Mack’s Morning Report – 6-12-15 – Matt Harvey, Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, 2015 Draft


Good morning.

Well, another week goes by and the Mets came up with the ultimate no-show when it comes to lack of offensive prowess. Temporarily, I could live with that and I’ve told you that everything will be okay once some of the walking wounded return to join in with the superior starting pitching on this team.

Yes, I said ‘superior starting pitching’.

I’m not going to bother to stat out what Matt Harvey’s last four outings look like, or analyze the last three times Noah Syndergaard pitched. Remember, these are two-fifths of that golden rotation the Mets are supposed to wind up with when Steven Matz is promoted and Zack Wheeler heals.

I’m actually not worried about Thor. It reminds me a lot of when Wheeler first came up. Give him some time and I think he will be a great pitcher.

I can’t say the same right now for Harvey. Something is wrong and, trust me, he’s be the last one to tell you if it was. Pitching is all about velocity, positioning, and movement. Throwing a 97 mph fastball that just goes straight is totally hittable at the major league level. I’m not exactly sure what the hell happened out there Wednesday night. Was it a badly called game by d’Arnaud or did Harvey just think it was okay to keep throwing fastballs?

And while we’re on the subject, does Terry Collins try to come up with more reasons to be pissed at him all the time? What was with leaving him in the game after the Belt home run?

I don’t know folks… I hate to say this prematurely, but we may have seen the best of this team for the season.

I’ve been feeling a little more chipper lately so, though I no longer can travel and attend games, I can still pick up a telephone and call some of my old contacts for some skinny.

I talked this week with someone very close to what’s going on with outfielder Michael Conforto and his debut in Binghamton. Everybody expected him to do very well, but no one expected him to be churning out the kind of numbers right away.
Ballplayers normally have a period to adjust to a new level, but Conforto is proving more every day that he was the right person to draft with that 10th pick overall in the 2014 draft. What Mets officials are hoping for is a return to hitting home runs, something he was doing very well when the season started in St. Lucie. He now has eight for the season, his 6th came 4-26, 7th on 5-20, and last this past Sunday.

What has increased in Binghamton is his OBP, slugging percentage, and OPS.

My source says the Mets have no immediate plans to move him any higher right now, but they would consider sending him to Queens if there was a major injury to one of the starting outfielders there and the Mets were in a pennant race.

“Conforto is only one year younger than Wilmer Flores”, said my guy, “and team officials feel assured he would hit well at Vegas if sent there. We easily could see him helping the Mets during this pennant race if the team’s players keeps dropping like flies.”

Opinion: You know me. I’ve always been a fan of playing the most talented player. And I’ve been disappointed in Curtis Granderson since he put a Mets uniform on.
I wouldn’t panic here. Let Conforto continue to play AA ball while the team heals. Try to get to the all-star break still in contention and first realign the rotation adding Steven Matz. That should be the first move.

But, I will tell you this. I want this guy competing for a starting outfield job at spring training next April.

I also talked to one of my guys that is ‘involved’ with the St. Lucie Mets and he said that you might see the next promotion to come out of here to be 2B-3B Jeff McNeil.
McNeil moved back to third base when LJ Mazzilli returned, but Mazzilli was promoted to Binghamton on June 6th and now the whole ‘who plays where’ in St. Lucie is all up in the air.

McNeil and has hit well all season in St. Lucie, but his only road now to Binghamton would be through third base.

The Mets are very concerned with the evolution process (or lack of it) of their third base players in the system. Both Jhoan Urena (St. lucie) and Dustin Lawley (Binghamton) have been disappointing so far this season.

McNeil is a carbon copy of Matt Reynolds. Fair fielder, good bat, nice guy. Not really prospect material but so are a lot of other players that have been promoted to Queens these days.

I’m always asked right after the three draft days how well the Mets did. I’m sure this is based on the amount of work I do trying to churn out information to you, my readers, on what the Mets did on these three days.

Frankly, I really have no idea how to project most of the draft picks, especially the high school kids. I will tell you this… it’s a lot easier to project someone that did well for a powerhouse high school like Los Angeles’ Harvard-Westlake, or South Carolina’s Wando. You know they are playing quality competition every night.
This was the problem I had with Brandon Nimmo only playing American Legion ball. And it is also the problem I have with this year’s number one pick, outfielder Desmond Lindsay. What kind of school is ‘Out-Of-Door’ Academy? I understand it’s at the D-3 level. What kind of competition could this be?

