Mets Merized Online » Teddy Klein Sat, 06 Feb 2016 23:29:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mets 2016 Breakout Prospect: RHP Chris Flexen Mon, 01 Feb 2016 23:26:57 +0000 Chris-Flexen


Continuing our series of potential breakout prospects is right-handed pitcher Chris Flexen, a projectable righty drafted in 2012, who suffered a delay due to Tommy John Surgery. Our first two candidates in the series were third baseman David Thompson and Jhoan Urena.


Chris Flexen was drafted out of Newark Memorial HS in California, during the 14th round. He was awarded an overslot bonus of $374,000. In an early draft report by Baseball America, he was called a “projectable arm” that could reach 93, with much more potential to fill out a skinny frame. BA also said he had the potential for a plus slider.

He, however has had an inconsistent career struggling initially in Kingsport before repeating and excelling. Then in 2014 he struggled with his control and recorded a 4.83 earned run average with 13 starts in Savannah, before undergoing Tommy John Surgery.  He returned on June 24th of this past year and pitched rehabilitation games in Gulf Coast League, and Brooklyn before returning to the Savannah Sand Gnats. In his final six games, he pitched much better, posting a 1.87 ERA, with a 1.9 BB/9, and nearly a strikeout per inning.

Why he may be a candidate:

According to recent scouting reports, Flexen’s fastball velocity has improved to the mid 90’s, and has touched 97. With an improving slider, and changeup he could have a serious arsenal in his future. He is finally healthy, which could lead to a great full season. One caveat is he has only pitched a maximum of 69 innings, so we’ll keep cautious about his future for now. We hope to see a bigger influx of innings as well.

Ted’s Prospect Extras

The Top 5 2012 Draft Picks

  1. Kevin Plawecki (1st Rd Supplemental, 35th overall)
  2. SS Gavin Cecchini (1st Rd, 12th overall)
  3. UT Matt Reynolds (2nd Rd, 71st overall)
  4. RHP Matthew Bowman (13th Rd, 410th overall)
  5. RHP Paul Sewald (10th Rd, 320th overall)

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Mets 2016 Breakout Prospect: 3B David Thompson Sun, 31 Jan 2016 22:48:57 +0000 david_thompson_960_onypk0ya_xh6arueb

Next in our breakout candidates is a relatively new face, 3rd Baseman David Thompson. Our first prospect in the series was fellow third baseman Jhoan Urena.


Before Thompson was a 4th rounder for the Mets, he was an offensive star in the Miami area. As a Westminster Christian Alumni, (Same high school as Alex Rodriguez), he the record for homeruns in a season (19) and career (55) for the entire state of Florida. His 55 beat Prince Fielder‘s previously held record by 13 home runs. He entered into the University of Miami on a football and baseball scholarship but had two surgeries for a torn labrum in his right shoulder. However, he did well, hitting six home runs with a line of .286/.368/.462.

Unfortunately for him the next year he had Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which required a surgery to remove a rib, and he was relegated to a very weak 30 games. However, he upped his stock hitting .331/.355/.466 in the wood-bat Cape Cod League with four homers in 42 games.

In his final year, he led the Miami Hurricanes to the College World Series with a country-leading 19 home runs, and a .323/.424/.620 line. Injury concerns only warranted him a 4th round selection.

With the Brooklyn Cyclones, which is often a landing spot for Mets’ top college draft picks, Thompson underwhelmed offensively, hitting .218/.274/.320 with three home runs in 59 games. Due to the shoulder surgeries and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, he no longer has a strong throwing arm and will likely have to move to another position such as first base or left field.

Why he might breakout:

Hey, he broke a Florida home run record set by one of the better hitters of this generation, what’s not to like?

Also, He is a pretty disciplined batter, having more walks than strikeouts in his college career.  Plus, I want to see if he can start hitting for better average and hope that this uppercut swing will find a way to bounce and produce some of that awesome power. His likely destination is of one of the Single-A teams, depending on his time in spring training.

Having another possibility in power down on the farm has never been a bad thing.

Ted’s Prospect Extras:

Hitter’s Statistics from the 2015 Draft


Head over to for for minor league cover including our St. Lucie Mets 2015 Season Review

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Mets 2016 Breakout Prospect: 3B Jhoan Urena Wed, 27 Jan 2016 17:18:15 +0000 MLB BASEBALL TOURNAMENT TORNEO SUPREMO IN GUERRA JUNE 13

This is my first post in a while. MetsMinors.Net is starting a new series of who we believe will be our top breakout candidates for 2016. Both editors have picked 3 prospects we believe will break out in 2016 and be on the radar for this coming minor league system. I will kick this off with sweet-swinging Jhoan Urena.

Urena was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2011 for $425,000. In his first 3 seasons between three short-season clubs, Ureña never batted below .279 (DSL, 2012), and showed a little pop, hitting 5 home runs and 20 doubles while hitting .300/.356/.431 in 75 games with the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2014.

In 2015 however, he had a year to forget. Promoted with his left-side infield companion Amed Rosario to High-A St. Lucie from the Cyclones, Ureña did not do very well in .214/.257./267 in 64 games. There is an explanation however for why Ureña did not perform: he broke hamate bones in both hands, and had a couple wrist sprains before and afterwards. Hamate bones are notorious injuries with repercussions in power.  They also take a long time, multiple months to heal, and surgery to remove the broken bones.

The Mets have assured that the 21-year-old Ureña will be ready for Spring Training, and if healthy, he could go back to his old hitting ways, and find himself permanently on the prospect radar as a legitimate candidate for the future of 3rd base. A true third baseman with a great arm, he still has a couple of issues he needs to address in the field in terms of his fielding, however, he is young and projects out to an average fielder.

The switch-hitter has a nice stroke from both sides, and has a solid line-drive approach, as well as advanced bat-to-ball skills that allow him  to make contact,. He could produce a .280 average with home run projection in the teens. He will likely repeat at St. Lucie to start out 2016, but we believe it will be a tale of two seasons in contrast to last year.

 For more Mets prospect coverage check us out on MMO partner site

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All You Need To Know About The International Signing Period Thu, 02 Jul 2015 06:39:39 +0000 guerrero

Today marks another holiday in amateur player acquirement if you haven’t heard. On July 2nd of every year, a signing period exists where amateur baseball players outside of the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada between the ages 16 and 23 are signed to professional contracts with teams in the MLB that range from 4 to 8 figure contracts, depending on the age, talent, and availability.

Players represent the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Panama, Colombia, Cuba, as well as less likely places like Italy, Australia, Germany, and this year, France.

According to the new rules from the 2012 Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team is assigned a pool of money in the seven figure range that is available to sign contracts with eligible players within the signing period that lasts from July 2nd, 2015 to June 15th, 2016.

The pools are assigned by record, in a similar sense to what the MLB draft does, with the team that has the worst record having the largest amount of money to spend. However, a team can go over their pool if they choose to sign players to contracts, but will incur large penalties, such as:

  • Any money over the sum of the pool will be taxed 100 percent.
  • In addition any team over 5-10% of their pool cannot sign individual players in the next signing period for more than $500,000.
  • If 10-15%, the team cannot sign a player for more than $300,000 in the next signing period.
  • If more than 15% the team cannot sign a player for more than $300,000 for the next two signing periods.

While these penalties are pretty steep, a team can trade for up to 150% of their allotted pool with another team to gain more money, and keep themselves out of penalties and able to spend big in the next signing period as well. Also, any signing bonuses under $10,000 are not counted towards the pool.

A majority of those that signed are trained by someone who acts as their teacher, mentor, and agent. Teams get to know the trainers and are afforded time to scout the players. Then front offices decide if the bonus demands are worth it for each player. The trainers get a cut for themselves, but the players usually get the majority of the money. Teams and players usually have deals in place 6-12 months ahead of the period, so that’s bad news if you were expecting anyone that wasn’t linked to your team.

mets academy

Mets Signing period:

For this new signing period, the Mets have a bonus pool of $2,531,300, but have two deals in place that  put them over the top by at $168,700 so far: Andres Gimenez and Gregory Guerrero

SS Gregory Guerrero B/T: R/R, Hometown: Nizao, Dominican Republic


Baseball America 6/30 17/30

Fangraphs 9/47

Shortstop Gregory Guerrero is the nephew of Former All-Star Vladimir Guerrero, and trained at the Guerrero Baseball Acadamy. While his cousin, Vlad Jr is has the spotlight in the Guerrero family due to his power and direct bloodlines, Greg is no slouch either.

A guy who is considered advanced for the Dominican class, Guerrero has an above average hit tool, and while he focuses on line drives, projects for above average to possibly plus power. As for defense, be might stick at shortstop due to his above average arm and fielding, but 3rd base would be a more likely home for him, due to below-average foot speed.

He signs with the Mets early this morning for $1.5 million dollars, which is the second highest bonus Mets have given to an amateur. He will train at the Mets Dominican Academy for the rest of this year.

SS Andres Gimenez B/T L/R Barquisimeto, Venezuela


Baseball America 2/30 15/30

Fangraphs 6/47

Mentioned less than Guerrero, but higher-ranked, Andres Gimenez was snagged early in the signing period by the Mets for a lower price than the Dominicans ranked before and after him.

Gimenez is one of the most advanced bats in the Latin American class, with contact potential rating plus. Baseball America says he could possibly hit .300 annually, with fringe-average power that could reach double-digits in homers, with quite a few doubles. In addition to that, he has above-average speed, and a chance to stick at shortstop and be an above average defender. He signed for 1.2 million dollars this morning.

These are the two headliners, but I expect more will be reported later today that aren’t in the millions. These two signings will make the Mets over pool however as stated previously, they can trade for up to $3,796,950 in pool space to avoid the penalties and participate in the 2016-2017 IFA signing period.

mets academy in boca chica dominican republic

Some questions you may have…

16? Talk about robbing the cradle!

Yeah, could you believe it? Children, who won’t be able to drink alcohol legally in the United States until 2020 are being signed to contracts worth 4-7 figures. However, before 1984 when the the age rule was imposed, known as the “Jimy Kelly” Rule, there was no age regulaton.

Jimy Kelly was a Dominican Shortstop who was signed at the age of 13 by the Blue Jays in early 1984, which inspired the rule, with MLB saying they were eliminating Child Labor after he signed.

Kelly never made it very far with the Jays, and instead burned out by 19, He couldn’t take the pressure at a young age, and wasn’t able to mature, either. He faded out of the record books, many kids from Latin America do unfortunately…

While 16 is still young, and signing players at that age doesn’t seem to give kids the opportunity to graduate High School, people have to understand, that Venezuela and the Dominican Republic are two countries that aren’t America, and school is not legally imposed in either country, nor very effective in the more common low-income neighborhoods, if at all.

Both countries are in poverty, are completely corrupt, do not have mandatory educational systems, and Venezuela is especially dangerous on top of it. Furthermore, a majority of the kids aren’t concerned about their education, and instead are trying to put their mother and family in a home, and food on the table.

While thinking that this could be “exploitation”, think about the fact that trainers take in a lot of these kids and give them homes, food, and the ability to house and feed their family based on their physical gifts. Academies like Guerrero’s, also enroll their children into schooling for money management, english, geography, and other skills. Some professional organizations, like our Mets give further opportunities for education, when players are at the academy, as well as english classes, and at least while Omar Minaya was involved, their education was paid for by the team.

Why no Vlad (Jr.)? I’m Sad!

While the Mets aren’t signing Top International prospect Vlad Guerrero Jr, they were hot after him, and there was serious mutual interest. However, the Blue Jays used their entire pool and then some to blow the Mets’ offer out of the water, and it was something Vlad couldn’t refuse. However, Gregory and Andres are both more advanced bats when it comes to contact, and neither are mere consolation prizes as players.

