Mets Merized Online » Timothy Gilbert Fri, 18 Apr 2014 01:19:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Lagares Says Recovery Will Take 1-2 Weeks Thu, 17 Apr 2014 00:08:51 +0000 juan-lagares

April 16

Mike Vorkunov of the Star-Ledger reports that Juan Lagares received his MRI results on Wednesday and after talking to the trainer, said his recovery time should take about 1-2 weeks.

“I feel better now,” said Lagares.

April 15

Citing a source from the team, Marc Carig of Newsday is reporting that the Mets will place Juan Lagares on the 15-day disabled list prior to tonight’s game in Arizona.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis has already be re-called and is headed to Phoenix to join the team and should be available to play tonight’s contest against the Diamondbacks.

The loss of Lagares is a major blow to the Mets as he was leading the team in many offensive categories including a .314 batting average and an .816 OPS.

Nieuwenhuis was hitting .310 with two homers and eight RBIs in 42 at-bats for Las Vegas.

As for Curtis Granderson, the news is much better. He told reporters that he is feeling good and that he will avoid the Disabled List. He may even be available off the bench today if needed as a pinch-hitter.

Granderson custom-ordered cleats he’ll wear for Jackie Robinson Day tonight and will auction them off for charity after game.

thank you jackie

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Mets Farm Report: DeGrom Spectacular Again, Herrera and Cecchini Go Deep Wed, 16 Apr 2014 14:48:09 +0000 jake degrom


Jacob deGrom pitched spectacularly, keeping the Aces hitless through the first four innings. He pitched seven innings, giving up three hits, no runs and striking out four. DeGrom is having an incredible season and currently sports a 0.50 ERA with a 0.778 in 18.0 innings with 4 walks and 15 strikeouts. According to Adam Rubin, scouts who have seen him have been raving about him. Wilmer Flores hit well, going  2-4 with a double, home run and three RBIs. Reno battled back scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth off  Ryan Reid and Josh Edgin, but the 51s managed to stop the bleeding just in time.


The Binghamton-Portland matchup for Tuesday was postponed due to rain. It will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Wednesday, May 21.


The St. Lucie Mets came out swinging after Matt Koch gave up two runs in the first inning, tagging on two of their own in the second inning off a Phillip Evans double. They added two more runs in the third when Dilson Herrera and T.J. Rivera each homered. Jupiter notched two more of their own in the sixth, one off Koch and the other off relief pitcher Beck Wheeler, before scoring their final run in the ninth. Rivera had a fantastic day, finishing 3-for-5, with a double, home run and two RBIs, in addition Eudy Pina, finished 3-for-4, with a triple and two RBIs.


The Sand Gnats took a win in the continuation of last night’s postponed match-up. It was a close one going into Tuesday afternoon, with each team remaining scoreless through the first four innings. Augusta added a run in the bottom of the fifth off a single by Randy Ortiz, but the Gnats battled back with a two-run sixth inning that was spurred by a Gavin Cecchini home run and a L.J. Mazzilli double. Dario Alvarez pitched great, giving up just two hits while striking out six in 4.2 innings pitched.


In the nightcap, the Gnats lost a tight one on an eighth inning single by Ryder JonesRicky Knapp pitched well, throwing 7.1 innings, giving up five hits and two runs while striking out eight. It was a tough day offensively for Savannah; the bats just didn’t seem to connect except for Jeff McNeil‘s, who brought in the team’s lone run off a fourth inning single and he also added a sixth inning double. Since it was the second game of the night, this  was considered regulation after only 7 innings of play.


Jacob deGrom pitched superbly in Reno Tuesday night, tossing seven full innings and giving up only three hits, allowing a walk, while striking out four. He kept Reno hitless through the first four innings and looked spectacular all night.

Check out Mets Minors On Deck for today’s probable starters.

Presented By Diehards


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Mets Farm Report: Campbell’s Blast Seals Victory For Las Vegas Wed, 09 Apr 2014 13:32:56 +0000 eric campbell mmo


Las Vegas won a tight one after they took off with three runs in the second, starting with a two-run double from Allan Dykstra and an RBI double from Daniel MunoRafael Montero threw five innings giving up five hits and three runs which came in the third. The 51s took the lead in the fifth scoring two runs off a Wilmer Flores single in the bottom of the fifth. They rallied again scoring twice more in the seventh on an Eric Campbell home run.


Greg Peavey pitched well after giving up two runs in the very first inning, going on to pitch four innings and striking out three. Cody SatterwhiteAdam Kolarek and Jon Velasquez each pitched shutout baseball in relief. Darrell Ceciliani hit well, going 2 for 5, with two doubles and  three RBIs. Matt Clark also added three hits with two singles and a home run.


