Mets Merized Online » Brian Devine http://metsmerizedonline.com Wed, 23 Jul 2014 05:38:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Jose Abreu Proving Doubters Wrong http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/jose-abreu-proving-doubters-wrong.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/jose-abreu-proving-doubters-wrong.html/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 17:44:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153054 jose abreu

During last night’s game against the Cleveland Indians, White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu continued his tremendous start to the season. He smashed two more home runs during Chicago’s 7-3 victory, and he currently leads the AL in Home Runs (4) and RBI (14). Many experts and fans alike considered Abreu an excellent option this offseason for the Mets, but the front office never showed any serious interest.  Abreu would have solved the team’s ongoing problems at first base, and passing on him may end up being a move they will regret for years to come.

Abreu would have provided the Mets with a feared power hitter that they have desperately needed. He was regarded as an elite hitter coming out of Cuba, and he has incredible and unquestioned raw power at 6’3” and 255 pounds. Those 30 home runs projections seem to be spot on, and his terrific performance so far shows he can handle major league pitching as many expected he would given his bat speed. Considering the Mets’ struggles offensively the last few seasons, adding Abreu would have dramatically strengthened the lineup.

For a team that is trying to build for the future, Abreu also made perfect sense. He is in the prime of this career at 27 years old, and he would not have cost the Mets any draft picks. Abreu was also not as expensive as other top free agents like Shin Soo Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury, who both signed for well over 100 million dollars. All of these factors limited any risk surrounding Abreu.

With the Mets now employing some bizarre platoon at first base, it is clear they may have made a severe miscalculation regarding Abreu. After several seasons with Ike Davis and Lucas Duda, the Mets first base situation is still a mess that could have been avoided had they aggressively pursued Abreu. This whole situation was poorly managed by the Mets, and it is another example of the Mets ineptitude in the front office.

mmo

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Who Are The Top 5 Mets Relief Prospects? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/who-are-the-top-5-mets-relief-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/who-are-the-top-5-mets-relief-prospects.html/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 15:54:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147366 With the unfortunate news that Bobby Parnell has a torn MCL in his right elbow and could be out for a significant amount of time, I wanted to revisit a post I wrote this Winter where I profiled my Top 5 Mets Relief Prospects. These are some names that could help the Mets in the very near future.

For the past few seasons, the Mets bullpen has been a major weakness. They have consistently ranked among the league’s worst, and they did not perform much better this past season.

In 2013, the Mets bullpen finished in the bottom ten with a 3.98 ERA (21st), 1.324 WHIP (22nd), .256 BAA (27th), and their 6.96 K/ was the worst in the majors.

However, help is on the way. Despite these struggles, the relief corps can become a strength in the future for the organization. The Mets have many talented relief prospects who have the ability to become successful at the major league level and some are already knocking at the door and were invited to Big League camp.

Here are my top five relief prospects for the Mets:

beck wheeler

#5: Beck Wheeler

Beck Wheeler was absolutely dominant for Low-A Savannah in 2013. His ERA settled in at 2.32, and his WHIP was a dazzling 0.93. He also struck out 74 batters in just 50 innings pitched.  While the 24-year-old is an older prospect for his level, his age is deceiving.  He’s still an inexperienced pitcher because he did not start his time on the rubber until his senior year of college.  He still has a lot to prove moving forward, but he has potential to be a fast riser in the Mets’ system.

Bret Mitchell 1

#4: Bret Mitchell

After missing the entire 2012 season due to hip surgery, Bret Mitchell was fabulous in 2013. He posted a 2.35 ERA with a 0.97 WHIP in 30 innings first half innings with Savannah, and he was selected to the South Atlantic League All-Star Game. Mitchell was rewarded for his strong showing and got promoted to St. Lucie, where he continued his success.  Mitchell’s ERA against Florida State League competition stands at 1.76, striking out 34 in 30 innings.  Although there are many reasons to like Mitchell, there are also some concerns. He walked 6.5 batters per 9 innings with St. Lucie, and he has yet to pitch above High-A.

adam-kolarek

#3: Adam Kolarek

Adam Kolarek, the Mets’ 11th round pick in the 2010 draft, was one of the key pieces in Binghamton’s fabulous bullpen this year. He owned a 1.71 ERA and 1.09 WHIP through 63 innings of work, striking out 63 batters. The 6’3”, 215-pound lefty has a low 90’s fastball, and has been solid throughout his professional career. For the past three seasons, he’s owned a sub-3.00 ERA. If Kolarek can continue his success in 2014 with AAA Las Vegas, he could be a factor in the big league  bullpen next season.

jack leathersich st. lucie

#2: Jack Leathersich

Jack Leathersich has shown tremendous promise ever since the Mets drafted him in the fifth round in 2011. His career minor league ERA is 3.46, and he has struck out 241 batters in only 143 innings.  In 2013, Leathersich could not have started his season any better. His ERA was a brilliant 1.53, while striking out 16.9 batters per 9 innings with AA Binghamton. Leathersich’s terrific first half with the B-Mets earned him a promotion to Las Vegas, but he encountered a rough patch. The hard-throwing lefty posted an awful 7.76 ERA and a 2.10 WHIP in 29 innings pitched for Las Vegas. He struggled the most with his control, walking 9 batters per 9 innings. While his second half for Las Vegas was discouraging, I expect him to rebound next season. Leathersich is a deceptive southpaw, and he has an explosive fastball with good movement.

jeff-walters

#1: Jeff Walters

Jeff Walters wasn’t on many people’s radar heading into 2013, but his terrific performance this year has earned him a lot of recognition. He posted a terrific.2.09 ERA with a 1.10 WHIP, and 60 strikeouts  in 56 innings pitched for Binghamton. Walters led the Eastern league in saves, and also shattered Binghamton’s all-time single season record in with 38 saves. The right-hander has a blazing fastball that can reach the mid 90’s and he isn’t afraid to pound the zone. Walters ranks as my number one relief pitcher because he has a high upside, and could potentially make his debut sometime in 2014.

In addition to these five pitchers, the Mets have more intriguing young relievers in the minors. Other notable minor league relief pitchers include Chasen BradfordChase Huchingson and Hamilton Bennett.

The New York Mets also have an excellent young reliever already at the major league level as well in Jeurys Familia. With this impressive arsenal, and two swing-and-a-miss pitches, it is very likely that he steps forward in a very big way this season and emerges as a shutdown reliever in the very near future.

(Photos: MiLB.com, Baltimore Sun)

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Arizona is Shopping Didi Gregorius in Search of a Starter http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/arizona-is-shopping-didi-gregorius-in-search-for-a-starter.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/arizona-is-shopping-didi-gregorius-in-search-for-a-starter.html/#comments Wed, 19 Mar 2014 12:44:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=150786 digi gregorius

March 19

The Arizona Diamondbacks are making Didi Gregorius, and not fellow shortstop Chris Owings, available in trade discussions with other teams, an industry source told ESPN New York.

