Mets Merized Online » Baseball America http://metsmerizedonline.com Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:30:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.17 2017 Top 30 Prospects: #9 Andres Gimenez, SS http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/mmo-top-30-prospects-9-andres-gimenez-ss.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/mmo-top-30-prospects-9-andres-gimenez-ss.html/#comments Thu, 12 Jan 2017 17:00:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229022 andres giminez

Ht: 6’0”  Wt: 165  Level: DSL Mets  - Dominican Summer League

B/T: L/R Age: 9/04/1998 (17) Age Dif: -1.7

Acquired: Signed as an IFA in 2015 for $1.2 MM bonus

Last Year: #28

2016 Statistics:  62 G, 214 AB, 52 R, 75 H, 20 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 38 RBI, 46 BB, 22 K, 13 SB, .350/.469/.523

In 2015, the Mets continued their organizational philosophy of prioritization of up the middle positional players for International free agents. Signing not one but two consensus top ten prospects available, (both shortstop) including Andres Gimenez who, at the time, was ranked #2 overall by Baseball America, though signed for a relative bargain $1.2 million due to hailing from Venezuela. Here is a video courtesy of MLB.com from prior to the signing period in 2015.

A more than slightly abridged personal history; I have been among the contributing writers for the site here for just about a year now. While I was a voracious consumer of this website and others who provided Mets and prospect related news, I have since become more selective in my consumerism and whose opinions I value with regard to players I have yet to lay eyes on personally.

I say this because typically I am reserved when jumping onto a prospect bandwagon. I would rather be pleasantly surprised than disappointed in the eventual outcome of a player. With modern day information and knowledge it’s much easier to fall in love with prospect hype than in yesteryear when the only information was your BA subscription that came in the mail or your local periodical distributor.

When it comes to Gimenez though, I find myself needing to slow my roll. With a stat line that includes a better than 2 to 1 BB/K ratio and 27 extra base hits it’s easy to get excited. For a player to begin his professional career with such an advanced approach at the plate and add it with solid bat to ball skills at a premium position; it equates to a player that everyone will covet. As such rumors swirled around the trade deadline he was one of the pieces most often asked about by rival executives.

The tools; while I would not grade him an 80 on any individual aspect of his game, (at least without seeing him in person first) the sum of parts has the look and feel of an above average regular/borderline All-Star at a premium position. With a swing geared for line drives and enough bat speed to drive the ball, he appears more geared for doubles than homers. Though there is more in the frame to suggest some power growth could be expected in the future.

The foot speed and athleticism is good enough to keep him in the middle infield and slot him in the upper portion of the lineup, though one should not expect prototypical burner speed. The glove and arm are said to be good enough to stick at shortstop;  and while in the Mets world that is a fairly low bar, it is worth noting outside the organization that is the consensus thus far.

Mike M adds:

I was excited for Gimenez even before he played a game and even more so after showing an advanced approach in his pro debut. Before he signed, some scouts compared his value to Gleyber Torres who is now regarded as one of the best prospects in baseball.

I believe the Mets made a mistake by not having Gimenez play stateside at all during his debut so they should be aggressive with him this year. He will certainty skip the GCL Mets (Rookie Level), and could probably even hold his own if he skipped the Kingsport Mets (Rookie Level) to go right to the Brooklyn Cyclones.

2017 Outlook:

Much like fellow countryman and 2013 IFA Luis Carpio, it’s been said Gimenez has a tremendous baseball IQ and displays the maturity of a player much older than a high school senior his age reflects. As he comes stateside this season I anticipate that the organization will challenge him as they did Carpio with an assignment to Kingsport Mets to begin his stateside career. It will present a greater challenge for him and allow the organization to keep both Gimenez and fellow 2015 IFA Gregory Guerrero at short.

It will be the approach and his ability to make contact that forces his way up the organizational ladder. While the risk factor is real for a player who has yet to make a stateside debut, there is more than enough to be excited about Gimenez’ future.

2017 MMO TOP 30 PROSPECTS

1. Amed Rosario, SS

2. Dominic Smith, 1B

3. Robert Gsellman, RHP

4. Thomas Szapucki, LHP

5. Desmond Lindsay, OF

6. Justin Dunn, RHP

7. Gavin Cecchini, INF

8. Brandon Nimmo, OF

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Congrats To Baseball America Cover Boy Amed Rosario http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/congrats-to-baseball-america-cover-boy-amed-rosario.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/congrats-to-baseball-america-cover-boy-amed-rosario.html/#comments Wed, 21 Dec 2016 21:26:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=228312 amed-rosario

New York Mets shortstop of the future, Amed Rosario, is next month’s cover boy on Baseball America, senior editor Matt Eddy announced on Twitter this afternoon.

It’s a gorgeous cover if I should say so myself on what we hope will be a future star for the Mets for years to come.

At the recently concluded Winter Meetings, Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson let it be known to all teams that the highly desirable Rosario is untouchable and unavailable in any trades.

“We’ve made that clear before and continue to make it clear when his name is mentioned,” Alderson said. “So I think clubs have gotten the message.”

That doesn’t stop one site from posting daily trade scenarios swapping Rosario for one 30-something guy after another. Thank goodness for Sandy.

Baseball America recently ranked the 21-year-old Rosario as the Mets’ top prospect after a big season where he batted a combined .324/.376/.462 with 24 doubles, 13 triples, five homers 71 RBI and 19 stolen bases between High-A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton.

Amed was also named Defensive Player of the Year in both the Florida State League and the Eastern League. He is a potential 70-grade defender on the 20-80 scouting scale.

“He makes all plays look easy, even tough ones,” one scout said. “Swings the bat, makes adjustments with breaking pitches.”

The Mets signed Rosario back in 2012 for $1.75 million, a franchise record for an international amateur, and worth every penny. He has had a quick rise through the minors and continues to impress more and more each year.

The Mets added him to the 40 man roster last month to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. Look for Amed to begin the 2017 season at Triple-A Las Vegas where he’ll be one step away from his major league debut.

“He can be an outstanding player, I think that’s why he’s considered our No. 1 prospect at a premium position,” Alderson said recently.

Congrats to Amed who is also a great follow on Twitter at @Amed_Rosario. A tremendous talent with a great personality and positive attitude. I love this kid…

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Alonso Ranked Fifth Best Power Hitter in ’16 Draft Class http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/alonso-ranked-fifth-best-power-hitter-in-16-draft-class.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/alonso-ranked-fifth-best-power-hitter-in-16-draft-class.html/#comments Tue, 18 Oct 2016 10:14:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225012 peter alonso

Baseball America released its 2016 Draft Report Card on Monday, compiling lists of various top five categories, including fastest runner, best defensive player, and best pure hitter.

Under the category of “Best Power Hitter”, the Mets’ 2nd round draft pick Peter Alonso is ranked fifth among this year’s drafted players. Alonso, 21, is the lone Mets player to be listed under any of BA’s categories this year.

Alonso was taken with the 64th overall pick this year by the Mets, after a breakout season with the Florida Gators in which he slashed .374/.469/.659 with 14 home runs and 60 RBI in 58 games.

The right-handed slugger was assigned to Brooklyn after agreeing to a $909,200 contract, where he played in 30 games for the Cyclones before breaking his right pinky finger on August 10, after he slid into second base awkwardly for his 12th double on the season. In 109 at-bats for Brooklyn, Alonso slashed .321/.382/.587, with five homers, 21 RBI, and 20 runs scored. He led the Cyclones in doubles (12), slugging (.587), OPS (.969), and tied for first in homers with Brandon Brosher (5).

Alonso killed lefty pitching in Brooklyn, with a 1.331 OPS against southpaws compared to .721 against right-handers. Alonso posted solid numbers with runners in scoring position, slashing .433/.441/.900, with three homers and 16 RBI in 30 at-bats.

Alonso could progress quickly through the Mets’ system, similar to Michael Conforto who was also drafted out of college in his junior year, and was 21-years-old when he made his professional debut with Brooklyn. Alonso also has experience playing in high pressured games, as the Gators made the College World Series in back-to-back years in 2015-16.