Why is Andres Gimenez rated higher than Guerrero but receiving less?

Gimenez is from Venezuela, where it is harder to access him due to Venezuela’s complete and utter turmoil, and US’s sanctions against Venezuela makes it harder for scouts to travel to Venezuela. That lowers the cost, In addition, families usually take lower cost deals that are guaranteed and early to get money and leave Venezuela.

Highest Amateur IFA Bonuses in Mets’ History Prior to this Signing Period

1.     SS Amed Rosario – $1,750,000 (2012-13)

2.     OF Fernando Martinez – $1,400,000 (2005-06)

3.     LHP Juan Urbina – $1,200,000 (2009-10)

4.     SS Kenny Hernandez – $1,000,000 (2014-2015)

5.     C Jose Garcia – $800,000 (2011-12)

6.     C Francisco Pena – $750,000 (2006-07)

7.     OF Ricardo Cespedes – $725,000 (2013-14)

8.     SS Wilmer Flores – $700,000 (2007-08)

9.     RHP Deolis Guerra – $700,000 (2005-06)

10.  C Ali Sanchez – $690,000 (2013-14)

Have a question? Leave it in the Comment Section!


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Mets 2015 Draft Analysis: The Year of the Lefty Thu, 11 Jun 2015 12:56:29 +0000 MLB draft manfred

The New York Mets wrapped up the 2015 Amateur Draft, finishing with 39 picks from rounds 2 through 40.

After forgoing their first round pick to sign Michael Cuddyer, the Mets were left with an MLB low $3,587,800 to spend on their picks, making getting high-upside picks much more difficult to acquire without some creativity.

What they did was go for college seniors early to gain more money to spend on higher upside players in rounds of 11 to 40.

Also unique of this draft was their selection of 10 lefty pitchers, from as early as the 3rd round, which was something that Sandy’s regime had not done before. Since 2011, they have drafted just 16 left-handed pitchers and not many were starters.

Here is the breakdown of positions chosen:

C: 3
2B: 1
3B: 2
SS: 1
OF: 4
RHP: 17
LHP: 10

In my recap, I’ll go through every pick and give as much information as I can, as well as commitments if they are a high school student, slot values,  likely destination, and signability.

2, 53: Desmond Lindsay, OF, Out-Of-Door Academy (FL), R/R, 6’0, 200, 1/15/97 $1,142,700

Lindsay DesmondMets’ first pick of out a relatively small school in Florida, he was a 1B/3B in high school, which were uncharacteristic positions, considering he has above-average to plus speed. He has great bat speed, and the potential for above-average to plus power, but has some swing and miss to his game as well.  His athletic ability will allow him to be used in center field, which is a new position to him, but he’s just 18, so he has time to learn the position. However, his arm is below average, so it won’t be a cannon from center.

While he is unranked on MLB’s top 200, he is ranked 102 on Baseball America’s top 500, and 71on Keith Law’s top 100, as well as 75 on, so it’s not as much of a “reach” on the draft board. I’m not going to buy Depo’s “Hitting Machine” and “We got a first rounder in the second round”, however, until he swings a bat with authority in the Minors. Instead, I’ll label him High Risk, High Reward.

Why he slipped, considering his upside and value, however is because he had only played 7 games due to a hamstring injury, so while his upside is considerable, another perk of drafting someone like him gives the Mets the chance to pay him a below-slot bonus on a pre-draft deal and get creative with higher upside in the draft. As for Lindsay, I believe he’ll start at either Gulf Coast League or Kingsport, in the Appalachian League.

3, 88: Max Wotell, LHP, Marvin Ridge HS (NC), R/L, 6’3, 180, 9/13/96 $666,500

wotell6’3” projectable lefthander with a funky delivery, who can run his fastball up to 93. He throws with a lowish arm slot, and has a curve he needs to improve, and feel for a changeup.

Said via Twitter that he’s ready to go, but we won’t know until someone reports the ink is dry. Gulf Coast League or Kingsport are his likely assignments, should he sign.

4, 119: David Thompson, 3B, Miami, R/R, 6’1, 220, 8/28/93 $474,800

david thompsonThompson has a lot of power, hitting 19 homers this past year with the University of Miami. However, he has not had a lot luck staying on the field, with two surgeries to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, depleting his throwing strength, as well as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which required him to  remove a rib.

This year, he was finally healthy, playing third base for the Hurricanes, but he does not figure to stay there due to his throwing arm, and instead move to the other corner of the diamond, or left field, where his plus power will play just fine. While he has plus power, there are some worries about his bat speed and whether or not he will catch up to premium velocity. He does have a good eye at the plate, however, and had more walks than strikeouts this year. Should he sign, he will likely bat cleanup in Brooklyn.

5, 149: Thomas Szapucki, LHP, William T. Dwyer HS (FL), R/L, 6’2, 190, 6/12/96, $355,500

Thomas SzapuckiHigh School lefty has a fastball that has reached 95, and stays steadily 92-93, with a slider that has a chance to be plus. His changeup also could be average. He struggles with control, but among young lefties, that is common. He does throw with a little effort, and from a low arm slot, making questions about his ability to stay a starter. Still a high-risk, high reward lefty. He lives near St. Lucie and has indicated that he is going to sign via Twitter. I’d bet on him being in the Gulf Coast League rotation.

6, 179: Chase Ingram, RHP, Hillsborough CC (FL), R/R, 6’3, 190, 4/17/95 $266,200

Righthanded pitcher out of Junior college, he has a fastball that reaches 92, but also a plus curve and an average changeup. He has usually pitched from the stretch, but has been a starter his entire career. He could be either a back of the rotation starter or a fast-moving reliever going forward. He has indicated he is signing via twitter

7, 209: Corey Taylor, RHP, Texas Tech, R/R, 6’1, 250, 1/8/93, $199,500

College senior who throws 91-95. He went 4-0, 0.31 era, but projects as a reliever. Likely signing, as a below-slot senior sign. He’ll fit in nicely in Savannah or Brooklyn’s bullpen.

8, 239: Patrick Mazeika, C, Stetson, L/R, 6’3, 210, 10/14/93 171,900

Career .348 hitter as a lefthander with some good patience at the plate. He might not be long for Catcher with an average arm and large frame for a Catcher. Likely signing, and you’ll see him at both 1B/C at Kingsport.

9, 269: Kevin Kaczmarski, OF, Evansville, L/R, 6’0, 190, 12/31/91 $160,700

Has minor league bloodlines with a father who played in the Padres’ farm system a few years in the 80’s. Kevin is a 5-year, redshirt senior who missed the season in 2011, and has never been drafted. While those aren’t in his favor, he is a good hitter, having a .465/.543/.746 line, and a solid gap-to-gap approach. He also gives the Mets flexibility to spend more in later rounds. He is probably signing, since he has no leverage, and could be an outfielder in Brooklyn.

10, 299: Witt Haggard, RHP, Delta State, R/R, 6’2, 205. 12/09/91 $150,000

Former walk-on quarterback at Missisippi who didn’t play in 2 seasons, and then transferred to Meridian Community College to play baseball, before moving to Delta State. He runs his fastball into the low 90’s but doesn’t have much control as a reliever, nor much experience due to playing football. He is likely another guy saving them money signing below slot so they can go after more upside later in the draft. He is probably slated for Kingsport.

11, 329: Jake Simon, LHP, Galveston Ball HS (TX), L/L, 6’2, 175, 1/21/97

A lefty with a chance to fill out and gain velocity, he sits 87-89 right now. He also has feel for a changeup and a breaking ball. He however, might be hard to sign, as he has a commitment to Rice. Should the Mets give him a nice bonus, he could be going to Kingsport or Gulf Coast League

12, 359: Joe Shaw, RHP, Dallas Baptist, R/R, 6’4, 240, 12/20/93

As a college reliever, before, Shaw showed a plus fastball around 96-97, but that dropped significantly when he was converted to a starter for his junior year, and was instead throwing 88-92, with the occasional 93-94. His breaking ball and changeup are iffy at best, so he might be a reliever going forward. Definitely seems signable, and would probably be heading to the Brooklyn Cyclones.

13, 389: PJ Conlon, LHP, San Diego, L/L, 6’0, 175, 11/11/93

A soft-tossing lefty with a good slow curve who will likely sign and dominate the New York-Penn League

14, 419: Vincent Siena, 2B, Connecticut, R/R, 5’10, 190, 12/24/93

Had an inconsistent career at Uconn, starting out with a season over .300, and then struggled in the cape league, and then as a sophomore, before hitting .362/.424/.519 as a Junior, with 7 homers. He has above-average bat speed and is a good gap hitter, and if he had performed in his sophomore year, probably would have been drafted much earlier. He also has a plus arm, and could play 2nd, 3rd, or the outfield. Should he sign, he should be slated for Brooklyn.

15, 449: Thomas Hackimer, RHP, St. John’s, R/R, 5’11, 190, 6/28/94

Converted shortstop who pitches from a side-arm slot, that gets up to 91 miles per hour. He has a good slider that’s an asset. He could be a fast-rising reliever. He could be signable, and would probably have an advanced assignment in the minors.

16, 479: Dillon Becker, RHP, Angelo State, R/R, 6’3, 225, 4/21/94

Don’t have much info on his stuff, but he is a college reliever with good college stats. He seems signable, and would likely be heading to Brooklyn or Kingsport.

17, 509: Sixto Torres, LHP, Faith Baptist Christian HS (FL), L/L, 6’4, 220, 3/31/96

Lefty that sits in the low 90’s and hits 94, with even more in the tank. His slider could become plus and change could likely be average or better in offerings. His command could be inconsistent, but that is expected. Although he is committed to Alabama State, people have considered him signable, and the Mets will likely give some of that extra bonus to this high-upside lefty.

18, 539: Jordan Humphreys, RHP, Crystal River HS (FL), R/R, 6’1, 190, 6/11/96

Don’t have much info on him except that he throws in the low 90’s. Not sure how signable he is.

19, 569: Nic Enright, RHP, The Steward School (VA), R/R, 6’3, 205, 1/8/97

A guy who was ranked at at #132 and Baseball America at #231, who lost draft standing because his usual 94 mile per hour fastball, and above average curve didn’t show up last spring. He is committed to Virginia Tech and seems unlikely to sign.

20, 599: Thomas McIlraith, RHP, Oklahoma JR, R/R, 6’4, 185, 2/17/94

Not much info on him, but struggled out of the pen at Oklahoma. Seems signable, likely Kingsport-bound.

21, 629: Taylor Henry, LHP, Centenary, L/L, 6’2, 185, 7/6/93

Senior Lefty Reliever with good stats, definitely signable.

22, 659: Nick Blackburn, RHP, Illinois JR, R/R, 6’2, 205, 7/10/94

A righty college reliever with solid stats and only 20 innings under his belt. Seems unsure whether or not he will sign.

23, 689: Kenneth Bautista, OF, Puerto Rico BB Academy, R/R, 6’3, 210, 8/7/97

Large kid from Carolina, Puerto Rico with some great power potential. Really glad to see the team is drafting more Puerto Ricans players. He could be signable, and if so, will likely go to the Gulf Coast League.

24, 719: Jordan Verdon, 3B, Granite Hills HS (CA), L/R, 6’3, 190, 1/7/97

A good hitter with a nice left-handed stroke and some good power potential. Unlikely the team will buy him out of a San Diego State commitment.

