Mack’s Morning Report - 4-20 – Firefly Prospect Watch, Dominican Prospects, Old Mets


Good morning.

Steven Matz began his throwing program yesterday.

Ex-Met superstar in his own mind Jordany Valdespin was released by Leones de Yucatan of the Mexican League for... wait for it... 'disciplinary reasons (per Michael Mayer @mikemayerMMO). This kid had so much misplaced talent, but he truly was a street thug with a baseball glove. 

Yes it’s early, but what the hell.

One of the Mack’s Mets writers took me to task and scolded me for my harsh analysis of Tim Tebow. I will give him this. He had a very good point about the fact that Tebow was probably not taking a roster spot away from a key player since every affiliate never seems to have more than five ‘prospects’ on their roster. I totally agree with this statement.

Going into the season, most Mets writers and bloggers would have pitchers Harol Gonzalez, Jordan Humphries, and Merandy Gonzalez, catcher Ali Sanchez, infielders Milton Ramos and Luis Carpio and outfielder Desmond Lindsay on their Columbia Fireflies prospect watch list. That’s seven, not five. That’s a lot for a single minor league team.

It seems some are turning out correct while others aren’t.

On the up side, prospects DH Luis Carpio (.356), starters Merandy Gonzalez (0.00), and Jordan Humphries (0.71) are exceeding all expectations. It would be nice to see Carpio get some field time.

Non-prospect wise, CF Jacob Zenon (.500), 1B Dash Winningham (.286), and relievers Matt Blackham (1.35), and Adonis Uceta (1.80) are off to a great start.
Lastly, starter Colin Holderman (1.13) is turning heads whenever he picks up a baseball.

On the down side, Sanchez (.152), Ramos (.200), and Lindsay (.143) may be over-matched at this level. Sanchez had prospect chops from the moment the Mets signed him in 2013 as a 16-year old, but it simply isn’t panning out. He hit only .216 last year for Brooklyn and he doesn’t look like he might come close to that this season. Ramos hasn’t panned out since he was an over slot prep 3rd round pick in 2014. He had a nice season in 2015 for Kingsport (.317), but it’s been downhill ever since (.220 last year for Columbia). As for Lindsay, he’s been very disappointing so far this young season, especially after having such a great year last year for the Cyclones (.297).

Promotion projection – It’s far too early to project any kind of promotions to St. Lucie; however, I would first keep an eye on Luis Carpio. However… and this is a big however… he needs to fist get back on the infield defensively and stop exclusively being the designated hitter. He did have season ending surgery last year to repair a tear in his right labrum, which could be causing a delay to the field. Still, none of the St. Lucie middle infielders are doing anything to write home about (Dale Burdick: .179, Nick Sergakis: .095, Vinny Siena: .083).

Dominican Prospects –

 Baseball America wrote a nice piece on the top prospects in the DSL this upcoming season.

You can’t see the list unless you are a paid subscriber (which I am not), but you can click on the links that list what they said were the top prospects since 2010. You are able to view the articles about the 2010-2012 prospects. The results were interesting:

            2010 – No Mets or no players that became Mets

2011 - Dilson Herrera, 3b, Pirates -  Age: 18. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 5-10. Wt.: 150. Signed: Colombia, 2010. - The Pirates are among the more aggressive teams in Colombia, where they work with closely with youth teams, including one in Cartagena called Con Familiar, which is how the Pirates became familiar with Herrera when he was 12. Pittsburgh subsequently signed him for $220,000 in 2010 after he became eligible to sign. Herrera immediately showed well that winter in the Liga Paralela (the minors of the Venezuelan League), then continued with a strong performance last summer in the VSL. Herrera was a switch-hitter as an amateur, but he dropped the lefty swing and has hit exclusively righthanded in pro ball. It's worked out well so far for Herrera, whose best tool is his bat. He's a natural hitter with a good swing who is difficult to get out because he doesn't have many holes. He has a chance to hit for a high average and get on base because he manages his at-bats well, uses the whole field with an up-the-middle approach and has plus speed. Herrera has a medium frame and gap power. He signed as a shortstop but played third base last year. He's a playable defender who needs work in the infield, with a 45-50 arm that may guide him over to second base in the future. He's scheduled to play in the Gulf Coast League this year.  