MLB.com has Alonso ranked as the 13th best Mets prospect in 2016, and had the following to say about his raw power and the small tweak he made in his swing for better results at the plate:

“Alonso was making consistent, hard contact for the Gators as his junior season progressed. He’s always had raw power, but didn’t always look like he could tap into it consistently. He shortened his swing and began to use the whole field more effectively, showing extra-base pop to the opposite field. Much of his success stems from a more open stance which has helped him get his hips through more consistently.”

The six-foot-three slugger is one to keep an eye on next year, as he could be climbing the minor league ranks and pushing Dominic Smith at first base. Smith is the better defender at the position, however, Alonso’s raw power is intriguing and if he continues to develop as an overall hitter as he was doing with the Cyclones, then we might see some competition at first in the very near future.

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Baseball America’s Mid-Season Mets Top 10 Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/baseball-americas-mid-season-mets-top-10-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/baseball-americas-mid-season-mets-top-10-prospects.html/#comments Thu, 21 Jul 2016 19:17:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=218268 brandon nimmo hr

Baseball America released their top ten Mets mid-season prospect list and it does present some surprises. Though it doesn’t appear to be because they actually scouted the players and simply went with their preseason list minus graduates.

  1. Amed Rosario
  2. Dominic Smith
  3. Brandon Nimmo
  4. Gavin Cecchini
  5. Desmond Lindsay
  6. Robert Gsellman
  7. Wuilmer Becerra
  8. Luis Guillorme
  9. Marcos Molina
  10. Gabriel Ynoa

The upper four of the list appears to be in concert with most other recent publications. The rest of the list is well, confusing at best.

The upside is there that you can look past the fact that Lindsay has missed more games than he has played as a professional. With the bump in velocity he has shown, Gsellman is among the top ten as well, especially being so close to the majors. Becerra has done a good job prioritizing contact, but there is no mention of his shoulder (and it’s possible correlation to his power outage) in the article.

That Matt Eddy apparently penalized Luis Carpio (his preseason #7) for season ending surgery, yet has Lindsay (#8) pass him and Molina dropped from #6 to #9 doesn’t seem to be very consistent.

While I am a huge fan of both Guillorme and Ynoa, (preseason #12 & 13 respectively) it appears as he took his preseason list and just moved them up, by-passing Jhoan Urena based on the stat line. Truth be told, Guillorme is a slick fielding slap hitter, and Ynoa a starting pitch without an out pitch, both potential major league players, just not top 10 prospects. (Except in the Angels or Marlins system, where they may be top 5.)

Andres GimenezAli SanchezTomas Nido, (leading FSL in batting and third among all catchers in minor league baseball, and second in SLG), and Thomas Szapucki (and his Chapman’esqe k rate) deserve to be a part of the conversation.

I expect more from Baseball America, it’s writers and journalists should be better than everyone else. The insight and analysis should be what other publications strive for.

For comprehensive (maybe slightly biased) Mets minor league coverage check out MetsMinors.Net where we will be unveiling our mid-season top 50 prospects, starting with numbers 50-41 on Friday morning.

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Rosario, Smith Among BA’s Top 100 Midseason Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/rosario-smith-among-bas-top-100-midseason-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/rosario-smith-among-bas-top-100-midseason-prospects.html/#comments Fri, 08 Jul 2016 15:17:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=217121 amed+rosario1_1435890584555_20724978_ver1.0_640_480

Yesterday, Baseball Prospectus released their Top 50 Midseason prospects with Amed Rosario coming in at number 15, the highest ranking he has ever received from any outlet. Today he receives more high praise, this time from Baseball America who ranks him as the 18th best prospect in all of baseball. Joining him on the list is Binghamton Mets first baseman Dominic Smith at number 76.

After two more hits last night, Rosario is hitting .424/.462/.610 in his first 16 games for the Binghamton Mets. Coming into the season the young shortstop was ranked at #58 prospect according to Baseball America.

Smith, 21, jumps up only three spots from his #79 preseason ranking by Baseball America despite already setting a career high with ten home runs in his first 307 Double-A at bats. Overall, he is hitting .277/.340/.436 with 17 doubles, one triple, 38 runs scored and 59 RBIs. His 59 runs batted in are the fourth best in the league and 20 off the career high he set last year for the St. Lucie Mets. Here you can read about my first hand report on Smith’s power potential.

It was also announced yesterday that Rosario has been added to the 2016 Futures Game roster in San Diego where he will join Smith and Dilson Herrera. The game is on July 10th at 7:00 PM ET and can be seen on MLB Network.

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Baseball America Raises Eyebrows With Latest Mock http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/baseball-america-raises-eyebrows-with-latest-mock.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/baseball-america-raises-eyebrows-with-latest-mock.html/#comments Thu, 09 Jun 2016 17:00:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=214466 br1

Baseball America changed their Shock…er…Mock draft today for their fifth attempt at projecting the first 34 picks of the draft. In this one, previously named #1 Pick, Jersey lefty Jason Groome dropped to 14th overall in the draft, and Puerto Rican Shortstop Delvin Perez drops completely out of the first round after being in the top-10 overall for the last six months. Flame-throwing Matt Manning drops to #29, and has the Mets picking outfielder Blake Rutherford at #19.

For those who don’t know, Rutherford, a high school outfielder with five bonafide tools, has been a foregone conclusion to be selected among the top ten overall picks. In fact, of all the mocks I’ve surveyed, Rutherford has not been mocked to the Mets once, prior to this. When you see the tally I’ve accrued, you’ll check out the last name on the #19 pick, and that’s Rutherford. That’s how certain Mock Draftees were about Rutherford not leaving the top 10.

What they said:

19. METS: Rumors are fast and furious for the Mets after weeks of them being tied to Will Craig. They appear to be the team most tied to Rutherford and may be the team to block the Phillies from floating him all the way to their second selection. PICK: Blake Rutherford, of

Anyway, my turn…

#19 OF Blake Rutherford, Chaminade (Calif.) College Prep

Outfielder Rutherford is more of a known quantity in the prospect circles for scouts, especially because he’s older than most prep players, and has been in the USA 18U Squad the last two years. Turning 19 in May, Rutherford is more mature in body type, with less projection, but that doesn’t stop him from being a top caliber player in this draft. He is an above-average to plus hitter from the left side, with above-average power to possibly plus if he can make some adjustments to tap into it more.

His swing is geared towards line drives all over the field, with the power going the same way. According to two reports this spring, he has been inconsistent and has not been able to tap into that power so far, but that can come with more experience. His swing reminds some of Grady Sizemore, and Scouts in general compare him to Jim Edmonds.

In the field and on the base paths, Rutherford is a plus runner. He doesn’t take the prettiest routes in the field defensively, but he’s definitely able to track down balls in his area. His arm is above-average for the position, and should he slow down for any reason, the arm will work fine in right field with time. Rutherford is committed to UCLA, and apparently is asking for a $3,000,000 bonus to buy him out of his commitment.

In case you’re wondering, the Mets have a $2,378,800 slot at #19, so they would have to go $621,200 over-slot. I’m not sure what would drop Rutherford other than his age, but if the Mets are going to grab someone with great upside, it should be him. This is the pizzazz/sexy pick you’d hope for with a chance to move quicker to the majors than usual.

#31 LHP Anthony Kay, Uconn

If the Mets take Rutherford at 19 overall, they’ll try to handcuff him with a safe-bet collegian, and they have confidence in the pitchability of Lauer and UConn’s Anthony Kay. PICK: Anthony Kay, lhp

If you’re familiar with the name of Anthony Kay, i’ll remind you why: He was a Mets’ 26th rounder in the 2013 draft out of Ward Melville High School in Long Island (same HS as Steve Matz), who didn’t sign. During the time of being drafted previous and Thursday, he has upped his consideration to  possibly the supplemental round.  Kay seems like a safe-ish type of guy to get for a lower price at the 31st pick and limited upside.

