Mack’s Morning Report – 12-19 – Early Look at Picks 1-10 in Draft, Wilfredo Tovar, Smokey Joe Williams, 糸井 嘉男, AAA Team


I’m starting to get some comments and emails regarding my thoughts on the upcoming draft and what the Mets might do with the top pick. First of all, it is far too early to project this out especially since the last season before these players become eligible for the draft hasn’t even started, but there are a couple of things we can say at this point.
-         Baring an asteroid falling on the pitching mound at NC State while he is pitching, LHP Carlos Rodon will be the first pick in the draft. Write this one down in ink. 

-         There does seem to be three more slam dunks in this draft and they are all high school kids… RHP Tyler Kolek, SS Jacob Gatewood, and C Alex Jackson. The Mets will not get a shot at these guys.  

-         Now things start to get complicated. Teams with no second round pick could easily change their ‘best player available’ strategy to a projected positional need down the road. Trust me, if that happens, you will see a run on college pitcher (Tyler Beede, Jeff Hoffman, Luke Weaver, Michael Cederoth, Brandon Finnegan, Sean Newcomb) who can move faster through the organization. 

-         What you won’t see is a first baseman, second baseman, or a third baseman picked in the top 10 picks. NC State Trea Turner could be the second shortstop picked along with his teammate Rodon. 

-         There’s a lot of high school pitching talent and it will be hard for the Mets to pass on Conway (SC) HS’s Grant Holmes if he’s still around at #10.  

-         Outfield wise, there could be up to three picks… Michael Gettys, Braxton Davidson, and my projected guess right now…  J Serra HS Marcus Wilson. He runs a 6.5 60, putting him at a 70 as a runner. Projects to remain in CF. Currently throwing 92 from outfield. Compares to Eric Davis.

Johan asked – What are the chances of Wilfredo Tovar making this club as either the starting or backup shortstop?
            Mack – Thanks for the question, Jonah.
The problem Tovar has is he’s not that multi-dimensional as some other candidates for a utility position. He is basically a shortstop that plays an excellent defensive game.
Now… if Ruben Tejada gets off to a bad start again or pissed off TC… and the other members of the team (especially Juan Lagares, Chris Young,  and Travis d’Arnaud) are hitting .275+, all of a sudden it’s not much of a liability to have a .225 hitting shortstop, with impeccable defensive tools, hitting either in the lineup.
The Mets’ problem in 2013 wasn’t the fact that their shortstop didn’t hit. Basically, close to no one did.
Only Stephen Drew looks like some form of decent return out there and, using the Mets budget as a model, you have to move both Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy first to create a figure even close to approaching his agent with a back-ended deal.
The Mets have dangled Murphy out and the offers in return have been meh. He’s probably worth more keeping him on the team.
No, for now, I’d start Tejada in Queens and let Tovar start in Vegas with a double play combo of himself and Wilmer Flores. Let them both build up their numbers in the PCL for future showcasing. 

Joe Blogs -
Smokey Joe Williams or Cyclone Joe Williams — he was called both — was born at some point between 1874 and 1885, the exactly year remains hopelessly lost. Most say he was born in 1885, though, which makes the most sense when looking at his remarkable career. He pitched effectively into the mid-1930s. It’s sort of hard to imagine him being born any earlier than 1885.
He grew up in a town called Seguin, Texas, not far from San Antonio. Freddie Patek, the little shortstop, was born in Seguin as was singer-songwriter Nanci Griffith. Williams pitched professionally for about 30 years long before either was born. Sadly — and this is a constant theme when it comes to Negro Leaguers, especially those who started in the early part of the 20th Century — not much more is known about him. http://joeposnanski.com/joeblogs/no-79-joe-williams/
Mack – This is a wonderful series of the author’s 100 top baseball players of all time. Check it out. 

Posting Projection –
            You might want to start to remember the name Yoshio Itoi, who easily could be the next Japanese player to step up to be posted.
            The 32-year old left hand hitting Itoi currently plays for the Orix Buffalos and is considered one of the top Japanese outfielders. He actually started as a pitcher with a mid-90s fastball, but he was converted to the outfield in 2006.
            He asked to be posted in 2013 but due to a past history of injuries, his request was turned down. Orix says they will not post him, but pressure may come from the international baseball community. His stat line last year: .297/.382/.465.

Troy asked –
            Mack, I assume we’re stuck with Las Vegas as our AAA affiliate now that Washington signed up for four more years with Syracuse.
                        Mack – Hey, Troy.
            Yeah, it doesn’t look rosey. There’s an outside chance that Rochester could come available after 2014, and they could try to get  the MLB to allow them to talk to investors in a Canadian city, but there still would be a created imbalance in the PCL.
                        No, this whole mess sure makes me wish we were back in Buffalo.
            Some fans have suggested that the Mets keep their pitching prospects in AA-Binghamton and sending them directly to the Bigs from there, but that simply doesn’t work. These guys need the experience of pitching against a league of AAA players who got to this level by developing plate patience.
            No, all they will need to do is come up with some internal sybr-stat equation that they can apply to the ERA, WHIP, K/9, BB/9 and other pitching stats. There is obviously a percentage less than 100% can be applied to the end result of pitching in this rarified city, as well as any other PCL teams with the same kind of lack of humidity in the air.
            It really doesn’t matter if you won ten games with an average score of 10-8. Both teams suffer stat wise. Just clean it up with math. You’ll be able to determine if your pitcher is ready to go east. 