The D-backs seek an MLB-ready starting pitcher in return, hoping to offset the loss of intended Opening Day starter Patrick Corbin with a UCL tear.

A trio of Arizona scouts, including special assistant Todd Greene, watched a Mets intrasquad game involving Double-A and Triple-A players Tuesday on a back field at the Port St. Lucie complex. Noah Syndergaard, Logan Verrett and Jacob deGrom, who all may be in Triple-A Las Vegas’ rotation to open the season, pitched in that game. Syndergaard almost certainly is off-limits in Mets discussions, writes Adam Rubin.

We speculated on this Monday, which you can read below.

March 17

With Didi Gregorius losing Arizona’s shortstop battle to star prospect Chris Owings, he suddenly becomes an intriguing trade target for the New York Mets. While some Mets fans aren’t high on Gregorius, he would solidify the Mets weakness at shortstop. Gregorius is an extremely talented player, and he has the ability to become a solid major league starter.

Coming up through the minor league leagues, Gregorius was a top rated prospect.  Baseball America ranked him the 80th best prospect in baseball last season, and he was rated #63 overall by MLB.com.  While he never had impressive minor league statistics, scouts have always raved about his athleticism and defensive skills.

With Gregorius’ standout defensive skills, his fielding was impressive for the Diamondbacks last season.  He showed above average range, and he showcased a very strong throwing arm. Solid defense up the middle is crucial for the Mets, so this factor alone makes him a valuable piece.

While some criticize him for his hitting, these concerns are overblown.  Even though he hit just .252 with seven home runs and a .332 on-base last year, these numbers should not be held against him so harshly. 2013 was Gregorius’ first full season in the majors, and he was just 23 years old.  As he gains more experience and strength, his numbers will likely improve. Also, production among shortstops around the league is extremely low, so he does not need to post incredible numbers in order to be a productive player at his position.

While his late season slump at the end of the season is worrisome, there is no denying his talent. He has better skills across the board than incumbent Ruben Tejada, so he would be a significant upgrade this season.  Since Gregorius is a young and inexpensive player, he is also a piece that the Mets can potentially build around as well, and he won’t cost nearly as much as Owings would have or Nick Franklin as well.

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Thoughts On Mets Signing Jose Valverde http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/thoughts-on-mets-signing-jose-valverde.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/thoughts-on-mets-signing-jose-valverde.html/#comments Thu, 13 Feb 2014 13:07:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147858 Jose -Valverde

The Mets announced that they have signed free-agent reliever Jose Valverde to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training.

Jon Heyman reports that he can earn $1 million if he makes the team.

Valverde, who turns 36 next month, has recorded 286 saves during his 11-year career.

After a successful run with the Detroit Tigers from 2010 to 2012 in which he saved 110 games and posted a 3.00 ERA, he went downhill and was eventually released by Detroit last season after posting a 5.59 ERA in 20 appearances.

“We were looking for a veteran presence in the bullpen, he does have some experience closing, but this is not a move to displace Bobby Parnell,” Sandy Alderson said after the signing was announced. “We signed him to a minor league contract and we’ll see how he throws in spring training.”

Thoughts…

One day after Mets GM Sandy Alderson said the Mets were looking to add experienced relievers, the Mets inked the veteran closer to a minor league contract. Valverde is a three time all-star and along with his 286 career saves owns an excellent career ERA of 3.19 and a 1.18 WHIP during 11 major league seasons. His most recent success came with Detroit in 2011, where he was perfect in all 49 of his save opportunities.

While Valverde has been a a top flight closer at times in his career, I do not believe he will make much of an impact on the Mets other than to add some competition to the other bullpen candidates in camp. He is now past his prime and has seen the velocity in his fastball slide from a high of 95-96 in his prime to a career low of 92-93 mph.

During his short stint with Detroit last season, Valverde posted a dreadful 5.59 ERA and was hammered for six home runs in just 19.0 innings. Valverde had also showed significant signs of decline in 2012 when he posted his worst ERA, WHIP and K/9 totals since 2006. He also proved to be very ineffective in post season play that season, and yielded 9 earned runs in 2.2 innings for the Tigers in 2012.

Given his recent history, it is clear Valverde has severely declined. While he used to be a solid closer, he is simply not the same pitcher anymore and can no longer overpower the opposition as he once did.  It’s only a minor league contract, but there’s not much upside with this move.  

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Why The Mets Need To Sign Drew http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/why-the-mets-need-to-sign-drew.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/why-the-mets-need-to-sign-drew.html/#comments Wed, 15 Jan 2014 03:05:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139620 2013 was a lost year for Mets starting shortstop Ruben Tejada. He missed significant time due to injuries, and he struggled to produce when he was on the field. In 208 at bats last season, he hit just .202 with no home runs and a .259 on base percentage. While I believe Tejada is a better player than he showed last year, the Mets should move on from him and sign free agent short stop Stephen Drew.

drewDrew provides power and production from the shortstop position. Drew from 2008-2010 was in the top 10 among qualified major league shortstops in Home runs, RBI, and Batting average, in addition to having the third highest slugging percentage.

After suffering from a horrific ankle injury in 2011, he looks like he is now back to form. Drew rebounded last season with Boston, and he hit .253 with 13 home runs and 67 RBI in 124 games. While these numbers may seem pedestrian on the surface, he still ranked among the league leaders at shortstop in many significant categories.

Among shortstops with at least 400 AB’s, Drew again finished inside the top ten in home runs, RBI and Slugging Percentage.

With the way our lineup is constructed, we need all the offense we can get. Granderson, Wright and Murphy are the only safe bets to produce offensively, and we are likely to start the season with a defensive minded player in centerfield in Juan Lagares. To keep pace with teams that have stronger lineups, we need more than a singles hitter at shortstop. Even in his best seasons, Tejada did not hit more than one home run in a season. He simply is not going to provide the production we need in order to be competitive.

Stephen Drew by himself does not turn the Mets lineup into a juggernaut. However, he gives the lineup an extra boost that it severely needs. Drew is clearly better than Tejada, both offensively and defensively, and his price doesn’t appear to be unreasonable. If the Mets can land Drew on a two or three year deal, then I think the Mets have to sign him.

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Prospect Spotlight: Cesar Puello, RF http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/prospect-spotlight-cesar-puello-rf.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/prospect-spotlight-cesar-puello-rf.html/#comments Wed, 08 Jan 2014 14:00:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139147 Cesar Puello, RF

Bats/Throws: R/R
DOB: April 1, 1991
Acquired: Dominican Republic, 2007
2013: Binghamton (AA) 377 PA, .326/.403/.547, 21 2B, 16 HR, 73 RBI, 24 SB

Recently, there has been some speculation about whether Cesar Puello is a top ten prospect for the Mets. Major sites like Baseball America and Fangraphs have excluded him from their annual team top ten lists. This is likely the result of Puello’s connection to the Biogenesis scandal, and his suspension at the end of last season.  Even though he used performance enhancing drugs, I believe he is still a top ten prospect in our system.