The book on Kay is that he is a polished arm with above-average control from the left side. A smallish, but sturdy-built guy that sits at 91, he can touch 94 or 95. He also has an above-average to possibly plus changeup that he can use to induce a swing and miss, but requires him to drop his arm slot, which will make him susceptible to being figured out at higher levels. He also has a breaking ball, in which he calls a slider, but has not defined itself yet.

Kay should be easy to sign as he’s getting a raise in his payday from what he was likely offered in 2013. He may have to sign an additional form to state he was re-drafted by the same team as before. He’s a safe pick with the upside of a mid-rotation starter, but likely will drop from the 8.39 K-rate he had before, unless he finds another pitch for is arsenal.

Other Draft Notes: 

Top Puerto Rican shortstop possible draftee Delvin Perez has failed a Pre-draft toxicology for an undisclosed performance enhancing drug according to Baseball AmericaJon Heyman, and Keith Law. This will likely cause him to drop, but not past the first round, according to JJ Cooper.

Reported bonus demands of first rounders including Rutherford:

  • RHP Matt Manning $5,000,000
  • LHP Joey Wentz $3,380,600+
  • RHP Jared Horn $3,000,000
  • 3B Drew Mendoza $3,000,000
  • OF Will Benson $4,000,000

Top Lefty Jason Groome is committed to Chipola Junior College instead of going to Vanderbilt.

Mock Draft Tally as of 6/7

#19

3B/1B Will Craig 23, C Zack Collins 6, OF Alex Kirilloff 6,  3B Nolan Jones 6, 3B/RHP Josh Lowe 5, RHP Connor Jones 4,  C Matt Thaiss 4, SS/3B Drew Mendoza 3,  RHP Austin Bergner 2, 3B Nick Senzel 2, RHP Cal Quantrill 2,  3B Bobby Dalbec 2, 1B/OF Will Benson 2, RHP Kevin Gowdy 2, RHP Daulton Jeffries 2, RHP Alex Speas 1, LHP Jeff Belge 1, RHP Ian Anderson 1,  C Chris Okey 1, OF Kyle Mercer 1, RHP Kyle Funkhouser 1, OF Nick Banks 1, OF Avery Tuck 1,   RHP Alec Hansen 1,  OF Bryan Reynolds 1,  OF Buddy Reed 1, RHP Matt Manning 1, LHP Anthony Kay 1, OF Taylor Trammell 1, RHP Forest Whitley 1, OF Blake Rutherford 1 

#31

LHP Eric Lauer 5, C Chris Okey 5, LHP Jesus Luzardo 4, RHP Kevin Gowdy 4, 3B/1B Will Craig 3, 3B Drew Mendoza 3, OF Taylor Trammell 3,  OF Buddy Reed 3, SS Gavin Lux 3, LHP Anthony Kay 3, 3B/SS Carter Kieboom 3, OF Nick Banks 2,  OF Bryan Reynolds 3, OF Will Benson 2, RHP Logan Shore 2, LHP Joey Wentz 2, LHP Kyle Muller 2,  RHP Robert Tyler 2, RHP Zach Jackson 2, RHP Kyle Funkhouser 1,   3B/RHP David Lowe 1,  RHP Alex Speas 1, RHP Zach Bergner 1, LHP Braxton Garrett 1, OF Heath Quinn 1, RHP Ian Anderson 1,  RHP Zack Burdi 1, RHP Jordan Sheffield 1,  RHP Justin Dunn 1, C Sean Murphy 1, RHP Cody Sedlock 1

#64:

SS Luis Curbelo 4, OF Heath Quinn 3, C Ben Rortvedt 2, RHP Drake Fellows 2,  SS Grant Bodison 1, RHP Wil Crowe 1, SS Errol Robinson 1, RHP Ian Hamilton 1, RHP Nick Banks 1, LHP Matt Krook 1

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Mets Boast Six Of Top 50 Shortstop Prospects In Baseball http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/mets-boast-six-of-top-50-shortstop-prospects-in-baseball.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/mets-boast-six-of-top-50-shortstop-prospects-in-baseball.html/#comments Wed, 02 Mar 2016 17:58:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=207135 gavin Cecchini

Baseball America released their top 56 shortstop prospects in all of baseball and the New York Mets had six on the list, the most of any major league team. The top five on the list are Corey SeagerJ.P. CrawfordOrlando ArciaTrea Turner, and Dansby Swanson.

The number in parenthesis is where they ranked on the top 56 shortstops list.

The first Mets shortstop on the list is the toolsy Amed Rosario (#15) who Baseball America ranked as the number 58 prospect overall in baseball.

Second on the list from the Mets is Gavin Cecchini (#26), he was unranked in BA’s Top 100 but was #87 on MLB Pipeline’s and #89 according to Keith Law. Cecchini had a good showing yesterday in the intrasquad game picking up a single, a stolen base, and made a great diving stop to start a double play.

Luis Carpio (#34), who surprised many by being #3 on Baseball Prospectus Top 10 Mets prospect list, comes in as the third shortstop for the Mets at number 34.

Matt Reynolds (#45) seems destined for a utility role in 2016 but was number 45 on the list done by Baseball America after a disappointing season for Las Vegas.

The fifth guy on list from the Mets is 2015 South Atlantic League MVP Luis Guillorme (#47) who we ranked as our #16 prospect.

The sixth and final Mets shortstop on the list is Andres Gimenez (#50) who was signed on July 2nd for a $1.2 million signing bonus. You can read more about the talented 17-year old from Venezuela here where we ranked him as the Mets #28 prospect.

The Mets also have shortstop prospects Milton Ramos (who some including myself have rated higher than Reynolds) and Gregory Guerrero that aren’t mentioned on this list and would probably be in the next 25 players if the list was expanded.

Having six of the top 50 prospects at any position is quite impressive and even more so in one of the most important positions on the field. The Mets have struggled since the departure of Jose Reyes to find a long-term answer at shortstop, very soon that will no longer be a problem.

Baseball America previously ranked Dominic Smith as their fifth best first base prospect and Steven Matz as their 3rd best lefty pitching prospect.

Be sure to check out MetsMinors.net, your #1 source for Mets prospect news!

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What They’re Saying About Dilson Herrera http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/what-theyre-saying-about-dilson-herrera.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/what-theyre-saying-about-dilson-herrera.html/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 10:00:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=180448 Phillies at Mets

The Mets announced on Thursday night that 21-year-old Dilson Herrera was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas. Herrera is hitting .370 at Las Vegas with eight doubles, one home run and 11 RBIs in 20 games. I rounded up some recent quotes about Herrera and they all seem to agree that this exciting young second baseman is a future star.

Wally Backman, Manager Las Vegas 51s

“I like everything about this kid that I see. He’s solid defensively but he needs to work on turning the double play… He’s adequate at turning the double play.”

“Offensively he has so much energy it lights everyone else on the diamond. He’s got power, he’s got a little speed, and I’ll make a prediction right now – I think this kid’s an All Star second baseman in the major leagues.”

Sandy Alderson Exclusive Interview with MMO

“Herrera has surprising power for his size. He runs well. He’s very athletic. Turns the double play. I think he’s going to get more consistent defensively. He’s got pretty good hands and moves laterally well. We were impressed with him during his time with us. He had very good at-bats. I think he hit three home runs. So he’s got some real potential. ”

“You know, our middle-infield situation over the next couple of years is probably going to be in a little bit of flux. So he’s got an excellent opportunity.”

Jonathan Mayo, MLB Pipeline

“Herrera has always shown a knack for hitting, with a balanced swing and an ability to make consistent hard contact to all fields. He has excellent bat speed and doesn’t strike out a ton, with more power than you’d expect given his small frame.”

“Herrera is a solid runner who can steal a base as well. Herrera has played both shortstop and second in the past, but his defensive tools, from his arm to his actions, will work much better on the right side of the infield.”

Keith Law, Prospect Analyst for ESPN

“Herrera just missed the top 100, a potential above-average regular at second base who has great bat speed and is an above-average runner, athletic enough to be a plus defender at second but more erratic there in the majors than I expected, given his history at shortstop and play at second in double-A. He should be ready to take over the position by midyear.”