25, 749: Dylan King, RHP, Riverdale HS (TN), R/R, 6’3, 190, 12/5/96

Not much information, but has touched 91 in the past, and is a Belmont University Commit, so he could sign and head to Kingsport or Gulf Coast League.

26, 779: Shane McClanahan, LHP, Cape Coral HS (FL), L/L, 6’1, 165, 4/28/97

Thanks to a growth spurt that shot him up 8 inches in the last year and a half, he gained velocity that took him from pitching in the mid-80’s, to 90-94, with more in the tank. He also has a potentially plus curve, and good changeup. He is committed to University to South Florida, but will go pro, based on the dollar amount.

27, 809: Jake Higginbotham, LHP, Buford HS (GA), L/L, 6’0, 175, 1/11/96

A lefthander that throws in the high-80’s, to low 90’s, and could add more strength, and has a curve and change that could be at least average offerings. His control is above average, but he is committed to Clemson, with some possible leverage of being eligible for the draft again in his sophomore year. Signing remains unlikely. Nice Name

28, 839: Anthony Dimino, C, Belmont Abbey SR, L/R, 5’11, 180, 8/5/93

Not much information except that he hit .452 this past year, but has indicated that he is signing. Likely headed for Brooklyn.

29, 869: Seth Davis, LHP, Augustana, SR L/L, 5’10, 185, 5/8/93

Left-handed Starter, senior, likely going to sign.

30, 899: Jackson Wark, RHP, Bellerose Composite HS (AB), L/R, 6’6, 215, 5/23/97

Tall, projectable Canadian high school pitcher who already reaches the high-80’s. Gulf Coast League possibility. He is committed to Saint Louis University.

31, 929: Tanner Dodson, RHP, Jesuit HS (CA), R/R, 6’1, 160, 5/9/97

Not signing, as tweeted last night.

32, 959: Dustin Beggs, RHP, Kentucky, R/R, 6’3, 180, 6/14/93

College Senior who throws in the high-80’s to low 90’s, with an above average curve, as well as a slider and change, and great location and deception. He’s a senior so he’s definitely signable, and could possibly go to Savannah.

33, 989: Brendan Illies, C, Puyallup HS (WA), R/R, 6’0, 195, 9/28/96

Very smart catcher with plus defensive skils, and a feel to hitting with some power. However, at the 33rd round, with a University of North Carolina commitment, he is probably not going to sign.

34, 1019, LT Tolbert, SS, IMG Academy (FL), L/R, 6’3, 175, 6/7/96

A line drive hitter with a decent left-handed stroke, who has some good power projection. However, committed to University of South Carolina, and it will be very hard to buy him out of that.

35, 1049: George Thanopoulos, RHP, Columbia, R/R, 6’1, 205, 1/18/93

14 G, 13 GS, 75.2 IP, 69 H, 31 ER, 28 BB, 68 K, 3.69 ERA in Ivy League Baseball this year as a senior.

36, 1079: Anthony Gordon, OF, Terra Nova HS (CA), L/R, 6’3, 185, 8/28/97

No information available on this guy, if he signs, he goes to the Gulf Coast League.

37, 1109: Geoff Hartlieb, RHP, Lindenwood, R/R, 6’6, 210, 12/9/93

Tall Redshirt Sophomore with a College Senior’s age. Signable.

38, 1139: Jacob Wyrick, LHP, Cleveland State CC, L/L, 6’0, 165, 11/14/95

Youngish lefty community college starter. Unsure about him being signable or not.

39, 1169: Chad Luensmann, RHP, Bellwood Antis HS (PA), L/R, 6’3, 208, 2/4/97

Has a heavy 88-90 Fastball and a funky delivery, and a sharp slider, and a slow curve and changeup. He is committed to the University of Nebraska.

40, 1199: Nick Conti, 2B, Dr. Phillips HS (FL), R/R, 5’9, 160, 2/14/97

Grandson of Guy Conti, with good defense. Unsure about commitment or signabilty.


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Draft Wrap: Mets Stock Up On Pitching, Grab Highly Regarded Max Wotell Wed, 10 Jun 2015 00:23:55 +0000 0528Prepbaseball_1

Here’s a summary of the Mets draft through ten rounds. On Tuesday, the Mets stocked up on pitching, taking three right-handers and two southpaws including highly regarded Max Wotell.

Round 2 (53) - OF Desmond Lindsay, Out of Door Academy, Florida

Round 3 (88) - LHP Max Wotell, Marvin Ridge High School, North Carolina

Round 4 (119) - 3B David Thompson, University of Miami

Round 5 (149) - LHP Thomas Szapucki, William T. Dwyer High School, Florida

Round 6 (179) - RHP Chase Ingram, Hillsborough Community College

Round 7 (209) - RHP Corey Taylor, Texas Tech

Round 8 (239) - C Patrick Mazeika, Stetson University

Round 9 (269) - OF Kevin Kaczmarski, University of Evansville

Round 10 (299) - RHP Witt Haggard, Delta State

The final 30 rounds of the draft will take place on Wednesday. When it’s all over we’ll post a complete review and roll out an updated Mets Top Prospect ranking.

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MMO Feature: A Comprehensive Review of the Triple-A Las Vegas Roster Wed, 08 Apr 2015 13:16:32 +0000 Las Vegas 51s

The official roster for the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s was announced this week.

The Mets are entering their third year with the 51s and are quickly approaching the end of a contract that takes them through the 2016 season, where I hope this connection ends.

The ballpark itself can hurt pitcher development as less moisture in the air reduces overall break which leads to hangers and fat pitches over the plate. In addition, it is an extreme hitter’s environment, more so than the rest of the PCL, as the thin air also causes the ball to carry more and move faster off the bat.

mmo exclusiveAs if that was not enough — for someone like myself who enjoys watching prospects, the feed is one anchored camera on an angle pointing down on the field. If you’re a subscriber to MILB.TV, my personal recommendation is that you avoid the home games and watch the away feeds if you really want to catch the game. Russ Langer is very enjoyable to listen to on the radio, however, if that suits your fancy.

As for the players, the team promises to be interesting right off the bat with four top prospects in Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Kevin Plawecki, and Dilson Herrera all on the roster and a phone call away.

Outside of the big names, pitchers like Matthew Bowman, Jack Leathersich and Hansel Robles and position players like Wilfredo Tovar, Darrell Ceciliani, Kyle Johnson, and Travis Taijeron are all going to garner some interest throughout the season as well. With that all being said, here is your player-by-player breakdown of the 2015 Las Vegas 51s Opening Day roster.

noah syndergaard


Noah Syndergaard – Known as Thor, the man who the baseball gods came down and blessed as a small child, Syndergaard stands atop most prospect lists for the New York Mets. He throws 94-99 MPH with a knee-buckling curveball and an improving change-up. He commands all three pitches quite effectively.

Spring Training with the MLB team exposed a main problem with Noah — he becomes predictable and too reliant on his fastball in jams, and this has become a knock on him. He is also slow to the plate, which hurts considering we know our starting catcher right now struggles with throwing runners out. He was hammered in the first half of the AAA season last year to a 5.31 ERA in 16 games, but his last 10 games produced n excellent 3.54 ERA.  His batting average against dropped .026 points from .303 to .277, and his IP/9 rose slightly too. Syndergaard needs to mix his pitches and control a better running game. He improved significantly in the second half last season, but needs to pitch more innings per start which is normal for one so young. I expect him to continue to improve and develop and eventually work his way up to the Mets this year.

Steven Matz – I’d name him the 2nd best Prospect in the Mets Org, but only by a sliver. His injury history is the only thing holding me back. The 2009 Mets top draft pick disappeared for two years with Tommy John Surgery and then a setback. Matz has done nothing but dominate in the Minor league since he returned in 2012. Last year between A+ and AA, he pitched to a 2.24 ERA in 24 games and 140 innings. He averaged 5.8 innings pitched per start, but that’s likely due to an innings limit. At A+ he did not let up a single home run. Matz goes from 92-95 and touches 97. He has a great changeup, and a curve that has had people in spring training buzzing. His control is very good, sporting a 2.2 BB/9 last year.

Matthew Bowman – One of my favorite and underrated pitchers in the Mets org, Bowman has done nothing but perform. Drafted out of Princeton, the former shortstop throws 88-92 and touches 95 at times, using a Lincecum-like delivery. He also has 3 above average breaking balls including a Curve, Slider, and Changeup, and all for strikes. He induces a lot of ground balls, but gives up quite a few hits. He stymied Washington’s starting lineup in spring training with ease. He could definitely be a bullpen ace type of guy if he does not crack an MLB rotation.

Tyler Pill – Lost in the shuffle of all the pitching depth the Mets have in their system is Tyler Pill. Pill does not throw hard, and generally sits in the low 90s, but has great control and mixes up a four-pitch arsenal well, consisting of a curve, slider, and change-up alongside his fastball. For what it is worth, he is a great hitting pitcher, batting .400/.400/.650 last year with two doubles and a home run.

Darin Gorski – Left-handed tosser who has found moderate success in the minors with an okay slider and good control/command. He used to be able to get it up to 94 MPH, but sits more in the high 80s now. He stands as AAA depth because of that.

Jack Leathersich – Leathersich has some of the best natural stuff in our entire system and delivers a ridiculous strikeout rate, posting a 15.4 K/9 last year. Unfortunately, he also struggles with control, as evidenced by his 4.6 BB/9 last year. If he can manage some more control, he will be an excellent reliever some day.

Zack Thornton - Thornton was part of the Ike Davis deal and struggled in the PCL last year. We will see if he can shed the idea of just being depth with a successful 2015.

Erik Goeddel - Inconsistent in general, but has always possessed good stuff. We will get a closer look at him in the MLB for a couple weeks as he will be called up to fill the roster spot vacated during Meija’s DL stint.

Chase Bradford - Bradford is a guy who saw some time in AAA last year and has steadily risen through the MiLB ranks while pitching effectively at each stop.  His heat sits in the low 90s.

Scott Rice - Good ol’ Scott Rice is not much more than LHP depth here in AAA.

Hansel Robles - A starter turned reliever, Robles has been turning heads in his new role. Robles has always had great stuff, so he is one to keep an eye on for sure.

Cody Satterwhite - Hard-throwing Satterwhite helps round out our bullpen. He’s coming off a solid 2013 where he pitched to a 2.33 in 58.0 innings with a 9.8 K/9 rate.

kevin plawecki


Kevin Plawecki - Since d’Arnaud’s callup, Plawecki has moved into the top catching prospect spot and has a stranglehold on it. Plawecki is hot on d’Arnaud’s heels, as Travis has struggled to live up to expectations at times with a slow start last year and bad defense. Plawecki’s contact-oriented swing involves little movement from his bottom half, and his great hand-eye coordination creates a hitter who does not strike out much. He likely will not hit for much power, but he might be a plus-hitter as a catcher in general. He is average on defense, both in blocking balls and throwing out runners, but both of those skills will be tested more in the MLB. He might be up if d’Arnaud underperforms or does not stay healthy this year.

Johnny Monell - Monell impressed a lot of people in Spring Training, but he’ll end up being the second string catcher for the 51s behind Kevin Plawecki. He demonstrates surprising power at the plate.

Nelfi Zapata - A 19th rounder in 2009, Zapata’s consistently been playing 3rd string catcher for the Mets MiLB teams.

dilson herrera on deck


Brandon Allen - Allen simply works out to be a depth play for AAA, and he can play some corner outfield as well. In under 400 plate appearances last year, he belted out 13 home runs to show off a decent power stroke. The power has translated to his brief time in the MLB (12 home runs in 389 PAs) but his batting average has been fairly low at the show, hovering around .200.

