Mack – Monday Morning Report


Good morning.

The ‘morning report’ was something that most readers liked and I had to give it up because writing 1000 words a day for seven days a week was just too much for me at this point in my life. Since then, the site has grown with some amazing new writers and Reese Kaplan, Thomas Brennan, and I could concentrate on bringing back a plan for the 8am slot on the site.

So… Reese will continue his Wednesday and Saturday 8am post. Thomas is going to write a Tuesday and Friday post. And I am going to return to my ‘Morning Report’ format on Mondays and Thursdays. Sunday is still open.

International Bust

Baseball America printed out the top 50 international bonuses paid out in 2016 and guess what? No one of the top 50 were signed by the Mets. I’m hoping that the Mets participate at a higher level this year than they did in 2016. The Mets did sign one million dollar baby in 2014-15 (SS Kenny Hernandez: $1mil) and they followed this up in 2015-2016 with two more (SS Gregory Guerrero $1.5mil and SS Andres Gimenez $1.2mil). Last year was amost a total bust with only four players getting a $100K or more bonus (OF Jean Carlos Soto $150K, 2B Luis Santana $200K, OF Ezeguiel Pena $200K, and SS Sebastian Espino $300K).

Right now, it looks like the money spent on Guerrero and Giminez bodes well. Can't say the same for Hernandez.

To Tebow or Not

I probably need to say something serious about Tim Tebow at this point. Tom Brennan and I have been playing verbal tennis about this football player who has successfully worked his way on the Columbia roster.

By my count, both Desmond Lindsay and Ricardo Cespedes will open up in Columbia and are safe here. This leaves two openings for Jacob Zanon, Arnaldo Berrios, Jay Jabs, and Gene Cone to fight for.

Zanon played baseball through both high school and college and had 157 at-bats with Brooklyn last year.

Berrios played high school in Florida, was drafted by the Mets, and has played for three years in the Mets organization.

Jabs played high school ball in Pennsylvania, played three years of college ball, was drafted by the Mets, and had 175 at bats for Brooklyn last year.

And Cone played both high school and college in South Carolina and had 229 at bats last year for Brooklyn.

Tebow hasn’t played organizational baseball since middle school and has 20 at bats this year in spring training.

None of the four guys I mentioned here has hit the snot off the ball since turning pro, but none deserve to lose their job to a middle school baseball player.

            Hudson Belinsky‏ - @hudsonbelinsky -  Seems like a good boy, but can we move on already and talk about actual prospects?

Top 10 Status –

Alex Chamberlain over at Rotographs had this as one of his ‘Top 10 Predictions for 2017” –

5) Michael Conforto is a top-40 outfielder. - This prediction relies almost exclusively on an injury to any of Yoenis Cespedes, Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce. If both are healthy, either of the latter two could be traded at the All-Star break, ultimately affording Conforto half a season of plate appearances. All of this already makes this prediction a longshot. With that said: draft skills. Conforto has legitimate hard-hit skills that suggest his rate of home runs to fly balls (HR/FB) dramatically trails those of his peers. Also, I don’t care how much you think you or the Mets’ negative hype machine know about Conforto’s ability to hit left-handed pitching. Would you ever make a concrete judgment on 68 plate appearances plagued by a .178 batting average on balls in play (BABIP)? Conforto already has more hits against lefties in spring training than he does in his Major League career. If you gave up on Conforto, don’t. This is probably your last opportunity to buy him cheap for dynasty purposes. He’s OF77 right now.

It’s hard for me to keep saying that Conforto has to start the 2017 season in Las Vegas. I think he will be in Queens by the all-star break, either because of his elevated AAA batting, an injury in the Queens outfield, or a mid-season trade. Conforto is, by far, one of the key future players in this organization and the quicker this team gets itself out from under other contractual obligations, will get this kid up and playing every day. 

Until then, in my opinion, he needs to play every day in Las Vegas.

Things To Read –

 Ken Rosenthal wrote a great story on the Baltimore Orioles and Brady Anderson for Fox Sports.

Jared Wyllys of Cubs Den wrote a nice story on Cubs OF Jason Heyward.

Spark Sports has a great story on how the viewership of baseball games are down and how to ‘fix it’.


Thomas Brennan said...

Conforto and about 5 other guys would be playing a ton if this team were not a legit World Series contender, built to win. Like the Brooklyn Nets - terrible record, and a bunch of them would be lucky to even be on the Golden State Warriors roster. Way it goes. be ready when your time comes.

Tebow? One reason I was OK with him joining the Mets last year is the poor play of outfielders in the lower minors last year. In nearly 200 games for Jabs, Cone, Zanon, and Berrios combined in the lower minors in 2016, they hit under .200 collectively...no power whatsoever from them.

Only Cone hit over .200 (.227) and his slug % was only .275. Only Zanon had a tool of interest, stealing 20 of 22 in 44 games, despite his struggles to get on base, so I am keen to see what he can do this year. The four were drafted in 17th, 10th, 15th, and 39th rounds, so all start out as long shots. I think Tebow's ceiling is above any of theirs, and probably a lot higher. So I considered that "getting in the real draftees' way" argument and had to discard it last fall, because these guys were huge underperformers last year. If they did well, I'd have shared that concern.