Quinn Barry, Minor League Writer for MMO

“Dilson Herrera’s ascent from High-A St. Lucie to a starting major league gig is why the Colombian ranks third in an organization flush with young talent. Herrera sports what Baseball America calls “average power”, but don’t let the seemingly negative connotations of ‘average’ fool you: this kid has the potential to knock 15 home runs in a season, pretty valuable at second base.”

“Furthermore, Dilson’s “super-quick hands, above-average bat speed, and aggressive swing” help him generate extra-base power from his 5’10” frame. Scouts also praise his work ethic and baseball IQ, which, when added to his obvious ability to produce results from his talents, give the Mets a real ballplayer here.”

Paul DePodesta, Mets VP Scouting & Player Development

“I’d say he exceeded our expectations,” he said. “We were excited about him when we traded for him the year before — thought he had a good chance to go to Double-A at some point during the course of 2014, but I don’t think any of us imagined he’d be as productive as he was when he got to Double-A and then be able to make the jump all the way to the big leagues. It was a huge year for him and he had a great, great year. We have very high hopes for him.”

Jim Callis, Senior Writer for MLB.com

“Short and compact, Herrera incorporates his hands and lower half adeptly in his swing, projecting to hit for a high average with frequent hard contact, a middle-field approach and bat speed to spare.”

“He ranked fourth in the minors with 169 hits in 2014, thanks to a quick, repeatable swing. The Mets love Herrera’s makeup and work ethic, which factored in their decision to call him up in August, though he probably will begin 2015 at Triple-A Las Vegas while he waits for regular at-bats in New York.”

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Sand Gnats To Leave Savannah http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/sand-gnats-to-leave-savannah.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/sand-gnats-to-leave-savannah.html/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 05:20:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177164 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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MLB Announces 2015 Draft Bonus Allotments http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/mlb-announces-2015-draft-bonus-allotments.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/mlb-announces-2015-draft-bonus-allotments.html/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:44:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=175297 Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta visited MCU Park Wednesday night, likely to check out first-round pick Michael Conforto. (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Major League Baseball officially released the bonus pool allotments for the 2015 First Year Player Draft, which you can view at Baseball America. The draft will begin on June 8 and run through June 10.

The Mets, who do not have a first round pick, will have $3,587,800 to spend this year - the lowest amount among all 30 MLB teams.

The bonus pool allotment is how much each team is allowed to spend on players who are selected in the first 10 rounds of the draft, and players selected in the last 30 rounds who receive more than $100,000. Teams that exceed their draft allotment will incur a large tax and penalties.

The Mets forfeited their first round pick (15th overall) when they signed free agent Michael Cuddyer to a two year, $21 million dollar contract. They won’t have a selection until the 53rd overall pick in the second round.

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Taking a Look at Mets Prospects Over Time http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/taking-a-look-at-mets-prospects-over-time.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/taking-a-look-at-mets-prospects-over-time.html/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:00:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=175153 Fernando Martinez

It’s that time of year when prospects can find their names on the same jerseys being issued to major league players. Spring Training makes everyone look like a big leaguer, as seasoned veterans and bubble-gum chewing minor leaguers meet under the Florida sun.

It’s also that time on the calendar when prospect lists are plentiful. Perhaps the most talked about list being from Baseball America, who recently released their 2015 version of a Top 100 prospect countdown.

The dream of every prospect realized when their name is no longer printed on a list with 99 other names, but one with 24 fellow major leaguers.

Of course, which prospects make it to the Mets versus those who stay toiling in Savannah, Binghamton, and Port St. Lucie is a guessing game. Nobody really knows who is a future star; we can only make educated guesses. That is what a prospect list does: it provides an educated guess, based on informed scouts, on players who have a chance at becoming well-paid pitchers and hitters.

On the 2015 Baseball America list, the Mets have seven names. A hopeful number for fans who have suffered through six consecutive losing seasons, when payroll has plummeted, and hope for roster improvement seems reserved for the farm system instead of free agency.

But how hopeful should Mets fans be? So what if they have seven names on the BA list; what does that even translate into in real life?

Well, let’s find out.

Looking at Baseball America’s all-time prospect list, dating back to 1990, we can identify which prospects turned into career major league players, and how good their careers turned out to be. To do this, I pulled out every Mets’ player that was listed since 1990, and to allow fair developmental time for the more recent prospects, excluded the players listed after 2010. I then matched each prospect with their career WAR value.

To provide some context, when looking at prospect rankings in terms of WAR, we can use research from the folks at The Point of Pittsburgh, who found league average WAR for five prospect tiers from the Baseball America list.

BAAvgThe WAR values in the table represent the average value of prospects within their first six years of service time, important because those are the team-controlled years. For the Mets, I decided to look at their career WAR value, so players like David Wright, who have produced a lot of value beyond their first six years of service, aren’t undervalued.

The purpose of looking at the all-time Mets’ prospect list is not necessarily to highlight which prospects were the best Mets, but to try to set expectations for looking at current prospect lists on how much value a particular prospect may be worth, over their career, based on their prospect ranking.

Without further ado, let’s look at how the Mets’ best prospects since 1990 have fared, first breaking them down by hitter. Again, this is the average career WAR value for any Mets player who was listed on Baseball America’s top 100 prospect list dating back to 1990 (and excluding 2011-2015). Their prospect ranking for the last year they appeared on the list is used.

BAMetsHitters

Now, for the pitchers.

BAMetsPitchers

Sample size has a lot to do with how the Mets compare to the league average, for instance, Paul Wilson is the lone top-ten ranked pitcher, but we can at least get an idea of how the various prospects have performed. Clearly, either Baseball America missed the mark, or the Mets seem to have the most trouble developing pitching prospects who are ranked outside of the top 50, with 12 such players, who, combined, have averaged a measly 1.5 career WAR value in the majors. That is largely due to the fact that five of those 12 players never made it to the pros.

Overall, the group of Mets who have found their names atop Baseball America’s rankings have had varying degrees of success, with their career trajectory, based on ranking tier, about par for league average.

Finally, for the list in its entirety.

MetsAllTimeBA
Each prospect on this list has a different story. Injuries play a huge role in player development, as do a variety of factors, which is why it is hard to draw an overall conclusion based on a retrospective prospect list.

That being said, what this list can do is perhaps set expectations for the fans on current prospects. Just because a Mets’ player is listed on Baseball America’s top 100 list doesn’t mean they are going to have a great major league career, or a career at all. David Wright has produced 52 WAR in eleven seasons. That is more value than the combined value of 22 of the 45 players listed above.

Of course, the flip side is that Baseball America can miss on prospects who turn into star players – i.e. Jacob deGrom.

Having looked back at the Mets’ all-time prospect list, can we get an idea of what to expect from the current group of top ranked prospects? Not entirely. We know that players tend to have better careers, the higher they find their names on the prospect list. But we also know there are many exceptions. Perhaps the most telling point is that no matter where a player is listed, it is quite difficult to predict who will be the best players.

Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.

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Another original article from Metsmerized Online!

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Framing A Defensive Argument For Travis d’Arnaud http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/framing-a-defensive-argument-for-travis-darnaud.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/framing-a-defensive-argument-for-travis-darnaud.html/#comments Fri, 13 Feb 2015 11:20:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=174585 New York Mets v Minnesota Twins

The following is an in depth look at Travis d’Arnaud’s overall value as a catcher.  The idea that he is incapable of being an everyday backstop is based on two conventional defensive metrics.  The lack of credit surrounding his framing skills leaves something to be desired though.  Stolen bases and passed balls rarely result in a run scored for the opposition, yet a framed pitch always produces a positive effect.  The two fold advantage of a called strike versus a ball can be felt by the opposition, the pitching staff, the offense, even the entire division.  If weighted properly, what could the value of d’Arnaud’s framing skills mean for his future and that of the NY Mets?

Scott Lindholm from Beyond The Box Score did an excellent job collecting and analyzing stolen base data that was recorded from 1950-2010 (Tom Tango – “Run Expectancy Matrix”) only to find that over the last 60+ years, stolen base attempts have proven largely inefficient. The Kansas City Royals did make it to the World Series last year as the only MLB team with more stolen bases than home runs, so I do understand that the art of thievery has its rightful place in the game.  However, take a look at some of the following statistics as they pertain to d’Arnaud.

