Mack’s Morning Report – 3-11-16 – Q and A, T.J. Rivera, Dominic Smith, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz

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.


Tom Brennan said...

For TJ Rivera's sake, it is a really good thing Mackey Sasser took that phone call. I'm sticking with my Jeff Keppinger comp for him until proven otherwise.

Put some of that new Dominic Smith meat on Amed's bones and we'll have two superstars.

If the Mets were not expecting a World Series return, but were the sub .500 squad we'd so long been accustomed to, Dilson Herrera would be our opening day starting 2B. If anyone falters or is hurt later in the year, he will be fully ready.

Syndergaard is my #1 favorite. I'm hoping for 1985 Doc Gooden.

Matz is my pick for Rookie of the Year. Good hitting and pen will help him.

Mack Ade said...

Thank you Thomas for picking up the fact that I forgot to schedule my Morning Report to post up at 8am. I was up most of the night and it must have slipped (what's left of my ) mind.

bgreg98180 said...


Regarding Rivera possibly being able to hit .300 at the major league level:

With the lack of .300 hitters on the Mets and across MLB.......
if Rivera could hit .300 at the majors, he may not become a super star,
But I think he would be right up there with very valuable players and stars in today's game.

Tom Brennan said...

Bob, I still think the Keppinger comp is the best. Only one year close to full time, but 3 years over .300.

bgreg98180 said...


The only thing I would like to point out comparing Rivera possibly hitting .300 to the .300 avg of Keppinger, is that there are less .300 avg hitters in the game today, compared to when Keppinger was playing.

Mack Ade said...

Bob -
You are right. there are far fewer .300 hitters in the majors anymore.

Has to be the pitchers, right?

Tom Brennan said...

Bob, point well taken.

Tom Brennan said...

Bob, another guy with some similarities to Rivera? Dave Magadan