Mack’s Morning Report – 3-20-16 – Lucas Duda, Minor League Catchers. Ruben Tejada, Captain Kirk


Good morning.

 Paul Kastava's prediction –

Lucas Duda will be a top 5 fantasy 1B - The low batting average, lack of RBI’s, and the strength of 1B fantasy talent has kept Duda out of the top five so far in his career. Duda should have the best line-up he’s ever had surrounding him, meaning more RBI opportunities, and even more opportunities to be driven in. He’s averaged slightly over 28 home runs over the past two seasons, and if he’s able to stay healthy and plays a full season, breaking 30 homers is certainly within the realm of possibility. Stories are breaking that have Duda taking less practice swings before games, which some contribute to his past injuries. Breaking 30 home runs and 100 RBI’s will place Duda in some top tier company at first base.

Mack – Looks like people, like me, are starting to jump on the Duda train.

I really believe that the only thing that could derail Duda this year would be a major injury.

There’s been a lot of chatter recently on whether Johnny Monell or Kevin Plawecki will be the backup catcher to Travis d’Arnaud this season. Sandy Alderson poo-poo’s this and says the real issue is the lack of quality catchers in the system.

Here’s who is projected for Las Vegas, Binghamton, and St. Lucie –

          Vegas -       Xorge Carrillo – 26/yrs - .240
                             Johnny Monell – 30/yrs - .167 (Mets)
                             Nevin Ashley – 31/yrs – AAA: .306
Jeff Glenn – 24/yrs - .191

                  B-Mets -    Raywilly Gomez – 26/yrs - .291

          St. Lucie - Colton Plaia – 25/yrs - .285
                             Tomas Nido – 22/yrs - .259
                             Adrian Abreu – 25/yrs - .097
                             Lednier Ricardo – 28/yrs - .188

Frankly, there are no catching prospects in the top three levels of the system. The best you have in the system is Ali Sanchez who signed as an international prospect ($690K) in 2013. Sanchez will probably play 2016 in Brooklyn which means he is years away from projecting.

Additionally, Patrick Mazeika was a pleasant surprise in Kingsport (.354) and he could turn out to be another person to keep an eye on, but, past that the system seems thin at the catcher position.

As expected, Ruben Tejada signed up with the St. Louis Cardinals, giving the team a fill-in at shortstop until their starter, Jhonny Peralta, who is projected to return around June. Tejada signed for $1.5mil, half of what the Mets were paying him.

There are reports out there that re rejected an offer to sign with the New York Yankees. Thanks Ruben for avoiding tat creep show.

          I’m happy he’s found a place to play every day and give him the chance to prove the Mets made a short sided decision.

An email received form Joe –

          Generally agree with the many negative comments made on your report.  The one exception is Capt. Kirk.  In his time with the Mets believe he was never really provided the opportunity to prove himself.  To have done this would mean that Collins would have to continue to play him when on his slumps.  He had provided enough big hit on numerous occasions to have earned this opportunity.  Look in the second half of last year.  Of course there was three home run game. One to left, one to left center and one to right field, down the line.  Good stuff. Shortly thereafter had a four hit came with a bunch of RBI’s Conforto did the same thing that day. There were a few game with only one hit, usually a double.  Then we never saw him in a meaningful situation again until the tremendous home run against Washington.  This was his last meaningful opportunity as a Met. He arguably was their best all round outfielder from the standpoint of reaching ball, throwing out runner and all round speed.  I believe and hope that another Manager, one without his own hang ups, can allow him to develop his confidence   well in any case it is either make it this year or say good bye to the game.  My prayers are with him! - Joe Ruffino

                   Mack – Glad you took the time to email me, Joe.

          One thing I can say about sports blogs… all opinions are either positive or negative.

          I will say this about your defense of Newie… I’ve seen Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins give many players a very short rope to excel.

 On the other hand, Nieuwenius did play for the Mets for parts of four seasons though and the highest he hit was .259.

To date, only one seems to have proven the Mets wrong and that’s the under playing of Justin Turner.

Let’s hope the Captain has a great year for the Brewers this season.


Ernest Dove said...

I can dream about Dominic Smith all day but the fact remains that Duda is in the prime of his career. He's now years removed from the pressure of a competition at his position and as stated he will have the best ssurrounding lineup he's ever had around him.
If he comes close to 30 & 100 it will an amazin offseason for him and the team and the drama that will surround it ;)

Although if Mets win world series none of us will probably care much if he's salary dumped or extended because we'll be way too happy to notice :)

Tom Brennan said...

Duda will thrive in 2016. 40 homers would be nice. Big Guy, so think big.

Ruben can prove me and Reese wrong. Cardinal magic seems to work wonders.

Should we be alarmed at the beating Colon took the other day?

Plawecki or No help for back up catcher...sorry, Johnny, I go with KP. Wish rules let us carry 3.

TP said...

If KPlaw goes to AAA, the catching prospects look good. If he stays with the Mets, the system looks thin. Since he is 25, this is not a big deal so long as the don't deal him or TDA.

It will be very interesting to see how Duda does in a much deeper lineup. With a little confidence and aggression, he could be a monster.

I will root for Ruben and the Captain, except when they play the Mets. I do thing it was a mistake to deal both Kirk and Ceciliani...I understand that they didn't expect to sign Cespedes, but either would have made a solid 5th OF that brings some speed, some pop, and good D.

bgreg98180 said...

Can someone please explain a value in playing Cespedes in CF while Lagares is in LF, that outweighs Lagares in CF and sliding Cespedes to LF?

This is another Collins decision that in my opinion, seems to be his over thinking.
Just like last year's slipping Cespedes into the 2nd spot of the lineup.

Hobie said...


Over-thinking is essentially under-thinking without the "I didn't think of that" excuse.

Mack Ade said...

Bob -

Reese seems to right about TC... he just seems to come up with different lineups just for the hell of it

Metsiac said...

The same Reese who consistently rips Terry for "stubbornly refusing to try new things"?

Metsiac said...

MLBTR.com listed players with no options remaining who are possible waiver candidates, and two catchers caught my eye: Yankees' Austin Ronine and former Met Josh Thole. IMO, either would be worth considering for our backup job. I'd lean to JT because of his LH bat, but either would do.

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