1/31/19

Tom Brennan - DO KEITH AND DONNIE BASEBALL BELONG IN THE HALL OF FAME?

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DO KEITH AND DONNIE BASEBALL BELONG IN THE HALL OF FAME?


Well, we recently saw several guys elected to the hall of Fame, including Yanks Mariano Rivera and Mike Mussina.  

Got me thinking about the two best first basemen in the 1980's, IMO:



Keith Hernandez

And 

Don Mattingly




Hernandez, as an absolute gift to the Mets from the Cardinals, hit .297 overall as a Met, starting with seasons of .306, .311, 309, .310, and .290 from 1983 through 1987 (age 33).  

He unfortunately started to decline physically, hitting just .248 over the next 3 years in just 693 at bats, retiring after his age 36 season.

He was not a huge home run hitter like other Hall of Fame first baseman - in fact, he only hit 162 dingers in 8,553 career plate appearances.

But he did hit .296/.384/.436 over his career (and over .300/.400/.460 up through his age 33 season).

He won an MVP, a batting title, was a 5 time All Star, and...doggone it...won ELEVEN GOLD GLOVES.

Compare the latter defensive stat to new Hall inductee and career DH Edgar Martinez.  

Edgar sure hit great, but did nothing on defense.  

Keith hit well, but not as well, but was  absolutely overwhelming on defense.

You see, in the great game of baseball, defense counts too - a ton.  

And Keith was phenomenal at defense, especially on bunt plays.

His defense on bunt plays was so incredible and superior, so instinctual that it called to mind Clint Eastwood's line, "Do ya feel lucky, punk....WELL, DO YA?"  

Because any punk who thought he was lucky enough to challenge Clint was gunned down.  Keith was just as deadly on bunt plays.

So, all told...

Keith Hernandez should be in the Hall of Fame - and not because I am a biased Mets fan.



Don Mattingly was pretty much Keith's contemporary, also a superior fielding first baseman, but also a PHENOMENAL hitter when healthy.  

A Wright-like back injury that sapped his power and batting average over his last 6 seasons.

In the prior 6 years (1984-89, ages 23-28), Mattingly averaged the following:

152 games, 96 runs, 114 RBIs, 46 doubles, 27 HRs, just 34 Ks in an average of 684 plate appearances and a .327 average.  

WOW.  DiMaggio-like, frankly.

And the 114 average RBIs were all the more impressive, given that the Yanks were not that good during his career, roughly a .500 team overall.  

In 3 of those seasons, he had over 200 hits, including one where he had an incredible 238 hits.

He was a six time all star, 9 Gold Gloves, an MVP (and 2nd once), and a batting title winner. 

Career, just 7,722 plate appearances, but .307/.358/.471 and 1,099 RBIs, despite playing half his career with back issues.

Don Mattingly should be in the Hall of Fame - and I say that while not being a Yankees fan (since 1961, anyway).


But then, as Mack would say, Gil Hodges should be in there too.
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Mike Freire - So, Just How Far Is Far?

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Good Morning, fellow Mets fans!


By the "Yoda style" speak of the headline, you are probably not sure where I plan on going this morning with this article. Or, perhaps you are already convinced that I have "a screw loose" and you are not surprised. In any case, keep reading if you want to really see what "crazy" looks like.

We are about to embark on another baseball season and around this time of year, I like to take a few minutes and see where the current edition of the Mets might rank in comparison to the rest of the league. This was a fairly easy exercise in past years, since the team was usually mediocre and the chances of a successful season were pretty low. But, there's a new Sheriff in town and he has made a few bold moves that have a majority of the fan base cautiously optimistic (which is saying something for the average Met fan).

So, instead of comparing the Mets to a divisional rival, or to "that other team" across town, I figured I would go for it and see how we stack up against the defending Champs! Yes, I think our current roster isn't that far away from the Red Sox team that steamrolled the entire league in 2018. See, I told you that this would be a crazy concept, didn't I?

