9/22/17

Tom Brennan - MY PROSPECT # 3: DAVID PETERSON

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I have LHSP David Peterson as my # 3 overall Mets prospect despite his having thrown less than 4 innings last season after being drafted in the first round by the Metsies. 

And the Mets never make first round draft mistakes, as we can all agree.

I like him because he doesn't walk folks, struck out 20 in a single college game, and managed to throw almost 4 innings without getting hurt.  Hey...imagine a Mets pitcher going 4 whole innings without a career-threatening injury - pretty mind-boggling, right?

The Syndergaard-sized (if perhaps less muscled) Peterson had pitched enough in college to make his 2017 short cameo with Brooklyn a sensible approach.

Clearly, 3.2 IP is not enough a sample to draw any real conclusions on, but I read that his strikeout-to-walk ratio led all of Division-I baseball, and he followed his college pedigree by walking just 1 and fanning 6 for the Cyclonics (who often played as a team in 2017 as if they all just had colonics).

Normally, I would not put a lad with so little pro experience so high up the list, but several other would-be competitors for slot # 3 are either just coming back from, or still nursing, serious injuries. 

He throws hard with movement, and has an effective repertoire already, too. I read that Peterson sports a 94-MPH fastball and slider in the mid-80s, and a nice change and curve. Guys like him, with a well-developed repertoire and command, could move up fast.

Like 2016 first rounder righty Justin Dunn, who went straight from Brooklyn to St Lucie for his second year, let's hope Peterson also jumped straight to St Lucie in 2018, and fares far better there than the struggling Dunn did this season.

P.S.  off topic, I read that Sandy Alderson most likely will be back next year, and that Terry Collins is likely to retire.  Time will tell.
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9/21/17

Mack – Draft Stuff – Early Top 10, Alec Bohm, Greyson Jenista, Jim Callis, Tom's Bats

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Good morning.


Bless You Boys had an early look at what they think the top ten players will be at draft time. In no particular order –

            SS Brice Turang – compared to Christian Yelich – 6-0, 165

            RHP Brady Singer – returns to being a starter at Univ. of Florida - venomous movement on his fastball

            CF Jarred Kelenic – great arm – 6.57 runner - highest level defensive outfielder, good bat (not great)

            RHP Kumar Rocker – top prep righty -  high-90s fastball and nasty slider

            RHP Ethan Hankins – 6-7 – the ‘other’ top prep righty - fastball that tops out around 96 miles per hour

            OF Joe Gray Jr. - prep outfielder with a plus arm and defense that sits comfortably above average

            OF-1B Seth Beer – probably the best ‘bat’ in the draft, but limited defensive ability in the outfield

            2B Nick Madrigal – small, scappy player –

            C Will Banfield – a rare top 10 prep catcher – significant bat 
            SS Nolan Gorman – most think he will transition to 3B – plus defender – good left handed bat


D1 broke out a feature on two emerging bats out of the Cape Cod League this summer –

Wichita State sluggers Greyson Jenista and Alec Bohm took the Cape by storm, quickly establishing themselves as two of the league’s most exciting players and premier prospects, then maintaining their high-level performance throughout the summer. Jenista hit .310 with three homers in 142 regular-season at-bats for Cotuit to win the league’s MVP award, as voted on by league managers, who were clearly impressed with his all-around game and presence. Bohm’s numbers for Falmouth were even louder: he finished second in the league with a .351 average while compiling five homers, 10 doubles and 28 RBIs in 154 at-bats. 


Jim Callis had his own top 10 picks –

1.     Brice Turang, SS, Santiago HS (Corona, Calif.)
2.      Brady Singer, RHP, Florida
3.      Jarred Kelenic, OF, Waukesha (Wis.) West HS
4.     Kumar Rocker, RHP, North Oconee HS (Bogart, Ga.)
5.      Joe Gray Jr. OF, Hattiesburg (Miss.) HS
6.     Seth Beer, 1B, Clemson
7.     Tristan Casas, 1B/3B, American Heritage HS (Plantation, Fla.)
8.     Luken Baker, 1B, Texas Christian
9.     Konnor Pilkington, LHP, Mississippi State
10. Nick Madrigal, 2B/SS, Oregon State


Tom’s ‘Bats’ –

            So for the sake of finding a bat with a mid-first round pick, we have these factors –

