The Mack Draft Report – Walker Weickel, Daniel Bowman, Leon Byrd, Top 10 1Bmen

BA  gave us a peak at the 2012 draft when they wrote about Olympia High School (Orlando, Florida) RHP Walker Weickel.

He caught the eye of BA at the USA Baseball’s National team Identification Series last September, in Cary, North Carolina.

6-6, 195 - FB: 89-91 with good four-seam downward movement.12-6 curve has natural downward bite. 78 change-up. Also plays a mean outfield. Runs a 6.63 60-yard dash

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The College Baseball Blog countdown continues with their ranking and lists outfielder Daniel Bowman as the 77th top baseball player in the nation.

A lot of people have written a lot about Bowman this year, but only one (Draft Site 113th) has him listed in their mock draft. I have him as the 24th top outfielder right now, which ranges in the 3rd-6th round.

Some “macks facts”: - plays mostly right field… solid arm… at best an adequate outfielder… was named a Coca-Cola Player of the Week last year… All-Big South second team in 2009… very impressive showing in the Cape League home run contest… quick writs.

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Another “new name” that surfaced this month was 2012 prospect second baseman Leon Byrd. The 5-7, 160 pound Byrd stood out in the WWBA earlier this month. I’m not sure if anyone ranked the on-base percentage from this tournament, but my guess is that Byrd was possibly the leader in this category.

Don’t have much on him… MaxPreps has him at .483/.667/.690 for 2010… plays for Cypress Hills High School.

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Right now, the top 10 first basemen in the draft are:

1. Ricky Opressa

2. Preston Tucker

3. Jacob Anderson

4. Nick Ramirez

5. Aaron Westlake

6. Johnny Coy

7. Cameron Seltzer

8. Trevor Gretzky

9. Taylor Ard

10. Harold Riggins

The Keepers - #5 - 3B Aderlin Rodriquez

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: - http://myworldofbaseball.com/wordpress/?cat=42  - 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 (see for yourself here, 0:47). 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.

Cutnpaste: - Ryota, Payroll, David and Sandy, Raul Valdez, and Justin Turner


2011 Projection - The Mets signed Igarashi to a two-year deal, so they have him next year for $1.75M. Truthfully, there was never anything wrong with the signing – it was, in fact, a fairly strong pickup. The problem was with the expectation; he never should have been expected to fill a key bullpen role. The signing, associated fanfare, and first-season blues were startlingly reminiscent of the Kaz Matsui affair. However, for 2011 there are no expectations; Igarashi may not even be expected to make the big-league roster. That could play in his favor; like Matsui, Igarashi might have a better chance to succeed now that he has spent a year in the US and no longer has the pressure to succeed weighing on his shoulders.



Alderson now inherits a club which operated with little success in drawing walks and collecting extra-base hits. In 2010, the Mets finished 14th in the NL in on-base percentage and 12th in slugging percentage.

Meanwhile, there is little payroll flexibility — one of the reasons Alderson wants to avoid long-term deals to aging players. Just one example: In 2007, then-GM Omar Minaya signed Luis Castillo, a 31-year-old second baseman with declining speed and minimal power, to a four-year deal. He remains on the roster, a problem for Alderson to solve.


Mack Ade
 David and Sandy:

Sandy Alderson hasn't been on the job long, but he already has at least one fan on the Mets' roster.

"Everyone I've talked to has had great things to say about him," David Wright said of the new general manager in an e-mail. "I've heard he's an extremely bright man and his baseball track record speaks for itself."

No general manager in Wright's tenure with the team has a resume that approached Alderson's, who already has had success with a World Series championship in Oakland in 14 years with the team.


Raul Valdez:

It is only a week into the season, but four starting pitchers have ERAs of 0.00. The top pitchers are Raul Valdes, who had a start and a relief appearance, giving him seven plus innings of work with a 0.00 ERA and 10 whiffs. Aneury Rodriguez also has a 0.00 ERA after one start, striking out seven in his five innings of work. He did give up two unearned runs. Charlie Morton and Yohan Flande are the two other pitchers with 0.00 ERAs each going four innings. Jairo Asencio has picked up two saves and a 2.70 ERA. The downside is that he has given up eight hits in his three plus innings of work, so some inherited runners are scoring and managers gray hairs are forming as he leaves men on base.


Justin Turner:

10-30-10 from: - fangraphs: -  - Name: Justin Turner, 26, 2B

Organization: New York (NL) Level: Triple-A

Actual: 348 PA, .333/.390/.516 (.351 BABIP), .395 wOBA

zMLE: 348 PA, .288/.340/.434 (.308 BABIP), .343 wOBA


• Is graded as -9 run true-talent fielder by Sean Smith’s most recent CHONE projection.

• A good thing is how he struck out in only 12.2% of his plate appearances at Buffalo this season.

• That ranked him 20th among batters in the International League with at least 100 PAs.

• Was claimed by Mets off waivers after being DFAed by the Orioles to make room on the 40-man for Scott Moore.

Cutnpaste: - Lasto, Joe or Bobby, 1880 World Series, 1960 World Series, and Ralph Kiner

Lasting Milledge:

Milledge was considered one of the three or four best prospects in the 2003 draft, but his stock took a hit after he was expelled from high school before his senior year for alleged sexual misconduct with a minor. The Mets gambled on him with the 12th overall pick, but negotiations between the two sides were halted a few months later after more allegations arose. The team eventually signed him after being satisfied with the results of their own investigation. Milledge climbed the ladder and made his big league debut in 2006, though he drew the ire of some team veterans by showboating. He hit .257/.326/.414 in 391 plate appearances with the Mets before being traded to the Nationals for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider after the 2007 season


Joe or Bobby?

