Updated: - The Keepers: - #18 - SP - Brad Holt

18. P Brad Holt

The Mets picked Holt in the supplemental portion of the 1st round in the 2008 draft. College stats: 3.18 ERA, 11-1, 93.1 IP, 78 H, 36 BB, 95 K, .225 BAA, 8 HR allowed

Holt pitched the day before the draft… threw 149 pitches and was clocked at 94 in the 9th inning.

In 2008, Holt was spot on for Brooklyn, going 5-3, 1.87 in 14 starts. He also struck out 96 batters in 72.1 IP. Holt won the Sterling Award as the the top Met player for the 2008 Brooklyn team.

5-29-10: - Brad Holt got one more shot at starting last night and he past the test. I remember talking to Rick Waits out on the back mounds about Holt in the spring of 2009 and he told me that the emphasis last year would be on creating secondary pitches for Holt. I left that day thinking his ERA would be up for 2009 (which it was) simply because you’re going to have to throw these new pitches during game time condiditons. Well, it hasn’t worked, and now Holt’s velocity on his fastball is in question. Listen, if you’re a one pitch pitcher, it better be a fastball… and if it’s a fastball, you’re a bullpen pitcher… and if you’re a one pitch fastball pitcher with lost velocity… well, you’re playing in the Central Park League.

6-23-10: - Well, sending him back to St. Lucie doesn’t seem to be the answer to Holt’s woes. He pitched last night, giving up five runs, four earners, in 4.0-IP. That’s a 9.00 ERA, still up in the range of his 10.20 in Binghamton. Only two strikeouts and eight hits against him; yes, eight hits in four innings. Boy, if there was ever a pitcher that needs to be shut down…

6-30-10 from: - Holt had a rare good outing Tuesday night, though it was at the A+ level, at least one level below where he should be dominating at this stage in his professional career. Stats were: 5.0-IP, 1-ER, 2-H, 1-WP, 5-K, and still 5-BB. This is the best he’s been all year long and the last thing we should be applauding is five walks and one wild pitch in five innings, but in his case, we’ll take what we can right now. Holt’s A+ record now is 1-1, 5.00… combined A+/AA: 2-6, 9.00. Far from prospect material.

7-17-10: - look, it’s not every day that you get a chance to write something good about a Brad Holt outing. The young man did good last night, going: 5.0-IP. 1-ER, 7-K, 3-BB… forget the yearly stats; we’ll take one good outing and take it from there. BTW… the word from the Mets pitching coaches is there really isn’t anything wrong with the kid’s velocity, or mechanics. He simply is pitching like shit this year. Regarding last night, we’ll take it.

8-4-10: - Holt got off to a decent start last night, but, in the end, this was just another bad outing in a series of many this season. 4.2-IP, 5-R, 4-ER, 2-BB, 2-HBP. He’s started 10 games for the B-Mets (1-5, 10.20) and now he’s 2-5, 5.85 for St. Lucie… add to that a 6.21 ERA last year for Binghamton, and one must now question whey he remains in the rotation. Everyone around him says that Holt’s velocity remains high, but this is a one pitch pitcher that tends to be dominate in the first two inning pitched. They call this… a reliever.

8-21-10: - Stock Down: - SP Brad Holt pitched again Friday night for St. Lucie and didn’t fair well: 5.1-IP, 5-H, 3-ER, 6-K, 5-BB, 3-WP. Holt’s A+ stats this year are 2-7, 6.26, 1.79. These look great compared to his AA stats ( 1-5, 10.20). It’s late in the season and there shouldn’t be much movement in players anymore, so it’s safe to assume that Holt will finish this season as a rotational pitcher for Lucy. The ex-suppliment 1st rounder has been around long enough now to have developed something other than his fastball, which is obviously being sat on. The three wild pitches are simply embarrassing at this point. Mets minor league pitching coach guru has said numerous times that there is nothing mechanically wrong with Holt’s delivery, so one tends to start realizing that this looks to be another wasted high round pick. I’m sure the Mets will move him to the pen next year, especially since he’s not ready for AA, and there are plenty of more successful starters in Savannah and Brooklyn that deserve their shot. Shame. I thought this was a live one.

1-7-11: - -word seems to be that Brad Holt is going to be given another shot at an SP slot in 2001, probably at the AA level, The problem is, there already is five guys slotted there, with five more backed up at St. Lucie. Details at 11. Still, Holt easily has the God given talent to be more successful than most of the guys in the AAA/AA rotations. You can’t teach tools and Holt has them. He has pro-like velo and movement to boot. Let’s keep a candle lit.

4-9-11: - In Binghamton, Brad Holt got the nod as the starter. Frankly, we weren’t sure he would get another chance in a Mets rotation. I spent a lot of time watching this guy pitch and, I’m telling you, there is nothing wrong with his ability. I stand by my opinion that the Mets just kept screwing with his mechanics to a point that Brad lost confidence on the mound. Well, Holt past the test. He pitched 5.0 innings, did not give up a run, struck out three, but did walk two. He also only gave up three hits. This, like Jeurys Familia the night before, is great news from a starter that has had control problems

4-21-11: - You know what I think about this roster. That saying, Brad Holt is an important part of the Mets future and it’s vitally important (to his head) that he keeps pitching well this season. He kept it up tonight posting: 6.0-IP, 2-H, 1-ER, 6-K, 2-BB. ERA “soars” to 0.50. Only three stats, but could he be back?

5-7-11: - Interesting outing by Brad Holt. He obviously had a control problem, giving up five walks in four innings. His pitch count was killed early, but the good news: 0-R and only 2-H. Season ERA: 2.59. They’re letting him pitch this year, but he has given up 9-BB in his last 6.1-IP... 17 walks/22 Ks. We don’t know what the coaches told him to throw so we have no idea how bad of any outing this was. Remember, in the minors, a pitcher could be told to pitch 25% of his pitching in a particular outing (just like Greg Peavey was told to do last Sunday for Savannah) using his weakest pitch. That’s how they learn.

5-14-11: - Those of us that do this for a living were quite excited when SP Brad Holt got off to a great start this year, but that might be coming to an end. He has now pitched seven games (34.2-IP) and has almost as many walks (20) as strikeouts (24). This includes 10 in his last two outings. I can’t see the Mets moving him out of the rotation yet, but, if this continues, he will be re-targeted to the pen and, hopefully, make Queens someday that way.

5-19-11: - You may remember how wonderful it was early this season to see SP Brad Holt eliminate the control problems he suffered from last year. No one has ever questioned his talent. It was just that fact that he couldn’t hit the barn that concerned a few of us. Well, last year’s Brad is an understatement compared to what we saw on Thursday in New Hampshire. Holt went into this game with 10 walks in the past two starts. No big deal. He had eight in 4.0-IP for this game. That’s 18-BB in 11.1-IP. I’m sure he’ll stay in the rotation because the Mets are determined not to rush any of the prospects kids below this level. Jeurys Familia has already arrived and Matt Harvey will stay where he is during the first half of the St. Lucie season.

5-24-11: - Mets Minor League Pitching Coordinator Rick Tomlin to Matt Eddy/BA on Holt: - “The stuff is there. The ability is there. With some guys, their mechanics need to be straightened out. …. And for some (like Holt), it’s all about how they handle the mental side of pitching.”

5-31-11: - In the past four starts RHP Brad Holt has posted: 18.2-IP, 13-H, 16-BB, 15-R. It’s not easy to find a pitcher that gives up more walks than hits. This is the same Brad Holt who’s first 18 innings this year yielded 9-H, 2-R, and 5-BB.

Savannah Sand Gnats Pre-Game Notes

Savannah Sand Gnats (27-23, 1st, Southern) vs. Charleston RiverDogs (22-29, 5th, Southern)

Game #51 - Home Game #24 - Tuesday – 7:05

RHP Greg Peavey (4-2, 3.17) vs. LHP Nik Turley (2-4, 3.51)

Historic Grayson Stadium, Savannah, GA

Radio: News/Talk 630 and http://www.sandgnats.com/

Tonight: The first place Gnats, SAL affiliate of the New York Mets, look for a sweep in the final game of a three-game series against the Charleston RiverDogs, SAL affiliate of the New York Yankees. The Kannapolis Intimidators come to Savannah to begin a four-game series Wednesday through Saturday. With a win tonight, the Gnats would go five games over .500 for the first time in 2011.

