Mets Merized Online » Christopher Ruppert http://metsmerizedonline.com Wed, 22 Feb 2017 02:46:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.18 2017 Mets Top 30 Prospects: No. 12 Peter Alonso, 1B http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/2017-mets-top-prospects-no-12-peter-alonso-1b.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/2017-mets-top-prospects-no-12-peter-alonso-1b.html/#comments Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:00:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229189 peter alonso

#12 1B Peter Alonso

Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 225 Level: Class-A Short Season Brooklyn Cyclones

B/T: R/R Age: 22 (December 7, 1994) Age Dif: -0.1

Acquired: Drafted in Round 2 (#64) in 2016 from University of Florida

2016 MiLB Statistics: 30 G, 109 AB, 20 R, 35 H, 12 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 21 RBI, 11 BB, 22 K, .321/.382/.587

The 2016 Amateur Draft saw the New York Mets break recent trends when they used their first ten draft picks on collegiate players. Among those picks was collegiate first baseman Peter Alonso out of the University of Florida, taken in the second round with the 64th overall pick of the draft.

Alonso’s collegiate career could be labeled as incomplete. While producing several dominant offensive stretches, they were all to frequently disrupted by injuries ranging from a twice fractured right foot, to a broken nose, to a fractured left hand. Despite Alonso’s injury issues, the Mets fell in love with the raw power he displayed during both his junior season (12 home runs, 14 doubles) and during a 2016 College Baseball World Series run that saw Alonso dominate the upper level talent of the tournament (16 for 32 with five home runs, four doubles, 12 runs scored, and 13 RBI).

Upon signing with the Mets in June of 2016, Alonso was assigned to the Brooklyn Cyclones in the New York-Penn League. There were some who questioned whether Alonso’s power would translate to the wood bats of professional baseball, but those worries were quickly put to rest, as Alonso started his professional career with a seven game hit streak that produced his first professional home run and four total extra base hits.

At the conclusion of Alonso’s season, he had become the most feared bat in the Cyclones lineup, putting up 18 extra base hits in only thirty games of action (.587 SLG%, which would have lead the league with enough PA’s). Unfortunately for Alonso, the injury bug that hampered his college career managed to find it’s way to Brooklyn, as Alonso’s season was cut short after breaking his right pinkie while attempting to avoid a tag at second base.

Alonso is a classical first baseman in both stature (6’3″ 225 lbs.) and approach. While not lauded for his defense, he impressed while in Brooklyn, showing soft hands and good lateral movement for a man his size, combined with an extremely strong and accurate arm (he also played third base in college). While nobody is predicting gold glove defense from Alonso, he may very well develop into a plus defensive player by the time he reaches the MLB level.

Offensively, Alonso’s most attractive offensive attribute is of course his natural power, which he generates from a very powerful lower half. His swing provides natural lift that projects him to be a predominantly fly ball hitter, which should bode well for his power numbers. As for plate coverage, any ball over the plate, be it by design or a mistake, Alonso will crush, and he almost never misses.

Alonso’s home runs are a spectacle, they are not wall scrapers, think Ike Davis vs the Shea Bridge, or Mo Vaughn off the Budweiser Scoreboard type shots. Alonso does have a tendency for his hips to fly open, and at times this leaves him susceptible to the outside pitch, a minor flaw he will have to work on. His 2016 campaign saw him put up a slash line against left handed pitchers that would make even David Wright jealous (.409/.490/.841 for a whooping 1.331 OPS), but a pedestrian (.262/ .306/.415 ) slash line vs right handers.

As for Alosno’s mental approach, he likes to keep the game simple, and doesn’t over think things at the plate. When asked about his approach at the plate, Alonso stated “it’s very simple, see the ball, hit the ball”, so he seems more of a reactionary type hitter with solid early pitch recognition to this point, and nobody can argue with the results.

Outlook for 2017:

It’s unknown exactly where Alonso is headed to open the 2017 season. While having shown he is a polished bat and can probably handle the Advanced-A ball pitching in Port St. Lucie, his injury shortened 2016 may very well have him headed for a cameo appearance with Low-A Columbia Fireflies.

Alonso will need to show that he can be a more productive player vs right handed pitching this year, while some how figuring out a way to make it through a full season healthy…and if he does, he should move extremely quickly through the Mets system. Alonso is not a Dominic Smith kind of bat, there is no waiting for the power to develop, because it’s already here. Expect Alonso to open up some eyes among minor league evaluators this year, and don’t be surprised to find him on several top 100 prospect list by the conclusion of the 2017 season.