In 2018, the Red Sox had an incredible regular season record of 108-54, followed up by a 11-3 run through the playoffs (NYY, HOU and LAD) that culminated with a World Series title. Furthermore, the teams was consistent all season, averaging 5.4 runs per game while only surrendering 4.0 runs per game (a positive differential of 1.4 runs per game, which is impressive). Oh and their roster returns largely intact for the 2019 season so expectations are still sky high in Boston.

In contrast, the Mets were 77-85 last year which was good enough for fourth place in the National League East (a mere 13 games behind the division winning Braves and "only" 31 games behind the aforementioned Red Sox). The listed record was not good enough for a playoff appearance, nor was the Mets' overall run differential of -0.2 runs per game (4.2 runs scored versus 4.4 runs surrendered). On a positive note, the Mets' 2019 roster will look quite a bit different then the previous year's model, so that's a big step in the right direction.

So, how far is far, then? The initial response would be "31 more wins and 1.6 more runs per game", right? Quoting the immortal Jonathan Quail Higgins of Magnum P.I. fame (the original one, not the subpar reboot), "good God, man....have you lost your mind?"  A fair question on the surface, but let's take a quick look at the two team's projected rosters for more details;

Catcher(s) - Leon/Swihart/Vasquez? (BOS)
                  Ramos/d'Arnaud (NYM)

First Base - Moreland/Pierce (BOS)
                  Frazier/Smith?/Alonso? (NYM)

Second Base - Pedroia/Holt? (BOS)
                      Cano (NYM)

Short Stop - Bogaerts (BOS)
                   Rosario (NYM)

Third Base - Devers (BOS)
                   Lowrie? (NYM)

OF (all) - Benintendi/Betts/Bradley/Martinez (BOS)
              Nimmo/Lagares/Broxton/Conforto/McNeil? (NYM)

SP (all) - Sale/Price/Porcello/Eovaldi/Wright (BOS)
              DeGrom/Syndergaard/Wheeler/Matz/Vasquez (NYM)

BP (all) -  Barnes/Brasier/Velazquez/Workman/Johnson/Thornburg (BOS)
               Gsellman/Lugo/Zamora?/Smith?/Wilson/Familia/Diaz (NYM)

***The projected lineups are still to be determined throughout Spring Training and the rest of free agency, so this is just an early "glance" if you will.

***I also didn't focus on the benches for either team, which can also have an impact over the course of a 162 game season (the Mets didn't either until this year).

On first blush, I don't see that much separation, to be honest. Yes, the Red Sox outfield is amazing and they have a nice lineup that can kill you will a thousand paper cuts. But, I really like our pitching staff and our bullpen is really nice (on paper), especially since the Red Sox still haven't settled on a closer (yet).

Does this mean the Mets are now a 108 win team in my estimation, or that the Red Sox are due for a major regression? Of course not! I may be a bit overly optimistic, but I haven't taken up a crack cocaine habit, either. However, I expect a much better season from our favorite ball club, health permitting, of course. I am also pretty confident that the Red Sox will continue to be a contender in the AL East.

However, what is interesting is that the Red Sox lineup doesn't necessarily jump off the page as a "dominant club", but the sum of their parts are obviously successful.  So maybe there is a lesson to be learned here?  Depth and balance are extremely valuable and just maybe, our new GM is following their lead?

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1/30/19

Tom Brennan - JENRRY MEJIA WENT WHERE???

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Tom Brennan - JENRRY MEJIA WENT WHERE???


Some guys labor their entire careers and never get to be on a playoff team, much less a championship team.

Former Met Jenrry Mejia, tho', gets suspended 3 times for banned substances...

Then suspended for life...

But gets reinstated, and...


SIGNS WITH THE WORLD CHAMPION RED SOX?


Yes, yes, I know it is only a minor league deal, but he inks a deal with a team that is arguably still baseball's best.

Gets his act together, heck...Mr. Mejia could be pitching in the World Series.

Heck, if everything goes his way, he could be throwing the final championship pitch of 2019.

Amazing to think about.

He has tossed 28.1 innings in winter ball, to the tune of a 2.54 ERA.  Good results.  Probably still has "game".