Yesterday: The Gnats scored three times in the fourth inning on their way to a 3-1 win over the Charleston RiverDogs. Starter Gonzalez Germen held the ‘Dogs to one run on five hits in his 6.2 innings of work for his fourth win of the year.

Now Pitching: RHP Greg Peavey is scheduled to make his 11th start tonight. Peavey has the second-lowest unintentional walk rate among starters in the South Atlantic League with just 1.50 BB-IBB/9 IP (9 BB/54 IP). In May, Peavey is 3-1 with a 2.10 ERA (7 ER/30 IP) with 24 strikeouts and just two walks, which works out to a BB/9 of 0.6. The Mets drafted Peavey in the 6th round in 2010 out of Oregon State. As a Beaver in 2010, Peavey was an All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention and a two-time conference Player of the Week. Peavey had been drafted twice before: in the 24th round in 2007 out of Hudson’s Bay High School by the New York Yankees and in the 32nd round in 2009 by the Houston Astros. In high school, he was named Washington’s Class 3A baseball Player of the Year in 2007. Peavey had national-level success before high school, helping the Hazel Dell Metro Little League team to the Little League World Series in 2000, and the Hazel Dell Metro Babe Ruth Championship teams in 2001 and 2002. The Gnats are 4-6 when Peavey starts and have supported him with 4.60 runs per game.

Good Times: The Gnats are four games over .500 for the first time in 2011. The team has won eight of their last nine games - a run that has taken them from half a game out of first place to 2.5 games up, their largest lead of the year. After losing seven in a row from April 22-29, the Gnats were 7-14 and a season-high 5.5 games out of first. Since that point, Savannah is 20-9, and has picked up eight games in the standings.

Marvelous May: After going 8-14 in April, the Gnats are 19-9 in May. The pitching staff has a 2.08 ERA, a 3.2 K/BB ratio (246 K/76 BB) and a .215 opponents’ batting average. In April, the Gnats had a 4.64 ERA and a 2.5 K/BB ratio and a .278 opponents’ average. The Gnats also have three position players hitting over .300 in the month of May: Luis Nieves (.429), Cory Vaughn (.360), and Robbie Shields (.311). Vaughn has hit .360/.504/.520 with ten extra-base hits, and 21 walks against 22 strikeouts in 28 games. Shields is bopping along at .311/.362/.481 with 15 extra-base hits, eight walks and 16 strikeouts in 26 games.

Strong Arms: The Gnats have the SAL’s best ERA (3.17) and WHIP (1.23). Savannah’s 430 strikeouts are fourth in the SAL, two behind Charleston for third. The Gnats’ 408 hits allowed are fourth-fewest, and the team’s 149 walks are fifth-fewest, three behind Asheville for fourth.

Patient Gnats: After five walks yesterday, the Gnats are third in the SAL in walks at 180, two behind second-place Augusta.

Standings Update: With 19 games to play in the first half, the Gnats own a two and a half game and lead over the Lexington Legends and Greenville Drive, who both lost on Monday, for first place.

Versus Charleston: The Gnats are 3-2 against Charleston in 2011, 2-0 at home and 1-2 on the road. The two teams are scheduled for eight games in Savannah and seven in Charleston. The Gnats finished 9-4 against Charleston in 2010, 3-1 at home and 6-3 on the road.
From team press release

Buffalo Pre-Game Notes

Buffalo Bisons (24-28, T4th(-8.0), North) vs. Charlotte Knights (22-27, 3rd(-5.5), South)Tuesday, May 31, 2011 (7:15 p.m.) - Knights Stadium

RHP Chris Schwinden (3-2, 2.36) vs. RHP Deunte Heath (4-2, 3.52)

Radio: WWKB AM 1520, http://www.bisons.com/

TODAY’S GAME: Tonight, the Bisons take on the Charlotte Knights in the second game of a four-game series from Knights Stadium (7:15 p.m.). The Bisons have won four games in a row for the first time this season. The win streak includes last night’s 7-5 victory in the series opener. Buffalo has also won six of its last eight games and is now an even 14-14 with one game left in May.

VS. THE KNIGHTS: The Bisons now have the 3-2 lead in their season series with the Knights. The two teams split a four-game series at Coca-Cola Field, May 21-24. In the five games against Charlotte, Buffalo hitters are averaging .301 with a .340 mark (18-53) with runners in scoring position.

SCHWING AND MISS: RHP CHRIS SCHWINDEN will make his ninth start of the season and his first since a May 21st outing against the Knights. The Triple-A rookie ranks tied for 3rd in the International League with his 2.36ERA. The righty has been particularly tough on the road this year where he is 2-1 with a 1.96ERA and 21 strikeouts in four starts and 23.0 innings of work.

HE’S THE MANNY: RHP MANNY ACOSTA has earned a save on three consecutive days. The righty closed out the second game of each doubleheader this weekend before collecting his fourth save of the season last night. The last Bisons pitcher to record a save on three straight days was RHP BUBBIE BUZACHERO from August 28-30, 2008. Acosta has now made eight consecutive scoreless appearances for Buffalo (8.2IP, 6H, 2BB, 14K).

GONE FISHIN’: INF MICHAEL FISHER has homered in consecutive games, the third Bison to accomplish the feat this year (Nieuwenhuis, Martinez). Last night, Fisher also became the first Bisons’ batter to score three times in a game this season. Fisher is hitting .300 (18-60) with three home runs and eight RBI in his first 17 career Triple-A games.

BISONS BITS: The Bisons collected a season-high 17 hits last night. The outburst raised the team’s season average four points in one game (.244 - .248)...OF LUCAS DUDA is 5-10 with two home runs, three RBI, two walks and four runs scored in four games since being activated off the disabled list. The Bisons bullpen has allowed just one run in the last seven games (19.2IP, 15H, 29K).

METS UPDATE: The Mets (25-28) collected a 7-3 win over the Pirates Yesterday. Former Bisons’ ace RHP DILLON GEE ran his record to 5-0 with eight strikeouts in seven innings of work. New York had 15 hits including three from former Bison INF RUBEN TEJADA. The Mets host the Pirates again tonight at 7:10 p.m.

B-Mets Pre-Game Notes

LAST GAME: B-Mets starter Brad Holt was perfect through four innings, but unraveled in the fifth in an 8-0 loss to the Altoona Curve yesterday at NYSEG Stadium. Holt walked the lead off man and gave up a single to Jeremy Farrell before Kris Watts took him deep for a three-run home run to put Altoona on the board. Brad Chalk reached on Jose Coronado throwing error and came home to score the fourth run of the inning on a wild pitch. The Curve put up another four-run frame in the sixth, this time against reliever Roy Merritt. The left-hander allowed the first six batters he faced to reach safely, with Chalk’s two-run single capping the rally. The Binghamton offense was nearly non-existent against Curve starter Mike Colla. The right-hander allowed just four hits over six shutout innings in his fourth win of the year. Reliever Bryan Morris picked up right where Colla left off and threw three perfect innings to earn his second save of the year.

STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP, GAME ONE: LHP Robert Car-son makes his tenth start of the season and second against Erie. Carson has lost his last five decisions after picking up his first win on April 17. He dropped his most recent start to the New Britain Rock Cats on May 26. Carson allowed three runs on six hits in six innings of work.

LHP Jay Voss will make his second start of the season with Erie. He gave up three earned runs and struck out six in a loss to the Richmond Flying Squirrels on May 26. Voss started the year with the Lakeland Flying Tigers (High-A). He went 3-0 with a 3.21 ERA in eight games (six starts) before his promotion. Voss made 30 relief appearances with the SeaWolves last year, including four games against the B-Mets. The Tigers se-lected Voss in the 8th round of the 2007 draft out of Kaskaskia CC in Arcola, Illinois.

STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP, GAME TWO: RHP Collin McHugh will make his Double-A debut. McHugh started the season with the St. Lucie Mets (High-A) and pitched in nine games (six starts). The right-hander from Georgia went 1-2 with a 6.31 ERA and one save. He racked up 39 strike outs in 35.2 innings of work. McHugh was selected by the Mets in the 18th round of the 2008 draft.

