Ernest Dove - The Possible Cuddyer Effect on Nimmo and Conforto.


  So I decided to randomly take a quick look at how the multi year Michael Cuddyer signing effects the development and advancement of Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto.

  History tells us (especially when history took place 1 year ago) that the Curtis Granderson signing, on a multi year deal, might actually mean that the signed player might actually play out his entire contract with the organization.  And so, as we now begin to mentally pen (not pencil) Grandy into our teams everyday lineup for another season, I wonder what fellow Mets fans are thinking about the extra year on the Cuddyer contract?

  Also, unless I am mistaken (I am a lot) I believe that the way the contract works out, the Mets will actually be paying Cuddyer more in the second year then they will in his first, so that would make it even harder to attempt any trading deadline move to a contender, if it was even warranted/needed, etc.
  Bartolo Colon himself has one of those higher-the-second-year contracts, and it didn't appear that teams were exactly fighting to offer top 10 prospects for the right to pay the extra money for this proven and ageless veteran. So then, lets say for the sake of argument (its November, what else is there to do other then speculate and argue) that Cuddyer remains a Met for the next two full seasons, with his second year of $12mil financially earning him a definite role in the Mets everyday lineup.  What might that mean for the organizations perceived top two outfield prospects, Nimmo and Conforto?

  Back in 2011, Sandy & company seemingly pulled a Sandy & Co type move in the drafting of Nimmo, a small town kid who didn't even play on a high school team. Not only did the front office go high school youth with upside, they really went high risk high reward on the kid who may or may not have been that highly rated by other organizations.  Well, over the past 3 years, Nimmo and the Mets have seemingly wrote the book on apparent proper development, advancement and progress. After going through the rookie ball/professional league grind in his first season, Nimmo began to excel in the following season, while in full season ball in the lower minors.  By his third professional season, Nimmo took that next step of further developing not only his skills, but his physical body itself as well.  He seems to have shown more pop, a few more Ks, a maintained high OBP and a lower batting average, all while continuing his ongoing development. 

  Along with Nimmo, comes the apparent change in philosophy pick in college hitter Conforto. From day one, Conforto was billed as an 'advanced' hitter, who may breeze through the minor league system.  Well, that never happened. He spent pretty much the entire season in rookie ball level, and only got a quick cup of coffee with an actually full season squad. However, the overall outlook on his talent, skill and advanced level of ability has not deterred the organization from again continuing to acknowledge his possible quick rise within the organization in the near future. So, with all this being said, how does the Cuddyer deal effect both of these prospects?

  Long before the signing, the Mets and their fans were already getting excited about Nimmo's progress, added shown power and potential, and some were happy to see him reach the AA level as early as he did last year.  So, naturally, with the team seemingly still in desperate need for excitement and talent in the major league outfield, some had questioned any return to the AA ball level, and dreamed of a trip straight to Las Vegas come April 2015.

  As for Conforto, we fans of minor league stalking and stat watching were beginning to live and die by every box score he was in, and have since continued to argue and speculate about his pending 2015 season, and where it will begin.  He's been rumored, projected, said to be going anywhere from low A Savannah, all the way up to AA Binghamton, right from the jump this coming spring.  But now, has any of this changed?

  Has the Cuddyer signing now caused two of the following to happen.  Has it caused the organization to now further cultivate, develop and nurture the talent of Nimmo by returning him to AA ball for at least another half season, and further gauge his physique, growth, and power, and work on the K rate?  And will it mean a possible full year of Conforto being at a level with only one letter A in front of it?

  No matter how much we all may speculate, argue, conspiracy theorize and debate, money never lies. While Juan Lagares and his gold glove man center field, the Mets are financially tied to two corner outfielders already for the next 2-3 seasons.  And with both corner outfielders finishing their contracts in their LATE 30s, we cant simply hope for and expect Sandy to sell high again and acquire top notch talent in any trades he may seek before their contracts expire, and if Nimmo and Conforto are knocking at the door.

 So what say you Mets fans?  Does the signing say anything about what the organization already has planned for their top outfield prospects ?


Anthony Carnacchio said...

Or the mets could have signed two veteran leaders who are going to propel them into the playoffs with a strong rotation and solid bullpen. Everybody worries about the future, nimmo and Conforto should force their ways into the big leagues, until that happens, the mets are doing the right thing by having two solid outfielders man the corners.

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

I don't think the Mets are financially tied to any of their current corner outfielders past 2015. They may have to pay them, but if there is a better player in their system, they will play them.

My guess is the current plan doesn't extend past 2015, but the obvious 2016 outfield, on paper, would be the same.

Nimmo and Conforto will be affected.

I fully expect nothing to change in 2015 for Conforto. My guess is he will start in St. Lucie and finish the season in Binghamton.

The Nimmo situation could be interesting. The word from Sandy is he will start the season for AAA-Las Vegas which means there is a good chance he could be ready by the all-star break.

