Morning Report – September 1 – Klaw-Chat, Mack’s Prospect List, Struggling Mets, Rafael Montero


Jerry (Rapid City) - Dilson Herrera is being promoted. How well do you expect him to play?

Klaw   - I think he's their second baseman of the future. I couldn't tell you how he or anyone else will do in the next 50-100 at bats, though.

Kevin (STL) - Can d'Arnaud really be a LF option? I keep seeing shades of Todd Hundley flipping his shades down and missing fly balls.

Klaw  - I don't get this at all. His bat doesn't profile out there. If the concussions mean he can't catch every day, then I'm not sure he has a regular role.

Ryan (NY) - What's the ceiling on this Herrera kid the Mets just called up?

Klaw  - Above average regular.

A bunch of us here do prospect lists.

Christopher Soto posts up the official Mack’s Mets list, whose time breakers seem to be the level one has played on.

Stephen Guillbert has his favorites on the right side bar.

Thomas Brennan handles the three short season teams and he’s basing everything on tools, smoke, mirrors, and gut opinion.

Me? Well, I’m not writing a list with a specific amount of ranked players. I don’t think I have ever seen a professional baseball team with 25 legitimate prospects at the same time. Baseball just doesn’t work that way.

First thing first… I’m really tough at this. I practice the belief that every decent team replaces only five or less of their 25-man squad every year from within their system. Oh, they may sign a free agent or do a trade, but internally, five additions is a lot.
Secondly, even after drafting 50 players every year and fielding two more DSL teams, having 10 players in your minor league system that someday become viable major league ‘starting players’ is an amazing feat.

I’m always wrong on the conservative side. I was wrong about Jacob deGrom and Juan Lagares, but I’m seldom wrong by predicting someone is going to super duper great and he turns out a dud. In my case, I just don’t project a lot of super duper shit in projecting players.

I have three categories… the ‘Gold List’ are ‘bet the bank on these guys… the ‘Silver List’ have a future in major league baseball though it is still undetermined if they will star, sub, star, relieve, etc., and for what team.

Lastly, there is the Futures List, which means nothing. These are the few guppies that are beginning to wiggle themselves to the top of the developmental pond.

The ‘Gold’ List –

            Starters – Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, Steven Matz, Robert Whalen
            Bullpen – None
            Everyday – Kevin Plawecki, Dominic Smith, Dilson Herrera, Brandon Nimmo

The ‘Silver List’ –

Starters – Corey Mazzoni, Logan Verrett, Matt Bowman, Tyler Pill, John Gant, Robert Gsellman, Michael Fulmer
Bullpen – Dario Alvarez, Akeel Morris
Everyday – Matt Reynolds

The Futures List –

            Starters – Marcos Molina
            Bullpen – none
            Everyday – Amed Rosario, Michael Conforto, Jhoan Garcia

I lust listed 22 players, 12 of which are starting pitchers. It’s three short of the impossible 25 players I just mentioned that I have never seen on one team’s prospect list. I have never seen the Mets this deep in quality future major league players.
Now… a couple of warnings… a couple of these will burn out before they go through the affiliates while a couple more will wind up on the DL with a major injury. Lastly, expect a couple of more to be traded in some future package.

But… in my opinion (please all you ‘anonymous’ guys out there… don’t beat a guy up just for an opinion), this is the future of your team for the remainder of this decade.

5 struggling MLB teams that could contend in 2015 –

#3 – New York Mets - A laughingstock since they missed the playoffs by one game in 2007 and 2008 then collapsed under the weight of massive contracts and suddenly limited finances, the Mets have collected a stable of impressive young arms in the hopes of building a perennial contender. Zack Wheeler and Jacob deGrom have performed well in the team’s starting rotation this season, and Jeurys Familia, Vic Black, Josh Edgin and Jenrry Mejia have looked great out of the bullpen. Ace Matt Harvey should recover from Tommy John surgery in plenty of time to start 2015, and a series of less-heralded young arms like Rafael Montero and lefty Steven Matz could soon be ready to perform in the bigs.