RHP Rob Waite will make his first start since he got the nod with the West Michigan Whitecaps (Low-A) on 9/6/09. This season, the California native has made 13 relief appearances with the SeaWolves. He tossed four innings in a no-decision against the Reading Phillies on April 27 in his longest outing of the year. Waite was selected by the Tigers in the 17th round of the 2008 draft out of the University of California, Riverside

Gonzalez Germen, Brad Holt, Dillon Gee, Robbie Shields, Mark Cohoon

RHP Gonzalez Germen had another good outing on Monday… 6.2-IP, 5-H, 1-ER, 6-K, 3.22. The problem is he’s doing this in A-ball as a 23-year old. 2011 is his fourth season with the Mets after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2007. As a 20-year old. He pitched great that season for the DSL Mets (5-2, 1.34), but he was pitching against 16-17 year olds. So, what was he doing the four years before signing with the Mets? There is nothing wrong with G.G.’s game, but, then again, there’s nothing special about it either.

In the past four starts RHP Brad Holt has posted: 18.2-IP, 13-H, 16-BB, 15-R. It’s not easy to find a pitcher that gives up more walks than hits. This is the same Brad Holt who’s first 18 innings this year yielded 9-H, 2-R, and 5-BB.

You can’t help smiling when you thing of RHP Dillon Gee. Who would of thunk that a guy that barely hits 90 would wind up 5-0 in the Mets rotation this season? Some of us got a chance to analyze his game last year in Buffalo and we quickly determined that he didn’t have all those strikeouts because of his fastball. No, Dillon’s game is control, a plus-plus change-up, and hitting the corners with all his pitchers. His fastball, when most effective rises and he mixes his pitches with the best of them; however, so did what seemed like hundreds of ex-Mets minor league pitchers that never got a chance because they didn’t have a 93+ heater. Gee was at the right place when Chris Young went down and I have a funny feeling he’s going to be around until the 2013 class of Matt Harvey, Jenrry Mejia, and Jeurys Familia arrive en masse.

SS Robbie Shields has done a good job of settling into the two spot in the Sand Gnats order this year, (.281), especially after getting off to quite a slow start (.236 April). He’s playing A-ball as a 23-year old due to past injuries, and, frankly, the ex-number two draft pick should be realigned to be put back where he is supposed to playing right now. Shortstop wise, Ruben Tejada will step in when Jose Reyes is gone, but Shields should be the next in line and playing Binghamton right now. 19-year old Wilmer Flores has been rushed lime most “Omarlatins” and should stay in St. Lucie through 2011. Jordany Valdespin and Rylan Sandoval have faded and Wilfredo Tovar needs to play every day in Savannah.

Okay, so Mark Cohoon did give up five runs in five innings last night, but it was his first AAA outing and he did win the game. Only one strike out, two walks, and seven hits given up. I’m thrilled some of these guys are being tested at new levels and it seems that Alderson & Co. has properly slowed down the “Omarlatins” and sped up the college boys.

Q and A: - Trading Reyes, Beltran, and K-Rod Together

Email from Charlie T.

Hey Mack. I was one of your subscribers and just wanted to say once again how sorry I was about the site being taken down. Anyway, the possibility of the Mets securing a great prospect via trade for any of their three main trade chips (Reyes, Beltran, K-Rod) seems highly unlikely. They're all half year rentals and all have different issues as far as future signability, age, vesting options, current salary, etc. However, how about, instead of just a straight salary dump (which I'm extremely frightened of), they actually try packaging some of them together, while still paying some salary, in order to grab one of the top 15 prospects in the minors. A Reyes and Beltran swap for Mike Trout or Jesus Montero works for me. Unless of course, we are able to resign Reyes which is my hope, but my gut says keep dreaming. I just don’t see us getting great value for any one player and the thought of getting nothing in terms of quality is sickening. The Wilpons saving ten million doesn't wet my whistle, that’s for sure. Your thoughts?


Morning Charlie.

IMO, the chances of any two of these three guys being packaged together are nil. These are separate issues with separate baggage.

Regarding Carlos Beltran, he offers the least return. He also has a clause in his current contract that the club agreed to not offer arbitration after 2011 season. No supplemental picks mean definite trade and there will be a decent amount of interest for him, even as a rental, as long as he stays healthy and keeps hitting. With the Mets luck, or lack of it, they need to get these trades done early. The secret here is getting at least two clubs thinking the other club is offering more than they are. The quality of the player in this deal will prove the ability of Sandy Alderson at this game. I know the Yankees would kill for Carlos for, at least, the rest of the season, and they have three prime catching prospects as well as Russell Martin on their team. Montero is a definite possibility if the “Jews and the Palestinians” are willing to trade with each other.

Regarding K-Rod, the key here is if he waives the games finished clause. Reports are he will. That also means he wants to be traded where there’s a future for him. Rodriguez is still a young man and one of the best closers in the business. Alderson could get two prime prospects here if he finds a team that is willing to make Frankie a long-term deal from the get-go.

Regarding Jose, I just can’t see the Mets trading him during the 2011 season. I know, it’s a business, but the fans will never forgive the Wilpon family if he doesn’t go out as a real free agent. The Mets will offer him arbitration and settle for two prime picks in the 2012 draft. It’s not as deep as the 2011 draft, but every draft has at least 50 quality players and the Mets could wind up with three of them with these two picks.

(I can’t fucking believe I’m writing about a small-market team now.)

Q and A: - Mets Prospects vs. Divisional Rivals

Tony asked:

Mack, long time reader. As best as I can determine, you think the Mets have less than ten top prospects right now. Am I wrong and isn’t this low for an organization consisting of 200+ minor leaguers?


Hey Tony:

Actually, there are nine Mets minor league teams with 25+ players each. That’s 225 + whoever is on the DL and still in Extended Camp.

Yes, I don’t currently have a long list of A+ to B Mets prospects. They are:

A – RHP Matt Harvey

A- - RHP Jeurys Familia, RHP Jenrry Mejia

B – SS Wilmer Flores, 2B Reese Havens, 3B Aderlin Rodriguez, OF Cesar Puello, SS Ruben Tejada

That’s eight players. Is this a good list?

Well, first, let’s look at Baseball America’s top 10 Mets prospects for 2007:

1. Mike Pelfrey, rhp 2. Fernando Martinez, of 3. Carlos Gomez, of 4. Philip Humber, rhp 5. Deolis Guerra, rhp 6. Kevin Mulvey, rhp 7. Jon Niese, lhp 8. Mike Carp, 1b 9. Joe Smith, rhp 10. Alay Soler, rhp

Six have made it to the majors.

Now, let’s look at the same year (2007) for the four NL East divisional rivals:

Atlanta: 1. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, c 2. Elvis Andrus, ss 3. Matt Harrison, lhp 4. Brandon Jones, of 5. Van Pope, 3b 6. Eric Campbell, 3b 7. Scott Thorman, 1b/of 8. Jo-Jo Reyes, lhp 9. Joey Devine, rhp 10. Yunel Escobar, inf

7 have made it to the majors.

Philadelphia: 1. Carlos Carrasco, rhp 2. Kyle Drabek, rhp 3. Adrian Cardenas, ss/2b 4. Edgar Garcia, rhp 5. Scott Mathieson, rhp 6. Josh Outman, lhp 7. Michael Bourn, of 8. J.A. Happ, lhp 9. Matt Maloney, lhp 10. Greg Golson, of

Six have made it to the majors.

Washington: 1. Chris Marrero, of/1b 2. Ross Detwiler, lhp 3. Collin Balester, rhp 4. Michael Burgess, of 5. Jack McGeary, lhp 6. Josh Smoker, lhp 7. Jordan Zimmerman, rhp 8. Glenn Gibson, lhp 9. Justin Maxwell, of 10. Colton Willems, rhp

Four have made it to the majors.

Florida: 1. Chris Volstad, rhp 2. Brett Sinkbeil, rhp 3. Gaby Hernandez, rhp 4. Sean West, lhp 5. Gaby Sanchez, 1b/c 6. Taylor Tankersley, lhp 7. Aaron Thompson, lhp 8. Ryan Tucker, rhp 9. Chris Coghlan, 3b/2b 10. Kris Harvey, of

Six have made it to the majors.

Lastly, what does BA say are the top 1o Mets prospects in 2011?

1. Jenrry Mejia, rhp 2. Wilmer Flores, ss 3. Cesar Puello, of 4. Matt Harvey, rhp 5. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, of 6. Reese Havens, 2b 7. Lucas Duda, of/1b 8. Fernando Martinez, of 9. Aderlin Rodriguez, 3b 10. Brad Holt, rhp

Three of them have already made it to the majors.

