babin,
RHP Steven Cheney,
RHP Serguey Linares,
RHP Mike Lynn,
RHP Manuel Olivares,
RHP Zach Rosenbaum,
RHP Jake Ruckle,
RHP Tim Smith,
RHP Nick Waechter,
C Rafael Arroyo,
1B Val Pascucci,
3B Tyler Vaughn,
SS Jolbert Cabrera,
SS Gered Mochizuki,
OF Justin Garber,
OF Josh Petersen,
OF Caleb Stewart

Bonus DRAFT: - Jonathan Gray, Randy Fontanez, Derek Dietrick, Mike Nesseth... and Blake Forsythe

Jonathan Gray:

3-31 from http://mlbbonusbaby.com/ : - RHP Jonathan Gray is a big-bodied right-handed pitcher from Chandler, Oklahoma, a town roughly equal distance from Oklahoma City and Tulsa in the middle of the state. Gray is a late riser up draft boards, and while he doesn’t offer a lot in terms of projection, he offers a durable body with solid current stuff. Using a pro body that profiles to eat innings, he brings an above-average fastball with average to above-average command, and it sits 88-92, touching 94. It plays up due to his command, so while it doesn’t have elite velocity, it is a solid first pitch to his arsenal. He only throws one other pitch consistently, a slider, but that doesn’t seem to be a major issue for most scouts. The slider flashes above-average potential, sitting 78-80, and he can spot it pretty well, too. There’s concern that he struggles with repeating it, and he might be prone to some elbow troubles as the result of some awkward deliveries of the pitch. He throws a variant of a splitter as his neutralizing pitch for lefties, but it’s fairly raw, and it’s likely to get scrapped in favor of a true changeup in the pros. Much of Gray’s value is in his body, and his raw stuff profiles best as a number four starter that eats innings at league average production. His Oklahoma scholarship may get in the way, but he profiles as a solid 6th-8th round prospect that could go a couple rounds higher if a team believes his stuff is a little better

Randy Fontanez:

3-31 from: - http://collegebaseball360.com/2010/03/31/cb360-primetime-performers-6-march-30  - Randy Fontanez fired the first 9-inning no-hitter in Division I baseball this season, during his team’s BIG EAST Conference opening 4-0 win over visiting Notre Dame (sparking the Bulls to a series sweep, as they look to challenge Louisville for the conference title). The 6-1, 195-pound righthander racked up a career-high 12 strikeouts, with only two walks, while throwing 80 of his 119 pitches (67%) for strikes. Fontanez did not allow a runner to reach second base until there was one out in the top of the 9th (thanks to the second catchers-interference call of the game). The gem is the third no-hitter in USF history and the first since 1992. Over the course of the nine innings, Fontanez faced 31 batters and allowed only three balls to reach the outfield - as his 27 outs includedthe 12 Ks (at least one every inning; half of them “looking”) along with 10 groundouts, a foulout to first base, a popup to the shortstop and three flyouts (leftfielder Junior Carlin never had to touch the ball in the game). Veteran outfielder Ryan Connolly (3-hole hitter) was the only Notre Dame batter that reached base multiple times and was ND’s only baserunner until the 9th.

Derek Dietrick:

3-31 from: link  - Derek Dietrick, SS, Ga Tech, L/R solidly built, reminds me a lot of Jeff Kent except he's a lefty hitter, and this guy will be an offensive player in the bigs and probably will get there as quickly as, former Georgia Dawg, Gordon Beckham. Derek has a short stroke with power to left alley and line and can go the other way when he goes for that opportunity and he can drive the ball to RF and the power alley well. Runs ok, not a burner, 4.38 very close to average, said to have ran 6.9,60 in fall ball handheld. I gave him a 55 arm from SS, he has ok hands, range is better for the corner or 2b, will get dirty to make up for lack of quickness/speed. 6'1 205, he has the ability to hit 280 plus, 20 HR plus, drive in 80-90 runs in the 3 hole or 5 hole in the bigs. He did make an error on a hot shot he should have handled better but he stayed composed, which is a plus.

Mike Nesseth:

3-31 from: - http://thecollegebaseballblog.com/  - Mike Nesseth, a junior RHP pitcher from the University of Nebraska will miss the remainder of the 2010 season with an elbow injury. A precautionary MRI revealed an injury in his right elbow, and the Nebraska medical staff is working with Nesseth, his family and the Husker coaching staff on evaluating potential options, either in a rehab program or surgery

Blake Forsythe:

3-26 from: - http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft/draft-tracker/2010/269724.html  - Blake Forsythe, c, Tennessee - After hitting a robust .347/.486/.663 last year, Forsythe is off to as slow of a start as anybody this year. The younger brother of Padres prospect Logan Forsythe, he has a somewhat similar profile to his brother with the added bonus of playing catcher. However, the younger Forsythe, like the 11-10 Volunteers, is off to a disappointing start, hitting .215/.395/.385 over his first 65 at-bats. "Right now he's really messed up at the plate," a National League area scout said. "He's trying to be a big power guy and he has that in there; you watch BP and he's launching balls all over the place—wood bat, aluminum bat, it doesn't matter. But, when he's had most of his success, it's been more of an up-the-middle approach and he'll run into a ball here and there and he's gotten away from that. He's trying to pull everything and he's out of sync at the plate. It's not really the type of season he'd be hoping for."

3-31 DRAFT: - Gary Brown, Austin Wates, Drew Smyly, Nick Castellanos... and Gauntless Eldemire

Gary Brown:

3-24 from: pnrscouting  - Stock Watch: Ten on the Rise (2010 Draft Class) - Gary Brown, OF, California St. Univ. - Fullerton (#103 on PnR Preseason Top 300): Brown has plus-plus speed and a plus to plus-plus defensive tool, covering wide swaths of grass out in center and utilizing excellent reads off the bat. There is little to no power at the plate, but his wheels allow him take an extra base or two when he's able to drive the ball to a gap or down the line. The first month of the 2010 season has been thirty days of nearly everything clicking for the Fullerton center fielder, with an eye-popping slash line of .457/.479/.707 and over one of every three hits going for multiple bases. Despite his speed, he really doesn't profile as a lead-off guy, given his non-existent plate patience. His contact rate is high enough, however, that he could get consideration for the two spot as a pro, provided he doesn't see the switch to wood limiting his bat speed to the point his strikeouts become a problem. Even with the excellent start to 2010, he isn't going to bump too much higher than he was ranked here preseason, but, like Grovatt, he could go as high as the 2nd round to a team that places high value on statistical performance and defense.

Austin Wates:

3-24 from: pnrscouting.  - Stock Watch: Ten on the Rise (2010 Draft Class) - Austin Wates, OF/1B, Virginia Tech (#87 on PnR Preseason Top 300): I was aggressive with my ranking of Wates for the Preseason Top 300 and still may have undersold him. Through 19 games, Wates has done absolutely everything you could ask of him at the plate, producing a stat line of .444/.535/.708, 86 PA, 11 BB, 7 SO, 7 2B, 3 3B and 2 HR. Given his athleticism, footspeed and solid average arm strength, Wates is a potential pro center fielder waiting to happen, though he is seeing time at various positions this year thus far (including first base). If he can prove himself to be at least a passable defender in center, and he continues to showcase the true lead-off skillset at the plate that we've seen thus far, he could rocket all the way up to the late -1st round.

