Mack’s Morning Report – 2-24-16 – Josh Smoker, Bryce Harper, Alejando de Aza, Juan Lagares


Good morning.

Jonathan Mayo ranked the top Mets prospects and here were the top players by skill category –

      Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average.

Hit: Dominic Smith (60)
Power: Wuilmer Becerra (55)
Run: Desmond Lindsay (60)
Arm: Amed Rosario (65)
Defense: Luis Guillorme (65)
Fastball: Josh Smoker (70)
Curveball: Seth Lugo (55)
Slider: Dario Alvarez (60)
Changeup: Akeel Morris (60)
Control: Gabriel Ynoa (60)

      Mack – Let’s talk Smoker.

Smoker was a first round pick (31st overall) in the 2007 draft, out of Calhoun (GA) High School, by the Washington Nationals.

He pitched six years in the Nationals organization, producing mostly sub-par numbers (2008: A-ball – 0-4, 11.50… 2010: A-ball – 3-10, 6.50). He also fell victim to two shoulder surgeries, which limited him to pitching in only six games in 2012 and none in 2013.

The Nats cut fish before the 2013 season and Smoker relieved in 28 games for Rockford in the independent Frontier League (4.03). Again, nothing special, but the 95+ mph smoke was beginning to come back.

The Mets took a chance on him last season and it truly paid off in St. Lucie, where he went 14-G, 1.69, 0.84, 21.1-IP, 26-K, only 6-BB. Smoker finished the season in Binghamton where some of his past control problems returned (4.71- BB/9) but he also produced 26Ks in 21 innings pitched.

Smoker will pitch 2007 as a 27-year old and he still needs to work on his control, but the smoking hot fastball that has been clocked at 100 (a lefty!) will give the Mets many reasons to give this kid time to get his game completely under control.

I don’t expect to see him in Queens this year, but you never know what with injuries and all.

Did you notice the story in the NY Post by Kevin Kernan about the New York Yankees and Bryce Harper?

Harper is scheduled to be a free agent after the 2018 season and Kernan suggests that the Yankees need to save up $400mil for a package to offer Harper and his agent ($40mil a year for 10 years?). He hit .330 in 2015 and led the majors in home runs, runs, OBP, slugging percentage, and OPS.

He also is 23 years old.

This is a Yankee waiting to happen, but could this possibly be a contract worth this much? Can you imagine this guy any more arrogant than he is now?

Look, it’s three years off but do we all agree he will go to the Bronx or do you think the head case will be Hollywood bound?

Alejando de Aza arrived in camp on time. He told reporters that he had no problem with the Mets resigning Yoenis Cespedes and muddling up who is going to play where.

The good news for de Aza is that, even if he spends most of his time on the bench, he cashes as $5.75mil check while doing it.

De Aza did not have a great year in 2015 and is getting a little long in the tooth (turns 32 in April). His best day as a Met may be payday.

Speaking of outfielders out on a limb, Juan Lagares told Ken Davidoff -

“I don’t know for sure what’s going to happen. I only know I’m ready 100 percent this year. Last year, I started the season hurt. I feel good this year. Let’s see what happens.”

Mack – I didn’t know that Lagares worked out this of-season with ex-Met Jose Reyes (who I’m still not over). This comes at a time where it is reported that Reyes has worn out his welcome with Colorado Rockies management due to the domestic violence allegations being levied against him.
I happen to be one of those guys that think Lagares will get a lot of bat time this season, but it easily could be based on how well he starts off the season. Trust me, a slow start will put pressure on Terry Collins to insert de Aza in more often.

Jacob deGrom to return to mound today.

Gavin Cecchini gets cortisone shot for residual shoulder inflammation. 


Thomas Brennan said...

Smoker is intriguing - nail down that control, sir. We need heat in Citifield.

Bryce Harper will likely be a Yankee. Why? He likely wants to hit 800 or more career homers, and where better for a lefty to do it?

I am with de Aza...I love pay day.

Cecchini cortisone shot? Too young for that to be starting.

I think Juan bounces back, partly because he won't hit against a lot of righties.

Love this team.

Ernest Dove said...

Notice the rating on Rosario arm....... I told u that scrawny kid had a cannon. His speed should be above average too.

Dallas said...

I don't understand the distaste for Harper. The guy can really play ball. The kid isnt perfect but its not like he is Cole Hamels or Rollins talking shit. I think considering the situation (massive success at a young age) he has handled himself pretty well. When he starts beating his wife/gf or talking shit or playing the game the wrong way then get back to me. Honestly would love to see him in a Mets uniform.

Ernest Dove said...

I have no problem with yankees signing harper.......let them win the back pages in the news while the Mets hopefully by 2018 already have another world series title under their belt.

Brian Joura said...

Any more news on Cecchini? Didn't he end last year with shoulder problems?

Mack Ade said...

Brian -

That was the first I heard about anything wrong there.

I'll snif around and come back with anything I find in tomorrow morning's report

Thomas Brennan said...

Is it possible we passed on Giolito because he had arm issues, and drafted Cecchini who ends up with arm issues? That would be ironic.

Charles said...

I believe he ended the AFL with shoulder issues and had to cancel playing in a international tournament. It still isn't better despite the off season. Probably isn't good.

Anonymous said...

Unless the article I read was wrong, GC had the shot in his LEFT shoulder, not the one he throws with. I don't know which one bothered him in the AFL.

Mack--- gotta disagree with you about deAza. He'll only play vs RHPs, so who will he replace? Vs LHPs, Lag is clearly superior to him. But I expect de Aza to start the season in Texas, anyway.

Did anyone else notice Mack's pun (intentional?) about Smoker's "smoking" FB? Good one, Mack!

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