Mets Merized Online » Bats http://metsmerizedonline.com Tue, 28 Apr 2015 05:27:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.7 2014 Mets Top Prospects: No. 1 Noah Syndergaard, RHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-1-noah-syndergaard-rhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-1-noah-syndergaard-rhp.html/#comments Wed, 12 Feb 2014 16:00:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139663 Top 25 Prospects syndergaard 1

1. Noah Syndergaard

Height: 6’6”
Weight: 240 lbs.
Age: 21
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Noah Syndergaard has topped every 2014 Mets prospect list I’ve seen and mine is no different. At the time, Travis d’Arnaud was the main piece that convinced the Mets to deal R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays and Syndergaard was just an added prospect. At the time, scouts wondered if he would be able to stick as a starter or have to be moved to the bullpen. It turns out that Syndergaard might be the most valuable piece the Mets got in that deal.

With a rare combination of plus velocity and quality control, Syndergaard has the potential to top a rotation for years to come. Last season across St. Lucie and Binghamton, Thor posted a 3.06 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and a 133:28 K:BB ratio. It’s hard to say he’ll be as good as Matt Harvey was last season. It’s hard to say anyone will be as good as Matt Harvey was last season but I do think he will ultimately be better than Zack Wheeler. Wheeler has the better curveball right now but I think Syndergaard’s command will take him a very long way. He throws an easy 96 mph with a fastball that tends to run in on right handers and has the ability to consistently reach 98. His motion and delivery look effortless and he uses his height to induce a good amount of groundballs. Although his curveball is a little inconsistent at the moment, it has the chance to be an above average pitch at the major league level. His changeup has the potential to be an above average offering as well. With above average command, a plus fastball and two potential above average secondary pitches, it’s scary to think what Syndergaard can do at his peak.

Outlook: Ranked the number 3 RHP prospect for 2014 by MLB.com, Syndergaard’s future is brighter than Zack Wheeler’s shaved head. He is poised to make his debut around midseason; the same time that Matt Harvey made his in 2012 and the same time Zack Wheeler made his last season. With a little more seasoning in AAA Las Vegas, Syndergaard will look to refine his curveball and changeup, while continuing to locate his pitches effectively. The more he can, the more effective his devastating fastball will be. If he were to start the season with the Mets, I think he could easily get by in the middle or back end of the rotation with the stuff he has now. With more development, he has the potential to be an ace or number 2 starter at his peak. When Matt Harvey returns next season, he’ll be the ace of course but that does not mean Syndergaard can’t attain the status of one. Every Mets fan in the world is looking forward to Syndergaard’s debut this upcoming season and looking forward to him, Harvey, and Wheeler, pitching in the rotation at the same time even more. The future for Mets pitching is certainly promising and hopefully we catch an extended glimpse of it this season when Syndergaard is called up.

MMO TOP 25 PROSPECTS

1. Noah Syndergaard, RHP

2. Travis d’Arnaud, C

3. Rafael Montero, RHP

4. Dominic Smith, 1B

5. Kevin Plawecki, C

6. Wilmer Flores, 2B

7. Cesar Puello, OF

8. Amed Rosario, SS

9. Brandon Nimmo, CF

10. Steven Matz, LHP

11. Gavin Cecchini, SS

12. Jake deGrom, RHP

13. Dilson Herrera, 2B

14. Jeurys Familia, RHP

15. Michael Fulmer, RHP

16. Vic Black, RHP

17. Gabriel Ynoa, RHP

18. Domingo Tapia, RHP

19. Jayce Boyd, 1B

20. Luis Mateo, RHP

21. Jack Leathersich, LHP

22. Jeff Walters, RHP

23. Cory Mazzoni, RHP

24. Juan Centeno, C

25. Wilfredo Tovar, SS

Presented By Diehards

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Prospect Pulse: Jayce Boyd Will Be In The Mix In 2015 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/prospect-pulse-jayce-boyd-will-be-in-the-mix-in-2015.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/prospect-pulse-jayce-boyd-will-be-in-the-mix-in-2015.html/#comments Fri, 03 Jan 2014 21:10:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=113648 Jayce Boyd Photo by Petey Pete

Jayce Boyd, First Base

Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 6’3″ Weight: 185 lb.
Position: First Base
Age: 23 (Happy Birthday, Jayce!)
ETA: 2015
2013 MMO Top Prospect Rank: NR

Boyd was selected in the sixth round of the 2012 draft out of Florida State University. He played both third and first base while attending FSU, and put up very impressive college numbers. He ended his career at FSU with a .349 average, 20 home runs, and 160 RBI. He was a second team All-American in 2012, and after deciding to forego his senior season at FSU, he signed with a Mets and received a $150,000 signing bonus.

“I don’t see any problem with Jayce handling the minor leagues,” said the Mets area scout. “… I honestly see him in the big leagues in three, three and a half years.”

That quote should really be resonating with fans right now, as Boyd hammered the ball all season in 2013, and is showing no signs of struggling in the minor leagues up to this point. Not at Single-A, anyway. Boyd put up video game numbers in 2013 across Savannah and St. Lucie, but the true test comes in 2014 with Binghamton.

Year Age Tm Lg Lev G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
2013 22 2 Teams 2 Lgs A-A+ 123 458 68 151 29 2 9 83 61 61 .330 .410 .461
2013 22 Savannah SALL A 65 249 40 90 16 1 5 46 35 32 .361 .441 .494
2013 22 St. Lucie FLOR A+ 58 209 28 61 13 1 4 37 26 29 .292 .372 .421
2 Seasons 177 659 86 199 38 3 14 102 86 91 .302 .383 .432
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/3/2014.

Boyd is a plus-defender at first base—he has soft hands, a strong arm, excellent footwork, and good range. Offensively, he makes good contact, and will profile as a guy that will hit a ton of doubles and always have a solid batting average. He is armed with a smooth, effortless swing and the barrel of the bat always seems to find the ball.

The biggest knock on Boyd seems to be his inability to produce the deep fly, and when you stand 6-feet 3-inches tall, the scouts have a certain expectation when it comes to homerun numbers. It doesn’t mean that the power isn’t there. Boyd has excellent power, but it is reserved for the gaps as of this point.

It will be interesting to see how the Mets handle Boyd going forward. Ike Davis was another guy that came out of college and had a similar offensive profile to Boyd. Davis was known for a high batting average, and not really for the long ball in college. The power was there, but he wasn’t a big homerun hitter. The homerun power didn’t start to manifest for Davis until Double-A.

While Davis is known more for his power, through their age 22 season in the minor leagues, Boyd and Davis were very close in OPS as shown in the chart below. It’s also interesting to see how the past two regimes handled their prospects differently—while the previous regime recognized Davis had an advanced college bat, he skipped over Savannah and was already completed with Double-A by the end of his second professional season—the current regime had Boyd stop off in Savannah, and end the season in St. Lucie (his domination of Savannah shows he should have been on a similar path as Davis, as it was an unneccessary stop).

Davis_Boyd

Boyd has the potential to be a twenty plus home run guy at the big league level. Hopefully the Mets will not look at his size and see that as a disappointment, and let Boyd continue making noise with his bat at the plate. Power is the last thing to develop, and with Boyd’s frame, there is potential.

Boyd is definitely a player that Mets fans will want to keep an eye on as he develops over the next couple of years. He could be at Citi Field by 2015, and should be climbing up everyone’s top prospect charts in the meantime.

prospect pulse mitch petanick

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Flashback: Prospect Pulse On Outfielder Juan Lagares http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/flashback-prospect-pulse-on-outfielder-juan-lagares.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/flashback-prospect-pulse-on-outfielder-juan-lagares.html/#comments Thu, 02 Jan 2014 19:30:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=106350 juan lagares

I thought it would be cool to look back at one of my very first Prospect Pulse pieces that I did here on MMO from about a year ago. It was on the Mets’ current centerfielder Juan Lagares.

I remember when I first wrote this, I didn’t think Lagares had a shot at getting to the big leagues until 2014 at the earliest. Matt den Dekker seemed to be all the talk headed into spring training for 2013, and I was definitely down with MDD at the time. Juan Lagares surprised many, and has become the perfect example of how you don’t always find guys that contribute to major league ball clubs ranked in the top five or ten prospects in an organization.