A runners best odds of stealing first to second are when there are zero outs, yet doing so only increases the opposition’s odds of scoring a run by 20%.  Take  a moment to appreciate the inverse of that statement.  That means that at least 80% of the time second base is stolen, it’s unlikely to result in a run scored- 80%.  Granted, these numbers only go up to 2010, but 60 years of data is a reasonable sample size to support the last four seasons.

The matrix also shows that having a solid caught stealing rate behind the plate significantly decreases the oppositions odds of scoring a run in that inning – it sounds obvious, but look at what I mean.  From 1993-2010, throwing out the runner at second actually decreased the opposition’s chances of scoring a run, in that inning, by 26.3%.  It’s only fair to point out that improvements in this area can offer significant upside.

The runner’s success increases greatly as he progresses around the diamond, but to be honest, throws to third base are infrequent and d’Arnaud has already shown excellent positioning and execution with home plate defense.  The attempts on second base from first are the real issue, but it’s very reasonable to expect vast improvements after a full offseason of training.

Defense, aside from pitch framing, was a priority for d’Arnaud, even when he was still with the Toronto Blue Jays.  While reading a pitch blocking analysis on TDA (Amazin’ Avenue), I noticed an excerpt from Baseball America back in 2012:

“d’Arnaud made good strides with his defense in 2011 by working with then-New Hampshire manager Sal Butera, who caught in the majors for nine seasons. Those improvements carried over to 2012, when d’Arnaud threw out a career-high 30 percent of basestealers. He has average to plus arm strength and has refined his footwork and throwing accuracy.”

If the opposition steals a base, it’s worth a 20% in their favor.  If d’Arnaud throws them out, it’s worth 26.3% in the Mets favor.  Point being, he needs to improve his 19% caught stealing rate because the positive upswing holds a lot of value, but shows a history of improving in this area.  Working with Mike Barwis will improve his explosiveness and the surgically removed bone chips in his throwing elbow will certainly improve the accuracy of his throws.  As far as last year’s stats though, this narrative that base runners will cost him his job is such a stretch.

travis d'arnaud hr

Also on Beyond the Box Score was a great piece by Rob Castellano, who wrote about the value of d’Arnaud’s pitch blocking, or lack thereof, except unlike many-  he compared that value to impact of his pitch framing skills.  The net value is surprisingly positive, enough to make you wonder how so many justified knocking his flaws when the upside to his best attribute is so high.

D’Arnaud is adept at controlling the very bottom of the strike zone. Castellano offers a reasonable explanation for the young backstop’s elevated number of passed pitches by comparing TDA’s skills to one of framing’s original pioneers, Jose Molina, during his time with the Tampa Bay Rays.

“In short, there seems to be an element of robbing Peter to pay Paul when it comes to framing pitches, except teams like the Rays have realized that Paul brings back much higher rates of return…d’Arnaud keeps on calling for those breaking balls in the dirt, difficult to block though they may be, because those are also the pitches he’s going to have the best chance to ‘steal’ from his opponent”

In the article, Costellano included an analysis by Max Marchi (Baseball Prospectus) on the run value for blocked versus framed pitches.  From 2008-2011, Carlos Ruiz was considered the best pitch blocking catcher in MLB with 9.5 blocking runs created.

However, what’s interesting is the stark difference in value for catchers who focus more on framing.  During that same four year period, Brian McCann was the best framing catcher, generating 79.3 runs with his glove work.  Costellano adds:

“Based on linear weights, the very best framers were worth, on average, over ten times as many runs as the top blockers.”

Current advanced catching metrics on Baseball Prospectus are built further on the work that Marchi did, but still stay consistent with the weight he applied.

In 2014, d’Arnaud was worth -2.7 blocking runs for the 22 passed pitches (passed balls + wild pitches) assigned to him, but added 11.2 runs off of the 75.1 extra strikes he created.  That means d’Arnaud was worth a net of +8.5 runs based on framing alone.

These results in other areas of the NY Mets though, particularly the young starters Zack Wheeler and Jacob deGrom.

August Fagerstrom (FanGraphs) evaluated Zack Wheeler’s historic 0-2 hit(less) streak that went deep into the month of August (couldn’t have written in September?).  Fagerstrom credited the increased effectiveness of Wheelers breaking pitches down in the zone as the catalyst for his hitless streak.  Granted, most pitchers perform at their best in 0-2 counts, but Wheeler was in the midst of what may have been a major league record had the data gone back far enough to prove it.

Zack produced some of the best results in the league with his curveball and slider once he was paired up permanently with TDA:

Wheeler appears to have more confidence in his slider. He appears to have more confidence in his curve. Both for good reasons. You can see these changes reflected in his two-strike heatmaps…his highly-praised curveball is up to 33% from 27% last year and his whiff percentage has gone from 10% to 15%.  Now, that curveball finds itself on the other side of the spectrum, grading out as a top-25 curveball.

Also…

“Wheeler has doubled the use of his slider against left-handed batters, from 6% to 12%. That’s good, because lefties have gotten exactly one hit off Wheeler’s slider this year [as of August 28th]. 14 of the 28 strikeouts Wheeler has generated with the slider have come against lefties.”

It’s nearly impossible to say that d’Arnaud didn’t directly impact those results, Wheeler has even said himself:

“He’s just smooth back there…when the balls are down, he does something that makes them look like they’re strikes.”

With a full season behind the plate, d’Arnaud could increase his framing value significantly.  The most efficient way to do it would be to up that value, while also decreasing the number of passed balls.  As Costellano pointed out, he has a preference for breaking balls in the dirt in order to ‘steal’ that strike from the hitter, but fastballs are a lot easier to catch and his framing skills are perfect for stealing heaters located just below the bottom of the zone.

Fastball location is the staple of any power pitcher’s arsenal (i.e., the very foundation by which this organization is built on).  Wheeler, deGrom and Matt Harvey all rely on the pitches down in the zone to strikeout hitters and according to Noah Syndergaard’s recent interview with SNY, this is what the Mets are looking to see from him before he earns a promotion.  It’s also the reason why many see Steven Matz as a candidate to challenge Syndergaard for a promotion.  Pitching down in the zone has earned him praise at such an early stage in his career.

Take a look at that ESPN heat map again and keep that horseshoe figure in mind when you watch this clip of deGrom’s 13 strikeout performance against the Miami Marlins.  TDA had a 2.65 cERA with deGrom on the year and much of that had to do with the deceptive location of Jacob’s two and four seam fastballs.  If d’Arnaud can replicate this type of game calling with Harvey, Wheeler and eventually Syndergaard and Matz – the ceiling for his glove is very high.

Hopefully the idea here is starting to become clearer.  The Mets have a healthy crop of power pitchers who attack the bottom of the strike zone regularly with high 90’s fastballs and slick breaking pitches.  When it comes to this organizations most prized assets, the arms we’ve all been waiting for, TDA is subtly maximizing their value.

Lastly, I want to make good on that comment I made about the division.  Costellano also included a piece by Jeff Sullivan (Grantland), which calculated the called strike effect on all 30 teams in baseball last year.  Basically, there were teams who benefited greatly from pitch framing, teams who suffered from it and those somewhere in the middle.

The NL, with the exception of the Mets, is baron in terms of framing catchers.  This makes the effect of d’Arnaud’s glove incredibly significant, again with a two-fold effect.  He’s able to steal from the opposition, while the rest of the division finds themselves being robbed and unable to return the favor.

The Mets benefited from the fifth highest positive total, registering 147 strikes in their favor.  The rest of the NL East experienced much less of an advantage.  The Phillies (+33), Nationals (-92), Braves (-197) and Marlins (-262) were far behind the Amazins and the impact is definitely significant.  Consider the difference from the top and bottom teams in the whole league:

“What does a single strike mean? Calculations in the past have put the value of an extra strike somewhere around 0.14 runs. That’s not very much, but then, you can do the multiplication. These things add up fast. If you use that estimate, then the difference between the Brewers and the Blue Jays, here, comes out to about 95 runs, just from pitch-framing alone.”

