Q and A from Art –
It's been a long time since we talked, but I still read the blog from time to time.
I have a question or two for you re: some Mets prospects I'm hoping you're willing to answer:
What's the deal with TJ Rivera? He seems to have produced with the 51s and is having a decent spring so far, but he's, what? 27?
Dilson Herrera is also looking good, but he's 21 or so, right? He's producing down at AAA, so why did the Mets pick up Walker? Do they have that little faith in Herrera?
Lastly, when do you see Dominic Smith breaking into the bigs... Kid's got a sweet stroke.
Thanks much, ART
Mack – Good to hear from you Art.
Rivera is one of the favorites on this site. He’s an undrafted kid that has hit at all levels and simply won’t go away. I don’t see him ever being a star at this game but he looks like a potential utility player that can play all four infield positions while hitting .300.
Regarding Herrera, the Mets did give him two short shots, neither of which worked out very well. He’s very talented, but he’s also very young and I think the Mets did a very smart thing in signing Walker for a year and taking the pressure off this kid. I look for him to have a great year in Las Vegas.
Regarding Smith, like Rivera, he too is a big favorite here on Mack’s Mets. Moreover, like Herrera, he too is young and needs the time to mature and learn to use those new muscles he has built in the off-season (the hope of which will bring increased pop).
New York Mets Prospects -KATOH Projects from Fangraphs -
1. Gavin Cecchini, SS (Profile) - KATOH Projection: 5.8 WAR
Dan’s Grade: 45 FV - Back in 2012, which wasn’t all that long ago, the Mets popped Cecchini with the 12th pick in the draft. His prospect stock cratered, however, with underwhelming performances in the low minors. He redeemed himself last year, though, when he hit .317/.377/.442 as a 21-year-old shortstop in Double-A. Cecchini doesn’t offer a ton of power or speed, but his high-contact approach should allow him to succeed in the majors. It’s unclear whether he’ll be able to stick at shortstop, so I considered second basemen, third basemen and shortstops in my Mahalanobis comps.
Mack – I just don’t know where this guy fits in anymore. Amed Rosario is biting up his arse at short (and we haven’t even brought up the other 5,467 lower level shortstop prospects the Mets have in their system) while Dilson Herrera seems to own the future at second.
My plan here would be to play him every day in Vegas, do everything you can to keep him healthy, and package him mid-season for additional help at a different position.
It was Noah Syndergaard’s turn on Thursday… perfect through two inning with 22 pitches… it’s amazing how most teams throw two great pitches at you… this team has four… showing up new cutter and hitting 97-98… 3-1P, 1-H, 0-R, 2-K, 0-BB…
Harvey/deGrom/Syndergaard/Matz combined in their spring debuts: 12 IP, 3 ER, 10 H, 8 K, 4 BB
The Astrubel Cabrera’s bad knee injury could create some immediate developments in camp. Obviously, this will get some more field time for both Ruben Tejada (who replaced Cabrera and serves up 2-run homer) and Wilmer Flores. Cabrera feels he will be fine, but is going to get an Xray anyway…
T,J, Rivera is beginning to get recognized by the main street media –
When Mackey Sasser coached him in junior college, T.J. Rivera was "a blue-collar player" who could really hit. Sasser, the former Mets catcher, believed Rivera could be a pro player, so he was stunned when the 2011 amateur draft came and went and Rivera wasn't picked.
But then Sasser, who is now in his 19th year coaching at Alabama’s Wallace Community College, got a phone call from Mets scout Tommy Jackson, looking for some insight on Rivera, a Bronx native. Rivera's stat lines had caught the eye of Ian Levin, the Mets' director of minor-league operations.
Ten National League Prospects who could make a difference in 2016 -
Steven Matz, New York Mets - The Flushing Faithful saw exactly why scouts were so excited about lefty Steven Matz when he debuted in June.
A torn lat muscle sidelined the 24-year-old for two months, which had the added bonus of keeping his innings below rookie limits for 2016.
The 6'2," 200-pound Long Island native finished the regular season 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA and 1.234 WHIP in 35.2 innings, plus a 3.68 ERA and 1.432 WHIP in 14.2 innings in three starts in the postseason.
The command of the southpaw's fastball, which typically sits around 95 mph, and the addition of an above-average slider would put Matz near the top of any major league rotation. On the Mets, he's a stud No. 4.