I would then have Cuddyer play 1B against left handed pitching and put Nimmo in LF as a sort of platoon player...

1B - Duda/Cuddyer

LF - Cuddyer/Nimmo

Mack Ade said...

I agree with Anthony

We bitch that the team doesn't do anything and we don't have enough good players

Now we're looking to replace them with players that haven't played one inning of major league ball

My hopes are both Granderson and Cuddyer make these kind of decisions very easy by producing at their past levels

ScottyC said...

Nimmo and Conforto had absolutely zero chance of contributing to the 2015 Mets, before or after the Cuddyer signing. They are both only 21 years old, and neither are guarantees to make it as big leaguers at any point. They are great prospects, but you have to run a franchise to compete on the field now. The Cuddyer signing will not slow their development. In all likelihood, they get a cup of coffee in late 2016, and one of them takes Cuddyer's open spot in 2017.

Thomas Brennan said...

I agree with Anthony. Maybe Nimmo will dazzle in the spring.

But in AA and then the Fall League, combined, he hit just .228 in 324 at bats - a desultory .228. He did admirably walk 48 times, but also K'd 82 times, which is bad.

In contrast, when den Dekker (who is 27, I know)hits .420 in his last 42 AAA games and then does well after his late season promotion, no one gets excited.

Not to say long term Nimmo won't exceed Dekker, but what is the rush? I would start him out in AAA and figure (like Thor) he needs at least a full year there. I don't see Nimmo going up against vastly better big league pitching and succeeding there any time soon. So Cuddyer is a good stop gap there.

Conforto likely needs another season and a half. He seems comparable to Plawecki hitting-wise, and Kevin is not being rushed through.

My guess is both of them make the bigs mid-2016. By then, the play of Curtis and Cuddyer (sounds like a radio show) will dictate what happens.

I hate to see the Mets backload contracts (Cuddyer to make $4MM more in his 2nd, older year). As you indicate, Ernest, that makes guys harder to trade after year 1, unless they dazzle baseball in year 1.

Anonymous said...

I think the real question is whether the subpar defense that both Cuddyer and Granderson give the Mets will open the door for the Mets to keep both Nimmo and Conforto. Both Nimmo and Conforto both project out as left fielders. Nimmo has more range than Conforto but really doesn't have the arm to play right field but neither does Granderson. Nimmo can play a serviceable center field but Lagares has nothing to worry about unless he doesn't continue to develop as a hitter. I just hope that Nimmo puts on another 20 pounds of muscle this offseason so he doesn't become another offensive version of Jason Heyward, a guy who can't figure out if he is a leadoff hitter or a middle of the lineup hitter.

Michael S. said...

I don't think it changes much. Nimmo will now play a full season at AAA. If he needs to return there in 2016 he can. If he's MLB ready he'll make the roster, likely as a 4th OF and become a full time starter in 2017.

I think Conforto finishes the season at AA, maybe a few weeks at AAA. In 2016 he'll start in AAA and the Mets will take it from there.

If the team wants to play one of them full time I think Granderson becomes the odd man out. He's a lefty as are the two kids. Add to that Cuddyer's short contract and his relationship with Wright, I think he's here for 2 years. It's possible we could see him transition to a super sub role as well .

Mack Ade said...

I'm going to look upon the outfield situation year to year.

Right now, my starters are Granderson, Cuddyer, and Lagares

backups are den Dekker and Campbell

Myy AAA outfielders would be Nimmo, Taijeron, Cecciliani, Castellanos, and Kyle Johnson

(I would DFA Nieuwenhuis)

I'm not looking past that

Robb said...

One of the interesting things about super 2 is how it effects rookies and the perception of them. It slows down the development slightly but may work to speed up their acclimation to new levels. If you wait past the super 2 date, the season doesnt count in terms of arbitration. Kind of like starting a guy in the level they finished in last year and being comfortable. I think you have to account for this in development too.

As for Nimmo, Id put him in Bing, for a month, let him hit his way out of it. so far his pattern is to struggle with each new level and then hit his stride the next year. This year he tears up Bing moves to Vegas. 2016, he tears up vegas and after super two moves to MLB. then platoons with cud taking the righties (he cant hit lefties yet) cud plays mostly against lefties for nimmo and gives granderson some days off and takes some of the lefties from duda while nimmo gets a few of those and those 3 guys split the inter league games that T'DA catches. and then 2016 its nimmo, legares, granderson. so cud gets the first 40% of the year and then platoons the remaining 60%.

Conforto, the same, starts in A+ ends in AA, 2016 starts in AA ends in AAA. if there is a set back thats ok. in 2017 phases in the same way with granderson as nimmo did with Cuddy in the final year of granderson's deal.

these guys would be 23 and 24 at their debut. power develops with age and speed receeds with age and since youd prefer these guys hit for more power age isnt a problem, since they are still young in this scenario. Also this and all other developments assume no injuries, hurricanes or anything. the whole thing is staged in my book.

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