Mets Merized Online » Jack Leathersich http://metsmerizedonline.com Sat, 13 Feb 2016 03:26:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.13 Logan Verrett’s Road to the Show http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/logan-verretts-road-to-the-show.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/logan-verretts-road-to-the-show.html/#comments Mon, 24 Aug 2015 15:00:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=191248 Logan Verrett

Congratulations to Logan Verrett, whose first major league start on Sunday was nothing short of fantastic. In a spot start for Matt Harvey, whom Verrertt is clearly better than, he went eight innings and gave up just one run on four hits and one walk, and logged eight strikeouts. You can read the full game recap here. I’ve always been a Verrett fan and was given permission and access to interview him two years ago when he was a member of the AA Binghamton Mets. We talked about his early baseball career and I was able to speak to some teammates and coaches about what makes Verrett so special. I wish him nothing but the best, not only because he’s a New York Met, but because he’s the kind of guy you want to root for. For a re-introduction to the Mets newest pitching weapon, below is the article I posted here on May 22, 2013.

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You hear it all the time: it isn’t about velocity, it’s about location. And no one exemplifies that old adage more than Logan Verrett. The 22-year-old Texas native was taken in the third round of the 2011 draft and has been impressive at all three minor league stops.

Verrett dominated A ball in 2012 in both Savannah and St. Lucie, combining to make 17 starts and finishing with an ERA of 2.70, a WHIP of 0.968, and a strikeout-to-walk rate of 7.15 over 103.1 innings pitched. Beginning the 2013 at AA Binghamton, Verrett has seen a slight regression in his numbers, but a slight regression from dominating is still excellent. After nine starts in the Eastern League, Verrett’s logged 60.1 innings pitched, his ERA sits at a 3.28 ERA and his WHIP is 1.044, good for fifth in the league, and his K/BB is 3.21.

And he’s doing it all with a 91 mph fastball.

“I know I’m not going to blow guys away,” Verrett acknowledges, “so I put a lot of effort into locating all my pitches and being able to throw all of them in any count. I like to keep them off balance and hitting spots helps me do that, especially with all four pitches.

Verrett’s repertoire consists of his fastball, both two-seam and four-seam, a slider, curve ball and change up His fastball has heavy sink on it and the slider is the out pitch. He has great command of all four pitches and can throw each for a strike at any time.

“You don’t have to throw 100 mph to get hitters out,” explains manager Pedro Lopez. “Guys who throw harder than he does get hit harder, because of his location. His fastball command to this point has been good. He’s also been able to throw his secondary pitches at any time in the count down in the strike zone.”

“He’s very aggressive and makes pitches when he needs to,” adds pitching coach Glenn Abbott. “He’s very competitive and likes the challenge.”

Lopez agrees. “He’s aggressive with all his pitches. He’s not afraid of contact and as a starting pitcher, when you do that, you find yourself pitching deep into ballgames. He’s been able to pitch deep into games just because he goes after hitters. That’s what he does best. He goes after hitters and he puts it in play early.”

Verrett’s 60.1 innings leads the Eastern League, as does his 6.7 IP per start (minimum six starts).

“Efficient” is how Coach Abbot describes Verrett. “You know what you’re going to get with him. When he pitched against the Yankees [AA affiliate Trenton Thunder], he got through 8.2 innings in his 100 pitches.”

Teammate Jack Leathersich sees the same thing, and from a pitcher’s perspective, adds that Verrett’s deceptiveness also plays a part in his success. “He’s not a 95 [mph] guy, but his fastball jumps out of his hand. I feel like as a hitter, it would look harder than what it actually comes in at. His slider is very, very sharp and looks exactly like his fastball coming out of his hand. That’s kind of his bread and butter.

“He’s really polished,” continues Leathersich, “and that’s how he was in college in the Cape league when I saw him there. He’s pitching really well and giving us a chance to win every time he goes out there.”

Catcher Blake Forsythe really enjoys catching Verrett. “He makes my job a lot easier than it is. He stays in the zone and is able to throw four different pitches for strikes. He’s got a lot of late movement, which forces contact, but not a lot of good contact. His slider is such a late breaking pitch, you have to try and go the other way with it. Hitters have to adjust to so many different things.”

When asked whether or not he expected to start this strong, Verrett offered a humble, if not sheepish, half-smile and shrug. “You always expect things to go well, until they don’t. But I prepared very intensely this off season I got to spring training a few weeks early. I was really able to get good one-on-one time with some pitching coaches. I was able to get an early jump on throwing. I think I took a really good approach during the off season and brought it with me to Spring Training and carried that into the season. That really helped with my confidence on the mound.

Verrett credits a high school pitching coach for helping plant the seeds that would eventually become a blossoming professional career. “He was only 10-15 years older than me and just recently got out of the game, so he was really young. It’s my senior year in high school and I have this new age approach to pitching that I’m being taught. He was always giving me tips and tidbits in my sides and bullpens, and that’s in high school. Just to be able to have a pitching coach in high school was amazing, especially one that had just left the game maybe three years before. He knew what it takes and what’s expected at the professional level and that’s the kind of approach he brought to our high school team. That carried over to my Baylor career and I felt like I was real mature for a freshman.