Ok, so the difference isn’t that beneficial for the Mets, but using those calculations, I was able to derive run differential enjoyed by the Mets by comparison to their divisional opponents.  NY had a 16 run advantage over the  Phillies, 34 run advantage over the Braves, 48 runs over the Nationals and 57 runs over the Marlins.

There are a number of studies on the number of runs equal to a win, but the general consensus is between 10-11 runs per 1 win.  Using conservative estimates (11 runs/Win), pitch framing gave the Mets a 4 win advantage over the Nationals last year and a 5 win advantage over the Marlins.  It’s going to be a tight race against those bottom two teams specifically, that kind of win advantage could be the difference in the division title.

I wrote about d’Arnaud’s offensive upside earlier this year and that, combined with what I was able to take out of the above, tells me this.  For once, the Mets landed in the right place, with the right players, at the right time.

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Yasmani Tomas Granted Free Agency, Can Now Sign With Any Team http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/yasmani-tomas-granted-free-agency-can-now-sign-with-any-team.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/yasmani-tomas-granted-free-agency-can-now-sign-with-any-team.html/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 17:15:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=166294 yasmani tomas cuba

Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas has been granted free agency by Major League Baseball, according to a his agent, Jay Alou. He is now free to sign with any club.

Unfortunately, his potential $100 million deal takes the Mets out of the picture.

Tomas has already had private workouts with the Phillies, Rangers and Giants who are each considered to be heavy favorites.

(Joe D.)

September 25

According to Marc Carig of Newsday, the Mets have not yet decided on whether they will invite Cuban free-agent slugger Yasmany Tomas in for a private workout.

Invite him for what? For show? For tea and crumpets?

Meanwhile, Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors did a nice profile on Tomas.

“Tomas’ best attribute is his power, a trait that is in short supply in today’s game. Only 14 players hit 30 or more home runs in 2013, and fewer might reach that threshold this year.  Tomas has 70 raw power on the 20-80 scale, wrote Baseball America’s Ben Badler in June, so he profiles as one of those rare 30+ home run bats.”

“He’s a pure power guy, a really good hitter,” one international scouting director told Peter Gammons. The early favorites are the Giants, who were in hard on both Jose Abreu and Rusney Castillo, the Phillies, Padres, Rangers and the Tigers. But that can change, in a hurry. 

The Giants and Phillies have already had Tomas in for private workouts. He is expected to be officially be declared a free agent after the regular season, at which point he’ll be able to sign with any major league team. 

September 22

Cuban slugger Yasmani Tomas held his showcase in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, and by all accounts every major league team including the Mets had scouts in attendance. The most serious potential suitors had their front office brass there. Now the pretenders can go home and return to their regularly scheduled programming, while the contenders ask Tomas to attend their private workouts.

For many teams, including the Mets, this latest Cuban talent won’t fit into their financial equations. With his price tag expected to be as high as $100 million, only the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Giants and Rangers will be in hot pursuit.

According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, the Phillies are already the first team to have Tomas participate a private workout. That will take place today in the D.R. and general manager Ruben Amaro will be in attendance.

As I mentioned a few times in the last two weeks, with Mets payroll expected to remain at $85 million and the team facing $22 million in raises for 2015, there’s no room at the inn for a player like Tomas – even though the 23-year old slugger likely has the power that they desperately crave.

It’s a shame really…

Is Tomas a risk? Of course he is, but he’s exactly the kind of risk a team playing in large market should take. Especially with a free agent market that is devoid of power hitters this winter and a front office that’s reluctant to unload any of their precious arms to trade for one.

Tomas’ power was rated a 70 on the scouting scale by Baseball America, or in other words – elite level. His power is most often compared to Jose Abreu by most of the scouts that have seen him.

He would fit perfectly in the cleanup spot of the Mets lineup in 2015 while replacing 5+ years of poor production in left field.

Tomas would be the difference maker Sandy Alderson keeps saying he’s going to acquire but never does, and his addition would inject some life and excitement back into one of the worst ranked offenses in the majors this season.

Not to mention that it would give an apathetic fan base a clear message that the front office is finally dead serious about winning.

And some people want to know why I keep ragging on Fred and Jeff Wilpon everyday… SMH…

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First-Rounder Michael Conforto Signs Contract At Citi Field http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/first-rounder-michael-conforto-signs-contract-at-citi-field.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/first-rounder-michael-conforto-signs-contract-at-citi-field.html/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 19:37:31 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=158914 michael conforto

Michael Conforto was at Citi Field today to sign his new contract with the Mets. Also on hand were Scott Boras and fellow client Matt Harvey.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first reported that the Mets reached an agreement with their first round pick and that the official announcement is pending a physical.

Conforto, a 21-year-old outfielder from Oregon State, was selected by the Mets with the No. 10 overall pick during the first round of this year’s Amateur Draft.

They initially agreed to a bonus two weeks ago, but were still working out the details to a basic agreement.

Conforto is considered to be very polished and is expected to move quickly through the system with some projecting a major league debut as soon as 2016. If there’s any truth to that, expect Conforto to be at Savannah when this season comes to an end.

(Joe D.)

July 3

Here’s the latest on the negotiations between the Mets and their top draft selection Michael Conforto.

The No. 10 overall pick agreed to a signing bonus at precisely $2.97 million slot value about two weeks ago, but they are still negotiating the terms of the deal according to what GM Sandy Alderson told Jon Heyman on Wednesday.

“There are three or four [mostly] non-financial clauses that we are talking about,” Alderson said, explaining the delay. ”I certainly expect this deal to get done.”

The deadline for signing players selected in this Friday, July 18.

(Joe D.)

June 19

Jim Callis of Baseball America has reported the Mets have agreed to terms with first-round pick, Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto, to a deal with a bonus of $2,970,800, the exact slot value assigned to that pick.

However Conforto immediately denied the report on Twitter saying:

Getting a lot of texts and phone calls asking if I have signed. I have not signed. Still in Redmond with my family and friends.

We will keep you updated…

Although he is a college bat with less leverage than a high school player, it was thought that Conforto and agent Scott Boras could get more than the slot value, but that did not happen.

In his junior season with Oregon State, Conforto hit .345/.504/.547 with seven home runs in 59 games. In 182 total college games, Conforto has a batting line of .340/.463/.557 with 31 home runs, 44 doubles, and four triples. He was considered by many experts to be the best college hitter in this year’s draft.

(Photo: NCAA.com)

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A’s Acquire Samardzija from Cubs in Six-Player Blockbuster http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/as-acquire-samardzija-from-cubs-in-six-player-blockbuster.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/as-acquire-samardzija-from-cubs-in-six-player-blockbuster.html/#comments Sat, 05 Jul 2014 13:17:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=160040 Jeff Samardzija

The Chicago Cubs have traded starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics for a package of four prospects.

The trade will be announced Saturday and reports say the Cubs will receive the A’s top two prospects in shortstop Addison Russell, 20, and outfielder Billy McKinney, 19. The Cubs also will receive Triple-A Sacramento pitcher Dan Straily and a player to be named later.

Russell was ranked as the No. 14 prospect in baseball entering 2014 by Baseball America. He was batting .333 in 13 games at Double-A Midland after missing most of the season because of a hamstring injury.

McKinney was the A’s first-round pick in 2013 and was batting .241 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs at Class A Stockton. Straily was 10-8 with a 3.96 ERA in 27 starts for the A’s last season and was 4-3 with a 4.71 ERA at Sacramento.

The 29-year old Samardzija, who had a 2.83 ERA, can become a free agent after 2015 and became a trade chip after he and the Cubs couldn’t agree on an extension.

Billy Beane and Theo Epstein strike the first blow of the trading season. The A’s, who have the majors best record (53-33), were seeking to upgrade their starting pitching, while the Cubs keep stocking their farm with high profile prospects.

The Cubs now have three of the top 14 players in Baseball America’s top-100 prospect list and six of the top 41.

