Regarding losing draft picks due to free agent signings, when the Mets signed P Francisco Rodriguez, they gave up their first round draft pick to the Los Angeles Angels, who used it to pick Mike Trout.
I decided to pick one prospect in each team’s farm system who I believe is poised to have a breakout season in the minors this year. New York Mets – Gabriel Ynoa (RHP). Great low-effort delivery, impressive control, finesse type of pitcher, with a #3-4 SP projection.
We don’t write very often about players whose only professional stats are in rookie leagues. Some are just getting some at bats or innings during the same year they just finished playing their last year in school. Anothor factor is just the free swinging wildness of the level. Pitchers tend to look better, but most of them disappear by the time they hit AA. In the case of Ynoa, who turns 20 in May, the IFA pitched one year in the DR (5-3, 1.99), 2011 for GCL/K-Port (2-3, 3.21), and last season for the Cyclones (5-2, 2.23). He’ll move on to Savannah with his Brooklyn buddies, but we won’t know what we have here until 2015 when he is projected to pitch in Binghamton. By then, he might become major trade bait if Mr. Schwartz’s prediction for greatness is correct.
Jonathan Mayo –
His (Noah Syndergaard) power curve has improved as he’s added velocity to it and it could be an above-average breaking ball in the future. He has a power changeup as well, which is still a work in progress, but could give him a third above-average offering. Despite his size, he has an easy delivery and he throws strikes. His combination of stuff, pitchability and aggressiveness on the mound point to a possible future as a frontline starter.
You do realize that there now is a distinct possibility that the 2015 Mets will have three SP1s? And all this hype is coming from the guys that know what they are talking about. How would you like a rotation with Jon Niese and Rafael Montero on the ‘back end’?
OF Juan Lagares - After a 2011 campaign where the one-time highly-regarded, yet oft-injured IFA broke out to the tune of a .350 average, he regressed in 2012 by posting a .283 average in a repeat appearance at Double-A. Regardless, the athletic 23-year-old still possesses a number of skills/tools that could help the big club in 2013. Most notably, he can hit lefties. In 2012 he batted .333/.382/.477 against southpaws, and that was no aberration (.346/.377/.516 since 2011). Additionally, though not a natural center fielder, he has taken relatively well to the position and even offers good speed, something the Mets lack. Once again, with the current state of the outfield it's fair to expect we'll see Lagares at some point in 2013.
Here’s the problem with this whole Lagares play centerfield thing. He’s not going to do that in Las Vegas. Centerfield is Matt den Dekker’s job, both now in Nevada and the future, in Queens. I think Lagares has done a remarkable job of re-inventing himself, and, yes, he can hit lefties… in AA. Let’s give him a full season in Las Vegas and see what he can do there. He’s welcomed to right field.
Jon Greenberg had a fantastic interview with Tom Tango, the inventor of FIP. Here’s what Tango said about it:
FIP is great because it is such a simple construction, but it tells us so much about the pitcher. We don't have a problem with assigning different weights to each hit to come up with a slugging average for example. And that's what FIP is. FIP limits itself to looking at strikeouts, walks, and home runs, gives each a specific weight, and scales to ERA. I don't know that I'd tout other stats like that one, but the one thing that is most important is to make sure you understand the context of the stat. Don't just look at RBIs, look also at how many runners are on base. And not just how many runners, but where are they on the bases. And not just where, but how many outs, especially for runner on third. Once you realize there's so much bias in a player's RBI totals you learn to move away from it, and focus on the skills that lead to RBIs.