Mack’s Morning Report – 7-17 – David Peterson, The State Of Mets Starters, DeGrom to Houston?


Good morning.

David Peterson –

Peterson has been out of action since the Ducks season ended, so the Cyclones have him on a “throwing program” for the next few weeks to get himself back into “game shape” and get some innings in this season so that he can contribute in a big way next season.           

Mack – I wouldn’t look for many innings thrown here. Sort of like Justin Dunn’s first pro stint in the pipeline.

The State Of Mets Starters

Mets prospect starter, Thomas Szapucki, (3-seasons 18-games, 15-starts, 2.79, 1.17) was taken out early on of a Columbia game earlier this month with what the Mets called ‘forearm discomfort’. He was placed on the 10-day DL list and no further description of the injury was released.

Some anonymous troll left a comment on my original posting of this injury that he was headed to Tommy John Surgery. I removed the comment; however, I have tried through various sources to try and get more information on this injury. 

The Mets now have said that both he and Jordan Humphreys are suffering from a 'mild strain' and both should be back in around two weeks.

Far from a TJS diagnosis, anonymous.

Look, I break out Mets pitching prospects in a lot of different ways at a lot of different times, but, right now, either based on projected prospect rankings by the so-called experts, or the records they are producing now, this team has seven top level prospects and 12 mid-level prospects.

They are –

            Top level:     Marcos Molina, Chris Flexen, Justin Dunn, Merandy Gonzalez, David Peterson, Anthony Kay (DL), Jordan Humphreys (DL)

            Mid-level:    Corey Oswalt, Nabil Crismatt, Harol Gonzalez, Thomas McIlraith, Jose Carlos Medina, Christian James, Jaison Viera, Daison Acosta, Jorge Cespedes, Nelson Leon, Ivan Santana, and Szapucki.

On the surface, this seems like decent amount of pitching talent for an organization, but two things here… 25% of these guys seem to always be in and out of the DL train… and secondly, we really don’t have that much ready to make the jump.

Some may argue with me that Molina could be ready sometime next season, but I don’t see it. Flexen, yes, but not Molina.

Oswalt and Molina will join Las Vegas, but the lion share of the rotation talent will once again stack up in Binghamton (Dunn, M. Gonzalez, Crismatt, Humphryes) and St. Lucie (H. Gonzalez, McIlraith, Peterson).

DeGrom To Houston?

            So… Houston is interested in trading for our best pitcher.

Let’s face it… after the 4-player deal that brought star pitcher Jose Quintana to the Cubs, you have to consider what deGrom would be worth. The four players in that deal included the top two prospects in the White Sox pipeline, OF Eloy Jimenez and P Dylan Cease.

So, let’s say that deGrom is worth one less prospect. Still two top ones, but only one additional mid-level one.

How about this trade –

            RHP Francis Martes – 21-years old – (from MLB ) - Scouting grades: Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 65 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55
The Astros' persistence in scouting the lower levels of the Minors paid off when they asked for Martes as the third prospect from the Marlins in a package for Jarred Cosart in July 2014. Within a year, he had risen from Rookie ball to Class A Advanced and established himself as Houston's best pitching prospect. He got rocked in Double-A at the beginning of 2016 before recovering to record a 2.52 ERA in his final 19 starts, then showing one of the best arms in the Arizona Fall League.
Martes' stuff is similar to what Lance McCullers Jr. showed in the Minors. He can work at 93-96 mph and reach 98 with his fastball, and while it doesn't feature a ton of life, he does show some feel for moving it around the strike zone. His curveball gives him a second well above-average pitch, combining power and depth.

Martes' changeup has improved a lot in the last two years and shows flashes of becoming a plus offering, and he also can snap off a hard slider when he wants. Whether he reaches his ceiling as a frontline starter will hinge on his control and command, which regressed a bit in 2016. There are no red flags in his delivery, he repeats it well and he's still just 21, so there's cause to be optimistic.

