The Morning Report – December 26 – Cesar Puello, Matt Reynolds, Sully Chat, Brandon Nimmo


I hope you, and yours, had a wonderful holiday.

I did have something say about the Fangraphs assessment of OF Cesar Puello the other day –

22. Cesar Puello, RF Video: Puello has been on Mets prospect lists for a while and it seems like his stock is tied to what you think about the Biogenesis scandal that he was involved in.  He was the best player in the Eastern League in 2013 during the season when the revelations came out, with a 50-game suspension coming at the end of the year and following an injury-riddled 2012 campaign.  Puello went from hitting 16 homers in a neutral park in 2013 over 377 PA to hitting 7 homers in 2014 over 371 PA in an offensively-charged Las Vegas park and Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Assuming 2014 represents the real Puello, he looks like a toolsy 4th outfield whose erratic tendencies at the plate hold back his everyday player tools. He’s a solid average runner that can play center field for stretches, but Lagares, Nieuwenhuis and den Dekker are all above him in that regard. Puello has the above average arm for right field and solid average raw power, but he has trouble laying off the right-on-right slider and that undermines the whole package.  It’s unclear where his career will end up, but Puello could be an everyday player if it all clicks.

Mack – In this ‘slow season of off season’, there does seem to be a few people that everyone out there just can’t stop writing speculating about.  Wilmer FloresTroy Tulowizski… and lately, Cesar Puello.

Puello fans, though smaller in size than the Tulo lot, have always stood by their guy and projected him as the next great right fielder in CitiFiled. Or, was it left field? Ya know, this debate has been going on so long I remember when he was a centerfielder.

-   Matt Reynolds,[i] SS (Profile)

PA             AVG  OBP   SLG   wRC+          WAR

550           .238  .290  .330  79     0.9

Reynolds entered the 2014 season having only played one game ever above High-A. He ended it, though, having recorded more plate appearances with Triple-A Las Vegas than the Mets’ Double-A affiliate in Binghamton. Reynolds’ refulgent batting line at the latter (.355/.430/.422) was the product, in no small part, of a .433 BABIP. He proceeded to benefit from a .400-plus BABIP at Triple-A, as well. Steamer doesn’t assign much weight to those results, however — especially just one year of them — calling for a major-league .280 BABIP (or its equivalent) from Reynolds in 2015. With Reynolds’ defensive skills, though, that still produces a player worth something better than replacement level

Mack – Look… I don’t worry about finding either a shortstop for the remainder of this decade.

Wilmer Flores, Matt Reynolds, and Amed Rosario will play shortstop, while Daniel Murphy and Dilson Herrera will play second.

What I worry about is the talent level here and will it be good enough. 

Comment From Jeff[ii] - How would you grade the Mets front office? These past two off seasons have been bad.

Jeff Sullivan: Never did understand the Granderson move, but it’s hard to evaluate a front office without totally understanding the conditions in which they have to maneuver

Comment From L. Scott - Obviously the Nationals are the team to beat in the NL East. Do the Marlins, Mets, or Braves keep it close?

Jeff Sullivan: No –

Mack – Sadly, at this point in the off-season, I have to agree with both statements.

The only way Mets fans should think about the Madoff money is if it is a two year contract, for around $30mil a year, for a player that doesn’t exist anymore.

The monies owned the people that got screwed will go away around this time in 2017 and the Mets won’t have this financial burden handing over their head.

As for competitiveness, I see the Nats holding their own, the Mets improving a little, the Marlins improving a lot, and the Braves falling into a race with the Phillies for last place.

Yes, we know the Mets have great young pitching, but so does 

Washington, along with Ian Desmond, Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman, Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth, Nate McLouth, and Denard Span. There simply is too much on field talent for each game

Here’s another positive off-season article on Mets OF prospect Brandon NImmo[iii]. You know, you can’t get enough of these in the off-season.

Nimmo on getting to Queens –

“I need to get better at everything. If I'm not in the Major Leagues, I'm not where I need to be. I'll need to make adjustments in my hitting, in my fielding, throwing, base running, base stealing, the mental aspect of the game. There's going to have to be adjustments made after every single game, and so really, that's the key for me -- to learn either how to do it or how not to do it after every game and make an adjustment from there. …You never settle for where you're at. You always need to make adjustments to become better. So I think for the rest of my career I'm going to try to get better at everything I do”

So Joel Sherman[iv] put together a new apathy article about the Mets. Hey Scrooge, was this necessary to add more gloom and doom before we Christians pass the turkey drumsticks? LEVE THE TEAM ALONE, WOULD YA! 


greg b said...

I expect a negative article by Sherman. He seems to never right a positive article on the Mets.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hey Mack! Glad to see you got unstuck from the chimney and back on the Morning Report today.

You wrote "in this ‘slow season of off season’, there does seem to be a few people that everyone out there just can’t stop writing speculating about. Wilmer Flores… Troy Tulowizski… and lately, Cesar Puello."

