Mets Merized Online » Andruw Jones http://metsmerizedonline.com Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:47:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 David Wright Nominated For Hank Aaron Award http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/david-wright-nominated-for-hank-aaron-award.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/david-wright-nominated-for-hank-aaron-award.html/#comments Mon, 07 Oct 2013 17:52:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130829 david wright

The New York Mets, Major League Baseball and MLB Advanced Media today announced that David Wright was named the club’s nominee for the 2013 Hank Aaron Award.  Fans can vote exclusively online at Mets.com and MLB.com.

Wright, who was named to his seventh All-Star team (fifth as starter), led the Mets with a .307 batting average.  The third baseman hit 18 home runs with 58 runs batted in, despite missing six weeks with a right hamstring injury.  Wright homered in three straight games twice, and also passed Mike Piazza to move in to second on the Mets all-time home run list with 222. On June 23rd, Wright collected four extra base hits (two doubles, one triple and one home run) to tie the franchise record. Wright was named the fourth captain in club history by his teammates in March.

For the fourth straight year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron will join fans in voting for the award, which is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and has recognized the most outstanding offensive performer in each League since it was established in 1999.

The Hall of Fame panel led by Aaron includes some of the greatest offensive players of all-time –Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray and Robin Yount.  These Hall of Famers – who combined for 15,581 hits, 6,902 RBI and 1,334 home runs – have all been personally selected by Hank Aaron to lend their expertise to select the best offensive performer in each League.

Through October 10, fans will have the opportunity to select one American League and one National League winner from a list comprising of one finalist per Club. The winners of the 2013 Hank Aaron Award will be announced during the 2013 World Series.

“It is a great honor that Major League Baseball recognizes the most outstanding offensive performer in each League with an award in my name,” said Hank Aaron. “The game is full of so many talented players today that I am thankful my fellow Hall of Famers and the fans assist in selecting the much deserving winners.”

Past winners of the Hank Aaron Award include: Miguel Cabrera and Buster Posey (2012), Jose Bautista and Matt Kemp (2011), Bautista and Joey Votto (2010); Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols (2009); Aramis Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis (2008); Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder (2007); Jeter and Ryan Howard (2006); David Ortiz and Andruw Jones (2005); Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds (2004); Rodriguez and Pujols (2003); Rodriguez and Bonds (2001-02); Carlos Delgado and Todd Helton (2000) and Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa (1999).

The Hank Aaron Award was introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th Anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, and, at that time, was the first major award introduced by Major League Baseball in more than 25 years.

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Is a Kazmir-Mets Reunion Possible In 2014? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/is-a-kazmir-mets-reunion-possible-in-2014.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/is-a-kazmir-mets-reunion-possible-in-2014.html/#comments Fri, 06 Sep 2013 19:15:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128657

Scott Kazmir has resurrected his career with the Indians this season.

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Scott Kazmir will make his first career start against the Mets tonight, nine years, one month, and eight days after the Mets traded the budding prospect for Victor Zambrano and Bartolome Fortunato. The trade will always be remembered as one of the worst in Mets history, as Kazmir went on to have four very good seasons for the Devil Rays-turned Rays. Meanwhile, Zambrano had a decent 2005, but one day after striking out Andruw Jones in 2006, jogged off the mound and into the clubhouse after facing just four batters, never to be seen again, at least not in a Mets uniform.

After a few years with the Rays, however, the concerns that led the Mets to trade Kazmir flared up. He didn’t go deep into starts. He got repeatedly injured. In 2009, the roller coaster that was his career took a whole new turn. After posting a 5.92 ERA in the first half, he was dealt to the Angels where, at 25 years old, it became evident that his career was in danger. Over the next four years, Kazmir made only 55 starts, posting an ERA of 5.54 and striking out a little more than six batters per nine innings.

This season, the Clevland Indians took a chance on the journeyman lefty, signing him to a minor league deal, one which has paid off tenfold for the Indians. After winning the fifth starter job out of spring training, Kazmir now has a 4.36 ERA over 130 innings. Even more impressive, he has seen his velocity rise back into the mid-90s. When he auditioned for scouts in 2012, his fastball was clocked around 86 to 87 miles per hour. This year, according to PitchF/X, he is averaging 93.54 on his four-seam fastball this season.

