7/31/17

Reese Kaplan -- Rosario Promotion a Smokescreen

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So, according to the smartest man in the room, the “plan” all along was to promote Amed Rosario in August. 

Really? 

Methinks the plan was to deal away Asdrubel Cabrera and one of Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson at the deadline.  Failing to do so puts the microscope on the rapidly eroding Sandy Alderson legacy.  Promoting Amed Rosario on the day of your big failure shifts the focus (and pressure) to the man everyone is clamoring to see and the harsh glare of the media spotlight is now successfully deflected.  
While many people are chiming in that what the Mets got for a two month rental of Addison Reed was a sufficient return, I’m very much in the quality over quantity school of thought.  For comparison’s sake, the Mets’ top prospect lists include such folks bringing up the rear as Luis Carpio (.245), Guerrero (.245) and Ali Sanchez (.232) all ranked significantly higher than any of the people acquired.  Even Drew Smith, clearly the best numbers of any of the four minor league pitchers obtained in Alderson’s paltry two deals, is ranked number 30.  In other words, you likely have have more Erik Goeddel and  Matt Koch types.  You don’t remember Matt Koch?  He’s one of the warm bodies shipped to the Diamondbacks to obtain Addison Reed in the first place.  Now the cycle is complete. 

There were any number of creative things that could have been done such as paying down already allocated salary or forcing the bundling of less desirable pieces (like Granderson) in order to obtain the more desirable pieces.  Nothing was done in this regard and what you see is the result. 

Hey, I hope I’m wrong and these “Wild Thing” pitchers somehow get it together and contribute someday to the pen, but aside from Smith, I’m not holding my breath.  
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ROSTER MOVE - SS - Amed Rosario

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Amed Rosario will debut Tuesday in Colorado.
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MCMAHON, ALBALADEJO NAB WEEKLY AWARDS

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For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                                       
July 30, 2017                                                                                 
MCMAHON, ALBALADEJO NAB WEEKLY AWARDS
ROUND ROCK, Texas – The Pacific Coast League announced Monday that Albuquerque infielder Ryan McMahon and Las Vegas right-hander Jonathan Albaladejo have been named the Player and Pitcher of the Week for the period of July 24-30.

McMahon recorded hits in all six games he played, including four with multiple knocks, to help keep the Isotopes only a game behind division-leading Salt Lake. He ranked among PCL weekly leaders in batting average (.520, 2nd), total bases (23, 2nd), hits (12, t-2nd), extra-base hits (5, t-3rd) and RBI (8, t-5th). Additionally, McMahon hit two home runs, scored five runs and tallied more walks (3) than strikeouts (2).

The Rockies farmhand started off the week with a pair of hits to lift the ‘Topes to a win – and four-game series split – against the Bees. He proceeded to reach base three times, twice with hits and once with a walk, driving in two in a win over Omaha. The following night, in another victory over the Storm Chasers, he fell a double shy of the cycle, recording four hits and three RBI. In the series opener against the I-Cubs, and in his last multi-hit effort of the week, McMahon had three hits – a single, double and home run – with two RBI.

McMahon, only in his second month with Albuquerque, has already had a decorated Triple-A career. Following a June 1 promotion, he was the PCL’s June Player of the Month after hitting .427 (50-for-117) with seven home runs and 28 RBI. He was also the League’s Player of the Week for the period of June 12-18 after posting the highest slugging percentage (1.296) and OPS (1.883) among affiliated professional players. McMahon has played in 50 games with the Isotopes and hit .390 (83-for-213) with 11 home runs and 45 RBI. He entered the season as the Rockies’ No. 9 prospect, according to Baseball America. The 22-year-old was a second-round pick of Colorado in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

Making his first appearances in the affiliated ranks in four years, Albaladejo didn’t allow a run over 11.1 innings with 10 strikeouts, giving up eight hits and three walks. After signing with the Mets on July 25, Albaladejo worked the final 4.1 innings of relief for the 51s that night at Nashville. He retired 12 of the 17 hitters he faced, striking out two. Albaladejo got the start four days later against division-leading Colorado Springs at Cashman Field and worked seven shutout innings. The 34-year-old gave up only four hits, two walks and punched out eight, four coming in succession. He got six groundball outs compared to one flyball out and threw 59 of his 84 pitches for strikes.