                        Turang and Kelenic will be gone before the Mets pick

                        Madrigal is a true soft hitting second baseman

                        And Beer, Casas, and Baker are projected first basemen

            This leaves –

                       
OF Joe Gray Jr. –

PG Grade: 10 - Joe Gray Jr is a 2018 OF with a 6-3 195 lb. frame from Hattiesburg, MS who attends Hattiesburg HS. Outstanding physical build, very projectable. 6.75 in the sixty, plays much faster on the baseball field. Outstanding range in the outfield, gets quick jumps and runs direct routes, laser arm strength, fields the ball easily and gets rid of it quickly, highest level defensive tools. Right handed hitter, hits from a wide base with a short swing and good extension out front, generates big bat speed and power in batting practice, game swing is less fluid and consistent but the big tools are there with more repetitions. Good student, verbal commitment to Mississippi. Selected for the 2017 Perfect Game All-American Classic.

                       
C Will Banfield

PG Grade: 10 - Will Banfield is a 2018 C/RHP with a 6-0 200 lb. frame from Lawrenceville, GA who attends Brookwood HS. Strong athletic build, pretty mature physically. Highest level physical tools on defense, extremely flexible and athletic in his lower half, strong hands that frame mid-90's like a professional, high energy blocker, outstanding arm strength and release, 1.74 pop inn drills, regularly 1.8's in between innings. Right handed hitter, busy hand load, strong swing with some lift, strong hands, best power at present is to right centerfield, battles at the plate and will make adjustments and find the barrel, lots of power potential. Plays the game hard. Good student, verbal commitment to Vanderbilt. Selected for the 2017 Perfect Game All-American Classic.



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Tom Brennan - 2017 Draft Report Card: PITCHERS

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All the games for 2017 in the minors have been played.  
How did the June 2017 draft class fare? 
After all, it is our pipeline.

Not so well. At all.

My last draft-related article the other day focused on hitters - and offensive picks-wise, I generously gave Sandy Alderson a D- on hitters.   Why?  Two reasons: First, they only signed 9 offensive players, and second, the 9 hit anywhere from adequately to poorly.  If you missed that article, I append it after today's topic:
2017 DRAFT PITCHERS
Sandy signed 21 drafted pitchers, compared to just 9 hitters.  You can never have too much pitching, they say.  Well, I also say you can almost never have too much hitting, especially if you are a Mets fan who has seen over the decades far too many Mets teams hit below the league median. 
But today is about the pitchers, and for that batch of signings, I give Sandy a C+.  Maybe stretch it to a B-.  Why?
1) Many guys pitched well, some not so well (most of those being very young guys, so I cut some slack there).
2) I don't see a lot of projectable major leaguers in the bunch.  Hopefully, I am very wrong there, but year in and year out, guys seem to pitch well in relief in rookie ball but many end up hitting headwinds at higher levels.  Of course, a few of these guys who relieved in 2017 will be converted to starters in 2018.  In fairness, 2018 will give a much better read on all of these gentlemen.
1st rounder 6'6" 240 LHP David Peterson was the first of 7 pitchers drafted in the first 10 rounds.  He scarcely pitched because of a lot of college innings, where he fanned 20 in one game, and generally he struck out many and walked few.
In just 3.2 IP in 2017 in Brooklyn, he allowed one run, walked 1, and fanned 6. Hopefully, he will be great and be a 2020 rotation starter for the Mets.
4th rounder RHRP Tony Dibrell had an uneven season in 2017 in Brooklyn, but showed promise.  He ended up 1-1, 5.03 in 19.2 IP, allowing 19 hits (including 4 homers), 8 walks, and a fine 27 Ks.  He got better late in the season. 
6th rounder RHRP Marcel Renteria was shaky - in 9 games, spanning just 11.1 IP, he allowed 15 hits and 7 walks, ending up 1-2, 9.53.  The 17 Ks and 3 good late season outings give some reason for optimism for Marcel.
7th rounder RHRP Conner O'Neil was 1-2, 3.28 in 19 games spanning 24.2 IP, in which he allowed 24 hits, walked 9, and fanned 28.
8th rounder RHRP Trey Cobb was 1-2, 2.63 in 20 games.  In 27.1 IP, 21 hits, 10 walks, and 30 Ks.
9th rounder RHRP Cannon Chadwick was excellent, 1-1, 1.33 in 18 games and 27 IP.  He walked 14 but fanned 40!
10th rounder RHRP Steve Villines also excelled, going 3-2, 1.65, and in 27.1 IP, walked only ONE while fanning 41!!!!
Rather than go strictly in draft order for the remaining 14 pitchers, I will do the ones who did well and then circle back to the rest:
21st rounder LHRP Aaron Ford - his 4.29 ERA was mostly boosted by his 8 runs allowed in 5.2 IP in full season Columbia ball, but overall, he threw 21 innings and fanned 33, so he had a season to be proud of.
22nd rounder RHRP Joshua Payne - the 6'6" 260 hurler threw just 16.1 innings, but walked just 4, fanned 25, and was 0-1, 3.31.
23rd rounder LHRP Jose Sierra must have done it with mirrors, as he allowed no earned runs in his 11.1 IP, but walked a really high 12 and fanned 10.
24th rounder RHP Joe Cavallaro - starting 5 games and relieving in six others, Joe threw 34.2 innings and went 3-1, 2.34 with just 23 hits and 10 walks, but 35 Ks for Kingsport.
27th rounder RHRP Billy Oxford tossed for the K Mets, going 2-1, 3.75, and fanned 29 in 24 IP.
31st rounder RHRP Ryan Selmer for Kinsport had a funny year, with 21 hits, 11 walks and just 8 Ks in 21 IP, but 0-1 and a 2.14 ERA. 
33rd rounder RHRP Mac Lozer was 2-1, 4.30 for Kingsport, but allowed 29 hits and 9 walks in 23 IP, fanning 20.
35th rounder RHRP Kyle Wilson - 1-1, 1.50, 18 IP, 13 H, 7 walks, 19 Ks.  Pretty nifty for a 35th rounder.  He and Lozer should remember that Seth Lugo was selected in the 34th round, so there is hope.
Weaker reliever performances included these, 5 out of 6 of whom were quite young, at an age where struggles should be anticipated:
13th rounder RHRP Nate Peden - just 18, he had a 6.35 ERA in 11.1 IP, allowing 19 hits and 5 walks and had 9 Ks for the GCL Mets. 
20th rounder RHRP Yadiel Flores - just turned 18 on July 31, he went 8.2 innings, for the GCL Mets, allowing 12 hits, 7 walks, fanning 6 and allowing 5 earned runs. 
29th rounder RHRP Liam McCall - yeah, yeah, he was only 18, too.  0-3, 7 earned runs in 8 innings, in which he allowed 10 hits, 11 walks, and fanned 5 in the GCL.
37th rounder LHRP Josh Walker is 22, so he is not a teenager like the above.  He was 2-1, but a 9.42 ERA in 14.1 IP with 21 hits, 6 walks, and 13 Ks.
39th rounder RHRP Noah Nunez - another 18 year old, he went 11.1 innings, 1-2, 7.15, 15 hits, 2 walks, 5 Ks.
40th and final round RHRP Ronnie Taylor, also 18, threw just 5 innings, allowed 8 earned runs, with 5 hits, 7 walks, and 5 Ks.
Overall, pitchers did satisfactorily, so there is a real reason to have hope for them collectively doing well in 2018. 