The Mets are unlikely to interview Joe Torre or Bobby Valentine for their open managerial position.

New GM Sandy Alderson is likely to go with a cheaper option. The only one to this point that we're sure will get an interview is Wally Backman, though The Bergen Record's Steve Popper thinks he's a longshot, saying Backman "will have to light up the room." Mets scout Bob Melvin and Mets third base coach Chip Hale are also likely to get an interview. Other possible interview candidates are former Rockies manager and current Rangers hitting coach Clint Hurdle, as well as former Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli, a former Mets player and Brooklyn native.


1880 World Series:

Unfortunately, this "World Series" is asterisked because I couldn't run it with the real two best teams. The team with the most WAR in the 1880's were the St. Louis Maroons of the Union Association in 1884, racking up 51.4 WAR. The Maroons finished a staggering 94-14 for a win percentage of .832! The pulled away from the rest of the pack, winning the league by 21 games over the Cincinnati Outlaw Reds. That is absurd domination in the league. It's my guess that due to the lower talent level of all the other clubs (which finished anywhere from 21 to 61 games back of the Maroons), their WAR totals become skewed. That's not a big deal, anyways, because What If Sports only has the 1885 and 1886 Maroons clubs as choices for the simulations -- those were not good teams going 36-72 and 43-79 in '85 and '86.


1960 World Series:

Whitey Ford had a different set of concerns as he prepared to make his first start of the Series in Game Three. When questioned by reporters, Ford listed Roberto Clemente and Dick Groat as the two most formidable Pirate hitters because of their ability and willingness to take pitches to the opposite field. Since Ford liked to work the outside corner against most right-handed hitters, he might have to change up his strategy against Clemente and Groat.

Ford’s belated appearance in the Series once again raised questions about Casey Stengel’s controversial selection of starting pitchers. Even some of the most ardent supporters of the “Ole Professor” had questioned the manager’s decision to use Art Ditmar and Bob Turley in the first two games. Yes, Ditmar had been the Yankee’s most effective pitcher during the regular season, but Ford had proven himself above and beyond all other pitchers in the pressurized circumstances of the World Series. While Ditmar had pitched well in prior post-season outings, his World Series experience was rather limited; Ford had pitched in six Fall Classics, winning five games and compiling an ERA of 2.81


Ralph Kiner:

On October 27, 1922 Ralph Kiner was born. As with many Hall of Famers from before his time, Richard knows only the basics of Kiner’s career. This week he looks back to learn more.

If you thought—and you did, didn’t you?—that I had abandoned my “Better Know a Hall of Famer” series, you were, of course, incorrect; I just forgot about it. But it is back now, and this week we look at the life and times of Ralph Kiner. Kiner is a rare figure in baseball: a Hall of Famer despite playing in fewer than 1500 games and a man who broadcast games for nearly half a century. Perhaps most impressively of all, at age 87 Kiner is still broadcasting.

Kiner was born in New Mexico in 1922, making him younger than his native state, but not by much. Kiner actually grew up in California, and by 1941 he had made it into the minor leagues, and the following season he hit 14 home runs for the Albany Senators of the Eastern League. (That doesn’t sound like much, but the Eastern League was hell on hitters. Kiner led the league with his 14 homers, and was one of only three men to reach double digits. The league’s leading hitter only batted .322.)


Happy Halloween


Pitch Count vs. Conditioning

Steve Smith to me

Mack, do you think Sandy Alderson would ever do what Nolan Ryan is doing in Texas, in trying to get rid of pitch counts? i think it would be great for him to do that. it keeps your bullpen more effective, you have pitchers going deep into games etc.

Before I give you my spin on this issue, let's explain what you mean.

Ryan instituted a policy on the Texas Rangers that banished the use of the pitch count in determining how long a pitcher stays in the game

Now, trust me, there is still someone in that dugout or bullpen still adding up those pitches. If they're not doing it, they can go online and get it instantly from the box score.

Ryan's philosophy here is that, if the pitch count was the criteria when he pitched, he would have been removed after four innings. I don't have the time or desire to research that statement, so we'll just agree with him that he threw a lot of walks and elongated strike outs.

Ryan calls the new approach "establishing out foundation".

Did it work? Well, the team is still playing baseball this weekend.

In my opinion, I think he worded this wrong. I think he should have said that pitch count isn't going to be the only criteria used.

Now, I know for a fact that, if a pitcher gives up six home runs in the first inning, pitch count ain't worth shit.

Also, I know that the last person you should ask whether or not he has thrown too many pitchers is the pitcher themselves. They all lie like a rug.

Will Alderson practice what Ryan does?  I don't see Ryan being that kind of decision maker. Let's first wait and see who is going to be the pitching coach and we'll try and answer that then.

The Mack Report – Jenrry Mejia, David Rubin, Mike Pelfrey Manuel Alvarez

http://www.minorleagueball.com/2010/10/29/1782047/new-york-mets-top-20-prospects-for-2011#storyjump is one of the top minor league experts in the business and his pre-2011 top 20 Mets prospect list hit the internet on October 29th. I’m going to feature one of his picks each day for 20 days and add my thoughts as well.