So the above scenario is not far-fetched.

Hopefully, though, that final pitch will be thrown to Yoenis Cespedes, who just as hopefully will launch it about 500 feet, so we can have our team headed down the Canyon of Heroes...and Jennry Mejia hanging his head in defeat.
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Reese Kaplan -- Gambling on Chronically Injured Players

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We Mets fans sometimes forget that baseball is a hybrid of athletics and entertainment, but to the guys in the front office it’s also a business.  I’m not here to get into the debate about having to spend money to make money.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite today.  Let’s take a look at how saving money might make the game a bit more interesting.

Most of us who work for someone else enjoy some employee benefits.  There’s health insurance, dental, vision, 401K matching funds, long and short-term disability, and various other potential things to entice you to remain employed with this same firm.  Having indulged in most of these benefits at one time or another, I can say they are indeed appreciated.

Outside of this space a number of the Macks Mets Marauders (which sounds a bit more impressive than just a few guys with time to kill texting and emailing) were joking about the contract recently extended to A.J. Pollock by the Dodgers.  He’s going to get 4 years and $55 million with a 5th year option at $10 million or a $5 million buyout.  To stay under the luxury tax cap, they’re calling it a 5 year contract with an Average Annual Value (AAV) of $12 million.  Since that number is likely less than the man had hoped to earn, they sweetened the pot with an opt-out at Year 3 if he achieves a certain number of plate appearances.   And therein lies the rub.

In his last year in Arizona Pollock earned a hair over $7 million and produced a slash line of .257/21/55 with 13 SBs.  He appeared in 113 which was his high water mark since 2015 when he appeared in 157.  Pollock is a talented player having hit as many as 21 HRs, driven in as many as 76 and stolen as many as 39 bases in a single season while maintaining a lifetime batting average of a very respectable .281.  Great stuff, right?


Unfortunately, Pollock has been in the league now for a total of seven years during which time he’s appeared in 637 games.  If you do the math, that’s an average per year of just 91.  So is a guy who’s slated to miss more than 1/3 of his team’s games really worth a $60-$65 million gamble?  (Think of him as a much more productive Juan Lagares to get the point.)

So now let’s come back to the real world where none of us are on full salary when we miss a significant amount of time away from work.  In terms of short-term disability, a recipient typically gets anywhere between 50% to 85% of his salary for up to 3 months away from the job.  This money is paid directly by the insurance company based upon premiums paid by or shared by your employer and the employee himself.  In a long-term disability scenario, there is a lower salary percentage paid out, as low as 40% in some cases.  This disability payment can extend for the duration of the illness or injury afflicting the employee.

Now let’s come back to the baseball world where only the superstar players are covered by disability policies.  We all know quite well that when David Wright was out he was earning his full salary, but in this case after 60 days of inability to take the field the Mets and not Wright were paid 75% of his salary.  Yoenis Cespedes has a parallel type of coverage, but from what we gather the stipulations and percentages differ, but the principle remains the same.  However, what happens if a Keon Broxton suffers a season-long injury?  Methinks the Mets are not covered and they must eat the entirety of his salary.      

One of the reasons people shied away from A.J. Pollock was the issue of his cost plus his likely lengthy stay on the DL.  That means adding significantly (as the Mets did with Wright and Cespedes) to the cost basis plus creating a mega-hole to fill when he’s unavailable. 

So the immodest proposal discussed amongst the braintrust was whether or not the injury risk should be a shared responsibility as it is in the real world.  This approach could be handled a number of ways.  First, you could simply parallel what is done in corporate America and have the disability issue handled between the insurance companies and the covered players.  They would receive less than normal pay since they are not contributing. 

Of course, this approach would probably exacerbate Workman’s Comp claims if the injury indeed happened at the jobsite.  When Juan Lagares crashed into an outfield wall, he required surgery to fix his torn ligament.  Isn’t that the very definition of being hurt on the job?