Here is a reprint of my drafted hitters' evaluations:

One player who looks like a fine pick was 17 year old 2nd rounder Mark Vientos.  The 6-4 SS played 47 games, mostly in the GCL, and hit .262 with 12 doubles and 4 homers. 24 walks, 42 Ks, and 0 for 2 in steals.

3rd rounder Quinn Brodey got into 63 games, mostly for Brooklyn, and hit .253/.303/.355 with 63 Ks.  Decent, but not great, although he did have 3 homers and 37 RBIs.  Maybe he will be good, we'll see.

4th rounder Matt Winaker also played for the Cyclones and got in just 21 games before his season ended, presumably with an injury.  He showed a fine eye, with a .402 on base %, but only had one double and no HRs.  That one extra base hit part makes him sound like a true and classic Mets offensive draft pick - but it is a small sample.

15th rounder SS Dylan Snypes scuffled mightily, hitting just .180/.301/.221 in 37 games for Brooklyn, with 52 Ks and 3 doubles, a triple, and no HRs and 3 RBIs.

16th rounder OF Rafael Gladu in 36 Kingsport games hit OK: .269/.342/.369 with 2 HRs, and was 2 for 2 in swipes.

18th round Cyclone Carl Stadjuhar had a season to forget, hitting .137 in 52 games with a staggering 76 Ks.  He did manage to hit 3 HRs.  No place to go but up, I guess.

26th round 1B Gavin Garay played for the K Mets, and in 36 games also fanned too much (47 times), but hit .246/.308/.354.  3 long balls.

27th rounder 1B Jeremy Vasquez was solid between Kingsport and Brooklyn. In 67 games, he had 15 doubles, 8 HRs, 38 RBIs, and hit .266 with 60 Ks, with the best of his production in Kingsport.