Along with pitching for five MLB organizations, Albaladejo has seen action in Japanese, Mexican and Independent Leagues in his 17-year career. The righty started the year with the non-affiliated Bridgeport Bluefish and made 16 starts, going 7-6 with a 4.44 ERA (99.1 IP, 49 ER). The year prior, his first with Bridgeport, he was the Atlantic League’s Pitcher of the Year; Albaladejo went 15-6 with a 4.07 ERA (172.2 IP, 78 ER). He has made 66 career MLB relief appearances with the Nationals (2007), Yankees (2008-10) and Diamondbacks (2012), pitching to a 4.34 ERA across 76.2 innings. Albaladejo last pitched with an MLB organization in 2013 for the Marlins’ New Orleans Zephyrs. This is his third career Pitcher of the Week, having also been honored twice in 2010 with the International League’s RailRiders.
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ROSTER MOVES

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RP Stephen Villinis was promoted to Rookie-Brooklyn from Rookie-Kingsport.

RP Josh Edgin was designated for assignment.
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Reese Kaplan -- My Crystal Ball for 2018

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So the towel has officially been thrown in on the 2017 season (though if it had been a fight the referee would have ruled a TKO long ago).  Better late than never, I always say.  It will be interesting to find out between the first trade deadline and the August waiver trade deadline who might still be departing for greener pastures.  With Lucas Duda now a part of Mets history and Drew Smith potentially part of its future, let’s take a look at how the roster might look for next season.

1B – There’s no reason to believe Dominic Smith won’t be given every opportunity to prove himself.  In AAA he’s hitting for average, power, driving in runs and flashing good leather at 1B.  Capable backups include Wilmer Flores and T.J. Rivera, both of whom happen to bat from the right side when the Madison Bumgarner types take the hill.

2B – Ah, here’s quite the conundrum.  Do they bring back Neil Walker?  Do they bring back Asdrubal Cabrera?  Do they hand the keystone position to T.J. Rivera or Wilmer Flores?  What about Gavin Cecchini?  My crystal ball says they will hold an open competition between Rivera and Flores for the role, with the resulting DEFENSIVE superior getting the nod.  By this time they know what both can do with the bat.  If you want a higher average, go for T.J.  If you want more dingers, Wilmer’s your man.  What neither has shown to do well is field any position they’ve tried.  If they’re entrusting the spot to one of them, I have a feeling it will come down to glove rather than bat.  Either one will help score runs, but who’s going to give away the fewest of them?

SS – They’re banking heavily on Amed Rosario being the real deal, a latter day Jose Reyes who can contribute in all facets of the game.  Since his once and future Met role model is still persona non grata around baseball, I have a feeling he’ll be back in a utility role and as insurance that Rosario has growing pains. 

3B – I have a feeling that the Mets will try to make a well-insured contract to have Neil Walker return at 3B.  He provides veteran leadership, seems to enjoy playing here and could be a good role model for the otherwise very young infield.  He is grossly overpaid at $17.2 million and he’s likely not going to garner his true value having missed significant time each of the past two years with injuries.  Consequently I think the Mets will try to come in somewhere around 3 years/$39 million to offer him job security.  Frankly, I think he’d take it as many other clubs are going to be gun shy given his recent injury history.  If he delivers a career average 2.4 WAR and each 1.0 is worth $8 million, then he’d be a bargain at that price. 

