Sickels: Syndergaard Leads Mets Top 20

noah syndergaard

John Sickels of Minor League Ball just released his Mets Top 20 Prospects for 2014. As expected, Syndergaard has the top spot and was the only player to get a grade of A-.

Here are his Top 20 with comments for the first five players. You can check out the full article and commentary for all players by clicking here

  1. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Grade A-: Borderline A. I love Syndergaard and I think the concerns about his secondary pitches are a bit overblown. That said, he did have a sharp platoon split between RHB and LHB and a good dose of Triple-A time is advisable to put on the finishing touches. But I still see him as a number two starter assuming good health and the standard caveats.
  2. Travis d’Arnaud, C, Grade B+: Borderline A-. He really needs to graduate because I’ve been writing about him for a long time and fatigue is setting in. I expect he’ll be a solid major league starting catcher with power and good defense, although batting average/OBP may be erratic. We’ll just have to see if his injury issues are bad luck or something more.
  3. Rafael Montero, RHP, Grade B+: Borderline A-. It is really hard to do what he did at Las Vegas. People are still sleeping on this guy. I think he can be a number three starter.
  4. Dominic Smith, 1B, Grade B: Borderline B-. We’ll have to see about the power, but some sources I trust are enthralled with his pure hitting skills. The obvious comp here isJames Loney as a line drive hitter with a strong glove but atypical first base power. When these types of first basemen max out, they are Keith Hernandez. When they don’t, they get stuck in Triple-A.
  5. Kevin Plawecki, C, Grade B: Borderline B-. I believe in him. I don’t think he’ll produce tons of homers but he should be a solid hitter for average and OBP. Not great against runners but is otherwise a fine receiver. Good backup option if D’Arnaud busts.
  6. Wilmer Flores, INF, Grade B
  7. Brandon Nimmo, OF, Grade B-
  8. Amed Rosario, SS, Grade B-
  9. Gavin Cecchini, SS, Grade B-
  10. Cesar Puello, OF, Grade B-
  11. Dilson Herrera, 2B, Grade B-
  12. Jacob deGrom, RHP, Grade B-
  13. Vic Black, RHP, Grade B-
  14. Steven Matz, LHP, Grade C+
  15. Cory Mazzoni, RHP, Grade C+
  16. Gabriel Ynoa, RHP, Grade C+
  17. Luis Cessa, RHP, Grade C+
  18. Robert Whalen, RHP, Grade C+
  19. Chris Flexen, RHP, Grade C+
  20. Michael Fulmer, RHP, Grade C+ 

Sickels says that the Mets have a huge amount of depth in C+/C prospects, especially on the mound.

“There are a lot of guys who have a chance to be number four/five starters or at least valid relief arms. In those terms this is one of the stronger farm systems in the National League: the raw material for a really nice pitching staff is here and there is talent at all levels.”

“For the position players, D’Arnaud looks ready if he can avoid injury and Flores can be a useful role player at least, perhaps more. Plawecki is coming up behind D’Arnaud. Recent high school draftees like Dominic Smith, Gavin Cecchini, and Brandon Nimmo are still quite a distance away from the majors. They have regular potential but some questions to answer too. Amed Rosario has great tools but he is also a long way off and could be anything from star to bust. PED issues aside, opinions on Puello are quite mixed: he could also be a bust or a regular.”

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73, '00 and '15, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
  • mitchpetanick

    I couldn’t agree more with what he said about Montero….ahem, 11/24 – Montero Is Better than People Think

  • BCleveland3381

    I agree on Montero, and posted on another story he might be our best prospect. He has dominated on every level he has pitched at. He isn’t a power pitcher like Harvey, Wheeler, or Syndergaard, but has MLB caliber control…probably better than all 3. If you don’t throw 97, you don’t tend to get the hype, but I think he’s ready. He’s dominated every level of our minor league system.

  • TexasGusCC

    The first rankings this year that list Puello. Let’s see, Pittsburgh had the #1 system in baseball and they had Herrera at #11. Our system is “not all that” and he is #11 here too. Maybe it’s not as bad as people say? I also had Herrera at #11, but lack the credentials.

  • chavez06

    Good call Mitch. I think’s Montero’s success opens the door for trading Gee… may be for a youn, high impact, close to MLB bat. 2014 is, whether we want to admit it or not is a transition year. 2015 is when everything start to come together… and we’ll have a SP1-5 of Harvey, Wheeler, Synder, Montero, Niese. Backing them up, in case of injury, will be Mejia, Mazzoni, deGrom … not bad

  • Bail4Nails

    I just read the whole report. I’m excited about all the pitchers we have coming up. I can only hope they improve dramatically under Frank Viola. Also, I would love to see some of the infielders get some time with Wally in AAA this year. I don’t know if you can teach grit, but that guy had it in spades. SNY should show some AAA games this year, like they did with some Wheeler and Harvey games. Well worth the watch with this crop.

