11/30/13

Twins to Sign Phil Hughes

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Word is the Twins have reached an agreement with Phil Hughes for 3 years - $24 million. Another indication that the cost of free agents this year is through the roof, this deal exceeds almost everyone's expectations. While $8 million per year was widely believed to be what Hughes would sign for, few if any would have predicted a 3 year deal.

This, however, could be very good news for Mets fans. Thje Twins were reported to be the most agressive competitor with the Mets for the services of Bronson Arroyo. With the Hughes signing, following on the heels of the Ricky Nolasco signing, the Twins are almost certainly out of the picture for Arroyo.

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Draft 14 – Jeff Hoffman, Grant Holmes, Alex Verdugo, Jackson Reetz, Josh Ockimey

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draft - jeff hoffman11-3-13 – Baseball America - East Carolina’s scout day was held Friday night, which gave in-state scouts a look at righthander Jeff Hoffman, who ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Cape Cod League this summer. Hoffman dominated with Cape with sharpened stuff that produced 12 strikeouts per nine and a 6.6 strikeout-walk ratio. Hoffman sat 93-96 mph with his fastball through two innings and did not throw a fastball below 94 in his second inning. He has a loose, easy arm action and the ball jumps out of his hand with downhill plane and minimal effort from a three-quarters slot. Hoffman largely pitched off his fastball. http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/east-carolina-scout-day-jeff-hoffman/


10-30-13 - Clint Longenecker/BA – WWBA World Championship - Righthander Grant Holmes started the first game of the tournament on Thursday, which allowed him to come back for Sunday morning’s semi-final matchup against the Orlando Scorpions, who have won many of the national tournaments this year. The strong-bodied Holmes, a Perfect Game All-American, touched 95 mph and sat 89-94, striking out five and allowing one run over four innings. The Canes rallied to win 4-3 in dramatic fashion, scoring three runs in the seventh inning to advance to the championship game, as Lane delivered an opposite-field two-run single. . http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/evoshield-canes-win-perfect-game-wwba-world-championship/


10-29-13 – Jim Callis – Top 10 World Wood Bat Association World Championship (WWBA) Jupiter, Fla - 10. Alex Verdugo, OF/LHP, Texas Scout Team Yankees (Sahuaro High, Tucson, Ariz.) -  Scouts are split on his future because he has a sweet left-handed swing and a strong arm. http://ht.ly/qi5No


10-15-13 – Baseball America - 49. Jackson Reetz, c/of/rhp, Hickman (Neb.) HS: An offensive star of the 18U USA Baseball squad that won a gold medal this summer, Reetz has shown the ability to hit in games, as well as the tools and athleticism to stick behind the plate. http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/2014-draft-top-50-october-2013-carlos-rodon/


9-11-13 - Sully’s 2014 Top 100 MLB HS Draft Prospects – 98. Josh Ockimey – 1B, Neumann-Goretti (PA) HS http://www.ninebaseball.org/Wordpress/sullys-2014-top-100-mlb-hs-draft-prospects/
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Draft 14 - A Quick Look At - LHP - Mac Marshall - Parkview (GA) HS

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Mac Marshall

7-2-13 - 18. Mac Marshall- LHP, Parkview (GA) HS -  6’2, 185 LHP sat 93-94 at the National Showcase and really knows how to pitch http://www.ninebaseball.org/Wordpress/jeff-sullivans-top-100-2014-prospects/

7-5-13 - Mac Marshall, LHP, Parkview HS (GA) - One of the better southpaws in the 2014 MLB draft, Marshall’s fastball sits in the low/mid-90s and he has worked hard on his delivery and command over the past year. He also flashed a potential plus curveball at the Perfect Game Nationals. At 6’-2” and 185 pounds, he is a great athlete who has been clocked at 6.7 in the 60. As a junior, he had 80 K/32 BB over 46 innings for one of the premiere programs in the country. Committed to Georgia. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/prep-arms-chicago-cubs/34856#Vp7zJ4JvRevfV1fR.99

7-25-13 – Top 30 High School Prospects For 2014 Draft - 14. Mac Marshall, LHP, Parkview HS (GA) - 6'2/185, Draft Day Age: 18.36, LSU commit, Full Report & Video - Quick Take: Marshall comes from a powerhouse Atlanta-area program that's produced RF Jeff Francoeur and first rounders in the past two years, 1B Matt Olson (Athletics) and CF Josh Hart (Orioles). Marshall sits 90-92 and has hit 94 mph with his fastball while his off-speed pitches are inconsistent but his 75-79 mph downer curveball and 79-82 mph changeup are both above average at times with potential for more. http://sbb.scout.com/2/1310090.html  