It was a tough day for the St. Lucie Mets, and things were going well when Luis Cessa tossed six inning only giving up two runs. But  Beck Wheeler gave up three runs in the seventh andJulian Hilario let in sixth in the eighth. And they struggled just as much offensively. Aderlin Rodriguez was the only Mets who had any form of a successful day, going 2 for 3,  with two singles and a walk.


Game one of the double -header was tight, as the Sand Gnats sacrificed three runs in the third.Kevin McGowan pitched well, giving up just three earned runs in five innings while striking out five. Stephan Sabol was three for three with a sixth inning game-tying home run.


The Sand Gnats came out hot, scoring two runs off of a two-out single from L.J. Mazzilli and adding one more in the fourth after Jeff McNeil drew a bases loaded walk. Dario Alvarezpitched four innings off scoreless baseball, giving up only three hits and striking out five. Tim Peterson gave up one run in two innings of relief  and Robert Coles finished the GreenJackets off striking out two in the save.


In a good day for minor league baseball, Eric Campbell earns the nod for Player Of The Night. Campbell’s big two-run blast in the bottom of the seventh put the 51′s up by two and eventually led them to a win over Sacramento.

Check out Mets Minors On Deck for today’s probable starters.

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Forbes: Mets Franchise Value Continues To Decline Wed, 26 Mar 2014 20:11:57 +0000 mets dugout helmets USATSI brad barr

Forbes has released their list of franchise values of each Major League Baseball team.

The Mets ranked ninth with a value of $800 million, just behind the St. Louis Cardinals ($820 million).

The Yankees top the chart, coming in at $2.5 billion. This is the 17th year that Forbes has released this list, and the Yankees have risen in value and topped this list each time.

The outlook for the Mets according to Forbes, is not quite as good.

Only three teams fell in value over the past year: the New York Mets, Houston Astros and Miami Marlins. The Mets, down 1% to $800 million, are still going through a period of austerity with an $85 million payroll after the Bernie Madoff debacle. Attendance at Citi Field has fallen for five consecutive years. The team refinanced $250 million of debt and is no longer taking on water under the leadership of GM Sandy Alderson.

Coming in second, with a value of $2 billion dollars, is the Los Angeles Dodgers. Other billion dollar franchises include the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants.

Presented By Diehards

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DePodesta Is Bullish On Nimmo Thu, 06 Mar 2014 14:43:40 +0000 nimmo_2zeph9gs_yw6h0z3y

Paul DePodesta, the Mets’ vice president of player development and amateur scouting, recently spoke with Chris McShane at Amazin’ Avenue on the status of the team’s farm system and player development.

One subject of their discussion was Brandon Nimmo, the Mets first-round draft pick from the 2011 amateur players draft. Nimmo did well this year pulling in a .397 OBP in Savannah, but critics look at his .359 slugging percentage as something that definitely needs improvement.

However, Savannah is a pitchers ballpark and Nimmo suffered from a wrist injury last year so management is not all that concerned about some of his statistical flaws.

At the very beginning of the season, he was gangbusters, before he got hurt,” he says. “One of the difficult things in the minor leagues is that when guys get hurt, they don’t really have rehab assignments. They come back and play right away. The same thing [happened] with Cecchini in Brooklyn. They get thrown right into the fire, and it takes them a while to get their sea legs again.

“With Nimmo, I think the combination of the wrist and the ballpark really took away from some of his power. I was really pleased with the progress he made against left-handed pitching. As a high school player, especially coming from where he came from, he didn’t see a lot of quality lefties. In Brooklyn, his first year, I think that was a struggle for him. He was very successful against righties but lefties gave him a hard time. And last year, he was still very, very good against righties, but made a lot of progress against lefties, which was really encouraging.

“Very few guys put up the type of on-base percentage he did in Savannah. We went back and looked since they’ve been our affiliate, and the only guy we could find that was similar was Josh Satin. And Josh Satin did it as basically a 23- or 24-year-old, and that was after playing four years at Cal, not a 20-year-old. So we’re really, really pleased with what he did. I think we’ll continue to see more power out of him. Some, maybe here at St. Lucie, but we’ll really see it begin to emerge when he gets to Double-A or Triple-A.

I think DePodesta is right and that his outlook for him is definitely encouraging. Nimmo undeniably has work to do if he wants to continue climbing through the Mets’ farm system, but he has proved that he has potential and management definitely recognizes that.


Presented By Diehards


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Granderson Flexes Some Muscle, Blasts Two Homers Wed, 05 Mar 2014 12:45:13 +0000 granderson barr usatsi

Well, so much for taking things slow.

Curtis Granderson hit two home runs in his first two at-bats against the Houston Astros on Tuesday, batting 2-for-3 on the day with three RBI’s.

