9/19/17

Tom Brennan - WHAT TO DO WITH HARVEY?

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Tom Brennan - WHAT TO DO WITH HARVEY?

Boy was Matt Harvey great in 2012 and 2013 - and awfully darned good the year he returned from Tommy John surgery in 2015 too:  25-18 (only not better due to lack of offensive support), 2.53 ERA, 9.5 Ks per 9 IP, 1.00 WHIP.

But the past two seasons, 9-16 (not worse thanks only to good run support), and in 177 innings, he's allowed 6 runs per 9 innings, a WHIP of 1.57, and 7 Ks per 9 IP.  Injury prone, too.  That's a whole lot of bad road.  Bottom 10% starter stuff.

He is making $5.13 million this year.  Despite two straight dismal years, he likely would get at least a modest raise to (let's say) $6 million for 2018.

Is he worth it?  Or should he be non-tendered?  if the latter, you end up looking stupid if he rebounds in 2018.

Presumably he will have two more 2017 starts to give any indication that the past 2 years' substandard performance might be changing or even might change in 2018.

You're the GM - what do you do?
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Peter Hyatt - Darryl Strawberry Lashes Out At Mets

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As if this season could not get any more dreary for the Mets, Darryl Strawberry is disowning them." so said the NY Post, playing into the hands of the attention seeking and troubled Darryl Strawberry. 

Strawberry ripped the organization he started his baseball career with while fondly remembering his time with George Steinbrenner and the Yankees.
He is probably the greatest owner there ever will be in sports. He loved people and he loved his players. Anyone that puts on a Yankees uniform is family to him,” Strawberry said in a radio interview. 

His praise of Steinbrenner is because when MLB had just about enough of Strawberry, the Yankees gave him yet another chance.  

“He doesn’t turn his back on his players, like the other organization across town. It’s just the reality, it’s real. The players on the ’86 championship team, we don’t even deal with the Mets. It’s not Fred Wilpon, it’s the new thing.”

Strawberry reveals his own weakness of assertion by his pronoun change.  He has the need to portray his anger with the Mets as 1986 team wide.   

It is not.  

It is Strawberry and only Strawberry.  

How out of touch is Strawberry with reality?  Forget that two teammates are still currently employed with the Mets as announcers, and others, including Doc Gooden, have been to Citi Field this year 

That “new thing” is likely in reference to the Sandy Alderson regime and their awkward relationship with the franchise’s most famous title squad. Former Alderson lieutenant Paul DePodesta famously said in 2011, “I’m tired of hearing about the ’86 Mets.”

This was the last time the New York Mets had won the World Series.  These are the words of one who is not satisfied to watch decades of not winning the World Series pass, while others want to mainline nostalgia.

Strawberry cannot speak for himself.  He must, like the kindergartener in trouble, look for strength in numbers.  It is something guilt causes:

We’ve never been back. I never want to go back, I’d rather stay with the Yankees than deal with the Mets,” Strawberry said. “It hurts us. It hurts what they’ve done to the players I’ve seen. What they did to Ray Knight, what they did to Gary Carter. Those were key players that gave so much. They laid their life on the line those years.”

Being paid millions of dollars for a boys' game is "laying your life on the line"?  This is the linguistic signal of just how disassociated the addiction has taken him from reality.

Men with weapons fighting enemies with live ammunition is laying one's life on the line.

Perhaps Strawberry's own verbal leakage about "lines" is evident.

The Mets' management is made up of flawed humans who anger other flawed humans.  They low ball salaries and they go into a fight in arbitration.  It is a business.  

Strawberry, though, worked with Mets-owned SNY as an analyst from 2007 to 2009.

He is not known for his intellect, but his mouth.  This is a similar reputation that Noah Syndergaard is working hard at maintaining.  The incessant victim fighting the system.  Its an old story, but not a recipe for consistent winning.

Strawberry isn't the only 86 Met to have worked for the Mets.  His memory is short:

 Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling have been part of the network since its inception. Tim Teufel, Howard Johnson, Mookie Wilson, Lenny Dykstra, Wally Backman, Bob Ojeda and Randy Niemann have had different roles in the major and minor leagues since retiring.

Strawberry left the Mets for the Dodgers in free agency following the 1990 season, and after struggling with injuries and drug issues off the field, for more money.  It was he who was not loyal; not the Mets.

He squandered world class, and possibly Hall of Fame talent, and eventually landed with the Yankees in 1996.

Keith Hernandez recently said that Strawberry was one of three best talents he had ever personally played with.  Its high praise.

Strawberry, the grown man millionaire knows the lingo of playing himself as both victim and "little boy lost"; something men sometimes use to exploit women:  

“He was a father, a father to the hopeless,” Strawberry, who won three World Series with the Yankees, said of Steinbrenner.

“He would go get players no one else would touch. There was a few of us, and he just loved us. He was different than anyone I’ve ever experienced.

Who's "us" here?

No one else would "touch"?

