Anthony DiComo[i] wrote his ’10 Questions’ the Mets have to answer in 2015. Or some reason, everyone ties these kind of articles/posts to the first of the year. I probably will do one too, but mine will be closer to opening day.
One of his questions was:
Is Lucas Duda for real? - Sandy Alderson made the right choice when he kept Duda around last summer, trading Ike Davis to the Pirates. Now, Duda must prove that the 30 home runs he hit last year was not a fluke. Particularly if Granderson and Wright continue to struggle, the Mets will need Duda to serve as a consistent power source in the middle of their lineup. He is confident and ready, fresh off an All-Star tour of Japan. But pitchers will be keying on Duda this summer, forcing him to adapt.
Mack – Yes, Duda will have to learn to adapt, but I don’t think the Mets are going to give him much opportunity against right handed pitching. Past that, he needs to keep the sweet swing he has contained and just try to guess corrently whether it’s a curve or a fast ball. His natural power alone, plus 350-400 at bats, will get him to 30 home runs again .
My man Courtney[ii]…
. About 16 months ago, I wrote this 3,000-word-plus diatribe about Courtney Hawkins, attempting to make sense of how a 2012 mid-first-round pick could collapse from a .284/.324/.480 line in his post-draft 2012 season (complete with reaching High-A at age 18) to an abysmal .178/.249/.384 mark in 2013 (complete with ghastly 37.6% strikeout rate).
For some, those numbers were grounds for Hawkins’ dismissal as a prospect; for others, his youth and level made that immediate, severe pessimism seem a bit over-the-top and premature; he did manage to slug nineteen homers in 103 games in the midst of all that whiffing, at least. The thought of this latter group was that Hawkins would repeat High-A in 2014 as a 20-year-old and that the tools that made him a first-round pick would again surface as he grew into the level.
Michael Gettys[iii], CF Video: Gettys is one of the most electrifying prospects in the minors. He has plus plus bat speed, running speed and arm strength to go with above average raw power and defensive ability; he has also hit 95 mph with an above average curveball on the mound. Gettys was very easy to identify as a top prep prospect but he slipped to the 2nd round last summer because of his struggles with the bat. The bat speed gives him big margin for error, but Gettys has had trouble identifying spin at times, though it appears to be influenced by him pressing and guessing from draft year pressure, rather than a struggle with a true vision/identification issue.
Mack – Hawkins and Gettys were just two of the many players I loved at various draft days. I’m linking to these articles since we once again are a little short on Mets suff today.
Mack’s Mets regulars will be familiar with my almost obsession with Hawkins up to the 2012 draft. I actually got an email from Courtney the week before, blasting me, for what he was told, negative comments I was saying about him on the blog. He said he had receieved that information, on Twitter, from other Mets bloggers. We cleared that up.
Gettys was the 51st overall pick in the 2014 draft and may turn out to be the steal of the day. He hit .310 in rookie ball last year, in 213 at-bats, as an 18-year old.
A great story[iv] –
Dominican Republic — Much has changed for the player who helped transform the way baseball teams operate in this country. Carlos Alvarez is 29 and maybe 30 pounds heavier than his early years as a top Washington Nationals prospect. He is no longer in the organization whose fate he changed when his false identity and true age were discovered in 2009.
Alvarez — known then as Esmailyn “Smiley” Gonzalez — still believes he has a future in baseball but it isn’t promising. He spent this past year playing for the Freseros de San Quintin in the Liga Norte de Mexico, a lower-level professional league, before returning to his native Dominican Republic to play winter baseball for the Tigres del Licey.
Our daily Flores story –
I think Wilmer Flores can provide value beyond Matt Carpenter next year contingent on his BABIP rebounding or if we are looking beyond runs produced (R+RBI-HR). Flores makes a little less contact, but has much more power potential. If we double Carpenter’s 2012 season, he basically averaged 11 homers and 3 stolen bases with a .305 batting average with an inflated .353 BABIP and .166 ISO for 2012 and 2013. Last year, Carpenter regressed back to a .318 BABIP and .103 ISO.
Steamer projects Flores for a .145 ISO and .270 BABIP. I [v]will not call this Flores’ floor, but I will say that he has a much higher ceiling based on his BABIP potential. While he lacks speed (like Carpenter), a BABIP closer to his minor league average of .315 would mean a batting average closer to .275. While defensive shifts could limit his full BABIP potential, his batted ball spray looks healthy enough, and he already has a 20+% line drive rate in the majors.-
(Mets trade P Noah Syndergaard, C Kevin Plawecki, P Gabriel Ynoa, and 1B Jayce Boyd to Colorado for SS Troy Tulowitzki) -