12/18/12

Mack Stuff – Catching Outlook, 2007 Mets International Signings, Gose, Buffalo

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The Yakult Swallows have signed OF Lastings Milledge to a three-year, $4.4MM contract on a deal that includes a mutual option for 2016.


Boy, things can change in a heartbeat, can’t they.

We’ve been complaining about the lack of talented catchers in the system for years and now, boom, everything changes with one trade. Nobody above the DSL level has any chance of starting for the Mets, so what we’re looking for here is trade bait for deal that helps land an outfielder someday.The Dickey trade has produced both 2013’s Mets catchers, Travis D’Arnaud and John Buck. D’A will play the first month in Las Vegas, so look for Buck and Anthony Recker to fill in. Recker will then be assigned to AAA and everything will slow down. 

Sandy Alderson did mention last night in his telephone press conference that he will be looking to add an additional catcher for Las Vegas in 2013. This will be some kind of veteran insurance policy in case both D-Arnaud and Buck were to go down.


Here are the few catchers that could turn an eye in 2013:

                Juan Centeno – Centeno will be the first Mets catcher that will mature (remember, the Mets have operated with a platoon system in the minors so it’s hard to get a decent amount of seasonal at bats. The 22-yr. old was a 32nd round draft pick in 2007, out of Puerto Rico. His 89 at bats for Brooklyn in 2010 produced a .371 BA… 157 at bats in St. Lucie in 2011 produced .318… and last season, in the critical AA-Binghamton, 281-AB produced .285. There’s no power here (lifetime .325 slugging percentage), but only had 13 errors in the past three seasons combined. Drove in two runs and scored twice for Manati, PRWL, yesterday.

                Cam Maron – Maron has started in two seasons as a Met. He hit .318 for Kingport in 2011 and .300 last year for Savannah.  Maron’s a former 34th round pick of Hicksville. 34th round catchers are supposed to be happy being paid to catch in extended camp until they quit and get a real job. This wasn’t good enough for Maron who will move on to St. Lucie this spring and keep the dream alive. One remarkable trait… he has 105 walks vs. 637 official professional at bats (124-K). That’s an incredible amount of patience for a player at A-level and below.
                Kevin Plawecki – Last year’s 35th overall pick in the draft. Hit .359/.445/.578/1024 for Purdue followed by .250/.345/.384/.729. ix picks later was Lance McCullers Jr. There will be no reason to rush Plawecki now, who will probably play Savannah come the spring.


We spend a lot of time here analyzing whether or not Omar Minaya did a good job when it comes to signing international kiddies. Well, take a look at the 2007 season alone, when Minaya and his scouts brought aboard… in one year… Jordany Valdespin, Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Famila, Aderlin Rodriguez, Wilmer Flores, and Cesar Puello.


Q - Mack, Would you have included Wilmer Flores and/or a lesser pitching prospect perhaps to get Gose? Thanks, Gary Seagren

                Yes, if I projected Gose as my future centerfielder for the next five year. I wasn’t particularly thrilled with his lack of pop, but he’s a much better outfielder than what the Mets currently have. Regarding Flores, he has no future on the Mets, and this team needs young, talented outfielders. The Dickey trade filled in the catcher crack and there’s plenty of pitchers on this team. Add a two young Carlos Beltran’s to this team and the rebuilding is done


MARK MOKRIS asked - 

Mack,   Under the category of be careful what you wish for how do you think that Buffalo must feel after kicking the Mets to the curb only to have the Blue Jays gut their system of prospects in their deals with the Marlins and Mets?  I realize that this is more of an unintended consequence but it has to give the Mets a little added smile to think that the city that couldn't wait to unaffilliate with the Mets now is going to have a team full of non prospects where Las Vegas potentially will have a lot of nice players this year and next.  Just food for thought.  Have a good night and I hope that you and your family have a happy and healthy holiday season.

Mack - Hey Mark, back at you during this holiday season. Connecticut has taught us that it's all about family.

Let's not be too harsh about Buffalo. To a great degree, we kicked them to the curb. They had a wonderful team that always made the playoffs and then the Mets came along with all their injuries. Yes, the town did turn their back from the gates, but so would you and I if we had to watch the lack of competitiveness for the past couple of years.  Injuries early on the Mets robbed Buffalo of their stars (Duda, Nieuwenhuis) so, in the long run, it's best everyone moves on.

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