The Morning Report – 2-16-15: New SNY Studio Analyst, Worst Off-Season Signings, Gavin Cecchini, Sleeper Position Prospects


Bob Raissman | NY Daily News - "Nelson Figueroa will soon become SportsNet New York’s third full-time Mets studio analyst. MLB TV moles say Figueroa, the loquacious journeyman pitcher who was with the Mets in 2008-2009, agreed to a deal with SNY late last week. Figueroa, who has done work with MLB Network, is taking the new gig seriously. Sources said he and his wife and daughter will move from their home in Arizona to New York."

(Chris Soto: Good for Figgy. He has always been an extremely hard worker both on and off the field. The thing about guys like Figgy is.....because they don't have the premium tools most major leaguer have, they have to work twice as hard, and be twice as smart in order to make it. I personally think he is going to be a great asset for SNY during the 2015 season.

(Mack - yeah, it's me... just checking... hope you're all in good health. Thomas will confirm that Figgy and I talked a couple of weeks ago and he told me he had a screen test with SNY, but I didn't push him on whether or not he got the job. He also has signed for 50 guest host shots on MLB-TV, I'm real happy for an old friend.)

David Cameron | Fangraphs.com"When the Mets struck early, surrendering the 15th pick in the draft to sign an aging outfielder who might not really be able to play the outfield anymore, there seemed to be one obvious explanation; they were definitely going to sign another compensation-attached free agent, so the pick surrendered to add Cuddyer would be their less valuable second rounder instead. Under that scenario, 2/$21M for Cuddyer isn’t all that bad, especially if the other addition pushed the Mets into Wild Card territory. Instead, the only other free agent the Mets signed this winter was John Mayberry, and now it really looks like they punted a valuable draft choice for the right to pay $10 million a year to a guy whose best position is occupied by Lucas Duda. There are scenarios where Cuddyer at this price would have been reasonable; the Mets making him their only off-season acquisition is not one of those scenarios."

(Chris Soto: Look....I share the same sentiment as most people. Giving up the 1st round pick for Cuddyer was ok, as long as an additional signing was made. That did not happen so now fans and analyst are questioning Sandy's commitment to "going for it" in 2015. I think everyone is missing the point here. When Cuddyer is healthy, he is a better hitter than any OF'er the Mets have trotted out there since Carlos Beltran. He was signed for a very reasonable $10.5m per year for only 2 years. If he remains healthy he will easily be worth that both on the field and off the field in regards to keeping Wright level headed and from stressing out and doing too much.)

Barry Quinn | Grading on the Curve - "Not often can a first round pick be called underrated. But among fans, prospect-lovers, and high-profile analysts, the verdict seems to be out on shortstop Gavin Cecchini. The 21-year-old was regularly absent from Mets top prospects rankings this offseason, and most people seem unimpressed with his high-floor, low-ceiling combination. However, after examining Gavin’s 2014 statistics both traditionally and sabermetrically, along with recent scouting reports, I would not be surprised if Cecchini develops into an above-average major league starting shortstop just a couple years down the road. 

(Chris Soto: I share the same opinion as Quinn. Cecchini may not light the world on fire with plus tools. But, once you get past the premium crop of current SS prospects [Lindor, Seager, Russell, etc.], Cecchini ends up being one the best remaining SS prospects out there. He is about as sure of a bet to make it as an MLB SS then any of the top guys, considering SS is such a weak position right now.)

Brian Devine | MetsMerizedOnline - "After an extremely disappointing season in 2013, most people had forgotten about Vicente Lupo. Lupo was one of the Mets top international signings in 2010, and he was often praised for his excellent power and patience at the plate....While there aren't many people talking about Lupo right now, I expect that to change quickly. Lupo carries a lot of power potential, and he is continuing to make a lot of progress. As he advances to higher levels of the minors, Lupo could emerge into one of the Mets most exciting prospects."

(Chris Soto: I like Lupo's power...but he currently strikes out wayyyy too much for my liking. He's on my Top 25 prospect radar but guys with +30% K rates just don't make it past AA nowadays. The pitching is too good. The same goes for Ivan Wilson. Champ Stuart on the other hand is so athletic and raw that I think he still has a chance of putting it all together and becoming something good.)


eraff said...

Matt Harvey Did it!!!...He said the "C-Word" !!!

"We’re excited just as much as the fans are,” Harvey said. “We want to bring a championship to New York....."

No word on whether the Mets Management approved this...no word on possible disciplinary actions.