Okay, the kid ‘has tools’… God, I’m sick of hearing that expression.

I have to have some faith in the Mets scouting system when it comes to high school players, especially arms. It’s impossible to project any of them three or four years down the road. It’s all high-risk, high-reward, and all you can do is hope they find one great pitcher per draft.

I’ll say this about the draft picks… there are at least two legitimate future major league ballplayers here. LHP (if he signs) Thomas Szapucki may be the steal of the draft… and 3B David Thompson, who led the nation in runs batted in this past season, could someday be the closest thing they find for a legitimate replacement for David Wright.

Past that, steak knives. There did seem to be an overflow of pitchers drafted (especially lefties this time), but there always are a ton of pitchers drafted. Remember, there are an average of 13 pitchers on a 25-man squad.

Is it a good draft. At this point, I really don’t know.


Thomas Brennan said...

Time for Jeff McNeil to grow a goatee. He looks younger than he is. He's played well, but there is a power void, Reynolds has 26 extra base hits to McNeil's 10. 3Rd base needs something "plus" offensively besides a good batting average. Weight room, Jeff.

Mets still in 151st place. Seems impossible. But here we are.

Great to hear you're feeling better, Mack.

Thomas Brennan said...

That is first place. My weird tablet decided first was 151st.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Mack. I like when you ruminate out loud.

James Preller

Brian Joura said...

Mack - any word on the PTBNL in the Alex Torres deal?

Michael Genasky said...

Have you heard anything on when Brandon Nimmio will be back? It was said to be not serious. That was a few weeks ago.

Ernest Dove said...

Im still a big fan of McNeil since seeing him play in person in st Lucie (And making him laugh in the batters box that night) I know nothing as far as projections, but why can't he be the next Murph?

Christopher Soto said...

@Brian Joura

In regards to the PTBNL....2014 draft guys cannot be traded till 1 year AFTER their signing. So....that means we could hear something as soon as today. I have listed the potential guys that could be traded along with the date they CAN be traded.

SS Milton Ramos - 6/20/2015
3B Eudor Garcia - 6/19/2015
RHP Josh Prevost - 6/14/2015
C Tyler Moore - 6/12/2015
LHP Brad Wieck - 6/12/2015
1B Dash Winningham - 6/19/2015
OF Michael Katz - 6/14/2015
LHP Kelly Secrest - 6/14/2015

Christopher Soto said...

@Brian Joura

In other words....lets hope we get through today without hearing any news...cause I'd hate to lose Wieck.

Personally I have a feeling it may be OF Michael Katz or RHP Erik Manoah who can be traded on 6/25/2015.

Christopher Soto said...

@Michael Genasky

I am scheduled to go to Binghamton for tomorrow's game and my seat is always next to the dugout. If he's there I'll ask him how he's feeling. If not I'll ask Pedro Lopez.

Lew Rhodes said...

McNeil swings a wiffle ball bat - unless you are Luis Castillo in your prime, you can't hit an extra base hit a week and be an MLB player

He may be a solid utility player / pinch hitter with his contact ability, but that would be it

Lew Rhodes said...

I think Conforto may be doing what Wright did in 2004 - hit his way straight up the ladder

Nimmo better get healthy quickly - although with Conforto's performance, Nimmo may be trade bait

Lew Rhodes said...

I think Conforto may be doing what Wright did in 2004 - hit his way straight up the ladder

Nimmo better get healthy quickly - although with Conforto's performance, Nimmo may be trade bait

Thomas Brennan said...

Howdy, Lew, long time, no hear. Hope all is well. Nimmo and Conforto remind me of the Accountemps radio spot where the guy is out "sick" and they tell him not to hurry back, we have Bob from Accountemps.

Conforto is that guy sneaking ahead of the guy who's been there All along.

That said, let's get Nimmo back already.

Ernest Dove said...

Mets draft: RT @SportsMeter: Dreams come true! S/O and congrats to Thomas @szapucki12 on signing with the @mets #mlb http://t.co/lNQNWKU1RH

Hey mack saw this on Adam Ruben blog this morning.......so I guess your 'steal' is IN ;)

Anonymous said...

Question for Mack:

I was thinking today how the Mets just drafted 40 guys or whatever, but only 1 local player. This, during the days when Joe Panik kills them.