Mock - John Sickles

1) Pirates: Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice: It's not a sure thing, but I still think it will happen. There may be rumors right up until draft day that the shoulder issue will scare the Pirates off, but in the end I think Rendon is the best overall hitter in the draft and I think the Pirates will agree.

2) Mariners: Gerrit Cole, RHP, UCLA: As with Rendon, this isn't a sure thing but the attributes that attracted scouts to Cole in the first place are still here. There is some talk that the Mariners will go with a position player here, so if Rendon falls he could end up with Seattle. Another option is Bubba Starling although he won't have the rapid impact that Rendon or Cole would.

3) Diamondbacks: Danny Hultzen, LHP, Virginia. Everyone still thinks this will happen, and I agree.

4) Orioles: Dylan Bundy, RHP, Oklahoma HS: His stock has shot up since our last mock, his brother pitches in the system, and Bundy might get to the majors as fast as some of the college pitcher (I had Jed Bradley here last time).

5) Royals: Jed Bradley, LHP, Georgia Tech. Persistent rumors hold that the Royals will take an advanced college pitcher instead of local product Bubba Starling (who we had here last time). Which advanced college pitcher is a matter of debate, however. I still think Starling is a possibility, but the Royals have coveted left-handed pitching as much as they covet tools, and Bradley won't need long in the minors. If the Mariners and Pirates pass on Cole, he will probably end up here.

13) Mets: George Springer, OF, Connecticut: Loads of tools with some risk involved, but rumors indicate the new front office is willing to be more aggressive in the draft. I had John Stilson here last time but Springer makes more sense. Mikie Mahtook is also plausible, and there are rumors they like Brandon Nimmo.

44) Mets (for Pedro Feliciano): Josh Bell, OF, Texas HS: If the Mets are serious about putting more money into the draft, here is their chance. Bell says he won't sign, but if the Mets dangle enough $$ in front of him, plus a nice presentation about how cool it would be to play in New York, that might change. A similar choice would be Pennsylvania HS outfielder Derek Fisher, another strong bat with a college commitment that would be expensive, but perhaps not impossible, to buy off.


Savannah 3 Charleston 1

The second game of the three game series between the Savannah Sand Gnats and the Charleston RiverDogs was played Monday afternoon in front of 1,313 fans at Grayson Stadium. The first place Gnats made good use of their 5 hits to score 3 runs and win the game 3-1.

Charleston scored their only run in the 7th inning on a home run by cJeff Farnham.

Savannah scored all three runs in the 4th inning. rfRafael Fernandez walked followed by a single by 3bJoe Bonfe. 1bSam Honeck drove in Fernandez with a single. A single by cfDarrell Ceciliani scored two runs.

For the game, Savannah collected 5 hits. Honeck was 1-for-3, with a run scored and a RBI. Bonfe was 1-for-3 with a run scored. Ceciliani went 1-for-3, with 2 RBI's and a stolen base.

The winning pitcher for Savannah, was starter, Gonzalez German (4-1) pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowed 1 run on 5 hits, walked 4, and struck out 6. Adam Kolarek, who joined the Gnats on May 29th, went 2/3 of an inning, gave up one hit, walked one, and struck out one. Hamilton Bennett, who earned his second save of the season, pitched 1 2/3 innings and did not allow a run or hit and struck out 1.

Photo courtesy of Ed DeVita, Editor of The Savannah Sports Monthly.

Updated: - The Keepers - #6 - 3B - Aderlin Rodriguez

6. 3B Aderlin Rodriquez

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

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.

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.

7-17-10: - 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.

4-1-11: - 3B Aderlin Rodriguez moves up to clean-up spot. He entered this game hitting .302 in his past ten games, including 5-HR, and 15-RBIs in 43-Abs. He also entered this game with an incredible stat I don’t remember seeing for many years. He entered this game with 342 professional at bats, which has produced 26 doubles, 15 home runs, and 69 runs batted in. Project this over a 550 at bat season, and you end up with something like 36 doubles, 21 homers, and 80 ribbys. Now, here’s the incredible part… all of this has been accomplished before turning 20 years of age.

5-28-11: - Yeah, I know. Aderlin Rodriguez has the best bat in the system. Aderlin Rodriguez is leading the organization in home runs. Aderlin Rodriguez is only 11-years old. Well, in my book right now, Aderlin Rodriguez has 17-errors, is playing the wrong position, and barely hitting over .200. If this is the best the Mets have, they better ignore the pitchers come June 6th and draft themselves some bats.

Updated: - The Keepers - #42 - C - Blake Forsythe

42. C Blake Forsythe

6-30-10 from Mack’s Mets: - According to MetsBlog.com, the Mets have signed their third-round draft choice, catcher Blake Forsythe. He will be assigned to the Gulf Coast Mets. The 6’2, 220-pound Forsythe played collegiately at Tennessee, where he hit 30 home runs over his final two years at the school. The Mets were able to sign the righty-hitting slugger, convincing him to forego his senior season. With Forsythe signed, the Mets now have three of their top five picks left to sign: first-round pick Matt Harvey, a pitcher from North Carolina, Matt den Dekker, a centerfielder out of Florida, and Greg Peavey, a pitcher from Oregon State. The Mets’ fourth-round selection, Cory Vaughn currently leads the New York-Penn League in home runs with four in 12 games, as a member of the Brooklyn Cyclones.

10-2-10: - 2011 Forecast: - Okay... he had a shit senior year followed by a shittier season with the Clones. I still think this is a good pick; however, I have no idea where he will play next spring. He really didn't earn a starting slot with a full season team, but do you you send a money baby back to Brooklyn? Details in April.

4-15-11: - Forsythe has surfaced in Savannah, sharing catching duties with Albert Cordero.

5-27-11: - We all tend to forget that the Mets committed sign up money last year to draft one of the top catchers available in the draft. Here’s what I said the day after the Mets drafted Blake Forsythe: “Round 3 – 89th pick overall – C – Blake Forsythe – University of Tennessee – it’s no surprised that the Mets took a catcher here. Forsythe began the year projected as a first rounder, but had a miserable first half of the season. He did finish the season with 15-HRs (11th in SEC), but hit only .280 and struck out far too many times. Did have a hell of a season in 2009, coming in 2nd in the SEC in OBP and 9th in slugging. That being said, both Micah Gibbs and Cameron Rupp were still on the board when the Mets had this pick and I would have been much happier with either one of them being picked. Projection: Look, the Mets need talented catchers in the system. You had Josh Thole going into this draft and, probably ranked second on the board right now is Kai Gronauer. Beyond that, is a lot of disappointment. Grade: C” - Forsythe went into Friday night’s game hitting only .233, but that includes going .290/.390/.419/.810 in the past ten games. (Oh yeah… Gibbs is batting .275 for A-Peoria and Rupp is hitting only .217 for A-Lakewood). Let's not forget that Blake put up first round numbers in his sophomore year. We'll keep an eye on his progress this season.

5-30-11: - Collin McHugh, Erik Goeddel, Elvis Sanchez, Mark Cohoon

-P Collin McHugh was promoted from St. Lucie to Bighamton before last night's game. Collin has had some difficulty this season and, hopefully, he gets a new deck of cards at AA. Pitch well, bud.

-Erik Goedell was supposed to return to starting on Sunday for the Sand Gnats, but he was placed on the DL prior to the game with a right shoulder strain. Replacing him on the roster was Adam Kolarek who had pitched briefly this season for St. Lucie.

-Interesting lack of information yesterday from the pre-game notes by the B-Mets. The next four games, beginning on Monday, all list the starting pitchers as “to be determined”. Sounds like some moves will be happening.

-I think it is becoming quite apparent to the average Met fan that any chance of making the playoffs this year is beginning to come to an end. The Philly series is proving that, even when you do your best, you just don’t have enough consistent talent on this team to compete with the big teams.

-The Elvis Sanchez era began last night on opening night for the DSL Mets2 team. Sanchez homered in the 7th inning, leading his team to a 6-5 win over the Royals.

-Fernando Martinez finally reported to Buffalo along with LHP Mark Cohoon. The 23-year old has had a relatively successful season so far for Binghamton, though the lack of bats there has limited his stats: 9-G, 1-3, 3.81, 1.46, 52.0-IP, 44-K, 17-BB, 19.2% K/PA, .329-BABIP, 4.36-FIP. Mark is more of a finesse pitcher and doesn’t dominate you with his fastball. I see it as a combination of an opening created because Chris Schwinden had been taken out of the rotation, awaiting confirmation if he would spot start for R.A. Dickey, and the fact that room is needed in Binghamton for an upcoming promotion of Matt Harvey from St. Lucie.