  • chavez06

    Mitch, on a slightly separate topic, who do you think has better hit tools … Flores or Dom Smith? Flores was just as hyped when he first came up, and he has produced last couple of years, while being one of the youngest players in the league. I’m just wondering, if Flores can play good D at first, why is he not considered a good 1B prospect? I mean, can Flores be a James Loney?

  • coyote521

    “When these types of first basemen max out, they are Keith Hernandez. When they don’t, they get stuck in Triple-A.”

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that Dominic Smith will end up somewhere between Keith Hernandez (lifetime .300 hitter, mvp, multiple gold glove) and being stuck in Triple-A.

  • CJM


  • Bail4Nails

    Exactly this. Even John said in his report “Flores is a better hitter than he showed in New York. [Find a place in the lineup for him]”.

  • KennyandtheMets

    Can’t wait to see Thor take the hill for us!!

  • Alex68 (Ch)

    In 2015???

  • Andrew Herbst

    I think Montero has been really under the radar and could be a # 2-3 starter.

  • Alex68 (Ch)

    To be honest, just like with Harvey, people are sleeping on montero. Last time I heard someone predict that a pitcher we got was at best a #3 starter, we ended up with Harvey. So I am ok with people saying Montero will be a #3, I rather hear that then hear we have a guy who’ll win CY and end up with a John Maine clone

  • Alex68 (Ch)

    If he’s here in june, 2 things happen, 1 the mets suck as usual and need to fool the fans into thinking about the future (again) 2 he’s at another level in the minors and need to be brought up.
    I’ll go with #1

  • SRT

    According to Sickels, our farm system has improved each year since 2011:

    13 guys B- or better – 2014
    10 guys B- or better – 2013
    9 guys B- or better – 2012
    7 guys B- or better – 2011

    Looking good.

  • chavez06

    Thanks Teddy. I think (not that my opinion means anything) Flores is our best option at 1B.

  • chavez06

    Sorry, I meant to say Flores is our best option TODAY (over Ike and company). Hopefully, Dom Smith will develop to take over that spot in the future. Thx again for you thoughts.

  • Frank Francisco

    Of all the prospect ranking lists, I agree with this one the most. I am no scout, I just have hunches and read scouting reports.

    Personally, I would do
    7. Rosario
    8. Puello
    9. Nimmo
    10. Herrera
    11. Cecchini

    But once again, he probably knows better than me.

  • Hotstreak

    We does our farm rank top 10 or top 15? Especially with Braves, Nats and Miami are we better than them?

  • I love Sickels. I read all the other big prospects guys, but he’s my favorite. I felt the need to put that out there.

    That said, it’s fun reading these write-ups. To be honest, I’ve got no hope for the 2014 big league Mets. If they go .500, I will celebrate like we’ve won every championship that has ever been championed ever before. There is no hope that we can spend to bring in talent, or trade for talent when we do not have the absolute upper hand. Our only hope are these kids. The same kids who happen to be absolute lottery ticket crap shoots. Heck the managers and coaches these kids have will even be better than the big league counterparts. All in all, I am most excited to see Puello and Matz this year; Puello to show if he is legit, and Matz because he can move very quickly if healthy. Start finding your favorite prospect to follow because it’s going to be ugly in Queens…again.

  • Jack

    I get goosebumps thinking about Harvey, Syndergaard, and Wheeler all pitching in a three game series. I also believe in Mejia because he has wicked stuff and Hopefully his injury days are over. I also think Montero’s command will be an amazing starter. I think the Mets should trade some of their other pitching for impact bats to help bring us to the top but keep some for pitching depth. The future looks bright ladies and gentleman!

  • Joey D.

    Hi Joe D.,

    But as always, the final summation begins on a very high note with this about our pitching:

    “the raw material for a really nice pitching staff is here and there is talent at all levels.”

    Then as far as the position players where we have serious problems at first, shortstop and left (which due to his poor hitting makes Lagares’ glove a luxury that won’t help us win many ball games ) after d’Arnaud/Plawecki (catcher) and Flores (role player) – of which backstop has already been accounted for in all our evaluations – we again end up with this downer regarding those immediate issues and the next few years:

    “Recent high school draftees like Dominic Smith, Gavin Cecchini, and Brandon Nimmo are still quite a distance away from the majors. They have regular potential but some questions to answer too. Amed Rosario has great tools but he is also a long way off and could be anything from star to bust. PED issues aside, opinions on Puello are quite mixed: he could also be a bust or a regular.”