Enjoy.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Player Name: Juan Lagares
Bats: R  Throws: R
Height: 6’1”  Weight: 175 lb.
Position: Outfield
Age: 23 (turns 24 in March)
MMO Top Prospect Ranking: 21
ETA: 2014

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be taking an in-depth look at the prospects that will be joining the Mets in spring training as members of the 40-man roster. We are starting it off with Juan Lagares.

Background:

Lagares is what most would consider an under-the-radar type of prospect. You won’t find him on any top prospect lists, but after a very solid 2011 season, Lagares put himself on the map in the Mets organization. He split time in 2011 between Binghamton and St. Lucie and put up some pretty impressive numbers. In 470 at bats, he compiled a .338 batting average, hit 9 home runs, added 71 RBI, swiped 15 bases and finished with a .383 OBP. Yeah, that will turn some heads. His 2012 season took a bit of a dip, but he still put up some solid numbers.

Most analysts project Lagares as a left fielder, although he could probably play any of the three outfield positions. He has a nice athletic build, but seeing as he is turning 24, he probably won’t fill out much more (current weight is 175 lb.). That will limit his power numbers, but he still probably has the potential to be a 10-15 home run type of guy. Most believe his power numbers will limit him to a fourth outfielder role some day.

Analysis:

I’ve come across some scouting reports on Lagares’ hitting mechanics that have said he is ultra-aggressive at the plate. This is a cause of concern considering he isn’t much of a power guy. Lagares is a guy that has the potential to steal 20-25 bases in a season, so his goal should be to get on base as much as possible and to be ultra-patient at the plate.

After viewing the video on Lagares batting practice session above, a couple of things jumped out at me. Lagares opens his hips up slightly early, which is a tell-tale sign of over-aggressiveness at the plate. When I slowed down the video, it was very evident (not so easy to pick up during live speed). He should work on keeping his hips closed and allow the pitch to get closer to him which will make him a better overall hitter. If I were I pitcher I would pepper him with off-speed stuff on the outside half of the plate because that is probably his “cold zone.” You can actually see on the fourth or fifth pitch in his BP session how off-balance he was on an outside pitch. That is a pitch he should be driving to right-centerfield. By keeping his hips closed longer, it will allow him to drive the outside pitch, instead of taking defensive swings and fighting them off.

It also seemed like the bat head dragged through the zone. Lagares should be throwing his hands through the zone straight to the ball. Imagine a lumberjack chopping at a tree, which we don’t see with Lagares’ swing. This may not necessarily be an issue, and could just be the fact that he was trying to generate more power to put on a little show during batting practice. But his swing didn’t look very crisp in this particular BP session.

SNY took a look at Lagares last September on their Mets Minor League Report. Here is what Lagares’ coaches said about him:

It was nice to hear Binghamton manager Pedro Lopez say that Lagares can go as far as he wants to go. He also added that he believed Lagares was the best defensive centerfielder in the league last season. Lopez also stated that 2011 was a “Cinderella Season” for Lagares, and he had to live up to very lofty expectations in 2012. He may have fallen a tad short of expectation in 2012, but Lagares has a bright future. If he continues to work hard, maybe he can surpass the expectations that he will just be a fourth outfielder someday. Pedro Lopez seems to think he can. Depending on how he performs this spring, expect Lagares to begin 2013 with Triple-A Las Vegas.

PROSPECT PULSE

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Wright Goes Deep, Bats Come Alive In Mets 6-4 Victory http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/wright-goes-deep-bats-come-alive-in-mets-6-4-victory.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/wright-goes-deep-bats-come-alive-in-mets-6-4-victory.html/#comments Sat, 21 Sep 2013 02:27:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129731 wright 221 homers

The Mets wasted no time getting things going in the top of the first. Eric Young doubled to lead off the game. Young stole third and was driven in by Daniel Murphy, and before Cole Hamels had recorded an out it was 1-0. David Wright then clubbed a homer to the opposite field and it was 3-0 before the Phillies had an at bat.

After a quiet second, the Amazins struck again in the third when Andrew Brown singled in Murphy to expand the lead to four.

Dice-K looked strong through three, but returned to familiar form in the fourth. Darin Ruf doubled down the line, clearing the bases and cutting the Mets’ lead to two. Hamels then helped himself out, grounding out to first base and bringing in Ruf.

After six, Dice-K was done. He actually had an okay line: 6 IP, 4H, 2ER, 3BB, 6K. He was relieved by Scott Atchison, who tossed a scoreless seventh.

The Mets added one more in the seventh off a Josh Satin single.

Vic Black and Pedro Feliciano combined for a perfect eighth and LaTroy Hawkins earned his eleventh save of the season in the Mets’ 6-4 victory, their 69th of the year.

For Wright it was his 221st career home run, passing Mike Piazza for second on the Mets’ all-time homer list behind Darryl Strawberry, who has 252.

The series continues tomorrow at 7:05. Dillon Gee will take the bump and face off against Tyler Cloyd.

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MMO Fan Shot: Impact Bats and Changing Fan Perception Are Top Priorities This Offseason http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mmo-fan-shot-impact-bats-and-changing-fan-perception-are-top-priorities-this-offseason.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mmo-fan-shot-impact-bats-and-changing-fan-perception-are-top-priorities-this-offseason.html/#comments Sun, 01 Sep 2013 16:07:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128318 mets logo neon shake shack

Call me crazy, but…

I’ve been thinking about the Mets upcoming offseason and wondering what the team will do to improve. They have two problems to address:

1. Not enough impact position players on the team, particularly in the power department.

2. Recapturing the interest of fans, or in other words, convincing fans that the team isn’t “all talk and no action.”

Most of the free agent options discussed have drawbacks:

Jacoby Ellsbury has an injury history, varied production with not much power except for one year, plays a position that we actually have a decent option at, and Boras as an agent.

Shin-Soo Choo isn´t as high profile, but has great OBP skills and had decent speed. He is a strong defender in the outfield corners, but has Boras as an agent too.

Both of those players may involve the loss of the first round pick if the Mets don’t have one of the Top 10 protected picks. Other players, like Cody Ross, Carlos Beltran, and Curtis Granderson, have bigger questions.

robinson-cano

One player who I haven’t heard discussed in connection with the Mets, however, is Robinson Cano. Before you go crazy, let’s agree to put aside the cheap Wilpons won’t do it” and the “not Sandy’s style” comments for a moment.

Cano is the same age as Choo, and one year older than Ellsbury. He consistently plays 150+ games per year,and his career slash line is a very healthy .308/.355/.503. He’s good for 20-30 homers and around 40 doubles per year.

Cano is represented by CAA and JayZ, so the agent dynamic is an unknown. Recent speculation has suggested that the Dodgers may not jump into the Cano sweepstakes, given their existing salary commitments, upcoming Clayton Kershaw negotiations, and successful play on the field.

Who has the money to play this poker game? I don’t see a lot of teams with positional need and financial resources out there.
So close your eyes and imagine the following scenario:

  • Mets sign Cano to a 7 year $160 million deal, with a team option for an 8th year. His consistency, power (2B and HR), and OBP in the middle of the lineup would have a huge effect on Wright hitting behind him.
  • Mets sign Choo to a 3 year $45 million deal. His speed and OBP at the top of the order would be a huge improvement. If Choo didn’t sign, I’d go with either Eric Young Jr. until Cesar Puello arrives or a younger player is obtained via trade.) Assuming that the Mets release or trade Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy, who together would probably make $8.5 million next year in arbitration, this would give the team some money to help.
  • The Mets trade Wilmer Flores to a team that needs him at 3B or DH, perhaps in a package with Davis and/or Murphy, targeting high upside prospects or perhaps a young left-handed starting pitcher. The alternative would be to put him at first base and trade Lucas Duda.

Shin-Soo Choo

My Mets lineup would be:

1. Shin-Soo Choo - L
2. Ruben Tejada / Juan Lagares - R
3. Robinson Cano - L
4. David Wright - R
5. Lucas Duda - L
6. Travis d’Arnaud - R
7. Matt den Dekker - L
8. Juan Lagares / Ruben Tejada - R

Bench: Anthony Recker (or Juan Centeno), Josh Satin, Omar Quintanilla, Eric Young Jr ., Justin Turner.

Bullpen: Bobby Parnell, Vic Black, Gonzalez Germen, Scott Rice, Josh Edgin, Jacob deGrom, Carlos Torres

Rotation: Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, Rafael Montero, (Jacob deGrom, Carlos Torres, Jenrry Mejia, or new acquired player.)

