I last wrote a few weeks back that I would write sporadically, if at all, this off season. A long LIRR train ride today got me thinking a bit, nothing profound, but here goes:
Jeff McNeil - one thing I love about looking up stats on baseballreference.com is they give you a 162 game projection. Jeff's terrific 63 game MLB rookie season debut projected out to this for 162 games:
638 PA, 579 AB, 90 R, 190 H, 28 2B, 15 3B, 8 HR, 49 RBI, 62 K, 18 of 21 SB, .329 AVG.
People I talk to about Jeff routinely throw in, "boy, he can really field, too." Yep.
And people wonder if the second base position is not settled going into 2019? Me? I sure think so.
Let me ask you this: would the Yankees have rather had Giancarlo Stanton in the line up for their recent failed BOSOX series, or Jeff McNeil? "I choose door #2, Johnny."
Peter Alonso - the man who some want traded due to defensive deficiencies is a mere 5 for 8 with a HR and 4 RBI in his first 2 Arizona Fall League games.
To me? Our future bopping 1B, and darned soon, too. Amazingly, in 2018's regular season, his splits against lefty and righty pitchers were virtually identical. Don't believe me? Look it up, pal.
Andres Gimenez - where's the power, some say. He homered (and walked) in his first AFL game, so that's where, friend. He will be starting for the Mets in 2019, is how I see it, maybe on or around July 24. Good date. That date this season was when Jeff the Great McNeil debuted.
Minor League Players Released - I am not sure if the Mets released more guys this year after the 2018 season than they usually do, but it was a lot.
Me? Not surprised. The teams in Columbia and St Lucie hit poorly, and most hitters released were only called hitters because they don't pitch, to be a bit blunt.
The hitting for the Mets' 3 rookie teams was highly encouraging in 2018, though, vs. 2017, so my guess is the number of minors hitters released this time next year will be fewer. "If they're good, I'm keepin' 'em, bro."
Some released minors pitchers had solid stats. I did an article a few years back that showed the Mets releasing a large bunch of pitchers that year with collectively very solid stats. Why?
Presumably, the talent evaluators realized that those dudes lacked heat, and would hit fierce headwinds as they climbed any further. Darwin's theory apples to baseball, certainly...survival of the fittest.
Considering that the guys released were not as good as the guys who pitched for the Mets in 2018, and that the 15 most "generous" bullpen guys in Queens combined for 227 innings and 184 runs allowed (7.30 runs per 9 innings), trust me:
The pitchers recently released would never be good enough to make the bigs.
Oh, and 184 runs? If you wanted to hold your opponents for the year to 4 runs per game (648), that 184 runs is 28% of that total - and that does not include the 10 relievers with ERAs below 5.00. Fix the danged pen!
Message to Mets:
Darwin says draft power arms. That's his theory - mine, too.
Starters: with deGrom, Thor, Wheels, Matz, and Vargas/Lugo, do the Mets stand poised to enter 2019 with baseball's best starting rotation? If not, whose rotation do you think is better? (I'm sticking with ours. Of course, if this were the Yanks, they'd be looking to replace Vargas with Clayton Kershaw or some other such unknown.)
Whoops, my train just left Jamaica Station, just a few miles from Citifield. The Manhattan Skyline (and loss of wireless service) looms ever larger.
So, it is time for Mr. Sporadic to sign off. Until we sporadically meet again.