What they need: A bat. With David Wright struggling all season — perhaps due to an injured shoulder — the Mets have only Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy carrying their lineup. Wright should be better in 2015, but the club will likely still need at least one more legitimate offensive component to crawl out of the doldrums next season. http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/08/mlb-teams-2015-improvement-red-sox-white-sox-cubs-mets-mlb

Mack – You’re going to read a lot of these kind of articles in the off-season, but the fact will still remain that the loss of offense this season by both David Wright and Curtis Granderson, and the complete failure of Chris Young, cost this team dearly in any attempt to make the playoffs.
The 2014 Mets would have conservatively won 20-25 more games with a normal offense backing the kind of pitching they have.

Basically, the team went into the 2014 off-season  with bat problems in two positions, and shortstop. Now, that seems to remain, added with burden of what’s not going on over at third.

Young is gone, but Granderson and Wright have to turn this around or we’ll just be back for more of this .230 BA shit all over the lineup.

Bernie Pleskoff on Rafael Montero -

Major League hitters walked more often than in Montero's past and were making more frequent and fairly loud contact off him in his brief stint with the big league club. That's to be expected. He will ultimately become familiar with the difference between Major League and Minor League hitters. The difference is huge. Combined in his seven starts, Montero yielded more home runs in his short time at the Major League level than he had in any entire Minor League season in the past. As has been the case in his career so far, Montero was hit harder by left-handed hitters than righties.

Montero's return to the Minor League system for further development should especially help his secondary pitches. He has a strong arm and good enough pitching mechanics to work out any issues uncovered in his initial exposure to the Major Leagues. If Montero keeps the ball down and trusts his stuff, I believe he will emerge as a long-term back-end-of-the-rotation starter. http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140829&content_id=92065924&vkey=news_nym&c_id=nym&tcid=tw_article_92065924


Thomas Brennan said...

HI HO SILVER. Dario Alvarez, your silver list reliever, who was on no one's list starting 2014, just got called up. What a story! He spends half his season in Savannah, gets a short bump to Lucie then to Bingo, dominates everywhere this year, and gets called up. WOW! His 2014 #'s are off the charts.

I still wonder if Akeel is a Gold List reliever. I am sure they only left him in Savannah to learn to close, and learn he did!

After a spectacular year in Bklyn last year, he put up astonishing #'s in Savannah (19 hits in 57 innings, 89 Ks, a smaller-than-miniscule ERA. I'd give him the gold!

I keep hoping Leathersich will be a Silver Surfer, but he keeps bumping his head in Las Vegas.

You're right, Mack...as excited as I get about some minor league performers, there's that 25 man roster funnel they have to eventually squeeze thru. Most get stuck somewhere in the funnel.

Ernest Dove said...

Hey, who went ahead and woke up Cesar Puello the past two weeks ?
If Brooklyn gets eliminated today, they should get crazy and promote conforto to Binghamton. Hang with Nimmo and talk about Citi field outfield or something.

Michi L. said...

My offseason wishlist:

1. Hire a new coach. This team needs new ideas and a new clubhouse cultrte. This team is acting like they are sleepwalking. Make terry your minor league super guy.

2. LF. Sign Yasmani Tomas. He isnt going to be Abreu or Puig but he could smash 25 HR with ease and has room for growing.
If not Tomas I would like Cuddyer.

3. Trade for Addison Russel. Man this kid is a gamechanger. Above average defense at short with the potential to hit 25 HR. He is going to strike out a lot but not in the dimension Baez does. I would trade for him even if its going to cost Thor + . You have a chance to grab a future star. Besides should we add significant talent with the trades of Colon and Murphy, so in my opinion we could afford to trade Thor

Anonymous said...

I like the Tomas plan, even with Nimmo and Conforto hopefully soon to the majors; who knows, maybe Puello breaks out next year after an uneven season. Also down with the Russell move, but I would wait to see what kind of prospects can be returned for Colon, Gee, Niese and Murphy, who are all likely to be moved next season. I also like having Colon to start the season next year to keep Harvey out of cold April and have full innings when he returns in May. Some team is going to lose a starter or two in April next year and Colon/Gee will be attractive. I'd like to stock pile talent from those trades and free up Nimmo or Conforto to move. The one thing the Cubs don't have much of in the field is LH bats, other than Rizzo, so maybe Conforto or Nimmo might have value to add in a package

Hobie said...

Mack-- Gold/Sliver/Bronze makes so much more sense than a 1-25 ranking where high-ceiling guppies get pegged at some position amongst the near-ready.

I have no additions/subtractions to your list, but have a supplemental list in my secret files—the Juan Legares Dark-horse Stable: Gabe Ynoa, LJ Mazzilli

Mack Ade said...

