Mack’s Morning Report – 8-21-15 – Dom Smith, AA Baseball, Eric Goeddel, Wuilmer Becerra


Good morning.

Twitter Tidbits

Matt Harvey has 16 career starts in which he has allowed one or no runs without receiving a win, the most such starts for a pitcher in his first 59 career games in the last century.

Dario Alvarez has a 2.75 ERA in 42 minor league appearances this season.

Eric Goeddel has a 1.96 ERA in 22 appearances this season.

Michael asks –

          Does Dom Smith project to hit enough (contact AND power) to bat 3rd in the lineup?

The scouting criticisms of Nimmo aside, I could see a lineup featuring:

CF Nimmo
SS Cecchini
1B Smith
LF Conforto
Ca d'Arnaud

Maybe Wright's in there but his health is an unknown.  Herrera looks like he'll have a spot, maybe he hits high in the lineup and Cheech hits lower.  Maybe Becerra becomes the cleanup hitter but he's too far away to start penciling him in anywhere.  I guess my point is, maybe the way the Mets keep all of this pitching is to implement a Phase2 of the rebuild, construct a young and cheap lineup that scores.

Do we have the horses within the organization to build a major league lineup that produces enough run support to keep our pitchers winning?

          Mack – Hey Michael.

I have a much different opinion on Smith than many of the followers (and writers) here at Mack’s Mets. I think he’ll succeed as a major league first baseman as a contact hitter, but I don’t think he will generate the kind of home run power most teams want from their first baseman. He’s excellent defensively, but my guess his tops are in the 10-15 home run level.

All the names you listed look like good candidates for a starting position on a future Mets team, but it could be a team that ranks very low in slugging percentage. You’re going to need some guys (like Granderson, Duda, Cespedes) to fill in the open slots in your lineup.

It’s far too early to speculate who they would be.

One thing… I really like Becerra and don’t be surprised if Kevin Kaczmarski doesn’t give him a run for the 2018 starting outfield.  

Oh… did I mention that the Mets first baseman in Kingsport is leading that league in home runs?

Sugar asks –

Big Mack, Do you think it's accurate to say that you really don't know if a ball player is going to make it to the bigs until they play and compete very well in AA?  I believe I picked this up on your site. I've heard AA is the biggest jump. If this is the case there are probably just a few exceptions. Dom Smith in advanced A comes to mind. Loyal follower here with you and diehard orange and blue.

          Mack – Hey Sugar.

The ‘AA’ level is called, by the scouts and cross checkers, the ‘prospect league’ for obvious reasons… only the best of the lower affiliate levels usually get an invite to join that team.

It’s also the first level that they have to compete against an entire team (usually) of prospects. Lower levels may have two or three guys in the field that stand out and two tops on the mound. These are the ‘best of the best’, and producing at a high level here is the first true indication you may have the talent to excel in this game.

AAA is different. Its main purpose is to park players with major league experience that could be called upon at a phone call’s notice to rejoin the parent team. It also could have players like Dan Rolfing or Brooks Conrad that are just there to fill in a slot where someone at the AA level is determined to either not be ready to jump yet, or involved in a playoff race.

All of this makes sense until you look at the Binghamton roster and see drones like Vince Benome, Joe Benson, and Jonathan Galvez on the active roster. My guess is they want to keep the St. Lucie roster intact during their playoff run.

But, to go back to your original question… yes, ‘AA’ ball is the wall.

 Michael Baron brings us up to date on Eric Goeddel

                  Part of what led to Goeddel’s break out in the first half of the season was the emergence of a new split-fingered fastball, which served as a replacement to his change-up, which had been inconsistent at best for him.

The split-finger became Goeddel’s best friend, and a very reliable weapon in his arsenal. The opposition has swung and missed at over 26 percent of his splitters this season, hitting just .111 overall against that pitch.

          Goeddel seems ready to return, if needed, to the Mets pen.

Bren (Pearl River, NY): - Wuilmer Becerra is hitting a nice .300/.352/.450 in a tough environment in Savannah, and has cut down on his K's. How close is he to top 100 consideration?

Ben Badler: Pretty far away still, but his stock is certainly up.

mjk (wyckoff, nj): Hi....assuming Conforto and Matz are no longer prospect eligible, how does the Mets system shape up for next year? tx

Ben Badler: It’s still solid, but it’s thinned out. But it’s thinner for the right reasons, because those prospects are graduating to the big leagues and having success there. Plus they have breakout potential in the lower levels with players like Luis Guillorme, Sanchez, Gimenez and Guerrero, among others.

Chris (Larchmont): Thoughts on Marcos Molina? Is he a future reliever bc of his delivery?

Ben Badler: No. 2 or 3 starter stuff, but the arm problems elevate the risk factor.


Ernest Dove said...

I could see a future where Conforto is hitting 3rd and Dom Smith 5th (no need to further express my views on my man Dom)

Tom Brennan said...

That ugly non-support stat for Matt Harvey is a great example of why they need to pay Cespedes. Matt won't get to the Hall of Fame repeatedly not winning games he should win because the offense screws him.