    That’s again what I mean. Like it or not, we had no other choice but to have gone outside and attempted to sign those free agents who could address our needs for two or three years or to what appears to be at least for the moment another few years of wandering in the dessert and being like the Met clubs of the early seventies that had the best pitching staffs in the national league and won no more than 83 games in any single season due to a lack of quality position players who also happened to be outstanding fielders as well.

  • diehardmets

    We are probably in the 6-10 range, depending on a particular experts preference for depth over top talent. We likely are ahead of both the Braves and the Nats, who have seen their farm systems thinned considerably in recent years. The Marlins have more high level talent closer to the majors than us, but much less depth, so we could surpass them within the next year or two as well.

  • DrDooby

    Hi Joey D.,

    David Wright is a well above average regular hitter.
    Curtis Granderson should be an above average regular hitter.
    Daniel Murphy is a slightly above average hitter (and below average fielder).
    Travis d’ Arnaud certainly has the upside and track record to emerge as at least a slightly above average hitter, regardless of position and especially for a C.

    This certainly won’t be the 2006 or 1999 Mets offense anytime soon barring massive upgrades at 1b and the other corner OF spot.

    But this is a much better lineup than Mets teams of the early 70s ever had.

    And next winter, the Mets should be in a position to finally cash in some of the prospect depth they have accumulated over the past 4+ years or even have a surplus in their starting rotation for cost controlled high upside arms.

    Again, trying to compare eras, but the 1984 Mets didn’t yet have Gary Carter, Howard Johnson or – still prospects – Len Dykstra & Kevin Mitchell either.
    That team had Keith Hernandez & Darryl Strawberry, plus bits & pieces offensively and virtually zero offense at SS or C.

    We can agree that this rebuilding is far from finished. You can’t fill all your holes in one winter. I still believe adding Drew for a couple of years to buy some time at SS makes a ton of sense. But other than that, this is the season where a plethora of young arms need to show what they are.

  • DrDooby

    I’d say the Mets system currently ranks between 7 and 12 in the majors depending on personal taste or whether you prefer pitching vs, offense.
    It’s very deep but only has 2 to 3 “blue chip” prospects right now – with lots of potential blue chips in the lower minors, still quite a bit away.

    With the Marlins having graduated their top two prospects Jose Fernandez & Christian Yelich, it’s now the best system in the NL East. Though the Nationals, Marlins and Braves may have better high-end young talent on their major league roster right now which puts this into perspective (fortunately in tems of the Marlins, surrounded with nothing and for the Braves where they’ll have problems retaining it beyond 2015)…

    The most positive aspect of the Mets system is its depth, especially in terms of power arms.
    5 or 10 or 15 years ago, Jack Leathersich and Jeff Walters both would have been backend Top 10 in the system prospects. Now, they’re bordeline Top 20s….

  • KennyandtheMets

    I hope we don’t have to wait that long. I guess it will depend on how well he handles Vegas and how big the need is on the big club.

  • DrDooby

    Agree with Alex on this one. I don’t expect much from Syndergaard who is over a year younger than both Harvey & Wheeler were in their debut seasons and who barely has made 12 starts at AA and has never exceeded 125 IP (including playoffs) in a season. So, don’t look for him to top maybe 155 to 160 IP max in 2014 – which basically rules him out for all of September.

    Right now, the Mets have 6 legit SP candidates vying for 5 spots (Colon -Niese – Wheeler – Gee – Mejia – Montero). The Mets will look for another scrap heap SP to make it 7, plus have DeGrom & Torres as further options.

    Both Wheeler & Harvey made 30+ starts each between AA and AAA, so if Syndergaard is on the same path, he won’t be here until July at the very earliest. Will the Mets have an opening then ? If they’re in borderline contention because of their solid pitching, will they just trade Gee or Colon in that situation to give Syndergaard a look ? Knowing that this rotation spot then falls to Jeremy Hefner by September once Syndergaard is shut down.

    For those reasons I’d put the over / under at 8 starts in the majors for Syndergaard in 2014…

  • DrDooby

    The Mets system is among the deepest in the majors. But the Pirates have more “blue chip” types at the top for now. Which makes a difference for most as the Mets “only” have two “blue chips” in Syndergaard & d’ Arnaud with Montero not having reached that status with the consensus yet (wrongfully so)….

    If one of Smith, Nimmo, Herrera or Rosario takes a major step forward in 2014, Syndergaard remains rookie eligible and a couple of young arms really step up (say, from group of Matz, Fulmer, Ynoa, Flexen, Whalen, Meisner, etc.), this system may well be Top 5 in the game next winter. For now, it’s probably # 10 +/- range.