Drew Smyly:

3-24 from: pnrscouting.   - Stock Watch: Ten on the Rise (2010 Draft Class) - Drew Smyly, LHP, Univ. of Arkansas (#137 on PnR Preseason Top 300): With apologies to Texas A&M starter Barrett Loux, Smyly has been the most pleasant surprise of the starters listed on the PnR Preseason Top 300, and is making a strong case for early Day 1 consideration. Through 5 APP and 4 GS, Smyly has logged 26 IP and has posted a SO/9 rate of 12.46 and a SO/BB rate of 2.77. He's upper-80s to low-90s with his fastball, showing some deception, while mixing a slurvy breaking ball that flashes above-average. Projected by many to be a bullpen arm as a pro, Smyly is making it tough on teams to ignore his potential as a back-end arm with a bit of upside. There is still lots of time left in the season, and we'll see if the lefty can maintain this pace throughout. But he is doing everything you could ask of him to this point, and has undoubtedly helped out his draft stock through the first month of action.

3-24 from: http://www.pgcrosschecker.com/articles/DisplayArticle.aspx?article=2225 : - Smyly has a much more projectable and loose build than the towering Nelson, listed at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds. His arm action is just as loose and easy, and he commands a nice, three-pitch repertoire very well, highlighted by a low-90s sinking fastball. His standing as a “sleeper” had more to do with the fact that he’s a draft-eligible sophomore and didn’t seem to garner the type of attention that his potential may normally warrant. That may have changed quickly this spring, as Smyly is off to a 2-0 start with a 1.73 ERA. He recently pitched six strong innings against LSU, although he did not factor into the decision as LSU got to Arkansas’ bullpen after Smyly departed.

Nick Castellanos:

3-24 from: pnrscouting.  - Stock Watch: Ten on the Rise (2010 Draft Class) - Nick Castellanos, SS, Archbishop McCarthy HS (Fla.) (#16 on PnR Preseason Top 300): With the general shortage of true impact college bats in this year's class, the top high school bats could see their value bump-up higher than you might usually see. This means players like Castellanos and Josh Sale (OF, Bishop Blanchet HS (Wa.)) potentially moving-up boards as college hitters fail to establish elite status. Castellanos was our top rated high school bat entering the season, and has hit well in his first thirteen games. Though there isn't much room left for him to rise, he could end-up in the top ten overall selections if he continues to show potential for a plus hit tool and plus power tool, regardless of some of the questions about whether he can stick at third base.

Gauntless Eldemire:

3-24 from: pnrscouting.  - Stock Watch: Ten on the Rise (2010 Draft Class) - Gauntlett Eldemire, OF, Ohio Univ. (#207 on PnR Preseason Top 300): Viewed as an impressive athlete in high school, Eldemire saw his power begin to emerge last year, making him a favorite pick by many to be targeted for early round selection in 2010. He started out a little lower on the PnR Preseason Top 300 than we saw on a couple other preseason lists, as I wanted to see how much he could improve his contact rate without cutting his swing down to the point that his power is affected. So far this year, he continues to drive the ball with 11 of his 27 hits going for extra bases (7 2B, 1 3B and 3 HR), and is posting a cool slash line of .429/.514/.714. He is still striking out way too much (more than 25% of his plate appearances) but the power/speed combo could be among the best in the class. More importantly, as mentioned above, there just aren't that many potentially special bats in the class, and it would not be a surprise to see a stick like Eldemire's, at an up-the-middle position, climbing into mid-Day 1 consideration, and perhaps even higher.

Game Day 3-31: - Figgy, Murphy, Carter... 6-3 Mets

-morning...  yeah, I know, I said I wasn't doing this anymore...

-I'm back because of Figgy...  I think there's still a chance he gets rotation work if he puts in four to six strong innings today... I can't think of any time during his long career where he had more reason to suceed than today...

-also expected to pitch today:  Robert "Don't Call Me Bobby" Parnell, Jenrry Mejia, Ryota Igarashi, Raul Valdez, Hisanori Takahashi, and Kiko Calero.

-38 players till in camp... 18 pitchers, three catchers, nine infielders, and eight outfielders...

-everybody is waiting for the doctor report on Daniel Murphy... considering the spring he has had, this would be the perfect opportunity to put him on the DL, let go Mike Jacobs, send Chris Carter to Buffalo, tell Tatis he's the back-up first baseman, and give the job to Ike Davis. You can always send Davis back down when Murphy is "healed", which I'm sure will correspond to any stumbling Davis does.

-three excellent innings from Figueroa... wished the Mets didn't have so mnay pitching questions left unanswered at this point so we could have possibly watched a good old fashioned 100-pitch Figgy shutout...

-normally, I would get excited about this guy Valdes throwing up scoreless innings, but that didn't do Pat Misch much help, did it?

-boy, this team misses Delgado's bat... Francouer and Jacobs are lust not going to be enough to cause a 3-4-5-6 non-pitch around situation. I'm sure looking forward to this soon to be Wright-Beltran-Bay-Davis...

-speaking of bats, Chris Carter hit his 4th homer of the spring... this time in the role he could stick, a pinch hitter...

3-31: - Minors Stuff


    CF Fernando Martinez has been officially reassigned to AAA-Buffalo for the start of the 2010 season.

Here's the official press release:

The New York Mets today announced that they have optioned OF FERNANDO MARTINEZ to the Buffalo Bisons.
Martinez, 21, challenged for a big league job by hitting .383 (18-47) with four doubles, two triples, three home runs and 11RBI in 21 spring exhibition games with the Mets. He led New York this spring with nine extra-base hits and 11RBI and was second on the club with 18 hits.

Martinez debuted with the Bisons in 2009 at 20 years and 135 days old, becoming the youngest player to play for the Bisons in 16 seasons. He hit .290 (51-176) with 16 doubles, eight home runs and 28RBI in 45 games with the Herd before earning a pair of big league promotions. At the time of his first call up to the Mets on May 26, he led the International League with 25 extra-base hits.

Martinez hit .176 (16-91) with one home run and eight RBI in 29 games for the Mets last season before being placed on the disabled list on July 9 with a knee injury. He did not return in 2009.

This past off season, Martinez was named the Most Valuable Player of the Caribbean Series. He led Leones del Escogido –managed by Ken Oberkfell- to a Dominican Winter League Championship before hitting .348 with two home runs and four RBI in six games of the Caribbean Series

Anthem Auditions:

The Buffalo Bisons will hold their annual National Anthem auditions Friday, April 2 (12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.) and Saturday, April 3 (10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.).

All singers will perform the Star Spangled Banner a cappella in front of the home dugout at Coca-Cola Field

The tryouts are open to the public with no pre-scheduled times. For more information, singers can call the Bisons at (716) 846-2080.

Media interested in covering the event may enter through the Pettibones Grille entrance.


The Binghamton Mets “Welcome Back B-Mets Dinner” is scheduled for Tuesday, April 6, 2010, at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center (formerly the Binghamton Regency) in downtown Binghamton. Tickets are $20.00 per person. Join Buddy and Ballwinkle and the rest of the 2010 team at 5:30 PM for a “Meet the Mets” autograph reception. Dinner will be served promptly at 7:00 PM followed by a special baseball program and team introductions by the new manager and former New York Mets infielder, Tim Teufel.