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Another Mets Conundrum: Cautious To A Fault http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/another-mets-conundrum-cautious-to-a-fault.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/another-mets-conundrum-cautious-to-a-fault.html/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 14:57:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=158683 I can’t vouch for the veracity of this, but on Sunday night I heard that the Mets have played 22 different series so far this season, and somehow they’ve managed to avoid facing the opposing team’s ace pitcher in 16 of those series. If that’s true, I guess things could be somewhat worse than they are right now. But who knows?

It does appear we’ll miss Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright as we get set to play a three game series tonight in St. Louis. He’s going to have his turn skipped due to a bout of tendinitis.

“We’re not going to get Wainwright, although Martinez isn’t a party,” Terry Collins said, referring to tonight’s starter Carlos Martinez who’ll be making his second career start. The 22-year old righty was ranked the 31st best prospect by Baseball America for 2014.

The Mets took two games against the Padres this weekend and improved their record to 30-38, eight games under .500.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Mets

I read that Sandy Alderson met with season ticket holders on Friday and touched on a few things while fielding a few questions from what I’m told was a very serious and concerned group.

Among them were two questions regarding payroll. The first question was dodged by the Mets GM, who said he would not answer questions about increasing payroll until after the season. “That’s something we deal with when this season is over.”

The second question was about increasing payroll if the Mets were in the hunt for a wild card. “If we’re in a position that we’re competing,” Alderson said, “that we’re vying for a wild-card spot or a division championship on July 31, I think we have the capacity to make a move.”

He thinks?

Are you familiar with the old adage; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is too weak? In the Mets’ case it’s the wallet that is too weak. And that’s unfortunate.

“I really do believe that we are close. So let’s focus on what we have between now and the trade deadline. Let’s see where we are.”

Close to what? The post season? Really? Okay, let’s roll with that…

Newsday’s David Lennon wrote recently that when it comes to the trade deadline, the Mets have become adept at a vicious cycle of trading away its most talented players, conserving dollars, collecting prospects and sitting home in October.

One thing that has yet to be proven by this front office is their willingness to trade for very productive major league players – rather than the usual – trading them away.

Let’s assume Alderson is right. Let’s assume the Mets are right there – “close” as the GM attests – to a post season berth. Let’s further assume that the Mets still have the same problems on offense. Does Alderson have the wherewithal to trade the one surplus the team seemingly has, it’s young pitching?

When Alderson was asked about trading pitching for what the Mets lack – namely power bats – he responded:

“One of the problems of trading pitching, regardless of how much you have, is that you can never have enough,” Alderson said. “There are a couple of things that make me cautious. You’re never quite sure who is going to succeed and who’s not, who’s going to get injured and who’s not. To some extent, there’s safety in numbers.”

Sounds like a very gun-shy approach. It seems that the Mets are now cautious to a fault. They lack confidence in their own ability to determine which pitchers they should move and which should be off limits, and in the meantime David Wright continues to get older.

Where is the decisiveness one looks for in leadership?

I’m not asking that the front office be fearless, I know better than to expect that from this bunch. But what is the benefit of arguably having four general managers steering the ship if we are to perpetually remain adrift?

If four years is not enough time to at the bare minimum chart a course to a winning season, how many more years do you require?

Perhaps the best moment of the Q&A session came when one ticket holder asked for assurance that the team will hang onto Daniel Murphy. To which the response was more dodging.

“At this point, do what I do: Ignore Twitter and try to ignore the blogosphere and have a beer when you go home tonight.”

If this Q&A was conducted between another GM and another group of season ticket holders from some other team, I gotta admit I’d be rolling on the floor laughing… But it’s not.

Fred, Jeff… You want to weigh in here?

Note from Joe D:

It feels good to be back even if it’s only on a limited basis. I want to thank all of you for your thoughts, prayers and well wishes over the past week and a half. I have no doubt that it gave me the emotional boost I needed to pull through. It’s going to take a few weeks for me to ease back into the type of pace you’re accustomed to from me. But as you all saw, MMO has a superb team of writers who rose to the occasion and showcased their own unique talents. I’d like to thank both them and you for keeping MMO going while I was out and while I’m still on the mend. Words alone do not suffice. Thank you all so much.

MMO footer

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Baseball America Tabs Michael Conforto For Mets In Latest Mock http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/baseball-america-tabs-of-michael-conforto-for-mets-in-latest-mock.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/baseball-america-tabs-of-michael-conforto-for-mets-in-latest-mock.html/#comments Thu, 08 May 2014 18:14:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=155165 Michael-Conforto-Oregon-State-Beavers-College-World-Series-1

Baseball America released their latest mock draft today as we inch closer to June 5th.

Surprisingly, to me at least, BA had North Carolina State lefty Carlos Rodon returning to the top spot thanks to a string of strong starts.

As for the Mets, Baseball America had them selecting Oregon State’s Michael Conforto with the 10th overall pick.

Conforto, a 6’2 217 pound outfielder, is considered a good power prospect with a great approach. Through 43 games this season the left-handed hitting Conforto is batting .407 with five homeruns, 14 doubles and sports a .552 OBP thanks to 41 walks.

Here’s what Baseball America had to say about the player and the pick:

The Mets feel like they’re about to turn the corner in the big leagues and are well stocked with young pitching, so they would like a college bat who could move through the system quickly. Turner would be tempting if he’s available, but Conforto is the consensus best college hitter and has the polished approach the team is looking for.

Obviously this is just one publication, and many things can change in the next few weeks.

(Photo credit: Jaime Valdez – USA TODAY SPORTS)

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Weighing in on Baseball America’s International Review http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/weighing-in-on-baseball-americas-international-review.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/weighing-in-on-baseball-americas-international-review.html/#comments Fri, 07 Mar 2014 14:24:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149807 bucket of baseballs

Yesterday, Baseball America started reviewing the International signings of each club, starting with the National League East. During these annual reviews, they summarize each team’s IFA signings, mainly those that happen during the July 2nd signing period.That is when the teams sign players 16 and over to play professionally.

Many of the big-name Dominican, Venezuelan, Colombian, and Panamanian names that you know came from signings that happen during the July 2nd signing period, and usually the players in period with the highest bonuses play for minor league teams and affiliates stateside. The others play in the Dominican and Venezuelan summer leagues and are evaluated on whether or not they are ready to plat in the United States the following year.

Baseball America highlighted seven of the 22 players signed by the Mets:

The highest bonus the Mets gave last year belonged to outfielder Ricardo Cespedes for $725,000. The Mets were very pleased by buscon (or trainer) Jhoan Carmona, who had trained top prospect and franchise bonus signing Amed Rosario. They were pleased enough to scout other players, and followed the progress of Cespedes. He was one of the youngest players signed after the period, and signed on August 24th when he turned 16 years old. Cespedes has a good bat path and physical upside, but has profiled as a left-handed line drive bat, contrasting from Rosario’s raw power. He is already 6’2” with 185 pounds and will add strength, which will help him in the long run. He’s an average runner, and is projected as a center fielder.

Ali Sanchez from Venezuela was the second-best Catcher on the market after Jose Herrera, and signed for $690,000. The 17 year old catcher is 6’1” with 185 pounds, and has very advanced catch-and-throw skills, good footwork, quick hands, and an average arm, with a fast release and is very accurate. He controls the running game very well. He hits for contact, and uses the opposite field, but some scouts are down on his bat. He still has time, being very young.

On July 2nd, the Mets signed Shortstop Yeffry de Aza for $475,000. He is listed at 6 feet tall and 170 pounds, and has some surprising power sometimes. He performed well in-game, but needs to work on pitch recognition and off-speed pitches. He has average speed, and an average arm, so some think he will not stay at shortstop for long.

The Mets also surprised many, signing Venezuelan Shortstop Luis Carpio for $300,000 who was considered to be a very underrated player. He signed when he turned 16 on July 11th. He stands at 6 Feet, 165 pounds, with a line-drive hitting stroke from the right side. He won’t hit for much power, but his game will be about getting on base, which will certainly make up for it. He is a plus runner, who runs a 60-yard dash in 6.6 seconds. He has okay hands at shortstop but not as great footwork, and a fringe-average arm, leading some to believe he will switch to second base or the outfield. He has good makeup and a great work ethic.