How strange that major league teams might be reluctant to take upon cocaine addicted narcissists with big mouths. 

Strawberry portrays himself as a victim; something every addict knows leads to more substance abuse.  Those working sobriety take full responsibility for life; they don't talk about taking full responsibility, they take it.  

Strawberry was a talented but very troubled man who was not able to handle retirement and not being the center of attention. In spite of his millions, he could not be happy unless everyone was looking at him.  He has always done whatever he could, including tearing down teammates, in order to gain attention.  

He immediately became a "minister", without the requisite need to go to 3 years of Seminary after 4 years of college.  No, he would just stand up in front of people and be a star. 

His brand of "Christianity" was an insult to the ideology of Christianity.  He soon learned that he could not draw in the crowds and get the rush he once had when 50,000 people screamed his name.  What devoted men call a "calling" in life, he quickly abandoned.  

The need for attention continues to drive Strawberry.  Recall his "public concern" over Dwight Gooden recently where he claimed Gooden was "definitely using again", though Strawberry did not have first hand knowledge of such.  All it accomplished, besides angering Gooden, was to get Strawberry a few more minutes of media attention.  

His need to speak for others is inherently weak.  

He does not represent the 1986 New York Mets.  

He has become a sorry excuse of a whiner who speaks in ways that would make his AA or NA sponsor very nervous.  

He has always held authority in contempt.  Whether this authority be in a manager, teammates, local law enforcement or the laws of the land, Daryl Strawberry has always seen himself as above all. 

It is getting late in the game for Strawberry to find dignity. 

There is a huge difference between one who finds quiet dignity in life, and another who, every few years, declares publicly to have finally found it. 

One is reality; the other is a verbalized perception of reality only. 


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Tom Brennan - PITCHING UGLY

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Tom Brennan - PITCHING UGLY

About 15 years ago, a movie came out named Coyote Ugly.  Did not see it, but it crossed my mind that the 2017 Mets starters have had a lot of PITCHING UGLY. 

So much so that it is almost impossible to imagine that their record is not worse, frankly.

I looked at all starters not named Thor and Jake

Combined those others have started ONE HUNDRED FOURTEEN GAMES OF UGLY.  Some of the 10 guys also relieved in some games, and what I show below are their totals, including their relief outings (I only have 15 minutes for this, what do you want from me??)

But the totals for the terrible ten are just ugly:

114 starts, 625 innings, 398 earned runs, 5.73 ERA and (almost miraculously good with such bad pitching) a 31-52 combined record for Montero, Lugo, Wheeler, Gsellman, Pill, Matz, Harvey, Flexen, Milone, and Wilk.

114 ugly starts represents a jaw-dropping 76.5% of all their starts through Sunday.  With a 5.73 ERA.

This from a team that entering 2017 many felt had a chance to have a historically great starting rotation.

How they are only 19 games under .500, given the above, is very hard to fathom.

Just Ugly.  Pitching Ugly.  Mets Style Ugly.
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Tom Brennan – RHYS HOSKINS AND JOSH PREVOST

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This is another tale of draft philosophies.  Some draft philosophies are correct ones, and then there is the Mets’ wrong philosophy.

The Mets have done pretty well drafting a few starting pitchers (Harvey, Matz) and lucky with others in later rounds (deGrom, Lugo). 
Relievers, not well at all (a bunch of guys have done OK in the minors but lack the velocity to dominate major leaguers. So far, Paul Sewald and Chase Bradford).

Hitters?  Pretty awful, thank you.  Yes, Michael Conforto is great, but he fell to them and was clearly a no-brainer pick. 
Other very high offensive picks? The jury is still out on Dom Smith.  Ditto Brandon Nimmo, who at least so far has clearly substandard power for a first round OF. 
Gavin Cecchini?  A puzzling first round pick at the time that still appears puzzling – devoid of power. 
What about 2nd rounder Des Lindsay?  Still waiting for a season of more than 65 games to see if he is prospect or suspect, and how much power he might provide.

The Mets, with the notable exceptions like Conforto and Pete Alonso, seem to avoid draftfew ing power like the plague.  Heck, their one winning minor league team this year was Binghamton and they hit 66 homers – the 2nd to last team hit 89, and the best of the bunch hit 153, or nearly 2 ½ times the Mets' AA rate.

Some teams seek out power, understanding that power is the straw that stirs the drink.  The Yankees will draft a baseball-captivating Aaron Judge and sign a Garry Sanchez (50 major league homers in 622 at bats).  The Mets, on the other hand, sign 16 shortstops a year who combine for 3 homers and weigh as much in total as Judge and Sanchez.