Baseball fans of all ages will find this home-run event full of fun and excitement — with opportunities to meet future stars of Citi Field, collect autographs and win Binghamton Mets memorabilia.

Tickets are on sale now through the Binghamton Mets and will extend until Monday, April 5 at NOON. Tickets may be purchased by calling (607) 723-METS (6387) or in person at NYSEG Stadium during normal business hours. They WILL NOT be sold at the door of the event. Very few tickets remain.

All of the proceeds from this event will go towards providing scholarships for local youths to attend the Binghamton Mets Players Camp to be held at NYSEG Stadium during the season.

3-31 Ex-Mets: - Clem Labine, Joe Torre, Scott Strickland, Lastings Milledge... and Kris Benson

Clem LabineOn April 16, 1957, Pat Rispole tuned in Albany radio station WOKO, threaded a tape onto his reel-to-reel tape recorder, and pushed the record button before the Phillies Robin Roberts delivered the first pitch of the game and season to Brooklyn Dodger lead-off hitter Jim Gilliam. Twelve innings later, after a 7-6 Dodger victory, Pat had a complete-game broadcast preserved on tape. Clem Labine got the win that night, but Pat Rispole deserves credit for the save. -   link:

Joe Torre:

He is just 33 losses behind McGraw. Of the three obvious managerial career stats - games, losses, and wins - losses are obviously the least impressive, but no current manager is going to last 30 years with a better winning percentage than McGraw had. McGraw is still No. 2 in wins. Cox won't catch him because he's retiring after this year. Torre would have to keep managing another six or seven years, until he's in his mid-70s. That's asking a lot. LaRussa, however, should top McGraw during the 2012 season. -  HBT

Scott Strickland:

Former Mets relief pitcher, Scott Strickland, was just released by the Florida Marlins. Strickland, 34 in April, is now beginning the rest of his life...after baseball. Strickland, who hasn't pitched in the pros since 2005, was told he hadn't made the Marlin squad. He has decided it is time to start the second part of his life...as a REPO MAN. - link

Lastings Milledge:

Milledge finally began flashing his ability after the Pirates acquired him and reliever Joel Hanrahan for left fielder Nyjer Morgan and reliever Sean Burnett. His average jumped from .167 to .279 and he had four homers and 20 RBIs in 220 at-bats with Pittsburgh, showing enough talent to settle in as the starting left fielder almost without competition. First, though, the Pirates kept him in the minors until they felt he was ready for the majors again. “Coming to Pittsburgh, it’s kind of changed my life a little bit, changed the way I carry myself and changed the way I go about my business,” said Milledge, who turns 25 on the day of the Pirates’ opener Monday. -  link

Kris Benson:

Arizona Diamondbacks - signed: RHP Kris Benson -Signing a minor league deal with the Rangers last year resulted in Benson making eight big league appearances in the first half. A similar situation did not yield a callup to the Phillies in ’08. A third minor league deal in three years establishes Benson's status as journeyman, but that won't stop the first overall pick in the ’96 draft from trying for another bite at the apple with the Diamondbacks. If it doesn't work out, then the 35-year-old Benson certainly won't be the worst role model for the young Triple-A Reno hurlers—Bryan Augenstein, Barry Enright, Wes Roemer, Cesar Valdez, et al.—to follow. - BA

5 4 3-31 - Bryce Harper, Sean Green, Clement's Woodie, John Maine... and Drew Butera

Bryce Harper:

Harper went 7-for-14 with four homers last week, improving his overall numbers to .431/.528/.931 with 12 homers and a 21-22 K-BB ratio in 31 games. As talented as Harper is, those numbers are still astonishing for a 17-year-old who should be a high school junior, not to mention that he's playing in a wood-bat conference. - BA

Sean Green:

Sean Green pitches in relief for the New York Mets. Green’s strength lies in his ability to keep the ball in the park. He’s allowed just 12 home runs in his career, covering 248 2/3 innings, a rate of 9.7 HR per 200 IP. Two of those home runs came with the bases loaded, meaning 16% of the home runs he allowed came in a situation representing just five percent of the at bats against him. Green’s weakness stems from his walk rate, 4.3 per nine innings for his career. That high rate is a function of his poor pitching against left-handed batters (see link above). LHB walk in 16.1 percent of plate appearances against Green, RHB just 7.2% of the time. Lefties don’t hit him all that much better than righties, and I wonder if Green is simply being too cautious. With his overall ability to keep the ball in the park, a drop in his walk rate should lead to a much better ERA. - Musings

Clements' Woodie:

Mindy McCready says that she and Roger Clemens didn’t get intimate until she was of legal age, and describes the MLB star as being “good” in bed, despite having “a lot of problems” with erectile dysfunction. She also insisted that she isn’t a “bad girl,” saying the wildest place they ever got down and dirty was a hot tub in Palm Springs. Despite a couple of close calls, McCready said she never actually met Clemens’ wife - although she has something to say to her now. “I wish she and I had spoken because I realize now that the stories I was being told from Roger weren’t exactly the truth,” McCready tells the camera - Maller

John Maine:

John Maine, holder of the significantly less expensive contract amongst the three pitchers, surprisingly holds the most promise of the three mediocre starters. He is tenacious on the mound, has a developing repertoire of pitches, has a good fastball, and attacks hitters. He’s a student of the game, and is finally healthy after dealing with shoulder problems. If he can stay healthy and pitch without difficulty, he’ll develop into the #2 starter that the Mets need. His main problem, other than health, has been putting hitters away. He, much like Pelfrey and Perez, struggles with getting past the sixth inning. None of the three is considered to be an innings eater, thus putting more pressure on the below average bullpen. Not a good combination - Mark Rawden

Drew Butera:

Drew Butera will open the season as Joe Mauer's backup. Butera was officially awarded the temporary position Wednesday when the Twins sent Wilson Ramos to minor league camp. It won't really matter in a few weeks, though, because Jose Morales (wrist) is nearly back to full strength. Butera was 4-for-23 this spring with two walks and two RBI - link

A Kink in the Armour

I read a blurb by Mike Puma over at the New York Post  about the current situation with the Mets and Jose Reyes:

...one Mets player told The Post there is a prevailing feeling in the clubhouse that the shortstop is being “babied” because the organization fears a potential public relations hit should the shortstop reinjure his hamstring. The player said Reyes belongs in the starting lineup for Monday’s season-opener against the Marlins. “It’s kind of silly,” the player said. “You play the game. You can get hurt as easily playing [a minor league exhibition] as playing on Opening Day.”

This isn't good, especially just before you're going to break camp.

Look, I have stood in that locker room and I can tell you first hand that Mets ballplayers don't go running over to beat reporters to say shit about their fellow players.

Moreover, they basically don't go off the record about anyone anymore because of all the negative press that has been written about their team.

Jose Reyes has sort of been an unwritten topic for many years. No one writes about how everyone kisses his tush all the time. No one officially talks about his suposed shutting down in September a few years ago after alledgedly demanding that his buddy Carlos Gomez play every day during the pennant drive that failed. And no one asks him the hard questions when they interview him.

The official version on why Reyes plays like crap in September is that he's burned out from going at 120% all year. I'm part of the minority that has always felt that the conversation of energy by Reyes could be well planned by the player himself.

Never has this theory stood out more than the recovery that never happened at the end of last year's season. Do you truly believe that Jose wouldn't have been back in the lineup if the Mets went to the World Series?

