The Morning Report - Mets Pitching Analysis 2006


Here’s an ‘end of the year 2006’ recap I wrote for NYFS on the Mets pitching… sit back and enjoy this one:

Boy, now here’s a position Mets fans can get excited about!

It’s amazing that the biggest question this year for the Mets was the depth of their starting pitching. At the same time, no position had more quality depth in their minor league system than starting pitching. Go figure.

The Mets seem to have double figures in major league potential starters down in their system, spread out from AAA to the Latin leagues. 4 seem to be ready for the big leagues… Mike Pelfrey, Brian Bannister, Oliver Perez, and Dave Williams. Oliver and Perez are out of options and will never pass through waivers after their pitching performances this past month. We know Pedro will be back and it looks like John Maine will be in next year’s plans. Past that, who the heck knows about Tom Glavine, Steve Trachsel, Victor Zembrano and Orlando Hernandez. I’ve mentioned 10 starters. There’s room for 5. You take it from there.

Mack – Don’t we seem to always have this problem?   
2008 should graduate Phil Humber and 2009 is a lock for phenom Deolis Guerra, but the question marks are a bunch of quality 2nd level prospects that also are scheduled to be ‘ready’ in the next 3 years… Alay SolerBlake McGinleyMike DevaneyJon Niese.

Soler might have had the most embarrassing debut in many a year and there’s a good chance we may never see him again at the major league level. McGinley and Devaney both are control pitchers and their future probably is as long-relievers rather than rotational starters. And it’s frankly just too early to figure out if Niese has what it takes to make it in the majors.

Behind them come the kiddies –two starters stood out at Kingsport, Greg Mullens and Tim Stronach, both of which should start out 2007 at either Brooklyn or Hagerstown. No one stood out at the GCL level, but Brooklyn featured last year’s Latin leader, Nelson Portillo, plus Todd Privett, Jacob Ruckle, and Tobi Stoner, all of which should compete for a starting position in 2007 either at Hagerstown or St. Lucie.

The fact remains that Pelfrey, Humber, and Guerra seem to insure that the Mets starting rotation will be properly replenished over the next 3-4 years.

Mack – well, what do we take away from this one…

The first thing that stands out glaringly is the names. It’s amazing how few of these people ever made a difference.

Of course, I’m not talking about Glavine, but the rest of the names just make me smile.

I remember when Mike Pelfrey was going to be the original Matt Harvey. He was going to lead this team to glory.

The other thing you walk away with, similar to now, the glut of starters trying to make the Queens rotation. Back then, we thought we had this all figures out and all these pitchers I mentioned in this article were going to carry us to multiple pennants.

Writing articles about last year’s stats is an exact science. Writing another article trying to predict next year’s team isn’t. I seems to have a few things right here. I called for Maine correctly though his success didn’t last. Guerra was lost in the ‘famous trade’ and Jon Niese turned out okay, didn’t he?

Articles like this are a fair warning for ‘guppy’ followers. You can write about ceiling’ and ‘5 tool’ all you want, but only time will tell when things work out. …  -

(Mets trade P Noah Syndergaard, C Kevin Plawecki, P Gabriel Ynoa, and 1B Jayce Boyd to Colorado for SS Troy Tulowitzki) -  


Thomas Brennan said...

Wow. A sobering look back at how little that extremely positive pitching picture turned into the real thing on the big league level.

My guess is that the current batch of pitching talent outdoes the 2006 picture by a lot...but it all comes down to health, guts, and the ability to deal with 60 feet and 6 inches of prime real estate.

Best wishes for a happy New Year to Mack, Reese, Chris, Ernest, Herb, Lew, Steve from Norfolk, Joe F, and al the rest of you bloggers, writers, and readers.

And to the players, of course.

Ernest Dove said...

All in all I'd still like the Mets to hold onto syndergaard, matz, montero and Molina and not flip them for major league talent at this time, no matter the odds against them all succeeding.