36th rounder C Robbie Kidwell struggled, hitting just 11 for 64.  One double, no HRs.

I do not need to spell it out for you...the numbers speak for themselves: the 9 drafted hitters were moderate to poor in production, especially homers and high strikeouts, and drafted in too few numbers - I mean, how do you draft and sign only 9 hitters?  NINE?

Also, in considering the overall grade, which I would say is a C- / D+, the three rookie league teams did very poorly.  While the draftees only comprised 30 of those 3 teams' players, the draftees' performance was not good.

The three teams had combined win loss records of 72-126 (Brooklyn 24-52, .316; Kingsport 29-37, .439, and GCL 19-37, .339).  I always like to compare to the Yanks, who did SO MUCH BETTER:

Brooklyn counterpart: 46-29, 22.5 games better.

Appalachian counterpart: 41-26, 11.5 games better.

The Yanks had 2 GCL teams, as compares to the Mets one. 
One was 33-27, the other was 32-27.  if you put their best on a single team, let's assume 40-18, or 21 games better than the Mets. 

Again, draw your own conclusions.

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Mack's Morning Report - 9-21 - Pipeline Position Analysis - 3B

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red - top prospects
blue - emerging prospects



MLB - Mets - 

David Wright - We have to keep listing him here, right? 

I don't expect to ever see him play again in a Mets uniform, but who would have thought a former Heisman trophy winner would play outfield next year in Binghamton? 

Still, his rotator cuff surgery should finally do him in here as a professional baseball player. May help him take out the garbage, but that's about it.

Ditto T. J. Rivera who could be lost for the entire, or most of, 2018 season.

Any number of current Mets could wind up here. (Astrubel Cabrera, Jose Reyes, Wilmer Flores, Gavin Cecchini, Matt Reynolds) and my guess if they will platoon at least two of these guys in 2018 and keep their money ready for a shite-load offer to Manny Machado for 2019+

I'd love to be able to tell you that the Mets will close a long term deal with Manny Machado to take over the hot corner beginning in 2019, but that's just a dream right now.

Look for the Mets to either renew the option on Cabrera or make it 'first one out of the parking lot plays third tonight'. 


AAA - Las Vegas David Thompson - 24/yr. old - Rd. 4/2015 - loved this kid's bat since he led the D1 Baseball RBIs as a junior. He continues to assault the baseball with 185-RBIs in 308 minor league games. Put these numbers against a 162 game pro schedule and you come in at around 100 per season. He also has raised his home run totals from three in 2015, 11 in 2016, and now 16 in 2017... and... he has cut his errors in the field from 18x (.937) in 2016 to 12x (.963) this past season. All good news here. Still too many strikeouts (90x in 432-AB in 2016... 92x in 476-AB this past season... but even the K/9 has gone down a little. 


AA-Binghamton -  

Jhoan Urena - 23/yrs. old - IFA - he had 14 home runs and 70 RBIs this year for St. Lucie which earns him the bump to New York State.


St. Lucie - 

Cody Woodmansee - 23/yrs old - 5th Rd. 2016 - Played short, third and was a DH this past season. The once almost prospect had an injury plagued 2017 (core muscle tear) that awards him only 179 at-bats in the GCL-Mets, Columbia, and St. Lucie (.151). I'd put him back on his natural position here at third... if he's 100% healed... and turn him loose for the entire season. Nothing to lose here.

There's a bunch of guys that played second, short, and third and I have three of them (Michael Paez, Nick Sergakis, Leon Bird) that could back up 'Wood' here in 2018.


Columbia-

Reed Gamache - 23/yrs. old - undrafted - played third, first, and second this season, in that order.  280 combined 2017 at-bats for Columbia and Brooklyn: .246/.350 (38-BB)/.314/664.

Carl Stajduhar - 21/yrs. old - Rd. 18/2017 - exclusively played third for the Cyclones: 164-AB, .140. Not much to write home about here.

Blake Tiberi - 22-yrs. old - 3rd Rd. 2016 - on DL for TJS - only 18-ABs due to a season ending injury. Recovery is far shorter for every day players with this procedure, but his biggest problem might be if there is a job left for him in the system. Being a 5th rounder with money behind him will help.

I'm going to let these three guys duke it out in spring training for one starting position here, and one utility.


Low-A - Brooklyn - 

  Rigoberto Terrazas - 21/yrs. old - IFA - 2017: Hit .348 for Kingsport, which came in 2nd in the league behind Ryan Noda. These are fantastic numbers. Terrazas has easily earned himself the opening day start in Brooklyn.