The bench would allow for some platoons or substitutions when facing a particularly tough pitcher. Puello could slip in later in 2014 or in 2015, and compete with den Dekker.

Payroll Ramifications:

The projected payroll for the 25-man roster would be below $80 million (not counting Bonilla and Bay, etc payments).

With many young pre-arbitration players on the roster, the crunch years would be 2018-2020, when Matt Harvey, Wheeler, and Noah Syndergaard reach their free agent years. But Choo would be gone by then, likely replaced with young in-house talent. Interestingly, Wright’s salary decreases in those years, to $15MM in 2019 and $12MM in 2020, so that offsets the other salaries a little bit.

To me, adding Choo improves the top of the order with speed and consistent OBP, but without a long-term commitment. Adding Cano provides power and OBP from a non-traditional power position, and allows us to focus on outfield defense in Choo, Lagares and den Dekker; leaving room for Puello in the near future.

Yes, it’s a long commitment to a 30 year old, but most other options will be the same age and require the same commitment in years… unless you can trade for Stanton, but that would have an extremely high cost too, in terms of prospects.

It hasn’t been Sandy’s M.O. in the past, but maybe now that the bad contracts are gone he’d be willing to invest in a proven, consistent player who would improve the team for the long-term. And shake up the fanbase at the same time…

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader, Dave In Spain. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 22,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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Royals vs Mets: Slumping Young Bats Leadoff, 6-8 Hitters Batting Under .200 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/royals-vs-mets-slumping-young-bats-leadoff-6-8-hitters-batting-under-200.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/royals-vs-mets-slumping-young-bats-leadoff-6-8-hitters-batting-under-200.html/#comments Fri, 02 Aug 2013 19:36:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=126239 dillon gee

Royals Wade Davis (5-9, 5.50) at Mets RHP Dillon Gee (7-8, 4.13)

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Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young, Jr. – LF
  2. Juan Lagares – CF
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Marlon Byrd – RF
  5. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  6. John Buck – C
  7. Ike Davis – 1B
  8. Omar Quintanilla – SS
  9. Dillon Gee – RHP

Mets Notes

  • As the Mets enter August they look to build off the momentum from July. They finished the month 15-12 which was the third best winning percentage (.556) in the NL. They scored 128 runs, the fourth-most in the majors and their .339 on-base percentage was the fifth highest. The Mets look to continue the July momentum in August beginning with a 3-game weekend series against the Royals tonight at Citi Field.
  • RHP Dillon Gee, who has never faced the Royals before, will get his chance at Kansas City on Friday. Gee had gone a career-long 35 innings without allowing a home run until he gave up two in a row in his last start, a 4-1 loss to the Nationals.
  • LF Eric Young is batting .189 in his last ten games and .232 in his last 30 days as his numbers all continue to recede to his career norms that prompted the Colorado Rockies to DFA him and trade him to the Mets..
  • RHP Matt Harvey has yet to beat the Marlins in four starts. On Thursday, the All-Star struck out eight and walked none in 5 2/3 innings. But he also allowed five hits and three runs. He had allowed just one hit—a single by the opposing pitcher—and no walks through five innings. But the Marlins scored three runs off him in the sixth. The key play was Donovan Solano‘s two-run single on a nine-pitch at-bat that included six foul balls.
  • 1B Ike Davis continues to struggle. He struck out with two runners on in the first inning and fouled out with the bases loaded in the third.
  • 1B Lucas Duda, who is rehabbing an intercostal strain on his left side, went 0-for-4 in a high Class A game Wednesday. Duda could win the Mets’ first base job—currently a platoon with Ike Davis on the left and Josh Satin on the right side—but he has been slow to regain his form in the minors.
  • 3B David Wright, who tweaked a hamstring while stealing second base Wednesday night, started Thursday. He went 1-for-3 with a walk.
  • Travis d’Arnaud caught for the Binghamton Mets and went 1-for-5 last night. He is 8-for-31 since starting his rehab assignment for the GCL Mets and two games for Double-A Binghamton.
  • 2B Daniel Murphy did not start Thursday—it was a rest day for him, although he did strike out as a pinch-hitter. He is hitting .337 with 19 RBIs in his last 23 games. For the season, entering Thursday, he ranked sixth in the NL in hits (122) and ninth in doubles (26).
  • 2B Justin Turner started in place of resting Daniel Murphy Thursday against the Marlins. He doubled to left in his first at-bat and finished 2-for-4 with a walk. He is batting .381 with four doubles against the Marlins this year.
  • LHP Jon Niese (partially torn rotator cuff) made his second minor league rehab start Thursday. He pitched four shutout innings for Class A St. Lucie, giving up two hits while striking out four and walking one.

Game Preview

The Mets return to Queens tonight and open an interleague series against Kansas City Royals. Dillon Gee will take the mound for the Amazin’s. On the season Dillon is 7-8 with a 4.13 ERA over 124.1 innings of work. Overall in the month of July, 5 starts, he posted a 2.88 ERA over 34.1 innings of work. Not really surprisingly, Dillon hasn’t faced the Royals in his career but does have some official numbers against a few Kansas City batters:

Tejada 0-1
Cain 1-3, 2B
Escobar 2-3

The Mets bats draw Wade Davis tonight who was traded along with James Shields at the beginning of the season for Wil Myers along with other players from KC. Davis is 5-9 over 20 starts with a 5.59 ERA while pitching 104.2 innings this season. He is currently coming off of his best start in July where he threw 7 innings of scoreless baseball. Overall in July he threw four games totaling 22.0 innings with a 5.32 ERA. He has only pitched 1 inning against the Mets in his career (where he didn’t allow any runs) but he has faced a few Mets on record:

Buck 3-9, HR
Omar 0-2
Byrd 0-1
Davis 0-1
Recker 0-1

Lets Go Mets!

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Mets vs. Nationals: Wright Sits This One Out As Satin Plays 3B And Bats Second http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/mets-vs-nationals-wright-sits-this-one-out-as-satin-plays-3b-and-bats-second.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/mets-vs-nationals-wright-sits-this-one-out-as-satin-plays-3b-and-bats-second.html/#comments Sun, 28 Jul 2013 16:14:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=125954 carlos torres 2

New York Mets at Washington Nationals

Carlos Torres(1-1, 0.94 ERA) vs. Taylor Jordan (0-3, 3.68)

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Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young, Jr. – LF
  2. Josh Satin – 3B
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. Marlon Byrd – RF
  5. Ike Davis – 1B
  6. John Buck – C
  7. Juan Lagares – CF
  8. Omar Quintanilla – SS
  9. Carlos Torres – RHP

Game Notes

Though he still remains a ways off from active duty, left-hander Jon Niese made his first Minor League rehab appearance Saturday for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast Mets. Niese, who has been on the disabled list since June 21 with a partial tear of his left rotator cuff, allowed three hits and four runs (two earned) in two innings against the Nationals’ affiliate, striking out one.

Despite Saturday’s loss, the Mets already have more wins over the Nationals than they had all of last season with five. The 2013 series stands at 6-5 in Washington’s favor, and the Nationals took the ’12 series, 14-4.

The Mets have officially set up their new six-man starting rotation, which they hope will allow both Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler to continue pitching through September. The six-man rotation requires a four-man bench, at least with seven relievers. The Mets currently have an all-righty bench with Justin TurnerJosh SatinAndrew Brown and Anthony Recker, although Collins said Satin and Turner can hit righty pitching. Collins added the Mets are prepared to be shorthanded in position players for at least a little while.

After sitting out a game and a half with a sore right knee, Eric Young Jr. was back in the Mets’ starting lineup Saturday, batting leadoff and playing left field. Young originally injured his knee Wednesday on the play that broke Braves pitcher Tim Hudson‘s right ankle.

Infielder Justin Turner, who left Game 2 of Friday’s doubleheader with soreness in his right shoulder and knee, was “still sore” Saturday, according to manager Terry Collins, but “able to play” if needed.

Collins said Saturday that there is “a possibility” reliever Jeurys Familia, who underwent surgery last month to remove bone spurs and loose bodies from his right elbow, could pitch again this season. But Collins also cautioned that he has “heard that before.” The Mets assumed at the time of Familia’s surgery that he would be done for the year.