His first bomb came in the first inning. Rudy Owens walked leadoff hitter Eric Young Jr., who was driven home by a double by Chris Young, and then Grandy went to work.

His second blast came in the very next inning off of Jorge De Leon.

“I hope to see about 25 more of those when the bell rings,” manager Terry Collins said.

Collins had initially said he would take it easy with Granderson, as he has done with David Wright and Daniel Murphy, but Granderson talked him out of it and prefers to play regularly instead.

“The only way I’m going to get ready is to play,” Granderson told ESPN’s Adam Rubin. “I feel like, for me, at-bats help me the most. At the same time, we don’t have to overdo it. We don’t want to fatigue anything.”

“But the body felt fine. Mentally it felt fine. And with the first game being Feb. 28, hey, throw me in there. We’re not going to play nine innings. I know that. We’ll go ahead and pull off. This is only my third game so far. It feels good. And I think that’s a good pace to keep.”

About his big game, Granderson does’t think his performance is indicative of how he will perform this season.

“I’ve had spring trainings where I’ve hit no home runs. I’ve had spring trainings where I’ve hit a lot of home runs,” Granderson said. “I don’t think they’ve correlated too much to the course of the season.”

Either way this was a great showing for the Mets’ $60 million man. It may not mean much in his eyes, but for fans everywhere this sure is a good sign.

(Photo: Brad Barr, USATSI)


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Collins Confirms MRI On Niese Came Back Good Thu, 27 Feb 2014 19:54:17 +0000 Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese 2

February 27

Earlier today, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York and Mike Puma of the Post, reported that an MRI performed on Jon Niese in New York revealed no damage in his left shoulder.

“His shoulder is “perfect” and he is expected to resume throwing upon return to camp.”

Terry Collins confirmed the report a short while ago and said:

“There’s no shoulder problems at all. He’s got some weakness in his scapula area that’s minor. They think in a few days he’ll be back and be ready to go.”

“So we get him back on the mound as soon as we can. So it was very, very good news. Shoulder is actually very, very good.”

Finally, some positive news.

February 26

ESPN’s Adam Rubin recently tweeted that Jon Niese is to receive an MRI for shoulder pain. He later added that Niese would be returning to New York for the test, a decision that was made around noon today.

It’s precautionary, according to Terry Collins, who also revealed that Niese has been feeling pain in his triceps since early in camp.

Niese was scheduled to start to start the season opener against the Washington Nationals on March 31. He has had a history with arm injuries, and while no further details have been released, he did suffer from a partial rotator cuff tear last year that kept him out for part of the season. Collins said this soreness is different and unrelated to that.

Fingers crossed…

Presented By Diehards

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Viola Looking Forward To Coaching Top Pitching Prospects In Vegas Wed, 19 Feb 2014 22:47:59 +0000 Las Vegas 51′s new pitching coach Frank Viola spoke to Adam Rubin of ESPN NY and explained how he understands the responsibility and pressure he will face coaching a lineup that may include Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, Jacob deGrom and Jenrry Mejia.


Viola shared a little humor with Rubin about the upcoming season in Vegas, “It could be the quickest firing of a pitching coach ever.” Viola continued, “The talent there that we’re going to have is going to be incredible. So it’s going to be really a lot of fun.”

“And the good part is, of the guys that could possibly end up there, I’ve had at least half of them at the lower levels. I’m familiar with them.”

Viola spent the majority of his playing career pitching for the Minnesota Twins, an organization he is still very active with, and won the 1988 Cy Young Award with them. He later went on to spend three seasons with the Mets from 1989-1991, before eventually retiring in 1996.

“But I grew up a Mets fan,” Viola, a Long Island native, told Rubin.

After his retirement, Viola stayed out of baseball, except for coaching a Florida high school team and a summer collegiate league. Eventually, he applied for a position with the Mets in Orlando, where he currently lives. He was hired as the Brooklyn Cyclones hitting coach, and later served the same role for low-A Savannah for the past two seasons.

viola“When I got back into it four years ago, I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” Viola told Rubin. “I didn’t even know if I wanted to be a major-league pitching coach. But the way it played out, I have found that I have a great rapport with young players. You get that little window of an opportunity. I had a big-enough name that when they Google me, they realize I do have something to say if they’re willing to listen. It’s just letting them know that you’re in it for them.”

“My career is over. It’s done with. I’m here because I want to see these kids get to the big leagues. And once they realize you really, genuinely care, that’s when they’ll listen.”

“Whether a big-league gig is down the line or not, we’ll play it out and see what happens. But I’m very content and happy being in this organization and seeing the strides it’s making,” adds Viola.

