1-29-13 – 2013 Bullpen, Matt den Dekker, Sandy Alderson, Sean Manaea, Sickels System Ranking


Mets announce Banner Day has been rescheduled for Saturday, May 11 prior to a 1:10 p.m. game vs. Pirates

Mark Simon‏ - @msimonespn
Mets pitchers had the highest rate of getting opposing hitters to swing at pitches outside the strike zone with 2 strikes in 2012- 45%

Alderson was more optimistic about adding a pitcher for the bullpen, since there are several significant, available arms, though most are past their prime. Among them is former Giants closer Brian Wilson. Alderson and pitching coach Dan Warthen watched Wilson throw in California recently and the GM said he expects to see Wilson again “in the next several days.” The Mets are hesitant to hand Frank Francisco the closer job again after an ugly first year in New York that was followed by elbow surgery. Wilson is coming back from Tommy John surgery last year.

Look, we all know the disappointment everyone is feeling about the lack of quality of the outfield, but maybe it’s time to move on and strengthen another area. The starting rotation and infield are just fine and the relief crew looks like it just needs a little tweaking. Bobby Parnell, Frank Francisco, and Josh Edgin definitely have spots here, though Francisco’s actual role might be in question. My guess right now is that Greg Burke and Jeremy Hefner go into camp with a slot, while Jeurys Familia, Elvin Ramirez and Robert Carson are still trying to win one. The wild card is Pedro Felciano who I expect to step up. My guess right now is your LOOGY/ROOGY will be Felciano and Familia and the one addition to this staff may be a new closer.

OF Matt den Dekker - After tearing apart the competition at Double-A Binghamton in 2012 (.960 OPS), more advanced pitchers took advantage of the 25-year-old's overly aggressive approach at the plate in Triple-A (.629 OPS). He'll try to polish some of that swing-and-miss out of his game early in 2013 (28.5% strikeout rate) to justify an everyday role; however if all else fails he already features the best outfield glove that currently resides within the Mets organization. With the Mets current outfield situation in shambles -- not just offensively, but defensively as well -- expect to see a good amount of den Dekker whether he irons out the kinks in his offensive profile or not.

Sandy Alderson:

“We continue to look, but I think, realistically at this point, there’s not a lot left on the shelf, so at some point we have to realize that, well, perhaps the outfield is not the strength of our team. But at least going into spring training we may be looking at what we have and not being able to make an addition. There's a long time between now and the beginning of February. There's still some good players on the board. There’s still a lot out there and we’re looking. Well I’d say right now it’s an incomplete, but there’s still time in the semester, to give an educational metaphor. We’ve been watching the market, we know what’s available, we’ve known what’s available. We reconvene and review periodically, meaning every couple of days. There are a number of things that we’re currently involved in pursuing. But we’re hopeful we’ll have some additions before spring training starts, and I expect that we will have some additions, but at this point to say we’ve been patient is probably an understatement but that’s what we’ve been."

            Like I have said before, I’m fine with this off-season if it was to end right now. Sure, I wish there was a better outfielder and I think the pen could use one more anchor pitcher, but Travis d’Arnaud, John Buck, Noah Syndergaard, a top Latin prospect outfielder, Shaun Marcun, Greg Burke, and Pedro Feliciano for a 38-year old pitcher is fine in my book.

Rafael Montero is one of the Met top prospects and probably deserves to be in the top 5 based on his 2012.  Silly scouts might differ.  The reason he did so well here is because he limited walks and hits to an EXTREME level, so this might get a little wonky in AA but he does seem to be on track to be a front-end pitcher (based on numbers). Is Montero moving up on my list?  Yes.  How high?  4th?  He’s still likely a tick behind Snydergaard but based on this math it’s hard for me to place him below Nimmo or Fulmer and it’s really close with Wilmer Flores.  2013 will be a defining year for Montero and could make things interesting for 2014 and beyond with the Mets.

Groveman has always been high on Montero and I agree with him that 2013 will be the year that one of the younger prospects separates himself from the pack. Montero impressed at two levels and should return to St. Lucie because he only pitched eight outings there; however, time and prospects march on and the projected Lucy squad looks filled with last year’s Savannah’s starts. I hope they don’t rush Montero too fast. My breakaway money is on Domingo Tapia, who will pitch in Florida with the press concentrating on others like Noah Syndergaard and Michael Fulmer. 

College pitching looks to the be the strongest at the top of the board with Mark Appel, Ryan Stanek, and Sean Manaea. Mark Appel has the strongest stats and career to go off of right now and will likely have the least leverage in negotiations despite have Scott Boras in his corner. Stanek is more of the scouts dream with a nice fastball and wipeout slider to rack up strikeouts in the SEC. However, Manaea is almost a left-handed Stanek that is a little more rough around the edges with his mechanics but has a breakout performance in the Cape to back him up. All three of them profile as frontline starters with the Ace ceiling. I need to see more of Manaea this season with how he performs and develops with a close look at his mechanics. If he continues to post good numbers and I start to like some adjustments in his mechanics, I may be drooling my June. I think he has the highest ceiling of all the draft prospects right now but his floor is considerable lower than the other two pitchers. But, because of the ceiling, he is my pick right now.

You regulars here know I write a weekly column for www.bigleaguefutures.net and keep up a composite mock draft throughout the year. This is a good post to get up to speed on the draft so give it a click… BTW, I agree that Manaea will go #1.