  • Hotstreak


    Thank you.

  • Out of place Met fan

    Mark Grace, Sean Casey, James Loney et al

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    And they say im the most Pessimistic one on this site lol 😉

  • DrDooby

    The more depth / lottery tickets you have, the better your odds the crapshoots actually work out. And the Mets do have a lot of depth. And that will be showing this year. And it´s actually an aspect that has helped teams like the Tampa Bay Rays or Oakland A´s win – even without being able to pay for elite players or – in Oakland´s case – failing to develop them. The Oakland A´s do not have a single player who – as of today – would be considered either a Top 30 hitter in Baseball or a Top 30 SP in Baseball. Yet, they´ve been winning 95 games per year in back-to-back season due to enormous depth and a bunch of very solid players being backed up by more very solid players.

    Ever since “Generation K” was damaged beyond repair by Dallas Green & Co. in the mid 1990s, the Mets farm system has generally featured 2 to 5 prospects (sometimes closer to 2, sometimes closer to 5) that were in “Top 100 in Baseball” overall discussions – and then a huge dropoff and very, very little depth. In consequence the backend of pretty much every Top 10 prospect list between 1997 and 2010 was littered with setup reliever prospects. The problem with this is, if your ceiling is considered to be “future setup” reliever, the floor usually is “not a major leaguer”. Remember Jaime Cerda, Eddie Kunz, Brant Rustich, Eric Cammack, Jeff Tam, Bob Keppel and others ? Tam actually became a nice reliever for OAK after the Mets gave up on him. But in general, you do not want prospects with a “future setup reliever” projection anywhere near your Top 10 prospect list. If your “ceiling” is # 4 SP and something doesn´t work, very often, you can at least salvage your career and become a fine reliever instead.

    The past 4+ years have been very helpful in terms of re-energizing the farm system and finally creating a wealth of depth, especially on the pitching side that should give this team a long term strength to build on. If Vic Black, Gonzalez Germen, Josh Edgin and Jeurys Familia bomb, well, good riddance, try Cory Mazzoni, Jake DeGrom, Jack Leathersich, Erik Goeddel and Jeff Walters instead. And we´re not talking 2015 or 2016 here but early June, maybe. That´s 9 young major league ready or almost ready power arms, competing for maybe 3 to 4 bullpen spots in 2014 and into 2015. You can survive a lot of attrition and ineffectiveness. Heck, if two blow out their arms being abused by TC & JW, well, you have more options to choose from.

  • DrDooby

    With Yelich losing his eligibility, I don´t think the Marlins Top 5 matches up with the Mets Top 5 at this point. And they do not have the Mets depth.

    Of course, they do have Jose Fernandez, Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich on their major league roster, supported by several solid young arms such as Nate Eovaldi, Henderson Alvarez or Jacob Turner for example, so the SP should be there for the Marlins.

  • DrDooby

    By the way, as a fun exercise, here´s the link to Sickels´ Top 20 list, entering 2009, i.e. exactly 5 years ago. If you´re looking for reasons for the Mets´ past struggles, there you go. The system – contrary to other reports that called it very poor – was considered as middle of the packish back then based on the ceiling of some young Latin American kids such as Wilmer Flores who Sickels has always been high on.

    The biggest difference is that the Mets entering 2009 had 5 prospects who Sickels considered as better than C+ while the Mets entering 2014 have 14 (!) prospects who Sickels considers as better than C+.

    Here´s the full excerpt of the list back then if you´re too lazy to hit the link:

    1) Wilmer Flores, SS-3B, Grade B+:
    I might take some flack for this, but in this case I think his upside
    is higher than F-Mart. If I could have just one of them, I’d pick Flores.

    2) Fernando Martinez, OF, Grade B+: Still extremely young, though at some point he’s got to produce better than he has. You can flip him with Flores if you prefer the guy closer to the majors.

    3) Jon Niese, LHP, Grade B: I’ve liked him since high school. He’s not an ace but should be a fine inning-eater.

    4) Brad Holt, RHP, Grade B: Higher ceiling than Niese, but not as refined and command still needs work.

    5) Reese Havens, SS, Grade B: Assuming he’s healthy, I think he’s going to be a strong across-the-board player with a high OBP.

    6) Jefry Marte, 3B, Grade C+:
    Could be a star if it all comes together, but still rather raw.
    Considering B- but for me that’s aggressive for a rookie ball guy.

    7) Jenrry Mejia, RHP, Grade C+ Pitching version of Marte: lots of talent, but skills are in the developmental stages and may not pan out.