New York Mets Top 20 for 2011- 2) Jenrry Mejia, RHP, Grade B: I'm concerned enough about his health to lower his grade a notch, but I still like him. Not a technical rookie due to service time, but under the innings limit and people ask about him.

I never include health in my analysis of prospects. No one can predict injuries but everyone can recognize talent, tools, and ceiling.

Trust me, there is nothing wrong with Mejia, either physically or mentally. His injury last year was equivalent to a muscle pull and his conversion to a relief pitcher completely rolled off his back.

Kids don’t get screwed up going from a starter to a reliever. Maybe the other way around, but not this way. And, it’s not like this is another Joba situation. It was a one time thing done by a desperate manager.

It would be best for Mejia to pitch an entire year at AAA, but the Mets are not deep in starters and he may have to called upon, come April, to join the Queens rotation. I hope not.

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Ya know, I did a fair amount of surfing last night of all the Mets blogs and I came away with one conclusion… most of these guys just like to write bad shit about the Mets.

You can’t believe how many of them have no mention of the recent developments in the front office. You would think even the most hostile Mets blogger would come out of the dark corners and say something nice these past few days. Hell, I can’t get David Rubin to shut up!

I try so hard to get the Mets to take the blogging community more serious and it would be nice if the community embraced what’s going on… but that’s just me.

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The Mets top 5 signing bonuses, compliments of MLBTR  :

1.Mike Pelfrey, $3.55MM (2005)

2.Phil Humber, $3MM (2004)

3.Matt Harvey, $2.525MM (2010)

4.Scott Kazmir, $2.15MM (2002)

5.Lastings Milledge, $2.075MM (2003)

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Winter Updates:

Brad Holt – gave up his first earned runs in his fourth outing… now stands at: 2-1, 2.38, 1.32, 11.1-IP, 12-K, a whopping 8-BB.

Manuel Alvarez – 6 relief outings now… 11.0-IP, 0-0, 1.64, 1.27, 9-K, 3-BB

Sal Manriquez - .310/.442/.524 – 42-AB


Mack Draft Report – Dillon Howard, Dusty Robinson, Max Knowles, Jeremy Null, Carlos Rodon

The Mack Draft Report – 10-30-10:

RHP Dillon Howard threw three scoreless innings on Saturday afternoon in the 4-2 Redskin win. We’ve talked about Howard many times here. He currently sits in the 26th top RHP position in my composite mock draft (which will be updated around the 15th of November). We also mentioned a number of time that mock composite included an October 1st asinine draft from Draft Site in which Howard was left off the list of 214 players.

The important thing is to trend these mock drafts and here’s the result of the last four, one of which is still being printed:

10-20: - PG – ranked 9th

10-24: - XMLBScout – 10th

10-27: - Mayo – 15th

October: - Toss It – in top 12 names still to be released

It looks to me that Howard will be one of the first 15 names picked in the draft. His fastball does travel up to around 95, and the 6-3, 195 pounder throws a plus slurve.

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The CBB  named OF Dusty Robinson as the 79th top college player in the country. Robinson is a 5-11 junior outfield out of Fresno State who started 52 games as a sophomore: .319, 12-doubles, 52-R, 45-RBIs… BA named him to the all-freshman team…

He’s only made two of the mock drafts I have compiled… #114th on Draft Site and 51st on Toss It… I got him right now as the 21st top outfielder in the draft, which translates to around a 5th or 6th round pick.

One caveat… Robinson was arrested 9-11-10 for “Suspicion of Driving Under the Influence, Driving Above the Legal Blood-Alcohol Limit of 0.08, and Providing or Selling Alcohol to a Minor”.

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College Summer Baseball  featured LHP Max Knowles in a recent posting. The Cal Ripken Collegiate League named Knowles as the Most outstanding Pitcher in the summer league. Knowles won six games and posted a 1.23 ERA in the league.

Frankly, at this point, I don’t have Knowles as one of the primary left handers available for the draft. I have him as the 57th LHP available, which puts in as a second day pick.

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If you like them big, Jeremy Null should be on your hit list. Null is a 6-8 right hander, out of Bunker Hill High School, in Claremont, North Carolina. His repertoire: 88-91 FB, 70-73 breaking ball…

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North Carolina seems to grow baseball players and Carlos Rodon is another one you will be hearing from as the draft season heats up. Big time showing at the East Coast Pro Showcase and Futures Game. Repertoire: 72-75 slurve, 89-92 FB, touches 93. 6-2, 190 LHP… committed to NC State…

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Grading Prospects

Hobie has left a new comment on your post "The Mack Report: - Pedro, Carr, Lupo, A-Rod, Valde...":

“Grading should be on talent, tools, and ceiling.—Mack”

Thanks for that. I’ve always wondered what exactly were the criteria for these rankings. And I assume that the goal is to list prospects in some order that reflects back on their mlb productivity decades hence—a future hindsight if you will. So two questions:

What differentiates tools from talent? Ceiling from talent? Does tools define ceiling and talent the probability that you get that ceiling with those tools? That was one question. :-)