8-6-13 - Top pitchers - East Coast Professional Showcase, Syracuse, NY -  2. Mac Marshall, LHP, Parkview HS (Ga.): Marshall had suffered a minor oblique injury at the Perfect Game showcase in Minneapolis, so this was his first time back on the mound. He clocked 90-92 mph, but typically throws much faster. But Marshall commanded his breaking stuff well and was very efficient. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130806&content_id=56048786&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb  

2013 East Coast Pro Showcase Top 50 Prospects    - 11. Mac Marshall – LHP, Parkview (GA) HS - 6’2, 185 LHP who sat 90-91, touched 92 and featured an outstanding curveball. Really knows how to pitch and ran it up to 94 at National Showcase. http://www.ninebaseball.org/Wordpress/sullys-top-50-ecp-prospects/  

8-14-13 – Through The Fence – Top 50 Prospects – 25. Mac Marshall, LHP, Parkview HS (GA) - One of the better southpaws in the 2014 MLB draft, Marshall’s fastball sits in the low/mid-90s and he has worked hard on his delivery and command over the past year. He also flashed a potential plus curveball at the Perfect Game Nationals. At 6’-2” and 185 pounds, he is a great athlete who has been clocked at 6.7 in the 60. As a junior, he had 80 K/32 BB over 46 innings for one of the premiere programs in the country. Committed to Georgia. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2014-mlb-draft-top-50-prospects/36463#mwWwsFxSUZy7YC5V.99    

8-13-13 - The Perfect Game All-American Classic in San Diego - Mac Marshall (Parkview High School, Ga.) was 91-93, but the breaking-ball left a ton to be desired (scouts tell me it’s been inconsistent all year). http://mlbdraftinsider.com/2013/08/thoughts-on-perfect-game-all-american-classic/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

8-21-13 – Area Code Games - 7. Mac Marshall, lhp, Parkview, Lilburn, Ga./Team Elite - At 6-foot, 187-pounds, Marshall has an athletic, angular build. Marshall offers athleticism, some present polish and projection. He gets downhill plane from a high three-quarter arm slot and sat 89-91 mph his fastball, which was up to 94 earlier in the summer. Marshall has feel for a high-70s changeup with fade that has the makings of an above-average offering and has shown the ability to spin a mid-70s curveball with 1-to-7 tilt. Originally committed to Georgia, where both of his parents attended, Marshall changed his commitment to Louisiana State lasted month. He attends the school that entered the 2013 season as No. 1 on the Baseball America High School Top 25, Parkview, which produced a 2013 first-rounder, outfielder Josh Hart, and a 2012 supplemental first-rounder in first baseman Matt Olson. http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/area-code-games-top-10-prospects/  

9-11-13 - Sully’s 2014 Top 100 MLB HS Draft Prospects – 25.Mac Marshall – LHP, Parkview (GA) HS http://www.ninebaseball.org/Wordpress/sullys-2014-top-100-mlb-hs-draft-prospects/

9-30-13 – TTF Mock 2.0 - 25. Los Angeles Dodgers — Mac Marshall, LHP, Parkview HS (GA)  One of the better southpaws in the 2014 MLB draft, Marshall’s fastball sits in the low/mid-90s and he has worked hard on his delivery and command over the past year. He also flashed a potential plus curveball at the Perfect Game Nationals. At 6’-2” and 185 pounds, he is a great athlete who has been clocked at 6.7 in the 60. As a junior, he had 80 K/32 BB over 46 innings for one of the premiere programs in the country. Committed to Georgia. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2014-mlb-mock-draft-2-0-draft-order-set/38280#5E3F5j1jWOgE69bJ.99 

9-29-13 – XMLBScout – 21.)LHP, Mac Marshall, 2014, Parkview HS, Georgia, was up to 88 with FB only 16 years old, loose with decent delivery, fb pretty true for most part, a bit long with delivery, but worth a follow next couple of years. Added a couple more mph to his FB in 2013 and was one of most exposed lefties over the summer showcase seen. Sharp break on a downer type wipe out slider/curve and makings of solid change up. Great upside!! http://xmlbscout.angelfire.com/
                        10-15-13 – Baseball America - 15. Mac Marshall, lhp, Parkview HS, LiLburn, Ga.: Athletic                lefthander with a low-90s fastball that touches 94 mph, a plus changeup and emerging curveball. http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/2014-draft-top-50-october-2013-carlos-rodon/
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Mack Ade - Organizational Evaluation By Position– SP

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We’re going to discuss the starters a little different. Similar to most years there are too many people on my rosters and not all these guys are either going to survive or become relief pitchers (as you will see tomorrow, the pens are just as crowded). I broke out the players I have currently projected to each team and color coded them by importance. Red is prospect… dark blue is an almost prospect and someone that will definitely be in the rotation… black is for the rest of them.