Luis Mateo, rhp, Mets - Age: 22. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 200. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2011. - Mateo had deals in place with the Giants and the Padres before he finally forged one that Major League Baseball approved last year—for $150,000—with the Mets. Mateo's story has some parallels to Yankees righthander Jose Rafael DePaula, though with an injury twist and perhaps less fanfare. Mateo had signed with the Giants for $625,000 on July 2, 2008, but the Giants voided the deal when they found bone chips in his right elbow. Mateo did not need surgery. That November, he agreed to terms with the Padres for a $300,000 bonus, but that deal fell apart when the league found issues with Mateo's paperwork, then suspended him in March 2010 for one year for misrepresenting his age. During his suspension, Mateo came forward with a new date of birth that was two years older, going from March 17, 1992, to March 22, 1990. The Mets followed him in winter ball in Colombia, then signed him from his trainer, Carlos Paulino, last year in April. Mateo should move quickly after carving up DSL hitters. Mateo's athleticism helps him repeat his delivery and throw strikes with a 91-94 mph fastball that can reach 96-97 with good angle. His power slider can miss bats and is ahead of his changeup, a pitch he hasn't had to use much but is something he's shown some feel for at times.

2012 -- Vicente Lupo, of, Mets - Age: 19. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 180. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2010. - Lupo was the Mets' top international signing in 2010, when he signed for $350,000 out of Jose Montero's program. A member of Venezuela's team at the 16U World Championships in 2009, Lupo struggled in his pro debut in the DSL in 2011 while battling an illness, hitting .197/.325/.379 with 59 strikeouts in 49 games. Healthy in 2012, Lupo had a breakout season. He led the DSL with a .500 OBP (aided by a league-high 18 hit by pitches), ranked second in slugging and tied for second with 10 home runs. The book on Lupo as an amateur was that he had big power but was an inconsistent hitter because of his free-swinging approach. Lupo generates power with both bat speed and strength, especially in his wrists and forearms. His hitting approach has also improved, which resulted in him striking out at a lower clip last season. Lupo doesn't run or throw well and is strictly a left fielder, so all of his value is going to come from his offensive game.

Old Mets –

           Baltimore optioned ex-Mets unsigned draft pick Damien Magnifico (hit 100 in high school) to AAA after purchasing him from Milwaukee.

           Chicago White Sox signed pitcher Mike Pelfrey.

           Detroit Tigers signed 1B James Loney, who was released by the Texas Rangers.

           Los Angeles Angels added P Deolis Guerra to their 40-man roster.

           Toronto optioned outfielder Ty Kelly to AAA.

To Read –

            On the importance of  outfield defense

            The truth about  velocity

            Boise State  http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/boise-state-add-baseball-program/#so10OQrXLFUeYDOe.97 to add baseball 


Benjamin Weisfelner said...

Mack... Carpio has played 13 games.. 1 at DH, 9 at 2B and 3 at SS

Thomas Brennan said...

Tebow had a bad day yesterday, with 3 Ks. But his teammates fanned 12 more times. They started the first 3 games like a house on fire, and have since stopped hitting. Too many of last year's putrid Brooklyn bats moved up to Columbia this year.

I thought Lindsay would do much better. Hopefully just a bad few weeks, as he hit well enough in Brooklyn last year.

Carpio seems like he can really hit. My guess is the 19 year old is a future major leaguer.

No idea how long Zanon will be out, who was on base 8 of his 12 plate appearances until he got hurt.

Compared to the competition, Luis Mateo is on the verge of slipping completely off the radar, as my article tomorrow will touch on.

Speaking of Herrera, how is that Bruce for Herrera trade looking now.

Mack Ade said...

Ben -

Thanks for the correction.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

Seriously, do you think Tebow will last the season?

Reese Kaplan said...

Well, at least until August when the Jets may try him at QB again...

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, I will still say yes on Tebow lasting the season. I reserve judgment for another month on him. Except for yesterday, he has been making a lot of contact, so time will tell if that improves.

Thomas Brennan said...

Jordan Valdespin after 69 Mexican league games in 2017 is hitting .341/.429/.471 with 15 steals. Maybe the Mets can sign him again and call him up ahead of Rosario.

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