Could you illustrate how your TTC grades are used (independently or collectively) to place, say, J-Rodriguez over Nieuwenhuis over Cecilliani on your list? Pick any other example you think might better (more easily) illustrate the process.
Wow... Mack's Baseball are now getting questions with follow-ups?
Boy, where do I begin...
First of all, I'm going to try and explain how I grade, but I have never seen a uniform system used in this process. If any of you scouts out there that read this (Bill? Carlos?) can help me out here, or thing my approach needs improvement, please join in.
What differentiates tools from talent?
We all know the 5-tools... hitting for average, hitting for power, base running skills and speed, throwing ability, and fielding ability. I give two points to each of these categories and it's tough to find a ten-pointer.
Talent, is how one uses their tools.  Talent is always knowing where your runners are... talent is that famous Derek Jeter toss to the catcher... and lack of talent is when someone like Jordany Valdepsin doesn't turn the easy ground balls.
Ceiling from talent:
To me, ceiling is untapped talent and development. A perfect example of this was catcher Francesco Pena three years ago. Amazing untapped ceiling. I looked at him and thought "now, that's a catcher's body".
Lack of ceiling is the myriad amount of SP5 pitches the Mets currently have at AAA and AA. Not enough velo to start in the majors and not enough sickness to be a reliever.
Does tools define ceiling and talent the probability that you get that ceiling with those tools?
Again, this is just how I define these questions.
There are two levels of "ceiling".  Your current ceiling (he is faster than anyone in the system) and untapped ceiling (he will be the fastest runner in the system once he learns to get a jump...). Most of the kids coming out of the International system and the USA high schools are way under trained. As the Kingsport guys say, "you come here to learn the game you have played all your life...". This is when ceiling starts to diminish and reality sets in.
Yeah, you get the ceiling with the tools. You define the tools as you reach the limits of your ceiling.
Could you illustrate how your TTC grades are used (independently or collectively) to place, say, J-Rodriguez over Nieuwenhuis over Cecilliani on your list? Pick any other example you think might better (more easily) illustrate the process
J-Rod:  -  excellent speed ... projectable power, pure athlete shows all 5-tools - total of 10 points.
Kirk: - dangerous speed/power combo... consistently hits for average... good, not great, throwing arm... current poor strike zone management... possibly has reached ceiling limits...  7 points
Cecil:  -  hits for average... limited power... excellent speed and athleticism...excellent center field defense... 7 points
After this process, I begin to throw in other gut-feeling factors, one important one being how he currently fits into the system and how close he is to the Bigs. Again, that's just me. It's one of the reason I have Kirk ahead of Darrell, though on pure prospect terms, Ceciliani should be ranked higher than Nieuwenhuis.

Cutnpaste: - Dan Uggla, Takahashi, John Antonelli, Larry Parrish, and Wilmer Flores

Dan Uggla:

That’s the question apparently being debated by the Marlins and Uggla’s agent in their negotiations for a multi-year contract.

In the latest development, there are indications the Marlins may be willing to increase their initial three-year offer by adding a fourth year. Both sides still remain far apart.

Uggla reportedly wants a five-year contract worth at least $50 million. Florida’s initial three-year offer was for a total of $24 million.


Michael G.Baron

Of all the Mets' baseball-operations decisions this winter, one is quite clearly more urgent than the others -- the team must imminently decide whether or not to re-sign potential free-agent reliever Hisanori Takahashi.

Takahashi's current contract stipulates that he can become a free agent on Oct. 31, a deadline that a source said the Mets have extended until Nov. 5. If the team does not ink Takahashi to a new deal by that date, they will be unable to do so until May 15, effectively guaranteeing that he will sign with another club.


John Antonelli:

That's the team he pitched for in 1954, the last time this venerable franchise won a world championship.

Back then, in the days before hard pitch counts, five-man rotations and bullpens stocked with set-up men, long relievers, short relievers and closers, Mr. Antonelli was the winning pitcher in the second game of the 1954 series and, two days later, came in to close out the Cleveland Indians in a four-game sweep. Unlike the drawn-out marathons of today, this Fall Classic was over in four straight days.

Later, in 1955, Mr. Antonelli pitched a 16-inning complete game, a feat that is unlikely to be replicated. "There was no such thing as anyone telling you that you threw too many pitches," he recalled. "We all had to be ready to pitch whenever Leo [Durocher, the Giants manager] wanted us."


Larry Parrish:

The Atlanta Braves have named Larry Parrish as their new hitting coach.

The 56-year-old Parrish had been manager of Detroit's Triple-A team in Toledo since 2003. He also worked as a coach, scout and hitting instructor in the Tigers organization, beginning in 1992.

Parrish takes over for Terry Pendleton in a shake-up of the Braves' coaching staff after longtime manager Bobby Cox retired and was replaced by Fredi Gonzalez.

Pendleton had been the hitting coach under Cox but was moved to first base by Gonzalez. The new manager also hired Carlos Tosca as his bench coach.


michael g. baron
 Wilmer Flores:

10-28-10 from: - scoutingthesally  - Wilmer Flores - If I could call Arenado and Flores 1A and 1B I would, but it seems like a cop out so I opted for the best combination of both offense and defense. Flores’ bat does not have the projection of Arenado, but I’m confident he can at least play an average third base at the big league level once his time at shortstop comes to an end. With excellent hands, a strong arm, and enough bat to project a high average and twenty or so home runs annually, he’s a much safer play than most give him credit for.

Cutnpaste: - Sandy on Taka, Jefry Marte, Jose Guillen, Farm System, and A-Rod

Hisanori Takahashi
 Sandy on Taka:

We're looking at it," Alderson said. "Takahashi did a good job at the back end at the end of the season, did a nice job out of the pen. Talk about flexibility, and here's a guy that can -- maybe not as effectively -- but can start, can relieve. There's a lot of value in that. We're going to look at it hard. On the other hand, we have to make a judgment about what we think he's worth. The problem is that if we don't do something relatively soon then we're out of the mix permanently. But he knows that, too. So we'll see. I think Arn Tellem is representing him now. I've known Arn a long time, and we'll talk to him and see where we are."