I wish I was there this morning to see the reaction on the faces of some of the players when Puma walks in the locker room. Mike is a stand up guy and is well respected by the management and players of the Mets and I'm sure what was said, was said.

Who was it?  I got a good guess, but I'll keep that to myself.

March 31, 2005.  Remember that day. The kink appeared.

3-31 - Minors Stuff - Henry Owens, Manny Acosta, Minch, Gnats Roster and New Radio Affiliate


    Henry Owens: - New York Mets signed: RHP Henry Owens - A nondrafted free agent signed by the Pirates from Division II Barry (Fla.), Owens seemed like a revelation after the Mets made him a minor league Rule 5 pick in December ’04. He struck out a staggering 12.3 and then 16.6 batters per nine innings as he moved from high Class A St. Lucie in ’05 to Double-A Binghamton in ’06. The Marlins acquired Owens when they traded Jason Vargas to the Mets following the ’06 season, and the hard-throwing reliever shined as a rookie the following year. But then Owens missed the ’08 season with a shoulder injury, got dumped from the 40-man that October and then in November received a 50-game suspension for failing a test for performance-enhancing drugs. He returned last season to make 11 wild appearances in the Marlins system, walking 12 batters in 13 2/3 innings but surrendering only one run. Owens last appeared with Double-A Jacksonville on June 28 before being granted free agency at season's end. - BA 

Pat Minch: - Pat was placed on waivers, but that doesn't mean we have seen the endo of him. The Mets will sign him to a minor league contract if he clears waivers... and he might. Misch had a steller spring, but ERA's don't mean a thing against inferior lineups. Pat is, at best, considered a AAAA jouneyman who would be good to have around if the cave falls through again this year.

Manny Acosta: - well, the Mets have claimed worse pitchers... Acosta is a 6-4, 170-lb righty that actually was signed internatioanlly by the Yankees. Has had an excellent minor league carrer (30-33, 3.86, in 199 games, though her 1.50 WHIP could be lower. Has played parts of the last three seasons for the Braves and stats out at: 5-7, 3.55, 1.45 in 103 appearances.

Tthe Buffalo staff is really taking a new turn... so far, on the board are five relief pitchers... Acosta,  Clint Everts, Sean Green, Robert Parnell, and Eddie Kunz (back closing?). These kind of additions aren't making guys like Emary Frederick, Carlos Muniz, and Henry Owens sleep well tonight. From "Talking Chop":

                       "Allow me to give all New York writers a quote they can use, “Acosta is like the pitching version of Jeff Francoeur, only worse.” So yes, claim him all you want. The fear of Acosta ever appearing in a game for us again is finally over."




We discussed the Gnats 8-1 win last night and we're starting to get a little idea who's going to mak this team... caution... I am always wrong at this point a week out, but here goes anyway... I see four SPs... the return of John Holdzkom  (based on seeing him fully recovered at the mini-camp in February), Mark Cohoons ( could go pen, but them why piggy-back him yesterday), Eduardo Aldama, and a surprise, Armondo Rodriquez. I had Rod not going higher than Brooklyn, but he looks like hes holding his own on the Gnats squad.

The rub... what about Brandon Moore, Juan Urbina, Collin McHugh, Lance Hoge, James Fuller, and Michael Herbert?

Pen wise, I have Marcos Tabata, Zach Von Tersh, and Cole Abbott (if ready)...

1B goes to Sam Honexk, Jenry Marte returns to third,, but the only reason Wilmer Flores is playing short for the Gnats right now is (IMO) to settle down Marte.

I expect Toby to grade me when I see him next week.

The Savannah Sand Gnats have a new radio home in 2010: News/Talk 630 WBMQ (I used to own this station!), a member of Cumulus Media. All 140 Gnats regular-season games and any playoff games will air live on WBMQ. All Sand Gnats games will stream live online at www.sandgnats.com and www.wbmq.net.

News/Talk 630 WBMQ is the most powerful AM signal in the greater Savannah market and the home of Sean Hannity, weekdays from 3-6 PM. “We are very fortunate to have a professional baseball franchise in Savannah, and that's why Cumulus Media is so excited to bring all of the Sand Gnats games to our listeners on Talk Radio WBMQ 630,” said Blake Mendenhall, Market Manager for Cumulus Savannah. “The Sand Gnats have a lot of terrific promotions planned for the entire family throughout the 2010 season, and all of our stations are proud to be supporting the team and the community they serve.”
The Sand Gnats also have a new play-by-play voice this year: Toby Hyde. Hyde has broadcast minor league baseball since 2004, beginning his career that season with the Stockton Ports before reaching AAA with the Iowa Cubs in 2007. A versatile broadcaster, he has called college and professional basketball and high school football. Hyde also writes the popular www.metsminorleagueblog.com, part of the SNY.tv network. SportsNet New York (SNY), which launched in 2006, is the official television home of the Mets, the Sand Gnats’ parent club.

“We are very pleased to enter into this new relationship with Cumulus Media,” said Gnats President John Katz. “Gnats fans will appreciate the signal strength and reach of WBMQ, and the quality of Toby’s entertaining broadcasts. Throughout the season, Gnats fans will also appreciate the promotions and the wide-variety of music mix across all of their stations”  -  www.sandgnats.com





VSL Mets:

-there are no more "VSL Mets"… instead, the Mets will have two teams in the DSL league…


Savannah 8, Cardinals 1

Marte Stays Hot in Gnats’ Win in Jupiter

Opening Day is JUST 9 DAYS AWAY

Thursday, April 8, 7:05 p.m vs. WV Power.

Third baseman Jefry Marte doubled and drilled a grand slam to lead the Gnats past the Cardinals’ A-ball affiliate 8-1 in a spring training game in Jupiter, FL on Tuesday afternoon.

The Gnats entire infield contributed to the cause. First baseman Sam Honeck was 2-for-2 with a double while second baseman Alonzo Harris was 2-for-3 with a double of his own. Shortstop Wilmer Flores was 1-3 with an RBI triple to dead centerfield.

Right-hander Armando Rodriguez started, and held the Cardinals to one run over four innings. Gnats manager Pedro Lopez was impressed by the way Rodriguez improved, “he did well,” Lopez said. Rodriguez “started the game kinda shaky, but got better as it went on.” The 22-year old Rodriguez spent most of the 2009 season with Kingsport in the Appalachian League, but joined the Gnats on August 27th and made three dominant starts for Savannah. He gave up just five hits in 16.2 innings in the SAL and struck out 24 batters.

LHP Mark Cohoon, who pitched for Savannah in 2008, added four innings of shutout relief behind Rodriguez. Marcos Tabata worked around a leadoff double in a scoreless ninth inning.

Press Release - New Met - RHP Manny Acosta

Mets Claim RHP Manny Acosta, Assign to Bisons

The New York Mets today announced that they have claimed RHP MANNY ACOSTA off waivers from the Atlanta Braves. He has been assigned to the Bisons in minor league camp.

Acosta, 28, has spent the last seven years in the Braves system after being signed as a free agent. He made his major league debut with Atlanta in 2007 and has pitched in 103 big league games over the past three seasons. Overall, Acosta is a career 5-7 with a 3.55ERA and three saves in the majors.