Rookie - Kingsport - 

  Mark Vientos - 17/yrs. old - Rd. 2, 2017 - Here is our red letter third baseman prospect. Vientos came out swinging for the GCL Mets this past season and hit .259/.316/.397/713 in 174 games. Finished the season right here (17-AB, .294) where he'll open up next spring. Years away.


Rookie - GCL-Mets

Jose Perosa - 17/yrs. old - This one looks exciting. He's 17-years old and hit .300 for the DSL-1 Mets in his first pro season. Did come stateside at the end of the season for 17-at bats and he might as well stick around and find yourself an apartment in Port St. Lucie. He will open the season as the starting third baseman for the GCL-Mets.

Kenny Hernandez - 2014 signee for $1mil bonus - Hernandez has been a bust since he was signed three years ago. Starting as a shortstop, he hit .195 in 2015, followed by .203 (2016) and .208 this past season. I hope he didn't spend the money in one place. Still 18, I would still cut this embarrassment... no... I'd cut the scout that signed him. Let him back up at short and third for one more season.

DSL-1 - 

Yoel Romano - signed in 2014 for a $300K bonus -  more Milb/Baseball Cube confusion... the Baseball Cube has him not playing a single game for the Mets in 2017 while MilB has him leading the team with a .364 BA. They also can't seem to agree whether he plays... one has him at SS, the other at 3B and 2B. I'm settling with him at third and, as of the end of this season, he finished hitting with the second highest batting average in the league. So far, looks like a great international sign.


DSL-2 - 

  Cristopher Pujois - basically Pujois served as backup third baseman for Romano and made the person that signed this guy proud. Hit .349 in 63 at-bats. He's only 19 so hopefully he returned here for a full starting season in 2018

Observation - 

A few guys with some promise, but, to be honest, no stone cold lock here to be a star third baseman... which means we really have to save our change for an over the top offer to Machado.

Rating: C




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9/20/17

Peter Hyatt - Winning is Contagious by Terry Collins

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As to why his starting line up in the midst of a lost September includes:

35 year old waiver pick up Nokia, Jose Reyes and
Astrubal Cabrera, while kids sit on the bench with lost opportunities for tomorrow impossible to regain, Terry Collins defended himself with the following statement: 

"Winning is contagious."  

He said he does not focus on development, not even in the minors, because winning is contagious. The Mets promptly lost 5 in a row with the kids rarely seeing precious playing time.  Ron Darling called it "respecting the game" but only when Keith Hernandez was not in session. Keith doesn't share his view.  

Matt Harvey


After Harvey got tattooed for 7 runs in 4 innings on 12 hits with 2 walks, bringing his comeback era over 17, Terry Collins said that if the games were meaningful and needed to be won, Matt Harvey would not be pitching in the starting rotation.  

Listen to Terry Collins again about winning being contagious:

“In this particular case, when you are coming back from basically a year-and-a-half of injuries, at this particular stage, if it were about wins and losses, he wouldn’t be out there. Somebody else would be pitching, so it’s a process where we think it’s good for Matt to be out there as he continues to work on getting back into form.”

So, which is it?

Is it about winning being contagious or about developing a player?  

Conclusion:  Hypocrisy from a weak leader who has lost a divided clubhouse. 

When it comes to keeping vets happy over developing for tomorrow, Collins plays the vets because winning is contagious. 

When it comes to keeping the winning line up with the best staff, winning is not contagious.  

The hypocrisy is not likely lost on Jay Bruce who did what he could to help get younger winning-first players on the field during his tenure with the Mets. For Bruce, it became a battle to see if the Mets would begin to develop its young talent while the older vets continued to squawk.  It would mean a commitment for 2018 and beyond and it was a fight.  

He lost.  

The kids continue to sit in meaningless games.  

When he wants to play his vets, it is because "winning is contagious" over development. 

When he wants to play whiner Harvey, winning is no longer contagious and the games no longer meaningful. 

Will Ron Darling call this "respect for the game" too?

Regarding September games:  

Terry Collins said that winning  is contagious and it is not about developing players, in defense of playing his vets over kids. 

Terry Collins said that winning is not important and it is about developing a player, in his defense of having Matt Harvey pitch.  





Next up:  Why is Keith Hernandez concerned about Amed Rosario's "tutor"?


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Tom Brennan - 2017 Draft Report Card: HITTERS

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Tom Brennan - 2017 Draft Report Card: HITTERS

All the games for 2017 in the minors have been played.  How did the June 2017 draft class fare?  After all, it is our pipeline.