    8) Bobby Parnell, RHP, Grade C+: Stats don’t match scouting reports, but he has a good sinker and could be an effective setup man.

    9) Eddie Kunz, RHP, Grade C+: Another bullpen option who gets ground balls.

    10) Nick Evans, 1B, Grade C+: Held his own after being rushed, which you have to respect, but he may just be a good platoon bat, not a regular.

    11) Ike Davis, 1B-OF, Grade C+: I will cut him some slack for now. If he can’t hit, he could convert to pitching due to his strong arm.

    12) Dillon Gee, RHP, Grade C+:
    Sleeper prospect has a decent arm, good command, and has risen rapidly
    in a short period of time. Could be better than many more-heralded guys.

    13) Scott Moviel, RHP, Grade C+: Young and projectable, but if they rush him they will be sorry.

    14) Scott Shaw, RHP, Grade C+: Sleeper prospect from 2008 draft, has above average stuff and showed better command in the pros than he did at Illinois.

    15) Eric Beaulac, RHP, Grade C+: Another sleeper college arm, this one with a home state connection at LeMoyne.

    16) Ruben Tejada, SS, Grade C+:
    Gets slack on the grade because he was massively rushed to the Florida
    State League. Controls the strike zone, has promise with the glove, very

    17) Greg Veloz, 2B, Grade C+: Another young infielder who has been pushed fast but has some upside.

    18) Michael Antonini, LHP, Grade C:
    I cut him at the last second from the 2008 book, though he still showed
    up on the grade list in the back of the book. Good changeup.

    19) Dylan Owen, RHP, Grade C: Polished pitcher with good command, could be swingman.

    20) Kyle Allen, RHP, Grade C: Sleeper high school pick from 2008 draft bears close attention.

    Robert Carson, LHP; Dock Doyle, C; Lucas Duda, 1B: Jeurys Familia, RHP;
    Junior Guerra, RHP; Zach Lutz, 3B: Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF; Francisco
    Pena, C: Cesar Puello, OF; Elvin Ramirez, RHP; Aderlin Rodriguez, 3B:
    Javier Rodriguez, OF; Brant Rustich, RHP; Chris Schwinden, RHP; Tobi
    Stoner, RHP; Josh Thole, C; Nate Vineyard, LHP.

    usual, don’t sweat so much about where the Grade C+/C types rank
    exactly on this list. After I get past the top 10 I don’t worry so much
    about exact placement, since I’m trying to concentrate on the book right

    there are other guys you think should be included, let me know. Also,
    what is the deal with Nate Vineyard? I keep hearing he has quit
    baseball, but I haven’t found any details about this. I don’t want to
    dump him until I find out exactly what’s going on.


    The Mets continue to make a big push in Latin America,
    and they seem to have a knack for finding some interesting pitchers in
    the later rounds of the draft. They like to rush guys quickly,
    particularly pushing the Latin American kids hard, F-Mart being the best
    example. Whether this helps or hinders development remains to be seen.
    They could use more depth in position players. They have the financial
    resources to be a lot more aggressive in the draft than they have been,
    so there’s really no excuse for this NOT to be a good farm system. I
    think it ranks about the middle of the pack right now. They have made
    significant progress and there is quite a bit of upside here, but more
    needs to be done.

  • BehindTheBag

    Look at all that pitching.

  • Alex68 (Ch)

    So saying Montero might be the best out the bunch is being negative? so if it doesn’t fit your agenda of sandy lover then i am being negative too? Wow!

  • agetting

    to be fair, Harvey was considered a better prospect than Montero though. He also had better stuff

  • Joey D.

    HI DrD.,

    In my evaluation I of course credited us having a good arsenal in Wright, Murphy and now Granderson (replacing Byrd) with backstop also accounted for as improving. There was no problem with that. Unfortunately, it was with the five other pieces of the lineup since we must include the pitchers.

    But trying to imply we have a much better lineup than those early seventy teams ever had? It’s basically the same situation when compared to the competition of each era involved as far as the ability to score runs. 1970 – 9/12 (bottom quarter);1971 – 8/12 (just above the bottom quarter), 2013/ 11/15 (just above the bottom fifth). And both those seasons we were among the top clubs in strikeouts as well.

    In 1971 we only gave up 3.40 runs per game, but we only scored 3.63 runs per game to back that up. Hence, four games over .500. In 2013 we allowed 4.22 runs per game while scoring 3.82 runs per game – need I remind you what our record was with that hitting?

    Let us say our pitching can improve to where it matches the fifth best (St. Louis) in the league last year at 3.68 runs per game allowed. Do you think this staff, as good as it is, has the capability of giving up 87 less runs over the course of the season with our scoring keeping on par as last year at 3.82?