Philadelphia knows that power is valuable in the bigs, and they draft that way…152 homers for their International League AAA team, one of the league’s best – Vegas was close with 146, but in a hitters’ league; in AA, 153 Phils homers vs. Mets’ 66; in High A, 104 Phils dingers vs Mets’ 78; in Full A, 84 over the wall from Phils’ bats vs. Mets’ 67; in NY Penn ball, 45 “outa here” vs. Mets’ 17; in GCL ball, 25 vs. Mets’ 14.  So on those 6 levels, the Phils hit 175 more homers than the Mets’ teams.  Because the Mets hate to draft power.  Despise it.  Recoil from it.

One such Phils power signing was 2014 5th rounder Rhys Hoskins.  The Mets decided that they did not need to try a power bat in that draft with a relatively high selection, and 3 picks later in round 5 drafted forgettable starter/reliever Josh Prevost, with an underwhelming 125 Ks in 183 IP.  That K rate is far from an OK rate, OK?

Rhys Hoskins in 900 minor league at bats in 2016 and 2017 hit 67 homers; in the big leagues, a major league record 17 homers in his first 33 games through September 13.  But our wonderful organization’s preference?  Not a power hitter.  Nope.  A “solid” minor league reliever in Prevost who was clearly not a flame thrower.  Why, you never know when a guy like him might be the next Eddie Kunz, right?  Eddie was so steady…he got steadily worse, for anyone paying attention.

The round before, the Mets picked Eudor Garcia, a seemingly decent bat but not a HR POWER bat.  He hit just 16 homers in 900 plate appearances before heading to Tijuana to play for the Toros.  The land of siestas!

Who else have they picked in the 4th and 5th rounds recently?  Oh me, oh my, you had to ask?

In 2013, the utterly mediocre Jared King in the 5th round, and equally mediocre LJ Mazzilli in the 4th round.  No power there for either.  In 3,316 minor league at bats the 2 combined for 35 homers, or 1 every 95 plate appearances.  Dead ball era stuff.  Mazzilli went in the same round, by the way, as LAD Cody Bellinger, who will win NL Rookie of the Year over Rhys Hoskins because LAD drafted for power and Cody has hit 37 homers in 116 games in his rookie campaign.

2012, in the 4th and 5th rounds, Branden Kaupe and Brandon Welch were selected.   “Good or bad does not matter this season, boys, just pick me a Brandon or two.”  The 5’7” Kaupe went to the plate 600 times and managed 4 (yes just 4) doubles and 6 triples.  Homers?  “No, sir, those fences are just too deep for me.  I almost hit one in batting practice, though.  And two of my longest shots equaled one of Aaron Judge’s, isn’t that enough?” 

Welch, like Kaupe, was released from rookie ball Brooklyn; the non-fireballer fanned 43 in 65 innings. “Those 6 K per 9 inning guys in rookie ball project out to 1.6 Ks per 9 innings at the big league level, we’ll take 3 of those, please,” said Sandy Alderson.

 In 2015, OK, I concede a bit, they did OK - they picked pitcher Tom Szapucki (very good pick) and David Thompson (modest power, time will tell if his ceiling is AAA or MLB).

2016?  Picked in the 4th round was diminutive IF Michael Paez (another 5’7” guy – so many teams pick future MLB stars that are 5’7” right?) with some power (12 homers in 700 plate appearances, .230).  In the 5th round, a wildly whiffing SS (58 Ks in 179 ABs this season) with little power (Colby Woodmansee) whose career stats are .213/.268/.276.  “Love those low power, high strikeout hitters, don’t you, boys?  Let’s draft several of these this year.”

In 2017, a hopefully good reliever in Tony Dibrell in round 4, and (not to be insulting, since his is a limited sample) powerless Matt Winaker (1 double in 86 plate appearances) in the 5th round.  When I say one double, I am implying there are no triples and no homers, in case you are unsure.

So, Mets' braintrust (seemingly short on brains and we can't trust them), draft for power please – sometimes (when you do, as with 7th round Lucas Duda) you just get lucky.  Stop drafting guys with average speed, low-to-non existent power, and nice smiles.  I’ll take power and scowls myself.  Not that Rhys Hoskins scowls.  He will, howeved, help the Phils win and draw fans.
But I tell you what, can we ask the Phils if we can have Rhys Hoskins and they can have all of the 4th and 5th rounders I list above in exchange?  I don’t think they’ll bite, do you?  But it can't hurt to ask - so much quantity for just one guy.
You want power, draft power hitters - or pay $110 million for 4 years to buy one - it is up to you.
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9/18/17

Peter Hyatt - Gavin Ceccihini

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Saturday night, Gavin Cecchini went 3 for 4 and I was contacted by a Mets' insider who said, 

"I don't know for certain but look for Collins to bench Cecchini in favor of Reyes tomorrow at second base."

The Mets starting line up for Sunday, September 17, 2016, as they are 25 games out of first place?

1.  Norichika Aoki  RF 
2.  Jose Reyes 2B  

At least Collins is giving Philip Evans a chance to play third in favor of the current hot hitting but lame duck Cabrera. 

Cecchini is just beginning to get major league pitching.  The former first rounder has found very little precious playing time.  If not for injuries, he'd not get the essential and scarce experience needed to adjust to the major league level. 

