6/4/18

Tom Brennan - PRE-DRAFT OFFENSE THOUGHTS

4 comments

Tom Brennan - PRE-DRAFT OFFENSE THOUGHTS

The Mets have a history of being (to be as charitable as possible) an offensively challenged franchise.  And the last 10 years have been no different.

Over the past 10 seasons (2009-18), the Mets have averaged being 22nd in scoring out of 30 teams, four times 25th or worse.

That lower quartile offensive ranking frankly makes me sick.

It is an offense (26th in runs this year) that threatens to make Jake deGrom a 2018 Cy Young candidate who throws 240 innings, fans 300, has a 1.25 ERA, and goes 4-0 in 33 starts.

No offense to those readers who blanche when I bring up the Yankees' offense, but the team that plays several short miles from Flushing prizes offense.  

They may have a bad offensive year now and then, but they go full bore to fix that post-haste.  They were 20th in runs in 2014, but back up to 2nd in 2015.  They fell back to 22nd in 2016, but soared back to 2nd last year, and are tied for 1st this year so far.  

In the last 10 seasons, the Yanks have been 1st or 2nd in all of MLB in scoring SEVEN times.

Some reader will bring up, well, the Yanks have the DH.  

That just blurs my point unnecessarily.  

My point is:

The Yanks covet and value robust hitting.  The Mets do not.

They are competent at building offenses.  The Mets? Nope.


So, I say on draft day: 






DRAFT BATS.  BIG, POWER-LADEN BATS.  LIKE PETE.





AND STOP THIS ANEMIC OFFENSIVE NONSENSE.

Mack has as always done a great job outlining who the draft talents are as each year's draft approaches.

For me, focusing on the current Mets minors, which reflects to a large degree the Mets' past draft results, I have to ask several questions and add some observations:

1) Why not flip Peter Alonso and Dominic Smith, and put Pete at 1B in Vegas and demote .268-with-2-homers Smith to AA to try to get his lost hitting mojo back?

Well, the Mets have been filling the Vegas roster with AAAA players this year.  One guy blocking Alonso there right now is named Pat Kivelhan, playing 1B while Dom tries to re-learn playing in the outfield, despite a lack of speed which has limited him to 12 steals and 7 triples in 639 pro games making him a not-so-great outfield fit.  

Pat Kivelhan has hit around .200 with some pop and plenty of Ks in a few hundred major league at bats.  

This year, he is hitting .253/.317/.347 in 73 AAA at bats with no homers and 4 RBIs.  I'd bump him to AA and bring up Alonso to Vegas ASAP.

2) Why not promote Jeff McNeil to AAA?  

He played in Vegas last year for a while.  Could it be that, despite the Mets promoting Luis Guillorme and having David Thompson on the DL, it is more important to bring in AAAA members Ty Kelly (.265), Cody Asche (.218), and Christian Colon (.236) to eat up infield AAA at bats instead?  

Sure, Colon has hit .252 with just 1 HR and a .315 slug % in 349 major league at bats, but he has slid recently, hitting about .210 in his major league at bats in 2016 and 2017, and only hit about .280 without power in the PCL the last 3 years - doesn't that scream "Ruben Tejada?"  

Why not stick him in AA and promote McNeil, who to me shows far more current promise?

I do not care if Alonso and McNeil would make the AA all star squad - promote them now.

3) Kevin Kaczmarski is a good fielder, and fine contact hitter with some speed, who does not strike out much at all.  

Why bring in a AAAA Zach Borenstein, who has greater power, but fans a lot, when you saw that exact HIGH K formula was an abject MLB failure with Travis Taijeron - such high K guys get to the bigs and fan like crazy against superior pitching.

Kevin is hitting .360 after his injury-delayed start to the 2018 season.  Yet, after going 10 for 21 with two walks and just 2 Ks in a 5 game stretch in Vegas, he sits and just pinch hits the next two days because AAAA guys eat up at bats in front of him.  Why?  

Maybe Kevin is no more than the next Eric Campbell, but why not put him in a position to start every single AAA game and see what he can really do?

This brings us back to the lack of offense this organization produces through drafts and international signings.  

I count 14 (FOURTEEN) guys in AA and AAA that are really AAAA types from other organizations, or Indy ball signings: 

den Dekker, Asche, Borenstein, Kivelhan, Kelly, Colon, Lobaton, Brentz, Monell, Taylor, Ely, Michael, Wong, and, yes, even Tebow

Fourteen AAAA offensive guys at the top 2 levels because the organization's hitting prospect conveyer belt is broken.


Fourteen, ladies and gents, is nuts.   

That screams the following: 


OUR (ACTUALLY THE METS', NOT OUR)  OFFENSIVE TALENT DRAFTING AND INTERNATIONAL SIGNING DECISIONS HAVE BEEN LONG-TERM AWFUL.

The Mets have to not be so (to use the word of the week) FECKLESS, and learn and strive to draft superior bats to stop the offensive drought that has plagued this historically challenged franchise for most of its 57 seasons.


No more LJ Mazzillis.  No more Branden Kaupes. Etc.

We're watching.  

Many may not watch much longer.


4 comments:

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

Thanks for the compliment.

Some pre-draft thoughts:

1. I am hearing now that, if Singer drops (and he could), the Mets would pick him.

2. If not, look for the Mets to under-slot Kelenic to start a 2021 rebuild.

3. We have some nice pieces... McNeil... Gimenez... Kaczmarski... Crismatt... Peterson... and let us not forget Szapucki... but past that the system is only question marks

4. We nee around 5 great picks this draft starting with a pick at #6 in a draft with 5 great players.

5. They are out there (i.e. Alonso) but we have to dig them out... example: Vanderbilt 1B Julian Infante has had a horrible season (.191) after having a wonderful sophomore season. Has begun to get his game back together right before the draft. Could be a great 4th-5th round pick and put him on 1B in Columbia for the rest of the season.

6. some potential great second round picks... RHP Adam Kloffenstein/Magnolia HS (TX)... LHP Tim Cate/Connecticut... C Anthony Siegler/Carteriville HS (GA)... SS Matt McClain/Beckman HS (CA)... 3B Jordan Groshams/Magnolia HS (TX)... OF Steeler Walker/Oklahoma... OF Alek Thomas/Mt. Carmel

7. If the Mets start drafting high schoolers early, look for a rebuild to begin at the all-star break

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, a rebuild would be risky, but if done right (see Astros), we'd be very happy in a few years.

As much as I want a bat, Singer I could live with in the first round.

But if they take Singer, I want hitters in at least the next 5 rounds.

It will be interesting to see if the Mets reactivate Wilmer, Frazier, Swarzak, and Frazier for the Yanks series Friday - a bad weekend could begin to swing the pendulum towards rebuild.

it is painful to, as they did on Saturday, fan 18 in the first 9 innings and 24 in the first 13 innings - and lose anyway. More Mets Misery.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

A great case of 'question mark' is someone like 3B David Thompson

He came out a big D1 school leading all of college baseball that years in RBIs.

He was a wonderful pick and has played well as a Met, but he came here with question marks about his field work.

It was getting better... and now he has broken his hand.

We just do not know what we have here.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, I agree that David Thompson was a great 4th(?) round pick - I'd do that one again...and a second rounder like Alonso, and more big bats in rounds 3, 5, and 6.

After McNeil and Alonso, no one in the minors who is not AAAA, other than Phil Evans, has hit with any power at all. And few with average, either, quite frankly. And McNeil has to be a big surprise to everyone as to his 2018 power transformation.

Draft 5 big bats early - maybe 2 will become major league starters in the new era of 200 homers per team on average.

Mack's Mets © 2012