Landon Powell, Brandon Nimmo, Tyler Vanderheiden, The War Room


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:

His command is pretty lousy. His walk rates were way too high throughout his college career, and he's pretty incapable of throwing his breaking ball for a strike. He'll need to work on this, otherwise he'll stall in the high minors.

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?


Mack Ade said...

Morning guys.

By my count, that's $57mil being dropped from the 2013 payroll. Let's assume Alderson spends what he has left this year on somebody and all this team will "have left" is the $57mil...

First of all, there are 4 more guys going ARB-1... Justin Turner, Mike Baxter, Dillon Gee and Rubin Tejada... my guess is Turner won't be around, Baxter might be, and Gee and Tejada are locks. My guess this tops out at $6mil plus another $5 for Murphy/Davis/Parnell... that's $11mil, leaving $46mil.

I next look to the organization and who willl be growing up. The pen should fill in with any combination of Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, Gonzalez Germen, Collin McHugh, Darin Gorski, Brad Holt, and Ryan Fraser. There should be at least two team controlled players here in the $550,000 each range.

Past that, Juan Centeno should be ready to back up Travis d'Arnaud, Wilmer Flores should be ready to be traded somewhere, and Matt den Dekker should be ready to take over centerfield, if he earns it in 2013.

Trade wise, Centeno and Flores could easily be packaged with a young arm (Pill, deGrom, Verrett, Tapia) that doesn't seem to have any future with this team.

You guys take it from here...

Anonymous said...

I don't know who is available in next years free agency although I have read that it isn't likely to be too exciting. It would be interesting though to have a lot of free money available to take a run at Verlander or King Felix if they reach the open market to pair with all of our young pitching.

Charles said...

I think Davis, Mirphy, and Parnell will make at least 15 - 20 mill combined next yr. David's salary jumps an extra 10 mill. Then add in raises for Gee and Tejada, plus the raise that Niese gets and the team will probably have around 35-40 mill to spend once all the added minimum guys are accounted for.

If Davis puts up big numbers his raise will be at least 4 million. Murphy will probably make around 6 or 7 mill. If Parnell has another good year which I think he will, he'll be in that 4 or 5 mill range. That trio won't be cheap and they might look to trade Murphy at that point if they could get a great prospect for his bat which usually hits around .290 at nails 40 doubles.

I don't know who'll take his place, but Trovar might be ready and have enough bat to add to his great defense. That would make for one of the best fielding I fields in the game.

I think next season is the year where they won't hold back anymore financially and we might see a increase in payroll to the 115-120 million range. By then, like you said, they'll be a ton if in house options for the rotation and bullpen. Which leaves the Mets with enough money to fill the outfield with anyone they want through free agency. I'm hoping they look to Pence and Jacoby E, to make a legit splash and hopefully start this team on a 5-10 run of contending for the playoffs.

The development of guys like Montero, Fulmer, and Stndergaard should give the Mets a constant surplus of high ceiling, young, cheap starting pitching. Which makes Gee and possibly even Niese huge trade chips to continue strengthening the system with players that fill whatever need is lacking at the upper levels or even a need on the ML roster. This is why I'm okay with the current holding pattern. Yes it gambles the future on their prospect development, but it's a good gamble and could pay off huge for years to come.

Mack Ade said...


Hey 71...

The kids in the Mets system will start to make headlines in a year and the future 2014 outfield might be:

1. current member of the org.
2. one via a trade
3. one via FA

Mack Ade said...

2014 FA OFs:

Left fielders

Jason Bay (35)
Endy Chavez (36)
Matt Diaz (36)
Raul Ibanez (42)
Reed Johnson (37) - $1.6MM club option with a $150K buyout
Austin Kearns (34)
Jason Kubel (32) - $7.5MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Nate McLouth (32)
Mike Morse (32)
David Murphy (32)
Xavier Nady (35)
Laynce Nix (33)
Martin Prado (30)
Ryan Raburn (33)

Center fielders

Alfredo Amezaga (36)
Rick Ankiel (34)
Coco Crisp (34) - $7.5MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Rajai Davis (33)
Jacoby Ellsbury (30)
Carlos Gomez (28)
Curtis Granderson (33)
Franklin Gutierrez (31) - $7.5MM club option with a $500K buyout
Tony Gwynn Jr. (31)
Andres Torres (36)
Chris Young (30) - $11MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout

Right fielders

Carlos Beltran (37)
Endy Chavez (36)
Shin-Soo Choo (31)
Nelson Cruz (33)
David DeJesus (34) - $6.5MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout
Chris Denorfia (33)
Matt Diaz (36)
Jeff Francoeur (30)
Corey Hart (32)
Xavier Nady (35)
Hunter Pence (31)
Ichiro Suzuki (40)

chad said...

If the all our prospects take a step foward and not stumble we will have top ten system and sandy then can control the market either through trades or free agency. The fa of's I hope he looks at are ellsbury,pence, and Chris young.

Charles said...

agreed about those OFers you named Chad. Wilmer Flores, given an entire year in Vegas at third base, hopefully will produce a stat line that makes the Mets hesitant to even trade him. Of that happens, at only 21 years old, he should easily be able to get some team who has outfield surplus ready to trade the mets for a future third baseman they could slot into their lineup for the next ten years.

I hope that David Wright continues to produce, because his next 7 years might not come close to Wilmer's next 10. Flores bats righty which is a need in the mets lineup and I truly wish he was a better athlete. He'd have been a great option to stick in the OF, but he is just too damn slow.

JHernandez620 said...

What about Wright moving to left field. Similar to way the Braves shifted Chipper Jones to left. Thats solves our left fielder spot and gives us a bopping third baseman.

Herb G said...

Depending upon whether we obtain a quality outfielder under team control for several years this off season (there is still time) Ellsbury and Pence are good targets. I hope, Chad, that you're talking about Chris Young, the pitcher, because I am not sold on Chris (the .239 hitter) Young, the center fielder. The quality of the Class of '14 isn't that hot, so we need to think in terms of trade acquisitions too. We have numerous attractive chips and are adding to the stockpile continuously. Sandy needs to think big and go after the Big Fish.

Herb G said...

I'm not sure David would like to make that switch. He's a team player, so he might give it a try. It didn't work out very well for Chipper, and he was moved back to 3B after 2 years of trying. Personally, I think Flores is worth more to the team as a trade chip. Lets use him as part of a package to acquire an outfielder with a good glove, who can hit a ton. Er . . . did I hear someone say Giancarlo Somebody?

Mack Ade said...


A lot of people have brought up Wright moving someday. I've never heard the Mets ever bring it up.

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