You will notice the reduction in top prospects. This is due to the fact that guys like Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler have already graduated to Queens and Jenrry Mejia is no longer classified as a prospect.

Lastly, most of the Mets minor league teams begin the season with at least six, sometimes seven starters. Everybody has a pitch limit that may start as low as 50, so you will see  lot of piggybacking with one starter up front and another starter following the first. Thus, look for me to be projecting more than your routine five.

Here goes:

AAA – Rafael Montero, Noah Syndergaard, Erik Goeddel, Darin Gorski, Jake deGrom, Cory Mazzoni, Logan Verrett, Mark Cohoon, Chris Schwinden, Giancarlo Alvarado, Mitch Talbot –

First of all, I might not have got the memo and Alvarado and Talbot may no longer be a member of the organization. They were late season pickups last year that helped Vegas along the way.

It’d obvious that both Montero and Syndergaard will be prominently displayed; however, so will Goeddel, Gorski, de-Grom, and Mazzoni to scouts for all the teams looking for talented young pitching. These are the kind of pitcher that will be able to be traded for position players of equal value (maybe all this austerity program stuff will begin to pay off soon).

As for Verrett, Cohoon, and Schwinden, my guess is all three will compete in camp for the SP7 piggybacking spot Las Vegas will start the season off with.

 

AA – Gabriel Ynoa, Rainy Lara, Matt Bowman, Hansel Robles, Angel Cuan, Domingo Tapia, Alex Panteliodis, Tyler Pill -

I only have two guaranteed starters here (Ynoa, Lara), but lots of potential from the other six listed. My wild card here would be Pill, who struggled at the AA level last year (1-1, 7.58) and wound up on the DL for most of the season with what was first diagnosed as ‘triceps tendonitis’. The ‘breath of fresh air’ award last year had to go to Bowman, a 13th round pick in 2012, who went 10-4, 3.05, in 21-starts for Savannah/St. Lucie. He turns 23 in May so there’s no reason to hold him back at the A+ level. The rest (Robles, Cuan, Tapia, Panteliodis) will fight it out for the remaining slots. My guess is both Cuan and Robles will begin a conversion to the pen, especially in the case of Cuan (starter split: 4.57, relief split: 1.73).

 

A+ - Steven Matz, Michael Fulmer, Luis Cessa, Luis Mateo, Seth Lugo, Jake Kuebler –

Both Matz and Fulmer have the potential to become SP3-4 pitchers and will complicate the Mets rotation around opening day 2016. Cessa has basically done nothing wring let and the highly touted Mateo comes back from TJ surgery. All of these pitchers become instant trade bait in about a year… if they stay healthy and if they continue to produce. Keep a medic close to this staff.

 

A – Miller Diaz, Robert Gsellman, John Gant, Carlos Valdez, Dario Alvarez, Logan Taylor –

We now get down to levels that are impossible to project. Pitchers down here are still learning how to throw a third pitch and hit corners with their fastball, while, at the same time, A-level batters have absolutely no plate patience and will swing at anything.  I can’t begin to tell you how many pitchers I have seen than excelled in either Savannah or Brooklyn and never panned out in this sport. Right now, Diaz, Gsellman, and Gant look to be a lock to be in the Sand Gnats rotation. All three have had much success in their young professional career.

 

Low-A – Robert Whelan, Chris Flexen, Yoan Gonzalez, Martirez Arias, Persio Reyes –

Again, we can’t really project at this level, but we might be seeing the beginning of two future pitching stars on this team with Whelan (Kingsport - 12-starts, 3-2,  1.87) and Flexen (Kingsport – 11-starts, 8-1, 2.09). Both are extremely young and will be given the proper amount of time to mature.