Jefry Marte:

10-28-10 from: - scoutingthesally.  - Jefry Marte - I’ll be the first to admit I may have seen too much mediocre baseball from Marte at this point to fairly assess what his ceiling truly is. However, it was impossible not to notice his .354/.384/.585 July during which the light bulb just seemed to turn on for him on both offense and defense. Confidence can be a funny thing with young prospects and Marte is no exception. Unfortunately, an injury ended his season prematurely before I was able to get an extended look at Mr. Hyde instead of the 60-80 games Dr. Jekyl I witnessed in 2009 and 2010.

Jose Guillen:

The New York Times reports on why Jose Guillen was kept off the Giants post-season roster.

Jose Guillen, the San Francisco Giants outfielder, was kept off the team’s postseason roster shortly after federal authorities informed Major League Baseball that he was tied to an investigation into shipments of performance-enhancing drugs, according to several lawyers briefed on the matter.

HGH was shipped to Guillen’s wife according to the story. San Francisco seems to be doing just fine without him as they are up 2-0 in the World Series.


Farm System:

I think the Mets system this year has had as many bats with age appropriate numbers as any system out there. If I do a purely statistical analysis, using data from baseball-reference, using runs created per game (using OBP x SLG x 33.5), park and league adjusted (easy enough since I’m using “runs”), the Mets end up near the top in what I consider guys with age appropriate numbers. The thing is there aren’t a lot of future stars there, it’s more guys who look like they have a chance to be solid regulars. But there is more depth then there has been there for awhile. The Mets seem to have been emphasizing the hit tool, and drafting and signing a lot of guys with enough tools for positions like 3B and RF. Especially in their international program, they aren’t signing the toolsiest star potential guys, but seem to be finding guys with solid tools and some hitting ability.


Aderlin Rodriguez:

10-28-10 from: - scoutingthesally.  - - 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.

The Mack Report: - Pedro, Carr, Lupo, A-Rod, Valdez, Wilmer

The Mack Report – 10-30-10

Per Elias, free agent rankingsType A: - no Mets  -  Type B - Pedro Feliciano -- 66.855

                                                                     - - - - - -

 P Nick Carr is now up to 8.0-IP in the AFL with stats of: 0-1, 4.50, 1.50, 5-G, 4-ER, 3-K, 4-BB.

I don’t have Carr high on my list but the Mets don’t want to give up on him too early. He’s had multiple injury problems and he continues to be wild, but the kid can sit at 96 which is all the reason in the world to not give up on him. Pitched in 16 games for Lucy last year, and struck out 26 in 23.1-IP, but also dished up 16-BB.

Nick will turn 24 in April and should move on to Binghamton. Very few Mets relief pitchers have tools like this kid. We’ll keep an eye on him this winter and report back on him before spring training.

                                                                  - - - - - -

16-year old corner OF prospect, Vincente Lupo, has been elevated on “The Keepers” list from #112 to #81.
 The 5-11, 180 pound Lupo played in the World Youth Champioship in Taiwan and developed into one of the top bats in Venezuela. He has plus-plus raw power with good bat speed. Much more impressive in batting cage than in-game.

                                                                   - - - - - -

Mike Newman of http://scoutingthesally.com/  had a great video of prime prospect, 3B Aderlin Rodriquez, playing at the end of last season for Savannah:

                                                                   - - - - - -
P Raul Valdez struck out eight batters in the 5.1 innings he pitched Thursday in the DWL. That’s now 7.1-IP, 0-R, 10-K, 0-BB, 0.00, 0.68. Now, you simply not going to get more out of a pitcher than that.

You never hear anyone mention Valdez’ name in the 2011 future of the Mets. He’s 33-years old and posted a 4.91 ERA, in 38-games, in 2010, but you always give a lefty a little more time, don’t you.

None of us in pundit-land have any idea how the new administration is going to evaluate the current roster. I would think that the best thing a marginal player can do right now is to star in winter ball. We’ll keep an eye on Valdez.
                                                                    - - - - - -
Minor League Ball is one of the top minor league experts in the business and his pre-2011 top 20 Mets prospect list hit the internet on October 29th. I’m going to feature one of his picks each day for 20 days and add my thoughts as well.

Michael G. Baron
  New York Mets Top 20 for 2011- 1) Wilmer Flores, SS, Grade B+: He's coming around with the bat. How fast will the new regime push him, and what position will he play long-term?

I have no problem with pick and agree he’s a B+. I also agree that the Mets currently have no “A” prospect. To me, Flores, Jenrry Mejia, Reese Havens, and Matt Harvey are all B+ and there is very little difference between the four’s talent level. Yes, there are injury issues, but that doesn’t come into play in my grading. Grading should be on talent, tools, and celing.

We’ve mentioned this a number of times… Flores is a Met man without a position. I still feel he would be best suited in a package deal for a new starter.

Today is the First Day in the Rest of Your Life as a Mets Fan...