Matt Reynolds - Reynolds plays shortstop with average range and jumped onto the scene last year after hitting .343 in the PCL. Early reports are that if Flores falters, we might be seeing a lot more of Matt Reynolds, so he is certainly a name to keep an eye on. He impressed during spring training with a smooth and balanced stroke that can produce great line drives.

Dilson Herrera - Acquired alongside Vic Black in the Marlon Byrd deal, Herrera has been nothing short of a steal to date. An excellent hitter, especially for a middle infielder, Herrera broke out in a big way at age 20, hitting .323 with 13 home runs last year. His impressive run and a Murphy injury landed him on the 40-man roster and earned him his first cup of coffee with the Mets where he batted .220 with three home runs in 18 games. I firmly believe Dilson can hit .280+ with 10-15 home runs in the MLB, and he is still widely considering one of our top position player prospects. His hands are a bit stiff defensively, so look for him to get better defensively before his inevitable callup. He does have great range and an arm that works well at second base, so be on the lookout for Dilson Herrera.

Eric Campbell - Campbell is a solid utility guy who can essentially play 1B/2B/3B/LF for you at any given time — and he’s even learning to play catcher. We saw a lot of him last year, and he was likely to make the team again had the team not decided to carry eight relievers. It is likely we will see him up with the Mets again at some point this year.

Daniel Muno - Muno impressed in Spring Training with the Mets and almost went north with the MLB team to handle second base if Daniel Murphy had been unable to make it. Unfortunately for Muno, Murphy was healthy enough to make an Opening Day start for the Mets, so he will find himself backing up the middle infield in AAA to start the year. He is a switch hitter with some pop. He was a senior sign in 2011 and worked his way up the ladder steadily.

Wilfredo Tovar - The best defensive shortstop in the Mets system (sorry Matt) is finally going to get a taste of AAA — but he will probably just end up playing backup to Matt Reynolds anyway. The narrative has often been the same for Tovar as the discussion always hinges on whether his incredible glove makes up for his light hitting.

cesar puello


Cory Vaughn-  Vaughn has essentially become AAA filler, but he has as much power as anyone in our system. Inconsistency has been the story of his career as he will try to put together a solid and complete season this year in Las Vegas.

Alex Castellanos - Castellanos is AAA filler as well — and he plays both infield and outfield. He has shown some potential in recent years, including 19 home runs and 19 steals in 439 PAs in 2013, but the numbers could be a little inflated by the PCL.

Darrell Ceciliani - After hitting .351 in Brooklyn as a 20 year old in 2010, Ceciliani has been steadily moving up the ladder. He has arguably hit well at every step of the way to date and has unfortunately been overshadowed due to some of the bigger names in our system. At worst, he could provide some speed off the bench for an MLB team, and he can play all three outfield positions as well.

Kyle Johnson – Johnson was acquired in the Collin Cowgill deal a little while back. He’s got solid speed, which helps him both defensively and on the basepaths, and some gap power.

Cesar Puello - Puello is one of the most polarizing players in the entire Mets system. He is an incredible athlete — a scout one told me that he was “built like an NFL linebacker.” He has above average speed, a plus arm, and above average power. The tools have always been there with Puello — but it always been a matter of putting it together for a consistent period of time. In 2013, he torched AA with the B-Mets but has been on a downhill slide ever since. Issues off the field, injuries, and Wally Backman sitting him because “he can’t hit righties” are all on the list of the things Puello has been plagued by. He will start the season on the DL after a confusing few days where he passed through MLB Waivers, but will eventually find his way down to AAA. For many, this year is Puello’s last chance to prove himself.

Travis Taijeron - Taijeron is an exciting player because he is athletic, has good pop, and can play all three outfield positions. The question is his ability to make contact. Taij turned 26 this past January, but he is still trying to put the entire package together.

Like Savannah, St. Lucie, and Binghamton, Opening Day for the Las Vegas 51’s starts this Thursday, April 9th. It will definitely be an interesting year for them as the vie for the PCL title with a very talent laden roster.

(Photo by Las Vegas 51s)


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Reviewing the St. Lucie Mets Roster Sat, 04 Apr 2015 13:46:38 +0000 slider st. lucie

St. Lucie has an interesting team this year. Honestly I was blown away by Amed Rosario, Jhoan Urena, and Marcos Molina three guys I had pegged for Savannah being named to the St. Lucie Roster, they’re now getting aggressive, not sure how I feel about it.

This team looks to be a stacked team going forward with two first round picks in Michael Conforto and Dominic Smith, The Mets highest amateur International Free Agent bonus baby in Amed Rosario, an up-and coming pitching star in Marcos Molina, and a bullpen ace in Akeel Morris all being on the same team.

In addition, the starting Rotation looks pretty awesome, and there are many diamonds in the rough to look at as well from this group. This is likely the most stacked and interesting team of all the affiliates and I bet they’d give Vegas a run for their money. Some reports will be longer than others, because I don’t have enough information on all of them. Anyway, I’m going to go through the roster and review the guys playing for the 2015 St. Lucie Mets starting April 9th.

robert whalen

Starting Pitchers

Kevin McGowan – Tall college righthander, 88-92, touches 95. Doesn’t K much, and needs a bit of work on control, but he’s definitely someone to watch.

Robert Whalen – Rob is the kind of kid you definitely want to root for. He works very hard, pitches very well, and was a born and raised die-hard Mets Fan. Rob is armed with a fastball that runs up to 94, and a sinker that goes up to 91. He also has a plus curve, and good change to go along with that, as well as some good command. He induces a lot of ground ball outs. Last year, his season was cut to 11 games with a bad hand injury, but he kept on dominating, and came out with a 2.01 ERA. He got some reps in the Arizona Fall League, and didn’t do too well, but he needed the reps against better competition. He also needs to miss a few more bats.

Miller Diaz – When I watched Diaz in Brooklyn, he impressed me. A big kid with a strong build, he is armed with a fastball that sits from 92-94, and an above-average slider to work in. He missed a lot of time in the middle of the year and was only limited to 13 games, but pitched pretty dominantly in Savannah. Keep an eye on his progress in general.

Robert Gsellman – A high school pitcher with a fastball that lives in the 88-92 range, bumps at times 95. He has thrived so far, but needs to develop curve. Has a good changeup.

Marcos Molina - Predicted by now-Cubs Scout Jason Parks, Molina was relatively unknown. Molina throws in the mid-90′s, with great accuracy. Paired with that is a slider that could one day flash plus, and a changeup with a possible similar trajectory. Molina carved through the New York-Penn League last year with ease, with a 1.77 era. One of the biggest concerns, however, to some, is his delivery. He does not use his bottom half much, causing strain on the elbow. This can cause fear of possible injury sooner rather than later. Keep an eye on him to continue his success against guys who were a level above the one he was dominating. Also anything about his mechanics changing, velocity might climb a tick with age as well, and breakers will get sharper.

akeel morris


Akeel Morris – Pitches from 92-94 and shut the South Atlantic League down as a closer. Has a below-average slider, but a plus changeup, and below-average control Moving out of pitcher’s heaven will definitely pose a challenge

Beck Wheeler – Throws in the low 90′s, steadily moving up the ladder

Ricky Knapp – Faltered as a starter in the Sally, but is a college righty who throws many different types of pitches.

Robert Coles – 2013 draft pick, throws in the low 90′s with a good slider

Kelly Secrest – Senior Sign lefthander who throws 90-94 with iffy breakers. Could move quickly.

Kyle Regnault – You can read about him here:

Julian Hilario – Was a starter in the past but moved to relief and faltered at this same level last year. 90-92 touching 94, with an ok slider but stiff change.

Logan Taylor – 2012 11th rounder who has done well starting but is possibly piggybacking this year. Throws 90-94, touches 95. Throws 3 additional breakers including cutter, curve and change.

Mike Hepple – 2014 post-draft free agent, has been a career reliever, who tops out in the low-90′s.

Jake Kuebler – A converted 1B who missed last year with Tommy John, the RHP went to the Arizona Fall League and pitched 5.1 scoreless. Throws in the low 90′s with an ok slider.


Jeff Glenn - Drafted with promising potential, has turned into minor league depth

Colton Plaia - 2013 Senior Sign, hit .261/.332/.360 as backup in Savannah last year.

Adrian Abreu – Hasn’t done much since hitting .295 in the DSL in 2012.

dominic smith


Phillip Evans – Signed for above slot bonus in 2011,Evans hasn’t lived up to the money, and is likely moving to 2nd base after playing shortstop for his first 3 years in the Mets Org. He doesn’t have any standout tools, but he plays hard and works hard. Is Injured to start the year.

Dominic Smith - 11th overall in the 2013 draft, Smith had a pretty bad year last year when it came to expected production. As a first baseman, you’re supposed to hit for power. He didn’t, and instead had a lower Slugging percentage than his on-base percentage at a .338 slugging vs .344 on base. Probably one two of the biggest reasons of why he didn’t hit for power were because he was out of shape, from what had been reported, and because Savannah’s Historic Grayson Field is one of the oldest and the worst park for hitters in the Minor leagues. He worked out in Barwis’ program over the winter and has reported in a lot more fit than last year. He’s 19 years old this time around, has a good swing that he modeled after Robinson Cano, and still has time to figure it out, but I don’t believe he will ever be a .500+ slugger. He will, however hit for a good average, have moderate power, and give great defense. His top priority is him hitting for more power. I wouldn’t expect home runs, but doubles will be a good sign…

Matt Oberste - A 7th rounder from 2013, is a 3b/1b with right-handed power, could probably spell Smith and Urena.

Jeff McNeil -  An underrated infielder drafted in 2013 out of college. Very interesting, probably going to be playing at 2nd base and then backing up Amed when Phil Evans comes back.

Yeixon Ruiz - Definitely the Utility guy at St. Lucie, can play the middle infield.

Amed Rosario – The highest Mets international bonus ever for an amateur IFA, Rosario is definitely the top shortstop prospect in the Mets System. Amed is right now all projection, with incredibly quick bat speed, he has a lot of raw power that hasn’t shown up in-game yet, enough to possibly generate high-teens to early 20′s in home runs, to pair with an average around .280. His defense is above average and he has a strong arm and above average speed. Definitely a kid to keep an eye on, and I’ll probably shove his progress down your throat anyway. This placement yesterday caught me by surprise, because I had him ticketed for Savannah. To put it plainly, you’re looking for him to succeed, and hit for more power than he did last year. Hey Gavin, he’s gaining on you…

Jhoan Urena - 20 years old, an underrated 3rd Baseman. He has the athleticism to stick at 3rd base, a plus arm, and has great durability, playing every game of the New York-Penn League. This kid switch hits, and has a smooth stroke from both sides of the dish. Also has some serious pop and could possibly hit 18+ home runs in the future. I had him ticketed for Savannah, but he could fit in at St. Lucie after hitting for average and power at Brooklyn, but this will be a hefty challenge for him. I see him as a possible adequate heir to David Wright in a few years.



Victor Cruzado – An under-the-radar switch hitter who has performed well. He has a line-drive swing, and plays plus defense.

Michael Conforto – Mets first pick in 2014, Conforto was the most advanced bat in the draft. After sitting and relaxing initially, the left-handed hitting Conforto cut through the New York-Pen League like a hot knife through butter. The hitter has a Sandy-friendly approach, and the ability to hit possibly 20 home runs or more. As well, he has been a pleasant surprise in the outfield, with good jumps, and has flashed an above-average arm. Mets are considering him to play right field while he’s in the Minors. He could possibly chew this league and spit it out as well. We’ll see, I have him pegged for Binghamton by the end of May.