 

Extended Camp – Andrew Church, Jose Medina, Corey Oswalt, Andrew Masse, Carlos Gomez, Brandon Welsh, Marcos Molina, Yoryi Nuez, Casey Meisner, Luis Silva, Jose Celas, Darwin Ramos, Scarlyn Reyes               

Two thing stand out here… the disappointment of last year’s #2 draft pick (Church: 5.91), and the incredible ERA of Medina (DSL2 – 12-starts, 0.35).

 

Summation – There is still a ton of talent on the mounds of Mets’ affiliates and the future of this team will either be directly affected by their talent or indirectly about who they are traded for.

Grade – A+
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Mack’s Morning Report – 11/30 – Ryan Braun, Winter Stats, Ike Davis, CitiField

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Ryan Braun

"I wish I had the ability to go back and change things and do things a lot differently. Unfortunately, I can't do that. All I can do is move on, try to do everything in my power to earn people's trust and respect and support. I don't anticipate winning back everybody's support, but I certainly intend to do everything in my power to do that. "I won't stop trying."

Mack – I think a simple ‘I’m sorry’ could have been added here, but there was none.

I would love to see the Mets wind up with this guy even though you know how I feel about liars and druggies (I want a one-year suspension with loss of pay). Still, his current suspension is what the league deals out so we have to live with it.

I have no problem with the contract… $19-20mil per year through 2020. This is David Wright kind of money and that’s fine with me. You can put this guy in left field the day he arrives (hey, time it with the arrival of Noah Syndergaard).

I would build a package around Daniel Murphy, Cesar Puello, and Rafael Montero. That might be enough if you take on the full salary. Things get cleared up real quick… your starting outfield is Chris Young, Juan Lagares and Braun, and Wilmer Flores plays second.

I’m not sure who leads off buy 2-3-4-5-6-7 is Flores, Wright, Braun, Young, Davis, and d’Arnaud.

Thoughts?
 

We haven’t checked into the winter results in quite a while, so let’s see  who’s doing what where.

CF Juan Lagares continues to impress in the DWL, sometimes leading the league with his .356/.391/.436/.827 stat line. Wilmer Flores is just getting going, but he’s playing second base and hitting .750 (6-8). On the downside, Jordany Valdespin looks like he’s bottoming out with his 84-AB, .190 output for Licey (DWL). Pitching wise, Marcos Camarena has impressed (13-G, 15.2-IP, 1.72, 0.64) and newcomer Joel Carrero is doing well (9-G, 8.1-IP, 11-K, 2.16) in the DWL. One last thing… Jeurys Familia is now pitching in the DWL (1.0-IP, 0.00) after a full stint in the Arizona League. 

Raymond Bureau -

For the first time since 1998, the Colorado Rockies have to find a first baseman. Future Hall-of-Famer Todd Helton retired after the 2013 season ended, leaving the Rockies in the unfamiliar situation. No one can fully replace Helton, but someone needs to try. According to Troy Renck of The Denver Post, the Rockies have two very good options in mind: Justin Morneau and James Loney. http://sportsinjuryalert.com/rockies-rumors-justin-morneau-1st-choice-for-1b-james-loney-2nd/#31Jq4QRZvQlEzjBc.99

Mack – The deeper we go into the Hot Stove season, the more we see that both Lucas Duda and Ike Davis’ name just doesn’t come up as a first base option to teams looking for a new one. No, the Mets are stuck with this problem and the only way out is to get back into the head of Davis and get it screwed on correctly. I’m telling you… all he has to do is get off to a good start and get the fans and beat reporters behind him and he will be the first baseman we all dreamed he would be the day the Mets drafted him. 

Kristie Ackert -

Two agents representing players the Mets have talked to this offseason admitted privately that the ballpark’s reputation is something that their clients have had questions about this offseason. “It’s something that is still in the (players’) heads out there, that it’s a tough park to hit in,” said one agent, who requested anonymity to protect his clients. “They see what David Wright went through there and it makes them a little nervous I think.”  http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/lost-citi-mets-cavernous-park-bad-rep-article-1.1531646#ixzz2m3hdelrX

Mack – Some things never change and, until someone hits 35-40 home runs playing for the New York Mets, the free agents will always blame part of the problem on the dimensions of the field.