Steven Matz spoke with MMO back in October and shared his opinion of Viola, “Having Frank Viola as my pitching coach this year was a true blessing. Having a 15 or 16 year big league career, he has seen it all. He really knows how to optimize a pitching staff. He knew what each of us were capable of and he didn’t let us do any less. And it showed.”

That is just one of the many prospects that Viola has made a major impact in their development and this coming season will be another big year for the Mets pitching prospects. Viola has done well in the lower ranks, and his experience should make him a good fit to foster many more of these young men and prepare them for the big leagues.

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Update: Alderson Clarifies Report On Future With New York Wed, 19 Feb 2014 19:43:00 +0000 sandy alderson

Update Feb. 19th, 2014 2:45pm:

Sandy Alderson provided with some more information on last night’s New York Post report regarding his desire to remain Mets GM for another few years:

“That was a guess on the part of the writer and the source,” Alderson told “I haven’t talked to anybody about that.”

“I have a contract that expires at the end of this year. My intentions might be irrelevant,” Alderson quipped.

Original Post Feb. 18th, 2014 8:00pm:

Going into his fourth season as GM, Sandy Alderson wishes to remain in New York “for two or three more years,” according to a Tweet by Mike Puma of the New York Post.

]]> 0 Pirates Keeping Tabs On Ike Davis During Mets Camp Wed, 19 Feb 2014 02:03:18 +0000 080713Mets025RA.JPG

Jason Starks of writes that the Pirates continue to monitor Ike Davis‘ status in Mets camp.

The Pirates are looking to find a left handed hitting platoon to partner with  Gaby Sanchez at first base. Stark shares that when Morales and/or Nelson Cruz sign, it could result in players such as Justin Smoak or Mitch Moreland becoming available.

Pirates GM Neal Huntington said on Tuesday, the Pirates remain “confident in our internal options.”

But Huntington also said: “That doesn’t stop us from looking elsewhere. It’s just that now, our bar has been set a little bit higher, as to ‘How do we make the club better?’ And ‘How do we make the club better at the right situation for us?’ … If there’s something that makes us better, and makes sense for us, we’ll still look to do that.”

Well if Huntington feels that Davis makes them better, then it will be interesting to see if Sandy Alderson makes a deal with the Bucs again. Just last summer the Mets traded away Marlon Byrd and John Buck to the Pirates and received in return, relief pitcher Vic Black and top prospect Dilson Herrera. Could another deal be in the works again? Only time will tell.


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Flores Seems Bound For Triple-A Start Tue, 18 Feb 2014 21:00:56 +0000 wilmer flores

Terry Collins strongly hinted that Wilmer Flores seems destined for a Triple-A start unless he can work his way into an infield position, reports ESPN’s Adam Rubin. Something that doesn’t seem likely.

“I think with what we have on the infield — you know what? — if he’s not going to get a lot of a playing time, he’s got to go play at his age,” Collins said to Rubin. “Because the ceiling on his bat is too high. He’s got to go get at-bats.”

Rubin also shares that Collins said it’s unlikely Flores sees much time at first base during spring training due to the presence of Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Brandon Allen, Josh Satin, Zach Lutz and Matt Clark.

There are not many options left on the table for Flores. The odds are stacked up against him and the only way that he sticks is if he has a tremendous spring and earns the right to play shortstop, but the minds that make that decision may already have him penciled in to go down to Triple A and continue his progress.  And the idea may not be a bad one, especially if he puts the time in at short and comes back stronger defensively.

]]> 0 Collins Reminds Nieuwenhuis He’s Not Forgotten Tue, 18 Feb 2014 20:45:47 +0000 kirk nieuwenhuis mets brewers

Terry Collins has recently made a point to tell Kirk Nieuwenhuis that, despite the additions of Curtis Granderson, Eric Young Jr. and Chris Young since the middle of last season and the impressive play by Juan Lagares, he is not an afterthought, according to Adam Rubin.

Nieuwenhuis hit .189/.278/.337 with 18 hits, 14 RBI’s and three home runs in 95 at-bats last season. He was not selected for a September call-up.

Rubin writes that Collins had this to say about his conversation with Nieuwenhuis on Tuesday:

“I said, ‘Listen, there’s a lot of talk about Curtis. And there’s a lot of talk about Chris and Lagares.’ I said, ‘Two years ago the talk was about you, and you fought some injuries — some bad injuries.’ You know, he hurt his shoulder very bad. Then he had the foot issue. I said, ‘Listen, you can still play. There’s a job here for Kirk Nieuwenhuis, but you’ve got to go and show us you’re the player that we all know you can be.”

If Nieuwenhuis, puts up similar numbers as he did in 2012 when he hit .252, with 12 doubles, seven home runs, and 28 RBI’s, he will be a needed bat off the bench and can add additional depth to the outfield situation.