C – Here’s the big mystery.  Travis d’Arnaud’s bat has come alive the past month or so, but he’s probably not going to finish with big enough numbers to ensure he’s handed the starting gig.  The problem is that there are very few catchers ever made available who can provide both defense and offense.  The free agent pickings are rather slim.  You could try to cash in on a sub-par season from Jonathon Lucroy who is set for free agency if Texas doesn’t extend him, but his reputation as a receiver is that he’s a good hitter.  Tomas Nido is at least another full year away and hit a bump in his offensive road this year, so this position is one of tremendous need.  Personally, I saw enough of d’Arnaud’s bat to think that he’s worth holding over for another year, though I’d like to see if Kevin Plawecki can force his name into the conversation.  Neither are great catchers but then the available options on the table are about as appealing as 3-day old sushi. 

LF – Yoenis Cespedes.  Enough said.

CF – Michael Conforto should get the gig.  He’s handled the role competently and with more playing time he has the athleticism (if not the pure speed) to make himself into a plus player out there. 

RF – Here’s another twisted tale.  They tried to sell Jay Bruce in the off-season and failed.  They are trying to sell Jay Bruce in his best offensive year ever and not finding much interest.  Bruce has commented he wants to try free agency, so the Mets are probably going to hang onto him to net the compensatory draft pick provided by making a QO which he’s likely to turn down (unlike the unhealthy Neil Walker who realized there was no market for a guy coming off back surgery).  However, I think Bruce is going to repeat the Daniel Murphy situation, spurning the QO to sign for less money elsewhere.  Somebody ought to mention that to the man since he’s since proven in 2017 that he CAN play in NY and he would be part of one of the better offensive outfields in the game should he choose to stay.  If not, I think the Mets go all-in on J.D. Martinez who is younger and right handed, a plus considering they still have the lefty bats of Conforto and Smith, plus the switch hitting Wallker. 

SP – Jacob deGrom

SP – Noah Syndergaard

After this dynamic duo it gets pretty murky.  What is left of Matt Harvey?  What about Seth Lugo?  Rafael Montero has pitched way better of late (until Friday night, that is).  Steven Matz has been flat out awful.  Ditto Robert Gsellman.  Chris Flexen had a rather forgettable debut, but you can’t write him off after one game. 

Personally, I think they would do well to consider some outside help in the FA market.  While Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish will have all of the GMs salivating big time, the two guys I’d pursue with some of that departing FA money burning a hole in my pocket are Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb.  Both have pitched in relative obscurity compared to the other two but done nearly as well.  They’re healthy and younger.  Perhaps they could form a good 3-4 in your rotation with Harvey et al battling for number five?  At least this way you’d have backup options should you lose any of your starters to injury.  The others could work out of the now barren pen.

RP – Jeurys Familia, Jerry Blevins and Paul Sewald should be no-brainers.  Throw in newcomer A.J. Ramos as well.  After that it’s a mess.  Many are fond of Hansel Robles, but as Tom Brennan has pointed out on many occasions, he gives outfielders neck strain by forcing them to turn suddenly to watch balls flying out of the park.  Josh Edgin has seemingly lost his mojo.  Josh Smoker never found his.  Erik Goeddel is a replacement level warm body.  Ditto Tyler Pill.  Don’t get me started on Fernando Salas.

What they don’t spend on starting pitching they should consider to fortify the pen.  I am already penciling in whomever remains of Steve Matz, Rafael Montero and Seth Lugo as bullpen options but it certainly can’t hurt to get some solid setup guys at moderate (but higher than the Mets typically spend) money to help hold down games.  Drew Smith could help balance out the cost of say a Tony Watson or Jake McGee from the left side, or Luke Gregerson, Joe Smith, Steve Cishek or Koji Uehara from the right side. 