Another approach could be a discount in flat dollars or salary percentage for each day a player stays on the disabled list.  I had joked about Pollock kicking back $500K for every day he’s on the DL.  A more realistic approach might be to get a discount of 1/162 of a player’s salary for each DL day.  That way it is as fair to the guys earning minimum wage as it is to the guys in the $30 million annual salary neighborhood.

There would be an ethical battle waged on both sides should such a solution be implemented.  Teams would find multiple excuses to keep a borderline player on the DL as long as possible in order to get salary dollars kicked back.  Correspondingly, the players would try to rush back through rehab to begin earning full paychecks once again. 

So I would think the basic corporate America solution would be the one that would work best.  Players are then accepting some of the risk for injuries and illnesses (think Ike Davis’ Valley Fever, for example).  Clubs might be more willing to roll the dice on the chronically injured if they know they are not the ones on the hook for full salary. 

Of course, the Players Association in the Collective Bargaining Agreement would never go for anything like this, but what do you all think?

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1/29/19

Tony Plate - In the News: Mets Add More Depth to Bullpen

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New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen added more depth to the bullpen with another free agent signing. He signed lefthanded reliever Justin Wilson to a two-year ten million deal. Wilson, 31, was 4-5 with a 3.46 earned run average in 71 games for the Chicago Cubs last season. He struck out 69 in over 54 innings and had 33 walks. 

Prior to playing for the Cubs Wilson played for the Detroit Tigers and as you New York sports fans recall prior to that he played for the New York Yankees who acquired Wilson from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Francisco Cervelli trade. The Yankees traded Wilson to the Tigers for Chad Green and former Mets prospect Luis Cessa. 

Wilson said he signed with the Mets, because he feels that the Mets are legitimate contenders in the National League East. He said that he would put the Mets starting rotation up against any other starting rotation in the National League. He is impressed with how the back end of the bullpen became stronger.  He has confidence that the offense will bounce back after having a few injuries to key position players last season. 

The Mets had to designate infielder Gavin Cecchini for assignment in order to make room for Wilson. Cecchini was a Mets 2012 first- round pick and hit .217 in 83 big-league at-bats in 2016 and 2017.

In other Mets news Van Wagenen said that the Mets have talked McNeil into learning how to play the outfield in spring training and they are going to make a commitment to developing him as an outfielder. He also said that McNeil is fine with the idea since he played some outfield in college. 

The reason for moving McNeil to the outfield was the signing of infielder Jed Lowrie. The Mets at this time are not sure if McNeil can handle all three outfield spots, however they plan on giving McNeil time in the infield during spring training too, because they want McNeil to be an all-around utility player.  A versatile player always comes in handy for any team. 

Luis Rojas who is part of the Mets 2019 coaching staff will assist in training McNeil to play the outfield. Rojas managed Double-A Binghamton and had McNeil for the first half of last season.

The Mets have showed a huge win now commitment for 2019. They have spent some money this Winter signing free agents and making trades to improve the bullpen and the bench. So, since that is the case, I think the Mets are done making deals for now.








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Mack – New Weekly Post

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Good morning.


Here’s week two of my new weekly post which will explore thoughts going through my head on all things Mets.


PC - Gordon Donavan
I think I found the answer to our future third base problems. 19-year old Shervyen Newton is currently playing shortstop for the Mets and the 6-4 power hitter will never stick at that position. He just is too tall. He also has a power arm that would fit perfect at third. Last year, for Kingsport, he hit .280/.408/.449 with 23 extra-base hits. Scouts reported that he is very polished and they go out of there way to point out how valuable a switch hitting power third baseman is for a team. It’s early, but I think this guy has a good chance to become a future Mets third baseman and I look forward to watching him play Columbia next season, hopefully some at third.



Let’s talk about the rotation.

Firstly, there is nothing wrong with the top three guys we currently have in Queens. Efforts should be made to extend all of them into multi-year contracts.

One thing Jacob deGrom has proven to us all. You can play shortstop in college, have major reconstructive surgery on your cannon, get drafted in the ninth round after posting a 4.48 ERA, and still wind up being paid $17mil/yr while being under ‘team control.