Terry Collins continues to hold on to the lost clubhouse by favoring vets; something that reached a point of no return with Jay Bruce when he finally spoke out about it.  Bruce specified Amed Rosario specifically, but added about his hope for others. 

Keith Hernandez explained this well, and even Ron Darling, forgetting for a moment that he went to Yale, addressed it:

The few precious innings of major league baseball experience is something the kids fight for, crave and must have if they are going to develop into the future.  Darling talked about the opportunities that must be given to kids.  When Hernandez was not in the booth, Darling defended Collins, playing both sides.  Hernandez, the curmudgeonesque critic, had been calling for Rosario's promotion for months, as well as the playing of kids.  He was frustrated watching the season lost before summer, as Collins refused to budge from a failing line up, both offensively and defensively.  

At 25 games out, eliminated and furlong, it is unthinkable that Collins continues to play Jose Reyes, Astrubal Cabrera and waiver pick up, the weak hitting 35 year old Norichika Aoki. With Cabrera's hitting streak, after losing 5 in a row, it matters not.  The Mets know what Cabrera brings, just like Reyes, for consideration for utility next year.  There's no purpose to playing any of these three.  Collins' response to this objection was to say "winning is contagious" after we won a few games from the cellar dwellers.   

It is well known what they can do.  

What is not known is if Gavin Cecchini can develop into a full time second basemen for the New York Mets in 2018.  

It is unthinkable that as the season winds down, playing time is being given where it should not be. 

It is frustrating for fans who long for leadership changes for the 2018 Mets.  It is frustrating for the fans who want to see hunger on the field, and not the nonchalance of egos.  

Even the New York Post had to admit:  the Mets leadership regrets the Cespedes signing, yet appear helpless to change the stagnant environment within a static refusal to move forward. 

Gavin Cecchini, at all of 22 years of age, like Amed Rosario and Dom Smith:  is not tired.  He does not need nor want a rest.  

He wants to be out there working through the issues, just like we see with both Dom Smith's figuring out the off speed pitches, and Amed Rosario adjusting to the speed of play. 

Should Cecchini prove to be a solid fixture at 2B, it would leave us with only 3B as a desperate need. 

Yet, we may not now know, because Cecchini is not being given the time on the field he needs to figure things out.  

The at-bats accumulated in September can be taken into off season work outs and Spring training.  It takes time for the brain to make the minute adjustments needed at this level.  

Cecchini appears to have the talent. 

If only Collins would let Reyes, Cabrera and Noki go golfing with Cespedes, we could see if any of these kids has what it takes to make a difference.  






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Tom Brennan - SEASON RECAP: BINGHAMTON METS

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Tom Brennan - SEASON RECAP: BINGHAMTON METS

The B Mets went 31 games over .500 at 85-54 and roared into the playoffs a mighty hot team.  Unfortunately, their draw was the 92-48 Trenton Thunder of the Yankee farm system. Our only playoff team out of seven minors squads sadly had a short lived playoff run.

The Mets won a brilliantly pitched first shutout game (Oswalt, Peterson, and Bashlor combining for 12 Ks), but then got swept the next 3 games as they got thoroughly outhit and outpitched.

So Binghamton did a lot right this year, but exactly where?

In team batting, they hit .260 (6th, but just 4 points out of 2nd), but were UTTERLY DEAD LAST in homers with 66 (Reading had 153, and the second to last place HR squad had 23 more at 89).  

The B Mets were a pretty poor 9th out of 12 teams with 582 runs (just 4.2 runs per game).  So let's be fair, the offense for this AA squad, as it was for St Lucie, Columbia, Brooklyn, and the GCL Mets, was (to be tactful) bad.  

Power in recent NY Mets years in Queens has been abundant, so to have the word  "powerless" stamped in big red block letters on your resume is not a great calling card for hitters, when looked at dispassionately.  

As Sandy said, after I badgered him on this website to move the Citifield fences in because I said fans dig homers, he in fact said, when announcing the last move-in, "fans dig homers," something the aspiring B Metsie hitters need to very carefully consider.

In team pitching, their 3.20 ERA was second only to Trenton's 2.83, but far better than the league's worst 4.62.  Tied with Trenton for best in WHIP at 1.23, 7th in Ks at 990, 170 fewer than Trenton.   

No doubt due in large part to glove wizard Luis Guillorme, the B Mets allowed the fewest unearned runs by far (just 43), and thus in total allowed only 20 runs more than Trenton, a huge reason why the B Mets were 31 games over with a +120 runs scored vs. allowed differential.  A run defensively saved is as good as a run scored, I always say (well, I say it at least once every few decades, but let me not get defensive here).

So, a typical Mets winning squad formula was employed by Binghamton - so-so offense, coupled with great pitching and defense.

On to the pitching....who were the great pitchers?