Last year, Acosta split time between Atlanta and the Gwinnett Braves. He was 1-3 with a 2.63ERA and two saves in 18 relief appearances for Gwinnett and 1-1 with a 4.34ERA in 36 games with Atlanta.

Acosta posted 17 saves with Richmond in 2006 and nine wins and 12 mores saves with Richmond in 2007. This spring, Acosta was 0-2 with a 5.14ERA in six relief appearances for the Braves. He allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits with 10 strikeouts in 7.0 innings of pitched.

There are just 15 days until the Bisons’ 2010 Home Opener on Wednesday, April 14 against the Pawtucket Red Sox (3:05 p.m.). Tickets are now on-sale at bisons.com or by calling THE-HERD at (843-4373).

Buffalo 9, Memphis 9

Bisons/Memphis Game Ends in 9-9 Tie

Herd 6-0-1 in Exhibition Schedule

Opening Day is JUST 15 DAYS AWAY

Wednesday, April 14 vs. Pawtucket (3:05 p.m.)

The Buffalo Bisons and Memphis Redbirds played to a 9-9 tie on Tuesday afternoon from Port St. Lucie, FL. The Bisons are now 6-0-1 with two games remaining on the spring exhibition schedule.

The Bisons play New Orleans tomorrow afternoon before closing out the spring schedule on Friday against Zephyrs. Both games will be played at Port St. Lucie, FL.

The Bisons rallied throughout the game, trailing 7-1 after three innings and 9-7 heading into the ninth inning. INF MIKE CERVENAK finished the game 3-3 with a double, two stolen bases and a run scored. INF IKE DAVIS was 3-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI while OF NICK EVANS was 3-5 with an RBI-triple.

There are just 15 days until the Bisons’ 2010 Home Opener on Wednesday, April 14 against the Pawtucket Red Sox (3:05 p.m.). Tickets are now on-sale at bisons.com or by calling THE-HERD at (843-4373).

5 4 3-30: - Mets Offense, 3-League Realignment, Tony B, Warthen on Pelf... and Long Tossing

Mets Offense:

The good news is the Mets should trot out a better offense than they posted in 2009. The bad news is that there is a very big gap between the best Mets lineup and the worst Mets lineup. That usually means the talent is spread out across the spectrum. Jerry Manuel needs to arrange talent from great (Wright, Bay) to awful (Barajas, Francoeur). It’s situations like this where lineups do matter, and the wrong one can cost a lot of runs.  -  baseballmusings

3-League Realignment:

The National League would also house eight financially viable markets with the same set of qualifications stemming from government backing, cable TV support and corporate financing. The NL would have the New York Mets, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and the Chicago Cubs as permanent members. St. Louis would be the fifth team; San Francisco would the sixth club. It is extremely hard to find the seventh and eighth teams to fill out the league although cases could be made for Washington and perhaps Denver. - dailycaller

Tony B:

Left-hander Jon Niese will be the fifth starter (one scout said, “He won’t be No. 5 for long.”), shortstop Ruben Tejada will start the year with the Mets and supremely-talented right-hander Jenrry Mejia may make it as a reliever. GM Omar Minaya was determined not to take Mejia to start the spring, but the momentum seems to be swinging the other way. Plus, Fernando Martinez re-established his value as a bright young outfield prospect and first baseman Ike Davis looked terrific, especially at bat. It’s too late to give ex-Mets exec Tony Bernazard his job back, but if removing his shirt and being impolite once or twice were his only faults, firing him seems like a bad call now. - Jon Heyman

 -Jon said this, not me...

Warthen on Pelf:

"I'm not concerned," Warthen said. "The conditions, the wind, have a lot to do with the home runs. He threw some four-seamers up in the zone on purpose today, probably not a good decision on his behalf. He wanted to let it fly a little bit today and he did. He was in the 95 [mph] range, which you want to see before the season starts.

"He threw some really good splits and some off-speed pitches, held runners, did all the little things you want him to do. When he was down, when the sinker was working, he was getting his ground balls. I thought it was a productive day for him." - northjersey.

Long Tossing:
Allan Jaeger, of Jaeger Sports, believes he has the program that can save pitchers from injury while increasing their velocity. Jaeger’s program is rooted in a traditional baseball exercise, long tossing. Since the early days of baseball, players have been long tossing. Most performed long tossing because they believed it strengthened their arm. Jaeger agrees. "If muscles are inactive for a long enough period of time, or aren't used close to their desired capacities, the life is taken out of them. When muscles are given proper blood flow, oxygen, and range of motion, they are free to work at their optimum capacity. A good long-toss program is the key to giving life to a pitcher’s arm." - baseballprospectus

Game Day 3-30: - Meh

-the scheduled pitchers for this game got all screwed up due to yesterday's rain out against the Nats...most of the pitchers that the Mets planned on going on that bus (Mejia, Parnell, Feliciano) got to play in the other SS game... all three of them may pitch again today as a back-to-back outing... in addition,look for so-called departed Sean Green, and K-Rod...

-scheduled to start is Jeuryrs Familia, but Oliver Perez was rained out yesterday and I expect him to be slotted in instead by the time game time comes up...

-yep... it's Ollie...

-ya know... I'm getting pretty sick and tired of writing about all this inadequate starting pitching every day... I'm going to shit can the game day and concentrate on the minor league players instead. Who knows, a few of them might not be minor leaguers soon...


3-30 DRAFT: - Dan Grovatt, Matt Harvey, Chance Ruffin, Mike Foltynewicz... and Blake Kelso

Dan Grovatt:

3-24 from: link  - Stock Watch: Ten on the Rise (2010 Draft Class) - Dan Grovatt, OF, Univ. of Virginia (#202 on PnR Preseason Top 300): Grovatt lacks the ceiling and athleticism of fellow Wahoo outfielder Jarrett Parker, but a disciplined approach at the plate has produced an impressive stat line through a month of play (.395/.642/.977, 4 HR, 4 2B, 2 3B, 12 BB, 13 SO, 104 PA), turning plenty of heads along the way. In addition to flashing some pop, he's working walks and consistently hitting in good counts -- both indicators that his success could very well continue throughout the spring. He lacks the projection to force his way into 1st round consideration, but could build enough momentum to climb into the 3rd or even 2nd round, similar to former Arizona St. center fielder, and current Cleveland Indians Minor Leaguer, Jason Kipnis in 2009.

Matt Harvey:

3-24 from: link  - Stock Watch: Ten on the Rise (2010 Draft Class) - Matt Harvey, RHP, Univ. of North Carolina (#56 on PnR Preseason Top 300): After strong reports came out of fall practice in Chapel Hill, PnR was comfortable placing Harvey comfortably in the second round for our preseason rankings -- his pure stuff is special and easily worthy of 1st round consideration if he's performing at his best. Consistency has been the issue throughout Harvey's time at UNC, but if the first month of the 2010 is any indication of things to come he may have finally shaken that monkey off of his back. Harvey has posted a fine line of 5 GS, 32 IP, 20 H, 7 ER, 14 BB and 37 SO while showing potential front-end stuff, including a low- to mid-90s fastball, a potential plus breaking ball and a change-up he has been throwing with increasing success. Harvey can continue to win over supporters the more consistency he shows, and could be a 1st round -- maybe early 1st round -- selection come June.