With his excellent combination of speed and power, Puello is one of the most talented prospects on the Mets. At 6’2” 195 pounds, he is a strong right-handed slugger with plus power potential. Last season Puello smashed 16 home runs with a .547 slugging percentage for AA Binghamton. He is also an excellent base runner, and has averaged 26 steals a season over the past four years.

Furthermore, the 22-year old is a strong defender in right field with good range and a strong arm.  He is a five tool player, and has a tremendous upside. Considering the lack of Mets position players in the minors, it’s hard to believe that there are so many position players better than him that would preclude him from a top ten ranking.

While Puello’s association with Biogenesis is concerning, it should not affect his value drastically. I keep hearing fans say to wait and see how he performs off of the PEDs, but there is no evidence of him taking them in 2013 when he was tested monthly. Puello was named in the scandal prior to the season, and the Biogenesis clinic closed in 2012.  If skeptics want to see how he plays off performance enhancers, then all they have to do is look at his 2013 season. It should also be noted that Puello has never failed a drug test once in his entire career.

Mets fans in general have been forgiving of other players with past steroid/PED suspensions, so it is only fair to do the same for Puello. Marlon Byrd was suspended for PED’s, yet most fans did not seem to care last year. The same seems true with the Mets latest significant acquisition, Bartolo Colon. Not only was Colon  suspended for steroids in 2012, but he was also connected in the same scandal that Puello was.  If fans are counting on Colon to be a solid starter this season, then it is hypocritical to use Puello’s suspension against him.

Puello is an excellent prospect, who made one big mistake. It’s understandable to be outraged by this mistake, but it should not unfairly deflate his value. He is an extremely talented outfielder, and he could be an impact player for this team in the very near future.

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MMO Mailbag: Can Puello Challenge For A Spot In The Outfield? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mmo-mailbag-can-puello-challenge-for-a-spot-in-the-outfield.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mmo-mailbag-can-puello-challenge-for-a-spot-in-the-outfield.html/#comments Fri, 20 Dec 2013 15:38:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135866 cesar_puello_480x270_w6a5hjni_exa1mnnr

Hitman asks…

Should the Mets fail to acquire another power bat in the OF, what are the chances of Cesar Puello challenging (and winning) a spot come Spring Training? For now, lets say that the Mets retain Ike Davis. Should Davis get his head on straight, I believe another slugger around Davis like Puello in the lineup might benefit Davis just like the presence of Puello benefited another struggling hitter this past season, Cory Vaughn.

Brian replies…

While Puello is an excellent prospect, there are two reasons why he won’t win a job out of spring training. The first reason is the Mets do not have enough space for him in the outfield. The amount of money spent on Curtis Granderson and Chris Young guarantees them significant playing time, and Juan Lagares is the favorite in centerfield due to his performance last year. The front office also appears to be high on Eric Young Jr. as well.

The other reason is that under Sandy Alderson, the Mets generally promote prospects at a very slow pace. So, it would be uncharacteristic for the Mets to have Puello skip Triple-A, and advance straight to the majors. The Mets are going to want him to get more at-bats and experience with Las Vegas before they promote him to the big leagues.

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Granderson Won’t Solve All Mets Problems, But He’s A Step In Right Direction http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/granderson-wont-solve-all-mets-problems-but-hes-a-step-in-right-direction.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/granderson-wont-solve-all-mets-problems-but-hes-a-step-in-right-direction.html/#comments Tue, 03 Dec 2013 12:00:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134336 curtis-granderson-op4e-6644With the Winter Meetings approaching, the time is now for the Mets to make a big splash. While building through the system is vital to the organization, completely ignoring the Mets present day needs is unacceptable. The Mets cannot stand pat again and let their fans suffer through another painful season. Mets fans are the best fans and baseball, and we deserve better than that.

One free agent who instantly improves the Mets is outfielder Curtis Granderson, and there is a report that Sandy Alderson has met with him. Granderson’s bat adds depth to the lineup, and he gives the Mets the cleanup hitter they desperately need. In two out of the past three seasons, Granderson has crushed over 40 home runs and collected over 100 RBI. He also adds the dimensions of speed and defense. He is a fast runner, and has stolen over 20 bases three times during his career. Defensively, he is regarded as a solid defender in centerfield.

Since Granderson is coming off a down season, he is a tremendous buy low candidate. Granderson did not produce his usual numbers because he suffered two fluke injuries. He was hit by two pitches, which caused him to miss significant time. This has made his price compared to other free agents like Shin Soo Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury significantly less. With all the Mets recent finical issues, an opportunity to land a potential star at a relative discount is a chance the Mets have to pounce on.

While many people will diminish Granderson’s production because he played half his games at Yankee Stadium, I don’t believe this is much of an issue. Granderson doesn’t have to hit 40+ home runs to be an asset to the Mets. Even if you cut out half of his home runs in 2012 and 2011, that total is still higher than any current Met hit last year. Granderson is also a complete player, so his value is not totally dependent on the long ball.

Granderson fills a need and improves the Mets offensively, defensively and on the base paths. While Granderson will not solve all the Mets problems, he is a step in the right direction. To passively wait for 2015 before 2014 even starts is not a viable option. The Mets need to be aggressive and must make an attempt to improve the major league team this offseason.

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The Case For Leaving Cory Vaughn Unprotected http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/the-case-for-leaving-cory-vaughn-unprotected.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/the-case-for-leaving-cory-vaughn-unprotected.html/#comments Mon, 28 Oct 2013 19:49:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131852 With the deadline for the 40 man roster decisions looming, the Mets have many difficult decisions to make. One player the Mets will have to decide to protect is outfielder Cory Vaughn.  Vaughn is a powerful right handed slugger who has been inconsistent throughout his minor league career. Despite his power potential, I believe Mets should not protect him on the 40 man roster.

Vaughn has an impressive combination of power and speed, but he also has a lot of flaws.  One of his most significant flaws is that he is prone to strikeouts. In 2013 for Double-A Binghamton, Vaughn struck out a total of 78 times in just 71 games. With this alarming amount of strikeouts, it is unlikely he can hit for a high average in the majors.

Vaughn also struggles to hit right handed pitching. For the past three minor league seasons, Vaughn has hit only .231with .383 slugging percentage against right handers.  This severely limits his value because it shows he will likely end up in a platoon role. It is not that hard to find someone who can hit lefties in a part time role, so losing Vaughn will not be devastating.