Pitcher of the year Corey Oswalt: 12-5, 2.28 in 25 starts, and only 13 earned runs in his last 75 IP in July-September.

Marcos Molina was a hard luck 3-7, 3.92 after a great short sprint for St Lucie, but encouragingly was much better his last 9 starts with just 18 earned runs in 53 IP.  He lost a fine playoff start due to, well, hard luck.

Knuckleballer Mickey Jannis was 8-7, 3.60 in 21 AA starts, his last season before turning 30. He had a bad playoff start.

Casey Delgado was 11-6, 4.59, getting all the offensive support that Molina did not.  The 27 year old Delgado allowed just 10 earned runs in his last 40 innings, before which his ERA was 5.71.  Seems more journeyman than prospect.

PJ Conlon came off a sensational A ball performance in 2016 and went a fine but not-as-stellar 8-9, 3.38 in 2017 in 22 starts and 6 late season relief appearances.His last 8 outings included 6 relief appearances and 2 very (deliberately) short starts that were stellar indeed: 11.1 IP, 7 hits, 0 earned runs, 3 walks, 12 Ks.  Seems to me he is a legit lefty contender for a 2018 Mets bullpen role.

Chris Flexen dazzled in AA before getting rushed to the Mets and roughed up. In AA, he went 6-1, 1.66 in seven starts.  Absent more Mets injuries in 2018, he seems slated for more high minors seasoning in 2018.

In the pen, several standouts, and one quality guy who arrived late - Drew Smith:

Tim Peterson was 5-3, 1.14 in 41 outings with the Bingos.  Yep, 1.14.  Yep, 1.14.  N..I..C..E.

Ben Griset? he was 4-1, 2.39 in 35 games, his second straight excellent year.  The lefty must be doing a lot right.

Tyler Bashor was unscored on in 14.2 post-promotion innings, fanning 23 while walking just 4.  I am high on this guy Ty, and I am sure you can see why.

Closer Corey Burns saved 19 of 21 despite being just 2-2, 4.02.  A 1 inning, 5 run debacle in June boosted the 29 year old's AA ERA for the whole year, but he also had a 6.75 ERA in 13 Vegas innings, so he is likely not a real major league hopeful despite some past MLB experience.

Corey Taylor was kind of disappointing at 5-5, 3.61, but he allowed just 4 earned runs in 17.1 IP over his last 10 games.

Lefties Kyle Regnault and Al Baldonado were great early on for the B Mets before heading to Vegas; Kyle stayed fine for Vegas while Al got knocked around a lot out west.  Lastly, aging Luis Mateo was so-so for both Bingo and Vegas, but he had the immense satisfaction of having pitched much better than the Luis Mateo who was pitching on the GCL Mets squad.

Hitting-wise, OK but not so good:

Guys who hit well but with little power included Luis Guillorme, Kevin Kaczmarski, Kevin Taylor, and Matt Oberste.  Fourteen homers in about 2000 plate appearances amongst the not-so-fearsome-foursome does not have me wanting to buy season tickets to see them, I am sorry.  I hope someone buys them weights for Christmas. Or don't be a dumbbell and wait - buy them some dumbbells today, OK?

Catcher Tomas Nido was low powered and low averaged (.232) , quite disappointing after his FSL batting title in 2016.

David Thompson had a decent year (.263, 29 doubles, 16 HRs, 68 RBIs in 133 games), but the stats do not indicate a surging minor leaguer ready to snatch the starting 3rd base job in Citifield any time soon.  A prior 3B insurgent, David Wright, was .341/.441/.605 in 2004 in 91 games prior to being called up; if his #s were closer to that, I would be more excited for Thompson.

Instead, his #s are somewhat lower than those of Zach Lutz, whose subsequent major league career was short-lived.

Champ Stuart remained a blurry enigma, hitting .222 while fanning 122 times in less than 400 plate appearances, but stealing 35 of 41.  He needs to steal first base far more often to ever reach the majors.

The rest of the offense frankly did not deserve any ink time.

Except, that is, for Pete Alonso who arrive late and stayed scorching hot, going 20 for 59 with 9 extra base hits in the remainder of the AA regular season and playoffs.  He and (to a lesser degree) another late arrival Pat Mazeika are Bingo guys I look forward to tracking in 2018.

However, if I could trade this entire AA offense for that if a few other teams, I would be inclined to do so.

Next up: 

My final overview of the Mets minors seasons - rather than analyzing one at a time, how did all seven teams collectively do, which is largely a reflection of how Sandy Anderson and his regime selects players?  My guess is pretty lousy, but I have to write the darned article first, so please be patient.




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Mack's Morning Report - 9-18 - Pipeline Position Analysis - SS

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Red - Top Prospects
Blue - Middle Range projected Prospects


NY Mets -

The assumption is that super prospect Amed Rosario will play 162 games next year, hit .400, and make no errors. Nice try.