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Wilmer Flores Says He Can Play Shortstop Tue, 18 Feb 2014 19:59:09 +0000 ESPN’s Adam Rubin writes that Wilmer Flores has not played shortstop in the Mets organization since 2011, when a lack of first-step quickness prompted the organization to shift him to other infield spots.

Rubin also shares that Terry Collins has suggested he will revisit at least dabbling with Flores at shortstop during spring training. And Flores, who arrived in camp Tuesday is open to doing so.

“Sure. I played there for four years,” Flores said. “It’s not going to be a new position. I’m sure I can play.” 

wilmer flores fieldFlores made his long awaited major league debut on August 6, 2013 and he ended up hitting .211/.248/.295, with one home run, 13 RBI, and 23 strikeouts in 95 at-bats.

“It was a great experience,” Flores shares with the media . “I learned a lot. It was the year that I learned the most, especially mentally. This game is 80 percent mental.”

However, ankle ailments hindered Flores’ performance on the field and at the plate. His swing mechanics became altered, and his position at second came into question due to his nagging issues.

“It was tough. First year in the big leagues, you want to be out there playing and giving 100 percent. But I just couldn’t. When I had my chance, I did my best. I did what I could.”

Although, an active offseason, with focus on the ankle, seems to have fixed those issues.

“My body feels great. My legs feel great, especially my ankles –100 percent,” Flores said Tuesday.

“We did a lot of ankle exercises,” said to the media in reference to his offseason work at the Michigan fitness camp. “We worked on things that we needed to work on, like speed, agility and getting stronger. I’d be happy to go again.”

]]> 0 Callis Ranks Mets Prospect Trio 8th Overall Sun, 16 Feb 2014 19:18:13 +0000 noah syndergaard

Respected MLB reporter Jim Callis put together a list of the Top 15 Prospect Trios in any farm system. The Mets grouping of Noah SyndergaardTravis d’Arnaud and Rafael Montero ranked 8th overall.

Topping the list are Twin’s prospects Byron BuxtonMiguel Sano and Alex Meyer. Here’s what he had to say about baseball’s best prospect trio:

Though Buxton rated as the top prospect in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft and went No. 2 overall to the Twins, he actually managed to exceed expectations in his first full pro season. As a 19-year-old, he batted .334/.424/.520 with 49 extra-base hits (including 12 homers), 76 walks and 55 steals between two Class A stops. He reminded Midwest League observers of Mike Trout – only with more power and a stronger arm than Trout had when he blazed through the circuit.

Sano can’t match Buxton’s all-around brilliance, but he can beat him in two different tool categories. No Minor Leaguer has more power upside than Sano, who led the Midwest League with 28 homers as a 19-year-old in 2012 and encored with 35 homers (three off the Minor League lead) between high Class A and Double A last season. His bat speed and physical strength allow him to drive the ball out of any part of any ballpark on the planet.

Meyer battled a shoulder strain that limited him to 78 1/3 regular-season innings in 2013, but when he was healthy he showed exactly what Minnesota saw in him. He struck out 100 batters, an average of 11.5 per nine innings. That would have ranked second in the Minors if he had enough innings to qualify.

Coming in at second place is the Cub’s Javier BaezKris Bryant and Albert Almora, who would have been Jonathan Mayo’s top choice.

(Photo Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger, Jim McIsaac)

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MMO Exclusive: Akeel Morris, Big Time Fastball, Big League Dreams Thu, 23 Jan 2014 22:13:05 +0000 akeel morris

In the tenth round of the 2010 draft, the New York Mets added right-handed pitcher Akeel Morris to the organization. The then 17-year old out of St. Thomas, in the Virgin Islands was bursting with potential, however raw it may have appeared. The 6’1”, 170 pound hurler came equipped with an electric fastball, curveball, and change combination that he used to strike out a high rate of batters for the Brooklyn Cyclones this year.

In 45 innings pitched, Morris had a 1.00 ERA with a 1.156 WHIP, 12.0 SO/9 and a 4.6 BB/9. We even wrote about Morris’ past performance here at Mets Minors.

“I would usually work off of my fastball, and when I get my good fastball going and I’m hitting spots, I’ll use my changeup. “I was mainly using my fastball, changeup and changing speeds with those two pitches,” he says.

A combination that led him, despite serving primarily as a closer and pitching in a significantly fewer number of innings, to the ninth spot on the NYPL strikeout leaderboard.

After spending one year with the GCL Mets in 2010, Morris advanced to Kingsport for the next two seasons, before being promoted to Brooklyn in 2013, his first season out of rookie ball, and his first taste of the glimmering lights of New York.

“It was really great, I had a lot of fun. It was my first time actually being in front of a crowd, a consistent crowd.“ He continues, “It was really exciting for me and I liked the crowds.”