    Let us say our hitting improves where we go from eleventh to just the league average of four runs per game. That means just 29 more runs from last year. That also hypothetically means with the great improvement in our pitching we will give up 3.68 runs with our hitting backing them up with 4.00 runs a game. That is a +.32 run scoring advantage.

    Last year the Pirates were successful with just a + .35 advantage so as said, it can be done. But that also means we will only need to score 15 more runs to match the Pirates total output while our pitching would have to give up 107 runs less to match their pitching efforts in 2014.

    I’m only using those stats to further explain what I’ve been saying, since simply saying we have good pitching but not great that is going to be undermined by too many holes in the lineup does not seem to work. Neither does simply saying we did not go outside the organization enough to fix those holes and without the prospects anywhere ready to which we can say “punt” 2014 for a very promising “2015” and avoid free agency, it means a few more years of “punting” when we could actually be driving toward the goal line.

    And we’re not able to because the tremendous revenue we do get from television and other outside sources is tied up completely with other commitments and cannot be set aside to the operating budget. Any other team in our position with the team on the field and the minor league situation (strength in pitching, lack in position players in the higher levels) would be going for it at this time for there would be no conflict between the present and the future – nor would one draft selection be worth sacrificing a couple of more seasons on top of what we already have.

    No more excuses about any plan other than it being fiscal due to the scandal that has left the ownership operating like a small market team in the biggest market in the country with all the revenue they are still taking in despite lower attendance.

    And to say one can’t build a team over one winter ignores the fact that this is what, the fourth winter under Sandy and that the farm has already produced that good pitching staff we have in place (along with his trades) plus a promising backstop. So how is it “overnight”? Like it just began after the 2013 season? Rebuilding means more than just the farm system – and that is one area this organization has been unable to do up to this year and this season it only took a few steps which, if nothing else, undermines the work that has been done.

  • DrDooby

    Well, for 2014, I´d be perfectly happy with an 84-win season with that run differential.

    Going forward, the plan will have to be for the Mets to have a Top 3 in the NL pitching staff – led by a strong & deep rotation and a strong & deep bullpen. And at the same time, having a solid enough offense. Goal: Score 650 to 700 runs in any given season and give up 600 runs or less from 2015 on & going forward. That sounds like a very possible & realistic plan.
    Average offense to go along with plus pitching.

    And with good depth in both areas, that seems doable IF the young talent develops as hoped…

  • Joey D.

    HI DrD.,

    The question is less IF it’s doable but rather HOW MUCH LONGER does one have to WAIT for it to possibly be doable. WHY CANNOT IT BE done one way NOW and another way LATER?

    That is the approach all teams with a solid economic foundation take, i.e., the mid to big size markets. As I mentioned in another post, one need only be honest and admit the focus on how this team should be formulated has less to do with the baseball needs as related to the Mets as it does the economic needs related to Sterling Mets to retain it’s ownership.

    At this point in time, if that was not the priority, we would be seeing more aggressive action considering the stage we are at with the parent club and lack of big hitting in the farm system as indicated by Sickels.

  • Just_Da_damaja

    They = Matt Cerrone and the SNY posse that tries to deflate the value of prospects acquired B.S. ( Before Sandy )

  • Just_Da_damaja

    it almost makes up for u accusing me of using nationality as a factor in favoring Centeno over Travis…

  • Oh I’m with you, and like and agree with everything you said except…

    “The Oakland A´s do not have a single player who – as of today – would be considered either a Top 30 hitter in Baseball or a Top 30 SP in Baseball.”

    Josh Donaldson and Jarrod Parker are pretty much top 30 among hitters and among pitchers.

  • Haha. The truth will set you free my brother.

  • Just_Da_damaja

    the mike pelfrey comparIson was listed from day one on when they quoted an un-named mets rep on a conf call

    “Tonight on a conference call with reports, Mets representatives talked about Harvey and essentially said:

    He’s big, strong and durable, similar to Mike Pelfrey.”

    At the time, Pelfrey was having a fantastic 2010 season, in early Cy Young talks…

    so comparing the 2 based on size was favorable talk.

    it is hilarious to see the differences between how SNY/Metsblog treats prospects acquired during the Omar regime vs the Sandy regime. It is almost a night day difference.

  • Just_Da_damaja

    the articles on their own are very good. And they give some historical perspective where its needed.

    when it comes to why I prefer Centeno over Travis..

    I cant change your mind or convince you about things that took decades to be ingrained in your thought process though.

    The most I can do is highlight it and point it out.

    if a light bulb goes off and an aha moment comes out of it, then I did my job.