Happy new year to everyone. .....good news for me is that I at least figured out how to get my daughter to sleep in her own damn bed now, so this new years will hopefully not be like last year whixh consisted of me quitely in my bed with her when clock struck midnight, and quitely surfing social media to live through others and what they were doing..... (whom I kidding, it was a good way to bring in th new yea

Ernest Dove said...

P.S. my new year resolution is to not cry if/when Mets trade my main man Gee, thus preventing me from getting to continue to recycle that picture of the chick with the ain't nuthin but a gee thang t shirt in my future posts.

Brian Joura said...

I enjoyed this.

It brings to mind something I've been thinking about - As Mets fans, shouldn't we be rooting for Logan Verrett to be a Rule 5 success story? If we have a dozen pitchers that we protected ahead of him, doesn't his success bode well in the minds of other GMs as to the value of our guys?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see Mack post a retrospective like this because I feel like he and the other writers on this site are just far too optimistic.

Here is a perfect example: "..2009 is a lock for phenom Deolis Guerra."

So, so many prospects bust, but this site often refers to various prospects as guarantees to contribute.

It just doesn't work like that...each level is harder than the previous level, and prospects often can't make the jump.

greg b said...

Wow. How awful was our pitching down on the farm back then. Nite and day compared to today.

Lew Rhodes said...

Happy New Years All!

Mack - this is a sobering look - but I have to say that your 2006 take was very much a rose colored glasses view of the Mets' pitching prospects.

If you go back and look at Sickles or the other baseball wide minor league ranking, none of those pitchers were ever rated above C, maybe B status.

The knock on Pelfrey always was his lack of off speed stuff - ditto Guerra.

Interestingly, back in 06, 07, the Mets' pitching prospect who was the most highly rated was Niese - on the strength of his wicked curve ball.

Also note, there is no mention of Dillon Gee anywhere - and there never was - he was viewed as a "AAAA" pitcher who would never have the stuff to make the majors - so the errors go on both sides.

But, here is a few reasons to be more positive about our current crop of pitchers:

1) In 2006, Mazzoni would be considered our #1 or #2 pitching prospect - he is barely on the list in 2014

2) Unlike 2006, today Sickles, Baseball Pro, Baseball America, etc. all rate are top 3 pitching prospects (Thor, Matz, and Monterro) as plus prospects.

3) Unlike, our top pitching prospects have all put up numbers in the high minors to back up their "stuff" - in 2--6, Pelfrey while having good strikeout numbers in AA, also was giving up abut a hit an inning and walking 3 per 9 - not "dominant stats"

4) And, we all knock Omar, but he did a great job of selling high on Humber and Guerra - so, sometimes pitching prospects pay off in ways other than on the field. Keep that in mind if we trade any of the prospects.

Lew Rhodes said...

Also - it isn't really fair to consider either Williams or Perez "prospects" in 2006 - Williams was 27 years old and had bounced around Cincy for a few years before we got him

Perez had pitched for Pittsburgh for 4 years and was a retread for us as well.

Maine, I believe, would have been a solid ML starter in the Dillon Gee range if not for shoulder injuries.

The only upper level "prospects" on that list were Pelfrey, Bannister and Humber

Not one of them was ever rated like Harvey, Thor, Matz or Monterro.

I do agree with Mack's point - especially when looking at pitchers below AA -- we need to look no further than that great Brooklyn staff of a couple of years ago - most of those guys have flamed out before even hitting AA

eraff said...

Baseball Ameica 2009: Martinez 30, Flores 46, Niese 77, Holt 94

2010... Mejia 56, Wheeler 49, Davis 62, Martinez 77, Flores 77


Randy Tate...Wayne Simson... anybody remember Roosevelt Leeks, thge Texas Freeshman RB in the 70's...???

Health and Luck will outrun Projection every time!!!


Michael Tambasco said...