Rehabbing prospect Travis d’Arnaud drove in three runs Saturday for the Class A Gulf Coast Mets, catching a full game for the second straight day. Outfielder Lucas Duda, who is also rehabbing an injury for the GCL Mets, went 0-for-4 Saturday and is hitless in 13 at-bats since joining that team.

MetsBlog reports that Terry Collins doesn’t think Mets will make any moves at trade deadline. Yawn…

Game Preview

The Mets wrap up their current series today looking for the series split against the Nationals after dropping yesterday’s game. Today Carlos Torres will take the mound in what is becoming an interesting discussion about the future of the rotation once Niese returns. Do the Mets go to a 6-man rotation with Torres and Mejia? Does Mejia stay a starter and Torres go back to the bullpen? Such questions are more in the hypothetical realm right now with Niese’s return more of a mysterious “soon” rather than a firm date. Torres will be facing Taylor Jordan.

Carlos Torres is 1-1 this season pitching in 12 games making 2 starts while pitching 28.2 innings with a 0.94 ERA. He has pitched 11.0 innings in his last two starts allowing 2 ER, one in each, and striking out 11 batters. He has pitched 2.0 innings against the Nationals this season allowing only 1 hit, no runs, 1 walk and striking out 3. The Nationals have the following numbers against him:

Hairston 1-3, 2B
Suzuki 1-1, 2B
Bernadina 0-1
LaRoche 0-1
Lombardozzi 0-1
Rendon 0-1

Taylor Jordan is 0-3 over 5 starts this season pitching 29.1 innings with a 3.68 ERA. In his last two starts he has pitched 13.0 innings allowing 7 runs, 6 earned while striking out 8. He made his major league debut against the Mets this season where he allowed 3 runs, 1 earned in 4.1 innings of work. The Mets have the following numbers against him:

Byrd 0-2
Murphy 2-3
Satin 1-2
Wright 0-2
Young 0-3
Buck 1-2

Lets Go Mets!

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Mets Stay Hot As Bats Come Alive Late In 9-1 Win http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/mets-stay-hot-as-bats-come-alive-late-in-9-1-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/mets-stay-hot-as-bats-come-alive-late-in-9-1-win.html/#comments Wed, 03 Jul 2013 04:02:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=123648 brown satin

The Mets defeated the Diamondbacks at Citi Field on Tuesday night by a score of 9-1. Jeremy Hefner earned his third win of the season with another solid start, and New York handed Patrick Corbin his first loss.

The game started slowly for both teams, with both Hefner and Corbin dealing out of the gate. Anthony Recker broke a scoreless tie with a solo shot to left in the bottom of the fifth, giving the Mets the lead until Martin Prado tied it with a bomb of his own in the seventh. In the bottom half of the seventh, Josh Satin (who else?!) gave the Mets the lead with a double, and after Andrew Brown walked, the Mets had the bases loaded with none out. Naturally, mother nature would have none of it, and the tarp came on the field.

A couple hours later, the game resumed and the Mets promptly blew the game open behind RBI hits from Recker, Omar Quintanilla, Eric Young, and Juan Lagares. The Mets would have had another run if not for a terrible call at home plate, but the game had been decided nonetheless. LaTroy Hawkins and Brandon Lyon tossed scoreless frames to finish off the D-Backs (but not before Quintanilla could tack on another RBI in the eighth), and the Mets sealed their second straight win over Arizona.

anthiny recker

Thoughts:

As I said last night (or rather this morning, after yesterday’s midnight finish), Satin is absolutely raking. He had another huge hit tonight, delivering the decisive RBI in the seventh. Eric Young is producing as well; these new guys are fun to watch.

Anthony Recker has a pitiful average, but he seems to have a knack for driving in runs. It feels like he gets a hit a lot more often than 15% of the time…

jeremy hefner

Another great start from Hefner tonight. The rotation is starting to step up, and with Wheeler in the big leagues and Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard not far behind, fans have to be excited about the state of our pitching. Hopefully, Jon Niese comes back healthy soon (although the pessimistic Mets fan in me fully expects disastrous results from his MRI scheduled for later this week). If the pitching can establish itself as a great strength, the team will be able to trade for bats (as well as spend a little on bats, if the Wilpons are being truthful when they say they are not broke) and become a contender at some point in the near future.

Lastly, can anybody remember a season where it has rained more often than in 2013? It feels like every game has had at least a drizzle, it was really coming down out there during the seventh.

The Mets will attempt to clinch a series victory tomorrow when they face the Diamondbacks in the third game of their four-game series a Citi Field. Matt Harvey (7-1, 2.00 ERA), our second best hitting-pitcher after Anthony Recker, will take on Randall Delgado (0-2, 4.05 ERA) at 7:10 PM.

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Gee Brilliant, Mets Bats Power 5-1 Win Over The Cards http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/gee-brilliant-mets-bats-power-5-1-win-over-the-cards.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/gee-brilliant-mets-bats-power-5-1-win-over-the-cards.html/#comments Thu, 13 Jun 2013 02:17:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=121862 marlon byrd

Dillon Gee was dominant for the Mets as they beat the St. Louis Cardinals by the score of 5-1 tonight at Citi Field to even the series at one game apiece.

It was the third consecutive solid outing for Gee who is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA in that span. The righthander held one of the most potent offenses in the game to just one earned run tonight in 6.2 innings pitched, scattering just six hits and two walks while striking out seven. Just a tremendous effort from Gee who improves to 5-6 for the season.

The Mets roughed up highly touted pitching phenom Shelby Miller for three home runs tonight. Lucas Duda went deep in the fourth inning to put the Mets up 3-0, David Wright launched a towering drive in the sixth, and Marlon Byrd blasted his ninth homer of the season in the seventh to complete the trifecta. All three homers were solo shots.

Jordany Valdespin and Omar Quintanilla went 0-for-8 at the top of the order, but Mets 3-4-5 hitters saved the day going 5-for-11 with four RBIs and four runs scored.

The bullpen did the job with 2.1 perfect innings of relief from Scott Rice, Brandon Lyon and Bobby Parnell.

Breaking News: We cannot confirm or deny reports that Josh Satin was abducted by aliens en route from Las Vegas on Sunday. However we do believe that Satin may have become the victim of foul play at the hands of a menacing manager who goes by the name of Terry Collins and is known to prey on rookies.

With the win the Mets improve their record to 24-36. Weather permitting (there’s a wicked storm brewing) dueling aces square off with Matt Harvey (5-0, 2.10 ERA) opposing Adam Wainwright (9-3, 2.34) at 1:10 PM.

Lets Go Mets!

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Mets vs Cardinals: Spin Bats Leadoff As Niese Looks To Avoid The Sweep http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/mets-vs-cardinals-spin-bats-leadoff-as-niese-looks-to-avoid-the-sweep.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/mets-vs-cardinals-spin-bats-leadoff-as-niese-looks-to-avoid-the-sweep.html/#comments Thu, 16 May 2013 14:38:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=119044 jon niese

Starting Lineup

  1. Jordany Valdespin – RF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Ike Davis – 1B
  5. Lucas Duda – LF
  6. John Buck – C
  7. Rick Ankiel – CF
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Jonathon Niese – LHP

Game Notes

The Mets (14-23) now have a season-high six-game losing streak for the second time in 2013. They have lost 14 of 18 to drop nine games under .500 this early in a season for the first time since May 13, 2001, under Bobby Valentine (also 14-23).

Terry Collins is frustrated, but remains hopeful. “It’s no secret. I mean, I don’t have a lot to say. We beat this horse to death here all week. Outside of a few innings, we’ve been in every game in the last week. We just can’t finish them. We cannot get a big hit. We cannot get a big out. We cannot make a big play when we need to. It’s a combination of things that has just happened. And that’s what happens when you’re going bad. And we’re going bad. And we’re going to get out of it.”

Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy has eight hits in his last 13 at-bats, quickly putting behind him a dreadful 0-for-17 slump. ”It’s tough to explain,” Murphy said. “Once you start feeling good and then you have some success for it, it just lends to more peace and less anxiety.” Murphy is hitting .280 on the year, with two homers and 16 RBIs. He is batting .358 on the road this season, the fourth- best mark in the National League.

Game Preview

The Mets and Cardinals play the final game of the series this afternoon where the Mets try to avoid losing 7 games in a row, a 4 game sweep and try to break out of this terrible offense funk. Last night Marcum wasn’t bad. He allowed 3 runs, 2 earned over 6.2 innings but the only run support the Mets had came from a 2 run homer by Ankiel. Besides that the Mets were completely flat again. Niese will try to play stopper as he goes up against Wainwright.