Not so well.

Offensive picks-wise, Sandy Alderson gets a D-.
And that might be generous.  Why?  
Two reasons:

1) They only signed 9 offensive players.  That's right, NINE.

2) They hit anywhere from adequately to poorly.

One player who looks like a fine pick was 17 year old 2nd rounder Mark Vientos.  The 6-4 SS played 47 games, mostly in the GCL, and hit .262 with 12 doubles and 4 homers. 24 walks, 42 Ks, and 0 for 2 in steals.

3rd rounder Quinn Brodey got into 63 games, mostly for Brooklyn, and hit .253/.303/.355 with 63 Ks.  Decent, but not great, although he did have 3 homers and 37 RBIs.  Maybe he will be good, we'll see.

4th rounder Matt Winaker also played for the Cyclones and got in just 21 games before his season ended, presumably with an injury.  He showed a fine eye, with a .402 on base %, but only had one double and no HRs.  That one extra base hit part makes him sound like a true and classic Mets offensive draft pick - but it is a small sample.

15th rounder SS Dylan Snypes scuffled mightily, hitting just .180/.301/.221 in 37 games for Brooklyn, with 52 Ks and 3 doubles, a triple, and no HRs and 3 RBIs.

16th rounder OF Rafael Gladu in 36 Kingsport games hit OK: .269/.342/.369 with 2 HRs, and was 2 for 2 in swipes.

18th round Cyclone Carl Stadjuhar had a season to forget, hitting .137 in 52 games with a staggering 76 Ks.  He did manage to hit 3 HRs.  No place to go but up, I guess.

26th round 1B Gavin Garay played for the K Mets, and in 36 games also fanned too much (47 times), but hit .246/.308/.354.  3 long balls.

27th rounder 1B Jeremy Vasquez was solid between Kingsport and Brooklyn. In 67 games, he had 15 doubles, 8 HRs, 38 RBIs, and hit .266 with 60 Ks, with the best of his production in Kingsport.

36th rounder C Robbie Kidwell struggled, hitting just 11 for 64.  One double, no HRs.

I do not need to spell it out for you...the numbers speak for themselves: the 9 drafted hitters were moderate to poor in production, especially homers and high strikeouts, and drafted in too few numbers - I mean, how do you draft and sign only 9 hitters?  NINE?

PITCHING: 21 guys pitched, mostly in relief.  They are subject to my next article on evaluating the 2017 draft.  Stay tuned, hombres, and damsels.


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Reese Kaplan -- Next Year's $27 Million Bench

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Going into the 2018 season the Mets have all kinds of issues to resolve, not the least of which is figuring out how best to allocate their salary budget.  Certain numbers are givens like the $27.5 million allocated to Yoenis Cespedes and his ego.  Others are much more open to debate.

When the season ends the Mets have some hard decisions to make about three players in particular for economic reasons.  If they choose to keep all of them, then the bench is going to cost well in excess of $20 million which seems a very non-­Mets thing to do.




Juan Lagares

At the time his contract was extended after the 2014 season it seemed like a great idea.  He was coming off not only a Gold Glove defensive year, but he hit a solid .281 and the future seemed bright for the former shortstop.  Then his arm troubles developed, his reckless style of play had him on the DL nearly as often as Travis d’Arnaud, and he never built upon what appeared to be a solid offensive start to his career.  The defense and arm issues are definitely resolved, but the man is but a .256 hitter for his career.  If you had sufficient offense elsewhere you could perhaps live with that modest production, but is he worth the $6.5 million he’d due to earn in 2018 and the $9 million in 2019?  Frankly, I don’t think so and I fully expect them to be shopping Lagares aggressively this winter despite having no outfield solutions readily available now that Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce have gone elsewhere and Michael Conforto has gone under the knife.


Nori Aoki

Like the person who buys a painting at a garage sale only to discover it’s an original worth far more than the pocket change it cost, Aoki has been one of those rare scrap heap pickups that has actually worked.  In his time with the Mets he looks like Ichiro the way he sprays the ball all over and works the count.  He’s not a great defensive outfielder, but he’s acceptable.  The problem is he’s in his final year of arbitration this coming season and will likely eclipse the $6 million mark for his salary.  Some people have suggested it’s a no-brainer to retain him next season when he’ll be turning 36 while others feel a Punch and Judy hitter at that age is not a luxury the team can afford.  I can’t see them retaining both Lagares and Aoki at their respective prices since neither would be starting on a good team and that’s a lot of scratch for them to sit on the bench. 