Here’s what I have on Cohoon (#13) in “The Keepers”:

Cohoon was selected in the 12th round of the 2008 draft by the Mets.

2008 was a fast track year for Mark. He started out with Kingsport (1-1, 5.89), splitting time as a reliever and a starter. He was sent up to Savannah, where he started seven games (2-2, 3.82).

For reasons never explained, the breaks were put on Cohoon in 2009 and he pitched the entire year for Brooklyn: 9-2, 2.15, 0.97, in 14 starts, 2-CG, 1-SH.

His combined two year professional stats are: 12-5, 3.05, 1.14.

1-1-2010 Forecast: - Early on, the Mets had a problem deciding whether Cohoon would be a starter or come out of the pen. Things became much easier when his ERA was well over double as a reliever. Last year, they slowed him down and he became the ace of the Brooklyn staff

4-19-10: - Mark Cohoon - SP - A-Savannah - Cohoon is off to a great start, going 2-0, 0.77, 1.03 in 11.2-IP. He was one of the Cyclones' aces last season posting 9-2, 2.15, in 14 starts. Mark was the 12th round pick in 2008, out of North Central Texas College.

5-22-10: - Mark Cohoon: I’ve learned over the years not to get to excited about A-level pitching. That being said, this year’s version of the Sand Gnat rotation might be the most talented I have ever seen. One of them, Mark Cohhon, pitched Saturday night and threw up 6.0-IP, 2-ER, 5-K, 0-BB, 2.05-ERA.

6-17-10: - And, just when you thought A-SP Mark Cohoon has showed us all his bag of tricks... all he did last night was go out and throw his third complete game shutout... in a row! Start getting used to this name because it looks like you're going to read a lot about Mark from now on. Trust me, he's be in St. Lucie next week.

6-27-10: - Cohoon pitched his first game at the AA level on Saturday… and got the win, but it wasn’t the cake walk he has been used to at the A and rookie level. The stats were quite different: 5.2-IP, 11-H, 5-ER, 1-K, 7.94… welcome to the almost big time, Mark.

8-4-10: - stock down – the B-Mets came out with their projected rotational pitchers in the next five games and Cohoon’s name has been removed from his slot, replaced with TBA (to be announced). Speculation is this position might be filled with Jenrry Mejia, but it is definitely a set-back for Cohoon, who has had a rough time at the AA level this season (8-starts, 1-3, 6.63). We’ll keep an eye on this and see if he he is sent to St. Lucie, which he jumped earlier this year.

8-29-10: - I had the pleasure this year of watching Mark Cohoon completely dominate the Sally League. He was sent to Binghamton around the all-star break, which, I believe, is the first time the Mets have promoted someone directly from A to AA since Savannah became an affiliate. That being said, I expected a bump in the road due to this two level jump, which, as predicted, did happen; however, Cohoon now seems to have settled down and is beginning to dominate in Binghamton. Yesterday, he went: 8.0-IP, 0-ER, 5-H, 5-K, 2-BB, 4.36. His combined Savannah/Binghamton stats this year are: 11-4, 2.73, 122-K, 30-BB, 148.1-IP. You simply can’t do any better than this and it will be interesting to see what the Mets will do with him this winter.

9-7-10 - 2011 Forecast: - Cohoon had 13 starts at the A+ level and was promoted to AA. He then had 13 more starts at AA. It will be interesting to see what the Mets do with him in April. He turns 23 next week and it will be tempting to start him off in Buffalo, but I'm going to go the safe route and say he'll first go back to Binghamton to get his pitch count in order. Either way, 2011 could easily be the last year Mark spends in the minors.

Could Pagan Be Traded To Make Way For Nieuwenhuis?

Is Angel a trade candidate?
Yesterday's game was an eye opener. Angel Pagan was going with the pitch to opposite field. Less pull and more taking what is given = the Pagan of last year. Which got me thinking. Yes! Terry Collins is the eternal optimist. BUT, lets be real! Are the Mets really contenders for the Wild card this year? Will the Mets be the center of the trade deadline this July? Barring a ten game winning streak the answer is, yes. So back to Pagan, if he becomes the Angel of 2010 the rest of the way, is he a trade commodity? More importantly, can Kirk Nieuwenhuis (Captain Kirk) replace him? I say yes and here is why:

A new Captain in flushing this year?

1) .407 OBP%. He is leading Buffalo in this category. (For all the hitting Jose Reyes has done thus far, his OBP is still only .382)
2) .521 SLG% He is leading Buffalo in this category.
3) 88 total bases.  He is leading Buffalo in this category.
4) 29 walks. He is leading Buffalo in this category.
5) 1 error

At 23 years old it would appear he has nothing else to prove in the minors.

Binghamton 4, Altoona 1

Brandon Moore tossed six solid innings and Brahiam Maldonado supplied a two-run home run to lead the B-Mets past the Altoona Curve 4-1 tonight at NYSEG Stadium tonight.

Binghamton wasted little time to tag Curve starter Jared Hughes. After Josh Satin walked, Brahiam Maldonado launched his tenth home run of the season deep over the left field fence. The blast gave the home team a lead they would not relinquish.

The B-Mets cashed in on another walk in the second inning. Salomon Manriquez got aboard on the free pass to lead off the frame and came around to score when Jordany Valdespin roped a single to right field.

The early advantage was all B-Mets starter Brandon Moore would need to snap his three-game losing streak. In his ninth start of the year, Moore set the tone by keeping Altoona off the board through the first three innings.

Moore’s only speed bump came in the fourth when he hit Jordy Mercer, allowed a single to Jeremy Farrell, and walked Tony Sanchez to load the bases. Moore could not find the strike zone against Brad Chalk and walked the right fielder to force home Altoona’s only run of the game.

After putting up zeros in the fifth and sixth, Moore gave way to Eric Niesen. Eric Niesen continued the trend by working a perfect seventh.

Salomon Manriquez extended Binghamton’s lead to three with his first home run of the season off Tim Alderson to lead off the seventh.

Give the 4-1 advantage, Ricky Brooks entered in search of his first save since April 2010. The right-hander struck out the side in the eighth and worked around a one-out single to toss a scoreless ninth.

Brooks’ save, his first of the season, made a winner out of Brandon Moore for the first time since May 5.
from team press release

Sand Gnats 4 Riverdogs 3

The first game of the three game series between the Savannah Sand Gnats and the Charleston Riverdogs(New York Yankees) was played Sunday evening in front of 3,069 fans at Grayson Stadium. Charleston's five errors helped Savannah win 4-3.

Savannah scored two runs in the 4th inning. Back to back walks to lfRaferal Fernandez and dhBlake Forsythe - a single by 1bJoe Bonfescored Fernandez. cAlbert Cordero singled to score Forsythe for a 2-0 lead.

Gnats scored two runs in the 7th. Bonfe singled and advanced to second on a sac bunt. cfDarrell Ceciliani singled scoring Bonfe. ssRobbie Shields singled to score Ceciliani.

Savannah had 7 hits for the game. rfCory Vaughn was 2-for-4 and is now batting .337 and is leading the team in batting. Bonfe was 2-for-4, with run scored and a RBI. Cordero was 1-for-3 with a sac bunt and one RBI.

Starting Savannah pitcher Chase Huchingson pitched 5 innings, allowed 1 run on 5 hits, struck out 6 and walked one. Angel Cuan(W,3-1) went 2 2/3 innings, allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and struck out 5. Josh Edgin earned his 8th save, went 1 1/3 innings, gave up 1 hit and struck out 2.


B-Mets Pre-Game Notes

LAST GAME: The Altoona Curve picked up where they left off by completing an 8-6 win to start the day and held on for a 10-6 victory in the nightcap at NYSEG Stadium yesterday. Rhiner Cruz restarted the suspended game by stranding two runners in the top of the seventh inning. In the eighth, Shelby Ford’s solo home run off Cruz broke a 6-6 tie and proved to be the difference. After the Cruz tacked on an insurance run in the top of the ninth, the B-Mets were shut down by Noah Krol in their final turn at bat. In the regularly-scheduled game, Altoona jumped on Binghamton starter Tobi Stoner in the second in-ning. Back-to-back home runs by Eric Fryer and Miles Durham capped a three-run frame for the Curve. They extended their advantage to six with another trio of runs in the fourth. The B-Mets clawed back against starter Jeff Locke with a four-run fifth, capped by Jon Malo’s two-run double and Josh Satin’s two-run home run. Satin’s sac fly in the sixth cut the Curve lead to one. After the teams traded runs in the eighth, Altoona out-fielder Quincy Latimore put the game out of reach with a three-run home run to left field off Erik Turgeon in the top of the ninth. Michael Dubee earned his third save when he induced Satin to bounce into a game-ending double play.

STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP: RHP Brandon Moore makes his ninth start of the season and first against Altoona. The Indiana native is on a three game losing streak after dropping his last start against New Britain on May 24. While the right-hander allowed six runs, only one was earned as a fielding error by Josh Satin opened the door for a five-run inning for the Rock Cats. Moore walked a season-high three.

RHP Jared Hughes will make his tenth start of the year. The Connecticut native is in his fourth season with the Curve. Hughes allowed two runs on five hits in six innings in a no-decision against the Bowie Baysox on May 24. In his last four starts, Hughes has gone 3-0 with a 1.75 ERA. He was selected by the Pirates in the 4th round of the 2006 Draft out of Long Beach State University.

LONG BALL TREND: Josh Satin’s two-run blast off Jeff Locke in the fifth inning last night extended the B-Mets’ home run streak to six games. Binghamton has slugged 31 home runs in 2011, sixth-best in the Eastern League.

BACKMAN EJECTED: B-Mets manager Wally Backman was ejected from last night’s game by first base umpire Joe Hanni-gan for arguing a call in the seventh inning. It was Backman’s first ejection of the season. He joins Marc Valdes, Brahiam Maldonado, and Jordany Valdespin as B-Mets who have been given the heave-ho this year.

Updated: - The Keepers - #70 - 1B - Stefan Welsh

70. 1B Stefan Welch

Welch was signed out of Alice Springs, Australia, and joined the Mets organization in 2007. He played both first base and third base; however, has since become a full time first baseman. In 2007, for the GCL Mets. Welch hit .288/.346/.353/.699.

2008 was spent for a short time with Savannah (.263 in 19 at bats), but most of the season fir Kingsport. Stats: .281/.316/447/.763 in 52 at bats. He also had his first four professional home runs.

This year, Welch also spent a short time in Savannah (.239 in 92 at bats), but was sent off to St. Lucie when he couldn’t work himself into the Sand Gnat starting lineup. He started out on fire, hitting .337 in July, but followed that up with a .223 August. His yearly stats for Lucy: .278/.350/.408/.762

His three year minor league totals are respectful: 719-AB, .275/.328/.408/.736, 12-HR, 96-RBI

Forecast: Here’s the rub. The Mets, like most clubs, define a first baseman as a guy that runs slow, can’t field, but knows how to hit the snot out of the ball, especially over the fence, in bounds. Right now, all signs point to Ike Davis for the job for the 2010-2015 seasons, so what happens to someone that has only gone above .400 slugging in one year. Davis is a lock for 2010, Nick Evans will probably be long gone and Welsh has at least three more seasons to pump it up. Look for him to start 2010 in Binghamton, simply because there is no one ahead of him right now.

I wrote on Feb 10:- Stephan Welsh – the Welsh story was interesting last year… he was lost as the 3rd firstbaseman with Savannah (.239 in 92-AB) and got bumped “up” to Lucy so he would get some field time as the backup… so what happens? .278/.350/.412/.762 in 216-AB, only 37-K. We may see him start 2010 back at Lucy again, but since there really is no one between him and Davis, send the boy up to Binghamton and let him freeze his mitt off…

5-24-10: - Stefan Welch – 1B – A+ - the 21-yr. old Aussie has produced stats of .311/.352/.485/.837, in 167-AB, which is his second successful year at the A+ level. No one is really in his way; however, Marshall Hubbard is playing at Binghamton, and Eric Campbell, who recently was promoted, can also play first there. They may be no slot for Welsh until next season.

6-19-10: - Yes, I know the Mets aren’t currently in need of a first base prospect; however, it’s not bad news to have someone down on the farm that can fill in some day in the future. For now, that would be either Mike Jacobs or Nick Evans, but come 2012, Stefan Welsh may wind up to be the first option of something bad happened to Ike Davis. Welsh was wallowing in Savannah last year as a third option and was sent to St. Lucie to get some play time. The rest, as they say, was history. So far this season, at Lucy, Stefan has produced: .308/.360/.477/.837 in 237-AB, which includes 4-HR, 18-2B, and 43-RBIs.The 6-3 Aussie turns 22 in August.

2011 Forecast: - The 22-year old finished the 2010 season, hitting .256/.325/.395/.721 for St. Lucie, in 496-Abs. He also hit 8-HR and drove in 68 runs. I’m sure Stefan was hoping to have a better Australian off-season, but he hit only .201 for Adelaide. He did; however, have 7-HR in only 154-AB. The assumption is he will move on to Binghamton in 2011.

5-27-11: - Did you ever notice that when one positional player steps up, others playing the same position on another franchise team begin to produce more? Case in point is Allan Dykstra (B-Mets) and Stefan Welsh (St. Lucie). Dykstra has raised the bar the past month, hitting a career high .500-SLG going into Friday’s game. At the same time, Welsh went into Friday night’s game hitting .314//429/.486/.914 in the past 10 games, and had three more hits last night, including his 6th home run of the season.

Press Release: Mark Cohoon and Fernando Martinez

The Buffalo Bisons today announced that OF FERNANDO MARTINEZ and LHP MARK COHOON have been added to the club’s active roster. Martinez was optioned by the New York Mets on Friday while Cohoon has been promoted from Double-A Binghamton.

Cohoon is expected to start for the Bisons on Monday, May 30 against the Charlotte Knights.

Martinez played in nine games with New York and hit .250 (5-20) with a home run and two RBI. He clubbed a pinch-hit home run on May 13 in Houston. The outfielder began the 2011 season with the Bisons and hit .292 (19-65) with three home runs and seven RBI in 19 games.

Cohoon, 23, has spent the entire 2011 season with Binghamton and was 1-3 with a 3.81ERA in nine starts and 52.0 innings of work (59H, 17BB, 44K). The southpaw has worked five or more innings in all but one of his starts and has allowed three of fewer runs in seven of the nine appearances. His 44 strikeouts lead the B-Mets.

Last season, Cohoon made 13 starts at Single-A Savannah and Binghamton. He was a combined 12-5 with a 2.57ERA (161.1IP, 142H, 131K).

Q and A: - Older Prospects and New Regime Thinking

Kevin - Montgomery, NY asked:

I have two quick questions after a comment - you didn't have to refund my subscription to MackOnBaseBall - I did read all of the premium content after all - but my questions are these - do you think that the new regime is going to push the older prospects (Cory Vaughn, et al.) to higher levels midseason but leave the younger prospects to complete a full year at each level to give them a chance to not just do well but dominate (Jefry Marte, Wilmer Flores, A-Rod, etc.)? And with all the good pitching in the system so far this year does that mean that the new regime can focus a little more on high ceiling, long term development athletes and not just signing international teenagers?


Hey Kevin. No, the refund was the right thing to do.

The first indication of what the “new regime” will do will come with the placement of players after the draft.

Right now, every minor leaguer is at a level based on where Omar & Co. started them out. For reasons I chose not to comment on, Latin kids as young as 16 started as high as A-ball, while 23-year old college seniors were started in rookie ball. Some players, like Josh Satin, never stood a chance. They were old from the get-go.

Interesting is the two best international signees, Vincente Lupo and Elvis Sanchez, are both on one of the DSL Mets rosters. Their season started today. Omar would have had them in Buffalo by now (sic).

No 16-year old should be playing professional baseball. All you get is a bunch of Francesco Pena’s that stat horribly because they aren’t ready to play at that level.

Let’s compare two guys.

Juan Lagarus is playing his 6th season as a Met. He’s already been through the Rule V and has played both the infield and now, the outfield. Lagarus has been considered a bust for a number of years, but returned to Savannah last season for the fourth year. That’s right, the fourth year. He hit .300. This year, he’s playing for St. Lucie and hitting .311 as I write this. But, as said before, it’s his 6th year in the Mets organization.

Josh Satin was drafted out college by the Mets in 2008. He has hit well at every level he has played at, including this year at AA-Binghamton (.306). It’s only his fourth year in the Mets organization, and he’s playing a level ahead of Lagarus.