Jon Niese is 2-4 over 8 games this season with a 5.93 ERA over 41.0 innings of work. His last two starts have been some of the worse in his career as he allowed 7 ER over 4.1 innings and followed that by 4.0 innings 8 ER in his last outing. Last year he had one start against the Cardinals and it was quite good as he pitched 6.0 innings of shutout ball striking out 10 batters. The Cards have the following numbers against Jon:

Wigginton 4-10, 2 2B
Holliday 2-10
Molina 2-8
Jon Jay 3-7, 2B
Freese 0-6
Beltran 1-3

The Mets will finish off this series against one of the figures of lore in Mets nemesis history: Adam Wainwright. Wainwright is 5-2 this season over 8 games with a 2.30 ERA while pitching 58.2 innings and a Major League leading 2 complete game shutouts, including his last outing. That last stunning performance was the follow up to a weak 5.1 innings, 5 ER outing. Last season he was not effective against the Mets going 0-2 in as many games allowing 12 ER over 11.1 innings the Mets have the following numbers against Adam:

Wright 1-9, 2B
Byrd 3-11, 2B
Buck 1-8, HR
Davis 2-7, HR
Baxter 2-6
Duda 2-4, 2B, HR
Murphy 3-6, 3B

Let’s Go Mets!

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Bullpen Falters, Bats Silenced, Mets Dealt 6-3 Loss By Cards http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/bullpen-falters-bats-silenced-mets-dealt-6-3-loss-by-cards.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/bullpen-falters-bats-silenced-mets-dealt-6-3-loss-by-cards.html/#comments Tue, 14 May 2013 11:30:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=118722 daniel - murphy 2

The newest Met, Rick Ankiel, couldn’t hold onto Ty Wigginton’s sinking line drive for a double. Wigginton then scored from second on an infield hit off pitcher Scott Rice. Matt Holliday followed with a two-run homer, and just like that it was over and the Mets had their fourth straight loss, 6-3, at St. Louis to fall seven games below .500.

ON THE MOUND: Jeremy Hefner had his third straight quality start, giving up three runs in six innings. Hefner retired the last ten hitters he faced. Even so, the Mets are now 0-7 when he starts. … Rice and Scott Atchison combined to give up three runs on five hits.

AT THE PLATE: The Mets had four hits, three from Daniel Murphy. … Ten more strikeouts by Mets hitters, surprisingly, none by Ike Davis or Lucas Duda.

METS MATTERS: Reliever Frank Francisco has a mild strain of the flexor pronator in his right elbow. He will be shut down for 72 hours before he resumes throwing. … Outfielder Andrew Brown was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Ankiel.

THEY SAID IT:  “We aren’t scoring. I told him he got us to where we needed to be.’’ – Manager Terry Collins on Hefner’s performance.

BY THE NUMBERS: 12: Number of times in their last 16 games the Mets scored three runs or less.

ON DECK: Dillon Gee (2-4), Shaun Marcum (0-3) and Jonathan Niese (2-4) will be the Mets’ next three starters in this series against John Gast (0-0), Shelby Miller (5-2) and Adam Wainwright (5-2) for the Cardinals.

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Phillies vs Mets Preview: Marcum To Debut, Baxter Leads Off, Davis Bats Seventh http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/phillies-vs-mets-preview-marcum-to-make-mets-debut-baxter-leads-off-davis-bats-seventh.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/phillies-vs-mets-preview-marcum-to-make-mets-debut-baxter-leads-off-davis-bats-seventh.html/#comments Sat, 27 Apr 2013 15:25:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=116505

Starting Lineup

  1. Mike Baxter RF
  2. Ruben Tejada SS
  3. Daniel Murphy 2B
  4. David Wright 3B
  5. Lucas Duda LF
  6. John Buck C
  7. Ike Davis 1B
  8. Jordany Valdespin CF
  9. Shaun Marcum RHP

Game Notes

  • Josh Edgin, 26, was demoted to Double-A Binghamton to make room for today’s starter Shaun marcum. He has struggled this season with a 9.64 ERA and lefties were hitting .350 (7-for-20) against him.
  • The Mets dropped below .500 for the first time this season with a 4-0 loss to the Phillies in Friday’s series opener. Dillon Gee matched zeroes with Kyle Kendrick until the sixth, when Gee surrendered a run-scoring single to Michael Young and a three-run homer to Ryan Howard.
  • The new lineup had David Wright batting cleanup and Daniel Murphy batting third. It produced three hits against Philadelphia starter Kyle Kendrick. The Mets earned only one walk, failing to work the count against Kendrick as he breezed through a complete game.
  • Daniel Murphy had his eight-game hitting streak snapped last night. Murphy is tied for eighth in the NL with seven doubles, is eighth with a .329 batting average and tied for seventh with 17 runs scored. Murphy has at least one hit in 15 of his last 18 contests, (.347, 25-72).
  • Mets manager Terry Collins is concerned about Zack Wheeler‘s six-walk performance. “What worries me the most is that he’s not pounding the strike zone. We’ve got to have some strikes out of him because his stuff is going to play,” Collins said.

Game Preview

The Mets try to rebound after a subpar group of games today as they play the Phillies in game two of the series. Last night the Mets bats were shut down for the second day in a row as scoring was hard to come by. The team had an incredible streak of run scoring earlier in the season, so hopefully the can get it going against against Pettibone today.

The main headline for Mets today is the debut of Shawn Marcum. Marcum was 7-4 last year over 21 starts and 124.0 innings with a 3.70 ERA. Marcum hasn’t faced the Phillies since 2011. Back then he pitched 12.2 innings over two starts with a 3.55 ERA. Marcum’s velocity is down from last year but he’s a professional pitcher and I’m excited to watch him go to work today (and comparing him to a Laffey start makes Marcum relatively great). The Phillies have the following numbers against Marcum:

Young 4-16, 2 2B
Howard 4-8, 3 HR
Rollins 3-10
Utley 3-7, HR

The Mets bats draw Jonathan Pettibone making his second career start. In his Major League debut he went 5.1 innings allowing 6 hits and 2 earned runs against the Pirates. During that start he didn’t walk a batter and struck out 6. He had a good year in the minors last year pitching nearly 160 innings with a 3.10 ERA. This year he struggled in his two starts allowing 10 earned runs, 12 total in 9.1 innings. I’m curious to see what the Mets do against him today.

Lets go Mets!

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Prospect Pulse: Exclusive First Look At Outfield Prospect Vicente Lupo http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/prospect-pulse-exclusive-first-look-at-outfield-prospect-vicente-lupo.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/prospect-pulse-exclusive-first-look-at-outfield-prospect-vicente-lupo.html/#comments Tue, 26 Mar 2013 12:00:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=111845 VICENTE LUPO

Vicente Lupo, OF

Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 6’ Weight: 180 lb.
Position: Outfield
Age: 19
ETA: 2016
MMO Top Prospect Rank: #15

Background:

Here is a brief profile on Vicente Lupo from the recent 2013 MMO Top 25 Prospect series:

Signed as an international free agent in July of 2010, Lupo quickly showed a penchant for extra-base power at a young age. While his 2011 season was marred after a dangerous bout with malignant hypothermia that ruined his DSL season, the strongly built slugger came back with a vengeance the following season.

2012 saw Lupo explode in the Domincan Summer League, where he posted a .343/.508/.600 batting line while drawing as many walks as strikeouts –  something seldom seen in power hitters.

Of his 70 overall hits, 31 were for extra-bases. While not possessing top-flight athleticism, he has the bat you look for in a corner outfielder. According to what Mets executives said in response to some questions from Joe D., Vicente will be playing stateside in 2013, so look for him at Kingsport or possibly even Brooklyn this summer.

Everyone is super excited about Lupo. His .500 OBP in 2012 was completely ridiculous, and he had 1.108 OPS to go with that. If he continues to put up numbers like that, maybe he will live up to some early comparisons to Miguel Cabrera. Not much has been reported on Lupo thus far, but what little info is out there has many Mets fans excited. I am proud to say that thanks to fellow minor league analyst Teddy Klein, MMO is the first to have some video footage of Lupo, which you can see below.