Dario Alvarez was lousy in April and May, super stellar since.

Pat Mazelka may give d'Arnaud a run for his money by 2018.

Anonymous said...

I am not yet convinced that Cespedes at 5/$110 (or whatever) is the best way to go. It's going to cost a lot to make him turn his back on free agency.

I wanted the Mets to aim for Gomez, but if the cost was too high, to go for Parra (who ultimately went cheap).

I am glad they did what was necessary and got Cespedes after the relationship with Milwaukee made a Parra deal impossible. That said, forget the trade and the cost of getting Cespedes. The only question now is if he's the player you want open the wallet for. I am not seeing it yet, but there are more games to go. I do very much like that he could play CF for two years before shifting to RF at the end of Granderson's contract. For that kind of projected money, I usually want "the complete package." For all his talent, he still strikes me as a complementary player, not a leader. The troubles against LHP are also a concern.

OTOH, it could all come down to the realities of the marketplace. Good players cost money, and Cespedes looks like the best answer for 2016. I remain undecided because there's no reason to decide now. But I'm leaning toward "no."

James Preller

Mack Ade said...

Dove -

I have a feeling you and I will be discussing Smith for years to come

Mack Ade said...

It's absolutely sad how badly the Mets support Harvey, something Boras will point out to Harvey once free agency is coming around

Mack Ade said...

James -

There's a chemistry now with the Mets and Cespedes that I hope will influence him to stay for 2016

Ernest Dove said...

And I shall one day claim VICTORY ;)

Zozo said...

I have no problem giving a two way player 20 mil a year, but he needs to show me more on the offense side of the ball. I absolutely love that he can play centerfield if need be.
What other middle of the order guys would be available this offseason?

Tom Brennan said...

I'm with Ernest on the Dominic Smith front. In 372 BAs since he sputtered thru early May, he has hit .330 with 70 RBIs. He just turned 20 Two months ago. Bet we see 15-20 homers next year.

Meanwhile, many continue to pencil in Nimmo. He is .267, with a 358 slug % this year. You know who put up much better #s in AA at his age? Billy Beane.

VIC BLACK is 1-6, 6.53, 1.91 WHIP. In other words, the Mets' worst minor league reliever this year. A guy in AA (Sewald) is 1.67 with 21 saves. Who would you call up?

Tom Brennan said...

I disagree on Cespedes. Sign him unless there is another real BIG BAT alternative. Pitchers like Harvey will shine best when they do not have to constantly grovel for runs.

Zozo said...

Upton, Gordon, and Heyward are his comparables.
I believe Upton would be the closest to Cespedes, I believe he is a year younger and plays a pretty good outfield with some pop. He should get about the same contract as him as well. So in my opinion who would you bet on keeping this production up over the next 6 years?
I believe Heyward will be even more pricey then all the rest because he is going into his age 26-27 year. He plays a great outfield and has speed with a consistent bat, but hardly enough pop...
Gordon is a great as well, but I think he can't play centerfield, which we would need him to do for at least the next 2 years and then move to right. So I don't see a fit at all there.
If Upton can play centerfield for a bit I might have to go with him over Cespedes, even though we will lose another 1st round pick. My main reasoning is because he doesn't seem to have that, I are higher than thow persona like Cespedes has. That may be his downfall in the New York market?

bgreg98180 said...

Keep Cespedes.
Get Upton as well.

Then start planning who will become the next leadoff hitter in 2017.

Cole Swanson said...

"My main reasoning is because he doesn't seem to have that, I are [am] higher than thow persona like Cespedes has"—the only reason he has that is because people like you perpetuate it. He's minding his business and playing baseball. What's your deal?

Tom Brennan said...

I am unconvinced as to alternatives. Keep Cespedes, keep the 1st pick, which is often highly valuable $$-wise within a few years, which offsets part of Cespedes contract, and having an OF of Grandy, Cespedes, Conforto, and Lagares (Conforto 5th next yr) works for me.

Mack Ade said...

Zozo -

I understand what you are saying about the 'quiet' way Cespedes is hitting for the Mets, but he is in the .300 range and we all know he has the power

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

I too would like to keep the 1st pick next year.

The Mets system has thinned out a little

Michael S. said...

Interesting. I do think Conforto profiles as more of a 3 than a 5 but I don't know that Dom will be able to produce enough to hit in that part of the lineup.

Michael S. said...

I hope the Mets can address this in the years they have left with Harvey so it becomes a non-issue.

Anonymous said...

Not simply a matter of "just sign Cespedes" It would involve a significant overpay in order to have him bypass FA, which I am not even sure that he would be willing to do. The market might flash 5/$100 at him, but it will likely cost more per year and extra years to get it done. so think 6/$130-140 for him to pass. That is a significant premium and inhibits other acquisitions and raises to the young arms. you cannot simply say "sign him" as if the players will simply comply. This is a complicated structure that does not favor the Mets for a resign. Signing both Cespedes and Upton is not going to happen, too much money (yes, there are cash flow considerations and the New York name alone does not magically produce cash out of thin air) and blocks Conforto, who may not be the caliber of hitter/fielder that those two are, but comes in $20M less AAV. I am in the minority, but I don't think Cespedes will be worth that sort of contract over the next five years

Anon Joe F

Michael S. said...