Champ Stuart – Top of the scale (a straight 80 on the 20-80 scale) speed , whose bat is questionable. If he does connect, there is a bit of pop there, and he will be a serious base-stealing threat.

Maikis de La Cruz – An above average defender who has a bit of speed and can play all 3 positions. Will likely backup or spell any for days off days.


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Sand Gnats To Leave Savannah Wed, 25 Mar 2015 05:20:03 +0000 Historic Grayson Stadium : Home of the Savannah Sand Gnats

Historic Grayson Stadium, Savannah, GA

According to a report by Adam Rubin, Mets are semi-officially stating that their Single-A affiliate, the Savannah Sand Gnats, are ceasing their occupancy in Savannah, Georgia on October 1st, 2015. and will be relocating to a brand new, state of the art stadium located in Columbia, South Carolina.

The Mets are not cutting their affiliation with the Sand Gnats, but instead following the team to a new location. The Mets have a player development contract that expires at the end of the 2016 season. The move was precipitated because the City of Savannah refused to build a new stadium.

Back in December, Baseball America started rumblings about a supposed move in a Top 10 prospect chat:

Jack (Queens): How bad is the environments in Savannah and Las Vegas for evaluating prospects, but more importantly a hindrance in development?

Matt Eddy: The Mets have not indicated that they view the conditions at either affiliate as a hindrance. In fact, they renewed their agreement at Triple-A Las Vegas this offseason without even seeking other suitors. Meanwhile, the pitcher-friendly conditions at Low-A Savannah help create a nurturing environment for young pitchers, but the Mets are eying Columbia, S.C., as an SAL affiliate mostly for the updated facilities.

I also heard rumblings from a player’s family member about Savannah potentially moving.

The previous team prior to the new stadium was the Lexington Country Blowfish, but they’re going to change that by local vote

My Take:

In 2013, Baseball America rated averages offensively among parks from 2010 to 2012 and had Savannah listed as the worst in the minor leagues when it came to offense, with a minor league worst 7.0 runs per game, 15.11 hits per game, as well as .63 home runs per game. Factored into that were 16-foot high walls in center field and right field as well as a lot of wind and humidity that reinforce the air to make the ball die quicker.

Safe to say, it will drastically help the offensive side of the Low-A Affiliate. Good for our young hitting prospects, and please Mets, find us a way out of Vegas in 2017.

If you want to track the the new Stadium, click Here to see the development.

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Winter League Update: Robles and Lara Off To Solid Starts Mon, 03 Nov 2014 05:48:30 +0000 Rainy Lara 2

Winter League Baseball started some time ago and I thought we’d check in on the several Mets scattered across each league:

Venezuelan League

Vicente Lupo - Has Not Played

Leon Canelon - 6 G, 2 AB, 2 R, .000/.000/.000

Jairo Perez - 20 G, .208/.269/.417, 3 2B, 4 HR

Wilfredo Tovar - 19 G, .295/.295/.372, 6 2B

Ryan Reid - 9 G, 4.82 ERA, 9.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 9 K

Albert Cordero - Has Not Played

Miguel Socolovich - 6 G, 1.50 ERA, 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K

Oswald Caraballo - .000/.000/.000, 5 G, 3 AB, 1R

Brandon Allen - .304/.448/.565, 19 G, 4 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR

Mexican League

Brian Burgamy - .236/.313/.361, 20 G, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR

Cory Vaughn - .246/.359/.462, 20 G, 1 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR. 4 SB

Xorge Carrillo - .255/.338/.527, 17 G, 6 2B, 3 HR

Dominican Winter League

Hansel Robles - 7 G, 6.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K

Gonzalez Germen - 3 G, 16.20 ERA, 1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB

Cesar Puello - .154/.231/.241, 7 G, 13 AB, 2 H, 1 2B

Rafael Montero - 1 G, 6.75 ERA,  2.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 K

Rainy Lara - 4 G, 2.35 ERA, 7.2 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Darwin Frias - 3 G, 10.12 ERA, 2.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Puerto Rican Winter League

Jon Velasquez - 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 SV, 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K

Arnaldo Berrios - Reserve

Carlos Alvarado - 1 G, 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 K

Randy Fontanez - Reserve

Seth Lugo - Reserve

T.J. Rivera - 4 G, .167, 2 H, 12 AB

Joel Huertas - 54.00 ERA, 0.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER

Each year, several players from the minors and majors play in the winter leagues for a few months in their home countries, and for their hometowns. The actual competition varies, because of varying levels of professional experience ranging from Rookie Ball to the Major Leagues.

To learn the history behind the Dominican, Mexican, and Venezuelan leagues, last year I wrote comprehensive articles in a series called “Lessons in Latin America“.

Mexican Baseball History

Venezuelan Baseball History

Dominican Republic Baseball History


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Baseball America: Syndergaard, Montero, Plawecki Make PCL Top 20 Thu, 16 Oct 2014 12:53:31 +0000 noah syndergaard

Today Baseball America completed their league-by-league Top 20 Prospect lists by posting both the International and Pacific Coast League.

In the Pacific Coast League, three Mets prospects made the grade with Noah Syndergaard ranking 5th, Rafael Montero ranking 14th, and catcher Kevin Plawecki coming in at 16th.

This is what they had to say:

5. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Las Vegas (Mets)

Managers and scouts held mixed opinions on the physical Syndergaard, based on his performance at Las Vegas’ notoriously hitter-friendly Cashman Field. He led the PCL in strikeouts but took his lumps as well. One rival manager called Syndergaard a “good prospect, but not an accomplished pitcher right now,” while a scout from a rival organization called him “probably the best pitcher in the PCL, prospect-wise.”

Acquired by the Mets in the deal that sent R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays, Syndergaard touched 100 mph this season and pitched at 95-97 with heavy run and sinking action on his fastball. He adds to that a deceptive changeup for which he has feel and a curveball that flashes average. He was slowed in 2014 by injuries to his right forearm and left shoulder.

“His deception’s not great, especially on his breaking ball,” said a second scout, “but the action on it is good. He’s a horse.”

14. Rafael Montero, RHP, Las Vegas (Mets)

Montero has dominated minor league competition thanks to a fearless approach and above-average control. He lacks a plus pitch and can nibble and fall behind batters, which was his undoing during a lackluster big league debut.

Despite a fastball with some sink at 92-93 mph, Montero often prefers to pitch backwards, using his low-80s slider to keep hitters in check before going with a solid-average to plus changeup to collect strikeouts.

A scout from a rival organization and an opposing PCL manager both see a major league future for Montero, possibly as high as No. 3 in a rotation.

“The command could be special,” the scout said. “I’m not surprised that he struggled (in the majors) because he needs to tighten up the breaking ball. But when I saw him he just dotted the black at 92-94 (mph) . . . He’s very athletic and the potential for command might make him even better (than projected).”

16. Kevin Plawecki, C, Las Vegas (Mets)

Plawecki’s offensive emergence the past two seasons—he has hit .307 with solid power—has prompted the Mets to at least consider the idea of moving young big league catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who suffered a concussion in May, to left field.

Plawecki has a short stroke and makes contact with incredible frequency, frustrating opponents with his ability to foul off pitches. A consequence of so much contact is that he doesn’t walk much and must rely on the hits falling in to keep his on-base percentage afloat. Plawecki hits for mostly gap power but can turn on the inside pitch for home runs to his pull side.

“His approach is pretty good, and he has the ability to make contact,” one scout said. “I think he gets to double-digit (home runs) for sure. He has enough raw power to hit 10-15 homers.”

Plawecki’s defense is not as advanced—he threw out just three of 29 basestealers, a 10 percent success rate—though he has good hands, average arm strength and average accuracy. Some scouts think he and d’Arnaud compare favorably behind the plate.

* * * * * * * * * *

As I have said before, the people who do these lists aren’t scouts, but they do consider various recommendations from them to comprise these Top 20 lists. They do a very nice job.

As always, BA Chat comments will be posted in the comment section.


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Matz Places 4th On The Eastern League Top 20 Tue, 14 Oct 2014 16:25:52 +0000 steve matz

Today Baseball America released the Eastern League top 20. Michael Taylor of the Nationals topped the list with a fantastic campaign and three Mets made the cut. Steven Matz, coming off a stellar year was rewarded with a #4 in the top 20. Dilson Herrera was behind him in the 12th spot, performing exceptionally well after being bumped up to Double-A and torching the league. After that was Kevin Plawecki, who was an excellent offensive catcher this season for the B-Mets and was promoted to Triple-A halfway through the season.

Here is what Baseball America had to say about each of them:

4. Steve Matz, LHP, Binghamton (Mets)

Age: 23. B-T: R-L. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 200. Drafted: HS—East Setauket, N.Y., 2009 (2).

After missing two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery in 2010-11 and getting his feet wet in 2012, Matz looked sharp last year at low Class A Savannah, and then built on that strong year in high Class A St. Lucie in the first half of 2014 and with Binghamton in the second.

Tall and strong with a loose arm and a clean delivery, Matz’s fastball sits comfortably between 93-95 mph and can touch as high as 97 when he needs it. The pitch also features sinking action. He complements it first and foremost with a circle changeup thrown in the mid-80s with excellent fade and separation from his fastball.

The separator this year, however, has been the development of the curveball, a 12-6 breaker that has gotten much more consistent under the tutelage of pitching coach Glenn Abbott. It’s still his third pitch, but it’s got the makings of at least an average major league offering in the future. If that happens, Matz has a ceiling as lofty as a No. 2 starter.

12. Dilson Herrera, 2B/SS, Binghamton (Mets)

Age: 20. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 5-10. Wt.: 150. Signed: Colombia, 2010 (Pirates).

The prize in the trade that sent Marlon Byrd to the Pirates last season, Herrera has so far looked to be a coup for the Mets after performing well in both high Class A St. Lucie and Binghamton this season.

Much like Mets starter Daniel Murphy, Herrera receives most of his positive marks for his bat. He’s an aggressive hitter with a short, compact swing and the potential for double-digit home run power in the future. He went deep 13 times in the minors this season, and then swatted two more in his first few games in the big leagues.

Herrera plays serviceable defense at second base with fringy range and actions that are sometimes stiff.

He’s not a liability out there and has the work ethic to make himself into at least an average defender as he matures. His arm is a little short at this point but got better as the year progressed and should continue to do so as he gets stronger.

14. Kevin Plawecki, C, Binghamton (Mets)

Age: 23. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 225. Drafted: Purdue, 2012 (1s).

An offensive catcher who makes a ton of contact, Plawecki divides as to whether he’s the Mets’ backstop of the future or whether that job still belongs to the incumbent Travis d’Arnaud.

Plawecki is blessed with strong hands and has a solid approach at the plate, which he used to strike out just 48 times in 376 at-bats between Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas this season. He keeps the barrel in the zone a long time and shows solid power in batting practice, despite hitting just 11 home runs in the regular season.

As a receiver, Plawecki has work to do. Scouts find him to be average as a receiver and a blocker and believe he tends to stab rather than sway when catching.

His footwork needs to be streamlined and his arm stroke shortened. His arm rates as solid-average at best, and he threw out just 23 percent of basestealers in two stops this season.

Just a few thoughts:

The Baseball America staff got a couple things wrong on Dilson Herrera which were that he hit three home runs this year, not two. He also has some pretty good range, but his hands are a little stiff. These are things he can work on this year in the Dominican Winter League.

Keep in mind that with these writers, they are just that, writers. They get fed information from scouts inside and outside the organizations and write these evaluations when they come in. They are not the scouts, but they are fed by them.

As Always, I will post the chat in the comment section.