 
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11/29/13

FLASH - SP - Bronson Arroyo

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Chris Cotillo@ChrisCotillo 3h
Looks like out, in on Arroyo today


Mack - Arroyo would be the perfect one-year deal. He's averaged 200 innings pitched for many years and would take the pressure off the production on Jenrry Mejia
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Draft 14 - A Quick Look At - LHP - Sean Newcomb - Hartford

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Sean Newcomb

  6-9-13  -  11.Sean Newcomb, LHP (Hartford): Will be the highest pick out of the America East Conference since Travis Jankowski, and might just go higher (he went 44th). Newcomb struck out 92 in 72 IP, posting a 2.81 FIP with his mid 90s fastball. http://www.minorleaguerundown.com/2013/06/09/2014-mlb-draft-top-30-prospects/ 

6-13-13  -  8. Los Angeles Dodgers — Sean Newcomb, LHP, Hartford - The 6’-5”, 240 pound southpaw was among the leaders in K/9 with a 11.5 mark this season thanks to a fastball that can touch 95 mph. Over 13 starts, he had a 3.75 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 92 K/37 BB over 72 innings while holding hitters to a .213 batting average. With increased improvement on his command, as well as secondary stuff, he should be a big name to watch next year. http://beforeitsnews.com/sports/2013/06/2014-mlb-mock-draft-1-0-no-time-like-the-present-2513748.html?currentSplittedPage=2

8-14-13 – Through The Fence – Top 50 Prospects – 8. Sean Newcomb, LHP, Hartford - The 6’-5”, 240-pound southpaw was among the leaders in K/9 with a 11.5 mark this season thanks to a fastball that can touch 95 mph. Over 13 starts, he had a 3.75 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 92 K/37 BB over 72 innings while holding hitters to a .213 batting average. With increased improvement of his command, as well as secondary stuff, he should be a big name to watch next year. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2014-mlb-draft-top-50-prospects/36463#mwWwsFxSUZy7YC5V.99

9-10-13 – Top Arms in 2013 Cape Cod League - Sean Newcomb 6-5/240, Wareham Gatemen 22.1 IP, 28 K, 4.43 ERA: FB 88-94 CB 69 SL 76-79 CH 81-83 -  Spent most of the summer recovering from illness, and this led to some inconsistency (high ERA). Newcomb is a big lefty that uses little effort to throw in the mid-90s, with a lot of late dive. Most importantly, he improved every time I saw him pitch. http://bullpenbanter.com/2013-all-cape-team-pitchers/

9-30-13 – TTF Mock 2.0 - 8. Colorado Rockies — Sean Newcomb, LHP, Hartford  The 6’-5”, 240-pound southpaw was among the leaders in K/9 with a 11.5 mark this season thanks to a fastball that can touch 95 mph. Over 13 starts, he had a 3.75 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 92 K/37 BB over 72 innings while holding hitters to a .213 batting average. With increased improvement of his command, as well as secondary stuff, he should be a big name to watch next year. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2014-mlb-mock-draft-2-0-draft-order-set/38280#5E3F5j1jWOgE69bJ.99 

10-15-13 – Baseball America - 19. Sean Newcomb, lhp, Hartford: Breakout Cape Cod League performer has a durable 6-foot-5, 240-pound frame, and he flashes a four-pitch mix with mid-90s heat. http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/2014-draft-top-50-october-2013-carlos-rodon/

10-31-13 – TTF – Sean Newcomb shows a plus fastball that tops out at 96. He also features a cutter/slider, and a curveball. He’s also known to mix in a changeup. Not surprisingly, the fastball is easily his best pitch. The cutter/slider is solid. Improved command of his secondary pitches is a big key for Newcomb’s continued development. Mechanically, Newcomb features a relatively low effort delivery. He shows good arm speed, but occasionally struggles with maintaining his release point. He throws from a natural 3/4 arm slot, with clean, rather than whippy arm action. Pitchers are always injury risks to some extent, but Newcomb’s delivery doesn’t contain any red flags. At 6’5, he should get good downward plane, though he sometimes gets too low on his back leg, causing him to leave pitches up in the zone. Using an abbreviated leg lift, his mechanics stay consistent from the stretch. Sean Newcomb has the size and fastball velocity that teams covet.  In terms of delivery and frame, he is drawing comparisons to Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. Everything he has shown so far indicates he will continue to improve. With a solid junior year, he could go within the top twenty picks of the 2014 draft. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2014-mlb-draft-sean-newcomb/39495#JdMvtKL1EPdg1xCE.99

11-4-13 – MLB Draft Insider - Top 14 for ’14: College Pitchers - 3. Sean Newcomb / LHP / Hartford – Newcomb will get comparisons to Sean Manaea as a left-handed starter who popped this summer and will face inferior competition this spring, but as a southpaw with good size (6-5, 240) a fastball that has touched 97 and an above-average slider and average change, he’s got a chance to put himself into top 10 considerations. http://mlbdraftinsider.com/2013/11/top-14-for-14-college-pitchers/
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Draft 14 – Ryan Avidano, Jacob Gatewood, Alex Jackson, Jeremiah Mohammed, Benito Santiago