Vaughn will be approaching 25 years old in 2014, and he has yet to consistently produce in a full season. While he hit well for single A Savannah in 2011, he struggled immensely for advanced A St. Lucie. He hit .219 with nine home runs and a .308 OBP for St. Lucie in the 2nd half in 2011. The following season he showcased his power for St. Lucie with 23 homeruns, but his average was a disappointing .243.  For AA Binghamton this year, he posted pedestrian numbers. Vaughn hit .267 with 10 home runs, 50 RBI and a .769 OPS in 71 games.

Even if the Mets leave Vaughn unprotected, they will probably get him back.  For the reasons I listed above, most teams will not keep him on the 25 man roster the whole season. He needs more seasoning in the minors, and his upside is not high enough for a team to stash him on the bench the whole year.

The Mets also have little room on 40 man roster to keep Vaughn. With some players coming off the 60 day disabled list, the Mets already have four players too many.  The Mets also have to clear space for offseason acquisitions, and they will have to protect top prospects like Steven Matz.  Cory Vaughn is a nice prospect, but he is not someone they need to keep.

(Photo Credit: Gordon Donovan)

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Top 5 Mets Relief Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/top-5-mets-relief-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/top-5-mets-relief-prospects.html/#comments Wed, 16 Oct 2013 22:46:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131262 For the past few seasons, the Mets bullpen has been a major weakness. They have consistently ranked among the league’s worst, and they did not perform much better this season. In 2013, the Mets bullpen finished in the bottom ten in ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts. Despite these struggles, the relief corps can become a strength in the future. The Mets have many talented relief prospects who have the ability to become successful at the major league level. Here are my top five:

beck wheeler

#5: Beck Wheeler

Beck Wheeler was absolutely dominant for Low-A Savannah in 2013. His ERA settled in at 2.32, and his WHIP was a dazzling 0.93. He also struck out 74 batters in just 50 innings pitched.  While the 24-year-old is an older prospect for his level, his age is deceiving.  He’s still an inexperienced pitcher because he did not start his time on the rubber until his senior year of college.  He still has a lot to prove moving forward, but he has potential to be a fast riser in the Mets’ system.

Bret Mitchell 1

#4: Bret Mitchell

After missing the entire 2012 season due to hip surgery, Bret Mitchell was fabulous in 2013. He posted a 2.35 ERA with a 0.97 WHIP in 30 innings first half innings with Savannah, and he was selected to the South Atlantic League All-Star Game. Mitchell was rewarded for his strong showing and got promoted to St. Lucie, where he continued his success.  Mitchell’s ERA against Florida State League competition stands at 1.76, striking out 34 in 30 innings.  Although there are many reasons to like Mitchell, there are also some concerns. He walked 6.5 batters per 9 innings with St. Lucie, and he has yet to pitch above High-A.

#3: Adam Kolarek

Adam Kolarek, the Mets’ 11th round pick in the 2010 draft, was one of the key pieces in Binghamton’s fabulous bullpen this year. He owned a 1.71 ERA and 1.09 WHIP through 63 innings of work, striking out 63 batters. The 6’3”, 215-pound lefty has a low 90’s fastball, and has been solid throughout his professional career. For the past three seasons, he’s owned a sub-3.00 ERA. If Kolarek can continue his success in 2014 with AAA Las Vegas, he could be a factor in the big league  bullpen next season.

jack leathersich st. lucie

#2: Jack Leathersich

Jack Leathersich has shown tremendous promise ever since the Mets drafted him in the fifth round in 2011. His career minor league ERA is 3.46, and he has struck out 241 batters in only 143 innings.  In 2013, Leathersich could not have started his season any better. His ERA was a brilliant 1.53, while striking out 16.9 batters per 9 innings with AA Binghamton. Leathersich’s terrific first half with the B-Mets earned him a promotion to Las Vegas, but he encountered a rough patch. The hard-throwing lefty posted an awful 7.76 ERA and a 2.10 WHIP in 29 innings pitched for Las Vegas. He struggled the most with his control, walking 9 batters per 9 innings. While his second half for Las Vegas was discouraging, I expect him to rebound next season. Leathersich is a deceptive southpaw, and he has an explosive fastball with good movement.

jeff-walters

#1: Jeff Walters

Jeff Walters wasn’t on many people’s radar heading into 2013, but his terrific performance this year has earned him a lot of recognition. He posted a terrific.2.09 ERA with a 1.10 WHIP, and 60 strikeouts  in 56 innings pitched for Binghamton. Walters led the Eastern league in saves, and also shattered Binghamton’s all-time single season record in with 38 saves. The right-hander has a blazing fastball that can reach the mid 90’s and he isn’t afraid to pound the zone. Walters ranks as my number one relief pitcher because he has a high upside, and could potentially make his debut sometime in 2014.

In addition to these five pitchers, the Mets have more intriguing young relievers in the minors. Other notable minor league relief pitchers include Chasen BradfordChase Huchingson and Hamilton Bennett.  New York also has plenty of young relievers already at the major league level as well. Those include Vic BlackGonzalez Germen and Jeurys Familia. With this impressive amount of young and talented relief pitchers, it is unlikely the Mets bullpen will continue to struggle in the future.

Who are some of your favorite minor league relief pitchers you will be keeping an eye on in 2014?

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Top 5 Underrated Mets Hitting Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/top-5-underrated-mets-hitting-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/top-5-underrated-mets-hitting-prospects.html/#comments Thu, 29 Aug 2013 15:28:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128193 jayce-boyd-400x225

JAYCE BOYD TOPS THE LIST

With the amount of promising prospects that have come up through the Mets system recently, many fans have become more focused on the minor leagues.  Many view the exciting crop of young players the Mets currently possess as a sign that the team will soon escape mediocrity, so the elite prospects have garnered a lot of attention.  However, the Mets also possess a lot of other solid prospects that are underrated by many fans and even some analysts. Here are the top five underrated position players in the Mets system.