Chance Ruffin:

3-24 from: http://pnrscouting.com/articles_stockwatch_2010class_10onthrerise_03232010.html  - Stock Watch: Ten on the Rise (2010 Draft Class) - Chance Ruffin, RHP, Univ. of Texas (Not Ranked on PnR Preseason Top 300): Ruffin was left off of the PnR Preseason Top 300, in large part due to some questions as to why he was being shifted to the pen and how he would handle the transition. Over 13 G and 22 IP, the Texas closer has made those questions appear (to be kind) overly conservative, carving-up the competition to the tune of 28 SO, 5 BB, 9 H and just 1 ER. A lively low-90s fastball, two average or better breaking balls and a solid change-up have combined to keep hitters off balance, and have made Ruffin one of the top relief arms in the nation. He can still get into some trouble up in the zone, and was hit hard a couple of times up there at the Houston College Classic, but it's tough to argue with these results. Further, his presence on the mound has oozed confidence and poise, fitting perfectly into a late-inning role. Barring some sort of collapse over the next couple of months, Ruffin should be one of the first relief arms off the board, and could end-up as high as a supp-1st round selection for a team with an extra pick or two.

Mike Foltynewicz:

3-24 from: pnrscouting  - Stock Watch: Ten on the Rise (2010 Draft Class) - Mike Foltynewicz, RHP, Minooka Community HS (Ill.) (#173 on PnR Preseason Top 300): Folty was one of the more impressive arms I saw down in Jupiter last October, showing low-90s velocity on his fastball with some arm-side life and a pair of impressive secondary offerings. His mid-70s curve is a potential power breaking ball with tight hard bite when he's snapping it well, and his change-up turns nicely and comes with both depth and fade. He also throws a slightly faster, small and tight breaking ball that could be a slider or a cutter, though his curve was much more prevalent. Reports this spring have his velocity creeping up to the 94/95 mph range and a little more consistent shape in his breaking ball -- should this trend continue the 6'5/200 lbs Texas commit could easily move into Top 100 consideration, with his ultimate slotting dependent on the strength of his commitment to the Longhorns.

Blake Kelso:

3-24 from: link   - Stock Watch: Ten on the Rise (2010 Draft Class) - Blake Kelso, SS, Univ. of Houston (#199 on PnR Preseason Top 300): Kelso has shown a good understanding of the strikezone and solid contact skills through a month of play, with a slash line of .354/.422/.506 while walking around once every ten plate appearances and posting a BB/SO rate on the nice side of "1". Defensively, Kelso's range and arm probably profile best at second base as a pro, but he plays a solid short at the collegiate level with most of his mistakes coming when his range is tested. There's very little raw power in the bat, but Kelso has the skillset to develop into a solid contact bat with gap-to-gap pop and plenty of speed to rack-up the extra bases. With the understanding he isn't long for the six-spot, Kelso's bat will likely be the determining factor as to how high he can climb on draft boards. Day 1 isn't out of the question if he can keep up this pace, though he may need to start showing just a little more juice in the bat.

3-30 Ex-Mets: - Manny Acta, Jose Lima, Ron Darling, Richie Ashburn... and Chris Coste

Manny Acta and Jose Lima:

When Manny Acta got the Indians' managerial job, he spent hours studying video, and one of the things he noticed was that Fausto Carmona was pitching from the first-base side of the mound, and Acta believed it took away from Carmona's command and ability to run his sinker on both sides of the plate. Acta went to visit Carmona while he was playing winter ball, and when he saw him pitch, Carmona had already moved to the third-base side of the rubber. "Jose Lima advised him to make the change," said Acta - link

Ron Darling:

1986 Mets vs. 1998 Yankees from subwaysquawkers : - In Game 1, the pitching matchup features Ron Darling over Andy Pettitte. And Strawberry hits a two-run homer to help lead the 1986 Mets to victory over the 1998 Yankees (he didn't play in the Yankees' lineup that night, though.) The '86 Mets beat the '98 Yankees in Game 1, 11-6. Read the box score and game summary here. And come back every day this week to Subway Squawkers to see how this WhatIfSports series ends!

Richie Ashburn:

On September 29th the Brooklyn Dodgers ended the 1957 season at Connie Mack Stadium against the Philadelphia Phillies. Ed Bouchee hit a two-run homerun to give Philadelphia the only runs they needed in a 2-1 victory. Brooklyn born Sandy Koufax was the last pitcher to throw a pitch for the Brooklyn Dodgers when he retired Willie Jones on a strikeout. The catcher who caught Sandy's last pitch was Brooklyn-born Joe Pignatano. In the ninth, Bob Kennedy hit a fly ball to Phillies centerfielder Richie Ashburn for the final out of the game and season.  - link

Chris Coste:

Chris Coste was claimed off waivers by the Nationals, according to Brian Costa of The Newark Star-Ledger. Coste was waived over the weekend by the Mets, who signed him in December. With Jesus Flores starting the year on the disabled list, Coste will battle Wil Nieves for the right to back up behind Pudge Rodriguez. Coste, 36, hit .224/.301/.317 with two homers and 18 RBI over 88 games between the Phillies and Astros in 2009, playing catcher and first base.

Pen Overkill

By my count, (and I’m sure a couple of these guys are gone…) here are the relief pitchers still in camp:

Mets (12): Pedro Feliciano – Nelson Figueroa – Ryota Igarashi – Fernando Nieve

Francisco Rodriquez – Jenrry Mejia - Hisanori Takahaski – Sean Green

Kiko Calero – Bobby Parnell – Arturo Lopez – Elmer Dessens

Buffalo (14): Clint Everts – Eddie Kunz – Pat Misch – R.A. Dickey

Jack Egbert – Bobby Livingston – Carlos Muniz – Henry Owens

Mike O’Connor – Jose De La Torre – Travis Blackley – Neil Musser

John Lugan – Emary Frederick

Binghamton (7): Nick Waechter – Brant Rustich – Roy Merritt – Stephen Clyne

Nick Carr – Edgar Ramirez – Tim Stronach

St. Lucie (7): Rhiner Cruz – James Fuller – Michael Powers – Jimmy Johnson

Will Morgan – William Rackel – Lachlan Hodge

Savannah (8): Jake Goldberg - Anthony Whitenton - Brad Burns - Eric Turgeon

Tyler Howe - Brandon Sage - Johan Figuereo - Phillips Orta

Extended Camp (34): Kelvim Escobar – Josh Stinson - Omar Perez - Tim Erickson

Wes Wrenn - Adam O'Neil - Michael Johnson - Elvys Quezada

Tony Felix - John Church - Steve Cheney - Samuel Martinez

Samuel Tavares - Elvin Ramirez - Pedro P.Martinez - John Madden

Thomas Chism - Daniel Carela - Dan McDonald - Brian Valenzuela

Julio Bello - Jose Hernandez - Thomas Peredes - Brian Needham

Jose Bierd - Santiago Valdez - Chris Hilliard - Mitchell Houck

Bobby Gagg - Gabriel Zavala - Trey Rackel - Michael Hebert

Ramiro Peralta - Luis Rojas

That’s 48 pitchers for five teams… averaging over nine pitchers in each pen.

And then, there are 34 more left in extended camp for the three short season teams, and that doesn’t even add in the new draft class or the crew coming over from last year’s DL and VSL team.

Too many pitchers.

Lots of decisions.