What will happen is he will get the lion share of starts for the entire season regardless he starts slow or fast. This kid has to be a ray of sunshine for the Mets. He has to. My hopes is that the Mets sign Jose Reyes on the cheap to keep mentoring the kid. And who doesn't like that smile in the dugout and clubhouse?

Option three will be Wilmer Flores, who could move over from second.

I'm going to break out the minors as how I see it laying out so far in 2018 before Sandy adds AAAA backups. 

AAA - Las Vegas  

Phillip Evans - 24/yrs. old - 15th Rd. 2011 -  I've loved this kid since we talked him out of going to college in 2011. Second, he plays all three infield positions. And third, he doesn't get injured. An off at year in Vegas last season: .279 in 466 at-bats. He's ready to take on more and I like him better than guys that are already playing in Flushing.

Gustavo Nunez - 29/yrs old - IFA - signed mid-season after Detroit released him in April. He has played second, short, third, all three outfield positions, and even pitched a game. Now that's a utility AAAA player! Hit .270 for the Mets in 244 at-bats. 

AA - Binghamton 

  J.C. Rodriguez - played SS, 2B, and 3B - 25/yrs. old - IFA - Rodriguez has been an excellent utility infield player in the system and I hope he comes back next year in Binghamton... but, he hit only .215 for Lucy and the B-Mets this past season. He'll play anywhere you want him to play in the field... well. That's what want from a utility infielder. Now, all he needs is to up that bat a bit. 

A+ - St. Lucie 

  Andres Gimenez - 19/yrs. old - yes, he finished 2017 on the disabled list, but he will be back at 100% in the spring. Hit .265 in 347 at-bats for Columbia after being called up for emergency reasons. Hit great through July but tailed off in August (.204). Injury related? Either way, this is a red star that could be ready by 2020 if Rosario turns out to be Ruben Tejada. 


A - Columbia 

Pickings are thin here. Remember... all four guys listed under second base play short also. 

Past that would only be Edgardo Fermin who only hit .219 in Brooklyn this past season and Cecelio Aybar, who hit .188 for the same Cyclones. 

My pick... move Luis Carpio back to starting shortstop here. 


Low-A - Brooklyn 

   Mark Vientos -The 17-year old second rounder was used at short and as a DH, but he also played on his natural position (3B) and I'm going to list him there.

   My guess is that the Mets will draft someone to start here at short... or give last year's Princeton walk-on, Danny Hoy (.188 at Kingsport) another shot.

  Another optin is Yeffry De Aa that hit .217, also in Kingsport.

  Like I said, not much here at this level. 


Rookie - Kingsport  

  Shervyen Newton - 2015: $50K signing bonus - played DSL-2 in 2017 and hit .311 in 241-ABs. This isn't easy to do in that league. This alone made me jump Newton over Guerrero and make him the Kingsport starter next spring.

Sebastian Espino - Espino is a pure shortstop. He played 2017 as a 17-year old, and hit .267 in .269 at-bats. Lots of potential here. Was sent stateside near the end of the season when Guerrero wound up on the DL. 


Rookie - GCL 

Gregory Guerrero - signed 2015/$1.5mil - Greg is one of out top prospects, but so far he's been a two year dud. Injures and slumps reduced him to only 143 at-bats and he only hit .217. That's what a mil and half has got us so far. I'm going to leave him in Florida to play another year with the GCL team. 


Rookie - 

DSL The 16-year old Ronny Mauricio was signed for a record $2.1mil bone. Nuff said. 

The 16-year old Jorge Polanco  was signed for a $325K bonus.


Summary - Counting Amed Rosario, there are six names in red playing shortstop in the pipeline. This is very deep and very exciting. And I understand there will be at least one more top Latin shortstop signed in a few months. Remember... all the top Latin kids that have the most talent play shortstop and teams then develop them and move them to other positions.

My guess is that Vientos will push Gimenez into becoming trade bait in the future.

Either or, lots of good news here.

Rating:  A+


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9/17/17

Tom Brennan - Season Recap: GCL Mets

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Tom Brennan - Season Recap: GCL Mets

The lowest level rookie league ball team in Florida's Gulf Coast league had a low level season, going 19-37, 15 games behind the dreaded rival Nats' GCL squad.


A relatively weak offense had some real positive highlights:

17 year old 2nd round SS Mark Vientos (pictured above) in 47 games in the GCL had 4 homers and hit .259/.316/.397.  He also had a nice 4 game cameo with Kingsport, hitting .294 with 2 doubles.  He looks like a very nice draft pick.


If last year's 17 year old phenom Andres Giminez could skip 3 levels all the way from the lowly DSL to Full A ball this season, maybe Mr. Vientos can similarly fast track and skip 2 levels and play full season ball in Columbia in 2018.  

Incredibly, in 14 games at 3B and 23 at SS, he made only 6 errors, so the glove seems quite advanced for a 17 year old. 

My hopes is we see Vientos in Queens at age 20 in 2020 as a burgeoning star, but there is a whole lotta road to cover between now and then for him to do that.  More likely? 2021.