2017 MMO TOP 30 PROSPECTS

1. Amed Rosario, SS

2. Dominic Smith, 1B

3. Robert Gsellman, RHP

4. Thomas Szapucki, LHP

5. Desmond Lindsay, OF

6. Justin Dunn, RHP

7. Gavin Cecchini, INF

8. Brandon Nimmo, OF

9. Andres Gimenez, SS

10. Tomas Nido, C

11. Wuilmer Becerra, OF

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2017 Top 30 Mets Prospects: No. 5 Desmond Lindsay, OF http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/2017-top-30-mets-prospects-no-5-desmond-lindsay-of.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/2017-top-30-mets-prospects-no-5-desmond-lindsay-of.html/#comments Thu, 05 Jan 2017 18:30:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=228746 desmond lindsay

#5 Desmond Lindsay

Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 200 Level: Short Season A – Brooklyn Cyclones

B/T: R/R Age: 1/15/1997 (19) Age Dif: -2.1

Acquired: Selected in the second round (53 overall) of the Amateur Draft (Out-of-Door Academy, Sarasota, Fl.)

Last year: #7

2016 Statistics: 37 G, 122 AB, 21 R, 37 H, 6 2B, 4 HR, 17 RBI, 26 BB, 31 K, 3 SB, .303/.433 /.451

In 2015, the Mets used their first pick of the draft (2nd round, number 53 overall) on high school corner infielder Desmond Lindsay. This was the fourth time in five years that the Mets selected a high school long-term project with their first pick of the draft, and with good reason.

Lindsay has a desirable combination of plus speed, plus raw power, and a plus arm. He was tabbed as “an offensive machine” by Mets director of amateur scouting Tommy Tanous upon being drafted. Early projections had Lindsay being picked in the 1st round, but a hamstring injury his senior season limited his production and exposure. When he was still available to the Mets in the 2nd round, they were ecstatic to have the opportunity to draft a 1st round talent, after having lost their 1st round pick as a result of the Michael Cuddyer signing.

While Lindsay played primarily first and third base during his high school career, he was projected as a future five tool outfielder, and has been positioned as a center fielder since entering the Mets minor league system. While self admittedly he is still learning the intricacies of the position, his combination of plus speed, plus arm, and natural baseball instincts have most seeing him as a plus to elite defender once fully developed (this bodes well for the Mets due to a thin farm system at the CF position).

Over the course of two seasons in the Mets minor league system, Lindsay has unfortunately battled multiple injuries that have limited him to just 72 career games and only 236 total at-bats. In 2016, after battling some early season hamstring and calf issues, Lindsay hit the ground running while playing center field for the Brooklyn Cyclones. In 32 games and over 111 at-bats, the 19-year old put up a .297/.418/.450 slash line, while slugging four homers, five doubles and driving in 17 runs He also showed a keen eye at the plate, drawing 20 base on balls.

The apex of his 2016 season came on August 12, when Lindsay tied a Cyclones single game RBI record by driving in seven runs while going 3 for 5 with a three-run homer. This was an extremely important game for Lindsay on a personal level, as he was in the lineup for the first time with one of his childhood hero’s, Jose Reyes (Lindsay’s Grandmother hails from Connecticut and is a huge Mets fan, so Lindsay grew up a Mets fan as well).

Lindsay has a very high ceiling and tons of potential, arguably the highest among Mets position prospects not named Amed Rosario. His up the middle line drive approach at the plate, quick inside hands, and natural power (which he generates from his very fast and explosive hip rotation) have some projecting him as a future Adam Jones.

Though he has not shown base stealing prowess as of yet (primarily in an attempt to keep his legs healthy), down the line he projects as a 20+ stolen base threat at the Major League level. While injuries have kept him from quickly moving through the system to this point, we could see that trend change this year if Lindsay is able to shake the injury bug.

Lindsay’s natural abilities and cerebral approach to the game, combined with his work ethic and a willingness to learn, have him pegged for a Major League ETA of some time between the 2019/2020.

Lindsay is the most promising Mets outfield prospect to come along in a very long time. This is a not an un-humble Lastings Milledge, or a raw unpolished kid who didn’t have high school baseball in his home state like Brandon Nimmo. This is a young player who went to private schools that developed and groomed him for one purpose, to be a Major League baseball player. With a little luck and patience, it’s the Mets who are poised to be the beneficiary of this young players potential coming to fruition.

Mike M adds: 

The strength is one thing that stands out for me and Lindsay, he’s an impressive physical specimen. It’s not everyday you see a 19-year old center fielder that has a five tool potential skill set like that of Lindsay. He still has some things to work on in center field, but with his natural skills, his defense there should be a plus tool in the future.

Lindsay played the entire 2016 season as a 19-year old, making his .868 OPS in the New York-Penn League pretty impressive given that the average age of pitchers in the league was 21.4 and the average OPS was .655.