This strikes me as incredibly dumb.

Think of the fan base, the local story, the ease of the signing. Seven SJU guys got drafted this year, not one by the Mets. Grab a few late round guys, or earlier.

The Braves are very, very good at this, btw. They've locked up their territory and are always looking first at the local talent. Just seems like a solid strategy. Seems like after round 12, everybody is a flyer anyway.

What do you think? Am I crazy?

James Preller

Mack Ade said...

Brian -

Morning all...

I've been told it will be P Brad Wieck who is currently on the Savannah squad, but I can't confirm that.

Mack Ade said...

Michael -

Re: Nimmo... no, like most injuries to Mets minor league players, the team is very conservative and secretive.

Mack Ade said...

Ernest - that is GREAT news

Mack Ade said...

James -

Well, first, what is your definition of 'ocal' when it comes to the NYC metro>

St. John's I'm sure.

What about the univ. of Connecticut (14th round Vinnie Siena)

But, I agree with you... you would think

IBfromWhitePlains said...

This from Collins on Harvey: “I just want him to be the Matt Harvey he was — don’t get caught up in the persona,’’

This is what I was trying to express yesterday in my clumsy way. Get back to who you were before the "Dark Knight" BS.

BTW, I take back all the lousy things I said about Cuddyer...for one day at least. My jaw dropped when he got the 2 out game winner. Hooray!! Keep it going.

Mack Ade said...

IB -

I am so sick of TC's comments.

He should be spending time with Harvey and talking with him rather than caring what Adam Rubin and the rest of that crew cares.

As for Cuddyer, jeez Mayberry... take it easy. You didn't have to chip the poor old man's tooth. What incentive is that for him to do that again?

I was very happy for last night for 3 reasons.

1. Niese put up a quality start, both good for the team and the cross checkers.

2. Herrera, though he didn't hit, made a ton of excellent plays in the field and made me feel very safe at second base

3. the return of d'Arnaud's bat increased the offense output of this team

Right now, I think this is a game by game season until, first Murphy, and then possibly, Wright, comes back.

Maybe the rotation will settle down too.

IBfromWhitePlains said...

Mack - I plead guilty to riding Cuddyer. Mayberry, wasn't me. I'd like to see him get more playing time.

It was a very nice win last night.

Mack Ade said...

IB -

I think this will be about the best Cuddyer will be for the Mets this season and that's fine with me.

The clubhouse right now is pretty rudderless without Wright as a leader. Harvey isn't a leader kind of guy. Think of him like Beltran was, Almost sullen.

Cuddyer gives you that 'older brother' guy that's 'been around' and has the cred.

I'll gladly take a .275-.280 BA here at the end of the year with 12-15 home runs.

IBfromWhitePlains said...

Mack - LOL - didn't know Cuddyer got his tooth chipped in the celebration and completely misread your comment above.

I'll take those stats as long as he brings his BA with RISP up 50-60 points.

Mack Ade said...

IB -

Yes, that's true. It's been basically painful to watch the Mets with RISP, especially Cuddyer.

I'm also starting to get a little concerned with the decisions Tim Teufel is making on third base.

As for tonight... let's not be greedy. A 2-game series win should be the team's goals and, hopefully the team gets some help from Arizona, Cincy, the Phillies, and Milwaukee against the Giants, Cubs, Phillies, and Nats

eraff said...

Jim... you do appear to be Crazy...;)

(this used to be easier before cell phones and blue tooth head sets)

Michael Genasky said...

Mack and Chris Thank you..

Thomas Brennan said...

Cuddyer,a 2 year rental, finds out BB is 90% mental...and 10% dental.

Michael S. said...

Agreed, I emailed exactly this to Mack last week...has the same feel to it.

Michael S. said...

I say keep them both, they're two different types. Nimmo will wind up near the top of an order and Conforto in the middle.

Michael S. said...


Mack Ade said...

Scannell (too many Michaels on site) -

I believe I have one of your questions on tomorrow's Q and A post.

Also, don't hold my feet to the fire on the Wieck pick. I could have bad info hear.

Michael S. said...

Cool, thanks Mack.

I hope we keep Weick, he's showing some promise.

eraff said...

Kenneth Bautista Rd. 20, 37 second mark starts an incredible Ball---Barrell---Bat Speed explosion---enjoy!...Sign Him!!!!!!

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