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Nimmo Has Solid Debut In Arizona Fall League Wed, 08 Oct 2014 13:52:41 +0000 brandon-nimmo-2

The Arizona Fall League got underway on Tuesday and the Mets contingent got off to a running start.

Left fielder Brandon Nimmo had an exciting debut, going 2-for-5 with a double and two runs scored, helping Scottsdale defeat Salt River by a score of 7-4. Nimmo also stole third base. Shortstop Matt Reynolds went 0-for-3 with a walk.

Julian Hilario tossed two scoreless innings of relief to earn the win, walking one while striking out one. Paul Sewald allowed three hits and struck out three in 1.1 scoreless innings, and Dario Alvarez was touched for a solo home run in his one inning of relief. .

The AFL is usually a spectacle to watch due to the high number of top rated prospects that compete each year. Rosters for the 2014 Season include such promising stars as Kyle ZimmerTaijuan WalkerByron BuxtonAddison RussellKris Bryant and Josh Bell as well as many others that were featured in the top 100.

There are six teams in the Arizona Fall League: the Scottsdale Scorpions, Mesa Solar Sox, Salt River Rafters, Glendale Desert Dogs, Peoria Javelinas and Surprise Saguaros. These club names were picked by Major League Baseball as reflective of the Southwestern desert traditions in the state.

The teams are broken into two divisions, East and West. Each Major League Baseball team sends six top prospects to the Arizona Fall League, 180 players in all. The games are played in the Spring Training stadiums used by the Giants, Mariners, Padres, Cubs, A’s, Royals, Rangers, D-backs and Rockies.

The talent is very real, and very potent every year.

The Mets have not sent their best prospects over the past few years, putting in guys with less potential. But this year, they embraced the AFL philosophy and sent Brandon Nimmo, a consensus Mets top 5 prospect.

In addition, L.J. Mazzilli, Matt Reynolds, Julian Hilario, Robert Whalen and Paul Sewald will all compete and join the Scottsdale Scorpions, a team that also features prospects from the Pirates, Yankees, Phillies, and San Francisco Giants.

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Baseball America: Molina, Rosario, Conforto, Urena Make NYPL Top 20 Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:07:02 +0000 marcos molina

Today Baseball America released their Top 20 Prospects for the 2014 New York-Penn League Season, and wouldn’t you know it, four Mets topped the list.

Marcos Molina, Amed Rosario, Michael Conforto and Jhoan Urena came in respectively at numbers One, Three, Seven and Ten, showing how formidable and talented the Cyclones squad was this season.

Here is what they had to say about each:

#1 Marcos Molina, RHP

Molina had a breakout season, dominating older competition as a teenager. He led the circuit in strikeouts (91) and ERA (1.77) while tying for the lead in wins (seven) and walking just 2.1 batters per nine innings.

The athletic Molina has an ideal pitcher’s frame and a loose arm action with a high-three-quarters delivery that he repeats well. He has advanced feel for three offerings that he can throw for strikes or use as put-away pitches. His 93-95 mph fastball bumps 96 and has tailing life. His late-breaking slider projects as a plus pitch, and he has good arm speed on his changeup, which flashes above-average to plus.

“He’s going to be on the fast track, I think,” Brooklyn manager Tom Gamboa said. “Every once in a while you get a guy who’s just different, just a cut above the rest. For a 19-year-old, he has unbelievable mound presence and poise. It’s the whole package.”

#3 Amed Rosario, SS

Rosario has progressed quickly since signing for $1.75 million, the largest international bonus in Mets history. He was named the top prospect in the Rookie-level Appalachian League last year, and his OPS jumped from .637 last year to .717 in the NYPL, as his on-base skills improved.

Rosario still is something of a free-swinger, but he is adept at hitting behind runners and executing the hit-and-run, and he profiles as a prototype No. 2 hitter. He has quick hands and figures to grow into some power as he fills out his wiry frame, but he primarily is a line-drive hitter who can use all fields.

Rosario’s arm rates as plus, but he needs to become more accurate with his throws. He fell into a rut this year where he sat back and let balls come to him, resulting in errors, but he did a better job charging balls in the final month. He has the fluid actions, range and hands to be a standout defensive shortstop down the road, and he also offers good speed, though he is not an aggressive basestealer at this stage.

Rosario needs to get stronger and improve his stamina, but the Mets are thrilled with his developmental track.

Michael Conforto, LF

Conforto capped his decorated college career by earning first-team All-America honors as a junior and getting drafted 10th overall by the Mets. An accomplished hitting machine, Conforto stood out as one of the safest bats in the NYPL.

“We’d get excited every time he got out, because it didn’t happen very much against us,” Staten Island manager Mario Garza said. “This guy—wow. He’s got the body, he’s got an approach, he’s got box presence. It seemed like he doesn’t miss pitches. He really works the middle of the field well, and has bat speed.”

Conforto is primarily a gap-to-gap hitter, but he has plus raw power and drives balls the other way with authority. He needs to do a better job turning on hard stuff over the inner half, but he has the special hand-eye coordination and feel for the strike zone to be a plus hitter with above-average to plus pop.

Conforto is physically mature and will be tied to left field, but he has worked hard to become a solid defender with a knack for making big plays, and his arm is solid-average. He earns raves for his competitiveness and leadership qualities.

#10 Jhoan Urena, 3B

Urena, who played all season as a 19-year-old and turned 20 on Sept. 1, has performed well in each of his first three pro seasons since signing for $425,000. He ranked second in the NYPL in RBIs (48) and tied for the league lead in doubles (20), while also flashing home run power and promising defensive ability at third base.

Urena hit .300 from both sides of the plate, posting an .805 OPS against lefties and a .783 OPS against righties. He has a dead-pull approach from the right side but uses the whole field as a lefthanded hitter, and he boasts plus raw power from both sides. He struggles against offspeed stuff, like many hitters his age, but punishes fastballs and can handle velocity.

Urena has a rifle arm at third base but must improve his accuracy, for most of his 17 errors were on wild throws. He has the instincts, hands, agility and range to be a standout defender at the hot corner.

As you can see, our boys were rightfully placed in the upper tiers of the league. As I have stated many times, my enthusiasm for Molina is curbed due to his delivery being only through his arm, with little-to-no leg action. This can be problematic for a pitcher, and does not help them in the long run. If he can increase his movement below the waist, he can not only add velocity to a fastball that gets up to 96, but also longevity in the process.

As for Rosario, it seems Baseball America has lessened their own enthusiasm, projecting less power, but still believing the kid will be a hitting machine and a solid shortstop. He is incredibly thin, rail thin to be exact, but I have been assured early on by a coach in the system that he’s someone to watch going forward.

The scouting report on Conforto is encouraging, not only giving you an idea of what he needs to improve on, but the idea that he’s a plus hitter with plus power. They also, as I have reassured in the past, calmed down concerns of his ability to play left. As I have seen, Conforto is a more than capable left fielder, with a good arm, and he moves well.

Lastly but not least, Jhoan Urena. He has a lot of time, but is proving to be a hitting machine. Had we not signed Wright to a long-term deal, I’d say Urena would definitely be the one to take his place in the future, and as a switch hitter who bats well from both sides, and packing a lot of power.

In total, this is a very intriguing and exciting list, one to be encouraged by, but remember they’re all kids. Some things can happen, but it’s a good feeling to have so much talent in this system to watch and dream on. As for assignments? The three young ones to Savannah, and Conforto to St. Lucie.

Stay tuned as I’ll be updating the comment section with what they say in the BA Chat.

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Gavin Cecchini Is Doing Better Than You Think Tue, 19 Aug 2014 20:01:30 +0000 cecchini

A year and a half ago, my first article after joining MMO was about shortstop Gavin Cecchini, saying that he wasn’t as bad as people say, I wasn’t wrong, but it didn’t exactly show until this season.

Cecchini wasn’t really a player that jumped off the page when he was selected, especially as a first round pick who was looking for an offensive threat, which quite frankly, Gavin did not seem to be. People inside the organization lauded his makeup and his willingness to work hard, but many were concerned with the lack of power. At the time, Cecchini was rated as a future 40 on the scouting scale, or in other words, 10-15 home runs annually.

After being drafted at 18 years old, he hit .240/.307/.330, with 12 extra base hits, appearing only as a designated hitter in 58 games between Kingsport and Brooklyn. The following season he hit .273/.319/.314, with 8 extra base hits (all doubles) as a 19-year-old shortstop in Brooklyn. Not exactly eye-popping.

After that performance, his stock dropped and experts moved him down their prospect lists due to the lack of one loud tool: power. He can field, he has range, his baserunning is rather raw, his arm is above average, his bat is projected to be in the .280 range as a major leaguer, but many were down on him because he seemed to be lacking power to drive in runs, including me (who dropped him to #14 on my top 25 at the end of last year, and only that because he was a first round pick).

I was very pleased by Cecchini’s performance this season as a 20-year old. To the naked eye, he still may not appear very impressive. He is having defensive lapses, and not hitting well average-wise. To this date, he is hitting .249/.330/.386 through both Class-A Savannah and Advanced-A St. Lucie. However, while his average isn’t doing his performance justice, he is hitting the ball harder and much better than most give him credit for.

In Savannah, he batted .259/.333/.408, with a big spike in percentage of extra base hits. He had 24 extra bases in 259 plate appearances or 3 times as many as he had in Brooklyn (a better hitter’s park) the previous season. And he did it at Grayson Stadium, the worst hitters park in the minor leagues.

When he was promoted to St. Lucie, Cecchini initially hit a wall, hitting .190/.256/.254 through his first 35 games. In the next 17 games however, he batted .340/.458/.566 with a 14/2 BB/K ratio. He has upped his Hi-A averages to .236/.327/.326 whit five home runs, including a two grand slams, one that went high over a green monster replica a few days ago.

I asked a Mets official about his progress and this is what he said:

“Gavin is continuing to develop. After an initial hiccup, he has made some nice adjustments at the plate in St. Lucie. The results have been there over the last few weeks. He has gotten a lot stronger from last year. Consequently the ball is jumping off his bat better than anticipated. He is still young, so you’ll still see some mistakes. That’s all part of the development process.”

Overall this season, he has totaled 24 doubles, 3 triples and 8 home runs for a total of 35 extra-base hits. Believe it or not, that would be top 10 for shortstops if he were posting the same numbers in the Major Leagues. In fact, he would be tied for 10th in extra base hits with shortstops like Yunel Escobar, Jed Lowrie, and Jose Reyes, and his OPS would rank 7th overall. His overall stats would get him ranked top 10 overall in almost every category except batting average, but even that is trending up.

His stats are more impressive than people have realized. After initially struggling at a new level, as many prospects do, he has adjusted and turned the corner. Look for an even better season in 2015, with a good chance of a breakout in batting average. I expect he’ll start showing the overall skills that will validate why he was selected in the first round by the New York Mets. He might be our future shortstop after all, and this is coming from a huge Amed Rosario fan.

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Mets Sign 16-Year Old Venezuelan Shortstop Kenny Hernandez Thu, 14 Aug 2014 20:06:21 +0000 kenny hernandez

The Mets have signed 16-year old Venezuelan shortstop Kenny Hernandez out of Carlos Guillen’s Baseball Academy for 1 million dollars today. Hernandez, who had to wait until he turned 16 years old, was one of the top 30 players on the board for Major League Baseball’s July 2nd international free agent signing period. He was the 13th best player in the class, according to Baseball America.