2017 Outlook: 

Due to his minimal exposure to minor league pitching up to this point, he is most likely ticketed for the Mets A-ball affiliate the Columbia Fireflies to start the season. Barring any further health issues, don’t expect that to last past the mid-season point, as his skill level should easily outshine the competition of the South Atlantic League.

2017 MMO TOP 30 PROSPECTS

1. Amed Rosario, SS

2. Dominic Smith, 1B

3. Robert Gsellman, RHP

4. Thomas Szapucki, LHP

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Tigers Unlikely to Deal Second Baseman Ian Kinsler http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/tigers-unlikely-to-deal-second-baseman-ian-kinsler.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/tigers-unlikely-to-deal-second-baseman-ian-kinsler.html/#comments Tue, 25 Oct 2016 12:38:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225124 ian-kinsler

Detroit Tigers GM Al Avila has made it known that he is looking to cut payroll and shake up his roster this Winter. However, one writer who covers the team believes he has no intentions of moving two of his core players in second baseman Ian Kinsler or right-hander Justin Verlander for that matter.(Detroit Free Press)

Beat Writer Anthony Fenech explains why Kinsler is likely staying put:

“By trading Kinsler, who carries a lot of value with his contract expiring after the 2017 season pending a $12-million buyout, the Tigers would be parting with their heart and soul, an aggressor at the top of the lineup, and overall, a winning player.”

Original Report – Oct 22

The Mets have many needs this year, and only a few positions to add players. One position in flux is 2nd base. The Mets have the option of using some combination of Wilmer Flores, Jose Reyes, Gavin Cecchini and T.J. Rivera, who all come with risk and uncertainties. Or they have the option of gambling on the balky back of Neil Walker (requiring either $17.2 million qualifying offer, or a long-term commitment). This is where the recent news that Detroit is looking to purge major salary comes into play.

This brings us to Ian Kinsler. For those of you who are unaware of Ian Kinsler, he is a premier second baseman coming off one of the best years of his career at age 34, posting  a 123 wRC+. While some may shy away from a player in his mid 30′s, Kinsler has shown no signs of decline, ranking as an elite defensive player (posting UZR/150 of 7.5, 6.7, 11.2 over the last 3 seasons) while annually putting up a .340+ on-base percentage ( a glaring need for the Mets) and posting a .319 average w/RISP last season (another glaring need for the Mets).

So the question comes down to what will it cost via trade, and in terms of finances. Kinsler is on the back side of a 5 year contract extension that currently has him on the books for $11 million in 2017 with a club option of $10 million for 2018, with a $5 million buyout. So essentially the Mets choose 1 year at $16 million total (cheaper than Walker’s QO) or 2 years at $21 million (cheaper than what Walker’s contract would be if signed). This is a low commitment, high reward scenario for the Mets with minimal risk.

As for the cost in prospects, that may be a determining factor. Reports are that the key is teams willingness to take on full contract requirements of any player Detroit unloads. So it would appear the price in terms of prospects may not be steep. Given that and the affordable contract it’s possible that Kinsler is a perfect fit for the Mets.

It will be interesting to see what route Sandy Alderson goes this offseason, but with a player of Kinsler’s caliber available, with minimal risk involved, it would be wise for Alderson to explore this option. He showed no issue with signing mid 30′s players, as he reportedly offered 4 years to Ben Zobrist just last offseason, and Kinsler is a younger, better all around player compared to Zobrist.

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Mets Sign 2nd Round Pick 1B Peter Alonso http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/after-a-dominating-college-world-series-performance-mets-sign-2nd-round-pick-peter-alonso.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/after-a-dominating-college-world-series-performance-mets-sign-2nd-round-pick-peter-alonso.html/#comments Wed, 29 Jun 2016 18:32:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215946 peter alonson

Peter Alonso, the Mets 2nd round pick (64th overall), has finally signed after concluding his collegiate career with a dominating College World Series performance. As a benefit to the Mets, Alonso was signed for under slot value at just over $900K, compared to the $1,009,200 slotted for the 64th pick in the draft.

Alonso concluded his Florida Gators collegiate career going 16-for-32 with four doubles, five homeruns, 13 RBI and 11 runs scored, while drawing three walks in the World Series.

This dominating performance comes on the heels of a breakout sophomore season that saw Alonso produce a .374/.469/.659 slash line, despite missing the last month of the regular season with a broken left hand, an injury that perhaps allowed the power-hitting first baseman to slip to the Mets in the second round of the MLB draft.

