Morning Report – October 21 – Rob Whalen, PLAYER A/B/C/D, Javier Baez, Grandy, Familia, Tapia


Rob Whalen on using ‘the clock’ (being used in the AWL) -
“We played our first game at Salt River so we experienced the clock right away. Honestly, didn't seem to make a difference. Guys weren't in any more of a rush between pitches or between innings taking their positions. I'm not a fan of it. The game was still fairly long and slow due to walks and tight strike zones. I think if the zone opened up a little bit you would see less walks and more contact which would lead to the game speeding up a little bit. I don't believe it's going to stick around and make it to the bigs. It failed in college games and will fail in pro ball. If it were to stick, it shouldn't be on when runners are on base, they can just time the clock. Pitchers need more time with guys on holding the ball to freeze the runners is part of a pitchers strategy to keep guys from stealing, especially if they have slow moves to the plate when delivering a pitch.”

Mack – Let’s remember… Whelan is pitching in the Winter League for one reason and that is to build up innings and arm strength loss that became limited in the 2014 season due to his injuries that included an infection in his throwing hand. I like his comments because he’s not afraid to give an honest assessment at this point and he doesn’t seem to be looking over his shoulder wondering if one of the Mets execs is going to yank him off the band box (and if that came from jay, it could be quite the yank). Another fellow in the cap of a very talented, confident, almost cocky starter. Maybe we’ll soon see him rooting hard at New Your Ranger games.

Question… there were two players:

Player A – 399-AB, 
.346/.431/.529/960, 11-HR, 65-RBI

Player B – 331-AB, .326/.403/.547/950, 16-HR, 73-RBI

Player A is Mookie Betts and his combined AAA/AA 2014 stats.

Player B is Cesar Puello in 2013.

Betts has been called the best outfield prospect since Ted Williams while Puello couldn’t even get a top 100 prospect ranking before he made an appointment with Biogenesis.

Am I missing something here?

Let’s add two more

            Player C – 478-AB, .343/.405/.454/859, 6-HR, 61-RBI
            Player D – 453-AB, .349/.388/.446/834, 5-HR, 75-RBI

Some additional at-bats but comparable stat lines.

Player C is Matt Reynolds.
Player D is T.J. Rivera.

It’s obvious that ‘stat lines’ do not define the ballplayer, but I thought you’d find all this interesting.

Javier Baez, IF: The 21-year-old Baez was aggressively pushed through the upper minors and into the Majors in 2014 despite the Cubs’ losing season. The Puerto Rico native had a chance to make fans salivate for his 80-raw power but the 95-15 K-BB rate in 52 games helped to underscore just how raw this talented hitter really is. http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/a-minor-league-review-of-2014-reds-and-cubs/

Mack – We just recently did a breakout on super-prospect Addison Russell.             Then we have all-star Starlin Castro and his bloated contract. And now there’s Baez. The Chicago Cubs system simply can’t sustain all this talent at one position. Frankly, my money would be on Baez being potentially the most talented, leaving either Castro or Russell for the trading block. 

Curtis Granderson, right field  -  The nicest thing you can say about Granderson is that he wasn’t Chris Young. The move from Yankee Stadium to Citi Field meant 30 home runs was no longer a possibility, but he did hit nine more doubles in 2014 than he did with the Yanks in 2012 (his last full season). But $60 million should do more than buy you a .227 average and 1.3 WAR.  Grade: C–  http://www.metro.us/newyork/sports/mlb/2014/09/30/mets-2014-report-card/

        Mack - Oh, let's get off the back of this guy. I don't think anyone in the history of this game managed to play worse in the first month of this past season and still keep his composure around all the beat guys, fans, and teammates. He worked his way up,  being knocked around the lineup and hit .299 in September (87-AB) with 4-HRs and 17-RBIs. Prorate that out even with no fence movement and you arrive at 24-HR and 102-RBI. This is just about what his current contract is worth at this point in his career and, numbers like this win additional baseball games

Like I said, let's stay off his arse and give him another shot here. We may be pleasantly surprised..

Jeurys Familia - Familia is obviously a keeper; in fact, he may have the best pure stuff of any pitcher the Mets have. Now that he's established himself as a confident and effective late-game reliever, the Mets may give him a chance to compete for the closer's job in spring training. Of course, regardless of what inning he's pitching in, Familia is a huge asset in the Mets bullpen and should be for years to come. http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2014/10/10/determining-fate-for-each-member-of-new-york-mets-bullpen-in-2015/#slide_25

            Mack – Familia is now on my very short ‘keeper list’ with guys like David Wright, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Jacob deGrom. I said years ago, long before there was ever a mention of the other three pitchers I wrote in this paragraph, that Familia was the kind of pitcher you build a staff around. He was a young Mets starter than, but his talent hasn’t changed. I believe in the long run he will become the Mets closer before 2015 ends and will star in the 2016 All-Star game in that role.

The Tumbler: Domingo Tapia, RHP: Tapia can hit triple digits with his fastball but his control has always been less than ideal. Things went from bad to worse in 2014 and he walked 51 hitters while striking out just 59 in 109.0 innings of work. He needs to find a more consistent secondary offering to help put batters away. http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/a-minor-league-review-of-2014-marlins-mets-nationals/

Mack – Boy, we haven’t talked about this guy for a long time and it may be a long time before we talk about him again. I remember how excited Frank Viola was to get a look at his 97mph… slider… but, control wise, he makes Jack Leathersich look like Tom Glavine.

‘On paper’, he’s scheduled to pitch in the Binghamton rotation, but so is Matthew Koch, Kevin McGowan, Luis Cessa, Michael Fulmer, and Luis Mateo. My guess, due to Fulmer’s surgery and Mateo’s rustiness, he’ll get one more chance in 2015.