RHP David Paulino – 23-years old - Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 55 | Overall: 55

Another quality Houston pitching prospect plucked out of Rookie ball in a trade, Paulino needed Tommy John surgery when the Astros set their sights on him in 2013. That didn't stop them from wanting him as the player to be named from the Tigers in a deal for Jose Veras, even if he would miss all of the following season. He returned to the mound in June 2015 and made his big league debut 15 months later.

Paulino had a mid-80s fastball when he signed for $75,000 out of the Dominican Republic, and it has gotten stronger as he has. He now operates at 92-96 mph and tops out at 98 while using his 6-foot-7 frame to generate difficult downhill plane. Both of his secondary pitches are promising, if not fully reliable: a power curveball that can range from well above average to slurvy and an improving changeup that shows signs of becoming a plus offering.

Paulino made nice strides in 2016 with his changeup and control, and at this point he mainly needs innings to build consistency. He totaled just 203 1/3 innings in his first six pro seasons, and the 97 he worked last year represented a career high. He missed time in 2016 with elbow tendinitis and a suspension for violating team policy, and he got hit with an 80-game suspension this July after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Derek Fisher – OF – 23-years old - Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Arm: 40 | Field: 45 | Overall: 55

Fisher has tantalized scouts with his tools and frustrated them with his inconsistency since he was a Pennsylvania high schooler. A supplemental first-round pick in 2014 after helping Virginia reach the College World Series finals, he signed for $1,534,100. He delivered 43 homers and 59 steals while reaching Triple-A in his first two full pro seasons, but he also struck out 286 times in 252 games.

No one in the Astros organization can match Fisher's combination of well above-average raw power and at least plus speed. He has a sweet left-handed stroke and plenty of bat speed, though he doesn't have strong feel for hitting and strikeouts will always be a part of his game. He has improved his plate discipline since turning pro and should draw a healthy amount of walks.

Fisher's quickness plays much better on the bases than it does in the outfield. He should have the wheels to play center field, but he lacks instincts and is an iffy defender there. His below-average arm likely will relegate him to left field in the long run.

Or… what about two of the above mentioned top prospects and a mid-ranger like –

Ramon Laureano, OF, Grade B-/B: Age 22, originally from Dominican Republic, drafted in 16th round in 2014 from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College; hit combined .319/.428/.528 with 15 homers, 70 walks, 43 steals in 417 at-bats between High-A and Double-A; he continued to mash after his promotion so this cannot be written off as a Cal League illusion, especially given his excellent strike zone judgment; combines OBP ability with 60-grade speed and gap power; also a very good defensive outfielder; not as well-known as Derek Fisher and Teoscar Hernandez, but is younger, has outperformed them, and has no lack of tools himself. ETA 2018.

Just thinking out loud...


Thomas Brennan said...

Justin Dunn in my books is having a disappointing season. Started out poorly, got better briefly, then back to mediocre. Hope he pans out as expected.

Jake is my Hall of Famer. I'm keeping him. Trout I'd consider.

Great news on Humphreys and Szapucki.

Hopefully Peterson will be as good or better than Matz.

Mack, any word on the progress of Anthony Kay?

Anonymous said...

A forearm "strain" is often an early indicator of TJ trouble in the future. That's fairly common knowledge. It's not a guarantee of TJ surgery. But at the same time, a superficial report from the NY Mets organization that it is a "mild" strain is hardly reassuring. I assume you've been watching how this team handles injuries for many, many years.

It is reasonable to fear the worst for Mr. Szapucki.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

I have not heard anything about Kay, but I do remember initial reports that said he would be lost to the Mets for the entire 2017 season.

Mack Ade said...

Anonymous -

(God, I hate talking to people that wear a mask here...)

You are right. A 'forearm strain' is not a good sign, but it is not an official announcement of TJS.

Also,why would a team official say the DL time would probably be 'a couple of weeks'?

We will have to wait this one (or two) out.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

Dunn can not seem to get any traction since turning pro.

Moving him around from starter to a relief role does not help either.

I too am disappointed in his 2017 season. I expected more.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, St Lucie should not be such a tough challenge for a 1st round prospect in his 2nd year. I am concerned. I'd be less so if he were averaging 12 Ks per 9 IP. One can only hope the 5.00 ERA is because he is working on weaker aspects of his game. We do, though, have to remember he is just 21.