But…

Thinking all four current studs will go injury free and pitch brilliantly as they remain a Met into their mid-30s is a pipe dream.

We need to look past this and see what’s coming next in the pipeline.
Right now, there are four guys that could make a difference in the next two seasons. They are:


         
LHP David Peterson – There are two schools of though on Peterson. One, is he’s a 6-6 lefty that hits 93, which is like a righty hitting 98. He also has a decent four pitch mix.

The other school of thought is that he doesn’t have any one signature pitch which translate as a passing only grade for a future major league starter. He also pitched choppy for St. Lucie last season, posting a 4.33 ERA in 13 starts.

He’s scheduled to open up in Binghamton, but that could be fast tracked to Syracuse with a possible promotion to Queens by the end of the 2019 season.

I happen to think he is a potential SP4 at best.


Things he needs to improve on – 8.09 K/9



       
PC - Ed Delany
  
LHP Anthony Kay – Here is a power 6-0 lefty who sits 91-94 and hits 96. Kay pitched better at the A+ level last season (10-starts, 3.88) than a level below that (13-starts, 4.54). The Mets seem to be rushing the kid after two of their top rotation chips, both listed below, went down for Tommy John surgery.                 

He came to the Mets after being the Friday starter for Connecticut… 2005: 14-starts, 2.07, 0.98 and 2006: 17-starts, 2.65, 1.14. His K/9 declined sharply last season from Columbia (10.13 K/9) to St. Lucie (7.59 K/9). But that’s not the primary problem here. Kay pitched a combined A/A+ 122.2 innings and gave up 49 walks.

So far, he also translates as an SP4 at best. I personally think his pitch mix, delivery, and durability is a better fit as a reliever and, unless he goes of the charts in 2019 as a starter, I would expect to see the Mets begin this conversation before the end of the season.

Things he needs to keep doing well – gave up only 1-HR in 53-IP last season for St. Lucie

Things he needs to improve on – control


                   
LHP Thomas Szapucki – Now, let’s get to the ‘ace’ of the affiliates.

This power 6-2 lefty wasn’t supposed to be sign out of high school, but that didn’t prevent the Mets from calling his name out in the fifth round of the 2015 draft.

His ‘stuff’ is electric, that includes a fastball that tops out at 96. Yes that’s right… a lefty delivering 96.

He wasted little time. 2016 K-Port: 5-starts, 0.62/0.86… 2016 Brooklyn: 4-starts, 2.35/0.91.

His 2017 season was forgettable. He started off missing the first two months of this season due to a left shoulder impingement. He then followed this with six starts for Columbia (2.79/1.17) before departing on July 6th after 2/3 of an inning. It was diagnosed that he should immediately have Tommy John Surgery (TJS). He missed the rest of the season and all of 2018.

The assumption here is he is ready to go but we won’t get an idea until we can either see him when pitchers and catchers report or get the chance to talk to someone who has more knowledge on this subject. We also have no idea what level he will pitch. He would have been opening up in AA if the injuries didn’t set in.

My spin is this is our true SP1 candidate; however, if he suffers from setbacks from the TJS surgery, could wind up a power reliever. I hope not.


Things he needs to improve on – stay healthy




RHP Jordan Humphreys

This guy came out of nowhere.

He was an unheralded 6-1 righty that was drafted in the 18th round of the 2015 draft. The $150K bonus might have come into play here.

He wasted little time in 2015, posting 1.54/1.11 for the GCL Mets in 2015. 

His 2016 follow up for Kingsport (12-starts, 3.76/1.15) and 2017 Columbia (11-starts, 1.42/0.72) opened some eyes in the front office, but the Mets shut him down in August for Tommy John Surgery. Like Szapucki, he was completely lost last season and it is close to impossible to project where he will open up when he comes back. He did tell me last Thursday that he is 100% and ready to go come spring training.

My opinion: Well, MiLB.com projects him as a back-end starter but I have him mid to upper range. He has excellent control of all four pitchers and not afraid to pitch the same pitch in multiples.