Analysis:

We’ve all read the reports – great bat with plus-plus power, raw strength, solid frame and a good eye at the plate. At this point, it’s almost like Lupo is somewhat mythological, since not many fans have gotten a chance to see him play. This video was the first chance many of us got to see of Lupo, since he has spent the majority of his playing time in the DSL.

Vicente Lupo is a player who will need his bat to carry him through the system. He’s not considered speedy and doesn’t have a very strong arm which limits him defensively. He will most likely be relegated to a corner outfield position, probably left field.

Baseball Reference has Lupo listed as six feet, but after seeing him stand in the batter’s box he is probably closer to 5’10″ or 5’11″ tall. He does have a solid build, and seeing as he’s only 19 years of age, he’ll probably put on even more muscle as he matures.

Regarding his swing, he starts with his hands high and then quickly gets them into a good hitting position. Hitters have to be careful with starting their hands up high, because it could take them longer to get them into the hitting zone, leaving them susceptible to better fastballs. But Lupo does a great job of getting his hands down into the zone, and keeping his hands high is a good way to make sure he stays on top of the ball.

Unfortunately, the swing in the video attached is not his greatest effort. He looks like he was confused by an off-speed pitch, and is very off-balance. You can even see in the first pitch that he takes, he is out on the front foot a little. Keep in mind that it is only one swing, and he is 19 years old, so as he matures, he will learn to adjust to the off-speed stuff. He has probably made a living at this point of his career by eating a steady diet of fastballs for breakfast, so as he progresses through the system he will have to work on his pitch recognition and driving the off-speed pitch the other way.

In 2013, we will see how Lupo progresses during his first season playing stateside. Look for him to start with one of the short-season leagues (Kingsport or Brooklyn) and stay in extended spring training until then. He’s definitely a player you’ll want to keep an eye on in the coming seasons and could easily become a top ten prospect for the Mets if he continues on this torrid pace.

prospect pulse mitch petanick

To read previous editions of this feature, go to our MMO Prospect Pulse Archives.

Follow MMO Minor League Analyst Mitch Petanick on Twitter at @FirstPitchMitch for even more Mets Minor League and prospect coverage.

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Prospect Pulse: Analyzing Mets Catching Prospect Kevin Plawecki http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/prospect-pulse-analyzing-mets-catching-prospect-kevin-plawecki.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/prospect-pulse-analyzing-mets-catching-prospect-kevin-plawecki.html/#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2013 15:48:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=110592 kevin_plawecki

Kevin Plawecki, C

Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 205 lb.
Position: Catcher
Age: 22
ETA: 2015
MMO Top Prospect Rank: #19

Background:

Here is a brief player profile from the recent 2013 MMO Top 25 Prospect series:

The 35th pick in the 2012 draft, Kevin Plawecki, was selected with one of the comp picks we received for losing Jose Reyes. The main criticism about the pick was not so much a knock on Plawecki, but rather that the Mets made a big reach taking him with the 35th pick when he could have been around in the third. One of the things that scouts keyed in on was that he had a long swing and it cut some of his power away, but he made strides to fix that in his first pro season since coming out of Purdue. Down in Brooklyn, Plawecki put up a .250 average with a 1:1 BB/K rate (25:24). The NYPL is a pitching dominant league, so try not to get too down on the .250 average, especially when he accompanied it with seven homers and eight doubles in just 216 at-bats.

Plawecki is not a defensive wizard, as he gets by with a below average arm, but he is an intelligent baseball player. Intelligence at the catcher position is key, and he was known for calling his own games when he played at Purdue. Also, considering the fact that he was drafted as a junior in college, it puts him on somewhat of a fast track to the major leagues. His 2013 season will be key in determining what kind of player he will really turn out to be, as he makes the same jump as Hansel Robles to Savannah and potentially St. Lucie.

The biggest issue I have come across in scouting reports was the fact that almost everyone is in consensus that Plawecki should have been a third or fourth round pick. However, that is simply semantics. If you think a guy can help your organization, then why run the risk of someone else taking him?

At the time of the pick, the Mets had little catcher depth in their system, and Plawecki is the type of guy that will be able to move through the system very quickly, and hopefully help the Mets in the near future. While we can label a player a reach because we think that he should have been selected later, there is really no telling what the other teams will do, so when you have a chance to take your guy, you take him. The San Francisco Giants did something very similar in 2011 when they drafted shortstop Joe Panik. When evaluating draft picks it’s not always a matter of who has the better ability, but who has the ability to help the big league club as fast as possible. Plawecki is that type of a guy.

Analysis:

Plawecki is a guy that makes excellent contact. Through his college career, he had a very low strike out rate, and as stated earlier, had a 1:1 K/BB ratio at Brooklyn last season. I have read a couple of scouting reports that have noted his swing was a little long, but his swing is actually very compact, and he gets his hands through the hitting zone very quickly when he keeps them close to his body. If his hands get away from him, he could have trouble with pitchers with better fastballs. He starts with his hands high, has a nice load, and then gets his hands in a nice hitting position. I noticed that on a couple of the pitches he took, he didn’t keep his weight back, and transferred his weight early to the front leg. This can make him susceptible to off-speed pitches as he progresses to the higher levels of the organization.

He has a very level swing, which will lead to a ton of line drives, but it does not generate a ton of backspin on the ball when contact is made, which is why he won’t be a big home run threat. However, he does have solid to gap-to-gap power. Think of Daniel Murphy, but with a little more pop. I would project him to hit 10-15 home runs at the big league level at this point.

Everyone has been completely enthralled with the addition to Travis d’Arnaud, but Plawecki is a guy that fans should keep an eye on over the next couple of years. With questions of d’Arnaud’s durability arising, Plawecki is definitely a guy that could find himself behind the plate at Citi Field within the next couple of years.

prospect pulse mitch petanick

To read previous editions of this feature, go to our MMO Prospect Pulse Archives.

Follow MMO Minor League Analyst Mitch Petanick on Twitter at @FirstPitchMitch for even more Mets Minor League and prospect coverage.

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Prospect Pulse: 2013 Mets Centerfield Candidate Matt den Dekker http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/02/prospect-pulse-2013-mets-outfield-candidate-matt-den-dekker.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/02/prospect-pulse-2013-mets-outfield-candidate-matt-den-dekker.html/#comments Sat, 23 Feb 2013 18:00:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=108834 matt den dekker 2

Matt den Dekker, CF

Bats: L Throws: L
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 205 lb.
Position: Centerfield
Age: 25 (26 in August)
ETA: 2013
MMO Top Prospect Rank: #12

Background:

Here is a brief player profile from the recent 2013 MMO Top 25 Prospect series:

Matt den Dekker has only been in the Mets farm system for three years, but his name has been relevant since the Mets tabbed him as a legitimate centerfield prospect. Den Dekker torched Binghamton upon his arrival in 2012, but struggled after his promotion to Buffalo and saw his strikeout rate increase to nearly 30%. He has a great feel for centerfield and could get by on his spectacular defense alone as a major leaguer. But his ability to hit advanced pitching will ultimately determine how quickly he makes his way onto the Mets.

Den Dekker is likely the closest outfield prospect the Mets have to being MLB ready. The one downside is that he’s another left-handed hitter which means he would have to outperform the glut of other Mets left-handed hitters to earn a promotion.

He is considered a superior defender to incumbent Kirk Nieuwenhuis, but with his inability to consistently make contact and a poor split-performance, den Dekker is likely to begin the season in Las Vegas and won’t make a trip up to Flushing until he can improve some elements to his offensive game. If he can square up and make more consistent contact, while reducing his strikeouts, Den Dekker could make an appearance later this season and end up playing a significant role this year and next. It’s a big “if” but it’s certainly not out of the question.

When looking at den Dekker’s stats, it’s easy to see his numbers took a dive after he made the jump to a higher level. This happened in both 2011 and 2012. What’s promising is how he adjusted at those levels when he started with those teams the following season. He was absolutely destroying Double-A pitching in 2012 after struggling during his first stint there in 2011. In 58 games with Binghamton last year, he hit to the tune of a .340 AVG/.397 OBP/ 8 HR/ 29 RBI/ 10 SB. You can see why he got promoted to Triple-A Buffalo after a sizzling start like that.

Up at Buffalo, he struggled. But as I stated earlier, that seems to be the trend with den Dekker (when he initially makes a jump, he struggles). It will be interesting to see what he does in Las Vegas this year, because if he follows the trend, he should put up some really solid numbers at the Triple-A level now that he got a half season under his belt. If he succeeds in Vegas, he will surely be a candidate to join the Mets sometime in June or July.

