During a Q&A with Paul DePodesta and other Mets executives on Thursday, I was able to get some brief, but straight answers on a variety of questions I had pertaining to the Mets minor league system, prospects and the draft.
Metsmerized: Was bringing back GCL affiliate a result of your inability to properly place players where they belonged commensurate with their level of development last season? For example having Gavin Cecchini in GCL rather than Kingsport?
Mets Execs: First off, it gives our pitchers more innings and position players more at bats. Secondly, it gives us more flexibility in assigning & developing players at an early stage in our development.
Metsmerized: Was there ever an official statement by the Mets on why we never signed second rounder Teddy Stankiewicz?
Mets Execs: We were unable to agree on a deal with Teddy. As a result we will get an extra pick (76) in the ’13 draft.
Metsmerized: Can you give us the latest medical update on left-hander Steven Matz?
Mets Execs: Steven looks to be ready to come to minor league came as he looks to compete for a full-season spot.
Metsmerized: Will having your Triple-A team in Las Vegas minimize taxi squad moves and temporary promotions because of the higher costs?
Mets Execs: While logistics may be more difficult & cost higher, this should not be a reason to alter our baseball decisions.
A few other things we learned during the Q&A on Twitter and my favorite exchange:
Question: I was astonished when the Mets drafted a SS in Cecchini and then signed a SS Rosario for 2 million. Reasoning?
Mets execs: At the end of the day, you look to acquire the best players and not draft by need. Neither is 20 years old yet
Rebuttal: I understand the best player argument but you didn’t draft the best players. Hawkins was still out there.
- There’s no chance that prospect Wilmer Flores will be moved to the outfield and instead he’ll continue to play third base and second base. Flores doesn’t have the instincts, range or the arm to play in the outfield.
- Mets believe their farm system is better than the No. 18 ranking they received from Baseball America. I would agree with them on that.
- After Zack Wheeler, the Mets see Cory Mazzoni, Rafael Montero, Logan Verrett, Jacob DeGrom and Darin Gorski as the next wave of arms moving toward the majors. By the way, they added Gorski to the 40 man roster and they said he will compete for a spot on the Mets in Spring Training.
- Mets are very high on Juan Lagares. When pressed why they haven’t produced a quality outfielder since Darryl Strawberry, they came back with Lagares and then added that they are impressed with his instincts at CF and are excited with his performance in Winter Ball, citing his bat and his 8% walk rate. They said Lagares could provide depth for Mets outfield this season.
- I get the sense they are not as thrilled with Matt den Dekker. They didn’t say as much, it’s just the vibe I got. When asked if we’d see him in 2013 they responded, “as a Triple-A player, Matt is obviously close. He has some things we want him to work on, but hopefully we see him soon.”
- Another player the Mets are high on is RHP Gabe Ynoa. He was one of the most impressive starting pitchers at Brooklyn last season (2.23 ERA, 6.40 K/BB). They cited his “excellent control w/ good feel & some stuff”. They also added he will certainly be with a full season league to start 2013. Considering the logjam, I figure Savannah and not St. Lucie.
- When asked if Noah Syndergaard could start at Binghamton, they said he will most likely start at Single-A St. Lucie. That makes sense.
- For those of you who have kept tabs on MMO favorite Vicente Lupo, the team confirmed that he will be making his way stateside after tearing up the DSL. We’ll most likely see him on the GCL team. They are excited to get a longer look at him and cited his incredible bat.
Lots of great information here….
Thanks to the Mets for doing these types of exchanges whether on Twitter, Conference Calls or other events. I’ve got to give them props for always making themselves available and allowing us to get a good feel for what’s going on with the organization. It wasn’t always like this.