Wherever he starts, I am sure he will finish the season for one of the New York State teams.

Things he needs to keep doing well – minor league 1.02-WHIP

Things he needs to improve on – also needs to stay healthy


Overall thoughts...

   Right now, we really don't have a go to guy here that is turning out slam dunk numbers.

  A couple of these guys need to further step up in 2019 so we're not... err... out Dunn'ed here.

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Tom Brennan - BRYCE HARPER OR JEFF MCNEIL?

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Tom Brennan - BRYCE HARPER OR JEFF MCNEIL?

OMG! Another Brennan article on Jeff McNeil.  Stick with me here and expand your consciousness a bit, non-pharmacologically, OK?  Deep breath now.  OK, let's go!

Imagine if you asked this simple question at this time last year, "Given what you would have to pay for either of them, who would you rather have in your outfield, Bryce Harper or Jeff McNeil?"  

The lads in the white coats from Bellevue with the strait jackets would have come for you, for even asking the question.   CUCKOO.  CUCKOO.  CUCKOO.

A year later, not so cuckoo, it seems.  

Because, up to now, the Mets have not pursued Bryce Harper, in whole or in part, because of the previously unheralded, high-performing-in-2018 Jeff McNeil.

Bryce Harper is of course a major gate attraction who will likely be paid over $30 million per annum for many years.  

Gate drawing power increases revenues, and would help pay part of his huge multi-year salary bill.

Some of those years likely will be in his mid 30s.  

Ask Ken Griffey Jr. how that goes.  Griffey was "all time great" up to age 30, "downright mediocre" in his 30s.  



Jeff McNeil is not likely to ever be a gate attraction, no matter how good he turns out to be, as he comes across with no swagger, and as a quiet scrambler type (see picture), but he will be paid a relative pittance for the next 3-5 years.  

Perhaps just 2% of what Harper will be paid over the next 4 seasons.  Far less financially risky.

So, Harper would ring the turnstiles more than McNeil would, at least short term.  And Harper has more of a track record than McNeil.  But Harper's salary will be geometrically larger than McNeil's.  

But how do these guys project out in terms of 2019 splits?

I looked at Baseball Reference player pages and saw this for 2019:


Bryce Harper: .265/.385/.491

Jeff McNeil: .289/.350/.443

So, Harper would be paid 60 times more than Jeff in 2019 and 2020, considering just the first 2 years, yet put up pretty comparable numbers.

Now, keep in mind that Citifield seems to be statistically ranked as the worst hitting field in all of major league baseball - so, while I would presume Baseball Ref's McNeil numbers presume  he will be playing in Citifield, Harper's do not.

So, one could anticipate that if Harper's #'s were re-run by B Ref assuming he would play half his games at Citifield, his splits might not even be as good as McNeil's projected splits.

Why?  Let's say new Met Bryce Harper gets 275 ABs in Citifield and the dimensions cost him 5 doubles and 5 homers.

That does not sound like a lot - but over a full season, including home and away, that would cause his average to drop 20 points, and his slugging % would drop about 35 points.  Thus: 


Harper's #'s might be more like .245/.350/.470.  

Compare those to McNeil's .289/.350/.443.  

A statistical dead heat.

My guess?  Brodie VW and the Wilpons know that, and are loathe to spend huge dollars for Harper for that reason.

I also think that when an owner like Jeff Wilpon has been burned so many times, first with Bernie Madoff and then with bad big-big-big bucks deals like Martinez, Santana, Wright, Cespedes, etc. that have gone way, way south, you get understandably skittish about the next mega deal,.

You understandably think more about what could go wrong and less on what could go right.

So I can understand why the Wilpons would want Jeff McNeil in the outfield.  And not Bryce Harper.


What, of course, do you think?

Before I go, just for fun, let's look at other key 2019 Mets' projected 2019 splits, courtesy again of Baseball Reference:

Brandon Nimmo: .262/.380/.447 - not bad, think he will do better.

Michael Conforto: .250/.349/.461 - I think he'll do somewhat better.