Asdrubal Cabrera

At the end of 2016 everyone was happy for the rare time a free agent acquisition actually produced after joining the Mets.  Unfortunately Cabrera got off to a slow start and his defense at shortstop was Flores-like.  Consequently people started souring on him quickly.  He then did himself no favors by whining and demanding a trade when he felt disrespected when asked to move off of shortstop.  I am guessing it was more his attitude than his production that led to Sandy Alderson not able to acquire more mediocre middle relievers for him before the trade deadline.  Surprisingly, he’s been absolutely on fire in September with a batting average well over .400.  It’s brought his season mark up to a respectable .278 nearly matching last season’s .280 mark albeit with less power.  The Mets can either pick up his $8.5 million option or buy him out for $2 million.  Hence you have another $6.5 million decision to make.  Many are on board with getting either Mike Moustakas, Todd Frazier or Eduardo Nunez to play 3B.  You have to figure Amed Rosario is at SS.  That would make Cabrera a 2nd baseman assuming Wilmer Flores once again rides the bench.  I was pretty clear in my reasoning why they should part ways with Cabrera, but I don’t expect that they will.


Travis d’Arnaud

Kevin Plawecki is rapidly pushing d’Arnaud aside as the primary catcher.  Yes, TdA has more power, but the rest of his game has not developed and his day-to-day hitting has regressed.  Consequently if the season started tomorrow I would expect Plawecki first on the depth chart.  That leads you to question whether or not they want to pay about $2.5 million in arbitration for him to sit on the bench.  With Tomas Nido set to take over at AAA, they may opt for a cheap stopgap journeyman who might cost half as much.  He could be on the trading block as well. 


Jose Reyes

Yes, he’s going to be a free agent but everyone already seems to be on board with the idea of having him around to mentor Amed Rosario next season.  Depending on who is in charge of management, he may find himself starting on one side of him or the other rather than spending his golden years on the bench.  Whichever way the cookie crumbles, the former $16 million per year player is going to receive a $4 million buyout from the Colorado Rockies for 2018.  How much more than that the Mets would have to contribute is anyone’s guess, but I’m thinking something in the $3.5 million range would probably be right. 

So if my math is correct and they go into next season with all of these players on the bench, then you’re looking at an investment of $27 million.  That’s not going to happen if they are indeed serious about making positive changes and about controlling payroll.  However, as the previous off-season taught us, the Mets are very good at doing nothing when it comes to improving the club.  
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9/19/17

Tom Brennan - WHAT TO DO WITH HARVEY?

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Tom Brennan - WHAT TO DO WITH HARVEY?

Boy was Matt Harvey great in 2012 and 2013 - and awfully darned good the year he returned from Tommy John surgery in 2015 too:  25-18 (only not better due to lack of offensive support), 2.53 ERA, 9.5 Ks per 9 IP, 1.00 WHIP.

But the past two seasons, 9-16 (not worse thanks only to good run support), and in 177 innings, he's allowed 6 runs per 9 innings, a WHIP of 1.57, and 7 Ks per 9 IP.  Injury prone, too.  That's a whole lot of bad road.  Bottom 10% starter stuff.

He is making $5.13 million this year.  Despite two straight dismal years, he likely would get at least a modest raise to (let's say) $6 million for 2018.

Is he worth it?  Or should he be non-tendered?  if the latter, you end up looking stupid if he rebounds in 2018.

Presumably he will have two more 2017 starts to give any indication that the past 2 years' substandard performance might be changing or even might change in 2018.

You're the GM - what do you do?
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Peter Hyatt - Darryl Strawberry Lashes Out At Mets

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As if this season could not get any more dreary for the Mets, Darryl Strawberry is disowning them." so said the NY Post, playing into the hands of the attention seeking and troubled Darryl Strawberry. 

Strawberry ripped the organization he started his baseball career with while fondly remembering his time with George Steinbrenner and the Yankees.
He is probably the greatest owner there ever will be in sports. He loved people and he loved his players. Anyone that puts on a Yankees uniform is family to him,” Strawberry said in a radio interview. 

His praise of Steinbrenner is because when MLB had just about enough of Strawberry, the Yankees gave him yet another chance.  

“He doesn’t turn his back on his players, like the other organization across town. It’s just the reality, it’s real. The players on the ’86 championship team, we don’t even deal with the Mets. It’s not Fred Wilpon, it’s the new thing.”

Strawberry reveals his own weakness of assertion by his pronoun change.  He has the need to portray his anger with the Mets as 1986 team wide.   

It is not.  

