Mets Cuts - J-Rod, Hebert, Powers


OF Javier Rodriguez, RHP Michael Hebert, and RHP Michael Powers have been released. 

 The release of ‘J-Rod’ creates an opening for a fourth outfielder in St. Lucie. My guess it would be Julio Conception with Greg Pron jumping from extended to the Sand Gnats. 

Powers was scheduled to pitch Binghamton while Hebert would have been in Savannah. None of these three were in my top 50 Keepers, but they were on the full list: 

61. RP Michael Powers 

 Powers was the 31st round pick by the Mets in the 2008 draft, out of the University of Michigan. In his debut year, Powers pitched for Kingsport and Savannah, combining for: 2-2, 2.88, in 18 relief appearances. In 2009, he combined for Brooklyn and Savannah with: 4-3, 3.70, 39-G44-K, 48.2-IP. Powers excelled for Savannah in 2010, going 3-4, 2.28 in 41 appearances. He also had 52-K in 51.1-IP. He did have some trouble with the conversion to A+ and went 2-1, 5.29, in 10 games for St. Lucie. 9-22-10 

– 2011 Forecast: - I’m sure Powers will return to St. Lucie to start the 2011 season. He will pitch 2011 as a 25-year old, which isn’t as critical for a relief pitcher. That being said, he needs to gitty-up. 

10-14-10: - Mack: Good morning kids, today we're talking with the 31st round pick in the 2008 draft, relief specialist Michael Powers. Morning Micheal. Are you home or participating in the Instruction League? 

 Powers: Good Morning Mack, No Instructional league for me this year, I am back at home. 

 Mack: Good. Mike... let's go back to the beginning when you were drafted. Tell us about all the emotions that day? 

 Powers: Well, obviously that was a special day for me and my family. Just like most people, I wasn't sure when or if I was going to be drafted so I tried to stay busy and not worry about it too much, I still had another year of eligibility left so if things didn't work out I was headed back to school. When I got the call and found out it was the Mets I was excited for the opportunity. It was a tough decision for me because of the all the great things that Michigan provided me but I just felt like school prepared me well for the challenges of pro ball and the timing was right to move on. 

 Mack: Mike, you signed and came out of the box real quick, going a combined 2-2, 2.88, in 18 appearances for Kingsport and Savannah. Did it take you some time getting used to those daily wind sprints? 

 Powers: Yes definitely, Everyone says it but the switch from college to playing professionally and everyday is a big change of pace. I hit a rough spot that first year with probably about 2 weeks to go, The end of the year was in sight and I got hit around a bit one outing. I'll never forget that because it kind of snapped me back into the season and made me realize you need to finish strong. It does take some getting used to, but more or less that is what your first short season is for, just learning the game and how to play everyday. 

 Mack: Like the K-Port coaches always say... "here is where you learn to play the game you've been playing all your life..." So, they send you to Brooklyn in 2009 (3-3, 4.01, in 30 games), which I found disappointing since you ended the year with Savannah. You did get in a couple of weeks with the Gnats though (1-0, 3.00, 9-appearances)... how was playing every day in the Big Apple? 

 Powers: Brooklyn is a taste of the big leagues in the minors, Everything from the amenities the media and of course the fans. I imagine those things and the added pressure of playing in the shadow of the big league team can only help prepare you for life in the big leagues. It was a great experience for me, I really enjoyed the city and the people and we had a great group of players and a staff up there that really helped us develop. 

 Mack: So, what's your award for doing well in Savannah the past two years? You return again in 2010 (3-4, 2.28, 41-appearances, 52-K, 51.1-IP) when the city of Savannah is doing it's best imitation of feeling like Cambodia during the Tet. You finally break loose and finish the season at Lucy (2-1, 5.29, 10-appearances), which is really the first spike in your ERA... is the competition at that level that much harder than A-ball? 

Powers: Anytime you move up levels the competition gets stiffer, Being it St. Lucie was a little tougher than Savannah, The hitters just have a better idea of what they want to do and also of how you want to handle them, but I felt like I got adjusted and held my own up there, I put together a nice streak of outings and then on the last day of the season I gave up 5 runs, so it wasn't the best way to go out, but with the limited number of innings I had up there any inning like that is going to throw your numbers off. 

 Mack: Forget the last day... we do a lot of forgetting the last day in Met-land. Mike, you're right there... the K/IP ratio is spot on... your velocity has never been better... and your overall professional stats stand up with any pitcher. Now... you're playing 2011 as a 25-year old and it looks like you will return again to A+. I know age for a relief pitcher isn't as much as in issue as starters, and I'm expecting the standard "I'll go where they send me" answer... but, do you think after pitching for well over 10 years that you're ready for AA ball? 

Powers: Ha ha. I never thought of it that way but yeah it's no secret that age plays a factor as far as prospects go but I do believe that as long as you pitch well you can at least keep your name in the mix. That is what I try and go out to do, try not to worry about the business side of things and just pitch, and hopefully pitch well. As far as am I ready? I feel as though I'm a guy who is honing in my skills, Just like everyone of the pitchers in the organization I think I possess the skill set to pitch in the big leagues, None of us would be around if we didn't. Its just a matter of putting it all together and sustaining it over a career. Hopefully we will get to find out if I am ready eventually but until that time comes I'm just gonna keep working. 

 Mack: Okay... so if the pitching don't pan out, you can always turn to politics :) I keep asking that same stupid question and no one ever answers it... Mike... you've done a damn good job so far as a professional. My money's on you. Enjoy the off-season and I'll see you in March at Lucy. . 