Analysis:

Based on the video, den Dekker does have a slight mechanical issue with his swing. It is easily fixable using muscle memory drills. However, he does have a very smooth swing and the potential is there to be a 20/20 type of player at the major league level.

I’m not sure den Dekker will ever be a .300 hitter unless he works out the mechanical deficiency that was described in the video. His front foot opens up during his swing, which causes his hips to open early. This could make him susceptible to off-speed pitches and pitches on the outside part of the plate. Keeping his front foot and hips closed longer should also improve his strikeout rate (since it will help him with the off-speed/outside pitches). If he is going to be a .300 hitter, he is going to have to working on keeping those hips closed and use all parts of the field when hitting.

Here is what a scout had to say about den Dekker via ESPN New York:

He’s a good defender. He throws good enough. He’s got some power — not great power, but he’s got some power. He’s making adjustments. I’ve been there [to watch Binghamton] three times. Every time he’s gotten better with the bat. He’s not flailing. He’s not trying to pull the ball. He’s making adjustments. It looks natural. He will cut down on his strikeouts with this new approach. He’s more patient. He’s going to be OK. I was prepared to not like this kid. He’s really won me over. It’s going to be a very spirited competition for center field between him and Nieuwenhuis, who are both better than Torres.

Those are pretty powerful words from that scout who said that both Nieuwenhuis and den Dekker were better than Andres Torres already, and this quote is from last June. Matt den Dekker should start the season with Triple-A Las Vegas, and you should definitely keep an eye on him in 2013. Depending on how he performs in Las Vegas, he could be in the outfield mix at Citi Field very soon.

prospect pulse mitch petanick

To read previous editions of this feature, go to our MMO Prospect Pulse Archives.

Follow MMO Minor League Analyst Mitch Petanick on Twitter at @FirstPitchMitch for even more Mets Minor League and prospect coverage.

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Prospect Pulse: Analyzing Up and Coming Prospect T.J. Rivera http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/02/prospect-pulse-analyzing-up-and-coming-prospect-t-j-rivera.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/02/prospect-pulse-analyzing-up-and-coming-prospect-t-j-rivera.html/#comments Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:00:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=108037 T.J. Rivera batted .320/.372/.444 for Savannah and St. Lucie in 2012.

Second baseman T.J. Rivera batted .320/.372/.444 last season for Savannah and St. Lucie.

Thomas Javier (T.J.) Rivera, 2B

Bats: R  Throws: R
Height: 6′ 1″  Weight: 190 lb.
Position: Second Base
Age: 24
ETA: 2015

Background:

T.J. Rivera is a fellow New Yorker, born and raised in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx. He was signed as a free-agent out of Troy University back in 2011. Not much is generally expected out of guys that aren’t drafted, but Rivera seems like his is on a mission to change that. In his first two professional seasons, he has already gone through four levels in the organization (Rookie, Low-A, A, and High-A). He’s compiled a .316 AVG to go along with 10 HR and 85 RBI over those two years. His 2012 numbers, from the time he spent with the Savannah Sand Gnats, are the most impressive. During that time he played in 64 games, compiling a .333 AVG/.396 OBP/8 HR and 37 RBI. Those numbers are probably what led fellow Sand Gnat, Jack Leathersich, to point out that Rivera was the teammate that impressed him most in his recent exclusive interview with Metsmerized Online. Here is an excerpt from that interview where Leathersich says Rivera is a player Mets fans should be very excited to see:

Oh yeah, definitely T.J. Rivera – he’s the one. He’s the real deal. I’ve never been around a kid who prepares as well as he does. He just really loves the game and it seems like every time I see him he’s out on the field working on something. Rivera plays hard and is completely balls to the wall – he’ll do anything to make sure we win. He’s a great teammate and obviously a great player and everybody should be real excited about him. If he continues the great things he did last season, and I’m pretty sure that he will, he’ll be a lot of fun to watch.

Analysis:

Rivera is definitely an under-the-radar type of prospect. He’s not considered a top prospect, and doesn’t have any tools that will jump off the page at you. However, he is making it happen. He has been successful across four different levels, so this is starting to seem like a situation where Rivera could turn out to be the real deal and not just a flash in the pan. There isn’t much footage on Rivera out there, but here is a brief analysis of Rivera’s swing:

Rivera has a sweet swing and it’s going to be really interesting to see what he can do at the Double-A level this season. Making the jump to Binghamtom will probably be the biggest challenge that Rivera has come across in his professional career thus far, as they say the jump from Single-A ball to Double-A is really where you start to weed out the prospects. Double-A is where the cream starts rising to the top. Rivera has a big challenge ahead in 2013, but after reading what teammate Jack Leathersich said about him, we have to assume it’s a challenge he is ready for.

Mets fans have a reason to be excited, and should definitely keep an eye on T.J. Rivera up at Binghamton this season. If his approach is to continue taking it one level at a time, he stays focused and keeps performing the way he has the past two years, the Mets will have a solid player on their hands within the next couple of years.

prospect pulse mitch petanick

You can follow Mitch Petanick on Twitter for more Mets Minor League coverage.

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Prospect Pulse: Analyzing Second Base Prospect Reese Havens http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/02/prospect-pulse-analyzing-second-base-prospect-reese-havens.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/02/prospect-pulse-analyzing-second-base-prospect-reese-havens.html/#comments Thu, 07 Feb 2013 12:27:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=107283 Reese Havens 3

Player Name: Reese Havens 

Bats: L  Throws: R

Height: 6’1″  Weight: 195 lb.

Position: Second Base 

Age: 26 

MMO Top Prospect Ranking: NR

ETA: 2013

Background:

There’s not much that I can tell you about Reese Havens that you probably don’t already know. He was drafted in the 1st round of the 2008 MLB Draft out of the University of South Carolina. Many experts thought he would go on to have the best career of any Mets player drafted in 2008. We are still waiting for him to live up to those expectations.

Everyone knows Havens’ story: tons of talent, can’t stay healthy. Even in a NY Times interview last March, Havens’ father was shocked that the injury bug has bitten Reese during his professional career, because he had never been affected by injuries in the previous years. Brent Havens, Reese’s father, said this about his son’s injuries:

It has been extremely uncanny, the injuries he’s had, because he was never hurt as a youngster. His high school and college careers were basically injury-free. And if he did have an injury, he always healed quickly.

Even Havens’ father can’t seem to figure out what is going on with the string of injuries Havens has suffered the past few years. Hopefully that is all put behind him now, and he can get his career back on track.

Analysis:

There are some Mets fans out there that seem about ready to give up on Reese Havens. I’ve seen some people go as far as saying that he isn’t a prospect anymore. My response is: thank goodness these people don’t work in the Mets organization. I would really hate to see the Mets give up on this kid and then have him turn out to be a superstar with some other team. When the Mets added him to the 40-man roster this winter to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, it showed the baseball world that the Mets still believed in his talent.

And what’s not to believe in? So what the guy had a couple of nagging injuries. That doesn’t mean he can’t play. Look at this quote from Terry Collins, regarding Havens, from that same NY Times article noted earlier:

“He’s one of those guys where you just know the ceiling. If we can get him in the lineup, he’s going to play in the big leagues.”

Terry Collins doesn’t seem worried that Havens won’t be a big leaguer, so why should the fan base?

Havens is a gamer. He oozes baseball talent. He has a solid glove, hits for average and has a ton of power for a second baseman. He also gets on base, and has great patience. He has all the attributes you want in a player. In 2012, Reese may have still been recovering from a back ailment. He may have only hit .215 last season, but his OBP was .340 because he had 58 walks. That’s promising.

What is also promising is his 2011 season where he displayed mastery at the Double-A level hitting for a .289 average, and a .372 OBP across 58 games. Don’t look into 2012 too much, because when it comes to back injuries, it tends to take a season to really feel comfortable again swinging the bat.

This is where I’m going to start making bold statements. But don’t worry, I stand by all of them and believe them to be true. If Terry Collins announced tomorrow that there would be an open competition for the Mets starting second base job this spring, there is no doubt in my mind that Havens would beat out Daniel Murphy on his sheer talent alone. The Mets are dying to get an excuse to get this guy to the big leagues. There’s been a lot of talk of Wilmer Flores converting to second base of late, but it’s surely a backup plan for if Havens never nips this injury bug. Havens is the real deal. He just has to get on the field and prove it.