It is Strawberry and only Strawberry.  

How out of touch is Strawberry with reality?  Forget that two teammates are still currently employed with the Mets as announcers, and others, including Doc Gooden, have been to Citi Field this year 

That “new thing” is likely in reference to the Sandy Alderson regime and their awkward relationship with the franchise’s most famous title squad. Former Alderson lieutenant Paul DePodesta famously said in 2011, “I’m tired of hearing about the ’86 Mets.”

This was the last time the New York Mets had won the World Series.  These are the words of one who is not satisfied to watch decades of not winning the World Series pass, while others want to mainline nostalgia.

Strawberry cannot speak for himself.  He must, like the kindergartener in trouble, look for strength in numbers.  It is something guilt causes:

We’ve never been back. I never want to go back, I’d rather stay with the Yankees than deal with the Mets,” Strawberry said. “It hurts us. It hurts what they’ve done to the players I’ve seen. What they did to Ray Knight, what they did to Gary Carter. Those were key players that gave so much. They laid their life on the line those years.”

Being paid millions of dollars for a boys' game is "laying your life on the line"?  This is the linguistic signal of just how disassociated the addiction has taken him from reality.

Men with weapons fighting enemies with live ammunition is laying one's life on the line.

Perhaps Strawberry's own verbal leakage about "lines" is evident.

The Mets' management is made up of flawed humans who anger other flawed humans.  They low ball salaries and they go into a fight in arbitration.  It is a business.  

Strawberry, though, worked with Mets-owned SNY as an analyst from 2007 to 2009.

He is not known for his intellect, but his mouth.  This is a similar reputation that Noah Syndergaard is working hard at maintaining.  The incessant victim fighting the system.  Its an old story, but not a recipe for consistent winning.

Strawberry isn't the only 86 Met to have worked for the Mets.  His memory is short:

 Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling have been part of the network since its inception. Tim Teufel, Howard Johnson, Mookie Wilson, Lenny Dykstra, Wally Backman, Bob Ojeda and Randy Niemann have had different roles in the major and minor leagues since retiring.

Strawberry left the Mets for the Dodgers in free agency following the 1990 season, and after struggling with injuries and drug issues off the field, for more money.  It was he who was not loyal; not the Mets.

He squandered world class, and possibly Hall of Fame talent, and eventually landed with the Yankees in 1996.

Keith Hernandez recently said that Strawberry was one of three best talents he had ever personally played with.  Its high praise.

Strawberry, the grown man millionaire knows the lingo of playing himself as both victim and "little boy lost"; something men sometimes use to exploit women:  

“He was a father, a father to the hopeless,” Strawberry, who won three World Series with the Yankees, said of Steinbrenner.

“He would go get players no one else would touch. There was a few of us, and he just loved us. He was different than anyone I’ve ever experienced.

Who's "us" here?

No one else would "touch"?

How strange that major league teams might be reluctant to take upon cocaine addicted narcissists with big mouths. 

Strawberry portrays himself as a victim; something every addict knows leads to more substance abuse.  Those working sobriety take full responsibility for life; they don't talk about taking full responsibility, they take it.  

Strawberry was a talented but very troubled man who was not able to handle retirement and not being the center of attention. In spite of his millions, he could not be happy unless everyone was looking at him.  He has always done whatever he could, including tearing down teammates, in order to gain attention.  

He immediately became a "minister", without the requisite need to go to 3 years of Seminary after 4 years of college.  No, he would just stand up in front of people and be a star. 

His brand of "Christianity" was an insult to the ideology of Christianity.  He soon learned that he could not draw in the crowds and get the rush he once had when 50,000 people screamed his name.  What devoted men call a "calling" in life, he quickly abandoned.  

The need for attention continues to drive Strawberry.  Recall his "public concern" over Dwight Gooden recently where he claimed Gooden was "definitely using again", though Strawberry did not have first hand knowledge of such.  All it accomplished, besides angering Gooden, was to get Strawberry a few more minutes of media attention.  

His need to speak for others is inherently weak.  

He does not represent the 1986 New York Mets.  

He has become a sorry excuse of a whiner who speaks in ways that would make his AA or NA sponsor very nervous.  

He has always held authority in contempt.  Whether this authority be in a manager, teammates, local law enforcement or the laws of the land, Daryl Strawberry has always seen himself as above all. 

It is getting late in the game for Strawberry to find dignity. 

There is a huge difference between one who finds quiet dignity in life, and another who, every few years, declares publicly to have finally found it. 

One is reality; the other is a verbalized perception of reality only. 


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