Jon Heyman continues to project LHH Ike Davis going to Pittsburgh and platoon with RHH Gaby Sanchez, who hit only .204 vs. righties. The Mets are not going to just hand over Davis and here are the four key ‘prospects’ that could be involved in a deal like this:
RHP Jameson Tailon – Tailon’s availability depends upon whether or not A.J. Burnett returns to the Pirates for the 2014 season. The other four rotation spots are locked in with Francisco Liriano, Gerrit Cole, Jeff Locke, and Wandy Rodriquez. Don’t shrug off the chances of the Mets getting the Pirates top prospect here. Davis did hit 32 home runs last year and the right field seats in Pittsburgh look mighty tempting.
OF Gregory Polanco – Polanco could be the potential leadoff outfielder the Mets would love to get their hands on. He hit .285 last year for the A+/AA teams and will most probably start 2014 at the AAA level. Led the organization in steals in 2012.
SS Alen Hanson – Like Polanco, Hanson split time at the A+ and AA level, finishing the year at .274/.329/.427//.755. Excellent speed, though some do project him for a move to second base. The Mets would love to test that theory at Vegas.
RHP Luis Heredia – only 19-years old, the 6-6 Mexican born righty impressed everyone last season in the Sally League (7-3, 3.05). He does need to work on his control (37BB/65IP), but Sandy loves young projects like this.


Kevin said...


If the Mets asked the Pirates for Kingham (their #3/4 pitcher) and the Pirates said no, what makes you think the Pirates would deal any of these guys for Ike?

I would think the Mets would need to "sweeten" the deal as I've read. Maybe one of our young power bullpen arms, but I don't think that makes sense for the Pirates.

Hanson is their long term answer at SS and Polanco is their future OF. Pirates have a very bright future with these guys and the impressive farm system they have.

I have to think they are eyeing a rotation headlined by Cole & Tailon with Locke, Heredia, Kingham and their other minor league arms to round things out.

Obviously buying low on Ike could be a huge reward for them since they lack an impact 1B. Kingham seems like the kind of prospect they could move but wont unless they get desperate.

Time for Sandy to work some more magic.

greg b said...

Just read that the twins traded Ryan Doumit to the braves for the top pick in 2011, he was there number 10 prospect. So if the twins can get that for a platoon player in his 30's with one yr left on his deal the mets should be able to get a real good prospect for Davis.

Mack Ade said...

Kevin -

What I like to do here is break out some of the players on teams that the Mets might be going after and I then leave it to you to comment on.

As Greg B points out on the Doumit trade, anything is possible.

Kevin said...

I hear you guys. Shoot for the moon and see if anyone bites. I think Kingham and Thornburg are realistic options and we'll have to wait and see who budges first.

The game of chicken worked with the Byrd/Buck trade last year. Don't know what the offers for Hairston were the year before but I'm assuming they felt they weren't strong enough. Wonder if anybody had offers in for Hefner before he got hurt.

Mack Ade said...

Kevin -

The Pirates are not going to go into the season without a left handed first baseman to hit baseballs over their short right field wall.

And there are only a couple of players left available.

What Sandy has to do is keep reminding Pittsburgh how much Byrd helped them and the fact that there is only one candidate available that already has hit 32 home runs in a season.

If he can convince them that Ike's bad days were in his head, not his bat, he can get a decent deal done here.

Willis said...

God bless Sandy. He's fully established his reputation - if he doesn't get the guy he wants for Davis then he'll walk away. So I think one of Mil or Pitt will blink.

Ernest Dove said...

At this point in December, what are everyone's thought/opinions on possibility of Tejada, Murphy, Davis and Duda ALL heading to port st Lucie for spring training as New York Mets?

Anonymous said...

I am actually ok with it Ernest.

Tejada got BABIP to death last year to the tune of a .228 avg on balls in play. His career rate is .302, the league rate is also around .300. So if you normalize his numbers he should be back to around a .260 avg without any improvements.

As for Davis I am ok with him as the starting 1B but he needs to come into camp and stay away from Dave Hudgens. Stay near George Greer who actually had Davis batting near .300 when he was demoted to AAA. I can def see Davis hitting .250 if he just stops screwing with his swing so much.

Murphy and Wright will still be the same consistent good rocks they have been over the past 2-3 years.

As for Duda....If Davis comes into camp, Duda is going to end up in AAA there's just no room for him Davis and Satin on the same roster.