By David Rubin

Most Mets' fans are pretty happy right now, on the heals of what was an excellent press conference and first impression made by Sandy Alderson, the new Mets General Manager, on Friday afternoon. I remember all too well the moment that Omar Minaya took over the club, and the level of expectation that he brought with him, partly from what he represented (grew up in the Mets system as an exec, a hometown guy and Mets fan), and partly from his promise to bring relevance again to the organization, in quick fashion. We all know that his tenure didn't go as planned, for the team, for the owners, for the fans, and for Omar, himself (check out some of my posts over the past 2 weeks, exploring Omar's tenure, via the "older posts" link at the bottom of this page). With Friday's press conference, the many qualities that the Wilpons saw in Alderson became evident to everyone watching or listening to either the press conference itself, or to the many interviews that followed. Alderson, after botching his opening line, declaring himself to be "thrilled to be the new GM of the Oakland...New York Mets," rebounded smoothly and unveiled the raw basics of his plan to bring the Mets organization back to prominence. He came off as honest, earnest, intelligent, thoughtful, charismatic and well-versed in what was needed to change the culture of this once-proud team. Certainly (and justifiably), the hopes of all Mets fans have been raised from "LOW" to "HIGH" which could come back, once again, to hurt some fans who aren't well-prepared to weather another year of finishing out of the "money." That's not to say it isn't possible to be relevant and in contention immediately, but being a Mets fan has meant so many disappointments over the years that it's better at this point to lower expectations, take the small victories for what they are, and remember that it took the Red Sox and Yankees a number of years to achieve their current levels of success, which only began by operating in a fashion that Alderson is preaching right now.

“We’re going to strive for consistency but above all, excellence,” Alderson said. “Our goal is to constantly improve the probabilities of success to the point that we will have that success on a consistent basis.”

In order to keep from jumping out of my skin from excitement over the great things heard at Alderson's press conference, I had to think of a way to separate my "practical" (or "pragmatic") side of my brain from the "optimistic" (or "fan") side of my brain - a "point/counterpoint" if you will. In doing so, we'll look at both sides of some of the points Alderson brought out at the conference and his follow-up interviews (the best of which, I believe, being the one SNY's Kevin Burkhardt conducted with him immediately after the initial press conference and to which I posted a link earlier) and try to figure out what which one of my two "sides" it is better to listen to...and if you don't catch the references to old SNL episodes, then I advise you to go to YouTube and enjoy them, or, if you DO get them, go enjoy them all over again!!

The Fan With Two Brains (with apologies to Steve Martin)

There are two sides to every fan's brain – the pragmatic side, the part of you that recognizes that your line-up pales in comparison with 2-3 others in your division and so another finish in the middle of the pack is called for, and the optimistic side, that tells you with just the right breaks, and a whole lotta luck, and some major injuries or player regression from other teams in your division, you just might have a chance at winning this thing! We all want the "fan" side to win out, but in the end, we usually resign ourselves to being logical and knowing, once again, that this just wasn't "our year." Please bear with me, though, because in the end, I think you’ll find that the “Optimistic Side” will end up winning the debate…or, at least, I still keep telling myself that it will…

The Pragmatic Me

Let’s get one thing straight- the ONLY thing that happened today for Mets
fans is the formal announcement that Sandy Alderson is the new General Manager of the New York Mets. Let’s note some of the things to be wary of when it comes to false expectations as to what Alderson’s hire will mean in the immediate future.

~It’s great that a new person is coming in with a “plan” – and notice Alderson said “you can’t come to New York and say ‘you have a three year plan’” – and he also said that he has to be realistic about the dollars already committed for 2011, especially when it comes to signing free agents from the 2010 class, of which he said it would be disingenuous to think that the Mets would be active in doing so. So, basically, no Cliff Lee and no Carl Crawford to dream about this off-season. Whether that’s the right move or not, only time will tell, but Lee represents perhaps the last number one starter who will be on the “open market” for the foreseeable future, so not chasing after him may mean no new number one starter for a long while if Johan doesn’t bounce back well or quickly from his

~Alderson said that although he was familiar with the Mets success (or lack of) over the past few years, he wasn’t familiar with the specifics as to said failures. Alderson is a history buff- before he moves forward, he will have to go backwards to understand why things are the way they are before he goes about setting things right. That’s going to take time, to figure out why (and where) the bodies are buried where they are, so it’s unrealistic to expect much headway to be made for the first 3-6 months of his tenure, taking us all the way to Opening Day. Most of his major decisions between now and then will be the selection of the manager/coaching staff, the structure of the front office staff and the initial 25 man roster. Expecting “miracles” means you’ll just get angry and frustrated once again, so don’t bother. Instead, we are in for yet another 2-3 years of rebuilding, which means that by 2013 it will be 7 years since we were in the play-offs, 13
since being in a World Series, and 27 years since we actually WON a World Series. That’s not Sandy’s fault- but again, don’t be too excited too quickly- or you’ll wind up with false expectations.

~ Alderson feels that the 2011 team has a shot at contending, but health will play a big issue next season. Under the prior regime, honesty, especially regarding the health of the Mets’ players, seemed to be at a premium. We had as much chance of gleaning the truth about an injured player as we did of having Ed McMahon show up at our house with a jumbo check!! Health issues are/were bigger then Alderson has probably realized, and how he and the organization handle injuries, moving forward, will give fans a glimpse into just how successful – and honest – this organization will now become. We’re tired of receiving half-truths or no information, and this might be one of those situations that can’t be “fixed” until the new regime sees just how an injury is handled when it occurs.