I bet, with the benefit to evaluators of Tebow's about 100 plate appearances in the AFL and spring training, Tebow would have been drafted by some team in the 5th round or better. Just based on the possibility of tapping into his power potential.

If anything, those 4 might take valuable at bats away from Tebow, not the other way around.

Mack Ade said...

Ya know what...

I'm not talking about Tim Tebow anymore.

Thomas Brennan said...

But I love talking about Tebow :)

He may still prove you right, Mack. Then I will eat crow.

BTW my Tuesday and Friday are done. Cubs preview is the Friday one.

Hobie said...

I kinda agree with Tom here. If Timmy were taking AB's away from Lindsay or R.Cespedes it would be another thing--but Jay Jobs? In fact when I an visiting daughter in Charlotte in June, I hope to trek down to Columbia for a game. If Zanon pinch-runs for Tebow in the 8th, I'd be fine with that.

But what sparked this post was the "Fix It" article linked at the end. It seemed to center on the "speed up" efforts. And although that seems to attack attack modernity's attention-span deficit from the wrong end, I'd be OK with an empty bases pitch clock. (I do find the auto-IBB concept absurd when you consider the cumulative HOUR of between-inning commercials in a 8 1/2 inning game.) The enjoyment I get from watching baseball is different from from March Madness (which I enjoy too). It's the time allowed to speculate on "what if," To anticipate this or that upcoming and to chew on alternative outcomes if what just happened were altered.

And there was a comment about "kids not playing baseball." I really don't know if LL numbers are down--maybe so--but my evening summer walks take me past the local LL field and I always stop to watch an inning or two. What strikes my is how adult orchestrated it is. Take signs! What is deader than the do-do is sandlot ball. 7 on 7 with kids organizing themselves--lineups, positions, ground rules--and settling disputes to allow the game to proceed. Those skills lost to youth are the real tragedy. Baseball is collateral damage.

Reese Kaplan said...

Conforto is not likely the option the Mets will choose. Remember, he needs to stay in AAA for 55 games in order to postpone a year of arbitration clock. The Mets are not going to bring him up and cost themselves that future money. No, look for a Ty Kelly type of stopgap to take the place of Juan Lagares for up to a month. The team is always more concerned about the Benjamins than they are about winning, though in this case I would agree. If Conforto was coming up to play every day, then I'd endorse it but it's foolish to have him sit on the bench (especially being left handed) and sacrifice that extra arbitration year.

Mack Ade said...

Hobie -

I live in a small, rural, southern town (Hardeeville, SC).

They (and I) tried for years to introduce baseball at all levels but it just does not have the attraction here for the youth.

Football yes, and basketball, damn yes, but not baseball.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, baseball needs to do better....the next Mike Trout could be in your town but choose to play football because he never played BB.

Anonymous said...

Could care less about Tebow, but I think Cespedes starts in Brooklyn. He started to hit a little bit last year, but has zero xbh pop at this point and could get the bat knocked out of his hands with an aggressive assignment. Mets don't often skip Brooklyn as a stop and nothing Cespedes did last year showed he is ready to skip a level and take an aggressive assignment. If they didn't skip Rosario, I can't see them skipping Cespedes.

Anon Joe F

Thomas Brennan said...

Anon Joe F

I agree with you on Ricardo Cespedes. He is very young, and no reason to rush him past Brooklyn. He can play full season ball next year.

Thomas Brennan said...

Tebow and Taijeron join Conforto in the Lugo split squad game today :)

Thomas Brennan said...

Rained on had 2 walks and a bit against Mad Max Scherzer. He made Tebow look like a former football player. TJ Rivera and Wheeler were great, Lugo looks good for 2 innings,in last 2 starts he gave up, I believe, a total of 5 homers. Not a rotation starter.

eraff said...

Tebow has taken to task very seriously. It's perilous to dismiss a guy with his work ethic and athletic ability, but baseball is a SKILL game. He's had about 200 "real" at bats and I believe the key is to "continue or cut bait" based on the next 100 or so ab's.

He needs to graduate and compete to AT LEAST St. Lucie in 2017...if not to AA Bingo. That would be a 400 or so ab rapid progression. If he's not competing and rising quickly, he needs to be on a short clock.

This is 100% Baseball consideration--- I can imagine that the Marketing allure for MILB affiliates is Huge---"Why Did you Cut Him BEFORE He did a 5 game Homestand with Us???"

Maybe Tebow will announce his "retirement" in JUne, and do a July/August Farewell tour through each of the Minor League affiliates, ending in Brooklyn.

Thomas Brennan said...

eraff - I agree on Tebow. Tebow "met" Max Scherzer yesterday. Up twice, fanned twice. Ultimate challenge. No surprise there. "You're up next, Tim...who's pitching, Terry, I was in the john...Sandy Koufax? Cool." Max tore thru Conforto yesterday too - one at bat, 3 swinging strikes.

Still only 100 plate appearances thru AFL and spring training, so I'd give him 200 at bats during the season to give a real glimpse as to what he can really do going forward. Mid to late May.

Mack's Mets © 2012