Robbie Cano: .275/.334/.456 - feels about right.

Amed Rosario: .258/.303/.397 - hardly more than his 2018 splits, so I think he'll do somewhat better.

Todd Frazier: "Mr .213 for 2017 and 2018" is at .216/.312/.416.  I guess B Ref thinks he'll sneak one more slow grounder thru the infield and not hit .213 three years in a row.


So there you have it.  Have a great day.



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1/28/19

Tom Brennan - METS PROSPECTS # 46 THRU # 50

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      Tom Brennan - METS PROSPECTS # 46 THRU # 50


In the first 9 in this series of 10 articles on the Mets Top 50 prospects, I outlined my Top 45 prospects.  

I resolutely and irrefutably explained why I felt Messrs. Alonso, Gimenez, Peterson, Mauricio, Kay, Vientos, Szapucki, Lindsay, Alvarez, Richardson, Kilome, Hernandez, Nido, Valdez, Humphreys, Newton, Toffey, Sanchez, Dibrell, Cecchini, Mazeika, Winaker, Paez, Vilera, Thompson, Cortes, Gilliam, Brodey, Hanhold, Tebow, Jannis, Kaczmarski, Viall, Carpio, Vasquez, Taveras, Cosuegra, Cavallaro, and Nogosek  were my #1 thru # 45 dudes, respectively.  

Simply indisputable - LOL.  (Is it OK to joke around when reviewing prospects?  I hope so.)

OK, OK, newly acquired guys like RHP Kyle Dowdy should be in my list, and aren't yet, but he is a top 20 Mets prospect to me, based on my logic in a recent article on Kyle (read it if you missed it) - I will add him after this 10 part article series is finished.

Today, I move on to the indisputable # 46 thru # 50 dudes.




# 46  MATT POBEREYKO  RHRP


Now 27, Matt has come a long way fast, in mid-2016 through 2018 after leaving Indy ball, throwing hard but a little wild (one of many relievers who could be characterized as such in the Mets system).  In 80 outings, mostly fine in A ball, briefly successful in AA, but like everyone, a brief painful episode in Vegas ensued.

All told as a pro, he has 118 innings with 150 Ks (Yes!), 51 walks (No!) and a solid 3.51 ERA. 

Tame the control, and he could be a bullpen contender in 2019.



# 47  HAYDEN SENGER  C


I love "sengers", given that I am one.  I seng all the time.  My shower where I seng is sound proof, thankfully.  

Anyway, this 21 year old 24th round catcher may have been a steal - he hit a terrific .301/.411/.417 in rookie ball in 32 games.  

Impressive, albeit brief, but his likely next step into full season ball represents a higher challenge.  Do that with the bat again in full season ball and he'll have everyone "senging" his praises.   A catcher who can hit???  Wow.

He did have 5 errors and 6 passed balls, which are both a bit high, but threw out a decent 11 of 35 would-be larcenists.  Defense, therefore, is an area to improve upon in 2019, most likely finding Senger starting out in Columbia.



# 48  JAYLEN PALMER SS/3B

Palmer turned 18 just before August last season, so he is part of the Mets' strong teenage movement.

The 22nd rounder did well, briefly, with the GCL Mets, putting up .310/.394/.414 splits in 25 games, with 5 steals.  
He may have been a steal for the Mets in the 22nd round, too.  

At 6'3", 195, he's got excellent size too.  Out of Brooklyn, he is considered a strong defender with good speed.  I think he jumps to Kingsport, with a promotion to the Cyclones in 2019 - perhaps he is a future starting player or utility specialist.  Too early to tell.



# 49  MARCEL RENTERIA  RHSP


Marcel is a sixth rounder in 2017, and the 24 year old righty put together 15 starts in Columbia to the tune of 5-4, 4.23, with 72 Ks in 77 IP.  Nice.

He missed 2 months due to injury, but stepped it up when he returned in July, with 16 straight scoreless innings in his first 4 outings, followed by back-to-back nine-strikeout games spanning 13 innings.