 Powers: Thanks Mack. I'll see you there. 

4-30-11: - Powers probably is the first legitimate promotion (A+ to AA) of the season. This is his fourth year as a Met, but, like many Mets draft picks, he was a college pitcher started too low by the Mets. He’s now pitching as a 25-year old after 3 stints in Savannah, and two with Lucy. Lifetime through 4-30-11: 11-10, 3.23, 1.30. 

 83. OF Javier Rodriquez 

The Mets drafted Rodriguez in the 2nd round of the 2008 draft. In 2008, Rodriguez batted .193 for the GCL Mets. 

1-1-10: - Forecast: Many Mets sources say that J-Rod is real prospect material, though he has gotten off to a slow start. My guess would be that he is showcased in Brooklyn come next spring. 

 5-17-10: - Stock Up: Looks like the mets might have found another 19-year old Latin shortstop to brag about. Wilfredo Tovar comes out of the DSL system and really didn’t do anything that special last season for the GCL Mets (.243/.294/.318/.611). For some reason, he was called upon this month to go to St. Luic and start in place of Reese Havens (moved to 2B) and Luis Nieve (DL). So far, this sure is working: .400/.419/.500/.919. Yes, it’s only 30-Abs but it’s worth noting at this point in the season. 

7-27-10: - J-Rod continues to impress this season. Last night, he went 3-5 and raised his seasonal stats to: 132-AB, .318/.345/.500/.845, .371-BABIP, .182-ISOP. I like the slow speed the mets are using here. Rodriquez was a very quiet second rounder who didn’t play the year he was signed. He’s only 20-years old, but he’s obviously way ahead of the rest of the players at his level. I expect him to play Lucy next season and possibly get a reward bump to Savannah before the end of this season. Rodriguez played the entire 2010 season for Kingsport and hit .319/.353/.513/.865 in 160-AB.He led his team in hitting and needed less than five more official at-bats to qualify for the 5th best BA and 9th best slugging percentage in the league. 

 2011 Forecast: - J-Rod was a very quiet second round pick. He played very little after being signed, yet the international pundits raved about the pick. Well, it's turned out they were right. Rodriquez looks like the real deal and is starting to show some pop. There really is no reason to play him in Brooklyn next spring, so I have him going straight to Savannah. This is a top ten prospect and you need to keep your eyes on this one. 

 81 – OF Javier Rodriguez – J-Rod was a 2nd round draft pick in 2008 that just hasn’t gotten out of the box. He reported late but hit first gear in 2010 with Kingsport. Rodriguez started the 2011 season with Savannah, hit poorly, and then something happened. He was gone. It’s hard to find out scoops on discipline stuff, and I think there was something here, but I don’t know. What I do know is he wound up in Brooklyn where he has done, well, just okay. There’s a good chance he won’t be around in the spring, but I have him back in Savannah as a fourth outfielder. – ETA – OOS 2015 

photo by Alan Greene

 85. Michael Hebert 

 Hebert was a 7th round draft pick in 2008 (he was the second pitcher chosen that year by the Mets), who has gotten off to a slow, unspectacular start; however, progress was made in 2009. In 2008, Hebert signed with the Mets and went on to the GCL Mets, where he went 2-2, 4.71, in nine games, three starts. Control was not his forte, walking 29 batters in 21.0 innings. 

 Hebert came back to the GCL Mets in 2009, and finished up: 1-3, 3.38, in seven games, five starts. More importantly, he walked only 14 batters in 29.1-IP.  

Forecast: Let’s not forget that Hebert was drafted as an 18-year old, straight out of high school. But, let’s also not forget that, so far, this was a very bad choice for the second pitcher you’re going to draft. I really hate 18-year old high school pitchers, especially ones that pitched to inferior competition. I’m old school. Give me the guy that pitched three years at Texas, or Clemson, or Rice any day. That being said, Hebert may be doing baby steps, but they aren’t embarrassing. So far, in his major league career, he is 3-3. 3.68, 1.59, in 14 games, with 28 Ks in 39.1-IP. He’s also too young to buy a beer in the Piggy Wiggly down the block from my townhouse. Let’s give him two more years. Look for a well deserved promotion to a full season team in Savannah. 

 9-14-10: - 2011 Forecast: - Hebert is past all the growing pains and should wind up next season with a full season team. My guess right now is he will return to the team he finished the season with, the Savannah Sand Gnats. 

7-10-11: - Hebert pitched a gem yesterday for the GCL Mets, going 6.0-IP, 0-R, 1-H, 6-K in their 1-0 nightcap win against the Cardinals. This is Hebert’s fourth year in the Mets organization and, frankly, he’s back with GCL where everything started in 2008. Mike was a 7th rounder in 2008, staright out of high school. Assorted injuries and other matters have kept him bouncing around the lower levels and I had hoped to see him pitch Savannah this season. He’s still only 20-years old. 

 9-23-11: - #88 – RP Mike Hebert – Hebert is a 2008 preppy that’s beginning to find his way after four years in the system. He’s finished this season with Savannah, where he will probably start next spring. He’s still young but Rule V is lurking. ETA – TBD


Reese said...

Hebert looked like a keeper. Why cut him loose? At his age he still had time.

Mack Ade said...

I don't know and asking him would only create what HE thinks...

I think you will see additional players that were drafted by Omar that the current Mets brass just never put their arms around.

Hebert had some internal problems early on and that, plus injuries, created a situation where he had only 44 appearances... over FOUR YEARS.

The Mets have a TON of good pitchers from AA to rookie league and the math just didn't work for a guy who seemed to never be around.

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