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draft - ryan avidano10-30-13 - Clint Longenecker/BA – WWBA World Championship - Championship game starter LHP Ryan Avidano, 18, was named the event’s most valuable pitcher after throwing four scoreless innings and striking out seven versus three hits against the Burn, who entered the championship game undefeated and having scored nearly six runs a game. The 6-foot-7, 215-pound Avidano has an extra-large frame, lanky build and long limbs. Avidano (Starr’s Mill High, Fatetteville, Ga.) has a deceptive delivery and mid-to-high-80s fastball. He threw his fastball for strikes and relied on his breaking ball-changeup combination, throwing offspeed pitches on nearly half of his pitches. . http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/evoshield-canes-win-perfect-game-wwba-world-championship/


10-29-13 – Jim Callis – Top 10 World Wood Bat Association World Championship (WWBA) Jupiter, Fla - 2. Jacob Gatewood, SS, Toronto Blue Jays Scout Team (Clovis, Calif., HS/Southern California) -  6-foot-5, 190-pound athlete can put on a show in batting practice, needs more consistent game production. http://ht.ly/qi5No


10-15-13 – Baseball America - 6. Alex Jackson, c/of, Rancho Bernardo HS, San Diego: Pairs plus power and arm strength with athleticism and a chance to stay behind the plate. http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/2014-draft-top-50-october-2013-carlos-rodon/


10-27-13 – PG Showcase – RHP Jeremiah Muhammad (Coral Springs Christian Academy, Somerset, N.J.) intrigued with his 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame and quick arm in two innings of relief with the Atlanta Blue Jays. Muhammad, who hails from the Garden State but attends school in the Sunshine State, worked in the 87-90 range and was around the zone. He coupled his heater with an 11-5 shaped, 75-76 mph curveball that flashed two-plane bite. At this point, the righthander is raw, more of a thrower who could stand to improve his angle and rhythm, but Muhammad’s physicality and speed of his arm are certainly attention-grabbers. http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/projectable-righties-rule-as-playoff-push-begins-in-jupiter/


9-11-13 - Sully’s 2014 Top 100 MLB HS Draft Prospects – 47. Benito Santiago – C, Coral Springs Christian Academy (FL) http://www.ninebaseball.org/Wordpress/sullys-2014-top-100-mlb-hs-draft-prospects/
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Mack Ade– Organizational Evaluation By Position - C

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In Queens, it’s all about Travis d’Arnaud (AAA: .304, MLB: 99-AB, .202). We haven’t seen him play a complete season since 2011 when he went .311, 21-HR, 78-RBI at the AA-level. I believe we have the real deal here and frankly, he’s already proved that defensively in his first 31 major league games last season. Will the bat come around? I believe so, especially if he gets off to a decent start. My projection: .280, 17-HR, 75-RBI. His backup could be Anthony Recker (MLB: 135-AB, .215) or Juan Centeno – (AAA: 213-AB, .305 – MLB: 3-10, .300) – My guess is he’s still not a member of the team yet.

Regarding AAA, it seems to me that the best thing they could do I play Centeno here every day so he’s ready in case d’Arnaud goes down the injury road again. His backup looks to be now organizational catcher Blake Forsythe – (AA: 307-AB - .192, 10-HR) – and possibly Kai Gronauer – (AAA: 36-AB - .250).

And now we get to our other top prospect catcher, Kevin Plawecki – (A/A+: 449-AB - .305/.390/.448/.838, 8-HR, 80-RBI). In fact, when everything is said and done, he may wind up the starting Mets catcher around 2016. His credentials are for real, hitting .343, .341, and .359 at Purdue. He’ll play 2014 as a 23-year old and I can’t see any reason why he can’t finish 2014 in Las Vegas. Plawecki is your typical college catcher every team wants. The Mets thought they had a similar ‘catch’ in Forsythe, who impressed them after a superb sophomore year at Tennessee (2009: .347, 15-HR, 46-RBI). Frankly, there maybe never would have been a Plawecki pick if Forsythe worked out. Still, the Mets look like geniuses with this one and could be setting up a future trade that they could call the shots on. Remember… d’Arnaud came to the Mets because Toronto had two great prospects (J.P. Arencibia)which allowed them to then trade one off for that year’s Cy Young winner. Only potential great catchers can do this because they develop so rarely. This is a great pick of a great player that will result in a great addition someday to the Mets’ 25-man squad. Just who that is and what position that person will play is yet to be determined. Backup in Binghamton looks to be Xorge Carillo – (Binghamton: .296), another good bat.