Nimmo has great plate discipline, will hit for good average and get on base at a high clip. That's why he keeps getting penciled in. Oh, and being one of the top 50 prospects in the game.

Michael S. said...

If we don't keep Yeonis, Upton makes the most sense as a FA but I really want to keep our pick.

Anonymous said...

If Murphy gets a QO, which has a greater chance now that earlier in the season and declines, the supplemental pick wouldn't be that many spots above where the Mets are likely to pick, so a Heyward or Upton could make sense. Sandy is on record saying that he doesn't envision giving up another pick, so that means no big FA signing, so I guess that Cespedes or a trade are the options available.
anon Joe F

bgreg98180 said...

The way I see it:
If a NY baseball organization's owners can not afford a $140 million payroll, (Note: it does NOT have to be that high, but it should be able to go that high) Then the owners should not be in a majority decision making ownership position.

It is ridiculous that the situation over the past few years has created a Met fan culture of accepting a payroll maximum in the lower half of all MLB teams.
(Note again: not saying it has to be high, just that low limit worries should NOT stand in the way of fielding a major league quality roster)

Chris Bryant said...

It HASN'T stood in the way of fielding a major league quality roster. We're 4 games up in the division. So Idk what you're complaining about?

Tom Brennan said...

Agree with you on NY team needing a real payroll, Bob. We have great, cheap pitching which we can ride high with for years before it gets really expensive. Get these pitchers enough hitting to want to stay and win pennants.

Michael, I remain skeptical of Nimmo. Light hitting, very low power Wilfredo Tovar has a .356 slug % this year, Nimmo a virtually identical .358. I am not convinced of him...yet.

Michael S. said...

The Mets can always be better. Plus, they're going to have to ante up to keep the talent they've cultivated.

bgreg98180 said...

What I am talking about?

1st. For the majority of the first half of the season the Mets did not field a major league quality lineup. Possible Mets could have been 10+ games ahead of Nationals and enable them to better manage their young pitchers innings down the stretch.

2nd. I am talking in reference to the comments in this posting and others that are constantly worried about retaining so-and-so and having to save money at the expense of fielding the best lineup.

3rd. Referring to
2015 (as mentioned above during majority of 1st half of season)

Chris Bryant said...

If you can win ball games—which the Mets clearly have—and do so in a cost-effective manner, I'm at a little bit of a loss to see what's wrong with that?

"I am talking in reference to the comments in this posting and others that are constantly worried about retaining so-and-so and having to save money at the expense of fielding the best lineup"—I take more issue with comments along the lines of "Sign Upton! Sign Cespedes! Sign everybody! It's not my money!"—totally unreasonable and tone-deaf to reality (meaning your own team's reality) and actually maybe counter-productive to success, i.e., actual W/L record.

I think you might come from the A.J. Preller school of GMing. Are you a fan of his, by chance?

Steve from Norfolk said...


Have you seen what happens to us when we go up against the best of the other divisions or the AL? We don't stand up very well. We have benefited from having a pretty easy division to lead this year. We need to take advantage of it. Our defense is better, but still average at best. Our hitting is respectable now, but still no powerhouse. Our relief pitching has a lot of holes in it. Our only real big advantage is our starting pitching. We have to cut out the stupid mistakes, or we're liable to find ourselves one game short come Oct. 4th. It's time to buckle down and get serious about this!.

Chris Bryant said...


I'm right there with ya! Let's take this thing! But I fail to see how the Mets are not yet serious about anything?

bgreg98180 said...

Please don't exaggerate or add to anything I have said here or have ever said in order to try and make yourself correct.

I have always been consistent in what I have thought was correct for the Mets to do.
Balance between long term and short term without over-hyping free agent or prospects.

Think what you may like. That is all well and fine. Just please do not misrepresent me.

Thank you.
Let's Go Metsies!

Chris Bryant said...


I never did. But I'll keep that in mind for future reference … that is, should I choose to frequent the comments section of this blog again.

I said "comments ALONG THE LINES OF …" Nor did I ever refer to you by name.

Ernest Dove said...

.....well anyway the status of David Wright with this organization is a pure game changer.
If he doesn't retire than that honestly has a Big Time effect on any offseason signings in the $100+ mil range for this team.
Its just too easy for us to sit here and say, "hey, dump colon murph and parnell and use that money to sign a beast". More to it than that IMO.

Steve from Norfolk said...

I'm thinking of TC getting his act together with the bullpen mgmt., and everybody buckling down and leaving these blunders on defense behind. Those little things are what can stop us from our goal - WORLD SERIES!!!

bgreg98180 said...

Cespedes 3 home runs and 7rbi and the game is not over.
He is definitely making noise tonight.

Michael S. said...

To the point about the future lineup, I think d'Arnaud and Conforto absolutely will be able to SLG enough to hit in RBI slots. TDA continues to pace at 25+ HR over a full season and Conforto is growing into his power. It all depends on what's done with the cleanup spot.

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