~Alderson said he didn’t know about steroid use/abuse on his Oakland A’s teams, and credited Mark McGwire’s continued physique growth to good genetics (he cited Mark’s brother Dan, a former football player) and better work-out methods, etc. Alderson is an incredibly bright, erudite person, so it’s hard to believe that he didn’t at least suspect or in fact outright know about the steroid use. How can he successfully troubleshoot the many Mets’ problematic areas if he couldn’t see the hypodermics in front of his face?

Well, the “Pragmatic” side (nee Pessimistic/Realistic) rests it's case, and therefore it’s time to see what the “Optimistic” (nee FAN) side has to say.

Let’s take what the “Pragmatic” side had to say, point by point, and AFTER burying that sad part of the brain, we’ll add some additional, positive points from today’s press conferences. However, before we get to the point-by-point rebuttal, let's remember one thing folks (and Alderson said this as well) - it's only a GAME, held for our ENTERTAINMENT!!

The Fan I Am

>>David, you ignorant slut!! (Sorry- couldn’t resist!!) Of COURSE Sandy is going to refrain from splurging on high-cost, multi-year free agent contracts right from the get-go – do you remember the following names?? LUIS CASTILLO??? OLIVER PEREZ??? Or do you simply (and logically) sweep those under the rug and blame them on the “old regime” without realizing that the price to pay for those huge mistakes has to be paid, and paid sooner rather than later?? By becoming fiscally responsible immediately, once the 2012 season comes, the Mets will be down to only $60 million in guaranteed salaries, opening up a world of possibilities for the new regime to sign, trade for and draft talent that will hopefully have a much larger (and longer) pay-off then most of the current long-termers have offered the team. And Cliff Lee would be 38 at the end of a 5-year contract, and we all know how well long-term contracts for pitchers have gone (even for someone with the excellent mechanics of Lee.) Before any long-term deals are made, the team has to ensure that they don’t become version II of the old Arizona Diamondbacks, who robbed Peter to pay Paul so many times that they had to virtually break the team apart at the seams in order to operate, and are still paying off deferred monies to players long gone (a la old “fave” Bobby Bonilla and the Mets.) So going after “big splash” free agents, a la Omar, is a short term panacea for what ails the organization, and Sandy Alderson has already stated he’s not going for the “short-term fix” but wants the Mets to be perennial contenders like the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies.

>>Regarding recent Mets history, sometimes the less said about it, the better (in fact, not sometimes, but MOST times)…Alderson is going to hire credible lieutenants (we’ve all heard the rumored names- DePodesta, Riccardi, etc) and is also going to have hold-over, John Ricco, to help steer past (around, over, it doesn’t matter) the potholes of the prior regime. Besides, most of the mistakes Omar and company made involved throwing money at marquis players while waiting for minor league talent that was too slow to come and borderline players who were required to have “career-seasons” every year. These are not mistakes that Alderson would make, as his ability to practice fiscal responsibility in conjunction with good decision-making (as in no long-term extensions for a Luis Castillo) has and will result in traveling across better roads. And we don’t want to under-value the current talent on this team – a healthy Jason Bay and Carlos Beltran would’ve certainly meant 6-9 more victories in one-run games across an entire season, and that would’ve meant the difference between fighting for a .500 record versus fighting for a Wild Card berth.

>>Yes, of COURSE health will play a MAJOR role in how well this team does in 2011. It may sound obvious, but I'm sure that Alderson will be very active (as will his lieutenants) in ensuring that the Mets medical staff is doing everything necessary to keep the team healthy and maintain this, as best as they can, beginning immediately. He's done his homework, recognizing that the Mets biggest issue the past two seasons was one of keeping their players healthy. It's also obvious that he's cognizant of how lying to the fan-base will go a long way towards eroding it, opposite of what he's been tasked to do, so he'll be more open and honest (as is his wont) when it comes to disclosing injuries, treatments and ongoing methods of injury prevention that the team will be putting into place. We have to give him enough time to absorb the entire medical process, but I'm sure he'll be able to offer a number of positive suggestions that he's implemented elsewhere to help move this process along. And with Alderson's honesty will come a more honest/open publicity department, as they can only pass along the information that the baseball operations division allows them to disseminate.

>>Regarding steroids, doesn't it sound quite hypocritical that buffoons like Mike Francesa on WFAN were lying in wait, trying to jump down Alderson's throat while asking him HOW he couldn't have known that players like Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire were juicing? And why would Francesa, or anyone else, assume that Alderson DIDN'T know, and perhaps tried to do something, but was unable to?

While steroids were in their so-called "hey-day" everyone profited from the players taking them, on the heals of the work stoppage of '94 that almost destroyed the game. Baseball was revitalized by the home run chase fireworks from the bats of McGwire and Sammy Sosa, and that meant more revenues, which translated into more job opportunities for various professions attached to the game, including journalists from all media.

It was rare, to the point of being unheard of, for anyone to go "on record" accusing players (whether specific or in general) of taking Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) until, seemingly all at once, it became fashionable to do just that. Canseco's book, "Juiced" was met with outrage, disbelief and denial, leaving people to question exactly what was known and by whom...casting aspersions on everyone even remotely attached to the game of baseball. Suddenly, everyone jumped onto soapboxes to preach the dangers of steroids, but it was many of these same people who looked the other way, as long as the game remained strong.

Alderson DID say that it's possible that the culture around the Oakland A's organization may have played a role in the spread of steroid usage, due to the advancement of the weight-lifting culture the team pioneered, and he did admit to suspecting that Canseco was more than likely using PEDs, but his hands were tied by both the Collective Bargaining Agreement as well as California State Laws. From the press conference:

"If you go back and put all that in perspective, do I wish I had done more? Alderson asked. "I think that's almost always true with anything that we experience."