Given that I don’t foresee them spending MORE money on the infield than they did this year, J.D. Martinez or Jay Bruce should be a wash.  That means the Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, Asdrubal Cabrera and other money is available to help fortify the team.  If there’s a new management team in place I can see that happening.  If not, expect more of the same old same old.  
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TRADE - RP Addison Reed to Boston

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For 3 prospects from Boston ... details to follow


Gerson Bautista | Rank: 28 (Preseason: 17)

Team: Salem Red Sox (A Adv)ETA: 2019Position: RHPAge: 22 DOB: 05/31/1995Bats: R Throws: RHeight: 6' 2" Weight: 170 lb.Signed: April 1, 2013 - BOS

Scouting grades: Fastball: 70 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 40 | Overall: 45
Though he signed for $350,000 out of the Dominican Republic in April 2013, Bautista didn't make his pro debut until 14 months later because he tested positive for an anabolic steroid and served a 50-game suspension. He compiled a 1.91 ERA in two years of Rookie ball as a starter, then became a full-time reliever in 2016 and reached low Class A while hitting triple digits with his fastball.
As with most pitchers, Bautista saw his stuff step up a notch when he moved to the bullpen. His fastball, which sat around 90 mph when he signed and at 92-94 mph when he was a starter, now operates at 94-97 mph with sink and run. His slider also added velocity and now parks in the mid-80s with sharper bite.
Bautista has a split-changeup from his rotation days but while it has some potential, he really doesn't need it in his new role. Though he has made some strides with his control and command, he'll need to smooth out his delivery and make further refinements. If he can, he could develop into a set-up man.

Jamie Callahan | Rank: 23 (Preseason: NR)

Team: Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA)ETA: 2017Position: RHPAge: 22 DOB: 08/24/1994Bats: R Throws: RHeight: 6' 2" Weight: 230 lb.Drafted: 2012, 2nd (87) - BOS

Scouting grades: Fastball: 65 | Cutter: 55 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45
The top high school prospect in South Carolina in 2012, Callahan signed for $600,000 as a second-round pick. He hit the wall as a starter in Class A, posting a 7.32 ERA in 2014 and early 2015, and moved to the bullpen for good after giving up eight runs in one-third of an inning in a May 2015 start. He keeps getting better with experience as a reliever, excelling in the Arizona Fall League after last season and earning a promotion to Triple-A this May.
After working with a low-90s fastball out of the rotation, Callahan now operates with a 94-96 mph fastball in shorter stints. He also has transformed a slider that often was slurvy into an upper-80s cutter that keeps hitters from sitting on his heater. He had an ineffective changeup as a starter but doesn't need it in his relief role.
Callahan had major control issues as a starter in Class A and struggled to find the strike zone at times last year. Then he seemed to turn a corner in the AFL and didn't issue a walk in 10 Double-A appearances before his promotion this spring. If he continues to deliver strikes, he should be able to help Boston in a middle-relief role later this season.

Stephen Nogosek | Rank: 18 (Preseason: 24)

Team: Salem Red Sox (A Adv)ETA: 2019Position: RHPAge: 22 DOB: 01/11/1995Bats: R Throws: RHeight: 6' 2" Weight: 205 lb.Drafted: 2016, 6th (178) - BOS

Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Cutter: 55 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45
A star quarterback in high school, Nogosek excelled as a reliever at Oregon, compiling a 1.88 ERA in three seasons and ranking fourth in NCAA Division I with 16 saves in 2016. He gave the Ducks a reliever taken in the top 10 round for the fourth straight year -- following Jimmy Sherfy (Diamondbacks), Jake Reed (Twins) and Garrett Cleavinger (Orioles) -- and signed for a slightly below-slot $250,000 as a sixth-rounder.
Nogosek has more pitches than a typical reliever, using two versions of a fastball and both a slider and a cutter. He can sink a two-seam fastball in the low 90s and has more success with a four-seamer that reaches 96 mph and has an excessive spin rate that allows it to dodge bats up in the strike zone. Both his mid-80s slider and upper-80s cutter can be plus pitches at times, and he also can mix in a changeup with some fade.
Nogosek's control of his pitches fluctuates at times, but he generally throws enough strikes to keep himself out of trouble. The Red Sox pushed him to low Class A in his pro debut, and he pitched well there with the exception of one six-run outing. If he continues to miss bats like Boston thinks he can, he'll advance quickly.