“Actually having to sign all of those autographs every night, was exciting too, along with the interviews. People always say it’s like a little taste of the big leagues playing in Brooklyn and I think it lived up to that. It was actually a little taste of it, and it was a lot of fun,” says the pitching prospect.

He’s an aggressive presence on the mound and it shows in his approach to opposing batters. This is a big factor in his high rate of strikeouts, although it occasionally comes at the cost of a few too many walked batters.

“I don’t feel any pressure, while on the mound, because when the adrenaline kicks in, I’m just ready to compete and all that’s in my head is to stay within myself and do well,” says Morris.

akeel morris

Scouts have criticized him for his “extreme” levels of exertion when throwing a pitch, claiming that this could limit his durability and hinder his pitch control. While these issues may claim to project future problems, there doesn’t seem to be any current indication of it’s effect.

“I feel like in games that I’ve started this year, I could have kept going. I pitched up to five innings but that’s just because of the pitch count.  I feel like I can go deeper into games as a starter, and durability wise, I feel healthy and I don’t think that should be a problem,” says the right-hander.

Like all developing pitchers, Morris does have areas that could use improvement.

“I want to be able to control my fastball much better,” he says. “My goal is to keep throwing more strikes, and that’s what I really push for.”

“This off-season I’ve been getting stronger and trying to really emphasize repeating my mechanics and repeating every pitch I throw, whether it’s a fastball, curveball, or changeup, this way my mechanics don’t change.”

Morris even video tapes himself training to send it to coaches for them to critique. He is constantly working to improve and the strides he’s made only seem greater once you consider when he was actually put on the mound.

“I actually played shortstop until I was about 16 years old and then I began pitching,” says Morris.

In case you forgot, he was drafted as “raw” talent primarily for his potential at the age of 17.

Just four years after being drafted, five years after becoming a pitcher, and Morris is dominating much of his competition, accumulating a 1.00 ERA and striking out an average of 12 batters per nine innings.

Even with these accomplishments in mind Morris isn’t satisfied.

“Right now I feel like what needs the most work is improving my mechanics and really consistently getting a good spin, and keeping my curveball down in the zone,” says the fireballer.

The desire to improve, combined with his hard-nosed attitude on the mound has given him the potential to produce into a true big league talent. An aggressive approach and the confidence to produce in any situation are traits valuable to any big league club. And even as he climbs the minor league ladder, Morris doesn’t plan on being shaken any time soon.

“When I get on the mound, I feel like, I shouldn’t be nervous and I try to get in a zone where I’m just thinking that, it’s just baseball.  I’ve been playing this game all my life and that’s what it is, just a game, so I just try to keep it as simple as that,” says Morris.

We want to thank Akeel for his time and wish him a great season in 2014… LGM

Presented By Diehards

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Prospect Spotlight: Xorge Carrillo, C Tue, 24 Dec 2013 06:01:38 +0000 xorge carrillo

Former Binghamton Mets catcher Xorge Carrillo has turned up the heat in winter ball, batting .350/.373/.550 with two home runs and 11 RBI in his last ten games. With this recent flurry, Carrillo has improved his Mexican League average to .291 with a .355 on-base, three home runs and 25 RBI in 165 at-bats.

Xorge Carrillo, C

DOB: 4/12/1989

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

2013 Performance: 128 plate appearances, .278/.331/.330, 32 hits, 6 doubles, 13 RBI’s

2013 Review

The Mets drafted Carrillo in the 14th round of the 2011 June Amateur draft out of Arizona State University. He began his professional career playing for the Brooklyn Cyclones, hitting .217/.298/.304 in 27 games played. Carrillo spent 2012 in Savannah appearing in just 11 games, yet still netting one home run and 13 RBI’s. He began 2013 playing for St. Lucie, appearing in just two games before being promoted to Double-A Binghamton. He hit  below average in the beginning of the season, but really turned it up late in the year, hitting .344 in July and .400 in August.

Prospect Outlook

While Carrillo shows flashes of offensive skill behind the plate, making decent contact and driving in RBI’s, he is unanimously considered a primarily defensive catcher. His swing is notably simple, constantly being compared to the “see the ball, hit the ball” approach. And while his bat is his least efficient tool, his abilities only seem to be further tested against left-handed pitching. In 2013, he hit .322 against right-handed pitchers and only managed to bat .143 against left-handed pitchers. Defensively, he is talented. He has good hands and footwork behind the plate, improving significantly in both facets since being drafted. Additionally, Carrillo has often been overlooked by many analysts due to the fact that he played behind Austin Barnes at Arizona State and Blake Forsythe in Binghamton.

