The Morning Report – November 30 – Wuilmer Becerra, Addison Russell, Jackie Bradley Jr., Rule 5


David Wright's .389 batting average in the All Star game is 9th highest in #MLB history (min. 15 PA).

7 Under The Radar Mets Prospects You Should Know - 

         Wuilmer Becerra: The Mets acquired the 20-year-old outfielder in the R.A. Dickey trade and he has earned positive reviews after two years in their system. He hit .300 with an .819 OPS in 58 games in the Appalachian League this past season and was named the 18th best prospect there. http://www.nj.com/mets/index.ssf/2014/11/7_under_the_radar_mets_prospects_you_should_know.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Fangraphs put out their top five Chicago Cubs prospects and we got ourselves another shortstop[i]

4. Addison Russell, SS: The Cubs are loaded with talented young shortstops with the likes of Starlin Castro, Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara already with MLB experience notched on their belts. Russell, who turns 21 in January, could have as much or more talented than any one of the trio above. He has a chance to play very good defense, hit for average, slug 15+ home runs and also steal 15+ bases. The big question is how much he’ll get on base after seeing his walk rate drop from 12.1% in 2013 to 4.1% after the trade from Oakland to Chicago in 2014.

My guess is this is the guy that will eventually become the starter. Alcantara is being converted to the outfield, leaving both Castro and Baez available to other teams via trades.

A baseball executive[i]

“this might be the worst time in history to be out in the trade market with pitching. No free-agent starters have signed [except A.J. Burnett]. You have the potential to trade for Cole Hamels or Ian Kennedy or a bunch of other really good starters, maybe even Johnny Cueto and Jordan Zimmermann. And every organization now thinks it has pitching. Maybe not as much as the Mets, but more than in the past. No one can find bats. I just think the teams with bats are king right now.

Mack – The article went on to agree that the Mets will eventually trade one of their pitchers, but probably at the end of this free agency period.
I agree.

The Mets are not going to participate in some ‘blockbuster’ trade because that would take them giving up one of their highly talented team 
controlled starters. It’s not going to happen nor does it have to happen.
We’ve said this a number of times… Harvey, deGrom, and Wheeler are safe… Thor and Matz will begin the season in the minors… this leaves Montero, Colon, Gee, and Niese to fill two starting slots.

At least one of these will depart in some trade at the back end of the off season.

I still hope the Mets recognize that the best long term direction Montero should go is in the pen, first as a possible middle to long man reliever until the all-star break, and then a back end reliever from there.

The Oakland A’s traded 3B Josh Donaldson to the Toronto Blue Jays for IF prospect Franklin Barreto, LHP Sean Nolin, RHP Kendall Graveman and 3B Brett Lawrie.

            Donaldson – 28/yrs – 608-AB, .255/.342/.456/.798, 29-HR, 98-RBI – ARB-1

            Barreto –     18/yrs – A- level:  289-AB, .311/.384/.481/.865, 6-HR, 61-RBI

            Nolin –        24/yrs, AAA:  17-appearances, 4-6, 3.50, 1.25, 87.1-IP, 74-K

            Graveman – 23/yrs – 5-appearances, 0-0, 3.86, 0.86, 4.2-IP, 4-K

            Lawrie -   24/yrs – 259-AB, .247/.301/.421/.722, 12-HR, 38-RBI – ARB-1

Mack – Reminds me a lot of the R.A. Dickey trade though no one here is in their mid to late 30s.

This is one of those trades that you won’t know if it was the right thing to do for around five years, but I have to give it to Oakland for trading away one of the true stars of the game. They get back four young players that includes a time tested third baseman (Lawrie) and a probable future star of the game (Barreto). 