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Tom Brennan - ANDRES GIMINEZ: 18 & I LIKE IT

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Tom Brennan - ANDRES GIMINEZ: 18 & I LIKE IT


While all Met fans drool at getting 21 year old wunderkind SS Amed Rosario in the Mets' everyday lineup for the next 15 years or so, we've got an 18 year old proceeding AHEAD of Rosario's minor league career pace:


18 year old ANDRES GIMINEZ - DANDY ANDY


Giminez tore up the DSL at age 17.  The Mets liked what they saw so much, they skipped him past 3 rookie leagues and straight to the venerable South Atlantic League where he and Tim Tebow averaged out at 24 years old together prior to Tim Terrific's promotion to St Lucie.

So how would an 18 year old fare in full season A ball as a shortstop while teammates mostly 3 or more years older frequently struggle?  Silly question!

Through Friday's game, he was hitting .289 in 65 games!  And the lefty bat has been consistent:

.295 at home, .282 on the road.

.276 against lefties, .294 against righties.

And he improves in-season, right before watchful eyes:

.321 in 21 July games.

14 for 32 in his last 8 games with 4 walks.  Table setter?  He is setting the whole cafeteria!

He shows some power, not much, but my guess?  It will soon follow.  All these guys beef up as they get older.  Michael Conforto, interviewed after his 2 homer game in Seattle this weekend, remembered that as a 16 year old there, those fences seemed much further away.  Dandy Andy will see the same happen as he turns 19 next year.

Speed? Yes. 10-16 in steals, but 10 for 12 in June and July.

Fielding?  Just 8 errors in 65 games at shortstop!!  And 1 in 12 games at second base.  At 18!!!

Which, by the way, is better than Rosario is fielding this year. 

And at 18 in Brooklyn, Rosario played the same number of games at SS (64) and made 21 errors.  

Frankly, NO shortstop at age 18 that I can ever recall makes anywhere near as few errors as Giminez.  

Luis Guillorme made 8 at age 18, but in just 37 games, or just about half the games as Andres.   Heck, Gold Glove CF Juan Lagares made 40 errors in 82 games at shortstop when he was 18.  

Bud Harrelson made 18 errors (yes, 18!) in just 36 games at shortstop in his 1st minor league year - at age 19!!

Andy G is VERY special - defensively as well as offensively.


CONCLUSION:

Giminez is an absolute gem.  And I think he will be playing shortstop for the Mets and bumping Rosario to 3rd base in 2019 as a 20 year old, at the latest on opening day 2020.   

Believe me, as the Mets think of who to sign in the infield, like a Mike Moustakas, long term, this kid is roiling the equation.  They won't block his rapid path to the big leagues.  He'll be here soon.  He's Dandy.

He may be the best player in his league right now - at 18 years of age.  And I like it.  Yes I do.

Just hope that being from Venezuela, with its tremendous current turmoil, he is allowed to stay here permanently.

He will be the most famous Andy G since, well, Andy Gibb.  Saturday Night Fever at Citifield is coming soon.
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Mack’s Morning Report – 7-31 – Dansby Swanson, Chris Flexen, Drew Smith, Brady Singer, CBA Draft Fines

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Good morning.


Dansby Swanson

            One might ask what the heck is this guy doing in my morning report.

            Guys like me, David Rubin,  and Tom Brennan keep trying to predict which               minor league players will become stars in this game. Call us blog scouts.

            SS Dansby Swanson was one of the top five prospects in all of baseball when           he was promoted to Atlanta. Everybody hung a ‘can’t miss’ tag on him.
Well he has struggled on and off all this season and was sent to AAA this past week to, hopefully, get his game together (like Michael Conforto was sent last season).

