Hey, with me having PJ Conlon at # 11 and now TJ Rivera at # 9, I am seeing a pattern here, and I strongly recommend all Mets' prospects to add their first initial and a J...it seems to help underdogs rise to the top. 

For instance, Justin Dunn should call himself JJ Dunn, or JJ Dunn the Hired Gun - he'd get to the majors quicker with that tag.

The undrafted TJ is being cast for the lead role in the next Underdog flick.  Because he IS the Underdog. Many skeptics had he when starting 2016 - so what did he do? 

Won AAA batting title, with .352, got called up in September and started a lot down the stretch drive, hitting .333 in 105 at bats.  My recommendation is to add even more to his increased homer totals in 2017. 2016 in the majors and minors? 

Wow...34 doubles, 14 homers, and 101 RBIs and a .347 combined aver with only 71 Ks in almost 600 minor and major league plate appearances. 

And, of course, his total minor league stats impress:

2,648 plate appearances, 147 doubles, 35 homers, and (for an undrafted dude) a splendid .324 minor league career average.  And just 332 strikeouts 91 every 8 PA). 

Compare and contrast his nombres to the abysmal stats of so many Brooklyn DRAFTED hitters in 2016.   Being drafted helps, but only until the plate appearances begin, when the playing field of those who are drafted and undrafted is leveled.  Then, performance counts.  And TJ has performed.

Full Disclosure: TJ is not perfect - he does not walk much (partly, I'm sure, because he does not swing and miss much) and is basically an adequate but versatile defensive player.   Only 27 of 41 steals in the minors, telling me he is a not-swift, but intelligent runner.  Versatile defensively as in 265 games at 2B, 147 at 3B, 34 at 1B, 139 at SS, and 9 in the OF in his minor league career.

Add some more power and maybe, just maybe, he can be the next Justin Turner or Jeff Keppinger

Hopefully his days in the minors are over or almost over.

He can be a starter or valued, frequently used sub in the bigs. 

So ends this synopsis of the Underdog.


Mack Ade said...

Tom -


I actually forgot about Rivera on my prospect list. I'm going to go add him in my top 20.

Judging from the team's past injury history, I think we will see a lot of this guy this season.

My guess is he will get the lion share of starts in Vegas at 3B.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack good morning....if this were projected to be a 70 win team, Walker does not get resigned because the mets would see no need to spend $17MM, and Rivera gets 500+ plate appearances.

But Rivera will just have to put up with less playing time and time on the major league roster until there is a need, most likely injury-based. With 4 infield starters and Reyes and Flores in front of him, it makes it a tough numbers game for him as of right now.

Hobie said...

If Wright is not active, initially or ultimately, TJ no doubt is on the 25 man.

If Wright is there (& Wilmer & Jose) it comes down to TJ or Conforto in LV. So which is more beneficial?

I can see some benefit to Conforto playing FT and TJ as UTL, IF and the 5th OF in a pinch.

Reese Kaplan said...

I also have TJ Rivera penciled in for Las Vegas until the bullpen settles itself down. Then perhaps they'd carry an extra bench player. Until that time you are right -- 3B is where he should play or 1B on days when Smith needs rest. Show that versatility. Injuries can and do happen. Then he'll get called up. Whether or not he plays is, of course, a matter settled by the guy who fills out the lineup card.

Thomas Brennan said...

Reese, Collins has to appreciate Rivera - while not a veteran, he hit .333 during the important September stretch drive. TJ, Gsellman, and Lugo got him to the Wild Card. if not, who knows if Collins would have been replaced.

Gary Seagren said...

I'm still trying to get used to having that thing called QUALITY DEPTH when it comes to our bench. How many AB's over the last few years have gone to players like Campbell, Recker, Mayberry J., Satan, Young etc. when a player like T.J. languishes in the minors for so long when at the very least he has one plus tool...I can't think of any tools for the previously listed players. It just never made sense to me but hopefully the F.O. has finally seen the errors of their ways and is thinking of a Championship just like we are and a quality bench is essential.

Thomas Brennan said...

Right on, Gary

Reese Kaplan said...

I won't buy into the F.O. getting it until they replace the John Mayberry, Jr. of a manager and get someone who actually has a winning record for his career.

Richard Jones said...

I did the same thing as Mack. I totally overlooked him. I thought he lost elgibility. I was wrong. I have Gsellman high because he had success at the ML level for a somewhat extend period. I think I would have to look at Rivera the same way. Sceptics believe he's going to hit a wall at some level. He made it to the highest level and he hasn't hit a wall yet.
If i were running the Mets he would be my 2nd baseman along with Reyes. I wiuld have used the 17 million they gave to Walker elsewhere.
I would have had him just behind Dunn and ahead of Nimmo on my list.
Excellent job Thomas on all the prospect posts.

Thomas Brennan said...

Thanks, Richard. Appreciate it.

Mack's Mets © 2012