Now, here’s the rub. Satin is 26 years old. Lagarus is 22.

If Lagarus was born in America and went to the same college Satin did, he would just be completing his junior year and would be waiting to hear his name on June 6th at the draft.

You tell me if this system is in balance.
 In the case of Cory Vaughn, he’s blocked by three good outfielders, Matt den Dekker, Cesar Puello, and Pedro Zapata, that all deserve to finish out the pennant race in St. Lucie. At least one will move on in June and Cory will be promoted.

Players should only be promoted if they prove they are no longer challenged at a certain level; however, injuries and movement above them create situations that must be addressed.

Regarding long term development, I hope so.

We’ve learned year after year that you can’t project pitching at the A-level or below. Savannah seems to punch out five great starters every year, don’t they? The problem is most of these kids are still throwing (rather than pitching) to other kids with no plate discipline.

I’ve always been a big fan of college junior starters. The high school kids always scare me (Nathan Vineyard).

I have no idea what they are going to do, but I have more confidence on these guys than the suits in the past.

One thing I would do is align my top prospects at the proper level for the remainder of the 2011 season.

SP wise, I’d have Familia and Harvey at AA, and Greg Peavey and the #1 pick next week in A+. Juan Urbina should be in Brooklyn.

Field wise, I’d have Havens at 2B in Binghamton (due to past injury), Vaughn in St. Lucie and den Dekker at AA. I would probably leave Flores, Marte, and A-Rod, but make plans to play them all in the outfield in winter ball.

5-29-11 – Gary Carter, David Einhorn, 2012 Payroll, Q and A w/Chris Schwinden, Aderlin Rodriguez

The news about “The Kid” was horrible. I had a cousin diagnosed (at Slone Kettering) with a malignant inoperable brain tumor 15 years ago. He did the chemotherapy and radiation and I travelled back to NYC to say goodbye to him. The tumor disappeared after the treatment and he lived to dance at his grandson’s wedding. There is always hope.

I read the details on the Einhorn purchase of 33% of the Mets and I see that he has an option to go to 60% after three years. In my book, that makes him a more valuable 2014 prospect than 3B Aderlin Rodriguez.

Look, no one wants to keep Jose Reyes and K-Rod more than me; however, my past business background knows better. The team is losing money and the majority of the Einhorn $200mil will be used to repay loans and lower debt. The current payroll of around $142mil can instantly be cut $58mil if Jose, Frankie, Ollie, Castillo, and Carlos Beltran go off the books. That would actually give some room to over-slot during the draft and maybe even sign a free agent or two in the $5mil/yr. range. As a fan, I hate it, but as a realist, it’s the way to go.

The word from Queens is that SP Chris Schwinden might spot start in the slot normally for R.A. Dickey. For those of you unfamiliar with Chris, here’s a reprint from The Keepers notes:

Selected by New York Mets in 22nd Round (674th overall) of 2008 amateur entry draft.

In 2008, Schwinden went 4-1, 2.01, 14 games, 8 starts, 70Ks, 62.2 IP, only 12 BBs, for Brooklyn.

In 2009, Schwinden became one of the “Savannah 5”, posting a 9-6, 3.28, 1.22 record in 21 games, 17 starts. He also went 1-0, 3.97 for Lucy in the last week of the season.

Forecast written in Jan 2010:: Everybody spent the entire 2009 season bragging on Jeurys Familia and Robert Carson, while Schwinden stayed under the radar. Hey, this is a guy with a lifetime 1.17 WHIP! So far, in two seasons, he’s 14-7, 2.90, 1.17. I’ll take that at any level. We may have ourselves another pitching prospect here.

7-3-10: - Schwinden has had a hard time solidifying himself within the Binghamton rotation, but that might be all in the past after last night’s first game of the doubleheader. Schwinden had a no-hitter after six innings and finished up the 7-inning game with a two hitter. He also struck out five and did not give up a walk.

10-2-10 interview:

Mack: – Hey folks. We’re here this morning with the 22nd round pick in the 2008 draft, starting pitcher Chris Schwinden. Hey Chris, thanks for spending a few minutes with us. First up, are you home or down in Ft. Myers in Instruction Camp? .

Schwinden: – Thanks for having me. I’m back home here in Visalia, CA.

Mack: – I have to ask you the same question I ask all of you… take us back to that classic day you found out you were drafted… what was that all about? .

Schwinden: – I was just sitting at home watching TV, Fish-eyeing my computer every round. Then I saw my name popped up under the Mets. I kind of double-taked for a second and I knew it was for real and I was really excited.

Mack: – Chris, you signed and went straight to Brooklyn, where you went 4-1, 2.01, in 14 games, eight starts. Nore importantly, you had 70-Ks in only 62.2-IP, with only 12-BB. The new grind of rotating every five days didn’t seem to affect you at all….

Schwinden: – Well…Its the same game where ever you go. You have to throw the ball over for strikes and try and get guys out. I was fortunate enough to have a season like Brooklyn. Pitching every five days was some getting used to, but it’s what you do with those extra days to try and get yourself better for the next outing.

Mack: – You said it perfectly. I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked “how do I get to the majors”… if they’re a pitcher, I tell them “well, you first have to throw strikes…”

Anyway, it was on to Savannah in 2009 (9-6, 3.28) and then finishing up with St. Lucie (1-0, 3.97), where you continued to shine in 2010 at (3-0, 1.83)… had you added anything new to your repertoire during this period?

Schwinden: – This past off-season I really wanted to work on my curve. It wasn’t that great in 09. So I really wanted to bring that back into play. This year mark brewer taught me how to throw a cutter and had lots of success with it. So I have another pitch that is going to be fun throwing.

Mack: – Last question… Chris, you’re at that place I call “the point of no return”. Minor league players really have two steps they must take to get to the Bigs…. one, they have to get to the AA level… and two, they have to get past it.

A coach told me once that there are no bad baseball players in AA. You’ve already had a taste of that this past season. Is it true and what are your off-season plans to get ready for your next step? .

Schwinden: – Well… I would say that there are guys that have experience where they have found success in what they have learned and there are some that haven’t found it yet. But they have done something great to get themselves where they are. I’m going to work on the cutter and try to establish that to the best I can get it. Also work on little mechanical problems that I endured over the season and go from there.

Mack: – Great ideas. The cutter turned out to be the difference for Mike Pelfrey. It’s a killer pitch with no predictable outcome. I always called it a fast-knuckler…

5-14-11: - No one seems to be able to give any explanation for what SP Chris Schwinden is doing different at the AAA level. His fastball remains in the 90-92 range, but it especially has good tail motion down and in to right-handed hitters. The changup did raise up last year to the 80-84 range, and he has an average slider (84-86) at best. His last and least used pitch is his overhand curve, in the high-70s. Anyone that has followed Chris’s game knows that the key here is command, and the ability to mix his pitches to his liking. I have to assume at this point that he is currently, as we say, in command.

Yeah, I know. Aderlin Rodriguez has the best bat in the system. Aderlin Rodriguez is leading the organization in home runs. Aderlin Rodriguez is only 11-years old. Well, in my book right now, Aderlin Rodriguez has 17-errors, is playing the wrong position, and barely hitting over .200. If this is the best the Mets have, they better ignore the pitchers come June 6th and draft themselves some bats.


Augusta 3, Savannah 2

Taylor Rogers fired six solid innings for the Augusta GreenJackets as they scored three times in the first two innings and held on for a 3-2 win over the Savannah Sand Gnats on Saturday night at Lake Olmstead Stadium in front of 4,838 fans.

With the win, the GreenJackets snap their own three-game losing streak and they break Savannah’s longest winning streak – six games – since 2004.

Rogers (4-5) earned his third win in a row and his fourth in his last six starts, holding the Sand Gnats to a run on three hits in six innings. Rogers walked two, struck out three and took advantage of one of the two double plays turned in by the GreenJackets defense.

Augusta scored twice in the first inning on just one hit, taking advantage of two Savannah errors and a wild pitch and stealing a pair of bases in the inning. Adam Duvall drove home the first run of the game on the inning’s only hit and later scored on Sand Gnats starter Yohan Almonte’s wild pitch to give the GreenJackets an early 2-0 edge. In the second, Carlos Willoughby’s two-out, run-scoring single pushed the lead to 3-0 as Augusta was held without an extra base hit for the second night in a row.