I am not jumping to a prognosis of TJS for these guys - they may be telling them now, if you experience ANY forearm discomfort, tell us and let's shut it down for a month to avoid getting to the point where it deteriorates and you would need TJS.

I am of the camp that I will believe a guy needs TJS when they tell us the guy is going ot need it or has already had it.

Zozo said...

I think DeGrom would have to bring back a better package then the one the White Sox received from the Cubs.
My package would be their top 2 guys and Bregman. So Martes and Tucker would be my request and you throw them either Reed or Blevins to sweeten the pot.

I would think with DeGrom having a better year then Quintana, the trade Coming back our way would have to be bigger then you are projecting.

Mack Ade said...

Zozo -

You are probably right. I might be underestimating deGrom's trade value here.

Thanks for straightening me out :)

Viper said...

Martes could be an ace in the making but you're giving one that already is an ace. Paulino suspension reminds me of Jenry Mejia.

Derek Fisher, according to what you wrote is inconsistent, strikes out a lot and not really a good outfielder, has a weak arm. With Cespedes in LF and Conforto in RF, where does he play if he is not a good CF?

Ramon reads like a good one but is still a little bit away from reaching the majors.

Maybe I am too attached at the hip with deGrom and cannot see him being moved by the Mets.

Charles said...

You can say that about any elbow issues nowadays.

You still shouldn't say he's headed for TJS just because he came out of a game with an elbow strain.

An elbow strain is an elbow strain.

Charles said...

I really think Szpucki belongs in the top tier of pitching prospects. He certainly has more upside than a few of the players in your "top level" list.

His K rate, Velo, and slider are all plus. And he's a lefty.

Reese Kaplan said...

@Charles -- unfortunately Szapucki may be a left ace-in-the-making in the mold of Steven Matz -- unhittable when healthy. Staying healthy is going to be the key for him because he's shown he is top shelf quality.

Anonymous said...

Jacob degrom & Addison Reed for Alex Bregman, Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker, & Forrest Whitley. That's the only deal I'd accept involving degrom. You solve your 3rd base problem for ten years. You have a major league ready starter in Martes, and two lottery pick chances in Tucker, and Whitley.

Viper said...

No way they trade Bregman. He is a beast.

Anonymous said...

I think DeGrom is a beast, as well........he is relatively young with low mileage on his arm (he started as a position player) and he already had his bout with surgery in the past (almost seems like a prerequisite anymore).

Plus, he is cost-controlled and he is an ace by all accounts.

You build around this guy, IMO.


Gary Seagren said...

DeGrom also pitched in high pressure post season situations would be worth alot to the Stro's but no way there gonna move him he's our ace. Mack any word how Plawecki's doing...he seems to have been forgotten and also this story about Rosario's not coming up till we move AC. Also what happens when Walker comes back? High drama at Citi-field and what else is new.

Anonymous said...


If you do not want Anonymous comments, come up with a better comments section. Right now it's an option that you provide. If readers don't have a Google Account, it's the easiest option.

But if you want to insult the people who come here and comment, that's perfectly fine, too. You'll just get less comments at your lively blog.

Charles wrote:

>> You still shouldn't say he's headed for TJS just because he came out of a game with an elbow strain.

An elbow strain is an elbow strain. <<

I don't recall anyone saying that, but big deal if anyone did. People write stupid things all the time, we're all free to evaluate the merits of any opinion. What's not okay is personal attacks. Everything else should be fair game.

It is a medical fact that forearm strain is often an early sign of more serious elbow issues. Some teams are known to even use "forearm" to refer to "elbow," just to keep things down to a simmer. Whenever a pitcher complains of forearm discomfort, that's a big red flag. A team will pull him out of the game, give him rest, and hope that it settles down. You don't rush to the knife.

Nobody knows what will happen with Szapucki. It would be lame for anyone to pretend they did know. But it is worrisome.

Or you can take the Mets word for it! They've never been known to . . .


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