  • Travis Taijeron:   While Taijeron has usually been an older prospect for his level, he possesses impressive power potential. Taijeron dominated Florida State League pitching this season , hitting .303 with nine home runs, 20 doubles and 27 RBI in 188 at bats.  His average has dropped considerably since being promoted to Double-A, but he is still hitting for a lot of power. Taijeron has 13 home runs, 16 doubles, 39 RBI and has a .486 slugging percentage in 62 games for AA Binghamton. Although there are legitimate concerns surrounding Taijeron, he provides the Mets with a powerful righthanded bat with some upside.
  • Darrell Ceciliani: Ceciliani is an athletic centerfielder with an enticing combination of speed and power.  Ceciliani has been a catalyst at the top of Binghamton’s lineup this season, hitting .273 while scoring 61 runs in and stealing 31 bases in 110 games.  Ceciliani’s hasn’t hit for a lot of power yet, but at 6’1” 220 pounds he has the potential to hit for more power in the future. Cecelliani is regarded as solid defender in centerfield, and he is a severely underrated prospect.
  • Wilfredo Tovar:  With the lack of options the Mets have at SS, Wilfredo Tovar is a potential dark horse candidate to become the the starting shortstop sometime in the future.  Tovar doesn’t have much power offensively, but he is a solid contact hitter and he rarely strikeouts. He has struggled to adjust to Double-A pitching, but in recent months he is starting to figure it out.  The 21 year old shortstop is hitting .282/.352/.387 for Binghamton since the beginning of June, and he has four home runs and 44 runs scored in his last 238 at-bats. Defensively, Tovar projects to be a standout defender at short.  Tovar has a strong and precise arm, and he has terrific range. A lot of people believe Tovar’s offense will prevent him from making an impact in the majors, but I believe he is a solid prospect because he’s an excellent defensive shortstop that has the ability to make consistent contact.
  • Matt den Dekker:   Many people seem to think that Den Dekker only has value because of his glove, but he does carry some offensive upside.  In addition to his elite defense in center field, Den Dekker possesses great combination of power and speed. He hit 17 home runs in less than 140 games in 2012 and 2011, and also stole over 20 bases both seasons.  While there are some questions about his offense, there are no questions surrounding his defense.  He has fantastic range, and he makes incredibly difficult catches look routine.  If he performs well in September for the Mets this season, a platoon with him and Juan Lagares is definitely something the Mets should consider next season.
  • Jayce Boyd:  Jayce Boyd ranks as the most underrated prospect in the system because he’s had a phenomenal season for St. Lucie and Savannah, yet he doesn’t seem to receive a lot of recognition.  Overall, Boyd is hitting .325 with 9 home runs, 80 RBI and a .405 on base percentage in 119 games this season. Even though Boyd has hit only nine home runs this year, he does possess plenty of power potential. Boyd stands at 6’3” 185 pounds, and he is someone scouts always thought can hit for a lot of power.  Not only is Boyd a serious threat with the bat, but he also plays superior defense at first base.  Boyd was rated as the best defensive first baseman in the South Atlantic League by Baseball America this season, and he was regarded as an excellent defender coming out of college. A shoulder injury has slowed Boyd down recently, but he is an intriguing prospect that has a very bright future in the Mets organization.

While all these prospects have some flaws, they deserve a lot more recognition going forward because of their potential and their performances this season. All of these players aren’t far away from the majors, so they all could potentially be up here relatively soon.

To get the most comprehensive coverage of the Mets minor league system on the web, make sure to pay Mets Minors a visit!

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The Long and Short Of Noah Syndergaard, MMN Player of the Week http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/the-long-and-short-of-noah-syndergaard-mmn-player-of-the-week.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/the-long-and-short-of-noah-syndergaard-mmn-player-of-the-week.html/#comments Thu, 15 Aug 2013 16:47:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=127203

With Mets minor league pitchers turning in many outstanding performances last week, it was difficult to decide who would be this week’s MMN pitcher of the week. Rafael Montero posted a terrific 1.20 ERA in 15 innings pitched for Las Vegas while Jacob Lugo, who flew under the radar for most of the season, dazzled in two starts for Savannah this week. However, I decided to select the Mets’ top prospect, Noah Syndergaard.

Syndergaard’s dominating two starts last week for Double-A Binghamton, in addition to his excellent season overall, has elevated his prospect status to a new level.

In Syndergaard’s first start against the Harrisburg Senators this week, he fired 5.0 scoreless innings and surrendered only two hits and one walk while striking out three. In his next outing against the Erie Sea Wolves, Syndergaard struck out five and yielded only 2 hits and a walk over 5.0 scoreless innings. So over the entire week, Syndergaard was 1-0 and allowed no runs in ten innings pitched.

For the season, Syndergaard is 8-3 with a 2.54 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP and has 119 strikeouts in 109 innings pitched.  He’s pitched even better since being called up to AA, going 5-0 with a 1.76 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in 46.0 innings.

When the Mets acquired Syndergaard in the R.A. Dickey trade last winter, he wasn’t considered the top prospect in the deal. Now however, he is currently the top prospect in the system and is one of the top pitching prospects in the league. So congrats to Noah Syndergaard!

Thoughts from Joe D.

Great choice on MMN Player of the Week….

Here is a comment made by Keith Law yesterday, in a chat for ESPN Insider.

Regarding Syndergaard’s ceiling he says, ”I see more of a mid-rotation guy with the lack of an average or better breaking ball.”

I’m not a scout, nor am I a pitching analyst, but I do know a few scouts and pitching analysts and those that I’ve spoken to rave about Syndergaard’s overall pitching repertoire.

Everyone agrees on his plus-plus fastball with plus-velocity, but I’ve heard some great things about his curve this season and some of you saw him use it with great efficiency during the Futures Game. That was one heck of a hook.

Meanwhile, just last week, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com said the following regarding Syndergaard:

“His combination of stuff, pitchability and aggressiveness on the mound point to a possible future as a frontline starter.”

That’s like night and day and two completely different assessments of this young righthander.

Ultimately, Syndergaard will likely fall somewhere in between. Any you know what? That would be an incredible accomplishment and a future number two starter who will slot in perfectly behind Matt Harvey one day.

And another thing, what Syndergaard has done to this point in his professional career, far exceeds anything that Harvey or Zack Wheeler have ever done. And he’s only 20… Think about that for a minute…

(Photo Credit: Gordon Donovan)

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Top 5 Mets Power Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/top-5-mets-power-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/top-5-mets-power-prospects.html/#comments Tue, 06 Aug 2013 14:34:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=126578 Recently, the Mets top pitching prospects get the all the attention. With pitchers like Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, and Rafael Montero in the minors in 2013, the top hitting prospects have been overshadowed. While they don’t get as much publicity, the Mets do have some top power hitting prospects who have the potential to be key contributors in the future. Here are the top five.

aderlin rodriguez

5. Aderlin Rodriguez:

Even though Aderlin Rodriguez has a lot of flaws, he possesses immense raw power. Rodriguez had an impressive season last year for Savannah and St. Lucie driving in 83 runs and hitting 24 home runs in 125 games. What was impressive about his home run totals was that 16 of his home runs were with Savannah, which is one of the toughest places to hit home runs in the minors. He is having an up and down season in 2013 hitting .260 with 9 home runs and 41 RBI. However, Rodriguez is still only 21 years old, so it’s likely his power will increase as he gets older and stronger.

cory vaughn

4. Cory Vaughn:

Like his father, Gregg Vaughn, and his cousin, Mo Vaughn, Cory is strong and has impressive power. Last season, Vaughn finished second in the FSL in home runs with 23 and drove in 69 RBI in 123 games. This season, Vaughn was hitting .288 with 6 home runs and 31 RBI in 45 games in AA before landing on the DL with an elbow injury. However, the injury isn’t serious and he should return soon. While Vaughn’s power makes him a potential starter, there are some legitimate question marks surrounding him. There are concerns about whether he could hit for a high average at the major league level because of his high strikeout totals. And his age is also a concern because at 24 years old, he’s relatively old for AA.

d'arnaud

3. Travis d’Arnaud:

Travis d’Arnaud was the centerpiece of the R.A Dickey trade last winter, and he was considered the Mets top prospect heading into the season. d’Arnaud had extremely impressive seasons in 2011 and 2012. He finished 3rd in the Eastern League in home runs and slugging percentage in 2011. In 2012, he hit 16 home runs and drove in 52 RBI’s in 67 games for Las Vegas. Recent injuries have tempered expectations for d’Arnaud somewhat, but he still has plenty of power potential and is still one the best catching prospects in the league.