Bonus DRAFT: - Asher Wojciechowski, Christian Yelich, Sammy Solis, Mickey Wiswall... and Deshun Dixon

3-27 from: - http://mlbbonusbaby.com/ : -  Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, The Citadel

I think I struck a nerve a couple weeks ago when I pointed out Wojciechowski’s outing against Western Carolina lasted 138 pitches. Aside from the fact that this wasn’t too good for his arm that early in the season, the reason he went so deep is because his stuff is downright devastating this year. He has improved his raw stuff to the point that he’s seen as a possible number two or three starter, but since he doesn’t face top competition, he might suffer in terms of draft stock.

Christian Yelich, 1B, Westlake HS (CA) - Yelich has come out of the gate on fire, and he’s starting to be considered as one of the best first base prospects in this year’s class. He has a good frame, along with power and strength projection, and he’s really squaring balls this spring. Some teams may look at Yelich as a possible left fielder, too, as he’s a solid-average runner with a fringe-average arm, and I could see him as a possible Major League regular with power development. He’s still a second round player to me, but he’s on the rise.

Sammy Solis: - 3-26 from: - http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft/draft-tracker/2010/269724.html   - Sammy Solis, lhp, San Diego - Solis was an 18th-round pick by the Diamondbacks out of Agua Fria High (Avondale, Ariz.) in 2007, but instead headed to San Diego where he threw the fifth-most innings for them as a freshman in 2008. He spent the 2009 season as a medical redshirt when a herniated disc in his lower back limited him to just 12 innings. This year, Solis is healthy again and has regained his old form. Over his first 29 inning, the big, 6-foot-5, 228-pound lefthander is 3-1, 2.51 with 30 strikeouts and nine walks. His fastball is sitting in the low 90s and has been clocked as high as 94 mph. His resurgence has been one of the few bright spots during the Toreros' disappointing 11-10 start to the season. "He has a very good arm," an area scout said. "His breaking ball and changeup are both good—the curveball is an out pitch. He's going to be OK. Right now in San Diego, he and (San Diego State's Addison) Reed are the top guns."

Mickey Wiswall: - 3-26 from: - http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft/draft-tracker/2010/269724.html  - Mickey Wiswall, 1b, Boston College - Wiswall came into the season as one of the best corner infield bats in this year's class. After all, he hit .320/.377/.551 last year with 14 home runs and followed that up by ranking second in RBIs (30), third in extra-base hits (13) and fifth in slugging (.447) in the Cape Cod League last summer. This year though, he could be slipping. It would have been a great time for Wiswall to shine, as there aren't many bats to be had, but he's not performing as well as evaluators would like, hitting .263/.359/.569 over the Eagles' first 19 games. He's a free swinger and has the skills to make consistent contact, but teams generally prefer a more patient approach from their first basemen. "I love Wiswall, I love him, but he's just another guy," a National League area scout said. "He's a borderline non-prospect right now. He can't play defense at all, they already put him at first base, and he's not hitting."

Deshun Dixon: - 3-26 from: - http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft/draft-tracker/2010/269724.html   - Deshun Dixon, lhp/of, Terrry (Miss.) HS - Dixon is the younger brother of Athletics outfielder Rashun Dixon. He was an Under Armour All-American this summer and came into the season ranked as the No. 79 prospect on Baseball America's Top 100, but that may have been too high to begin with, and scouts haven't been impressed with either his play or his attitude, so his status as a prospect has been dropping like a rock. "Rashun's a little bit more physical than Deshun, but Deshun got a lot stronger this year and he's a smaller version of his brother, basically," an American League area scout said. "He's strong, he's physical, he can run, but it was kind of a surprise to me that he was in your Top 100, to be honest with you. I'm not sure he belongs there." Another scout said Dixon has gone backwards from where he was in the summer and mostly attributed it to the mental part of his game and his makeup. He said Dixon plays as if he doesn't care and thinks everything should just be handed to him.

Game Day 3-29: - Mets 7-6, 8 innings

-First of all, all of a sudden no pitcures can be loaded on my Blogger account... if anybody out there can tell me how to correct his, please email me at http://www.macksmets@gmail.com/.

-By my count, after the Mets released C Chris Coste, and sent P Bobby Parnell and P Sean Green to Buffalo, there are 38 players left in camp. That's 13 over the 25-man squad.  Anyone: feel free to  correct me here :)

-Interesting lineup six days out... guess Jason Bay gets the day off, or he was scheduled to go to the Nats SS game that was rained out. Daniel Murphy once again gets an opportunity to light up his dormant bat...

-four singles in a row in the second inning, by Murphy, Jeff FrancoeurGary Mathews Jr.,and Henry Blanco produced the first two runs... followed by a 2-run scoring double by Jon Niese... all this against Marlins sensation P Anibal Sanchez...

-boy, this sure looks like a good day... timely hitting, great piitching...  shit...

-Niese is done... 4.2-IP... 3-ER... 5.65 ERA... 5-GB... 5-FO... 3-K... 1-E

-Didn't I say earlier that Parnell went down?  He's pitching...

-I'm very confused...

-I'm going out...

DRAFT: - Brian Ragira, A.J. Vanegas, Drew Vettleson, Taijuan Walker... and Austin Wates

3-27 from: - http://mlbbonusbaby.com/ : -

Brian Ragira, OF, Martin HS (TX)

I know Ragira is a favorite in the internet draft community, as he has all the tools to be an impact outfielder. He’s a solid runner, has a plus arm, and has a true middle of the order bat that has projection left for strength and power. However, let me remind you that Ragira has a Stanford commitment. That may not mean much to you, but that’s top of the line when it comes to signing a player away from a college commitment. Unless a team sees him as a surefire first round talent, he could drop like Jake Stewart did last year.

3-27 from: - http://mlbbonusbaby.com/:  -

A.J. Vanegas, RHP, Redwood Christian HS (CA)

Vanegas had an up-and-down summer, but I think I oversold him when I put him in the back of my original first round mock and my last mock for the 2010 draft. He has solid stuff and a projectable build, but there’s worry that he won’t be able to maintain plus stuff throughout a full outing. Like Ragira, he also has a Stanford commitment that could be very expensive to buy him away from, and I see him as a solid second round prospect anyway.

3-27 from: - http://mlbbonusbaby.com/ : -

Drew Vettleson, OF, Central Kitsap HS (WA)

Vettleson became a bit of a circus show as a switch-pitcher with solid stuff, though he doesn’t profile as a pitcher at the next level. Rather, he has the tools to be an excellent corner outfielder with the arm and range to handle right field. He’s a solid hitter with some projection, but my worry is that he can’t hit for enough power to hold down a corner outfield spot, as he’s more of an average hitter when he’s going right. He almost has to force power, so that makes him a second round prospect to me.

3-27 from: - http://mlbbonusbaby.com/:  -

Taijuan Walker, RHP, Yucaipa HS (CA)

This is due simply to rawness, as I still like what I hear about Walker’s projectability and current stuff. He has come out of the gate a little more slowly than the other elite pitching prospects, and a number of scouts have attributed that slow start to the fact that he’s fresh off a basketball season in which he was an excellent performer, as well. Walker offers some of the best upside in this class, but until he starts reaching some consistency, I have him closer to the second round.