Then we have Jackie Bradley Jr., just a couple of years removed from being a top prospect in baseball, to deal with. Bradley came up in 2013, struggling in limited plate appearances. With an OPS of .617 and limited plate appearances in his first year, it was enough to wave away as small sample size in effect, but Bradley saw 423 total plate appearances in 2014, putting a better perspective as to his true offensive ability. During the course of two Major League stints (432 plate appearances) with the Red Sox, Bradley managed to post an OPS of just .531 and an abysmal wRC+ of 47. Bradley was actually sent back to AAA in August, seeing 69 plate appearances before being called back up on September 5, 2014. After being called back up, he had just one hit and drew no walks to end the season on a whimper. Defensively, he is a good center fielder, but that does not make up for his anemic offense and the center fielder with a massive contract, Rusney Castillo. Bradley could very well fit the role of utility outfielder/fourth outfielder if his stock has tanked as much as it appears.[ii]

bobby emailed -

Let the Mets be BOLD! The Mets should give 2 spots to Rule 5 draft picks that are too young to be in the Major Leagues, but have more talent than anyone they have in AA or above. One is A 21 year old LHP from Miami Jarlin Garcia. Another is a 20 year old SS from Atlanta  Johan Camargo. Lastly,  a 21 year old SS Marco Hernandez from the Cubs. check back in 3 years, and tell me I was wrong. The Mets can get a wildcard spot, AND keep re-building at the same time. No one can tell me Ruben Tejada at over 2 Mil $ next year would be better than getting one of these 2 Shortstops, who may be worse than Tejada NEXT year, but look to me to become far better down the road. I would also like to add 2 RHP'S Jordan Swagerty from St. Louis, and John Stilson from Toronto. Both lost A Lot of time due to Tommy John, but as we have seen with Steve Matz... 2 years is a magic # with T.J. surgery.

          Mack – Very well thought out.



Brian Joura said...

Let's see - Camargo is a 20 year old who spent the majority of 2014 posting a .643 OPS in the SAL and Hernandez is a 21 year old who posted a .667 OPS in the FSL.

Meanwhile, Tejada was putting up that OPS in the majors at that age. Over his age 20 and 21 seasons, Tejada had a .653 OPS with the Mets in 631 PA.

The amount of projection it takes to put those two in Tejada's class is enormous and that's not even counting the essentially lost year of development sitting on the MLB bench. And we also have to factor in which players the Mets would have to expose to create room on the 40-man roster.

As for the Donaldson deal, it's likely we'll know in five months if it was a bad deal. Unless this is accompanied by other moves the A's didn't get full value for Donaldson. If they use one of the minor leaguers as a main part of the package to acquire someone else, then it's another story.

Finally, Randy Johnson could have been the greatest LOOGY of all time but it would have been a tremendous waste because you don't put a pitcher in a sub-optimal role, regardless of how good he would be in it.

In his last three starts in the majors, Montero had 18 IP, 2 ER and 19 Ks. Those are not the numbers of someone screaming to be moved to the pen. If he isn't traded, you let him compete for a job in the rotation in Spring Training and if he doesn't win it there, let him continue as a SP in Triple-A.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hey Mack,
Happy Sunday to ya.
Wuilmer did not play every day early, as I recall, or he'd have been ranked higher in his league. Vicente Lupo likewise. Both I am betting play a whole lot of games in Savannah, which should really start to show what they've got.

When I see hot prospect like Bradley struggle so much offensively, people need to think positively about the stick of Wilmer Flores. He really hit in September and, in a day and age of strikeouts, hardly ever K'd down the stretch. I'm expecting big things of a guy who, when he was in AAA as one of the youngest guys in that league, was an extra base hit, RBI machine.

Bobby's presenting a bold plan. I gotta look these guys up when I am at a computer. That said, I do not know how you carry 2 guys like that on your 25 man and not compromise 2015. There s/b room for one, I'd think.

Thomas Brennan said...

Great analysis, Brian. Well put.

Anonymous said...