He can reach the mid to high 90's, which makes him a pitcher of real interest, and he has a solid curve.  If he puts it all together in 2019, he could certainly storm his way up this list.



#50 GUILLERMO GRANADILLO OF

Slipping into my top 50, Granadillo had a very solid year at Kingsport, but he is already turning 22 in February and lacks power, so he needs to keep accelerating.  

In 51 games, he hit .303/.397/.333 with 21 steals.  Nice, but he needs power too - just 3 doubles and 1 homer.  Guillermo is 5'11", 200, so the righty hitter has enough size to add power I'd think.  I would stick him in Columbia if there is room


I might have slotted 21 year old Anthony Dirocie here at # 50 instead, and maybe I should have - Dirocie, between Kingsport and Brooklyn last year, was .274/.375/.447 in 58 games, with similar quickness to Granadillo.  But Dirocie also has to pick up the pace to be a future major leaguer.




OTHER GUYS WHO MISSED THE TOP 50:

Once I got down through my first 40 picks, I realized that there were many, many possible choices for that next 10 slots.  

Guys who I did not include in my Top 50 who could have easily switched places with others that I ranked # 41 thru # 50 include: 

Corey Taylor RHRP, Trey Cobb RHRP, Conner O'Neil RHRP, Tyler Megill RHRP, Chris James RHSP, Walter Rasquin OF, and Joe Zanghi RHRP.   

Maybe you, the reader, can add a few others I left off.

To keep Mack happy, I'll add Wagner Lagrange IF, too!  

Wagner's lack of power of late has me a bit suspect, with no homers in his most recent 250+ at bats, but maybe the 5'11" 190 Wags will rev the power game up in 2019 and fly up these rankings.


Also, there were some very young dudes playing last year who could easily surge well up into the Top 50 in 2019 - these include: 

Wilfred Astudillo C, Raul Beracierta OF, Yoel Romero IF, Andrew Mitchell RHP, and Joshua Walker RHP.  

And, of course, anyone else that you, the expert reader, cares to add.

I was ("just kidding" alert) going to also include Cameron Planck - except that after being drafted 3 seasons ago, he has only recorded 2 outs.  I require at least one out per season on average for consideration.  

Good things take time??  C'mon, Cameron!

Planck only turns 21 in the spring - maybe he will erupt in 2019.  Heck, fellow pitcher Zach Wheeler missed two seasons and look at him now!  A Cy Young candidate in 2019 is Mr. Wheeler!

The astute list scrutinizer also might scream, "WHERE'S GREG GUERRERO?"   Hey, scream all you want....

Yes, I left Greg Guerrero off my Top 50.  What can you say about the cousin of Vlad the Supreme?  "Get Well Soon?"

Greg played just 38 games and hit .217 in the GCL in an injury-shortened 2017.

Then, he regressed - he played zero, nada, zilch games in 2018 due to an injury.  

If healthy, he probably belongs in the Top 50, based on pedigree and signing bonus.  

If not 100% healthy in 2019, he does not.  He may belong in the discard pile instead.

Cousin Vlad, signed at the same time, will by contrast be in the majors in April.  And will be AL rookie of the year in November.  Perhaps he will lead the AL in hitting while he is at it.  But he is not a Met, sadly.


So concludes my series on my indisputable Top 50 Mets prospects rankings.  I hope you found it enjoyable.  Maybe this series is in your Top 50 all-time favorite?  I hope so.

Pitchers and catchers before we know it!

If you read all 10 of my prospect articles, you, sir or madam, are in my Readers Top 50, that much I can tell you.



Prior articles in this series - look over in this web site's right hand column for links.

Copy-and-paste links are below.


#'s 41-45

https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=592615130369356022#editor/target=post;postID=8342127476109274660;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=2;src=link

#'s 36-40

https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=592615130369356022#editor/target=post;postID=1044474795668527599;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=5;src=link

#’s 31-35


#’s 26-30:

#’s 21-25:

#’s 16-20:

#’s 11-15

#’s 6-10

#’s 1-5


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