The Field of Dreams baseball team got a lot better around 5:30pm EST Saturday. I don’t think ‘The Man’ ever got his due… listen to some of this… from 1949-1954, he hit .340/.437/.599 with 596 walks and 214 strikeouts… in 1943, Musial led the league with 700 PAs and struck out just 18 times. He had one multi-strikeout game, and that went 11 innings… he led his league in Runs Created 9 times, same number as Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds… had 1,815 hits at home, 1,815 on road… (Preacher Roe's strategy for pitching to Musial: "I throw him four wide ones, then I try to pick him off first base.'')… 3 MVPs. 24-time All Star. 7 batting titles. 3630 career hits. 475 homers & 6th-most RBI ever… finished 3rd in batting, 2nd in OBP, 9th in OPS+, and 10th in slugging...at age 41… in 1948, Musial hit .376/.450/.702. Even through the Steroid Era, his 429 total bases remains the highest total of the last 80 years… he slugged .559 for his career. He struck out 696 times & drew 1,599 walks… played 2 seasons vs the Mets-- he had a .still-best vs. them 515 OBP in 101 PA ... at ages 41/42… a 24-time All-Star... married to his wife for over 70 years… That’s a first vote Hall of Famer.
We’re going to keep the journey at looking a little deeper at the Class of 2012 by focusing this time on the 10th pick out of the University of San Diego, relief pitcher Paul Sewald. Sewald came out of Bishop Gorman HS in Las Vegas and then took his game west, ending in the 2012 season with a stat line of 15-G, 14-starts, 8-4, 3.09, 84.1-IP, 75-K, 27-BB. He couldn’t crack the overstocked Cyclone rotation so he took his talents to the pen and put up an impressive beginning to a pro career: 16-G, 0-2, 1.86, 0.97, 10.99-SO9, 28.2-IP, 35-K2-BB. Yes, that’s right… only two walks. Seward is a finesse pitcher, topping off around 91, but his go-to is his pinpoint slider that is unhittable when it makes its mark on both sides of the plate. Normally, I would hold back someone who only had 16 appearances, but Sewald came to the Mets after four years in college and he needs to get going. Sadly, I can’t see him getting past all the rotational talent that will pitch both Savannah and St. Lucie this spring. Look for him, hopefully, in the St. Lucie pen on opening day.
BNS came out with their version of the Mets Top 10 prospects. I will say this… this team always looks deeper when you read about the guys in the system. We know some guys just don’t reach their potential… we wrote about Lance Powell the past two days… but still, the future does look brighter when you read it this way. Regarding this particular ranking, I don’t agree that Jeurys Familia is still a top 10 prospect. I have seen very little consistency out of him for the past two seasons and, in my opinion, he may have to take the same path anther fallen prospect starter (Robert Carson)had to do to get to Queens. Surprisingly missing from this list was SP Noah Syndergaard, which, I assume, was a ‘my bad’ by the writer. The guys to target here are both 22 and both working on secondary pitchers that will hopefully keep them out of the pen. Forget the level they will play… both will be ready to graduate to Queens (24-years old) in 2014 and you add Luis Mateo and Rafael Montero to the current rotation, followed by Michael Fulmer and Syndergaard the following year, and who cares about outfielders?
The name of Michael Bourn reared its ugly head again. If you’re a long time reader you will remember how high I was on him (and Brian McCann) a year ago. I wanted this guy in Flushing; however, I have changed my mind. Too many downside items here. Over 30… bats left-handed… little pop… Boras agent… long term contract demands… and the loss of a first round pick. The first round pick would mean even more if Alderson actually drafted an impact player with his first pick (IMO he hasn’t so far with his 2011 and 2012 pick). Still, the luck of the draw says the third year might be the charm. No, I’ll pass here.