The Sand Gnats answered off Rogers in the third, breaking a string of eight outs in a row with back-to-back hits – the only time in the game the Gnats got two hits in the same inning. The second of the hits was an RBI double by Darrell Ceciliani to cut the GreenJackets’ advantage to 3-1.

Almonte (2-2) allowed three unearned runs for Savannah and worked just 1.2 innings, allowing two hits and no walks in the loss. Ryan Fraser came out of the bullpen to finish, holding the GreenJackets to just three hits in 6.1 scoreless innings while striking out five.

The Gnats got a run off Augusta reliever Jacob Dunnington in the eighth after a leadoff walk and a single put runners at the corners for Savannah. Robbie Shields hit into a double play that scored the second Gnats run, cutting the Augusta lead to one. In the ninth, Savannah got the tying run to second with one out, but Stephen Harrold induced a pair of groundouts to preserve the win for Rogers and earn his seventh save of the season.
from team press release

Dunedin 9, St. Lucie 6

The St. Lucie Mets could not hold onto an early 4-0 lead and had their two-game winning streak snapped in a 9-6 loss to the Dunedin Blue Jays Saturday night at Digital Domain Park. The loss drops the Mets to 28-22 on the season.

Armando Rodriguez got the start for the Mets. It was his first start of the season having been on the disabled list since Opening Day. Rodriguez was effective in his first start tossing three shutout innings allowing only one hit while striking out five batters. The Mets were able to jump ahead early scoring four times in the second inning. JB Brown tripled in two runs and Wilmer Flores singled in another giving the Mets an early 4-0 lead. After the Blue Jays cut the lead to 4-2 in the fourth, Cesar Puello homered to give the Mets a 5-2 advantage through four innings. From the fifth inning on, the Blue Jays outscored the Mets 7-1 scoring in all but two innings. The Mets bullpen could not hold off the Blue Jay offensive attack. Kyle Allen allowed four runs, Ronny Morla allowed three and Mike Powers allowed two as the Mets could not rally to come from behind.

Juan Lagares led the Mets with three hits and two runs scored. JB Brown had two hits, two RBI and a run scored and Pedro Zapata also had two hits in the loss.

The Mets close out their series with the Dunedin Blue Jays Sunday afternoon at Digital Domain Park. Scott Moviel gets the start for the Mets. Moviel is 4-1 with a 3.38 ERA in nine starts. Moviel has 22 strikeouts to 19 walks while opposing hitters are batting .284 against him in 53.1 innings of work on the season.

from team press release

Savannah Sand Gants Pre-Game Notes

Game #48 - Road Game #27 - Saturday – 7:05

RHP Ryan Fraser (2-3, 3.21) vs. RHP Taylor Rogers (3-5, 2.58)

Lake Olmsted Stadium, Augusta, GA

Radio: News/Talk 630 and http://www.sandgnats.com/

Tonight: The first place Gnats, SAL affiliate of the New York Mets, look for a sweep in Augusta and their seventh straight win in the finale of a four game series against the Augusta GreenJackets, SAL affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. The Gnats return home for Military Appreciation Night on Sunday, May 29.

Last Night: Darrell Ceciliani and Rafael Fernandez each had two hits to lead the Gnats to a 5-2 win over the GreenJackets in a game that was delayed by over an hour due to rain. The win was the Gnats’ sixth straight – a new season high.

Now Pitching: RHP Ryan Fraser is scheduled to make his ninth Savannah start. Fraser has a 1.82 ERA at home, but a 4.70 ERA on the road, where he has allowed four home runs compared to zero at home. Fraser pitched exclusively out of the bullpen for short-season Brooklyn in 2010. With the Cyclones, he was 3-3 with a 1.44 ERA and 12 saves in 31.1 IP. He struck out 39, walked 20 and yielded just 16 hits. In ratio form, that’s 4.6 H/9 IP, 5.7 BB/9 and 11.2 K/9. The Mets drafted Fraser in the 16th round of the 2010 draft out of Memphis. The Rays originally drafted Fraser out of Walker Valley HS in the 49th round in 2006, but he chose to attend Gulf Coast Community College and then Memphis. At Memphis, he led the Tigers with 93 strikeouts and 92 IP in 2010 on his way to three C-USA Pitcher of the Week honors and a Second Team All C-USA selection. In the classroom, he was a member of the C-USA All-Academic Team in 2010 and ran a 4.0 grade point average in high school. The Gnats are 3-5 when Fraser starts, and have supported him with 2.63 runs per game (21 runs/8 games), the lowest mark of any Savannah starter.

Super Six: The Gnats have won six games in a row for the first time in 2011 and the first time as a Mets affiliate, a relationship which began before the 2007 season. Savannah has outscored their opponents by a combined score of 28-14 in the last six games. The Gnats have won three of the six in their final turn at bat… The Gnats are three games over .500 for the first time this season.

About Last Night: Savannah pitching issued seven walks, the most by the team in a nine-inning game in 2011… The game time of 3:05 was the longest in a nine-inning game this year.

Road Warriors: After going 3-10 on the road in April, the Gnats are 9-4 on the road in May.

Cory’s Cuts: With his two walks last night, Cory Vaughn is up to third in the SAL in walks (31). He leads all of minor league baseball with 13 hit-by pitches and is fourth in minor league baseball in on-base percentage (.478). He is fifth in the SAL in batting average (.341), and eighth in OPS (.978). Vaughn is hitting .375/.530/.557 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with seven doubles, three home runs, 21 walks and 18 strikeouts in 25 games in May.

Standings Update: With 22 games to play in the first half, the Gnats own their largest lead, a game and a half, over the second-place Lexington Legends who lost last night, snapping their five-game winning streak.

Strong Arms: The Gnats have the SAL’s best ERA (3.28) and WHIP (1.24). Savannah’s 403 strikeouts are fourth in the SAL.

Vs. Augusta: The Gnats are 3-0 against the GreenJackets in 2011. Ten of the games are scheduled for Augusta, and 11 for Savannah. The Gnats were 9-14 against Augusta last year, 4-7 at home and 5-7 on the road.

B-Mets Pre-Game Notes

LAST GAME: The B-Mets and Altoona Curve made it to the top of the seventh inning tied at six before torrential rain forced a suspension at NYSEG Stadium last night. The B-Mets held a five-run lead before watching the Curve put up back-to-back three-run innings in the fifth and sixth. After Eric Niesen al-lowed two runners to reach in the top of the seventh, Rhiner Cruz was summoned from the bullpen. Before he could com-plete his warm-up tosses, the downfall accelerated and the tarp was pulled on the field. Following a delay, the contest was suspended. The game will restart with Cruz to face Tony San-chez at 6:05pm tonight. Following its completion, the B-Mets and Curve will play their regularly scheduled game.

STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP: RHP Tobi Stoner makes his first start with the B-Mets in 2011. Stoner went 6-8 with a 3.71 ERA in 22 starts with Binghamton in 2008 and 2009. Stoner began the season on the Buffalo Bisons disabled list with a shoulder impingement. He went 1-1 with a 7.80 in three starts with St. Lucie (High-A) before being moved up to Binghamton.

LHP Jeff Locke will make his tenth start of the year. The New Hampshire native allowed five runs on six hits over five innings in a loss to the Bowie Baysox on May 23. Originally a second-round draft pick by the Braves in 2006, Locke was traded to the Pirates along with RHP Charlie Morton and OF Gorkys Her-nandez for OF Nate McLouth on June 3, 2009.

SUSPENSION TIDBITS: Last night’s contest was the 25th sus-pended game in B-Mets’ history and the first of 2011. The last suspended Binghamton game came on Opening Day against the Akron Aeros last year (April 8) when heavy thunderstorms forced a stoppage in the middle of the fifth inning. The game was restarted the following day with the B-Mets falling 7-6.

REYES GOES DEEP: Raul Reyes’ solo home run off Aaron Thompson in the fourth inning last night was his first homer of 2011. The B-Mets outfielder hit eighth dingers with Bingham-ton last year, with his last coming on 9/2/10 against Portland.

NICE WHILE IT LASTED: Jon Malo’s fielding error on Jeremy Farrell’s ground ball in the sixth inning last night snapped three-game errorless streak for the B-Mets. Binghamton had gone 30 straight innings without a misplay in the field. Josh Satin’s fielding error at third base against New Britain on May 24 was the previous error.

HOW ABOUT THIS WEATHER?: Through 44 scheduled games this season, the B-Mets have had seven postponements, three games cut short, and one suspension.