2014 Prediction

I feel that Carrillo’s defensive abilities and simplified batting skills could really help him advance. While he still has a lot of work to do, I feel that he has the potential athletic abilities to be worth following. The biggest question, his batting skills, seemed to transition well to the next level of competition. He has shown legitimate improvement in his defensive abilities, and has an above average arm at his disposal. If he can continue to improve his defensive traits, while maintaining his offensive advancements, I think it’s only a matter of time before Carrillo becomes a  name to watch.


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First Rounder Dominic Smith More Advanced Than Expected Tue, 17 Dec 2013 20:50:01 +0000 dominic smith

The analysts over at Fangraphs compiled their 2014 Top 10 Prospects in the Mets farm system. They took a good look at each player listed and included an in-depth individual assessment of their choices.

They ranked the prospects in order:

#10 — Wilmer Flores (3B)

#9 — Gavin Cecchini (SS)

#8 — Steven Matz (P)

#7 — Jacob deGrom (P)

#6 — Kevin Plawecki (C)

#5 — Rafael Montero (P)

#4 — Amed Rosario (SS)

#3 — Dominic Smith (1B)

#2 — Travis d’Arnaud (C)

#1 — Noah Syndergaard (SP)

It was interesting to see Dominic Smith placed so far up in the order after only his first season as a professional. The young first baseman is only 18-years-old, and Fangraphs was extremely impressed with the mentality and abilities he displayed this season. Smith spent most of his time this season with the GCL Mets hitting .287/.384/.407, before being moved to Kingsport for three games. However, Fangraphs believes this is only the beginning of his rapid ascent.

The Scouting Report: Smith was even more advanced at the plate than expected. He should hit for average and power while also getting on-base at a healthy clip. His power is generated by quick bat speed and he doesn’t have to pull the ball to hit it out of the park. Like many young hitters, he has work to do against same-handed pitchers. At first base, he could develop into on of the best fielder in the game at his position thanks to his athleticism around the bag and soft hands.

The Year Ahead: Smith is advanced and mature enough to handle a jump to full-season ball in his first full pro season. He could move fairly quickly for such a young player and could reach the Majors in late 2016.

The Career Outlook: Smith has a chance to be an impact player both as a middle-of-the-order hitter and as a defensive whiz at first base.

Fangraphs also included a short briefing on the five players who just missed the list. These names included Dilson HerreraMichael FulmerDomingo TapiaBrandon Nimmo and Vic Black.

Over at MetsMinors, we have compiled our own prospect ranking. You can find our list of the top 25 prospects here.

(Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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MMO Exclusive: Talking With Mets 1B Prospect Zach Mathieu Sun, 08 Dec 2013 07:36:45 +0000 Standing 6-foot-7 and weighing 265 pounds, 22-year-old Kingsport first baseman Zach Mathieu is a towering sight behind the plate. Hailing from the chilly Northeastern town of Derry, New Hampshire, Mathieu was a multi-sport athlete that actually had his eye on the ice until the age of 14.

Photo Credit:

“My first love actually used to be hockey,” Mathieu said. “I eventually just decided to go with baseball because I couldn’t get rides to the hockey rink.”

How could you blame him? He was simply a product of his environment.

“Everyone wanted to be a hockey player or something else because of what the weather allowed the players to do.”

Oh, did I mention he was also named Mr. New Hampshire Basketball in 2010.

And yet, thankfully for the Mets, Mathieu focused his athleticism on baseball, using his size and his strength to make him into a valuable asset.

“I went into Franklin Pierce a very raw player with a lot of tools and potential.”

He spent his college years honing his skills in the competitive, Division II Northeast-10 Conference.

“[The NE-10] is a very competitive division. It actually has a lot of draft picks, a majority of them being pitchers.”

He was drafted by the New York Mets in the 16 round of the 2013 draft and sent to Kingsport.

“I was certainly glad to be drafted by the Mets and become part of the Mets organization.”

In his first professional year at Kingsport, Mathieu formed a close bond with his teammates as they took the team to a 40-27; good enough for first in their division.

“I remember when we played Greeneville, in that game we actually got knocked out in extra innings, and everyone was in the dugout pacing back and forth, just so into the game, hanging on to every pitch,” he said. “We just wanted to win so bad. It didn’t matter how we won or who was the hero.”

And even though the K-Mets fell short, Mathieu cherishes the experience.

“I loved every bit of it down there,” he said. “It just becomes like a tight-knit family.”

This past season, in 30 games, Mathieu hit .138/.266/.188 with 11 hits, four doubles, two RBI’s and one stolen base, in 80 at bats.

“I just felt fortunate enough to be able to play with that caliber of players and be able to improve my game and learn.”

And while he admittedly struggled at the plate, mostly due to issues in the mechanics of his swing, he is working feverishly to improve on his abilities.

