Comment From Gila Monster - Are you buying into Zack Wheeler as as post-hype sleeper? He has an elite fastball,sinker, and curveball with an slightly below average slider. Doesn’t really have a change, but the curve does have nice reverse platoon splits.
Eno Sarris: yeah I wish he had that change, but it’s all there for him. You can see the role command plays in strikeouts with him. As he improved his command, all the whiff rates on his pitches went up. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/eno-sarris-baseball-chat-102314/
Mack – Let me start by saying that Sarris has been a big fan of Wheeler in the past writings.
I think that, in the long run, Mets fans will be happy with Wheeler, but ‘command’ is the main issue here. He reminds me so much of Mike Pelfrey, who also had all the talent but just can’t (couldn’t) put it all together.
Will the return of Matt Harvey take some pressure off him? I think it will, but we’ll have to wait and see, but I will tell you this… you line up a productive Harvey and Jacob deGrom is the first two games of a series against a given team and then follow it with Wheeler… well, there is going to be some batter’s fatigue that will set in before Wheeler hits the bump.
Fangraphs featured a 2-year projection on Braves 1B free agent and Mets ass kicker Adam LaRoche (http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/) -
LaRoche struggled to find a suitable deal in his last go-around with free agency despite the fact that he was fresh off a 33-homer season. Part of that, of course, was due to the draft pick attached to his name. He also had steeper competition, with Mike Napoli and Nick Swisher representing younger options coming off very strong seasons.
This time around, LaRoche could be free of draft pick compensation and is arguably the best first baseman on the market. I think something like his previous two-year, $24MM contract with a mutual option is the floor for LaRoche this winter.
There’s some case to be made for a three-year deal, which I would imagine to be the target for LaRoche’s camp, but that case would be much stronger had his numbers not dipped in 2013. My prediction is that LaRoche will land in that Napoli range and sign a two-year, $30MM contract.
Mack – LaRouche is NOT a Mets target in 2015 but I am sure Sandy Alderson would do anything he could do to join a three-way that could get the Mets either a decent corner outfielder or young shortstop talent, while, at the same time, banish this guy back to the American league where he should play out his career.
And my friends over at http://beisbols.org/2014/10/22/top-10-overvalued-free-agents/ listed OF Michael Cuddyer as one of the top 10 overrated free agents in this years market. The list, which includes SS Stephen Drew, SS Haney Ramirez, SS Jung-ho Kang, said about Cuddyer:
Thirty-five year old Michael Cuddyer played roughly a third of the 2014 season, yet he stands in line to net what will likely be his ‘last big contract’. Why will a thirty-five year old coming off an injury get paid? He is the best overall free agent right fielder, arguably, and indisputably the best free agent right fielder in terms of offense. Cuddyer had an OPS+ of 136 in 2013 and 149 in limited plate appearances (205) in 2014. It is also important to keep in mind that he plays for the Colorado Rockies, so park factors are in effect. wRC+, weighted runs created plus, does however adjust for those factors, showing that Cuddyer’s performance in Colorado was not due to park factors, or at least to a significant extent, posting a wRC+ of 138 in 2013 and 151 in 2014. A thirty-six (or older) Cuddyer leaves me concerned that he will be able to play right field at an average level, but one could argue that he could work on certain teams as a designated hitter. If we are looking in the range of $12 million to $13 million over the course of two years (age limits the years, but three years is not out of this world), then that is a considerable amount of money invested in an often-injured player who may not have a position as soon as 2015.
Mack – I particularly put up this post because Cuddyer seems to be the favorite on this site to be signed this off season by the Mets.
I also reported earlier this month that Andy Martino said that the Mets and Rockies are taking here, which could or not be true. A lot of people say a lot of things to Martino that never happen.
Me? Well, I’m not big on signing any 35 year old to a 2-year contract, but that’s just me.
And, it really is impossible to calculate the park effect along with the aging body effect added accordingly.
(Borrrrny (Kalai-m'tka) - Michael Cuddyer - he's getting early mention as a Mets' target, but I'm concerned in a year he'll be another anemic bat/suspect glove "old guy" who everyone wants to jettison. What's your analysis of Cuddyer's value next season and beyond?
Keith Law - Don't remotely see him as a fit for them.)
As most of you know, I live in the Savannah, Georgia area and, in the past, have covered the local schools in this area for the Morris News Service.
Georgia Southern University is much more known for its football program; however, in 2011, it produced a baseball player (as a sophomore) that led the nation in home runs (30). The player’s name was Victor Roache.
What was even more remarkable was the fact that he had 230 official at-bats that season and only struck out 42 times. He almost had more home runs than strike outs!
Sadly, he broke his wrist after only 17 at-bats in 2012 and the entire season was lost.
I remember writing about him back then and alerting my readers to remember the name, even though I questioned the quality of competition his school went up against. The Southern Conference was not famous for its baseball teams (Appalachian State, Davidson, Elon, Furman, Samford, The Citadel, UNC Greensboro, Western Carolina, Wolford) and I wondered on paper if he would produce the same power numbers if he was in a power conference.
Well, he was drafted in the first round (28th pick overall) by the Milwaukee Brewers and did not report for professional ball until the 2013 season. He opened, and closed at full-A with decent first year numbers (459-Abs, .248/.322/.440/762, 22-HR, 74-RBI), but he did strike out 137 times.
His numbers continued to decline this past season: A+: 433-Abs, .226, 18-HR, 54-RBI, 138-K)
Fangraphs did not have nice things to say about Roche:
The Tumbler: Victor Roache, OF: A potential high first round draft pick in 2012 based on his power potential, Roache slipped to the back end of the round after a serious wrist injury. He was healthy in 2014 but showed disturbing swing-and-miss tendencies. He racked up 138 strikeouts with just 37 walks. He hit just .226 and went deep 18 times in 122 games.
Still, this is the kid I want thrown in as part of some future deal with Milwaukee. Roache is legendary down here and his home runs were epic. I don’t know how much of his problems is bad healing from his injuries, a loss of confidence, or a little of both, but I’d love him to wind up in Las Vegas for a season to try and get his act together.