  • Just_Da_damaja

    “My be is Harvey never wins a Cy Young. However, once he learns to “command an inning,” and “pitch to contact,” he’ll string together several seasons of consistent, significant and meaningful results. 15 to 20 wins here, All Star appearance there, repeatedly falling short of the ultimate award, maybe never being his team’s “ace,” but always heralded by fans, recognized around the game and touted by his teammates.”

    – Matt Cerrone

    if u read b/w the lines, it looks like Cerrone HAD to add something there to knock down Harvey a lil.

    You would NEVER catch him saying anything like that about Wheeler or Thor or say that Travis will never win a Silver Slugger or any nonsense like that.

    this organization is trying to distance themselves from the previous regime by treating all their prospects like junk…

    this is why lagares had to wait til plan a-b-c failed before he got his chance…

    and even after breaking Mets records for assists …and being ranked the best defensive CF in baseball after 3 months of playing…

    he is STILL on a short leash…

    while travis, who did the complete opposite in his short time, has no one to compete with to take away any AB’s…

    this is why Flores is a positionless prospect, with his value slowly deflating…

    Lets see how they handle Puello…

  • Just_Da_damaja

    I’ve been out of the country with almost no internet access at times.

    just got back

  • Just_Da_damaja

    im sure your sources might be…

    but the mouth pieces that leak out what folks talk about have a different agenda…

    for example, when lagares was given player of the week, one of the folks on Metsblog was complaining about his OBP.

    then when Travis stinks up the barn, hitting under .200, the same person was raving about his pitch framing and ability to take a walk.

    nothing about all the wild pitches and passed balls that got by him

    nothing about his swing that was fine in AA/AAA while he was rehabbing, but looked awful as hell against real pitching.

    basically, any of the previous regime’s faults are accentuated, their positives downplayed, and the opposite for prospects acquired after 2011….

  • Vin

    He’s young and was hurt last year, but I think Fulmer should be in front Mazzoni and the others currently ahead of him. Had he been healthy all of last year, he’s likely ahead of Herrera.

    Overall, I have more faith in more players in this year’s top 20 than I’ve had in our system for some time.

  • Joey D.

    Hi Teddy,

    No, it is no longer a criticism of player moves or anything related to baseball. There is no longer a need to debate the wisdom of the last few years with the passing of time which reveals things that were once discussed only as theories.

    And with the passage of that time, the conclusion cannot be anything but a regretful yet realistic acknowledgement of the bigger financial picture that has diverted the priorities from that of team development to that of Sterling Mets being able to retain ownership without the resources that were once available to them and were counted on as still being there today and are not.

    Without the aid of MLB, Sterling Mets on more than one occasion would not have the financial means to pay their monthly obligations which would have meant facing possible bankruptcy. Avoiding that situation for the time being, Sterling Mets has had to focus its now dramatically reduced net revenue on paying off their debt and other operating obligations, of which they do not have the cash on hand to do so (they need a quarter of a billion loan to refinance what is due this coming June because they do not have the money to meet that principle payment). Thus there leaves very little that could be concentrated on the team itself.

    So as stated, an organization with the pitching we have now developed and still in the farm system and with the potential hitting based on draft selections coming under Sandy’s watch that is nevertheless still years away makes temporary moves to fill the holes that the farm system cannot supply at this time – but might be able to in a few years.

    Granderson was a start in the right direction. Colon, well I do not like the PED issue but in principle, obtaining one with his record (forgetting the PED issue for the moment) was a good move to offset the loss of Harvey. But it should not have stopped there. One cannot address every hole but had we continued to address two of the three we still have (shortstop, first base, left field) that would mean Lagares’ weak hitting would be less of a problem and overall we would have three weak links in the order (Lagares, the other unresolved position and the pitcher’s spot) and a potentially good lineup to match our pitching. Maybe not – but at least an attempt now while preparing for the transition in two or three years.

    But we have not and that is due because of the deep fiscal situation plaguing us that has reduced us to operating like a very small market team. That is not Sandy Alderson’s fault. That is not Omar Minaya’s fault. That is not even the Wilpon’s fault as it would be out of character for anyone to not grab an olive branch in the form of financial favors from a friend to keep them in business. As said, the culprit is Bud Selig.

    But had we been truly focusing on “rebuilding” and that was a reason for the measures being taken the past few years and not an excuse due to the Madoff affair, then we certainly would be seeing further steps being taken now. And there would be no talk about “concentrated payroll” or a goal of slashing it down below $100 million. Those are economic issues not pertaining to the game of baseball but certainly affecting it.