Before the Human Grenade, 20 year old CF Guillermo Granadillo, got promoted to Brooklyn late in the season, he hit .301 with 17 steals in 42 games - he added 5 more swipes in 19 decent games with the Cyclones.  Little power to date.

Another guy with the initials GG, 2B Greg Guerrero, had a very disappointing season, hitting .217 in 38 games with a mere 4 extra base hits, and not playing after August 13.  Hey, all the other Guerreros can hit, why not you, Greg?


SS/2B Hansel Moreno hit .387 in 16 GCL games and .295 overall between the GCL and Kingsport teams.  14 of 18 steals and a .462 OB % makes the 20 year old one to watch.


OF Kenny Bautista had miserable, short seasons with the GCL Mets in 2015 and 2016, but the 20 year old 23rd rounder from 2015 got it going in 2017: .264/.383/.450, with 9 hits and 5 walks in his last 7 games.  Encouraging, and maybe there is hope for him to do well and progress in 2018.

Pitching overall was weak, mirroring a troubling aspect for the other 2 Mets' rookie ball teams.


Three GCL Mets pitchers were comment-worthy:


Jaison Vilera was terrific: in 62 innings, the 20 year old recorded 56 Ks, 3-1, 1.88, 0.96 WHIP. 


35th rounder Kyle Wilson did well in relief, much better than the Mets' other late in the draft picks (see below).


Briam Campusano (yes, Briam with an M, I only misspell Mazeika) threw 33 solid GCL innings and then got promoted to both Kingsport AND Brooklyn.  Overall, the 21 year old was only 2-6, but with a 2.89 ERA and 63 Ks in 65 innings.  His last 2 starts were terrific, as he totaled 11 innings, with only 3 hits, 2 runs and 13 Ks.  My guess is he (and possibly Vilera) will be Columbia-bound in 2018.


The team's weak point?  16 pitchers with ERAs over 5.00 combined for 175 innings, allowed 168 runs, and went 7-22.  Where are the pink slips?  The song New York, New York has that line "if I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere."

If you can't pitch better in the lowly GCL, I am not very confident you can make it anywhere, and Frank Sinatra told me he mostly agrees. 


Among those Stinky Sixteen were the Mets' 13th, 20th, 29th, 37th, 39th, and 40th round picks. To be fair and positive, 5 of those 6 were only 17 or 18 years old this year, and could rock next year when they are much older and more mature at age 18 or 19, said Mr. Sinatra.


My next and final season recap will be a recap of the Mets' best minor league team in 2017, and the only one of the 7 teams to make the playoffs - the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
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Tom Brennan – PROSPECT RANKINGS AND MY PROSPECT # 1

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Tom Brennan – PROSPECT RANKINGS AND MY PROSPECT # 1


Normally, the writers for a site like this might wait a while to publish articles ranking its prospects in the off season. 
But this season has devolved into a train wreck, with many injuries and poor, uneven performance.  For instance, 146 games in, the team's ERA is 5.02, when a pre-season poll of most fans might have targeted the team's ERA at around 3.50 - what a disaster.
So I decided to start this prospect ranking analysis sooner.


Not to quell reader enthusiasm, I have to disclose that Bleacher Reports recently ranked the Mets’ farm system 27th out of 30 teams, with ZERO Tier 1 prospects – and that was after acquiring half a dozen hard throwing relievers in salary dump trades of several of the team’s quality, uninjured veterans to cut payroll.


The Yankees, whose system pretty recently produced current major league uber-power hitters Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, is nonetheless ranked 3rd, with 7 Tier 1 prospects.  To say we are behind the 8 ball vs. them is an understatement.


So it is what it is.   Bad drafting (among other things) leads to fewer elite prospects.


For this article series, Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario will have too many at bats to qualify as rookies, and are virtually guaranteed to start 2018 on the Mets’ opening day roster, so they drop off the prospect list.


Chris Flexen has really struggled after his rushed promotion due to injuries, and he likely will exceed rookie pitching limits also, because they need all live arms on deck.  So although he may well start 2018 in the minors, and perhaps stay there most of the season to refine his repertoire to make it more hitter-resistant, I will leave him out of this list too.


I will do 30 individual articles on my # 1 through # 30 prospects, and then do 4 more articles addressing the # 31 through # 50 prospects 5 at a time.


So who is my # 1 prospect going into 2018? 
Peter Alonso.






The prodigiously pounding 1B played in High A and AA in 2017, after a great 2016 with Brooklyn was cut well short by a broken hand and his early 2017 was interrupted by another broken hand injury.  Give me a break, will ya?


He scuffled in 2017 in relatively few at bats - he was hitting .160 on June 18.  Starting on June 19, once the rust was shed, he put up the following awesome numbers the rest of the way in about half a full season’s worth of games:


288 at bats, 95 hits (.330), 27 doubles, 1 triple, 16 homers, 63 RBIs.