With Matt Harvey‘s injury opening a big void in the Met rotation, a reunion with Kazmir may make sense for the team. He is a step up from the Mike Pelfreys and Chris Youngs of the world, meaning he will be more of a sure thing, yet still cheap, allowing the Mets to address needs in the outfield, and at shortstop and third base without having to spend a large chunk of their budget on a replacement for Harvey.

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Is Juan Lagares An Everyday Center Fielder? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/is-juan-lagares-an-everyday-center-fielder.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/is-juan-lagares-an-everyday-center-fielder.html/#comments Thu, 22 Aug 2013 02:50:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=127511 juan lagares

YES!!!

Mets righthander Dillon Gee credits his improved performance to his defense because he doesn’t have to be afraid to pitch to contact, he especially singles out Juan Lagares.

“It gives you confidence to keep attacking because you know you’ve got guys out there that are playing hard and making all the plays for you,” Gee said. ”Juan tracks down everything out there in centerfield. It helps having that. Other than that, I’m throwing the ball probably the best I’ve really ever thrown it.”

Now after pimping Juan Lagares on MMO for the last two years, you didn’t think I’d let yesterday’s incredible defensive performance go unchecked did you? Check out one of his many amazing grabs in yesterday’s win over Minnesota…

I smile whenever I see Lagares make plays like that and it reminds me of when I asked the producers at SNY and their minor league analyst Toby Hyde last March why they spend so much airtime on Brandon Nimmo and yet none on Juan Lagares or Rafael Montero. “Because average Met fans don’t care about Juan Lagares or Rafael Montero… They just want to know about Nimmo, Wheeler and D’Arnaud.”

I bet they’d love to take those words back…

On Monday, Joel Sherman of the NY Post spoke to a baseball official who compared Juan Lagares to Michael Bourn:

Lagares has really impressed me, and our scouts and I think he’s a much better value — and very likely a better player than Bourn for 2013-2016.

He isn’t as polished right now, but he may be the best defensive center fielder in the NL right now with apologies to Andrew McCutchen.

He’s a young, cheap, high-upside piece for the future. I would rather have Lagares through 2016 than Bourn independent of the money because the former has more upside and is younger and will continue to improve.

Actually, that was a quote from me back in April – Nah, just kidding, I only called him the best defensive outfielder in the entire Mets system back then…

I love how some of the fans I follow on Twitter laughed when I said he was better than Matt den Dekker, and now these same people compare him to Andruw Jones, Tommie Agee and Carlos Beltran…. (Note to SNY: It’s Tommie not Tommy)

I’m not the least bit worried about his bat… He’s young and you can see him making adjustments and working things out. After hitting the ground running in the month of June and then slumping, he stepped in closer to the plate and responded with a .353 average in July. He’s now seeing a healthy diet of inside pitches as they try to back him off the plate, and Lagares has slumped badly in August batting .227. But he’s made another adjustment after some time in the cage with Dave Hudgens and is now 4-for-12 in his last three games and also got robbed of a couple of hits in that span.

Also this from ESPN’s Mark Simon:

Juan Lagares had a great game on the defensive side in Target Field with a couple of nifty catches, one of which should be under strong consideration for a No. 1 Web Gem from Baseball Tonight. The Mets entered Monday with the most No. 1 Web Gems of any team with nine.

Lagares, with 20, ranks second among major-league center fielders in Defensive Runs Saved. That measures ability to turn batted balls into outs and the deterrent value of throwing arms. Only former Mets outfielder Carlos Gomez has more (27).

I wrote Mark and added that Gomez had played 400 more innings than Lagares and had over 140 more fielding chances. Lagares could easily be the league leader if Terry Collins has simply stayed out of his way and played him…

At 24 and with nothing but upside ahead of him, Lagares has cemented himself in centerfield and expect Terry Collins to start utilizing some of his great speed at the top of the order before this season ends. As I’ve said before, the Mets have a lot of things they need to fix in the upcoming offseason, but centerfield isn’t one of them.