Naturally, my Cesar Puello for President article comes out at 10AM today - make sure to read to the end for the Yuletide selfie, folks.

Sherman, like any tank, takes a while to change direction. He will change his tune in 2015. Nats may have more talent, but we have the miracle history and are due for another one.

Reynolds will show us in 2015 that the explosive 2014 was no fluke. Let me just add, for those who view him as a no-power guy, that he hit 9 homers from late July thru winter ball, a span of only around 60 games, off the top of my head. Bud Harrelson could only wish for such pop. Not a bad HR pace.

Anonymous said...

I think we are closer to the Nats then most realize....they are still the favorites, but the Mets can play with them in both the pitching and hitting side of things.

Lagares, Granderson, Cuddyer, Wright, Murphy, Duda and D'Arnaud isn't too shabby.......and remember, Flores might just pan out which would give depth to the lineup.

The Nats also lost some offense off first base (I just can't type his name).

If we stay healthy and play average defense (still my biggest worry) I think we are more of a 88 to 90 win team, regardless of what Matt Cerrone typed this AM

Ernest Dove said...

Hey Mack, im a day late and a dollar short on writing of my next post, but j s ready to go. ...................
Im fascinated to see what happens with Nimmo development this year. Does he hit for average? Power? Both? Walk a lot? K a lot ? Both?

Lew Rhodes said...

I think Reynolds will be somewhere between last year and his Steamer projections - his BABIP last year is unsustainable -

To me, BABIP is the best indication of an outlier season or stretch - be it good or bad -

Reynolds is not going to hit .430 on balls he puts in play year after year - I would anticipate an 80 point drop in BABIP which will bring his numbers down to a .280 average - still decent for a MI guy, but not as good as last year.

Still hope he proves me wrong

Lew Rhodes said...

Anon - I agree on us being closer to the Nats than folks realize.

Their offense took a big hit without our nemisis - not only with numbers, but the way he fit in that lineup

I also think Harper is going to cause some major grief in the clubhouse this year - and discontent can sometime effect play of multiple people.

They are still a talented team, and we still are held back by Collins, but anything is possible (RE 2014 KC Royals)

Mack Ade said...

Greg -

It's getting harder to write a negative article each year about the Mets kids

Mack Ade said...

Anon -

The Mets field players fall far short of the Nats on talent

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

my guess on Nimmo

around 15 HR tops - .275/280 range

Mack Ade said...

Lew -

I'm going to sound a little like Reese here.

Collins will never play the kind of game necessary to beat the Nats over the season

Lew Rhodes said...

Unfortunately Mack, I agree - Collins cannot manage a team to be more than the sum of its parts, and frankly, he seems to manage to make it LESS than the sum of its parts

Mets Dreams said...


If one off season goal is to improve the Mets defense in the middle of the infield how about looking at Murphy instead of Flores? I always think something positive is going to happen when both of them come to bat, I really like Flores swing and think he is going to be a strong offensive player at shortstop. His defense is limited in range but at least he makes the plays he is supposed to make. Murphy on the other hand, is a defensive adventure waiting to happen no matter where the ball is hit, even right to him. How about the Mets do something creative at 2B, go get a very good defensive 2B that can still hit some? I'm thinking Brandon Phillips. He may not be gold glove anymore but he is still a very above average defender with some pop. Only signed for about 12 mil per year. Get him, trade Murph and Gee is a salary wash for next year. Then plus defenders at 3B, 2B, C; average with Grandy, C is a work in progress and Duda was one of the league leaders in runs saved last year. Thoughts?

jshapps77 said...

I'm no fan of Collins, but A Ned Yost-coached team just made it to the World Series. If that doesn't show how little baseball managers have to do with winning, IMO, I don't know what does.

Mack Ade said...

Actually Dreams, the Mets seem pretty committed to a sub-par middle infield defense in 2015.

Thiswill improve with Tulowitzski and Herrera in 2016

Mack Ade said...

Schapp -

The Nats are in TC's head.

Lew Rhodes said...

Defense is important - middle infield defense among the most important.

You know what makes defense less important?

Lots of strikeouts

In 2014, the Mets were 3rd in the NL in strikeouts - and that was without Harvey.

Yes, there will be ground balls that get through, but there will be less contact due to more strikeouts and less contact means less ground balls, which means even less that get through.

Besides, a ground ball is less dangerous that balls to the gaps - with Lagares in CF and with a high-K staff, you can do ok with a so-so middle infield defense.

Reese Kaplan said...


I respectfully disagree with you. I don't think ANYTHING's in TC's head.

-- Reese

Thomas Brennan said...

Reese, I saw one website that listed Collins 27th in the most handsome manager category. In terms of effectiveness, I saw 2 (one from about a year ago, one from 2011) that ranked him 13th and 29th (2011).

My guess is Collins is, in your opinion, the first 30-30 manager.

Mack's Mets © 2012