Mack’s Morning Report – Las Vegas 51’s – 2017 Outfield


Good morning.

Here’s what would be my Las Vegas outfield would be on opening day –
First, let me say this. This outfield is not going to be as talented as the infield is. Potentially, I see only one guy that could make a difference at the major leave level. That being said, let’s get on with it -

LF – Victor Cruzado – Cruzado had a halfway decent season last year in Binghamton (364-AB, .261), splitting time with Jayce Boyd (270-AB, .259). The difference was the 8 HRs he hit vs. Boyd’s 2. Cruzado will turn 25 in June and should settle in nicely as a AAAA institutional player for Las Vegas for two or three season.

CF – Brandon Nimmo – Brandon, Brandon, Brandon… I was extremely pleased with his late season stats (73-AB, .274) with the Mets. As you see, I don’t think it’s enough to win away the 5th outfield slot in Queens and take it away from Mike Conforto. Nimmo is going to have to wait one more time for the injury phone call, or be packaged in a deal for a new reliever or catcher. One thing in his favor… the Mets have a few guys now that can be added to a package deal (Gsellman, T.J., Nimmo) and maybe get a decent deal done without hurting the core of the team.

RF – Travis Taijeron – The soon-to-be 28-year old (January) had an impressive 2016 for Las Vegas… 459-AB, 19-HR, 88-RBIs), but a .275 batting average in this league is sub-par. Like most AAAA power hitters, he strikes out far too much to be a potential major leaguer (166-K). I assume his power bat, and lack of prospect outfielders in the pipeline, will keep his around for a while.

OF/UT – Matt Oberste – Oberste is a potential next-Lucas Duda as a DH only. He can smack the hell out the ball, but his overall game is far below major league standard. Like Taijeron, will settle in as a AAAA player.

OF/UT – Ty Kelly – Kelly would have qualified for the 3rd highest batting average in the PCL if he had enough at-bats (271-AB, .328). You can’t get rid of guy like this and, frankly, he did produce a little for the parent club on their quest to make the playoffs (58-AB, .241-BA). Still, Kelly is at best a AAAA player and an injury replacement if needed.


Thomas Brennan said...

Other than Nimmo, not an inspiring group, albeit competent for AAA.

Nimmo could still be a good (perhaps very good) major leaguer, and what he can do for an encore in 2017 is start to hit for more power - his homer totals have been paltry (12 last year in over 500 PAs in AAA and bigs), but that long homer he hit at Citifield last year shows he's got some pop. If I were him, my goal is to double my homer rate.

I was hopeful for Taijeron in early July, when he peaked at .314, but he hit only .200 the rest of the way (32-160), so it seems he is peaking at AAAA material.

Ty Kelly was similar, but somewhat better...hit .390 in April and May, call ups started and he hit just .282 with ZERO homers in 156 AAA at bats after May. He did do OK as a utility OF for the Mets in his 70 plate appearances, a plus for him in an organization where we get too many Soup Campbell-like performances from our utility OFs.

Thomas Brennan said...

Watch Tebow go and retire on me, but I believe we will see Tebow playing full time in the AAA outfield before the end of 2017. Sink or swim - they will rush him.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

You and I both know that mental is 50% of this game.

I think Nimmo learned last year that he can compete at the major league level. He may turn out to eventually be a starter someday.

Thomas Brennan said...

Yep, Mack, early success can remove the final hurdle to a guy blossoming.

Reese Kaplan said...

What I'm curious to see in Nimmo is if he can handle CF. He came up playing there but switched to the corner. His fastest route to the majors might be a platoon partner for Juan Lagares if they find themselves in need of CF (Cespedes signs elsewhere and Bruce is traded).

Mack Ade said...

Reese -

FWIW, Nimmo played a decent CF in Savannah

Ernest Dove said...

Id like to see Kevin Kaczmarski in a Vegas uniform by summer time.
Based on his age at time of drafting poor guy already to play out 2017 as a 25 year old.
I liked him a lot in Lucie. Looked like a men among boys, but again he was already 24 playing in that league.
I also liked his defense.

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

I agree but Sandy and Company hasn't tested his college draftees that much in the past.


I would start them off in the year they were drafted for A-Columbia.

Then year 2 - split A-St. Lucie and AA-Binghamton

Then year 3 - AAA

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