My thoughts on the John Sickles Zunino-d’Arnaud ‘smackdown’:
I agree with Sickles. I never though d-Arnaud was a better catching prospect, I only though he was the best one on the market last year. Zunino is a beast that comes along once a decade.
Sickles comments that d’Arnaud’s OPS may be overly dependent upon his batting average speaks volumes for his inability to have the patience to keep the bat on his shoulders once in awhile. Hopefully, the Mets will work with him on this in the time he plays in Las Vegas.
Both catchers project out as good defensively, though Zunino has a much higher percentage of throwing out runners at second. Still, d’Arnaud’s 30% last year isn’t shabby.
Lastly, anytime John Sickles is featuring one of your players in a two-player, top-prospect ‘smackdown’ is a good thing.
The Mets agreed to a minor league deal with LHRP Justin Hampson. This is a good move. He pitched for Buffalo in 2011 (3.41) and 2012 (2.33) and had 13 appearances for the Mets last year (1.80). Frankly, he should have been signed at the end of last year and I have no idea why no other team picked up the 32-year old.
This just creates more positive complications for who’s going to be the lefties in the pen this season. Trust me, Robert Carson’s isn’t a happy puppy this morning.
Mets: drafted 51, signed 37, or 72.5%, including 18 of 21 in the first 20 rounds (85%).
Rest of MLB: 1479 drafted, 924 signed, or 62%
Top 20 Rounds: 608 drafted, 499 signed, or 82%
Based on these numbers, the Mets did an above average job of restocking their farm system via the 2011 draft. It was a good start for the new front office. But wait – what the heck happened in 2012?
Mets: drafted 42, signed 19 (45%), including 16 of 22 (72%) in the first 20 rounds.
Rest of MLB: drafted 1196, signed 880 (73.5%), including 556 of 615 (90.4%) in the first 20 rounds
The problem isn’t the fact that the Mets didn’t sign enough players. The only figures count here are the top 20 rounds and the rest tend to be roster fodder. Sure, someone like Josh Edgin comes around every once in a while, but it’s rare.
The problem with the Mets drafting is the quality of player they pick in the first 20 rounds. All this ‘Moneyball’ under-slotting bullshit is just that and, hopefully, the blogging community has caused enough static to create a better top three picks this June.
We’ll have to wait and see.
Look, if (Marlon) Byrd regains his 2010 form, he'll probably be a better right fielder than anyone else the Mets would put out there in his place. That's also true in left field. Or center field. But a lot can change, and has changed, since 2010. In 2010, Matt Harvey, now in line to be the team's best pitcher, was still pitching college ball. R.A. Dickey began 2010 in the minor leagues, as did Ike Davis. Gary Matthews Jr. and Mike Jacobs were members of the opening day starting lineup. The old Byrd is gone. And you have to wonder why the Mets wouldn't try a right-field platoon of Baxter and Brown, who may be capable of more than they've shown so far, over Byrd, who almost certainly isn't.
This signing made no sense to me and seemed like an act of desperation. Byrd was an all-star in 2010, but it was the last half of a year that he had any gas left in the tank. His 2011 stats made Jason Bay look like a stud and then he goes tests positive. Doesn’t anybody have to pay for their mistakes anymore. Why not sign that Pistorius guy as a pinch runner?