Age is just a number. Don’t look at his age as being a negative. The guy can play ball, and it shouldn’t matter how old he is if he can help the Mets win. Havens is the future second baseman of the Mets. Murphy is just a stop-gap, and the minute Havens is ready (which won’t be long), he will be showing everyone why he was a first-round selection in 2008. You might want to pre-order to Reese Havens jerseys now, because it’s going to be a hot seller in the very near future.

Havens will get his career back on track in 2013, because guys with his kind of baseball ability just don’t go away. He is my sleeper prospect for 2013. He has top ten prospect ability, and will start the season with Triple-A, but don’t be surprised if he gets called up as early as May (if he performs up to his potential in spring training). He may not have many minor league at-bats under his belt, but mark my words, he’s ready…if he can stay on the field.

For more Mets minor league and prospect coverage, you can follow me on Twitter @FirstPitchMitch.

PROSPECT PULSE

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Walkathon ’11, Bats Silent, Mets Lose 6-2 To Nats http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/04/walkathon-11-bats-silent-mets-lose-6-2-to-nats.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/04/walkathon-11-bats-silent-mets-lose-6-2-to-nats.html/#comments Sat, 09 Apr 2011 01:16:31 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=48097 R.A. Dickey had ZERO control today, and that seemed to be a recurring theme for the Mets as they took a loss in their home opener to the Nationals, 6-2.

Game Notes

R.A. Dickey just couldn’t find it today. Dickey allowed three runs on six hits in five innings, walking five and striking out three. Dickey finished the game throwing 98 pitches, 53 for strikes but those numbers didn’t begin evening out until the 4th inning. He had thrown half his pitches for strikes up until that point. His knuckleball was not in control, as shown by him throwing a lot more fastballs then he usually does. He got lucky in multiple situations, stranding a fair amount of runners.

The bullpen continued the walkfest for the most part. D.J. Carrasco came out and went two innings, walking one and striking out one but allowing no hits. He has been a pleasant surprise for an inning-eating middle reliever. Tim Byrdak came out, and in one-third of an inning gave up two runs on one hit walking one and striking out one. The experiment using him as a crossover reliever doesn’t seem to be working too well. Bobby Parnell pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up one run on one hit, walking two and striking out one. Parnell was clearly overthrowing today. Blaine Boyer came out for the ninth, and gave up one hit.

The pitching today was awful, and got lucky on a few great defensive plays.

The bats today were pretty awful, stranding 14 runners. The Mets manage to get runners to third and second base with no outs, and could not convert. Ike Davis hit a sac-fly in the second, and Lucas Duda had a pinch-hit RBI double. Only Josh Thole (2 for 3, one run and one walk) had more then one hit.

Ike Davis – 0 for 3 with one RBI and two K’s. Both strikeouts were called third strikes, with one clearly being a ball on a 3-2 count.

David Wright – 1 for 4 with a rocket double and some good defense.

Scott Hairston/Willie Harris – 0 for 4 combined with two strikeouts, including a big strikeout by Hairston with a man on third.

The offense is struggling, and the only positives are watching Brad Emaus surprise with both his defense and his plate discipline and Josh Thole continuing to show strong plate discipline.

Turning Point

The unraveling relievers in the eighth inning, taking it from a one-run game to a four-run game.

Game Ball

Angel Pagan for a great catch that lead to a double-play in the ninth. Too little too late but great defense

On Deck

The Mets will hope to rebound from this three-game losing streak, sending out new Mets lefty Chris Capuano to face-off against Nationals lefty Tom Gorzelanny. Game time is 7:10 P.M.

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Pitching & Bats Vanish, Mets Lose 11-0 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/04/pitching-bats-vanish-mets-lose-11-0.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/04/pitching-bats-vanish-mets-lose-11-0.html/#comments Fri, 08 Apr 2011 13:33:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=48020 Jonathon Niese & the Mets pitching staff was mauled today, and the offense struggled to get a rhythm against Roy Halladay and the Mets lost the game 11-0.

Game Notes

Jonathon Niese had a bad outing today. Jonathon was hit, and hit consistently. He gave up six runs on eight hits in four innings, walking one and striking out seven. It wasn’t one big hit that seemed to get Jonathon in trouble, but all of the small hits adding up and leading to runs. After Jonathon was mercifully relieved of pitching duties, the Mets fell apart.

Pedro Beato went two innings, allowing three hits and two unearned runs. Beato has been getting batters out, but has been allowing hits and has yet to strikeout a batter in five innings of work. He has also managed to not walk a batter, so I guess thats good as well. Tim Byrdak came out, and in one inning allowed two runs on two hits, striking out one. What is of note is Byrdak gave up a home run to Raul Ibanez, a lefty. D.J. Carrasco came up for what amounted to mop-up duty, allowing one run on three hits. The Mets just didn’t seem there today, and seemed like they were ready to board the plane.

The offense was practically non-existent, stifled by Roy Halladay. Not really much to talk about when you get shutout. Just inability to hit with RISP, and then manufacturing hits or walks to try and help the rally.

David Wright – 1-4 with a double. He also struck out in the second inning with the bases loaded, which could’ve started a rally

Jose Reyes – 2 for 4. YAY!

Angel Pagan – 1 for 3 with a walk and another stolen base. I think Angel was serious about having more steals then Jose Reyes.

Willie Harris – 1 for 3 with 2 K’s. These were all at-bats against righties. Yeesh.

Turning Point

The fourth inning was the knockout blow to the Mets hopes.

Game Ball

Angel Pagan. He may only be hitting .227 right now, but he has three stolen bases, five walks to one strikeout. If Angel can keep up plate discipline like this, it will be a great year.

Up Next

The Mets will have their home opener at beautiful Citi Field against the Washington Nationals today, Friday April 8th at 4:10 P.M. R.A Dickey will look to pitch another gem, going up against Jordan Zimmerman. I am attending this game and hope to grab a couple of good pictures.

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Mets Bats Missing In Action, Lose 3-1 To Reds http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/07/offense-goes-missing-mets-lose-3-1.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/07/offense-goes-missing-mets-lose-3-1.html/#comments Thu, 08 Jul 2010 03:59:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=30843

Jonathon Niese went out and was strong for seven and two third innings, but the Mets offense was stifled by Reds starter Bronson Arroyo  in the 3-1 loss.

Game Notes

Jonathon Niese continued his run of brilliant starts, going seven and two third innings, giving up three runs on six hits with one walk and tied a season high with eight strikeouts. Two of the runs and the hits Jonathon allowed today were solo homers to Brandon Phillips and Chris Heisey, and those were the first and second hits off of him. Jonathon was locating well, and was only burned in the seventh inning, after a freak-occurence bunt went over the pitchers head on the fly and allowed the inning to continue. Jonathon Niese has really settled into a groove, and as his confidence grows in his cutter, he has shown signs that he isn’t just throwing anymore, he is pitching. With every start, he makes it harder to even think about including him in a package to acquire any starting pitcher, specifically Mr. Cliff Lee

The bullpen came out today and did exactly what they had to. Bobby Parnell made another appearance in relief of Niese, and after allowing a single, struck out Drew Stubbs on a high fastball. Parnell’s final line would be one third of an inning, one hit and one strikeout. Elmer Dessens continued his great pitching, having a 1-2-3 eighth inning.

The Mets offense looked like it was going to start with a bang thanks to an Angel Pagan home run to right-center, also known as Death Valley for home runs. After that, the Mets only managed to scatter six hits over the next seven innings. I wish there was more to say, but when you don’t score, there isn’t much to say

Jose Reyes went 0-4 batting righty against a righty due to his strained oblique. It just doesn’t look right watching Jose hit this way, and lets hope this improves quickly.

Josh Thole went 2-3 with a walk, and some people are wondering is it better to keep the offensively-gifted Thole over defensive stud Henry Blanco

Turning Point

When the Mets couldn’t string together an extra-base hit to go along with a single.

Game Ball

Jonathon Niese, you received the Johan Santana treatment, receiving no run support in a great outing today.

On Deck

The Mets have the day off tommorrow, but on Friday begin their last series before the All-Star break against the division leading Braves. The Mets will send out R.A. Dickey to face off against Tommy Hanson. Game Time is 7:10 P.M.

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