Reese Kaplan -- Who's Up? Who's Down?


Player stock rises and falls based upon a number of criteria.  For example, prior to this past week Luis Guillorme was an afterthought in the middle infield mix.  Then he makes the classy highlight play in the dugout on Adeiny Hecchavaria’s flying bat and all of the sudden people start to notice him. 

Tom Brennan in particular has done a great job profiling players in the minors who are on the upswing, but those same evaluations have to be made at the major league level as well.  Towards that end, let’s take a look at the players whose stock is rising or falling (leaving out the folks whose starting roles were all but guaranteed and whose performance is predictable such as Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker):

Stock Up
  • Jay Bruce – the man is on fire and had an awesome game on Wednesday with a HR, multiple hits and a sliding play in the outfield.  If he keeps playing that way then the question becomes is he more valuable to the Mets as they are allegedly all-in for the World Series or more valuable as a trade chip to another club who may have to fill a gap caused by a spring training injury?
  • Travis d’Arnaud – the new swing is apparently working thus far and as of Thursday morning he’s well over .400 for the spring.  It’s almost enough to start cries of “Matt who?” but watching him is a little like watching a guy spinning plates in a vaudeville act – impressive at first but you know eventually something’s going to break. 
  • Philip Evans – he’s come into camp not only picking up where he left off as a batting champion, but he’s flashing some power as well.  He’s likely ticketed to AAA but he’s definitely opened some eyes.
  • Michael Conforto – he’s looked surprisingly good in the field to accompany his fine hitting.  Unfortunately there’s no room at the inn until/unless they’re prepared to bench Curtis Granderson (who, with a good day on Wednesday, is all the way up to .188), or trade Jay Bruce.  I hope he likes the desert climate.
  • Amed Rosario – he generates the same kind of excitement once reserved for Jose Reyes.  He’s hitting over .300 and looking confident if not spectacular in the field.  He looks to be the real deal but will need a season in Las Vegas to work on his game.
  • Gavin Cecchini -- while learning to play 2B and 3B, his bat has remained solid, demonstrating that Las Vegas and the AFL were not mere flukes.  He's currently hitting a cool .500 but ticketed to Sin City to learn how to play the other infield positions more effectivey with Amed Rosario likely manning shortstop this year.
  • T.J. Rivera -- he hits and hits and hits -- this spring is no exception.  He's currently over .300 and should come north with David Wright returning to his customary position on the DL. 
  • Brandon Nimmo -- if he had it to do all over again, he'd likely have skipped the WBC as he needs people to notice what he can do.  This spring he left Florida hitting a mere .476 
  • Paul Sewald – after surprisingly passing through the Rule V draft unclaimed, the late bloomer has been terrific thus far this spring.  Over 4 IP he’s yet to give up a run (or a hit for that matter) and sports a 0.50 WHIP.  Who says you have to blow the ball by people to be successful?
  • Ben Rowen – the sidearmer with the funky Chad Bradford delivery would be an interesting arm to throw into the mix after more conventional starters and relievers.  He’s matched the 0.50 WHIP achieved by Sewald and over 4 IP he’s also perfect.  He’s given up 2 hits and not walked anyone. 
  • Rafael Montero – remember him?  His 7 IP have resulted in a tiny 1.29 ERA, a .091 BAA and a WHIP of 0.71.  Mack seems to feel they’ve lost confidence in him, but numbers like that might make him attractive to another team looking to bolster their pitching and offering a change of scenery.
  • Josh Smoker – the strikeout artist certainly looks to have leapfrogged over Josh Edgin for the 2nd lefty role in the pen.  He’s fanning roughly 1 batter per inning and has a tidy 2.08 ERA but the red flag is 3 walks already. 

 Stock Down
  • Josh Edgin – the velocity just isn’t there and he’s been hammered to the tune of a 6.75 ERA
  • Seth Lugo – he did too well last year for the Mets to sour due to a poor spring, but he’s 2-0 with a 3.86.  Batters are hitting .269 against him (not good) but he has struck out one per inning.
  • Robert Gsellman – likely the number five starter, while all eyes were on Thor and Tim Tebow on Wednesday, the more interesting spectacle might have been how Gsellman reacted to his first real taste of adversity since exploding with success last year.  Thus far he’s pitching to a 4.50 ERA with batters hitting .353 off of him.  Ouch.
  • Tom Gorzellany – new motion, new arm angle or whatever, perhaps it’s time for a new line of work.  It’s not been good thus far for the former Brewer as he’s got a 13.50 ERA, batters hitting over .400 against him and an unsightly 2.75 WHIP. 
  • Sean Gilmartin – perhaps he really was doing it with mirrors in 2015 when he was quietly superb.  Since then it’s been pretty much all downhill.  For this spring he’s at 6.75 with a BAA of .276 and a WHIP over 1.6.  Ugly numbers like that guarantee him a ticket to Las Vegas and might result in his ouster from the 40-man roster. 
  • David Roseboom – here’s perhaps the biggest negative surprise as he’d been on a fast track up the ladder.  He has not fared well thus far, with an 11.81ERA and batters hitting over .360 against him.
  • Jose Reyes – he’s a little slower and still learning the 3B position, but if this was a real competition he’s be looking over his shoulder with just a .154 AVG.
  • Matt Reynolds – he’s been leapfrogged by T.J. Rivera as the next utility guy.  Rivera’s over .300 and Reynolds is below the Mendoza line. 
  • Dom Smith – yes, he looks solid at 1B but the bat has not yet come around.  He’s only hitting .150 with no home runs.


Thomas Brennan said...

While all of those you listed are mostly doing well, I'd like to make special note that the Kiddie Brigade of Kevin Kacsmarski (4 for 5), David Thompson (3-3), Jayce Boyd (1-2) and Luis Carpio (2-4) are making it look easy in going 10 for 16 with NO strikeouts.

I think Tebow has done OK for a guy with just a few dozen AFL at bats facing major league pitching, but these 4 other guys (except for Boyd) are the next wave.

Mack Ade said...

Having Tebow taking critical time away from real prospects trying to someday make this team makes me sick.

I have my own weekly recap tomorrow morning where I will offer my 'stuff', but I do want to say here that I wasn't expected to be so underwhelmed by Dominic Smith this spring. He is clearly over matched by opposing pitching.

Thomas Brennan said...

My bad math...those guys are a combined 10-14, and to Mack's point below Tebow's 8 at bats would have been better taken by other prospects. That said, I still believe Tebow outperforms expectations in 2016.

Thomas Brennan said...

Smith has underwhelmed, Duda has been great.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

You say that Tebow's 8 at-bats would have been better taken by "other prospects".

"OTHER prospects"?

You actually consider Tebow a prospect?

Thomas Brennan said...

By the end of the season, Mack, we'll ALL consider him a prospect :)

Adam Smith said...

Some things don't show through the numbers. Juan Lagares in particular has looked terriific when I've seen him. He's hitting a buck nothing, but has scorched the ball right at people all spring thus far, and has looked Gold Glove-ish in CF. As for guys who have spots locked but deserve mention, Cespedes looks like he wants to be in the MVP conversation this year.

Thomas Brennan said...

Adam, Cespedes recently said he'd hope to win MVP this year. He'd be the Mets' first, I believe.

Mack's Mets © 2012