There’s no one better at this than John Sickels so I was quite impressed with where the Mets faired here 

1) St. Louis Cardinals (ranked #5 last year): Strengths: Everything. They have pitching, hitting, high upside, and depth. They have a proven track record of player development. Weaknesses: none really. They could use a shortstop with a better bat but so could most teams.
NL East:

8) Miami Marlins (29)

12) New York Mets (15): Strengths: strong at the top with trade acquisitions Zack Wheeler, Travis D'arnaud, and Noah Syndergaard all ranking as Grade A- prospects. Pitching in general is a strength, with large amount of depth behind the top group. Weaknesses: impact hitting behind D'Arnaud and Wilmer Flores.

20) Philadelphia Phillies (24)

25) Washington Nationals (14)

27) Atlanta Braves (8)


The Closer said...

Is it too much to ask to atleast one, if not 2 of these guys and shorten then game. If we're not going to upgrade our CF defense, it wouldn't be a bad idea to upgrade the pen.

Matt Capps (29)
Jose Valverde (35)
Brian Wilson (31)
Francisco Cordero (38)
Francisco Rodriguez (31)
Bobby Jenks (32)
Jon Rauch (34)

How about Wilson & Rauch? Jenks on a minor league deal? Valverde's value is pretty low right now, so it might be a good time to pluck him up on the cheap. Capps is the only 1 I would guarantee anything more than 1 year, but more likely 1 year + team option.

Charles said...

With the rotation and infield they have and Sandy striking out in the outfield, you'd think putting together the best bullpen possible would be a huge priority.

If Aldy just gets two good arms out there with what they already have, then they'll have a chance to be a .500 club. If he keeps waiting though, he must stop saying being competitive is a goal. I'm fine with the off season and understand he can't say they're rebuilding, but he's pissing fans off when he says being competitive is a goal and then not strengthening the teams weaknesses.

Mack Ade said...

relief pitchers always seem to come last in this process...

Hobie said...

I am at the point where I expect any significant OF upgrade in 2013 is about as likely as a Palestinian peace settlement. The probability curve for the current crew has IMO a fairly wide variance around an expected value closer to the low end.

Matt DD is a case in point. His M.O. has been to excel at the level at which he struggled the previous year, get promoted, and struggle again. Not outrageous to believe that could happen again, leaving 2014 the real test. I tend the think of projections in terms of reincarnation rather than slash lines, so: ceiling—Curtis Granderson (Detroit version); floor—Don Hahn.

At one time I had hopes for Lucas Duda to become a LH Greg Luzinski. He’s been more of a LH Ron Swoboda, but could still become a Dunn-Lite, I suppose.

Nieuwenhuis gets his shot: ceiling—Nate McLouth (2008); floor—McLouth (2011); Projection—McLouth (2012)

I have some interest (& hope) for Collin Cowgill—he has a rep for Eric Byrnes type grit: ceiling—Jay Payton; floor—Ryan Thompson.

And there’s Mike Baxter: ceiling—Art Shamski; floor—Larry Elliot; projection—Rod Gaspar, as well as Andrew Brown & Jamie Hoffman who I really don’t know but picture somewhere on the Jim Hickman—Joe Christopher continuum.

Prediction: one pleasant surprise (I’d be ecstatic at two) and multiple disappointments.

Herb G said...

The New York Mets Fan = Pessimism Personified.

We moan about the bull pen, when we all know that most bull pen needs are usually addressed very late in the off season. Sandy has quietly signed Pedro Feliciano, and today Scott Atchison, both low risk/high reward signings. Just what Alderson should be looking for. Brian Wilson is still on the agenda, another l.r./h.r. possibility. A bull pen including healthy versions of Wilson, Feliciano and Atcheson, along with Parnell, Edgin, Familia,and Burke (would it be too much to wish for? a Francisco trade during spring training) could be one of the best in the NL East. With no room for Hefner, Carson, Elvin, Armando, or Laffey, it'd have to be pretty damn good.

We moan about the outfield, but the book is not closed on Bourn. The longer things get stretched out, the higher the probability that he winds up in a Mets uniform in 2013. With Fleet Michael in center, and a couple of pleasant surprises from Duda and a Nieuwenhuis/Cowgill platoon, or maybe a den Dekker call-up, and we have a very credible outfield.

Mack Ade said...

Are we moaning?

Herb G said...

Closer says "Is it too much to ask to atleast one, if not 2 of these guys and shorten then game. If we're not going to upgrade our CF defense, it wouldn't be a bad idea to upgrade the pen.

Charles says "If he (S.A.) keeps waiting though, he must stop saying being competitive is a goal . . . he's pissing fans off when he says being competitive is a goal and then not strengthening the teams weaknesses."

Hobie says "I am at the point where I expect any significant OF upgrade in 2013 is about as likely as a Palestinian peace settlement."

Sure sounds like moaning to me. Mack, you and I may be the only ones who aren't bemoaning the plight of this team. You know the old saying . . "if you can remain calm and upbeat, while all those around you are pissing and moaning about what's going on, perhaps you don't have an appreciation for the true state of things." or something like that. lol

Charles said...

I really don't care if Sandy does anything else, BUT... I see the team as is and think that with a good bullpen their rotation and infield production will be good enough to make the team competitive. AND, as long as he's saying being competitive is a goal, then he should probably back that up.

Last year, I was one of the few who thought they had a chance before the season started. Now, the team looks weaker, but can be salvaged with a better bullpen. Will I be pissed if it stays the same? No, because like Mack, I see 2014 as the first year that the team needs to really start to win. They'll have too much money available for any excuses.

Mack's Mets © 2012