“Before I was kind of just a big lumberjack who swung a bat and I actually had to learn how to hit,” he said. “Towards the end of the season I actually started to make some big adjustments in my offensive game.”

He recently returned from working at the Dominican Instructional League, working on hitting, fielding and arm precision.

Adding to a workload that has been nothing short of exhaustive.

“Working on my hands, using my backside more, keeping my front shoulder closed and just having a smoother swing,” he said. “That way I can recognize pitches.”

“I found that I’ve made some pretty big strides in my swing and I feel a lot more confident at the plate.”

Photo Credit:

An incredible athlete with an insatiable work ethic, he brings the mentality of an experienced veteran with him onto the field.

“You find yourself making adjustments on the fly and just becoming an overall better baseball player yourself, because the people around you make you better and force you to make adaptations so you can become a better player,” he continues, “Because that’s what baseball is, a game of adjustments.”

But in Mathieu’s eyes, his most important traits are ones that are not easily measured.

“My biggest tools are the intangibles like my heart and that I’m a grinder.”

His strength, drive and instinctive athleticism are what makes Mathieu such an intriguing prospect. The young power hitter still has a long road ahead of him if he wants to develop into an effective major league player, but, with traits modeled after the favorite player of his youth, Mathieu is well on his way.

“I used to be a huge Jason Varitek fan, “The Captain”, and I admired how he was a grinder and just showed up every day ready to play,” he said. “He personified the correct methods to the fans and was just someone that the kids could look up to.”

“I hope one day I can be like that.”

(Photo Credits:, MiLB)

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Hansel Robles Clears Waivers, Paves Way For Chris Young To 40 Man Roster Sat, 23 Nov 2013 15:00:57 +0000 Former St. Lucie right-hander Hansel Robles recently cleared waivers and was subsequently removed from the Mets 40-man roster according to ESPN’s Adam Rubin.

With the drop the Mets roster moves to 39 players, making room until Chris Young passes physicals and is added sometime next week.

Robles pitched two games for the Gulf Coast Mets before begin promoted to St. Lucie in 2013. He went on to go 5-4 with a 3.72 ERA in 16 appearances in High-A ball on the year, giving up 35 earned runs, eight homers and striking out 66 in 84 2/3 innings.

In addition, Robles went 0-2 with a 4.00 ERA in six appearances in the Arizona Fall League this season.

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Mets Add Matz, Walters, deGrom and Goeddel to 40-Man Roster Thu, 21 Nov 2013 02:07:22 +0000 Update: The Mets added Steven Matz, Jeff Walters, Jake deGrom and Erik Goeddel to the 40-man roster. Kolarek, Dykstra and Gorski are at risk of being selected by another team. We’ll see…

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At midnight tonight, every team in the MLB is required to have their 40-man roster set, positioning themselves  for next month’s Rule 5 draft.

Players 18-and-under who signed their first professional contract in 2009 and players 19-and-over who signed their first professional contract in 2010 are eligible for the draft. This means that we are likely to find many high school and international players who signed in 2009 or before and college players who signed in 2010 or before filling this years’ draft class.The Rule 5 draft will take place on Thursday, December 12.

With 36 men on the roster prior to the deadline, the Mets have a fair amount of room for movement. The only “extremely likely protections” were pitchers Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz. In addition, Baseball America named outfielders Cory Vaughn, Darrell Ceciliani and RHP Jeff Walters as “possible protections.”

DeGrom will probably be ready to help the Mets in some role in 2014. Matz is a tougher decision, as the oft-injured 2009 second-rounder hasn’t made it out of low Class A, but he showed plus stuff and some feel for pitching.

Outfielders Vaughn and Cecilliani don’t have the profile of a typical Rule 5 pick, so the Mets could likely gamble and leave them unprotected.

Joe D. shared his thoughts yesterday, and believes the Mets are in great shape heading into decision day.

With four spots currently open, that’s just enough to protect Steven MatzJeff Walters and Jacob deGrom with room to spare. They could also cut Omar Quintanilla and Scott Atchison to open up two more spots.

I’d like to see the Mets use those additional spots to protect Allan DykstraDarin Gorski and Adam Kolarek.

The likelihood of any of the other unprotected players lasting on an MLB roster for an entire year are slim to none, so they should all survive the purging. Those players include:

Triple-A Las Vegas 51s

Hamilton Bennett
Eric Campbell
John Church
Reese Havens
Rylan Sandoval
Chris Schwinden

Double-A Binghamton Mets

Joe Bonfe
Darrell Ceciliani
Mark Cohoon
Blake Forsythe
Ryan Fraser
Jim Fuller
Erik Goeddel
Chase Huchingson
Greg Peavey
Cory Vaughn

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