Morning Report – October 22 – Bartolo Colon, Rob Whelan, Gonzalez Germen, Michael Conforto, Akeel Morris


Everybody is going to start grading Mets players this time of the year who we’ll use the ones on this site and add some thoughts:

Bartolo Colon, starter  -  Mets fans probably expected more out of Colon due to an absurdly low American League ERA with Oakland. But in the end Colon was a solid, if not spectacular, pitcher. Frankly, he did about what should’ve been expected all along. He pitched over 200 innings and had a 4.09 ERA. It would’ve been nice to see it more in the 3.50 range.  Grade: C+  http://www.metro.us/newyork/sports/mlb/2014/09/30/mets-2014-report-card/

Mack – Do you remember all the times I say that all I’m looking for from my rotation pitchers is ‘three or less runs in seven innings’? Well, the top end of this is in the 4.09 range.

There really is nothing wrong with this guy except for the fact that there are a lot more exciting, young pitchers sitting all around him.

My guess is, if there was a market for Colon, he would already be gone. This would mean he would be around on opening day and your choice is to keep him in the rotation or move him to the pen as the long man.

Do you move the innings eater into the pen? Isn’t this the kind of pitcher you want in your rotation?

Frankly, if given a choice, I would rather move Gee and leave Colon where he is until ‘decision time’ at the all-star break.

Rob Whalen is just 20 years old and has never pitched above Class-A, so he's the kind of pitcher who could take his lumps in the AFL. He missed a good chunk of the season with an injury, so the Mets need to get him some more innings. He also won nine of his 11 starts and had a 2.01 ERA in 2014, so he certainly has some potential. Spending some time in the AFL should prepare him for the upper levels of the minors, even if he gets hit hard. - http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2014/10/07/arizona-fall-league-preview-for-new-york-mets-prospects/#slide_3

Gonzalez Germen - Germen isn't anything special, but as long as he has options he's a useful reliever the Mets can move back and forth between Triple-A and the majors all season depending on injuries and the need for an extra reliever. He has one of the best change-ups in the organization, so he can be effective in the big leagues and isn't a liability on the roster. That makes Germen a keeper for as long as he has minor league options available. http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2014/10/10/determining-fate-for-each-member-of-new-york-mets-bullpen-in-2015/#slide_25

Mack - I agree with the writer that I believe the biggest attraction to use Germen is the fact he has minor league options available, but frankly, there may be other in the system that are converting over to the pen and could pass German by. Guys like Erik Goeddel (Sept call-up: 2.70-ERA, 6.2-IP), Logan Verrett, Corey Mazzoni, and/or Matt Bowman could all make the switch, squeezing Germen out.

The ’14 Draft Pick: Michael Conforto, OF: This Oregon State alum had an excellent debut by hitting .331 with gap power. He also found a way to consistently get on base. The left-handed hitter hit OK versus southpaws, in terms of batting average, but his slugging percentage was 100 points lower against them in comparison to right-handers. Look for him to potentially open 2015 in High-A ball. http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/a-minor-league-review-of-2014-marlins-mets-nationals/

Mack – It turned out that he put up better numbers than any outfielder drafted in 2014. Okay… let’s say he continues to hit .300+ throughout his minor league career.

2015: He’ll start in St. Lucie and end in Binghamton

2016: He’s start in Las Vegas and end in Queens

MiLB (http://www.milb.com/news/awards/y2014/?category=reliever) is running its own search for the 2014 minor league relief pitcher of the year. They have seven names listed which includes:

Akeel Morris, RHP - 4-1, 0.63 ERA, 57 IP, 89 K, 0.72 WHIP, 16 SV, 17 SVO - MLB Organization: Mets - Morris did not allow a run in his first 12 appearances of the season and went on to lead the South Atlantic League in saves. The right-hander held opponents to a minuscule .103 batting average.

This is the kind of national press I’ve been waiting to see about Morris. It would have been nice to see that the team that pays his paycheck recognized this talent and promoted him to St. Lucie at some point last season.

2015 will be Morris’ 6th year in the Mets organization so the Rule V draft does come into play here. He also isn’t the 16 year old anymore that signed with the Mets and will play 2015 as a 21-year old.

The assumption is he’ll start the season with St. Lucie, but I sure wish they would test him and send him to Binghamton instead.


Thomas Brennan said...

Hey Mack

Those are good alternatives to Germen, but I wanted to go with a guy for whom I'll let the #'s speak for themselves:

In 2013 and 2014, he faced righties in 264 official at bats. They went .196/.307/.292 over that time period with 130 K's. Who put up those utterly dominant #'s? The Leather Rocket named Jack, none other.