To say that Camargo is better than Tovar, Reynolds, Herrera or even TJ Rivera is obviously coming from someone who has not seen all those players play in-person. I have and would take any our guys over Camargo's projection any day. Garcia is an interesting guy. As is a kid named Yhonathan Barrios with the Pirates.

Hobie said...

Nice analysis (as usual), Brian.

In optimizing several variables, however, each is not treated individually. With respect to Montero, Neise, Gee & Colon, who I suspect will not find a trade market before mid-summer, there are two starting slots and at least two BP slots (3 if Parnell needs XST) to fill. So what is the optimum deployment?

Analogy I think is Schmoltz stint in the pen--not optimizing Scmoltz's abilities, but perhaps optimizing the Brave's staff at the time.

Mack Ade said...

I love Rule 5 time... everybody has a hidden jewel or two in their pockets

Thomas Brennan said...

I agree on Montero to the pen - plenty of time to become a starter. If getting him on the roster means the bullpen, off to the pen he should go, for now.

Too bad for him - in many years, he'd be a lock for the rotation this spring.

Sooner or later, decent trades for our pitching surplus have to develop, as long as (say) Niese and Gee remain healthy.

Hobie said...

Yanks snag TJR, bring him home and he becomes Bobby Richardson II. :-(

Anonymous said...

Yanks would be very smart to snag Rivera a home town boy!

Mack Ade said...

Brian -

There's no more room for Montero in AAA

Anonymous said...

Mack, who do you have as AAA starters?


Ernest Dove said...

Adam Rubin recently posted a projected Vegas rotation of:

Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, Matt Bowman, Steven Matz and Cory Mazzoni. 

Mack Ade said...

Jonah -

I have Matz opening up in Binghamton because of the excess starters available in Vegas.

My AAA 'pool' is Syndergaard, Bowman, Mazzoni, Pill, Ynoa, Lara, Gorski, Peavey, Verrett

Bill Metsiac said...

Before Rule V Day, we have non-tender day (tomorrow, I think). IMO there are more potential pickups there than the Rule V crop, and without the commitment to a 25-man spot for the full season.

Look what the Dodgers did a year ago. Picked up a non-tendered IFer who hit well over .300 and filled in all over the IF for them. Too bad he was the guy that WE sent packing, Justin Turner.

Let's hope we can do better this week.

Mack Ade said...

I once again remind everyone to remember the name - Alex Castellanos -
a real possible dark horse 5th outfielder for the Mets

Hobie said...

Mack, you really think Alex > Cesar?

I'd hate to find out the hard way he isn't.

Mack Ade said...

Hobie -

I don't know about Puello anymore.

You've followed my writing for many years and you know I had him as the top Mets outfield prospect when he was in Savannah. He has so much 5-tool talent.

What happened?

Hobie, I just don't know, but why would Wally play him every day in 2015 if he didn't do it in 2014?

As for Castellanos, he has power and a new team could be just the thing he needs.

It looks like, to me, that the Mets have to choose 4 or 5 outfielders for AAA out of Puello, Castellanos, Nimmo, Cecilliani, Kyle Johnson, Taijeron and Kirk


I would DFA Nieuwenhuis and Cecilliani

Hobie said...

Cesar's 2nd half was decent, but not explosive. Did is PT increase post-ASB? idk.

What still intrigues my is performance vs LHP and RISP over the entire year--exactly what was lacking in Queens.

And we know that neither he nor Kirk will play an inning in AAA UNLESS they are DFA's. They can't.

Fodder for another whole discussion I think.

Steve from Norfolk said...

If we DFA Niewenhuis, it's going to turn around and bite us in the butt. He'll be somebody's centerfielder. I just don't know where to put him.

Speaking of getting bitten in the butt, I notice we still have EYJ. Think we'll still have him after tomorrow?

Mack Ade said...


Frankly, I hope not.

This team has to start ridding itself of "" rated players like EYJ and Nieuwenhuis (IMO)

Mack Ade said...

"C" rated players

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