This is Baseball America’s Scouting report:

At 15, Hernandez is so young that he’s less than a few weeks away from being a 2015 player. A member of Carlos Guillen’s academy, Hernandez has one of the best pure swings in the class. His hands are quick and short to the ball with a classic smooth lefty stroke. He has good bat speed, stays balanced and keeps the barrel in the hitting zone a long time, which helps him make plenty of contact. Several scouts believe he’s one of the best hitters available. It’s mostly gap power now, but his swing has good finish and he projects to be big, strong and grow into average or better power.

Hitting comes more naturally than fielding for Hernandez, who would draw more excitement if he had louder tools or athleticism. He has showcased all over the infield, but he doesn’t project at shortstop, fitting best at either third base or second, with third base most likely. He’s a below-average runner and showed a below-average arm early in the year, but as he’s gotten stronger, he has started to flash an above-average arm. also has this to say about Hernandez:

Scouting Grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 50 | Run: 50 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55

Why do scouts like Hernandez? Let’s start with the fact that some evaluators believe he might have the best all-around swing in the entire class. The 6-foot, 160-pounder has good hands, strong wrists and the quick-twitch action in the batter’s box that scouts love. Hernandez also has good bat control, plate discipline and a fluid swing that reminds some people of a young Shawn Green.

The broad-shouldered teenager has gap power and the ability to drive the ball to the opposite field. Hernandez has good footwork on defense, but it’s unclear if he has the overall skill set to stay at shortstop. Scouts have also praised his makeup and athleticism.

One scout said Hernandez could be the steal of the class based on his swing alone. Hernandez is from Tumero, Venezuela, and is trained by former Major League infielder Carlos Guillen at the Carlos Guillen Academy. The Mets are the favorites to land Hernandez.”

These scouting reports don’t really seem too glowing in terms of many loud tools, but keep in mind that the kids are 16-17, and they have a lot of room to grow. I’d say start watching him next year, as he will likely be in the Gulf Coast League or Kingsport as the starting shortstop.

Along with Hernandez, Mets went heavy in Venezuela this year, with 5 of their other top bonuses being Venezuelan.

SS Yoel Romero, $300,000

At 6 feet, 175 pounds, Romero moves around well at shortstop with good agility and average arm strength that plays up because of his short arm stroke and quick release. More quick than fast, he’s a fringy runner with gap power from the right side and projection to grow into more strength. Romero trained with Jean Alayon.

SS Edgardo Fermin, $250,000

At 6 feet, 145 pounds, Fermin’s game will benefit from additional strength, with solid tools that play up because of his advanced instincts and feel for the game. He’s a below-average runner with a fringy arm but is smooth at shortstop and moves around well at the position. He has shown a line-drive stroke from the right side with occasional gap power and the ability to hang in against good velocity. Fermin trained with Carlos Rios.

RHP Jhoander Chourio $130,000

Chourio who packs good stuff for his age and excellent athleticism into a smaller 5-foot-10, 175-pound build. He has touched 92 mph and shows feel for a hard curveball in the mid-70s that could evolve into an out pitch for him, with feel for a changeup as well. He trained with Jorge Ayude.”

LHP Daniel Guzman, $140,000

Guzman stands out for his advanced feel for pitching. He throws in the mid-80s now with projection to get to an average fastball in the future, but his strength is his ability to throwing strikes, along with his feel for the secondary stuff, including a curveball and a changeup. Guzman trained with Jose Malave.

OF Tulio Garcia, $175,000

Garcia has a compact lefty swing, good bat speed and a projectable and athletic 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame, which gives him the potential to hit for average and power. He has dealt with a shoulder injury and projects as a right fielder. Garcia trained with Carlos Luna.

This year seems okay in terms of signing, not many players with loud tools, but these are the top signing reported in. There is much room for all of these kids to grow, and a lot can happen between 16 and 22.

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MMO Mailbag: Will Dilson Herrera Get Called Up This Season? Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:55:48 +0000 dilson-herrera-in-the-cage

VolvosNRodeos asks:

What’s the chance we see Dilson Herrera called up to the big leagues before the end of the season? Originally, I was fine with him possibly coming up next season, but the way he’s torn through PSL & Binghamton this season is making him hard to keep down. Keep in mind, the Mets wanted a SS to supplant Ruben Tejada, and with Herrera getting the reps at SS, it makes the most sense to go in house.

Teddy replies:

Hi, thanks for your question. I do believe that Dilson Herrera could be ready for the big leagues, bat-wise, as he has done excellently through two leagues batting .319/.373/.444 with 25 doubles and 6 home runs in 94 games. He’s moving quickly offensively and currently he’s almost five years younger than the league average in the Double-A Eastern League.

The Mets, yes, want a shortstop who will supplant Ruben Tejada, but, I don’t think Herrera will be that player until after next year, and I’m honestly unsure whether or not Herrera will be the shortstop in general due to his lack of experience at the position.

Dilson Herrera was signed as third baseman in 2010, and transitioned from third base to second base because his arm wasn’t strong enough to throw across the diamond. He has done well to field the position, and has the speed to cover a lot of ground, making him able, range-wise, to cover shortstop as well. As a fielder, he has good hands, but a without an above-average arm, he cannot throw quickly across the diamond.

However, the Mets decided to give Herrera some time at shortstop this year, fielding the position for about one-third of his games. He has shared time with other shortstop prospects such as Philip Evans and T.J. Rivera, and he has shown improvement.

An official said recently about Herrera, “He’s made a lot of progress. He is a good athlete and astute learner. At the very least, this gives him some versatility as he moves up. We know he can play a good second base. He’ll continue to get the exposure at shortstop and it should increase the opportunities available to him as he goes forward.”

The statement still sounds as if Herrera is still a second baseman going forward. He’s played only 27 out of 325 career games at shortstop, and never played one professional game there until this season. While being at Double-A and learning SS isn’t the best combination, the good news is that Dilson Herrera is only 20, so he has a lot of time to develop his skills at the position.

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Mets Minors Notes: Kingsport Roster, Draft, IFA Thu, 19 Jun 2014 17:00:26 +0000 kingsport

Kingsport Mets had their photo day, which is covered by Allen Greene photography, and was released for the fans to see. It is filled with head shots, team photos, and always gives people an idea of what the full roster for Kingsport will be. You can check out the photos by clicking here.

Here is the full roster for the 2014 Kingsport Mets, just in time for Opening Day:


RHP Gaby Almonte
RHP Matires Arias
RHP Bryce Beeler
RHP Matt Blackham
RHP Nicco Blank
RHP Connor Buchmann
RHP Andrew Church
RHP Andrew Duff
RHP Ramon Estevez
LHP Yoan Gonzalez
RHP Andrew Massie
RHP Craig Missigman
RHP Christian Montgomery
RHP Yoryi Nuez
RHP Luis Rengel
LHP Ruben Reyes
LHP Dave Roseboom
RHP Ismael Tijerina
RHP Ty Williams


Brandon Brosher
Jose Garcia
Miguel Leal
Luis Ortega


2B Leon Canelon
3B Eudor Garcia
SS Luis Guillorme
2B Branden Kaupe
1B Zach Mathieu
3B Pedro Perez
UTL Jean Carlos Rodriguez


OF Wuilmer Becerra
OF Oswal Caraballo
OF Vincente Lupo
OF Ivan Wilson

Prospect Overview 

Jose Garcia was a 6-figure bonus a few years back, and is a good receiver with a good bat that will give adequate gap power. The Mets are high on Brandon Brosher and since have converted him to catcher. He has a great arm that hits 90, with a lot of power. Eudor Garcia, you already know I gush over due to his ability to flat out hit for average and power. Luis Guillorme was the top defensive shortstop in last year’s draft, and was picked in the 10th round. His bat lags the glove by a lot so far, but he has ability to make some contact. His double-play partner is Brandon Kaupe, another 4th rounder, who is super stocky, but switch hits, and runs well.

The outfield is great, with Ivan Wilson, a raw 5-tool 3rd rounder last year, Wuilmer Becerra, the 3rd player in the R.A. Dickey deal who has a power-speed combination, and Vincente Lupo, who has plus power. They will be something to watch in this lineup.

This also means 2014 3rd round pick Milton Ramos will most definitely be in Gulf Coast League.


There are rumors that the Mets have signed Arnaldo Berrios, their 39th rounder. Not confirmed yet, but we’ll see when the Gulf Coast League roster is released. He is an outfielder with good gap power, that came from Carlos Beltran‘s Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico.

31st rounder Kurtis Horne has signed with the Mets. He is a tall, projectable lefty who gets up to 90 miles per hour.

There is nothing (yet) today on Mets 2014 First Rounder Michael Conforto after Jon Heyman tweeted they were close on the 16th.

International Free Agency

UPDATE! Ben Badler made a mistake in his report for Baseball America about Wilkerman Garcia. He is tied to the Yankees, but Kenny Hernandez is still tied to the Mets.

The July 2nd Signing period for young Latin American prospects under 23 is in exactly two weeks, and the Mets are tied to one shortstop from Carlos Guillen‘s training academy in Venezuela named Kenny Hernandez, who Baseball America is unsure can stay at short:

Even though he’s still 15 and one of the youngest players in the class with an Aug. 13 birthday, Hernandez stands out for his sweet left-handed swing and ability to hit in games. He’s 6 feet, 160 pounds with a loose, compact stroke and occasional power. There’s less ease to Hernandez’s game in the field, so scouts expect him to move to second or third base.

He figures to get about a million dollars, which would account for a majority of the Mets’ pool, like every other team, is at 2.6 million dollars. If a team goes over the pool by a significant amount, they cannot participate in top-bonus signings next year.

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Official MMO Draft Tracker Thu, 12 Jun 2014 16:00:37 +0000 conforto michael

I thought I’d give everyone an updated status on the players that we have drafted. I have found who has signed on, and who I feel might not sign, or is a possibility. If you want to know about these draft picks, you can click here to go to my previous post, which has information on almost all 40 draft picks.

Round 1: OF Michael Conforto, College, Jr

Close to signing

Round 3: SS Milton Ramos, HS

Signed, Per Adam Rubin

Round 4: 3B Eudor Garcia-Pacheco, Community College

Close, Per Adam Rubin

Round 5: RHP Josh Prevost


Round 6: C Tyler Moore, College JR

Signed, on Brooklyn Roster

Round 7: LHP Brad Wieck College JR

Signed, on Brooklyn Roster.

Round 8: 1B Dash Winningham, HS

Signed, Headed to Gulf Coast League

Round 9: OF/1B Michael Katz, College JR


Round 10: LHP Kelly Secrest, College Senior


Rd 11: RHP Connor Buchmann, College Jr


Rd 12: RHP Alex Durham, HS


Rd 13 RHP Eric Manoah, HS

Signed, Headed to Gulf Coast League

Rd 14: C Daryl Knight, College Jr


Rd 15: RHP Gabriel Llanes, HS


Rd 16: LHP Joel Huertas, HS

Possible, no college commitment works in our favor

Rd 17: LHP David Roseboom College Senior


Rd 18: OF Raphael Ramirez HS


Rd 19: RHP Bryce Beeler, College JR


Round 20: RHP James Duff, College JR


Round 21: Luke Bonfield, OF, HS

Indicated indecision

Round 22: William Fulmer, 2B, College Senior


Round 23: RHP Richard Moesker, HS

Possible, Committed to Miami-Dade CC

Round 24: RHP Tyler Badamo, College Senior


Round 25: RHP Nicco Blank, JR College


Round 26: C Tommy Pincin, HS


Round 27: RHP Alex Palsha, College Senior


Round 28: RHP Keaton McKinney, HS

Asking for 7 figures

Round 29: RHP Matt Blackham, College JR


Round 30: Tucker Tharp, OF, College Senior

Signed, headed to Brooklyn.