Will it work? Probably. But this is just another reminder that this game is not predictable because someone plays well in school or the minors.
Prove it sometimes work? Remember when we all begged the Mets to pass on signing IF Didi Gregorius?


Chris Flexen

            It’s nice to see that Fangraphs gave Flexen some national coverage before his start last week. They ended the piece with -

“It’s tough to know what to make of Flexen. While his small-sample 2017 numbers have been exceptional, he’s never pitched anywhere near this well before, nor was he ever seen as much of a prospect. But then again, this might simply be an instance of Flexen finally being healthy for the first time in at least three years. I look forward to watching tonight to see how he fares against big-league hitters.”

Mack – Flexen’s debut on Thursday was, at best, disappointing. His lack of control reminded me a lot of the many outings he had in Savannah. Nerves? Probably. Three earned runs in three innings can easily be turned around with two ++ outings. Let’s give the kid a chance to breathe and get himself some on the job training.


Drew Smith

         I like this deal for D. Smith v.2.0.

         First, we get a legitimate top 30 prospect for someone leaving town anyway at the end of the year.

         Secondly, he immediately becomes the top relief prospect in the chain. He comes to Mets after pitching for four minor league teams this year with mad skill stats: 31-appearances, 1-2, 1.60, 0.91. His fastball hits 95 and he’ll be major league ready by the end of the year. He enters my top prospect list at #17.

         Lastly, $7mil immediately comes off the payroll and Smith is team controlled past the 2022 season.

         Yeah, I like this deal. 

          A lot.


Brady Singer

        BA had a wonderful article on who might be the first pick in the 2018 Draft, Florida RHP Brady Singer (for subscribers only) –

Singer played a critical role in the national championship run. Voted a Preseason All-American by major league scouting directors, he had a strong regular season as a part of Florida’s dynamic rotation of junior righthander Alex Faedo and fellow sophomore righty Jackson Kowar. Singer found yet another level in super regionals and finished the season by going 2-0, 1.80 with 32 strikeouts in 20 innings in his final four appearances. He won both of his starts in Omaha, including the first game of the championship series, which pushed Florida to the precipice of the national title.


Collective Bargaining Agreement Draft Fines

             BA writes about how baseball is trying to come up with a way to cut down draft and payroll spending like what the Dodgers do -


Any payroll beyond $237 million would be taxed at 95 percent of that amount beyond $237 million; so a $300 million payroll would carry a $92.25 million luxury tax and the draft pick penalties. The Dodgers payroll peaked at $298.3 million in 2015 and has dropped since as some large contracts have been cleared from the books. Last year, the Dodgers payroll was $252 million.
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7/30/17

ROSTER MOVES

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  • LHP Tommy Milone assigned to Binghamton (AA) on Major League rehab
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Clay Ramsey - Top 30 Mets Prospect

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Clay Ramsey
 is a loyal Mack's Mets follower
and sent me his Top 30 Mets prospect list to
share with you - 

1. SS Amed Rosario
2. 1B Dominic Smith
3. SS Andres Gimenez
4. RHP Justin Dunn
5. OF Desmond Lindsay
6. LHP Thomas Szapucki
7. LHP David Peterson
8. IF Gavin Cecchini
9. 1B Peter Alonso
10. C Tomas Nido
11. RHP Chris Flexen
12. 3B David Thompson
13. SS Luis Guillorme
14. IF Luis Carpio
15. RHP Drew Smith
16. 3B Jhoan Urena
17. RHP Marcos Molina
18. SS Gregory Guerrero
19. OF Wuilmer Becerra
20. LHP Anthony Kay
21. 3B Mark Vientos 
22. IF Michael Paez
23. C Ali Sanchez
24. SS Ronny Mauricio
25. RHP Jordan Humphreys
26. OF Kevin Kaczmarski
27. C/1B Patrick Mazeika
28. IF Hansel Moreno
29. OF Adrian Hernandez
30. P P.J. Conlon
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Tom Brennan - AA DARK HORSES

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Tom Brennan - AA DARK HORSES

I always like to look for dark horses, those guys who most quickly disregard, but who have real potential.  On the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, there are three:


KEVIN TAYLOR - I wrote about him recently.  Any guy who can hit over .300 with a .400 OB % should not be seen as a dark horse.  This former 36th rounder who spent time in Indy Ball is one to watch as a real MLB utility IF possibility.