Tom Brennan said...

Whelan sounded really intelligent for such a young guy. That counts a lot. I totally agree with the Betts/Puello comparison. Betts may be better long terms, but Puello has a bad first half and a good second half in 2014 and people are ready to move on. I see him as our 5th OF in 2015 - maybe better. Lagares had a terrific 2011 and then an off year in 2012 in AA, and he got the same treatment.

All TJ has done is hit from day 1 as a minor leaguer. My guess is he makes it to the bigs somewhere. He is amongst a lot of stiff competition in Mets minors, unfortunately.

Seems like Tapia should be another Familia with his velocity - but his results have come nowhere close. It may look easy watching the game on the tube, but Domingo is one example of how it is anything but easy.

Watched Million $$ Arm flick last nite...I enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

Followers of my prospect list will know that I've been severely down on Domingo Tapia for almost 2 years now.

Quite frankly I'm not worried about the control AT ALL.

In 109 IP with Port St. Lucie this year, Tapia has a 4.2 BB/9 rate which is better than Leather Rocket's rate and quite frankly isn't terribly bad for an MLB reliever.

What REALLY troubles me is that he only K'd 56. That's a 4.6 K/9 rate.....that's flat out terrible.

For someone who possesses a 100-102 mph FB with a 95-97 Slider.....you would think you would K a lot more guys. Shoot Leather "Rocket" throws 12 mph slower but racks up TRIPLE the amount of K's.

Whatever Parnell did to reduce his velocity and add movement, Tapia needs to do and QUICK, cause if that fastball is as straight as I think it is....He's gonna get torn apart in the PCL when he reaches that level.

Anonymous said...

Yikes.....I just realized I'm so down on him....that I dropped him off of my Top 30 Mets prospects all together.

Tom Brennan said...

And Tapia has a ton of competition in this organization, so this is not the time to try to muck through as he has so far in his career.

2015 is a really key year for this guy. Paul Sewald, who I know is one of Mack's favorites, would absolutely kill with Tapia's stuff.

So I'd stick him in the pen and see if anything changes. Heaven knows we have enough starting prospects.

Unknown said...

Puellos and Reynolds stats will be looked at for being pacific coast league enhanced. So that may push them down the prospect list a bit. I am still disappointed no one in the press really pushed for the exact reason Puello was on the shit list this year. I have a feeling he gets dropped from the 40 man roster crunch we are soon about to face.
Also in C Grands defense he was never put into 1 position in the lineup to stay, he was thrown all around. Make him your 6th or 7th batter and leave him there.

Anonymous said...

I think Puello makes the 40 man cut for one more chance, there are several other players that would be expected to pass through Rule 5 and the Mets have a number of DFA candidates. Hard to say what he really is, but the AA performance would have plenty of teams taking a chance on him. Betts best OF prospect since Ted Williams? I hope that refers to only the Sox, but lets behave ourselves here a little bit, the guy can hit for sure, but Ted Williams? He is a small guy with some pop, but he is not even expected to be a 20 HR guy, so even mentioning him in the same sentence as the Splinter seems extreme. Time for Tapia to move to the pen to see if he has a ML future in front of him, but I agree that the peripherals have always been lacking with this guy, outside of a crazy GB rate, which can play in the pen. haven't looked at his stats recently, but I think he also developed a bit of a problem with the long ball. Puello is my breakout candidate this year as the 5th OF to start. If he were to get the groove back, he has the talent to start in RF, so I would like to see a platoon of MDD and Puello to start; the other options are older players or a blockbuster trade, which Sandy has shown no inclination on so far.
Anon Joe F

greg b said...

I think its obvious that the front doesnt think much of Peullo, they started journey men players instead of him. I see him taking off the 40 man roster.

greg b said...

The player in the system who does nothing but hit and plays 3 infield positions would be a great backup infielder is TJ Riveria. But his going to be 26 and Mets finally sent him to AA.

Reese Kaplan said...


There's a difference between a key guy you wouldn't trade and someone whose contract makes him impossible to trade. David Wright is in the latter category. You wouldn't slide Flores over to third and take that $20 million per year saved and address other needs? I sure would.

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

Tapia is very frustrating to watch - such uncontrolled talent

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

You are right... Seward is proving what Dillon Gee has proved before and Tom Glavine proved before that.

You don't have to have the blazing fastball. You just need 3-4 + pitches and the intelligence to mix them effectively

(having them all with the same delivery doesn't hurt also)

Mack Ade said...

Joe F

it was a joke

Mack Ade said...

Reese -

The Mets wouldn't address other needs with the $20mil.

They'd pocket it.

Tom Brennan said...

I always look for trends, not for what a guy did in a season. Dekker hit .336 in AAA, but .420 in his last 42 games. Statistically significant upgrade. Same with Puello. Something was wrong in the first half. In the second half, he was markedly improved. Good enough for me to pencil him in as my #5 outfielder in 2015.

Mack, you mention a guy like Gee, whose last year in Buffalo was to the tune of a 4.96 ERA over 161 innings.

Logan Verrett actually has better minor league stats than Gee did, especially if you deflate his ERA and WHIP a bit for PCL pitcher-unfriendliness. 40% of his career innings were last year in PCL (11-5, 4.33). Somebody is going to want him in a trade as their 5th starter. A team in need of cheap pitching, why not? 28-13 career, 3.89 (3.60 prior to PCL), 1.19 WHIP, whose only weakness seems to be being HR prone.

Anonymous said...

Thanks goodness, I thought you had left your senses. I guess I should have paid closer attention to the sarcasm
Joe F

Michael S. said...

I understand tempering expectations for offensive players based on PCL stats, but when they've also hit at AA I wouldn't 'punish' them for something that's out of their control.

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