Round 31: LHP Kurtis Horne, HS


Round 32: RHP Chris Glover, HS


Round 33: RHP Brady Puckett, HS

Tweeted no

Round 34: C Jordan Hand, HS

Would need a large bonus to pry him away from Cal State Fullerton

Round 35: RHP Jonathan Teaney, HS

Doubt it

Round 36: RHP Garett King, HS

No idea.

Round 37: SS Tristan Gray, HS


Round 38: RHP Kyle Dunster, HS

Probably not, Committed to Boston College.

Round 39: CF Arnaldo Berrios, HS

Yet to be seen, hope so

Round 40: SS Dale Burdick, HS

Committed to Mississippi State, it’ll take a lot of money.


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Complete 2014 MLB Draft Update and Review Mon, 09 Jun 2014 22:12:50 +0000 conforto michael

So, as you all know, the MLB Draft was held this past weekend and I was glued to all the developments. (At the poor expense of my girlfriend) But it was a lot of fun nonetheless. Most of you probably read the scouting reports I posted throughout the draft, but I want to go pick-by-pick and share my thoughts about each. I will go down the line and also provide and signing info, and where they will go if signed:

Round 1: OF Michael Conforto, College, Jr

In over 60 mocks I canvassed, he was chosen 17 times. But to his scouting report: People who believe he’s going to be a Duda-type aren’t right. When it comes to LF, he’s fringy, he isn’t dreadful. For his bat, it’s safe to move. It doesn’t have to adjust to the Mets’ system, so we don’t have to wait very long to see him up here. You’re looking at a future .270-.280 hitter with 20-25 homers. I see 2 years tops if he excels.

Like? Not really, don’t hate it, don’t like it either, saw it coming though.
Signing? Close to Deal According to Rubin
Destination? Brooklyn.

Round 3: SS Milton Ramos, HS

I knew about Ramos, he’s probably the best defensive shortstop in the draft and has plus speed and a good arm. His bat is the main question, which is why he dropped so much. If his bat becomes better, he has Alcides Escobar comparisons. His bat should play up, he has a bit of power with his quick swing, if they can get him some reps, and help him with his mechanics, as well as, obviously, play him, but he joins the line of good middle-infield prospects that the Mets are building in the lower minors.

Like? Yes, great Defense, High Ceiling.
Signing? Close to deal according to Rubin
Destination? Gulf Coast League
Round 4: 3B Eudor Garcia-Pacheco, Community College

This kids is a supreme hitter. Baseball America and others just say the kid can flat out hit. He will be a plus hitter, and a kid who will hit it far as well. For now, he’s going to play at third but his arm is fringy, and so is his running, so he’ll have to go to either Left or First Base in the future, but he’s someone you might want to keep tabs on, because he will probably put up some great numbers.

Like? Love
Signing? Not sure yet, something is up with his Twitter, doesn’t seem real.
Destination? Brooklyn or Kingsport

Round 5: RHP Josh Prevost

Tall (6’8”) from Seton Hall, seems like an interesting guy with a fastball from 90-94, a slider, and change, and great control. Will definitely be a fast mover.

Like? Could have used the pick better, but could be worse, for sure.
Signing? Has already signed apparently.
Destination? I’m feeling Savannah as the other arms move up, but likely Brooklyn.

Round 6: C Tyler Moore, College JR

I couldn’t find information, so I’m going off Paul DePodesta. He came through in the clutch a lot for LSU, and can hit pretty well. They definitely want him to stick at catcher, but I’ve heard he’s not good behind the dish. Hopefully that can change, another catching prospect is always welcome.

Like? Meh, good bat, maybe different position needed?
Signing? Yes, signed for $280K already.
Destination? Why am I feeling Brooklyn or Kingsport?

Round 7: LHP Brad Wieck College JR

I couldn’t find much, but his numbers are great, 118 K in 69 innings. DePo providing that he pitched up to 94 makes me think of Leathersich, except he’s nearly a foot taller at 6’9”. Knock is shaky control apparently.

Like? I’ll have to see more
Signing? Likely
Destination? Brooklyn or Kingsport

Round 8: 1B Dash Winningham, HS

Mets have been on him since last year. Has a ton of power. Our Senior Editor David Conde will have more soon on this guy, since he lives in his area.

Like? Yes
Signing? Signed, per his brother.
Destination? Gulf Coast League or Kingsport.

Round 9: OF/1B Michael Katz, College JR

Guy just raked in college. Mets listed him as an OF, which the MLB draft anchors were very confused about. He hits a ton of power though, hitting 14 homers to lead the league, but scouts are unsure about him and premium velocity.

Like? A little
Signing? I’d assume so.
Destination? You’re looking at your Brooklyn 1B or RF if Conforto is there.

Round 10: LHP Kelly Secrest, College Senior

Don’t know much on him, college senior, Lefty, reliever, had a 1.73 era this year with 38k in 36.1 IP. Fast moving reliever, maybe? Smallish Frame, very thin, 5’11″ 90-92, hits 94. Lagging breakers.

Like? Could have used on something higher upside.
Signing? Is signing
Destination? Brooklyn

I’ll shorten it up now:

Rd 11: RHP Connor Buchmann, College Jr

Hasn’t pitched much in college due to injury, but has reached 98, that’s all I know.

Like? I’ll wait, but not optimistic.
Signing? Signed
Destination? Kingsport, because he doesn’t have much college experience.

Rd 12: RHP Alex Durham, HS

Has a nice projectable frame, free and easy delivery. 17 years old, so very young.

Like? Don’t know enough about him, that will change.
Signing? Changed his twitter to “New York Mets Baseball”
Destination? Gulf Coast League

Rd 13 RHP Eric Manoah

Eric Manoah is 87-92, velocity was down this spring, but flashes a plus curve.

Like? Eh
Signing? Signed
Destination? Assigned to Gulf Coast League

Rd 14: C Daryl Knight, College Jr

Has a ton of raw power, raw behind the plate. Hit .338 with 15 home runs this past season in 61 games.

Like? Yes, from a numbers standpoint
Signing? Signed
Destination? Kingsport

Rd 15: RHP Gabriel Llanes, HS

Very Young and raw, projectable, 88-91, makings of a slider.

Like? Would like to see what he becomes.
Signing? He tweeted yes
Destination? Gulf Coast League

Rd 16: LHP Joel Huertas, HS

88-91, no breaking ball, very raw, Interesting project

Like? Yes
Signing? Most likely, no college commitment
Destination? Gulf Coast League

Rd 17: LHP David Roseboom College Senior

Average Fastball, Plus Slider, Good Cutter

Like? Meh
Signing? Is going to sign
Destination? Brooklyn

Rd 18: OF Raphael Ramirez HS

Good swing, plus speed, not much power.

Like? Intriguing
Signing? No idea
Destination? Gulf Coast League

Rd 19: RHP Bryce Beeler, College JR

4.61 ERA 22 G, 21 relief, 27.1 IP, 34 K, Converted from RF/1B.

Like? eh
Signing? Signed
Destination? Kingsport

Round 20: RHP James Duff, College JR

Mets fan, 11 GS, 83.0 IP, 1.84 ERA, 62 K

Like? Don’t know
Signing? Yep
Destination? Brooklyn or Kingsport

Round 21: Luke Bonfield, OF, HS

Great hitter, could grow into power, committed to Arkansas.

Like? Yes
Signing? Unlikely
Destination? If Signed, Gulf Coast League or Kingsport

Round 22: William Fulmer, 2B, College Senior

Not related to Michael. .380 with 5 HR last season.

Like? Sounds intriguing.
Signing? Signed
Destination? Brooklyn or Kingsport

Round 23: RHP Richard Moesker, HS

88-90, from Curacao

Like? No idea
Signing? Possibly, Committed to Miami-Dade CC
Destination? Gulf Coast League

Round 24: RHP Tyler Badamo, College Senior

Fastball up to 94, Great slider, curve, change. New York Native

Like? Meh
Signing? Yes
Destination? Brooklyn

Round 25: RHP Nicco Blank, JR College

Short Pitcher (5’9”) Fastball has gone up to 95 started well in Central Arizona

Like? On the fence
Signing? Yes
Destination? Brooklyn or Kingsport

Round 26: C Tommy Pincin, HS

Okay hit tool, Good Power, Meh Defense, Backup Ceiling

Like? No
Signing? Unlikely
Destination? Gulf Coast League

Round 27: RHP Alex Palsha, College Senior

Reliever, 35 games, 1.60 era

Like? Not really
Signing? Yes
Destination? Brooklyn or Savannah

Round 28: RHP Keaton McKinney, HS

A plus fastball, lagging breakers, would take 7 figures to sign him, he says.

Like? Yes
Signing? No
Destination? Arkansas

Round 29: RHP Matt Blackham, College JR

I know nothing.

Like? No idea
Signing? Signed
Destination? Kingsport or Brooklyn

Round 30: Tucker Tharp, OF, College Senior

Looks like he has speed and power in his stats

Like? Yes
Signing? Indicated he has/will sign.
Destination? Kingsport

Round 31: LHP Kurtis Horne, HS

Projectable Lefty from Canada.

Like? Yes
Signing? No
Destination? Gulf Coast League if Signed

Round 32: RHP Chris Glover, HS

Very Strong, large pitcher (6’4” 225 lbs) has a decent splitter. Committed to McClennan College.

Like? Eh
Signing? Possible
Destination? Gulf Coast League

Round 33: RHP Brady Puckett, HS

Tall 6’8”.

Like? No idea
Signing? Tweeted no
Destination? Lipscomb

Round 34: C Jordan Hand, HS

Don’t have much information for where he’s committed, but he seems pretty talented, strong, and from his video, has a decent swing with power. He’s got speed as well.

Like? A lot
Signing? Would need a large bonus to pry him away from Cal State Fullerton.
Destination? No clue.

Round 35: RHP Jonathan Teaney, HS

Quick arm but not physical, 88-91, good feel for offspeed. Committed To San Diego.

Like? A little
Signing? Doubt it
Destination? Likely San Diego

Round 36: RHP Garett King, HS

I know nothing, but I don’t think he’s signing, we’ll see. If he does, likely Gulf Coast League.

Round 37: SS Tristan Gray, HS

Apparently has 5 tools, High Contact Rate, Committed to Rice.

Like? Yep
Signing? Unlikely
Destination? Gulf Coast League if signed

Round 38: RHP Kyle Dunster, HS

Like? No idea
Signing? Probably not, Committed to Boston College, though in twitter picture wearing Mets Uni
Destination? Likely Boston.

Round 39: CF Arnaldo Berrios, HS

Comes out of Beltran’s academy in Puerto Rico, has speed, and gap power, and a good swing.

Like? Yes, a lot
Signing? Yet to be seen, hope so
Destination? Kingsport, most likely.

Round 40: SS Dale Burdick, HS

Good athlete, hitter, runner. will perform well.

Like? Yes
Signing? Committed to Mississippi State, it’ll take a lot of money.
Destination: Mississippi State

My Take:

I love what we did here in the first 10 rounds, going after power. Conforto, Katz, and Garcia, are all going to hit for power, and we took the top bats off the board because we knew we’d get some good pitchers later. I like the lefthander Huerta, and think they can make something good out of him, as well as the large stream of tall righthanders (look for yourself).

They definitely drafted for upside in bats, while Arms, they brought in projectable, young arms. Some of the senior signs, and obvious picks that weren’t going to sign, I wasn’t a fan of, but the upside of some of these bats, is good.

Overall, pretty decent draft.  Please draw your own conclusions below.


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