We fall back out of the clouds in A+ with three candidates… Cam Maron – (St. Lucie – 285-AB, .235), Nelfi Zapata – (Sav/St. Lucie – 104-AB, .192), and Jeff Glenn – (Savannah: 225-AB, .196). The Mets don’t seem to be giving up on Maron who was sent to the Arizona Fall League last month to work on his game that produced him becoming a Sterling Player of the Year only a year ago in Savannah (2012: .300). Plawecki has rightfully passed him by but I see Maron in the organization for years to come. He will be backed by a so-far disappointing Albert Cordero – (Sav/St. Lucie: 211-AB, .227), and Tomas Nido – (Brooklyn: 119-AB, .185).

The rest of the catchers on the affiliates are either far too early to project or are currently producing at sub-par levels.  Currently Savannah projections are Edward Rohan – (Brooklyn/St. Lucie – 71-AB, .268) and Colton Plaia – (Brooklyn – 94-AB, .170), while Brandon Brosher – (GCL: 61-AB, .180) while Adrian Abreu – (Kingport: 88-AB, .182), Luis Arizurieta (DNP) and Jose Garcia – (GCL: 118-AB, .229) look to be left behind for one of the short-season teams. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a college catcher drafted early that could be sent directly to Savannah.

Lastly, in July the Mets signed Venezuela prospect Ali Sancez for a $690K bonus. Ben Badler had him as the 25 top Latin prospect of the year and the 2nd catcher. Badler’s comments at the time of the signing were:

"Sanchez is more athletic than [Jose] Herrera and has more experience catching, which is evident in his catch-and-throw skills. He’s an intelligent, high-energy player who has good hands and is a good receiver. He has a solid arm that plays up due to his quick transfer and accuracy. At his best he’s a quality defender who hits in games, though there are skeptics who question his bat. He doesn’t show much power, so he doesn’t stand out in batting practice, but scouts have seen him hit a lot against live pitching, showing a consistent approach and a contact-oriented swing. Sources believe the Mets have been tracking Sanchez for a long time and will make his signing a priority."

Summation –

            Based on the fact that 100 at-bats in the majors is the cutoff for a prospect and d’Arnaud has 99, the Mets currently have two of the top catching prospects in the game. This is big friggin news in baseball and gives the Mets a healthy outlook beginning this upcoming opening day.

Rating:  A+

 

 

 
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Free Agent Madness Continues – Ricky Nolasco

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The free agent madness continued with The Twins shelling out the most money they have ever spent (4-yr, $49mil) on a free agent to Robinson Cano… err… no, wrong… pitcher Ricky Nolasco.

I remember when I had to apply for disability payments. I was routinely turned down the first two times (which they told me happens to people with no legs) but I was also told not to worry. That when I got it, the first check would include a lump sum of all the monies owed backdated to the month I first applied. They were right… I was granted disability in the 2K per month range and my first check, minus the 30% cut to my attorney, was $18K.

I knew this money was coming just like these teams know the new television contract money is coming next year. Is the raising of this market values just teams over spending now because they know that the lion share of these monies are tied into multi-year contracts that they will be able to afford?

I easily could have gone out and bought a big flat screen TV on payments (if they existed then) and just cleared some ‘living costs’’ (i.e. trade an existing contract for a team controlled player) to get my budget back in line for the first year (season).

The guy has a lifetime (8-years) ERA of 4.38 and WHIP of 1.29. He’s pitch 2014 as a 31-year old. He has only 1,076 strikeouts in 1,312 innings. He’s reached a 2.5 WAR level (what he’s being paid to pitch) only once in his career. His career ERA+ is 94 (the league is 6% better) and his ERA- is 10.6, which is 8% below the league average.

Am I missing something here?

Is every team other than the Mets raising the salary bar this year in what we thought, going in, would be a talented-less free agent market?

Will there reach a point that all these team’s cups run over and the Mets can come in at the end and pick up the scraps at a decent rate?

We just wrote about a guy that is going to be paid around $12,000,000 a year for four years after coming off a 3-yr, $26.5mil deal negotiated by the Florida Marlins. Can we just assume major league ballplayers will be paid more every year regardless of what they produce during the period they were previously under contract?

