Mack’s Morning Report – 4-10 – The First Week, Aggressive Promotions, E-60, Lucas Duda, Jayce Boyd


Good morning.

I’ve said it a number of times… if you win every series you play, you will easily make the playoffs. Baseball teams are going to lose baseball games, but the Mets were 4-15 against the Washington Nationals last season. How much of an aberration was this from the rest of the season? Check this… the Mets were 75-68 against the rest of the teams they played.

In addition, even though the season is far too young, you can’t limit the amount of distance you can achieve early from teams that could compete with you for a wild card position. Yes, the Mets didn’t play the Marlins this week, but the Braves did and, if you’re playing the odds on which team has the best talent and will finish the season ahead of the other team, your money would definitely be on the Marlins. Trust me… root for the Braves to win every game against Miami.

So, what can we say about week one?

Well, the Mets won the series from the Nationals and the Braves won the series from the Marlins.

Only week one, but what a great week!

The minor league rosters for both St. Lucie and Savannah were released last Friday afternoon after I had already gone to print with the morning report. I printed the press releases and you can view the full rosters either here or here .

I want to applaud the Mets for promoting SS Amed  Rosario, 3B Jhoan Urena, and SP Marcus Molina past an assignment to Savannah and, instead, assigning them to St. Lucie at the A+ level. In addition, I applaud the promotion of OF Wuilmer Becerra to the full season Sand Gnats.

These are aggressive promotions that relevant teams do when they recognize that a certain player, regardless of lack of age, has more talent that the players around him. The Mets have not been famous for doing this, though there have been exceptions.

I watched, and enjoyed, the E-60 special on Matt Harvey.

I found it fascinating that a network could guess so accurately about a high school pitcher going into his junior high school season. Did ESPN film the same coverage on 20-30 other high school players back when no one could have possibly guessed if he would someday be worthy of an hourly special?

I did notice that the filming of his days in college were limited. Did they turn off the camera once Harvey said no to the one million dollar bonus? I’ve watched a lot of high school phenoms disappear after not signing a pro deal after their senior high school season.

Look, I think we got very lucky here when it came to this special and it’s a great way to start off what looks to be an exciting season to be a Mets fan.

I was both surprised and disappointed that the Mets and Lucas Duda couldn’t come to an extension agreement before the season started. There never are enough public details on things like this so you just don’t know if it was a player, team, or agent snag.

Sandy Alderson doesn’t seem to like to keep going back to the same table so I’m not sure what the future has in store for Mr. Duda. He is making $4.2mil this year and has two more arbitration years until he would become eligible for free agency in 2017.

For what it’s worth, 2017 seems to be a good projection for former first round pick, 1B Dominic Smith.

I’ve always been a guy that goes with what I have if it looks good. Having a first baseman that hits 30 home runs a year is perfect in my book and I’m not sure if Smith will ever produce these kind of power numbers.

Things like this never make any sense to me. I look at a guy like Juan Lagares and he would never allow money to get in the way of fulfilling his dream to play centerfield in New York City, for the team that drafted him. Duda was a couple of seasons ago away from losing his job to Ike Davis and he could be riding some bench or playing AAA baseball right now rather than being four point two million dollars to PLAY BASEBALL!

I hope Alderson, Duda, and his agent can put any ‘negative waves’ aside and revisit this in the next off-season.


I didn’t find too many roster shockers when the minor league teams were released; however, the conversion of 1B Jayce Boyd did catch me off guard. This is a brand new position for Boyd who has played every minor league game at either first base or as the designated hitter due to a serious shoulder problem that limited him from throwing. Now, he comes back as an outfielder which I always thought needed a stronger arm than a first baseman.

I also was told last year that his return included an ‘unconventional’ throwing motion that, when told to me, I thought would limit his progress.

Look, converting him to the outfield can’t hurt. Boyd is a pure hitter with a lifetime .299 minor league batting average. He’s limited in power (22-HRs in 1,072-Abs) and, at 23-years old we’ve probably seen the end of any chance of developing additional power, but he’s a gap hitter who has only struck out 138 times and has an OBP of .382.

Why not?

I love this. 

After Cesar Puello cleared waivers and the Mets put him back on the Las Vegas roster, he tells Mets officials that he’s hurt (stress reaction on his back). The Mets had to rescind the demotion, put him back on the 40-man, and my guess this is just one more reason that Puello and Sandy Alderson will never get together for a future Thanksgiving dinner.

Lastly, do not look to the next draft to be a windfall for the Mets. The numbers for the signing bonus pool have just came out and the Mets rank 30th (dead last) in baseball, with a total of $3,587,800 available for their 50 picks.

Look for a fair amount of secondary high school players and college seniors.


Ernest Dove said...

Rosario and Urena showed their appreciation by collecting 3 hits each for St. Lucie.
All the minor league junkies on this site got lots to be happy about last night down on the farm.

Brian Joura said...

Thanks for the update on Molina, Rosario and Urena - that is indeed welcome news to hear!

But Becerra has spent three years in short-season leagues. If he didn't make a full-season team this year, they probably just should have released him.

Anonymous said...