2. Cesar Puello:

Puello has fantastic physical tools, and he is currently obliterating AA pitching. Puello is hitting .333 with 16 home runs, 21 doubles and 73 RBI in 90 games for AA Binghamton. A 50-game suspension for being linked to Biogenesis is already underway, and he will be ready to go come Spring Training. Don’t make the mistake of discrediting his value as a prospect because of that, scouts have raved over him since he was 16 and still do this season. Puello has never failed any tests, and he’s always had the ability to develop into an outstanding prospect that can hit for a lot of power. Puello is a great prospect, and he could be starting for the Mets at some point in 2014 after some seasoning in Las Vegas.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at Detroit Tigers

1. Wilmer Flores:

Wilmer Flores ranks as the best power hitter in the system because he is crushing AAA pitching despite being one of the youngest players in the league. Flores is one of three hitters in the league that’s under the age of 22, yet he is one of the league’s best producers. Flores is ranked 4th in the league hits, 2nd in doubles, 10th in home runs, and is the league leader in RBI’s and total bases. This season cannot be written off as a fluke either, since he was one of the best producers in Double-A Binghamton last season and Advanced-A St. Lucie where he won the MVP.

A strong argument could be made for either d’Arnaud or Puello to be the top power hitting prospect, but I feel Flores offers the most power potential. His power will only continue to grow as he gets older, and if he can stick at second base, he will offer tremendous power and value from that position. For now, he’ll spell David Wright at third base.

Flores, Puello, and d’Arnaud can all make an impact in the major leagues in the near future. The Mets will most likely be looking for offensive upgrades from outside the organization this offseason, but it’s good to know the Mets have some internal solutions that can help offensively. While Vaughn and Rodriguez aren’t on the same level as the top three, they are intriguing prospects who possess a lot of power potential.

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It’s Too Soon To Write Valdespin Off http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/its-too-soon-to-write-valdespin-off.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/its-too-soon-to-write-valdespin-off.html/#comments Mon, 29 Jul 2013 12:00:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=126004 jordany-valdespinEvery so often there’s a player that everybody loves to hate. In the past it was players like Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, and even Mike Pelfrey to some extent towards the end of his Mets tenure. This year it’s Jordany Valdespin. Whether it’s because of his attitude rubbing people the wrong way or his statistics, he is probably the most disliked player on the team. While there are definitely valid criticisms of Valdespin, I believe he deserves another opportunity to succeed.

First off, there seems to be this notion floating around that Valdespin is somehow a “non prospect”. I don’t know why this belief is suddenly so popular because Valdespin’s minor league statistics and natural physical ability prove otherwise. Physically, Valdespin has a great combination of power and speed. He’s strong, he has a quick bat, and he also possesses excellent speed. In his most recent full minor league season, Valdespin was able to turn his potential into results. In AA and AAA as a 23-year-old, Valdespin hit .294/.333/.468 with 17 home runs, 60 RBI and 37 SBs in 134 games during the 2011 season.

Everyone reading this knows about Valdespin’s struggles in the majors this season, but there are reasons why you shouldn’t write him off because of them. While nothing excuses a sub .200 average, everyone has to remember that he’s still young and he never really got a fair shot to succeed in the majors. His playing time has been sporadic, and many of his ABs occurred when he was coming off the bench cold.

Let’s take a look at the amount of starts Valdespin has in his young career. In 2012, Valdespin started 34 games. By my count, the most games he started in a row was only three. In 2013, Valdespin started 25 games. He only had one stretch in June where he started regularly, but it was only for nine starts.

So, is a poor 59 starts enough to dismiss young player? I don’t think so. If we wrote off all young players who performed poorly in such a small amount of time, many of the games top players would also have been written off. And not only has he not started many games, but his playing time has never been consistent. The reason why this is significant is because it’s tough to get in a rhythm when you are sitting on the bench for long periods of time especially for a young and still developing player like Valdespin.

I’m not trying to say that Valdespin is some kind of can’t-miss prospect, or that it’s a guarantee that he will succeed. However, his ability makes him worthy of getting another opportunity. Valdespin deserves a second chance, and I hope the Mets are willing to give to him.

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Eric Young Is Drawing Rave Reviews As A Met, But Is It Sustainable? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/eric-young-is-drawing-rave-reviews-as-a-met-but-is-it-sustainable.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/eric-young-is-drawing-rave-reviews-as-a-met-but-is-it-sustainable.html/#comments Fri, 12 Jul 2013 17:34:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=124621 eric young points

Terry Collins had some high praise for Eric Young Jr. yesterday, in a conversation with the New York Post.

“The energy level has been raised since we got E.Y. and called up some guys from the minor leagues,” Collins said. “Andres Torres did a nice job last year when he wasn’t hurt, but certainly this year Young has made a big difference in our lineup.”

And even right fielder Marlon Byrd is happy to have Young patrolling the outfield with him and batting at the top of the order. “He’s the prototypical leadoff guy,” Byrd said. “I’m just so glad we have him over here.”

Ever since being acquired for starting pitcher Collin McHugh, Eric Young Jr. has been a spark plug at the top of the Mets lineup. He is hitting for a high average, and he has jolted the top of the Mets lineup with speed. Young’s speed has also made a difference defensively since he is a vast upgrade over the slow-footed Lucas Duda in left field. There is no denying that Young has been terrific so far, but is his performance sustainable?

There are a number of factors that make me skeptical about Young’s hot start. Before being traded to the Mets this year, Young was in the midst of an atrocious season. He was only hitting .240, with 1 HR, 6 RBI, 22 RS, 8 SB’s (4 CS’s) and 11 BB’s for Colorado in 57 games. In fact, he was performing so poorly that Colorado designated him for assignment.

Not only did Young struggle to produce offensively this year with Colorado, he struggled to produce his entire career. In 776 at bats with Colorado, Young has possessed .260/.329/.342 slash line with only 6 home runs and only 40 RBI. His numbers were also aided by an extreme hitter’s park in Coors field. In games played on the road, Young has hit under .230 in his career. It’s also important to note that Young isn’t a prospect that had struggled. He is 28 years old, which is considered the prime of a player’s career.