Another Venezuelan, Righthanded Pitcher Luis Silva, signed for $275,000 on July 2nd at 17 years old. He stands at 6’2” 170, and pitches from a full-windup, and has good control. He throws from 88-92 miles per hour and sometimes get up to 94. His changeup is advanced and he has a curve that currently lags behind that travels around 74-78 miles per hour.

Another signing, that actually happened during the previous signing period but wasn’t reported on last year by Baseball America until now was a $140,000 signing to Catcher Walter Rasquin. The 5’9” 185 pound 17 year old tried out at 3rd base for teams, but his small, stocky build called for a move to behind the plate. He’s a work in progress as a catcher, but is a switch-hitter with some good bat speed, and hits good line-drives.

They also signed an older pitcher in February, 2013 in Scarlyn Reyes for $25,000. The Dominican right-hander turned 22 in November is 6’3” 190, dominated the Dominican Summer League with a 1.41 ERA in 64 innings, with 56 strikeouts and 18 walks. The only pitch that Baseball America lists is his fastball that sits at 92-94 and touches 97.

Thoughts:

There’s some good potential here. Sure, the Mets did not sign any of the big-names like Arizona Catcher Jose Herrera, or Cubs outfielder Eloy Jimenez, but there are many cases of players with low signing bonuses making large impacts as well.

After a strong focus on the position in the last three years, it looks like the Mets did not sign any true shortstops this year, but focused more on athletic players. Luis Carpio is very intriguing with his plus speed, contact and on-base abilities. Look for him to switch to center field in a few years and bat leadoff on a few minor league teams while moving up the ladder. Also, it is likely that Scarlyn Reyes will find himself stateside this coming year, likely in Kingsport, and possibly on the fast track as an older player.

The Mets have emphasized scouting in Venezuela, even after shutting down their academy due to violence; four out of seven of their signings came from that country.

These scouting reports seem vague, but keep in mind, it’s very hard to really project what many players are going to be at 16, and how they are going to fill out. Also, even for Baseball America, it is hard to find enough information about these players by their deadline.

mmo

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Mets Land Four On Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mets-land-four-on-baseball-americas-top-100-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mets-land-four-on-baseball-americas-top-100-prospects.html/#comments Thu, 20 Feb 2014 03:29:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=148582 bryan green

Dominic Smith came in at number 92 in Baseball America’s annual prospect rankings

Baseball America released its annual list of the top 100 prospects in baseball today, and unsurprisingly, the list included a few notable future Mets. The four who made the cut were Noah Syndergaard, Travis d’Arnaud, Rafael Montero, and Dominic Smith. Here is what John Manuel, the editor of the publication, had to say about each of the youngsters:

16. Noah Syndergaard

Syndergaard’s secondary pitches flash above-average if not better. More consistent power on his curveball would complement his premium fastball and help him make a midseason jump to New York.

38. Travis d’Arnaud

Stay. On. The. Field. His first injury-free season since 2011 would help make d’Arnaud a Rookie of the Year contender.

68. Rafael Montero

Few minor leaguers throw more consistent quality strikes than the smallish Montero, and as long as he maintains his command he should get his first shot in New York in 2014.

92. Dominic Smith

Smith might make his full-season debut at low Class A Savannah, a decided pitcher’s park. He’ll have to focus on his hitting approach and avoid getting down if the results aren’t there this season.

Manuel also listed the estimated times of arrival for the prospects, putting Montero and d’Arnaud at 2014, Smith at 2017, and Syndergaard at 2015, although that is likely a typo, as the consensus is he will make his debut in June, July, or August.

The 25th edition of the list was topped by Minnesota Twins outfield prospect Byron Buxton, with Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts, a postseason hero last year, coming in at number two, retaining his rookie status. Recent Yankees signee Masahiro Tanaka was fourth.

Other notable NL East prospects to make the list included Philadelphia’s Michael Franco (17), Washington’s Lucas Giolito (21), and Miami’s Andrew Heaney (30). The Mets had more prospects than the other four teams in the division, beating out the Marlins (3), the Phillies (3) the Braves (2), and the Nationals (1).

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Baseball America: Mets Rank 13th in International Spending http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/baseball-america-mets-rank-13th-in-international-spending.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/baseball-america-mets-rank-13th-in-international-spending.html/#comments Wed, 05 Feb 2014 18:33:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147266 eloy-jimenez-2013-bm-640x360

Eloy Jimenez, of, Dominican Republic

On Tuesday, Ben Sadler of Baseball America shared the estimates of what every major league team spent on international amateur players during the 2013 calendar year.

Sadler explains the process:

The time frame overlaps multiple signing periods, including the second half of the 2012-13 signing period in which Major League Baseball gave every team a $2.9 million bonus pool, as well as the 2013-14 signing period, which began on July 2 last year and had teams begin with tiered pool spaces based on reverse order of major league winning percentage from the previous season.

The spending estimates do not include players who are exempt from the bonus pools, like Asian or Cuban players who are at least 23 years old and played at least three seasons in a foreign professional league, including White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, Dodgers infielder Alexander Guerrero or Orioles outfielder Dariel Alvarez. Cuban players who do fall under the bonus pools, such as Indians righthander Leandro Linares and Reds outfielder Reydel Medina, are included.

Since comprehensive, accurate financial data on players obtained from Mexican League teams (like Rangers pitcher Edgar Arredondo) is difficult to obtain, the data excludes Mexican League signings, although Mexico typically only accounts for a small percentage of international spending each year.

With how big scouting has become in the International market, it is interesting to see just how much each team has spent in their pursuit of the next big star. The Rangers and Cubs, the leaders in the spending spree with over $8 million dollars each, are nearly $4 million more than the next closest team. The spending spree by the both clubs shows that they are each going to do whatever is necessary to make sure the talent pipeline is stocked for the future. The Mets have done well in their pursuit of the next international star by spending $3.18 million dollars, and even though it is much less then the top 12 teams on the list, it still looks good that they are involved in the growing market.

No.

Team

Spending

1 Rangers $8.42 million
2 Cubs $8.22 million
3 Dodgers $4.48 million
4 Indians $4.25 million
5 Red Sox $3.98 million
6 Astros $3.86 million
7 Royals $3.61 million
8 Mariners $3.58 million
9 Twins $3.49 million
10 Reds $3.47 million
11 Rockies $3.38 million
12 Diamondbacks $3.18 million
13 Mets $3.13 million
14 Giants $3.00 million
15 Blue Jays $2.95 million
16 Rays $2.83 million
17 Padres $2.73 million
18 White Sox $2.65 million
19 Nationals $2.64 million
20 Pirates $2.58 million
21 Brewers $2.54 million
22 Marlins $2.53 million
23 Phillies $2.46 million
24 Yankees $2.45 million
25 Braves $2.40 million
26 Cardinals $2.30 million
27 Tigers $2.28 million
28 Athletics $2.10 million
29 Angels $1.83 million
30 Orioles $1.23 million

(Photo: Baseball America)

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Mets Sign 2B Jairo Perez To Minor League Contract http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mets-sign-2b-jairo-perez-to-minor-league-contract.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mets-sign-2b-jairo-perez-to-minor-league-contract.html/#comments Sat, 18 Jan 2014 15:21:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=140147 jairo perez

The New York Mets signed free agent second baseman Jairo Perez to a minor league deal according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America.

Perez, 25, is coming off a solid showing in the Venezuelan Winter League where he batted .342/.407/.591 with 12 doubles, seven home runs and 35 RBI in 149 at-bats.

Last season he played for the Independent League Kansas City T-Bones of the American Association.

Perez was initially signed by Minnesota as a non-drafted free agent in 2006, But after suffering one injury after another, including undergoing Tommy John surgery, he was eventually released by the Twins after the 2012 season.

Seems like a nice under the radar signing that could prove useful. I’m sure the deal included a Spring Training invite, although Eddy doesn’t mention it.

mmo

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