Coming Up Today:
9:30 A - Mack - It’s Time to Tweak the Bullpen.
9:30 A - Mack - It’s Time to Tweak the Bullpen.
11 am – Herb G - Mets Minor League Report - Supplemental: Month End Summary
2 pm - Reese Kaplan - Building a Better Bench
5 pm - Alex Jackson, Bradley Zimmer, Charlie White, Max Pentecost, Stuart Fairchild
8 pm – Top 11 C in 2014 MLB Draft - Updated 5-2-14
Jared King – King represents everything Sandy Alderson defines as a successful baseball player. He was a fifth round pick (2013) out of Kansas State University, where his on base percentage his last two seasons were .453, and .439. He came to the Mets with a reputation of having good contact, something not easily taught. The ex-center on the KSU football team (6-1, 215) specializes in patience at the plate.
I caught up with him in the Savannah Sand Gnats dugout prior to the May 4th game against the Rome Braves.
Mack – Jared, you were drafted on day two in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. Take us through day one and two of that draft.
Jared – I was still playing college ball in Corvalis when day one opened up. There was a very small chance that I would be drafted that first day so, when I wasn’t, I wasn’t affected by it. Day two was different. A bunch of us sat around listening to the picks over the Internet and it was so kool to actually here your own name called out over the radio.
Mack – The Mets paid you $450,000 as a signing bonus. I ask this of all the bonus babies… what was the first thing you bought when you cashed the check.
Jared – (smile) Actually, it was a pair of sunglasses so I could play baseball better.
Mack – The first answer of the last question is mostly ‘a truck’. You finished last year with 222 at-bats for the Cyclones. Tell us what it was like to adjust to ‘the grind’?
Jared – Describing it as a grind is so accurate. It was a huge grind. I especially found that I had to pace my emotions through the season.
Mack – While we are on the subject of Brooklyn wasn’t playing in New York City a blast?
Jared – Well, it was very cool playing in Brooklyn, especially coming from where I grew up and went to school. The fans there kept you accountable for your actions and the electricity was always over-charged.
Mack – Okay, everybody has told you how miserable this stadium is and, trust me, it gets worse in the summer. Are you doing anything to help, as we say locally, ‘play well and get the hell out of here before the all-star break’?
Jared – (laughing…) Well, I actually look upon playing here as an honor. There is so much history in this stadium and town (FYI – Cy Young and Babe Ruth pitched in a stadium located where the current Grayson Stadium stands) and I think it’s great playing here.
Mack – I’m impressed with your OBP, especially in college (.424), mainly due to your high level of walks. Were you taught to be this patient or is it just how you always appreciate the game?
Jared – I developed it in college while I played in the Big 12. I concentrated on slowing my at-bats down which tended to create more pitches outside the zone.
Mack – You do realize that OBP is the key to Sandy Alderson’s definition of a successful baseball player? And, it was probably the reason you were drafted?
Jared – (smiling) – It really doesn’t matter how you get on base, does it?
Mack – Is there someone back home or in college that was your biggest influence on playing this game so well?
Jared. This is an easy question. Both my father and brother. They both taught me how to play the game. My father (Jeff) played in the Yankees organization and my brother was drafted by Pittsburgh. I wouldn’t be here without the two of them.
Mack – Last question… what if she said no (Jared threw out the first ball Saturday to his girlfriend and proposed to her in front of the home crown)?
Jared – (laughing)… now, THAT would have been embarrassing.
Jared does have some work to do. You would think someone with his body frame would bring power to the game, but, so far, it hasn’t. Can his past success with contact be adjusted to include pop?
Also, scouts have tagged him as a defensive liability; however, he has no errors so far this season. He also makes up his lack of speed with tremendous hustle and determination.
King is the personification of team player and it is impossible not to root for him to be a success as a New York Met.
ETA: He’s playing 2014 as a 2-year old. I’d like to think he could end this season in Florida and then play Binghamton in 2015; however, it’s going to take a good hot streak to push his way through the meh crowd of AA and A+ outfielders ahead of him. With success, maybe OD 2016.
John asked -
I just read an article and here are Austin Wilson's stats so far this year. Through 27 games, Wilson is batting .309/.382/.495 with a league-leading 24 RBIs. Too bad we didn't draft him in the second round last year. How is that kid doing that we drafted? Is he even playing yet!
Mack – I try very hard not to keep up with the guys that I wanted the Mets to draft and didn’t get my wish. This is especially true with Wilson who I wanted the Mets to pick with the first round pick. I was flabbergasted when he was still available for the Mets second pick and they still didn’t pick him.
The Mets picked high school pitcher Andrew Church with the 48th overall pick. Wilson went next at #49 to Seattle. Church was a troubled high school student that had trouble with his coaches and teachers. He actually attended three different high schools over a four year period and was tagged early by scouts as a ’trouble maker’. He posted a 5.91 ERA for the GCL Mets last season and remained in ‘Extended Camp’ this season.
I guess we need to assume that Sandy and Company have a plan here, but, so far, my choice of the polished outfielder seems like the better choice.
We also need to keep ourselves fresh on what’s going in at Las Vegas with SS Wilmer Flores. Flores’ bat continues to heat up… he went 1-3 ‘so far’ on Sunday in the first game of their suspended doubleheader with Tacoma… which translates to a .353 batting average over his last 10 games, with 3-HRs (in the last two nights) and 11-RBIs and nine runs scored in 34 at-bats. 10 game stat line: .353/.389/.559.