This is the first use of "The C-Word" by ANYONE connected to the Mets in almost 5 years.


Lew Rhodes said...

I have been on the Cecchini is underrated wagon for a while - his advanced stats were very solid last year and his BABIP was criminally low - I think he makes a big leap this year

I agree on Lupo and Wilson - they need to improve pitch recognition to have a shot

Thomas Brennan said...

Nice AM Report.

I am a little more positive on Lupo due to his awesome August run, but he has to show it is not a fluke. And make more contact. But He is like Joe Dimaggio in making contact compared to 45% K rate Ivan the Porous.

If Cecchini blossoms this year, he'll quiet a lot of folks. And he well might do that.

I'm happy with Cuddyer...and den Dekker can capably tKe his place if he gets hurt. Dekker's .396 OB% after the All Star break was 50 points higher than any Met...and that was preceded by a 40 game June/July stretch in AAA Where he had a Bondsian .500 OB%.

Thomas Brennan said...

Reese, I hope Collins does not use a different C word: capitulate. I'm with Harvey...I still think we could win as many as 94 games (absent key injuries) and why not a World Series?

Mack Ade said...

Morning everyone -

Up early for Doctor appointment so I thought I'd catch up on the site.

I left my thoughts on Figgy within Chris's morning post.

Three hats off to Chris.

Thomas Brennan said...

May the doctor give you an excellent "morning report", Mack.

Ernest Dove said...

Iookin like old Mack is coming off the DL, and perhaps is close to being day-to-day................
I remain unfazed by loss of draft pick. I prefer this team be in pennant/title chase every year for a few years, and thus be trading away top prospects at deadlines for that post break push rather then accumulate more kiddie talent........
Either way, Mack, I purchased my ticket in March to st. Lucie. As long as my little princess cooperates. I will hopefully have a decent write up of my (non) expert analysis of the team watching them in person ;)

Christopher Soto said...


Around when you planning on going down? I was personally looking to shoot on down there myself sometime mid-March.

Ernest Dove said...

Going March 7th......

Reese Kaplan said...

I think a Mack/Chris platoon could produce great dividends :)

On Cuddyer, yes, he's being paid a reasonable price for what he produces but if he is a Cliff Floyd/Moises Alou type of DL resident, then it's money thrown away. I couldn't see the value in giving up the draft pick, particularly when Nimmo is probably just one year out. As far as what other additions they might have made to take the sting out of it, I'm not sure who anyone had in mind...Hanley Ramirez? He was about the only other position of need they might have sought to fill but they didn't have the money to pay him after wasting it on Granderson and others.

On Cecchini someone posted they see him producing between 10-15 HRs, 15 SBs, .270 AVG and solid defense at the position. That's Andrelton Simmons territory. I'd take that.

Stephen Guilbert said...

I love Champ Stuart. There are few players in the system I am more excited about. Yes, the strikeout rate does concern me but that's really the only thing holding him back from being a top prospect in this system. On the 20-80 grading scale, the Mets have only one 80 grade anywhere in their system from any player, starter or position prospect, and it's Stuart's speed. Thor's fastball, for comparison, is rated a 70.

Anonymous said...

Mack- Any clue when you will be cleared for baseball (writing) activity? Be well and speedy recovery.

Were Cecchini to take a step forward this year, it would significantly impact the approach to upgrading the position. If late 2016 were a possibility, would the Mets trade off one of the Crown Jewels for a Russell, Profar, etc?
Anon Joe F

Herb G said...

Great Morning Report, Chris. And especially nice to see Mack back at the old typewriter (lol) adding his 2 cents.

I liked the Cuddyer signing from the get go, despite the sacrifice of the pick. He is a great hitter when healthy, and if he is out for a while, I think we have a more than adequate replacement in a den Dekker/Mayberry platoon. Moreover, Additionally, I feel that his presence will have a very positive impact on David Wright, bringing us a double offensive benefit.

I am a Cecchini fan, so it is nice to see some good things written about him. I think he could have a breakout season this year, vindicating Alderson's first round selection. Also great to see some good things written about Lupo. We haven't heard much about him after his breakout 2012 campaign in the DOSL. He probably isn't ready for full season ball yet, so I am thinking maybe Brooklyn gets him this year, in which case I'd love to watch him in person.

Mack Ade said...

Joe F -

Not doing well today... sorry.

Thomas Brennan said...

Let's hope for the right decisions and a significant and rapid recovery, Mack.

Mack's Mets © 2012