Young has been exciting to watch so far, but his success has come in a very limited amount of playing time. Just in this season alone, there have been many instances of players who have started their Met’s career s great like Young, but quickly faded away. John Buck, Collin Cowgill and Rick Ankiel also started their Mets career on fire like Young, but now Cowgill and Ankiel are no longer in the organization and Buck is struggling to maintain his average over the Mendoza line. How is Young’s great start any different from theirs?

Young’s 776 at bats with Colorado tell us more about the player he is than 93 at bats with the Mets. I think when all these facts are considered, it is unlikely that Young sustains his success. Even though Young has been a great addition to the team so far, I believe his success will be short lived.

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The Mets Should Have Drafted Austin Wilson http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/the-mets-should-have-drafted-austin-wilson.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/the-mets-should-have-drafted-austin-wilson.html/#comments Mon, 10 Jun 2013 12:00:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=121598 Austin Wilson

In the second round of the MLB draft on Thursday, the Mets passed on Stanford outfielder Austin Wilson. Wilson would have been a risky selection, but he also had a very high upside. Instead the Mets drafted high school pitcher Andrew Church. Church could turn out to be solid pick in the future, but I feel the Mets made a mistake passing on Wilson.

Austin Wilson is an extremely talented outfielder, and he had one of the highest ceilings in this year’s draft class. Wilson was considered a consensus first round pick leading up to the draft. He stands at 6’5” 245 pounds, he possesses great power, and he also has a very strong throwing arm. He even has decent speed for a man his size. However, Wilson also carried a lot of risk because of concerns over his swing.

Wilson went to college at Stanford, which has a poor reputation for developing hitters. Many scouts criticize Stanford for their hitting approach, which encourages contact and line drives over home runs. Analysts say it may take a long time for him adjust his swing, and it is uncertain if he could ever fulfill his power potential.

Despite the concerns over Wilson’s swing, I believe the Mets still should have selected Wilson in the second round. Since there are so many second round picks that never even reach the majors, every player available in that spot carried a lot of risk as well. So, my argument is, why not draft the player who had the highest upside? Wilson undoubtedly had the highest upside of any player available. Wilson also would have been a good fit for the system. The Mets desperately need a right handed outfielder with power, and that is exactly what Wilson will be if he fulfills his potential.

While Wilson’s swing is concerning, how big of a concern is it? I’ve decided to research the Stanford hitting philosophy further. According to Stanford’s associate head Coach Dean Stotz, there is a misconception about Stanford’s hitting philosophy.

“We don’t have one hitting philosophy, or a cookie-cutter approach,” Stotz said. “We do encourage our hitters to use the middle of the field. We try to get them to stay on balance. We have a lot of confidence in our strength and conditioning program, and we try to get strong.”

“But we’ve had a lot of different hitters do it a lot of different ways. Carlos (Quentin) tinkered, and his junior year, he hit about the way he does now. Garko was all spread out and used his strength.”

He goes onto to say:

“Mark does not clone people,” Stotz said of his boss, whom the players all just call Nine. “We’ve been here long enough that we know what we’ve got; we’re confident enough in who we are that we don’t have to do that. Tyler Gaffney has an ugly swing, but it works for him. Sean Ratliff (now in the Mets system) had an almost Japanese approach. Piscotty and Ragira are low-maintenance guys, though. They understand what the ball’s telling them. That’s what we want out of our hitters; the flight of the ball after they hit it tells them what they are doing right.”

Despite the criticisms of their hitting philosophy, there are some notable major league hitters that played at Stanford. They include, Carlos Quentin, Jed Lowrie, John Mayberry Jr, Jason Castro and Ryan Garko. For a player’s perspective, here’s what Astros’s starting catcher Jason Castro had to say when asked about Stanford’s hitting philosophy:

“A lot of the things that they teach are to get on top of the ball, and to hit the ball hard on a line and not try to worry about home runs, and things like that; those things will come. They’re also big on getting your foot down early, making sure you’re seeing pitches, and making sure you’re balanced. Definitely coming into pro ball now, and seeing guys that throw a little harder on a daily basis, those types of things have kind of helped me in the transition from college baseball to professional.”

Jason Castro is currently hitting .271, with 8 homeruns and 20 RBI. Castro also has the 4th highest slugging percentage among major league catchers.

So, the Stanford hitting philosophy certainly hasn’t hindered Castro’s career, and it also hasn’t hindered the career of Padres slugger Carlos Quentin. Quentin is a two time all-star, and he has smashed 144 home runs during his major league career.

If those players can have success despite going to Stanford, then why can’t Wilson? It is true that Wilson is a risk and he will have to make adjustments. However, in the second round I feel the reward outweighed the risk. In my opinion, the Mets missed a great opportunity to draft potential impact hitter at a great value.

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St. Lucie Bullpen Falters Behind Cuan, Mets Lose 7-3 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/st-lucie-bullpen-falters-behind-cuan-mets-lose-7-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/st-lucie-bullpen-falters-behind-cuan-mets-lose-7-3.html/#comments Sat, 11 May 2013 06:53:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=118321 510stl

Palm Beach 7, St. Lucie 3

St Lucie’s six game winning streak was snapped tonight by the Palm Beach Cardinals.  St Lucie’s starter Angel Cuan pitched six solid innings in the loss. Cuan allowed one unearned run in the second inning, and surrendered a solo home run to Stephen Piscotty in the fourth inning. St. Lucie was leading 3-2 in the seventh when Cuan exited the game. While Cuan was not dominant, he pitched effectively enough to deserve the win. Unfortunately, the St. Lucie bullpen couldn’t hold on to the lead.

Estarlin Morel entered the game in relief of Cuan with a man on base and quickly yielded a RBI double to the first batter he faced. However, Morel was able to escape the inning without allowing any more runs.

The Palm Beach Cardinals took the lead in the eighth off St Lucie reliever Randy Fontanez.  Fontanez allowed three runs in the inning, which put the game out of reach for St. Lucie.

Offensivley, Dustin Lawley was St. Lucie’s lone producer. In the fourth inning, Lawley put St Lucie on the board with a RBI triple off the centerfield wall. In his next AB, Lawley crushed a two-run home run to left field that put the Mets up 3-2.  Lawley finished only a double short of the cycle.  The rest of St. Lucie’s lineup went a combined 2-for-26.

Key Stats

Angel Cuan: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 HR, 0 BB, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 K

Estarlin Morel: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1-1 Inherited runners scored

Randy Fontanez: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 K

Wanel Vasquez: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 HR, 1 ER

Dustin Lawley: 3-for-4, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R

Aderlin Rodriguez: 1-for-4, 1 RBI

Gilbert Gomez: 1-for-2, 1 BB, 1 R

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Syndergaard Solid Again, But St. Lucie Shutout Behind Him 6-0 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/syndergaard-solid-again-but-st-lucie-shutout-behind-him-6-0.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/syndergaard-solid-again-but-st-lucie-shutout-behind-him-6-0.html/#comments Sat, 04 May 2013 04:01:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=117433 53Stlucie

Fort Myers 6, St. Lucie 0

St. Lucie’s starter Noah Syndergaard was locked in a pitchers’ duel with Fort Myers’ starter Matthew Summers for the majority of this game.  Syndergaard fired five scoreless innings to start the game before running into trouble in the sixth. Fort Myers’ third baseman Miguel Sano doubled off Syndergaard, but shortstop T.J. Rivera threw out Eddie Rosario at home plate. The next batter, Kennys Vargas, unfortunately came through for the Miracle with an RBI single for the first run of the game.

