Ernest Dove - My Report From Port St. Lucie Watching Daniel Murphy And The Prospects


Daniel Murphy at bat in the 1st

  It wasn't until I was already at Tradition Field before my buddy Scot told me that Daniel Murphy was reported to be in the lineup.....And, well, there he was.  I feel lucky to have been back at beautiful Port St. Lucie watching the A ballers go to work on  this Thursday evening.
  Old Murph manned third base for the St. Lucie Mets for 7 innings on this night, where he did not see much action come his way in the field.  On a few plays, Daniel navigated the infield, calling out where balls were to be thrown on certain plays, cut off situations in the outfield, etc. 
  At the plate, it was nice to see Murph make contact during his at bats, mostly lifting balls to the outfield, to centerfield and to left center.  He was also walked and, thanks to outs behind him, never really had to do any real hustling on the base path when he was out there ;)
                                                    Daniel Murphy flying out to left center

  To me, Murph looked like Murph.  Happy, smiling, and relaxed.  Just another day of baseball.  There was one occasion in the field where the opposing batter chopped one to third.  Happily (for us fans), Murphy did not charge on the ball and simply ate it, allowing the runner on with a single.  I did not notice any hesitation, either in the infield, or at the plate.  And unlike my last LIVE look in from Tradition watching TDA on rehab, Murphy already looked solid at the plate, making contact and seeing the ball well.  He was able to get in some looks from both a lefty pitcher, and a righty.  No issues with either on this night.

  Well, as you know, Mack's Mets also prides itself on giving its readers a good hard look at the kiddies, so I wanted to once again give my thoughts on some of the prospects after getting to watch them for another night.  Along with also seeing new faces for the first time.

Jeff McNeil AKA Star of the Night

  For  me, the gold star award of the night goes to the California kid, Jeff McNeil.  Here's one way to put it, and my buddy Scot said it best, "He's Wally's kinda guy".  I see this to be true.  Jeff, by all accounts, is simply a baseball player.  A grinder.  A do whatever it takes kinda guy. Starting with the very first at bat of the very first inning.  Right from the jump, Jeff immediately stepped up to the plate, against an opposing lefty pitcher, and dropped down a beauty of a bunt down the first base line for a single.
  And, trust me, from there on out Jeff was a 'problem' for the opposing team on the bases. Jeff stole two bases on the night.  And more amazingly for me and my buddy on the night, Jeff actually tagged up....from first base....on a ball hit to right field....I repeat, right field. It was an absolutely crucial play in the 9th, with two on, two out. He went for it.  Almost slid past the bag, but was able to keep his hand on the bag.  A run scored on the following play, and that's when Jeff ran right into the third baseman.  After a lengthy argument occurred, and opposing manager was tossed from the game, the umps ruled everybody safe.  Of course, my man Dom Smith broke my heart soon after with a fly out to end it.
  All in all, im sticking to my story.  I see Jeff McNeil as Murph with a bat, the position versatility of Murph, but with a better glove, better range in the field, and more speed.

                                                                      Miller Diaz

  Tonight I was able to see Miller Diaz on the mound.  I like what I saw from the just turned 23 year old from Venezuela.  He mixed his pitches extremely well.  He sat mostly 90-92 mph on the stadium radar gun, but was able to once top 93 in the game. He did not rely too heavily on his fastball. I saw plenty of breaking pitches on the night, regardless of the count.  I also liked the ability of Diaz to (unlike some of the guys on the main ball club) consistently put balls in the dirt with two strike counts.
  Now obviously, you look at the game box score and you see that Miller gave up 4 runs in the 7th.  Even though Diaz maintained a low pitch count the entire night, he did appear to lose it the inning.  (you know, it was pretty damn hot out still...ooops I sound like TC making excuses...) My buddy Scot and I noticed Miller pitches appearing to now consistently be up in the zone in the inning, and he lost control of his breaking stuff.  Also, he had some hard luck bounces go against the team, including a steal attempt, which led to the batter hitting hit right where SS Rosario had left to cover the bag during the inning. Miller has seemingly had a bumpy road of it in the minors since signing as a teenager, but last year he performed well in low A, and now he is looking pretty good in high A.

                                                                Dominic Smith

  Well, no way I can write another post about the St. Lucie Mets prospects again without further mentioning more about Dom Smith power, just annoy my man Mack himself ;)
  I said it last month, and I WILL SAY IT AGAIN.  The 20 year old has power.  We've been hearing all about the pure hitting potential of Dom, and it showed again last night, including his first at bat where he hung in there against the opposing lefty, taking him opposite field with a hard grounder that squeezed through the infield for his only hit of the night.  Dom also hit a bullet to center field.  However, he smoked it right at the defender for the out.  Also, during the game in one  of his at bats, he smoked a pitch, opposite field, that cleared the wall......just left of the foul post.  Anyway, yada yada yada, I still love the kid. 

Some other notes on the other young men in the game for the Mets:

Let's face it. I still love Amed Rosario.  I would love to talk about some amazing plays or hits, but I can't.  To be honest, he did pull a "Tejada" on the night with three pop ups that drove me crazy.  One thing I did notice is that he really has good speed, not just at short with his range, but on the bases. His arm once again looked outstanding tonight. He made an impossible play look really close when they attempted a double play led by the first baseman.  However, the ball just didn't get to Rosario quick enough, but his rocket arm made it close.

Matt Oberste looked like a man among boys.  However as my buddy Scot (twitter handle @scottyc9) pointed out, " He's a man without a position. 

I had a chance to see Dave Roseboom pitch.  I know some of us on Macks Mets have been pretty excited about this guy.  Well, kinda didn't start off well, seeing as how he drilled his first High A ball batter.  But he settled down to pitch 2 and 1/3 very solid innings.  I didn't know what to expect from him, but what is saw was a fastball that sat at 88-90, with very solid breaking stuff.  I believe there are some reports of him maybe projecting out one day as a LOOGY.  I think I can see that. There was also a scary moment in the game where a ball was ripped right back at Roseboom.  Thankfully, it appeared the ball hit directly at and over his glove which was covering his face/head, and Rosario actually was able to catch the ball on the fly for the out.

Well I guess that's about it...................till next time St Lucie................till next time Macks Mets.......



Mack Ade said...

Nice report Ernest.

I told ya Smith had a bunch of power...

Thomas Brennan said...

Power to the people...as long as the people are Mets fans. Nice update, Ernest. Like Oberste, Duda was a man without a position at that point in his career. Hit and that'll find you one. He has hit very well in May and June...add some more power and let's see what we got.

McNeil is having a terrific year. Glad to see your update on him.

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

Many of McNeil's roots are on third base and it could be the best route for him to Queens.

Josh Rodriguez (30 years old) and Dustin Lawley (AA) are in his way there, but something needs to be done to make rook for McNeil in Binghamton.

eraff said...

Thanks...great Eye on The Ball update!!

Ernest Dove said...

Thanks guys..... ...

Mack, McNeil looked just fine thank you at second base ;)
He has little power, so probably doesn't translate much at 3rd accept again I see him as a solid utility guy and bench player who can hit for average and steal bases.

Thomas Brennan said...

Time for Jeff in the weight room! Mack, Lawley was so-so last year, worse this year. He and Taijeron were neck and neck end of 2013, now Lawley seems on the Cory Vaughn non-prospect road. I'd move McNeil into Dustin's spot in AA.

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