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How The Mets Almost Derailed The Career Of Juan Lagares http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/how-the-mets-almost-derailed-the-career-of-juan-lagares.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/how-the-mets-almost-derailed-the-career-of-juan-lagares.html/#comments Fri, 16 Aug 2013 12:17:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=127192 juan lagares

In a chat for ESPN Insider, baseball analyst Keith Law fielded a couple of questions about the Mets including one on Juan Lagares.

Keith Law: Pretty darn good defender, better than I’d ever heard (never saw him before he reached the majors). He was 10th on my Mets prospect rankings before 2012, so he was on the radar, but spent about a decade in Savannah before he finally hit enough to move up the ladder.

Joe D: Law is right in that Lagares spent a ton of time in Savannah that included one full season and parts of three others, but there is a backstory to this that needs to be told. At the age of 17, Lagares was playing shortstop for the Mets’ Dominican Summer League. The following season at 18, he was skipped three levels (GCL, Kingsport, Brooklyn) and began the year in Single-A Savannah – a jump that he was clearly not ready for, and he was the youngest player in the league. Apparently Tony Bernazard, who made that call, was bent on rushing this raw talent up the food chain as quickly as he could. It was a bad call. Lagares remained in Savannah for the entire season and batted a disappointing .210/.262/.317 in 304 plate appearances.

In 2008 and 2009, Lagares was now being tossed all over the place, making stops at the Gulf Coast League (Rookie Ball), Brooklyn (Low-A) and eventually two more stopovers in Savannah. By the time he was ready to be promoted to Advanced-A St. Lucie, the decision was made to convert him from a shortstop to an outfielder because he was being blocked by Jose Reyes. He started a fourth season at Savannah being tested at all three outfield positions where they decided he was best suited for center field.

Ironically, he’d be moved to a corner outfield position once Matt den Dekker came along, even though many outside the organization believed Lagares was the more superior center fielder.

Lagares was mishandled almost from the very beginning and it proved to be an impingement to his development and stunted his ability to have a smooth and natural progression through the system.

In 2011, Lagares finally had his breakthrough season and batted .338/.380/.494 for Advanced-A St. Lucie and then after a promotion to Double-A Binghamton he actually improved, posting a .370/.391/.512 slash in 170 plate appearances. The rest as they say, is history.

Since his promotion to the majors in April of this season, Lagares has enjoyed steady growth at the plate and has made adjustments along the way while working with hitting coach Dave Hudgens.

After batting .234/.255/.340 in sporadic play that included week-long stretches on the bench, Lagares has finally cemented himself as the Mets regular centerfielder and he has responded with a .294/.336/.500 showing in the second half. As an everyday player and fixture in the lineup he even earned himself a National League Player of the Week honor in late July – a month that saw him post a team best .937 OPS.

Defensively, the 24-year old centerfielder is rated among the best in the majors and leads the National League with 12 outfield assists and is second in DRS (defensive runs saved) at his position despite only logging 57 games as a starter.

The Mets will have many questions going into the 2013 offseason, but center field isn’t one of them.

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White Sox Nab Andruw Jones For $500K http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/white-sox-nab-andruw-jones-for-500k.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/white-sox-nab-andruw-jones-for-500k.html/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2009 20:44:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=16471 According to Bruce Levine of  ESPN the Chicago White Sox have signed outfielder Andruw Jones to a one year contract worth $500K with incentives that could bring the value up to $1.5 million dollars.

Levine writes that the move was done to soften the blow of losing Scott Podsednik to free agency, but that they currently don’t view Jones as a starting outfielder.

The 32-year-old Jones hit .214 last season in 281 at-bats for the Texas Rangers last season, and slugged 17 homeruns and drove in 47 runs, mostly as a designated hitter.

It doesn’t happen often, but Jones completely fell of the baseball map once he reached his 30th birthday. Before that he was considered one of baseball’s best outfielders. When he was 29 years old, Jones hit 41 homeruns and drove in 129 runs while scoring 107 for the Atlanta Braves. The four-time All Star led the NL with 51 homers and 128 RBI the season before that. He has also won ten gold gloves in his career.

