Mack – Morning Report – 2- 2 – MLB Top 100, Int’l Free Agents, Cuba, 1st Mets Withdrawn From Expansion Draft, Dustin Lawley
Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
MLB.com ranked their top 100 baseball prospects on Friday.
The Mets had five players on the list… SP Noah Syndergaard (#10), C Kevin Plawecki (#63), SP Steven Matz (#66), OF Brandon Nimmo (#72), and OF Michael Conforto (#82).
I was surprised that 2B Dilson Herrera didn’t make the list, but that might be due to the rules of the list. MLB states: “To be eligible for a list, a player must have rookie eligibility. To qualify for rookie status, a player must not have exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues, or accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club.” Herrera played in only 18 games and had 59 official at-bats, but I have no idea how long he was on the parent roster. Needless to say (or either way), I still consider Herrera a top 100 prospect in baseball.
Jonathan May also ranks the Mets 9th in what he calls ‘prospect points (212). Ranked first was Minnesota who had six players on the list, all of which were ranked in the top 40 portion of the list.
Here’s a link to a story about this: http://m.mlb.com/news/article/107760132/jonathan-mayo-breaking-down-mlbcoms-top-100-prospects
And here’s a link to the actual list: - http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2015
It’s no big secret how fond I am of signing international free agents (those 16-year old bonus kids) and how I wish the Mets would increase their budget in this market.
Well, Fangraphs[i] had a very interesting series of graphs breaking out all the players signed from various countries since 1998. The result (at least to me) was startling:
5th in playing baseball players born in the Dominican Republic (league total since 1998: 618… Mets: 49)
5th in playing baseball players from Venezuela (league: 321, Mets: 25).
5th in playing baseball players from Cuba (!) (league: 186, Mets: 7)
1st in playing baseball players from Japan (league: 61, Mets: 11)
Check the story out: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-link-between-mlb-teams-and-specific-countries/
I find it quite amusing that the MLB decided to send a memo to all the teams, advising them not to sign any additional Cuban players until the U.S. Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) can find someone to guarantee that these ballplayers aren’t falsifying their identities. We’re still talking about a Communist country no matter how much you read about improving relations between our two nations. And these guys basically have nothing and are being paid close to $300 per month. I’m not talking about the low levels of the minors here. These are the stars of the Cuban National team.
Let’s see… $300 a month with your current identity… $30mil if you change your name to Katy Perry.
Seriously, I can’t see a problem here. There’s plenty of paper trail on the starts of the Cuban leagues. All major league baseball has to do is figure out how they are going to compensate the teams down there that are going to lose their best players.
Also worth noting… this is not a country we are trying to introduce a new sport to. Let’s remember that baseball is the national sport there and no matter how many players just ship and come north, there will always be plenty of young players playing on the local fields in Cuba.
(note: OFAC has issued their own statement and says that the entire onus is on major league baseball. I’m sure this issue will resolve itself in good time, but I’m interested in your opinion, both of Cuban baseball in general (I’m still shocked at the Mets ranking in signing Cuban players), and this issue, in particular.)
Hey, let’s play a Monday game.
We know we’re running out of subjects waiting for this team to do something (anything) else in this off season, so while we sit here, let’s make believe that the MLB has announced that at 12 noon today will be the beginning of a new baseball expansion that will bring in four new teams into the league (Puerto Rico, Jacksonville, Mexico City, and Montreal), Each team will have the ability to hold back five franchise players that will not be available when one of the teams listed above picks a player from the Mets 40-man squad.
My question to you… who would be the first five you would protect?
Mine would be pitchers Matt Harvey (gotta take a chance here), Zack Wheeler, Jake deGrom, OF Juan Lagares, and 2B Dilson Herrera.
I’d dangle all my contracts for that first pick and pull back David Wright with the first pick in the second round.
Dustin Lawley has 46 home runs and 165 runs batted in over the past two seasons (A+ through AAA - 916-AB, 245-K)
Travis Taijeron has 33 home runs and 133 runs batted in over the past two seasons (A+ through AA – 750-AB, 238-K)
Both of these guys will probably play Las Vegas in 2015 which will just add to their home run totals.
Are we missing anything with one of these guys and, if they cut down their strikeout rate, could we possibly have another Juan Lagares here?
I mean, both these guys can hit the ball over the fence. Even Lucas Duda only had 45 major league home runs and 125-RBIs (832-AB, 237-K) over the past two season.
Neither one of these made my or Tom Brennan’s prospect list, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make their way to Queens someday. You especially want to root for Lawley, whose first position is third base though he does play a credible corner outfield as well.