JERVIS HARVIN STUART - known as Champ, the blindingly fast outfielder has always had a strikeout flaw that I felt overwhelmed his speed asset.  In May, he was striking out at a ghastly rate.  I really thought it was hopeless for Champ.

Then came June and July: 40 games, hitting .264 in 121 at bats plus 21 walks, resulting in a .383 on base %, just what you want from a guy who has stolen 30 of 33 this year and 131 of 149 in his career.

What about the strikeouts, though?  "Just" 41 in June and July, still too high but a large stride in the right direction.  He also needs to improve his home vs. away splits - he has a .385 OB % at home, just .291 on the road.  His overall .336 OB % is pretty decent for a sprinter, actually.

Given the desirability of having a speedster pinch run late in games, the 24 year old 6'0" 180 Champ, now in his 5th minor league season after playing little baseball prior to signing, has a leg up on the competition at securing a reserve outfielder spot in Queens by September 2018 if he can keep progressing.  Simple motto for Champ:

MAKE CONTACT, MAKE THE MAJORS.


DALE BURDICK - another guy no one thinks about but who could be a utility guy in Queens by 2019 or 2020.  Why? 

1) He's only 21 and playing in AA, so he has progressed fast.  Guys in rookie league ball are older.

2) He's hitting just .218 this year between St Lucie and Binghamton, but has 7 homers in 188 at bats.  At 6'1", 223, he's got the size for power.

3) He was 6 for 47 in April (young, remember?) but .250 since.  Even better in July.

4) Dude can FIELD!  While we make excuses for other minor leaguers making errors, Dale has made just 1 error in 28 games at SS, 5 in 116 games at 2B, 8 in 50 games at 3B, and none in 5 games at 1B.  By comparison, whizzes Amed Rosario (16 in 84 games) and Gullorme (9 in 91 games) have been making more errors in the infield than Burdick. 

And last year, at Dale's current age, Luis made 18 errors in 121 games in the field.  I can't remember any other Mets minors infielder making so few errors in a career spanning from 18 to 21 years of age.

Burdick's biggest obstacle, as I see it?  Getting playing time, with so many middle infielders at AA and AAA.  However, once Rosario gets promoted to Queens, hopefully within a week, Guillorme should jump to Vegas, and Burdick will get a lot more playing time.  I have a feeling that when that happens, all will take notice.  Dark Horse no longer.

However, there is another possibility here, due to the presence of one Jeff McNeil.  Jeff is a player I really like, but one who's only amassed about 75 plate appearances this year and last due to serious injuries.  He is back and playing daily in St Lucie now.  The lifetime .305 hitter is hitting .333 over his past 10 games.  he has major league potential.  If Jeff were moved up now to AA to following a promotion of Guillorme, I believe Jeff would do really well.  LJ Mazzilli could man shortstop, even if not his ideal position, and McNeil could be their everyday 2B.

At the same time, in St Lucie, JC Rodriguez has mostly been the  shortstop.  Almost 25, he is not playing well, hitting .227/.273/.349 this year with a very high 27 errors in 85 games at shortstop.  I would JC has no potential for a major league future, and would thus suggest releasing JC and moving Burdick back down to St Lucie, to play every day at shortstop.  Dale's career record of 1 error in 28 games at shortstop tells me he can man the position, and it will get his bat in the line up every day to develop the hit tool, even if shortstop is not his long term major league position.

That's my Dark Horse take. 

What's yours, even if you prefer other types of horses?

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