3-27 from: - http://mlbbonusbaby.com/ : -

Austin Wates, OF/1B, Virginia Tech

Most scouts envision Wates as a toolsy center fielder, but Virginia Tech doesn’t seem to get that message. The Hokies use him everywhere possible, including plenty of first base time, where his athleticism is pretty much wasted. However, Wates does have some of the best overall tools in the college hitting class, which is lacking this year, so he’s moved up a lot, but he needs to prove he can handle center field before I move him higher than the second round.

3-29 DRAFT: Jameson Taillon, Eric Jokisch, Michael Fuda, Tommy Medica... and Kolbrin Vitek

Jameson Taillon:

3-25 from: - http://myworldofbaseball.com/wordpress/?m=201003 - If I’m the Nationals, and I’m looking at that first pick, I select Jameson Taillon and not Bryce Harper. Pitching wins championships. If the Nationals don’t select Harper it will be interesting to see if the Pirates do. Or do they contain costs and select another player. That gives the Orioles Harper.

Eric Jokisch:

3-24 from: http://www.pgcrosschecker.com/articles/DisplayArticle.aspx?article=2225 : - My third starter on my preseason list included Northwestern’s Eric Jokisch, a left-handed pitcher who has gotten off to a rough start this year. After lasting only two innings in the season opener against George Mason, he was shut down for a few weeks due to injury. Upon returning, he made a couple of appearances out of the Wildcats’ bullpen before assuming his usual weekend rotation spot, although he still hasn’t found his feel for pitching (0-4, 5.74 ERA). He has more than a week to straighten the ship before Big Ten conference play begins, starting with conference favorite Ohio State.

Michael Fuda:

3-24 from: http://www.pgcrosschecker.com/articles/DisplayArticle.aspx?article=2225 : - OF Michael Fuda of Rice would have to play centerfield of this trio, although he is currently playing left and batting second for Rice. He, too, is off to a hot start, hitting .376 and getting on base 46 percent of the time. A dynamic athlete whose speed made him an exciting receiver and return threat on the gridiron, that speed has yet to make a difference on the base paths. He’s currently leading the nation in strikeouts with 30 in just 85 at-bats, so he would be doing himself a huge favor by putting the ball into play more often, allowing for more opportunities to showcase his wheels.

Tommy Medica:

3-24 from: http://www.pgcrosschecker.com/articles/DisplayArticle.aspx?article=2225 : - Tommy Medica may not be catching anymore these days, playing predominantly in right field for Santa Clara, but he continues to rake. He is hitting .408/.481/.620 through his first 16 games, showing good power and his usual polished and patient approach. He doesn’t project to hit for much power at the next level, so if his catching days are behind him, he may have to maximize his versatility to make up for his lack of pop.

Kolbrin Vitek:

3-24 from: pgcrosschecker : - Two-way talent Kolbrin Vitek was already starting to gain steam heading into the regular season and continues to hit the ball extremely well for Ball State. He’s hitting .392/.451/.658 to open the year, and also is pitching important innings as one of the team’s weekend starters. Most see him settling in at third base at the next level, and he has been discussed as a potential sandwich pick who has solid second- to third-round value.

Back To The Minors

Mack's Mets will begin to make the conversion back to a Mets' minor league site.

Spring Training is always fun, and we'll keep posting a daily recap of the ST games until the Mets break camp, but there are plenty of Mets sites to deal with what will go on in Queens.

We at Mack's Mets will keep you in the know regarding the exciting seasons we look forward to covering at all (Buffalo, Biinghamton, St. Lucie, Savannah, Brooklyn, Kingsport, GCL, DSL) eight locations.

As of this morning, it is impossible to determine who is going where. Don't go by the lineups currently playing for different Mets minor league teams. That means nothing at this point. Remember, there are at least 15 players still in the Mets camp that have to be reassigned, to either Buffalo or Binghamton.

We can; however, speculate where some of the players will go and to what degree each team might fare:

AAA-Buffalo - This should be the April home for what I like to call "The Class of 2011". C Josh Thole, 2B Ruben Tejada, CF Fernando Martinez, and 1B Ike Davis all have an exciting future ahead for them in Queens, but they will begin 2010 in Buffalo, for a team that currently is undefeated in spring training.

AA-Binghamton - Last year's league leading outfield of Brahiam Maldonado, Carlos Guzman, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis should all make their way to Binghamton when the season starts there on April 8th.

A+ - St. Lucie - The "Savannah 5"... rotation pitchers Kyle Allen, Jeuryrs Familia, Chris Schwinden, Robert Carson, and Eric Beaulac are all scheduled to make the leap to A+ together in 2010. Joining them should be super prospect SS Wilmer Flores, closer Rhiner Cruz, and

A+ - Savannah - look for 3B Jenry Marte to return here for another year of maturing.

Naturally, we will keep posting the draft information and I'll cut and paste five key stories each morning regarding our parent club in Queens.

This is going to be a very exciting year for Mets minor league fans.  Hang on.

5 4 3-29: - Pelf's 4-Seam, More Cuts, K-Rod Stats in 2.0-IP, Jose On Opening Day... and Manual Ranking

Pelf's 4-Seam:

Chances are Pelfrey will be the one to decommission the four-seamer. He knows how it has misbehaved recently; he knows the damage it's done. And he knows it's fraternal twin brother, two-seamer, behaves and has an abiding affection for the bottom of bottom of bats. Or, as he said Sunday, "When crunch time comes, I put the [four-seamer] in my pocket. The two-seamer is all I'll throw." - fanfeedr

-look, this is what ST is all about... would you have liked him to try out a new pitch during a real game...  I assume we won't see the 4-seamer in his next outing, so let's wait and see... as we tell the high school kids we cover, the 4-seamer is an arm killer. Never, never let a young kid throw that pitch. Never.

More Cuts:

According to a post from MetsBlog, Adam Rubin, has been told by a major-league source that relievers Sean Green and Bobby Parnell both are expected to open the season at Triple-A Buffalo. We posted on MMO that this would most likely be the case last week, and this would also suggest that both Nelson Figueroa and Hisanori Takahashi will be on the opening day roster a week from Monday, when the Mets take on the Florida Marlins. In the same post, Matt also writes that catcher Chris Coste has been placed on waivers. - metsmerized

K-Rod Stats in 2.0-IP

 K-Rod’s numbers get worse with extended rest. Historically he is someone that needs only one day to recuperate. It seems it’s in the team’s best interest to pitch him as frequently as possible.More six out saves from K-Rod might put the Mets bullpen in a better place. You have plenty of relievers that profile well for the sixth and seventh inning, but no one who seems to be a clear favorite to take the ball in the eighth. We all know Kiko Calero could evolve into that role, but his health is always going to be a concern. - Mike Silva

Jose On Opening Day:

Mets GM Omar Minaya said Sunday he hasn't counted Jose Reyes out for Opening Day just yet, which is curious since on Saturday he warned reporters that he did not think it was wise to rush the shortstop "just to have him for one game." "We haven't ruled it out yet, no," Minaya said Sunday. "I'm guessing the next step is going to be live BP (batting practice). He looks good. He wants to bring it to the next level."  -  nydailynews

Manual Ranking:

Here’s our annual manager rankings. Opinions from scouts, general managers, players, coaches, writers, and managers are considered, but ultimately it’s my call.

23. Jerry Manuel, Mets — He has simply been in a bad situation in New York. Gets good marks for relationships, poorer ones for bullpen and strategy.  -  boston.com
Mack's Mets © 2012