Lefty vs. lefty, he was OK at .235/.356/.376 in 2014, so he needs to sharpen up there, but he gets left out of the mix when to me, the #'s speak for themselves.

IMO, Akeel Morris would have held his own in AA this year, in 2014. He averaged 3 hits per 9 in Savannah? OK, double it to 6 per 9 in AA. He K'd 14 per 9? OK, drop it to 10 per 9. His ERA was around 1? OK, double it to 2.00 in AA. All to say, they better jump him over St Lucie. Way too good for that level. The real question might be if he's already ready for AAA, not AA.

Herb G said...

The right approach for Morris is to start him at St. Lucie. If he shows, after 4 or 5 appearances, that he is handling it, they should bump him up to Binghamton and not waste any more time.

One real question it whether they put him on the 40 man roster to protect him. At 21, he still doesn't seem ready to be parked in some team's MLB bull pen for the year. But strabger things have happened.

Christopher Soto said...


I don't see how they can't add him.

When it comes to relievers there are teams who will most certainly try to hide him in the back of the bullpen like the Brewers did.

Thomas Brennan said...

I agree with Chris. Akeel could be added to a pen and just used in "safe" situations, and if he takes his lumps, it would be in major league games that don't affect the win/loss column. So I can envision his getting snatched.

Anonymous said...

They have to put some giddy up on Morris, he has two more years in the minors before he becomes a free agent and will be Rule 5 eligible this year. I think that some team would scoop him in a second and if he clogs up a roster spot, they can just return him with a small fee. Those sort of numbers get attention and he is 21 with several years of professional experience, so he is a prime candidate to get poached. This is another puzzling play by the Mets farm, he dominated a league without promotion and wasn't really being blocked by anyone, so I cannot understand why they would not move him up. I think he should start in STL, with the plan to promote early to AA if he continues his success. Ending next year in Bingo would set him up to join Vegas with one year left on his minor league deal, so if he is for real, they can have him ready for majors before FA. Don't understand why they would ice him when his clock is ticking, like Puello.

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

You can't keep using A-ball numbers to justify a placement of a pitcher at the MLB level.

I was talking about Germen and you said that Akeel Morris is a better alternative than the ones I listed

Thomas, he may be some day but he's not now, and hyping numbers isn't going to get him there any faster.

Christopher Soto said...


Well if they add him to the 40 man roster the team will not have to worry about him achieving Minor League Free Agency.

In regards to why they held him back....ever since the club was booted out of Buffalo, the front office has been making a conscious effort to try and win at the minor league level.

Savannah had a chance to win back to back League Titles were as St. Lucie was not even in the playoffs. It made sense to keep Morris in Savannah to help them in the playoffs. If I'm not mistaken the club also sent Amed Rosario and Michael Conforto to Savannah to help with the run too.

Why it is inconvenient, it's important to win in the minor leagues. These teams are their own respective companies that are in the business of making money. And if the Mets don't help them out, they'll find somebody who will....

Just like Norfolk and Buffalo.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hi Mack

No, I only referred to Leathersich as a better alternative. If it came across otherwise, to also include Morris, I did not mean it to.

The Morris point I made responded as to where he ought to start out in 2015. Morris is NOT major league ready, not by no means, but another team doing Rule 5 could cherry pick him and use him very selectively as he develops. I think Morris can handle AA at the start of next year, and possibly AAA depending on his spring goes, but most likely AA. I'd like him to skip St Lucie, but if they send him there for April, I'd be OK with that.

Thomas Brennan said...

And they also, in fairness, left Akeel in Savannah to settle into a new role for him, as closer, which he did really well with.

He had never closed before. Doing it in a safe environment for a few months to me made sense.

No reason though, now that he is used to closing, he could not close for Binghamton right out of the gate next April. Or not close, but pitch as a key member of its pen.

Anonymous said...

Next year will be his sixth in the Org and much like Puello, he will soon be coming up on finishing his 7th season, where he has to be added to the 25 man or pass waivers

Thomas Brennan said...

On the topic of Akeel Morris, I was just looking at BB America's top 20 prospects by league list. 20 for the 17 leagues totals over 300, as some (like Dilson, who they listed 12th in both A and AA) are listed twice.

They don't list Akeel. Hard to believe there are 20 prospects in just that league better than him.

They also did not list Reynolds in AA or AAA, so I guess they were not that convinced with him based on one strong year.

Interestingly, our NY Penn League players ranked particularly well, with 4 in the Top 10: Molina #1, Rosario #3, Conforto #7, and Urena # 10.

Three Vegasites in the PCL top 20 (Thor, at 6; Montero, at 14; Plawecki, at 16).

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

maybe BB America doesn't rank prospects solely on stats a la Amed Rosario.

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