Hell, under those conditions, Frank Francisco is probably due around $10mil in 2014.

 
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Mack’s Morning Report – 11/29 – 2018 Mets, Best Year Lineup, Druggies, Chris Young, Shortstop

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There’s been a considerable amount of positive chatter here on Mack’s Mets about the long range future of the Mets system. None of us are thrilled with the limitations of the current budget being given to Sandy Alderson, but, at the same time, we must give credit to what he has accomplished via the draft, trades, and signing international free agents.

Below is what this team could look like come the 2018 season:

1B – Dominic Smith – ETA: 2018

2B – Dilson Herrera – ETA: 2017

SS – Amed Rosario – ETA: 2017

3B – David Wright

C – Travis d’Arnaud

LF – Cesar Puello – ETA: 2014

CF – Brandon Nimmo – ETA: 2017

RF – Wuilmer Beccera – ETA: 2018
 

There’s one other way we can look at this team… currently. What is the current starting lineup and the last ‘best year’ they have had in baseball?

            1B – Ike Davis:                   2012:                         MLB: 32-HR, 90-RBI

            2B – Wilmer Flores:          2013:                         AAA:  .321, 15-HR, 86-RBI        

            SS – Ruben Tejada            2012:                         MLB:  .289

            3B – David Wright            2013:                          MLB:  .307, 18-HR, 58-RBI

            C  - Travis d’Arnaud          2012:                           AAA:  .333, 16-HR, 52-RBI

            LF – Chris Young                2011:                           MLB:  20-HR, 71-RBI

            CF – Juan Lagares             2012:                           AA      .283

            RF – Cesar Puello              2013:                           AA      .326, 16-HR, 73-RBI

-sure, half of these stats were in the minors and the majority of them were not last season, but don’t let anybody tell you that this team doesn’t have a lot of hitting talent. They simply have to do it again, beginning in April, in the majors.
 

First it’s Jhonny Peralta. Now I read that OF Nelson Cruz is seeking a 4-year, $75 million dollar deal and I’m starting to figure this whole thing out. Basically, you take anything you can get your hands on before the last season you are under contract and, if you are tested and things come up positive, you take your 50 games in stride and just tell your agent to pump up the volume because there is going to be some dumb son of a bitch team to pay you what you want, right? I’m sure the players union would fight this, but we need at least a one-year suspension with full loss of pay to begin with. I also think baseball needs to come up with some kind of formula that limits the percentage of addition salary a druggie can get on a new contract. That’s right, a druggie. These are professional ballplayers breaking the rules and altering their performance for nothing more than personal gain. But let’s be clear… there is no one more wrong here than teams like St. Louis that are willing to pay this kind of bloated salary to cheats and liars. 
 

I managed to catch OF Chris Young live on MLB-TV on Wednesday morning and it was interesting that he said that Sandy Alderson gave him a promise that he would play every day and ‘he would get his 600 at-bats’ next season. That was a lot more than Alderson said last week to reporters. My assumption is Young is reporting this correctly and Alderson was easing all of us into this decision. More slickness by Sandy. Boy, I get sick of all this syrup. 
 

Alderson on Shortstop:

“So is it conceivable that Ruben Tejada or someone within in the organization is playing shortstop for us on Opening Day? I think the short answer is yes. But, again, what we’re trying to do is improve the team as a whole. And so while shortstop is an obvious place for improvement, it’s not the only one. And if we’re successful elsewhere, as many clubs do, they get by on their strengths and hope to be as adequate as possible in those areas where they’re weaker.”

Mack – It amazes me how much Sandy Alderson is sounding like a politician these days. I guess you do reach a time when you realize that it wouldn’t kill you to say something nice about the ballplayers you already have on your team, especially when you are also beginning to realize that the market for a decent free agent shortstop is quickly coming to an end. Now, go back and read the paragraph again and you’ll see what a half-assed attempt it was for saying something nice about Tejada.

I would like to see Tejada get another shot but it’s not going to work unless somebody starts publically believing in this kid. There was no problem here two years ago so there easily could be no problem this year. Age doesn’t come into play, only confidence, team acceptance, and attitude.

It is so important that guys like Tejada, Ike Davis, and Travis d’Arnaud get off to a good start. It’s no guarantee for a great season (remember John Buck’s start last year), but these guys have already proven they have the talent to succeed at this level. All they have to do is to remember how to do I again.
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