His salary takes quite a momentous fall from $14.5 million dollars a year ago.

I has absolutely no interest in Jones going into the off season, but for $500 K, I would have to believe he would have been a solid right handed bat off the bench for the Mets. I’m thinking the Mets will pay a lot more and get a lot less from their eventual fifth outfielder.

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Mets Meeting With Agent Scott Boras Tonight http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/mets-meeting-with-agent-scott-boras-tonight.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/mets-meeting-with-agent-scott-boras-tonight.html/#comments Tue, 10 Nov 2009 23:45:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=15735 According to a tweet from Joel Sherman of the NY Post, Mets general manager Omar Minaya is meeting with Scott Boras tonight.

I would assume this is simply just one of thirty such “meet and eats” Boras will be having this month as most teams attempt to get a handle on what they might expect this offseason, as well as letting Boras know which of his many clients they may have interest in.

Here are some of the key players who are among the many Scott Boras clients that are free agents this offseason:

Matt Holliday
Johnny Damon
Rick Ankiel
Ivan Rodriguez
Jason Varitek
Alex Cora
Adrian Beltre
Garret Anderson
Xavier Nady
Andruw Jones
Jarrod Washburn
Eric Gagne
Scott Schoeneweis

Don’t expect any offers to be exchanged tonight as some may suggest. This is just a first step into opening up a dialogue between Boras and the Mets. In other words, the Mets just want Boras to know they received his party invitation and that they will gladly attend.

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Pedro Martinez: T Minus Five Days http://metsmerizedonline.com/2008/05/pedro-martinez-t-minus-five-da.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2008/05/pedro-martinez-t-minus-five-da.html/#comments Thu, 29 May 2008 21:19:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/wordpress/?p=1904 The troops are currently in the staging area, cleaning their weapons. The engineers are working on the engines and we’re starting to see them click on some of the available cylinders. D Day has been set for June 3rd.

Pedro Martinez has thrown a rehab session in A Ball St. Lucie and has been declared ready to return. And not a moment too soon. He returns to what he all hope is Major League form, on Tuesday as the Mets take on the Giants in San Francisco.

In the last two games against the Marlins, the Mets have started showing signs that they’re a team with a pulse. For about the past year, the Mets haven’t been playing as a team as much as they were a group of superstars on the same field. No cohesiveness. No gel. Not so these past two days though. On the field and in the dugout, I sense changes afoot.  Heart, maybe? Excitement?

The doldrums we’ve gotten used to seem to be shaking off some of the players that had been highlighted and chastised across all medias. Aaron Heilman has been spotting his pitches well in his last two outings and he’s been very effective. Luis Castillo, was actually productive from the right side of the plate Wednesday night.  

As the Mets begin playing as a team again, is the re-addition of Pedro going to help to bring the team together or will it work against the cohesiveness that’s been developing? Pedro felt “perfect, physically” after his rehab start Wednesday night.  He went six innings, throwing 82 pitches.  He allowed two runs on four hits, no walks and six strikeouts in this effort. Pedro says that it’s “uncomfortable” to see what the Mets are going through and not be able to help. I think we’re all looking forward to his return and the boost he will hopefully give this team.

The Mets just finished a three game series, taking two of the three from the Fish. They’re starting to show some flashes of what they are capable of. It should work in their favor that they go right into this next series without a day off. Tonight, the Mets welcome Joe Torre back to New York. The Dodgers come limping in after a tough series with Chicago where they got swept.  Not only are they limping from this past series, but they come in as depleted as the Mets.  Their best hitter this year, Rafael Furcal, is on the shelf at least past this series (phew) and Andruw Jones is on the DL as well.  Starting for the Dodgers on Thursday will be Brad Penny, who has a 7.13 ERA and a 0-3 record at Shea Stadium in the past three years alone.

This is definitely going to be an uphill battle, but thankfully, it looks as if the Mets may have already hit their bottom and are already pushing forward into the battle for supremacy in the NL East.

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