  • RS

    “11) Ike Davis, 1B-OF, Grade C+: I will cut him some slack for now. If he can’t hit, he could convert to pitching due to his strong arm. ”
    Great, instead of trading Ike for a pitching prospect, we can just make him one…

  • Hitmanᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ✔

    Beautiful, isn’t it?

  • Just_Da_damaja

    hmmm in terms of Puerto Rican baseball history. I am learning that myself.

    I do know that it did not begin with Clemente, PR players had been in the league decades before him.

    Also, the whole baseball classic concept was in play in the late 1800’s with PR, Cuba and the US playing against each other for bragging rights. Baseball was matter of national pride back then in those countries.

    120 years later, it still is.

  • Just_Da_damaja

    This sport was brought to Puerto Rico by the sons and nephews of a Spanish official that had been transferred from Cuba. Here in Puerto Rico the sport was played before the Hispanic-American war. And the first official game played in the island was between Almendares y Boriquen.But the game really developed after the war, in that moment everything was in calm and people in mass started to play it. It used to be played only Sundays and on holidays. This spreaded around the island and almost all the towns had a baseball team.This sport became to be taught in school. People would write songs for their team.One of the most important team was Escuela Superior de Ponce. To play baseball from one town to another they would go in train and lot of fan would go with their team. One of the most important player was Amos Iglesia born in Brooklyn in that time. In the time of the real boom of the sport in the island the most important teams were All American, Cuban Stars, Royals Giants and Lincoln Giants. The first puertorican that receive a test for a team in major league was William Guzman but his parents would not let him go so he could finish being a lawyer. Jose “Pepe” Santana was one of the most important puertorican to play in black league in the United States due to his power hitting.

    Hiram Gabriel Bithorn was the first puertorican to play in the major league. His debut was April 15, 1942 with the Chicago Cubs. In 1943 he won 18 games and a era of 2.60. After that year he went to the war and when he came back the speed that took him to the major league was gone. In total, his career in major league in 4 season he had pitched in 105 games won 34 games and lost 31 with an era of 3.16. After Bithorm the next puertorican was Luis Rodriguez Olmo who played with the Brooklyn Dodgers when he started playing in June 22, 1945. He was the first to play in a World Series.His numbers after 6 years in the major league was .281 batting average with 29 homeruns and 458 hits in 462 games. After these two the following were Luis “Canena” Marquez, Carlos Bernier, Jose “Pantalones” Santiago, Jose Enrique Montalvo, Ruben Gomez. After those a great number of puertoricans started to play in the major league. In most recent history some of the puertoricans has been worthy to be considered in a small group of great players in the history of the game. The most important player to come out of Puerto Rico was Roberto Clemente Walker from Carolina. He started playing in April 17, 1955 with the Pittsburgh Pirates but was first signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was selected in 1973, in a special voting due to his death in December 31 of 1972 why delivering help to the victim of an earthquake in Nicaragua, to become the first Latin player to be in the baseball hall of fame. What he did for the game is without end. Some of his awards were National League MVP in 1966, 1971 World Series MVP, won 4 N.L. batting titles, 12 time all-star, won 12 Gold Gloves, lead League in outfield assists 5 times, had a hit in every game of the 1960 & 1971 World Series, hit 3,000 hit on September 30, 1972, all-time pirate leader in games, at bats, hits, singles, and total bases, second baseball player to appear on a U.S. Postage Stamp (Jackie Robinson was the first). His total for 18 years in major league is 2433 games, 3000 hits, 240 homeruns, .317 batting average.

    Another of great player to come from Puerto Rico is Orlando ” Peruchin” Cepeda. He enter the major league in April 15, 1958 with San Francisco Giants. A lifetime .297 hitter with 379 home runs and 1,364 RBIs during his 17-year playing career with the Giants, Cardinals, Braves, A’s, Red Sox and Royals, Cepeda hit the first Major League home run ever on the West Coast when he clubbed a homer against the Dodgers in his very first Major League game April 15, 1958. He went on to win 1958 Rookie of the Year honors, the 1966 Comeback Player of the Year award, the 1967 NL Most Valuable Player trophy and 1973 Designated Hitter of the Year laurels. He appeared in three World Series, was an 11-time All-Star and hit over .300 nine times in his career.

  • DrDooby

    I was speaking more in general terms.
    Statistically Donaldson certainly was a Top 30 player – but not many expect him to be as strong.

    Parker is a solid frontline SP – but he’s probably more in the 30 to 60 range among pitchers (ranked 41st in OPS against and 59th in ERA against among 81 qualifying candidates with 162+ IP).

  • I think going forward they both would be top 30, but that’s because I’m bullish on both.