Release Becerra? For goodness sakes, why? He is only 20 years old, which would be league average age for Brooklyn and he has only really spent two years in short season, because the first one was cut short after 11 games after being hit in the face with a pitch. He is not even really behind in developmental years, but at those levels there is not really a logjam and are filled with players that have far less of a chance than someone like Wuilmer. I like the push to Low A, but if they had decided to keep him in Brooklyn, it would have not necessarily been a knock on him given the season missed to the hit by pitch and his first recovery season after such an injury would certainly be viewed as one of caution given its nature. The Brooklyn roster will be half filled with talent this year that has not even been drafted yet, including a pile of senior signs that are beyond long shots to make it in the league.

Give the guy a little leeway; he is young, loaded with tools and took a fastball to the mush.
Anon Joe F

Thomas Brennan said...

I agree - even with late season Lupo surge, I think Becerra should have been Kingsport's Sterling Award winner in 2014. He is more likely to release a bunch of homers this year.

Mack, that 2 of 3 was truly exciting in Nats Land. Even in the loss, I read 14 outs were hard hit, which is why all teams lose at least 60. Exciting.

Harvey was a beast - Bryce Harper is in awe.

If we can avoid more key injuries and get Parnell, Black, and Mejia back, I think we can win 95.

I can't tell you about Jayce Boyd's throwing prowess at this stage, but guess who had an outfield assist last nite? JB himself.

Anonymous said...

Becerra hit a three run shot last night

Ernest Dove said...

There's still a solid chance that the Dickey trade will go down as the greatest trade/steal in Mets franchise history, and maybe crack a few random top MLB trade lists in the future when they randomly do those as well.

Duda deserves extension

Mets will win 90 this year

Harvey feels like competing for Cy young THIS year.

eraff said...

Boyd is 24, at AA... and he's not a slam dunk guy to be first in line for an MLB every day job. That points to Learning a New Glove---making him a versatile and available player. It creates more opportunity for him, long term

Thomas Brennan said...

My candidates for top batting average in the Mets full season minor leagues this year are: Boyd, Reynolds, Herrera, Conforto, and Plawecki, in that order.

So I think Boyd has some top side if he can throw and is healthy. We'll see if shoulder allows him more power or not.

Anonymous said...

On Boyd: They are pointing to Campbell and saying, "That's the new dream. Maybe you can become that kind of guy."

On Duda: I don't get too stressed over negotiations, we don't even know where the numbers are at. One thing I like is that Duda stepped away from the table and that is a sign of self-confidence.

James Preller

Mack Ade said...

Good morning -

Brian, you must be confusing Beccera with someone else.

Tom, I don't want to pick apart the three game series with the Nats, but I would have liked to see at least one shot off the wall.

The balls fell well for the Mets and Ian was the man.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, I did count one, a d'Arnaud triple that almost cleared wall, but my brother brought up same point yesterday - where's the long ball.

None yet, but I can't picture this team with under 150 homers if healthy. Last year, 125 with little from Wright, SS, and LF. Fences add a bunch, hitters a bunch more.

Brian Joura said...


2012 - GULF
2013 - GULF
2014 - APPY

How many major league guys do you think have started four consecutive years in short-season leagues? My guess is none.

I like Becerra; the comment about releasing him was a statement about if he couldn't get to a full-season league after three years in the lowest levels of the minors - then he wouldn't be worth keeping.

It had nothing to do with Becerra's abilities.

eraff said...

I have a PICKY take away for the first few games.... Fundamentals.

Three Biggies:

The Run Down with Taylor on the ground ball to SS...disgusting that they allowed the trail runner to get to first===not to menttion that they almost gave 3base to Taylor

The Pitchers are not Covering 1b properly---Montero and Colon--- I won't get too specific, but they are doing it improperly.

Sac Bunts by Pitchers--- Two really Piss Poor Failures.

Eventually, you play big teams for big prizes---YOU NEED THOSE PLAYS!!!

This team is just out of Spring Training!!!---this stuff becomes LOSSES.

Thomas Brennan said...

@ eraff - very good points. hopefully they are addressing those. or it will cost us sooner or later.

@ Brian - in fairness to Becerra, his first year (while with Toronto) was derailed very early when he got beaned. He had just 37 at bats, and was .250/.359/.375. I'd ignore that year.

Christopher Soto said...

Exactly what Tom said....

Becerra foreign born players generally spent 2 years in Rk ball. Becerra's 2012 season was a wash due to injury.

Charles said...

In fairness to him though, his first year was about 15 at bats because he got hit in the mush with a pitch.

He could possibly be in Lucy right now if that didn't happen but then again, if he wasn't hit and put up monster numbers that year, I doubt he's a throw in in the Dickey deal.

In terms of years he has left under Mets' control, I don't think they could afford to stick him in Brooklyn. They need to see what this kid has.

Charles said...

I think Duda is banking on repeating his numbers from last year. If he comes within 5 homers and puts up those rib eye steaks, you can bet that the Mets won't be able to afford him.

Personally, I think he's nuts. You'd think a guy like him would jump on the offer since the Mets tried like hell for years to keep him in the lineup and then showed faith in him by trading away Ike who had a higher pedigree.

My guess is that they really low balled him. 30 homer guys in today's game get paid. If he does it again, he's easily a 12-15 million a year player. Especially if Wright is a 20 million a year player.

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