From Baseball America –
The current Collective Bargaining Agreement and its bonus pools have created incentives for teams to select high school players early in the draft before spending less in the back half of the top 10 rounds, and 2014 saw the most aggressive use of that strategy in the three years under the current CBA. Nearly half of the high school players drafted in the top 10 rounds (47.1 percent) went in the top two rounds. More prep players went in the first 89 picks (43) than in the next 225 picks (42). The percentage of high school players taken in each round fell in every round in the top 10 (with the exception of ties). Only one high school player was selected in the senior-heavy 10th round. http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/draft-report-cards-vitals/
Mack – And guess what team was ranked first in 2014, with the drafting of 35.7% of their picks out of high school?
Read this very interesting article.
Eric Young, left field - Young led the Mets in steals (30) — and was tied for 12th in MLB — but that’s about the only positive for him. Young is a fourth outfielder who would be a nice bench player on a winning ball club. With the Mets, he got 77 starts. Left field, along with short, is the biggest need for the team. By the end of the season, Kirk Nieuwenhuis — a fourth outfielder in his own right — was often playing in Young’s stead. Grade: D http://www.metro.us/newyork/sports/mlb/2014/09/30/mets-2014-report-card/
Mack – Remember, I didn’t write this. The fact is Matt den Dekker finished the season ‘playing in Young’s stead’. I thought this was a decent secondary trade, especially since they traded a washed up pitcher for Young (sic), but I never considered him having either star or starting potential. Don’t get me wrong… I love his speed and sometimes he reminds me of Jose Reyes when he’s up, but the end result just isn’t there. Young will never be more than a .220-.230 hitter and the Mets have enough of them.
My guess is three outfielders are safe for opening day 2015… Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares, and super-sub Eric Campbell. Den Dekker is probably also safe but the Mets still need a fifth outfielder. It really shouldn’t be Young anymore.
LJ Mazzilli had a strong finish to the season in Advanced-A and made a cameo in Triple-A during the minor league playoffs. The Mets need to find out if he can be productive against pitchers with big league stuff, and that's why he's going to the AFL. Mazzilli will likely start 2015 in Double-A, so a stint in the AFL will prepare him for that. - http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2014/10/07/arizona-fall-league-preview-for-new-york-mets-prospects/#slide_3
Jarred Cosart - I’ve long been suspicious of Cosart because there hasn’t really been a change worth pointing to in the National League. He didn’t change his release point, his spot on the rubber, or his pitching mix with the Marlins, and yet his results started to improve. And it doesn’t help too much to point to his curveball, because we know his cutter/curve combo is decent from a stuff standpoint. But if a pitching-starved team let Cosart go, even if the return was decent, it does throw some shade on his upside. Especially since that command has been so bad for so long. But! Nice curve! Despite the below-average whiff rate (7.4%)! http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/finding-the-next-collin-mchugh-with-spin-rates/
After a disappointing end to what was once a promising season, many people think the Oakland Athletics will be looking to make offseason moves. Their right fielder, Josh Reddick, would be a good, inexpensive option for the Mets to pursue.
2014: $2.7mil-ARB/1 – FA/2017 – 27/yrs old – 363-AB, .264/.319/.446/765, 12-HR, 54-RBI, 16-doubles, 1-SB
Josh Reddick has power, speed and athleticism. He’s become known for wall-scaling catches in Oakland’s spacious outfield, and he’s got an excellent arm in right field. A lefty, Reddick has batted second as well as in the bottom third of the A’s lineup. He’s only had one year that’s particularly impressive at the plate, but this is partly because of injuries and the A’s tendency to platoon nearly everyone. His strikeout totals are concerning, but there are signs he can be coached out of that as he’s only 27 years old and on the front end of his peak years. And he’s currently only making $2.7 million with the A’s, which makes him a proverbial steal given his age, upside and established talents.
Even if Josh Reddick didn’t improve greatly as a hitter, he’d make the Mets’ outfield defense even more solid. In a pitcher’s park, with a pitching-heavy roster, this is no small consideration. If Reddick blossomed into a viable option behind leadoff, he’d be a dangerous table-setter with power and speed. Otherwise, he’d be as good of a seven or eight hitter as there is in the National League, giving protection to Daniel Murphy, David Wright, Duda and Travis d’Arnaud. Because he’s a known commodity but not yet a superstar, the Athletics couldn’t ask for the farm for him. And he’s comfortable playing under pressure and in big moments, which is exactly the kind of trait the Mets need more of. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/mets-consider-pursuing-josh-reddick/44175#T8uRs7qpZV22ELyC.99
Mack – Here’s a new name that we haven’t discussed in quite a while. He would be the perfect defensive compliment in right field to Juan Lagares in center and, he probably would hit a little better also. These are the kind of skilled athletes I want on my team. They don’t all have to be superstars. They just have to pull their weight.
Vic Black - Black is definitely a keeper, as he can add incredible depth to the back end of the Mets' bullpen. He may struggle with his control at times, but he has the stuff to pitch his way out of trouble when he walks a couple of batters. He won't be the team's closer next year, but he'll be a useful setup man. Of course, Black could be an interesting trade chip as well, as he has the stuff and the desire to be a closer somewhere else. http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2014/10/10/determining-fate-for-each-member-of-new-york-mets-bullpen-in-2015/#slide_25
Mack – Yes, these are old articles, but I just use them sometimes so I can tell you my thoughts on these players. Black is the kind of reliever that never gets the credit but all great bullpens have at least two pitchers like this that fill in the back end of the pen. They also can emergency close and especially come in handy on long, extra inning games. I really like this guy.
John Sickles’ ‘Pitching Sleepers’:
Chase Anderson, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
David Buchanan, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies
Jacob deGrom, RHP, New York Mets
Shane Greene, RHP, New York Yankees
Mike Fiers, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
Kyle Hendricks, RHP, Chicago Cubs
T.J. House, LHP, Cleveland Indians
Corey Kluber, RHP, Cleveland Indians
Collin McHugh, RHP, Houston Astros
Zach Putnam, RHP, Chicago White Sox
Tanner Roark, RHP, Washington Nationals
Matt Shoemaker, RHP, Los Angeles Angels
Chase Whitley, RHP, New York Yankees