This piece is misleading. Yes Humber was a high pick / big prospect who never panned out. Pulsipher, despite being a high pick, is a sinker ball pitcher who pitches to contact. That type of pitcher profiles as a 3rd starter at best. Guerra enjoyed success at the lowest levels of minor league baseball. Our system around that time was not viewed as strong by people outside of NY. Fast forward to 2014: Harvey, Wheeler, Degrom have already showed signs of being top of the rotation pitchers IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES. Synderguard is one of the games biggest prospects. Matz will be a top 50 prospect on most lists before the year starts. Our system is looked at now as being in the top third of baseball. Comparing the state of the Mets minor league system in 06 to their system now is like comparing apples to oranges.

Lew Rhodes said...

Is that Fernado Martinez? Ugh

How Holt got ranked is beyond me - must have been solely on draft position.

Other than that, you can't argue with Flores, Niese, Meija, Wheeler and even Davis's ranking.

I do agree with TINSTAAPP - however, I think that risk gets smaller at higher levels of the minors.

Lew Rhodes said...

Now - here is the other side of the coin.

In 2012, here is what Baseball America said of one of our pitching prospects who was ranked #54:

He has the stuff to outperform recent Tar Heels alumni in a major league rotation, with the bullpen a good fallback option.

Doesn't sound like the guy who would start the 2013 All Star Game and be one of the 5 best pitchers in baseball.

Yes, that is Harvey

eraff said...

Lew...Holt was pretty "Real Deal"...Mid 90's fastball...good pedigree...great Production...SORE ARM.

The h/9, k/9...he had great stuff, and it was playing up at progressive levels.... he's not the Exception to the rule...he IS The Rule!!!

Lew Rhodes said...

I think I am confusing Holt with Kunz

Holt ended up with control issues - right? In his head as much as Mackey Sasser's inability to throw the ball back to the pitcher

Mack Ade said...

To all:

I tried as hard as I could to be as positive as I could back in those days.

Let me know if you'd like me to find more like this one and I'll post them up in future Morning Reports.


I wish all of you a wonderful and safe New Year's. I don't know what 2015 is going to bring for all of us.

I'll see you all in a few days.


Lew Rhodes said...

Mack - Happy New Year to you to - may 2015 bring us all reasons for optimism

Thomas Brennan said...

Before all the lights are shut off in Macksville, remember that Holt and Kunz are both 4 letter words, Lew. And...

Why I thought of Anthony Young, I'll never know. The man who went 3-31 in two back-to-back years for the Mets? Well, if you looked at him off of his 1990 season in AA, he'd be deemed the next coming. He was 15-3, 1.65 in 23 starts that year. And was baseball America's #26 prospect after that season. The ultimate mis-read of a future dud.

Anonymous said...

I think this just shows that scouting, statistics and other "methods" of evaluation are nothing more then educated "guesses".........trying to project what a player will do in the future and/or at a different level is a crapshoot.

A great example is Jacob DeGrom........converted position player, significant surgery and a short track record of solid results (i.e. mixed).


Mike Pelphrey was the antithesis of DeGrom and he ended up "meh".

That's why I like Sandy's approach........lots of depth! Not all will be great, but not all will be busts, either.

Lew Rhodes said...

Tom I recall Anthony Young being the ultimate proof that W-L records are not all on the pitcher.

In 1993 when he went 1-16, his ERA+ was 107.

So, he was 7% better than an average pitcher and still lost 16 games - that is BAD LUCK

TP said...

Happy new year to all.

Great reminder that we all get happy drunk on those prospects, and it is always really a crap shoot. Most of the current crop will come up short for one reason or another. But, the difference now is that the pool is bigger. This system is deeper than it has every been from my recollection. That offers no guarantees, but just makes it more likely that some will pan out, be it that they are on a top 10 list or be it that they are like deGrom and Lagares and come out of the blue.

Mack's Mets © 2012