Hobie -

People have different definitions of 'prospects'.

Remember that 'anonymous' person that didn't like the low ranking of some of the short-season kiddies on Chris's list?

Well, he's right. The top prospects technically should always be playing either in AAA or AA simply because of their closeness to the pros.

Thomas Brennan said...

I'd throw Brad Wieck in the "futures" pen as a silver, although he did not pitch enough to really know about him.

I like Michi and Anonymous' ideas to shake up things. Let's go radical and win titles. Hindsight is 20/20 but signing "safe" Grandy and not Abreu was a colossal mistake. Go radical.

bob gregory said...

Another "why am I surprised? " move by Collins.......
Flores responds to being moved up in the line-up by getting 3 hits.
so of course Collins logical response is to bury him back in the 8th spot again.

Is this purely Collins? Or is this part of Alderson's intrusion into the manager's responsibility as well?

Why am I surprised when the team fires a Ticket Sales VP, holding them responsible for poor ticket sales.
But Collins gets a pass because he hasn't "been given much to work with" the past few years?
AND Alderson gets a complete pass???!!!

I'm sorry Mr. Alderson but creating a winning attitude does not start by stating unrealistic win goals that are looked at as delusional fantasies by everyone outside and inside your organization given the personnel you are responsible for supplying.
A winning attitude is not created by inconsistent and illogical accounts of holding employees accountable.

A winning attitude begins by a leader setting clear and reasonable expectations that includes every team member doing their best to contribute in every way they can to put their fellow team members in a position to succeed.
It is the leaders job to also determine which team members are not performing up to their responsibilities. Where the weak link in the chain really exists.

I'm sorry Mr. Alderson but it seems hard to believe that this Ticket Sales VP was the "weak link" causing poor ticket sales.

Perhaps Mr. Alderson you should invest in a mirror

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

Putting someone on a list of predicted major league baseball players who 'hasn't played enough to really know about him' just doesn't make any sense.

Especially relievers... who burn out so often in the AA/AAA range

Mack Ade said...

Bob -

wasn't that firing of the ticket VP a few years ago or is this another one?

bob gregory said...

Apparently a new victim. ....Leigh Castergin, Ticket Sales VP
reported by espn


Mack Ade said...

This actually happened before... around 5 years ago... the guy was a relative of one of the original writers here on Mack's Mets, David Rubin.

Jeez... being a VP of ticket sales has about the same life span as a helicopter pilot in Viet Nam

Thomas Brennan said...

With all of the put downs of Alderson, his (wilpons') worst move may really have been Grandy over Abreu... Likely, disastrous contracts like Bay's led them to play it safe. Safe to say that has been a huge error.

Ticket sales would be a whole lot easier if we'd signed Abreu.

I agree with you mostly, Mack, on Wieck. My sense is he'll pleasantly surprise us, but it is far too early to speculate, unless he were throwing 102.

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

I understand about Wieck, but it is you that is speculating him onto the SILVER list with less than 30 professional innings thrown.

Maybe the NICKLE hunch list :)

Thomas Brennan said...

Better than the Plug Nickel List!

Last year at this time, who would have had Dario Alvarez on ANY list? Can't wait to see him.

Reese Kaplan said...

I found the Flores-to-8th typical of Collins' inane management style. Regardless of his 3-hit game, wouldn't you want your worst hitter in the 8th spot (who is probably den Dekker -- or Granderson)? They won't humiliate the veteran Granderson that way because the have 60 million reasons not to...but why not den Dekker?

I also found it interesting that when Flores makes two brilliant defensive plays on Sunday, it gets nary a mention. However, when the player they want to have succeed -- Herrera -- makes errors -- it's just "growing pains".

Hey, I'm ready to jump off the Flores bandwagon, too, and I truly hope that Herrera is as good as we've been led to believe, but the agenda regarding these players is not hidden in the least. How do you think Daniel "Wally Pipp" Murphy likes sitting in the dugout knowing they're test driving his replacement?

Mack Ade said...

Reese -

No one has ever written that Herrera is a ++ defender on 2B.

He had 18 errors in 128 games with A+/AA this season, which is around typical for a season long middle fielder at those levels

as you are seeing, he has been a game changer with his bat and, at his current age, doesn't seem to be rattled in the batters box

it's going to be very hard to send this kid down again

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