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

I think Murphy will go to ST knowing he's the Mets 2Bman

I think Tejada realizes the mistakes he made last year and will take advantage of his 'second chance'

I don't want both Duda and Davis to both come to camp. I want Davis as the first baseman, but, if that happened, both would still be in camp. The Mets beat reporters are never going to stop putting the telescope on Davis and I just don't see his Mets-head ever getting on straight again.

I hope for his sake Sandy finds him a home, and I would expect Duda to platoon with Satin (Murphy) for the 2014 season

bill metsiac said...

It looks like Flores' future is at 1B, if not DH. Let him play there at Wallyville to start the season, ready for callup if the Duda/Satin combo doesn't work.

bill metsiac said...

Where is Buck? Shouldn't he be sought as d'Arnold's backup/ mentor.

Mack Ade said...

Bill -

Based on what's left inn the budget, Buck is too expensive.

The Mets will light a candle every day that d'Arnaud doesn't go down while, at the same time, monitor Plawecki's progress.

Some in the organization feel he may be MLB ready before the 2014 season is over (I don't, but what do I know)

Hobie said...

I’m looking for Reuben to be much closer to the 2011-12 Tejada than the 2013 version and would certainly be OK with that. No Drew. Please.

One of Duda/Davis has to go. My preference would be a Davis resurrection & and some A-level prospect for Duda, but if a Thornberg level return were possible for Ike, then I’ll live with Duda/Satin 1B platoon.

There’s still that lead-off problem and I’m not comfortable with EYJ bumping Leagares. I still would like a Legares/denDekker CF share and CY has to play. So, off the wall: could Murphy lead off?

Anonymous said...


I agree that I would like to see Murphy lead off. In his career, when Murphy leads off an inning he is hitting .309 with a .360 OBP and has scored 1 out of every 5 times.

Last season alone he hit .336 with a .399 OBP, a .592 SLG and 7 HRs

bill metsiac said...

Mack---What's your take on Content for backup this year? He had a nice season last year at AA-AAA and is over.300 in the Carib. His rep ia great D, too.

bill metsiac said...

Damn auto-correct. I typed CENTENO, not Content.

Mack Ade said...

Actually, the Mets LOVE Centeno and what he has turned out to be basically on his own. This is an excellent defensive catcher with a ++ arm that has taught himself how to hit.

The Mets also want him playing mostly every day in Vegas, in case d'Arnaud goes down again.

Never confuse Recker with Centeno.. Centeno is #2 on the grade chart... until Plawecki develops.

Herb G said...

Guys, I hate to differ, but Murphy should not lead off. Despite his high avg leading off an inning, EYJ actually has a slightly higher OBP (.362 to .360) which only neab=ns that they are equally likely to get in base when leading off an inning. The difference is in speed.Young is much more likely to get himself into scoring position, where a Murphy hitting behind him (or Wright or Grandy) could knock him in. The middle of the order hitters should get more RBI with Young leading off.

Mack - You keep coming back to the budget for not going asfter certain players, but I don't believe the so called "budget" is what prevents Sandy from signing Buck as the backup C. After his great April, Buck hit .215 with 6 HR in 284 ABs. Recker, who we already have under contract, also hit .215 last year, with 6 HR in 135 AB. Seems to me, Recker just makes more sense than Buck.

Regarding Yoshio Itoi, I sere similarities with Norichika Aoki. Both had slightly down years before getting posted (assuming Itoi does get posted this year) but Aoki hit about 30 pointsd higher in their good years, 20 points better OBP and maybe 10 points higher SLG. Based on that, I would think Itoi would be a .265 hitter with a .725 OPS in the majors. Do you think he would be someone we should pursue? Alderson said 2 years ago that he definitely would not bid on Aoki when he was posted.

Mack Ade said...


You and I just don't agree that many decisions at this point is a 'budget thing'. It astounds me that you can't agree with this but let' just agree to disagree on this and move on.

As for the Japanese posting, I'm jus a facilitator of information regarding things like this. They generate opinions from people like you so I am successful in what do.

Let me make a suggestion.

You come to the site every night and pretty must disagree with everything everyone says here on Mack's Mets.

That's cool, but we're missing the opportunity for a weekly post from you breaking out what you thing about the Mets.

Craig Brown asked to take over my old theme "It May Be Wrong, But..." which I had no problem with (I wish he kept it up weekly but it is a slow of-season) but you don't ever seem a loss for words.

Please keep commenting (especially nice ones like welcoming the new writer) but how about weekly feature we can focus on say... on Saturday...

We can call it 'Herb's Blurbs' or something like that.

You can post your email, take questions, mishegas...

what do you say?

bill metsiac said...

Herb--- 're:Buck, it's true that his post-April numbers are similar to AR's, but IMO that's just a sign that he's not a full time guy.

Sandy says he wants a veteran C who is solid defensively and can mentor d'A. Buck fits that description; Recker doesn't.

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