Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
I like to sit in the living room with my laptop while watching television. I read in MLBTR that C Landon Powell was a first round draft pick and I couldn’t help but go to the Cube and check it out. I got there and damn, there it was… he was the 24th pick overall in 2004 by the Oakland A’s, out of one of my home schools, South Carolina. He played four years there, hitting .328/.423/.612/1035 in his senior year. He also OPS’d 1000 in 2003. Everything went as planned through 2007 where he hit .292/.391/.502/.893 for AA-Midland. Then, everything went to shit and it simply has never been the same since. .230 in 2008… .229 in 2009 for the parent club… .214 in 2010… .171 in 2011… Powell did wind up back in AAA last season and had 239-AB for Oklahoma City, the Astros affiliate. His stat line was a respectable .251/.353/.377/.729 which sort of confirms the limits of his baseball ability. Folks, you’re just never guaranteed of being successful in this game. You simply can’t be judged wrong when you draft a catcher who has produced a four figure OPS for two consecutive years. You’re off the hook and you’ve made a good pick… on paper. But never, never think you’ve got this whole game figured out.
The Mets picked OF Brandon Nimmo as the 13th overall pick in the 2011 draft. How’s that pick going vs. the next 10 picks that were made in that draft:
#13 Brandon Nimmo A- .248 6-HR 40-RBI
#14 Jose Fernandez A+ 14-1 1.75 134.0IP/158K
#15 Jed Bradley A+ 5-10 5.53 107.1IP/60-K
#16 Chris Reed AA 0-4 4.84 35.1-IP/29-K
#17 C.J. Cron A+ .293 27-HR 123-RBI
#18 Sonny Gray AAA 6-9 4.26 152.0-IP/99-K
#19 Matt Barnes A+ 7-5 2.86 119.2-IP/133-K
#20 Tyler Anderson A 12-3 2.47 120.1-IP/81-K
#21 Tyler Beede did not sign
#22 Kolten Wong AA .287 9-HR 52-RBI
#23 Alex Meyer A+ 10-6 2.86 129.0-IP/139-K
The one thing you walk away with here is the fact that none of the next 10 picks finished the year still in rookie ball. This is a fact owned solely by the Mets and their choice of Nimmo. There’s some pretty impressive stats here with some of these guys… imagine Fernandez with the B-Mets in between Wheeler in Vegas and Synder at Lucy… but, beating the same drum slowly… and with respect to Mr. Nimmo… you don’t pick an obsure high school senior who didn’t even have a team in his school with the 13th overall pick in the whole friggin draft. This is not the time to be cute. Save that for the next pick (Nimmo was projected to be a sup-1 pick and available when the Mets picked Michael Fulmer with the 44th pick overall). This was the 13th overall pick. And, the absolutely last thing you do is pick someone who only has played travel and American Legion ball.
Lastly on this… why isn’t there more heat for this pick from the Mets press? I’m not talking about writing something bad about the player. I’m talking about the choice this early in the draft. I never see anything written bad about this. Am I missing something?
Here’s another strange name we’re going to have to remember… RP/CL Tyler Vanderheiden, the 19th round draft pick out Samford University in 2012. He’s a classic submarine pitcher with limited velo who is another of those Sandy and Company picks that we knew very little about. I remember Alex Nelson’s breakout on this pick on AA, stating:
At this point, I really didn’t think I should spend any time trying to spell this guy’s name correctly and I thought he’d get lost with a lot of the other guys they send to fill in a rookie ball roster tem.
College boy… pitching 29 appearances in his senior year… 1-1, 3.34, 29.2-IP, 30-K but 16-BB, only one save… so, what does he do? He hops the train to Coney Island, makes 25 appearances, throws 22.0-IP vs. 22-K (10-BB) and turns in a 0.83-ERA, and 12-SV in with 22-K in 20-IP.
Vanderheiden appreciated the words:
“I was just thankful to have the opportunity to keep playing the game I love, regardless of where I was placed. I've really enjoyed my first off season and being able to focus on rest, eating healthy, and exercise.”
My guess is I just talked to Savannah’s next closer.
And lastly, we really don't need a specific question for today's 'War Room'... we can just begin a general thread at the end of this posting and refer back to it throughout the day. I am going to have some cut and past prospect lists that will also come up on the site throughout the day. There is one thing I'd like to ask to get things started this morning. Adam Rubin wrote yesterday that the current Mets 2013 payroll was around $95mil. Then, Michael Baron over on MetsBlog reminded all of us that this amount included what is being paid to Johan Santana, John Buck, Frank Francisco, and Jason Bay, all monies that will go away come 2014. So, what are talking here... $55mil and change? Baron then reminded us that a 2014 team using the same $100mil plan is going to look quite different and you might now understand why Sandy Alderson is reluctant in giving out multiple year contracts to platoon players. He's going to be able to do so much better come 2014. So, my first question of the day is... forget 2013... you now have $55mil to spend in 2014... what do you do?