It's also important to remember that Alderson's tenure ran from 1983 - 1997 as GM with the A's; McGwire and Sosa's home run chase occurred in 1998 (and McGwire was a St. Louis Cardinal by that time); and Canseco's book came out in 2005. Alderson testified before Congress and was interviewed for the Mitchell Report, and certainly did whatever he could to cooperate with Major League Baseball, as they sought to correct this horrible situation.

I'm not, by any means, condoning the taking of PEDs - in fact, I feel exactly the opposite- but to accuse Alderson of knowing specifically that players were engaging in the illegal practice of using PEDs simply because he ran the team is the same as accusing a restaurant manager of knowing that one of his employees was stealing from their register simply because he was in charge of that person. You often suspect, which Alderson probably did, but until baseball itself decided to do something about PEDs, most General Managers were practically helpless to do anything about the growing problem while it was spreading throughout the game. Taking Alderson to task after the fact is unfair; no one knows what Alderson may or may not have done behind the scenes, in addition to what we know of his public contributions, but one certainly MUST applaud the great work he's done in the Dominican Republic (and I advise reading this link) in cleaning up the area and ensuring that rampant PED use will not continue. Sadly, the "taint" that is PEDs touched everywhere and everyone associated with the sport; taking any one player or executive to task serves nothing at this this point in time.

In addition to the four things my "pragmatic" side focused on, let's briefly discuss some of the additional points made by Alderson on Friday:

>>Regarding potential managers, Alderson went to great lengths to assure everyone that what had been written in "3 paragraphs dedicated to him in 'Moneyball'" was not necessarily the definitive word on the type of manager he was looking for. In fact, he praised "fiery" managers who were willing to argue with umpires, and noted that he had worked with that type of manager before in one Tony LaRussa.

Furthermore, he recognized that having ties to New York and being able to work under the accompanying spotlight were two things that he'd also have to take into great consideration before naming the new manager, some time within the next 2-3 weeks. This does NOT rule out a Wally Backman per se', and leaves the door open for a number of additional candidates to be considered that haven't necessarily been named in the press just yet. In a nutshell, we're not going to have a repeat performance of a rookie manager being named as the new GM's first significant hire (and where have we seen THAT happen before, I wonder?)

>>Alderson realizes that this is the "entertainment business" and he will keep that in mind when making decisions, but he's not scared to make decisions that won't necessarily be "popular." This means that he won't be afraid to trade a player or players in order to get back exactly what he wants, regardless of what immediate public opinion might be. In order to build an organization that lasts, he has to be able to put what's good for business (short-term and especially long-term) first, and worry about public opinion last. This is something that I believe fans will come to value greatly, as the fruits of Alderson's labor will hopefully result in his achieving his goal of making the Mets into an "iconic franchise" that is "mentioned in the same breath as the Red Sox, Yankees and Phillies." Patience will truly be a virtue for Mets fans, yet again, but it really seems that this time, there will indeed be a longer-lasting (and hopefully far more successful) pay-off.

>>When asked about how he'd like to see his team, Alderson replied:

"We'll have 25 ballplayers - guys who love the game and know how to play the game. Not necessarily the best at every position, but players who will maximize themselves through their efforts on the field."
Well, for all those who have had questions about team chemistry, and putting together a group of players who will fit together as if there was a master plan, which there will be, this quote says it all.

>>Alderson has been described as someone who is brutally honest, as well as an excellent, inspiring leader. When discussing his leadership style and honesty, he offered the following:
"But the other thing that contributes to successful leadership is personal character and personal qualities because you can't say one thing and do something else," he said. "Again, it can work for a while, but over time that leadership quality is predicated on more than just professional expertise."

Basically, we can count on not preaching that the team needs to focus on pitching, defense and speed in order to compete in the new ballpark, then go out and sign one-dimensional hitters and fail to increase the quality of the pitching staff.

>>In discussing how his role as the Mets chief decision-maker will lay out, Alderson said:

"In some instances, I will make decisions," he said. "In other instances, I will make recommendations. That's the way it should be. That's the way it's been everywhere, that's the way I expect it to be here. With respect to recommendations, whether it's player-related or otherwise, my responsibility is to make the best case."

Now, instead of speculating about how the relationship between the Wilpons and Alderson will play out when it comes to decision-making, we know that Alderson is ready to fight the battles he needs to, and will take into consideration what most benefits the organization at all times via cooperation with ownership. In any business, this is the way things generally lay out, and baseball, when billions of dollars are on the line, shouldn't differ from this decision-making structure. We also have to give the Wilpons the benefit of the doubt, as Fred and Jeff brought Alderson on-board specifically to rebuild the organization, and it wouldn't serve their best interests to do anything other then support Alderson's efforts 100%!!

>>Finally, when asked about whether Alderson had considered any other positions, he replied:

“This is not a job I would have taken anywhere,” he said. "This is really the best job available in baseball."

Alderson took the job because of the challenge, but also because of the great resources (capital, new stadium, the city itself) that he'll have at his disposal. The Mets seemingly will be a fitting swansong to Alderson's career, and with another World Series title under his belt (we hope) I'm sure that the halls of Cooperstown will someday call. Not a bad thing to aspire towards, and if Alderson can turn this franchise around (something all Mets fans are PRAYING he will do) then this Vietnam-tested Marine will have earned his entry into those hallowed halls, indeed.