By looking at the stat line alone, Syndergaard allowed eight hits and two walks, which looks a little worrisome. However, he stranded nine of those ten and danced out of danger all evening. While six innings pitched was once a career high for Syndergaard, he has now strung together three straight outings of at least six innings and no more than one earned run allowed in each. He has also walked a maximum of two batters per start in the same span as well. He dropped his ERA down to 2.90 as he has looked to have settled down nicely in the FSL.

It all fell apart for St Lucie in the seventh inning, however, after Syndergaard’s departure. Pedro Feliciano yielded singles to the first two batters he faced and a fielding error on a sacrifice bunt loaded the bases. Feliciano then gave up consecutive sacrifice flies to make the score 3-0. Chasen Bradford came in relief of Feliciano and didn’t fare much better. Bradford gave up three hits and two runs in the inning, including one he inherited from Pedro Feliciano, which put St. Lucie behind 6-0. Third baseman Rylan Sandoval committed two errors in the inning.

St. Lucie’s offense was completely shut down by the Fort Myers pitching staff.  St. Lucie scored no runs and only had 6 hits. Their biggest opportunity of the night was in the fifth inning. Travis Taijeron led off the inning with a double, but St. Lucie failed to drive him in. The Mets will look to avoid the series sweep against Fort Myers on Sunday.  Tonight’s loss puts them seven games behind first place in the south division.

Key Stats

Noah Syndergaard: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 2 BB, 1 ER, 5 K

Pedro Feliciano: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 ER

Chasen Bradford: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 ER

Wanel Vasquez: 1.0 IP, 1 BB, 0 ER

Cam Maron: 1-for-4, 1 2B

Travis Taijeron: 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 BB

Albert Cordero: 1-for-3, 1 BB

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The Case For Ike Davis http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/the-case-for-ike-davis.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/the-case-for-ike-davis.html/#comments Thu, 02 May 2013 12:00:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=117122 ike davisWith Ike Davis having another dreadful month of April, many fans have lost hope in the New York Mets first baseman. Some have even gone as far as saying he should be sent down to the minors. Despite Davis’ poor start, I believe he should not be sent down and he should continue to be the everyday first baseman for three reasons.

My first reason is Ike Davis’ ceiling is far greater than any alternative in the Mets system. The Mets don’t have a player right now who has the potential to be an impact player. The Mets do have Josh Satin, but he has a limited upside. He doesn’t have a lot of power potential, and he is an average at best defender. His numbers also seem less impressive when you take into account that he’s a 28 year old in AAA hitting in Las Vegas, which is a notorious hitter’s paradise.

Who else do the Mets have? Zach Lutz is hitting .218 in Las Vegas and has very limited experience playing first base in the minors. Justin Turner is a nice bench player, but he’s not good enough to be an everyday starter. The Mets could also move Duda to first and call up an outfielder, but with the organization’s lack of quality players at the position, it is unlikely that they have an outfielder that could come up and make a significant impact.
The reality of the situation is that the Mets have no one else who can legitimately be an impact player at first base. While Davis has been inconsistent throughout his young career, he’s had many stretches where he has been an impact player. Davis had a solid season in 2010. He was great in the early part of the 2011 season before he suffered a season ending injury, and last year he had an outstanding 2nd half. If Ike Davis makes the right adjustments, he has a far greater upside than any other alternative the Mets have.

ike davis 2

My second point is if Davis could rebound and have a solid second half last year, then why can’t he have a similar rebound this season? In the 2nd half last season, Ike was one of the best power hitters in the league. Davis hit .269/.351/.562 with 27HR and 68 RBI after June 10th of last season. Davis’ problems at the plate are eerily similar to last season, so Davis has proven he is capable of making the necessary adjustments to turn his season around.

My third point is that it’s too early to panic. While it’ certainly not too soon to be concerned about Davis, it’s way too soon to make a drastic decision like sending him down. It would not be a wise decision to send down a player because of one bad month. Many good players have bad months during the course of a 162 game season. Davis’ early season struggles are more pronounced because his slump is happening in April. If Davis is batting sub .200 in August for example, many people would not notice.

The Mets need to exhibit patience with Ike Davis. The Mets should not make a shortsighted decision by sending him down. He has the ability to turn his season around, and he has a higher upside than any alternative in the system. If his problems continue to persist later on during the season, then sending him down will be an option. But as for now, he should continue to be the Mets everyday first baseman.

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Lawley Crushes Two Home Runs In 5-2 St. Lucie Win http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/lawley-crushes-two-home-runs-in-5-2-st-lucie-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/lawley-crushes-two-home-runs-in-5-2-st-lucie-win.html/#comments Sat, 27 Apr 2013 07:16:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=116468 426Stlucie

St. Lucie 5, Bradenton 2

St. Lucie starter Angel Cuan had a decent bounce back start tonight to pick up his third win of the season. Cuan pitched in and out of trouble most of the night, but he escaped without incurring too much damage.  In the third and fourth innings, the first two batters reached base against Cuan, but he managed to not allow any runs in either frame. However, in the fifth, Cuan yielded two runs off three hits.

Jim Fuller came in relief of Cuan in the sixth inning and St. Lucie received outstanding relief work from Fuller and T.J. Chism. Fuller pitched two scoreless innings and only allowed one hit.  Chism also pitched two scoreless innings and picked up a six out save. T.J. Chism has been superb this season, with a 1.35 ERA so far.

St. Lucie was found success against Bradenton starter Eliecer Navarro. Rylan Sandoval led off the second inning with a line drive single to right field. The next batter, Dustin Lawley, launched a 2 run home run that put St. Lucie ahead 2-0. St. Lucie tacked on another run in the inning off an RBI single by catcher Cam Maron. Cam Maron had an eventful night behind the plate. He threw out two runners that were attempting to steal, but he was also charged with catchers interference in the third inning.

Dustin Lawley crushed another home run in the 6th that extended the Mets lead. Lawley looked like he busted out his slump with a terrific night at the plate. Lawley was hitting .164 on the season before tonight’s game.

Key Stats

Dustin Lawley: 2-for-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB

Cam Maron: 1-for-4, RBI

Travis Taijeron: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI

Albert Cordero: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 SB

Rylan Sandoval: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 SB

Angel Cuan: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 2 ER, 4 K

Jim Fuller: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K

T.J. Chism: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 3 K

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