Double those #’s to equate to a full season and you get:
576 ABs, 190 hits, 54 doubles, 2 triples, 32 HRs, 126 RBIs, .330 avg., .597 slug %.


Wow.  Can we have a few of those sorts of players, please?


Strikeouts for him are in a decent range.  Good.


Fielding is, charitably, a work in progress – 19 career errors in 110 games at first base is pretty poor, and has to be significantly improved.  Painfully, he seems to be a first baseman only as is Dominic Smith, so something will have to give by opening day 2019 at the latest, unless one of the two shows a sudden propensity to play, say, 3rd base.


But the Alonso bat is producing average and power numbers like no Mets minor league bat since perhaps David Wright.  So Alonso is my # 1 Mets prospect.  You are entitled to be wrong and disagree with me if you’d like!














 

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9/16/17

Tom Brennan - MY PROSPECT # 2 - ANDRES GIMINEZ

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Lots of writers who write articles on prospects like work down from wherever they start all the way to # 1. I'm dyslexic, so I started at # 1 and am working my way down.  My # 1 prospect, in my prior article? PRODIGIOUSLY POUNDING PETE ALONSO.

Today's # 2? ANDRES GIMINEZ.

Andy G turned 19 in early September, so first of all, happy birthday, and secondly, he played all of his 2017 season in Full A ball as an 18 year old, which is extraordinary.  And most of the season, he hit in the .280s before he swooned late to finish at .265 and on the disabled list.

Assuming he does not have spinal stenosis, or another of the Mets' favorite maladies, he should be fine and on to St Lucie next season, on his way perhaps to being a major league starting infielder in mid 202

The lefty bat of the 5'11", 176 Giminez only fanned 61 times in 92 games and he added 17 extra base hits, not a lot but I bet we see a real uptick next year.

Speed?  8 triple and 27 steals in 154 career games tell me he ain't slow, Bro.

And defensively?  Just 12 errors in 90 games at SS in 2017 at age 18?  Superb for that age.

Time will tell, but I we Andy G as a future star in the majors, a very nice international bonus signing.  Spending money can result in great results.  This looks like one of them.
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Tom Brennan - A TALE OF TWO ORGANIZATIONS

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Tom Brennan - A TALE OF TWO ORGANIZATIONS

Once upon a time, there was a great city near a wonderful coast with two professional baseball teams.

One had more championship banners than could be counted on one's fingers and toes.

One had just two.

One seriously tried to win championships, the other targeted meaningful September baseball as the mark of a successful season.

The serious team knew that great players can be acquired or developed to win championships, and it took both player acquisition approaches very seriously.  The other team, the one with just 2 banners, did not, although it tried to convince its fans that it did.

Sadly, this is not a fairy tale. 
 
And we all know which team is the Mets.

Let's simply look at each organization's team records at each level of minor league ball.  Let's for argument's sake called the two hypothetical teams the Yanks and the Mets.

AAA:

Yanks: 86-55 (.610)

Mets: 56-86 (.394) - 30.5 games behind the Yanks

AA:

Yanks: 92-48 (.657)

Mets: 85-54 (.612) - 6.5 games behind the Yanks 

High A:

Yanks: 85-50 (.630)

Mets: 63-75 (.457) - 23.5 games behind the Yanks

Full A:

Yanks: 76-63 (.547)

Mets: 68-70 (.493) - 7.5 games behind the Yanks

Rookie NY Penn ball:

Yanks: 46-29 (.610)

Mets: 24-52 (.316) - 23.5 games behind the Yanks

Rookie Appalachian ball:

Yanks: 41-26 (.610)

Mets: 29-37 (.439) - 11.5 games behind the Yanks

Rookie GCL ball:

Yanks: 33-27 and 32-27 (two teams)

Mets: 19-37 (.339) - one team - 14.5 games behind the Yanks.

Notice the repetition of the word "behind" as it adhered to the team called the Mets.

The Mets trailed the Yanks by between 6.5 games and 30.5 games at all seven minor league levels!!

Collectively, the Mets' teams ended up 117.5 combined games behind the Yanks' teams!!

The Mets' 7 teams, which play the equivalent of 5 full major league seasons, finished 67 games under .500, or roughly the equivalent of 14 games under .500 (74-88) over 5 seasons. 

The three Mets' rookie teams combined were 72-126 (.364).

Who would believe such a ridiculous fairy tale, that is actually a true, sad tale for long-suffering Mets fans.

Considering this, ask yourself why the Wilpons aren't either 1) selling the team out of utter shame, or
2) dumping the Sandy team of personnel responsible for this putrid performance? 

I'm sure the excuse is "we've had so many minor league injuries", but I think it is much more because of poor overall player selection.  Like picking players who almost to a man CANNOT EVER HIT HOME RUNS.

Shame on the Wilpons.  Hire scouts, etc. as if you really are obsessed with winning championships, because it is sure an approach that works for the Yankees.
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