“Every time he comes to the plate, it’s like everybody in the dugout gets quiet, everybody in the stands is kind of watching. It’s just unexplainable,” his Florida coach, Kevin O’Sullivan, told Newsday. “I honestly feel like every time he comes to the plate he’s going to hit a home run. It’s remarkable. It’s a great story to come back and swing the bat like he has.”

As a freshman, Alonso was named a second-team Freshman All-American by the National College Baseball Writers Association and he was one of three Gators named to the SEC All-Freshman team.

Alonso will report to the Brooklyn Cyclones where he will begin his transition to wood bats.

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Jump Starting the Mets Offense and Beating the Shift http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/jump-starting-the-mets-offense-and-beating-the-shift.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/jump-starting-the-mets-offense-and-beating-the-shift.html/#comments Thu, 14 Apr 2016 18:44:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=209588 yoenis cespedes

Through eight games this season, the New York Mets offense has been less than inspiring, ranking dead last in the NL in hits, runs scored, Avg, OBP, OPS, and extra base hits. While this is just a small sample size and nothing to get overly concerned about yet, it does give us a not too distant reminder of the early season offense during the 2015 season.

One of the alarming imbalances to this team, is that its standard 1 through 8 lineup consists of four players – Curtis Granderson, Yoenis Cespedes, Lucas Duda, and Michael Conforto – who regularly face a defensive shift when at the plate. This means that half of the Mets’ starting lineup are at a statistical disadvantage.

When you look at those players, and realize that against a traditional balanced defense they would each have close to a .300 avg and a .900 OPS, it makes you wonder what needs to be done to counter the shift.

shift-300x198
Lucas Duda in particular is a dead pull hitter, accumulating only 5 ground balls to the 3rd base position during the entire 2015 season, so there is no surprise that teams vacate the 3rd base position in favor of adding an extra right side infielder.

We saw what Duda could do against a standard alignment in 2011 when he had a .292 avg and .852 OPS before teams started implementing the shift.

However, while Duda has shown little ability to be capable of hitting even soft contact on the ground the other way, Granderson, Conforto, and Cespedes all have the ability to choke up and make contact towards the 3rd base position. Understanding that making solid contact is not always what is required to obtain a hit, sometimes it’s better to make soft contact in an attempt hit the ball where the defense isn’t. We have seen all too much of players like Eric Hosmer sacrifice power, instead hitting a soft chopper or dropping a bunt to the left side of the infield to secure a hit, start a rally, or continue an inning.

lucas duda 2

The issue is that the Mets seem locked in on an antiquated philosophy that our power bats need to always produce power and we have too many players that seem to swing for the fences each time up.

Despite the steroid era and love affair with the homerun, despite all the advanced metrics in today’s game, and despite all the advanced scouting and defensive shifts we see, the philosophy of getting men on, getting men over, and getting men in is still the prevailing goal.

There is noting in the rule book that says Lucas Duda and Yoenis Cespedes have to launch balls over the fence every time at bat, or that Duda and Granderson have to drive in runs via the extra base hit.

Baseball is in a transition phase, and teams that are successful are starting to revert back to the 80′s way of producing offense. Directional hitting to beat the shift, less home runs and more speed – opportunistic baseball is the key to offense these days.

Do we still have team offense’s that are successful via the homerun, of course we do. Teams like the Astros and Cubs have double digit homerun bats littered throughout their lineups. But we have seen that come playoff time, runs are at a premium, and good pitching still beats power bats.

The teams that are successful are the teams that have balance and can scratch out a run. Teams like the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, and San Francisco Giants are all teams that have won World Series in the past 6 seasons that all have a strong pitching foundation surrounded by an offense that is balanced and can manufacture runs in a multitude of ways (adapt and overcome, situational hitting, take what the defense gives you).

It’s time for the Mets to start playing some small ball… Take what the defense gives you and it’s okay to let the next man up drive in the runs in the right situation. Keep the inning going, or start the inning off with a simple bunt, or soft ground ball through the vacated hole.

The Mets power will come. Once the weather warms up and the Flushing Bay winds subside, the balls will start to leave Citi Field. But in October and November when the cold temps returns and the winds are howling, the Mets will still need to know how to manufacture runs. So lets get a solid philosophy started now — a foundation of getting on base and generating runs the old fashion way.

All too often power can be streaky and go into slumps,. But when that happens, a well rounded team can find other ways to score runs, and that is what the Mets need to learn and implement now.

The defenses have made their move, so now it’s time to adjust and counter punch. If you are going to implement a defensive shift against us, then we will simply take what you are giving us, hit the ball where you are not, and you can deal with the next man up. We will put runners on base, drive up pitch counts, and make you adjust your philosophy. After all, isn’t that what baseball is all about, making adjustments? So lets adjust and get this offense rolling, time to beat the shift.

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