He finished his Baylor career seventh in strikeouts, and third among those who only pitched three years. He ranks second and third in conference-play K/BB and ERA, respectively.

Verrett knows there’s more work to be done. “What makes me successful is my ability to put the ball where I want it with all four pitches. I need to get better at doing that every single time. Not having the three or four mistake pitches that I leave up in a start. Like last night, for instance, I had four or five pitches that I could look back and say, “Yeah, I left that ball up.” If I’m going to be successful in the big leagues, it’s eliminating those mistake pitches and I think I’m on the right path.”

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Jack Leathersich May Need Elbow Surgery http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/jack-leathersich-may-need-elbow-surgery.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/jack-leathersich-may-need-elbow-surgery.html/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 00:03:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=187853 jack leathersich

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, lefthanded reliever Jack Leathersich may have to undergo Tommy John surgery. He will be evaluated by team doctors who will make a final determination.

Leathersich, 25,  has not appeared in a game since June 29 when he threw 57 pitches during a relief outing with Triple-A Las Vegas a day after he was demoted from the big league team.

In 17 appearances this season for the Mets, Leathersich had a 2.31 ERA and 1.629 WHIP in 11.2 innings pitched with 14 strikeouts and seven walks.

 

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Carlyle Could Be Heading To DL http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/carlyle-could-be-heading-to-dl.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/carlyle-could-be-heading-to-dl.html/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 22:58:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=181383 buddy carlyle

New York Mets reliever Buddy Carlyle (5.63 ERA) may be headed to the disabled list according to Manager Terry Collins.

Carlyle was pulled from Monday’s game against the Chicago Cubs after his lower back tightened and he experienced spasms.

“He needed help to get down the steps when his back tightened up and his hamstring tightened up on him,” Collins said. (Adam Rubin, ESPN New York)

“As we’re seeing with someone else on this team, those are two injuries that go hand in hand. We’ll probably be very careful. We’ll have to check him again tomorrow, see what trainer Ray [Ramirez] thinks and make a determination where he is.”

Collins mentioned Triple-A relievers Chasen Bradford, Zack Thornton and Jack Leathersich as potential call-up candidates if Carlyle lands on the DL.

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Josh Edgin Will Have Tommy John Surgery http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/josh-edgin-will-have-tommy-john-surgery.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/josh-edgin-will-have-tommy-john-surgery.html/#comments Sun, 15 Mar 2015 13:40:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=175976 josh edgin

Josh Edgin will undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York,  the team announced. Edgin chose surgery over rest and rehab and will miss all of the 2015 season.

“It was the best decision for my future and my family. The Mets stood behind me 100 percent,” Edgin said in a statement.

“I’m disappointed, because we have a heck of a team. My mindset is to be ready to go on Opening Day, 2016.”

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson expects Edgin to return on a schedule similar to Bobby Parnell.

The Mets have Scott Rice, Dario Alvarez, Sean Gilmartin and Jack Leathersich all vying for the lefthanded relief job for now but they are monitoring the market.

Combined, Gilmartin, Alvarez, Leathersich, Rice have allowed 18 runs on 14 hits and 14 walks in 12.0 innings pitched this Spring.

“We’ll continue to look at all options,” Alderson said. “We know what we have internally at this point. We’ll hope that those options improve over the next couple of weeks, become more attractive and continue to look externally as well.”

March 13

Mets GM Sandy Alderson briefed reporters this morning and said reliever Josh Edgin has a stretched out ligament in his left elbow which may eventually require season ending surgery.

The test showed that the ligament in his elbow is stretched out too far, leading to pain and tendonitis because of a bony mass that is near his ligament. The tendonitis is the issue, not the ligament.

Edgin can choose to undergo surgery or rest and rehab.

If he chooses surgery, it would put him out for the year. If he chooses rehab, general manager Sandy Alderson says it would be a 2-3 week process.

“It’s disappointing, yes,” Edgin said. “Really disappointing. We’re going to have a great year this year, whether it’s with me or without me.”

The Mets will have to rely on Sean Gilmartin,Jack Leathersich, Scott Rice and Dario Alvarez for now, none of whom have distinguished themselves yet this Spring.

March 11

A source with knowledge of the situation told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that reliever Josh Edgin may escape his current elbow issue with “rest and rehab.”

“A second source added that surgery — either Tommy John, or something more benign like the removal of the bone spur that Edgin was diagnosed as having last August — did not seem necessary.”

Officially, the team remains tight-lipped Wednesday evening, Rubin says, with one official saying the organization would have no comment until Thursday morning.

Earlier today the Mets confirmed that Edgin was headed to New York to meet with Dr. David Altchek and team doctors at Hospital for Special Surgery.

March 10

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York is now reporting that reliever Josh Edgin is getting  an MRI today after telling the team he had discomfort in his left arm.

“It’s elbow. It’s everything. Arm. It’s discomfort,” Edgin said.

Edgin’s fastball velocity has declined and he gave up consecutive-run scoring triples to lefty batters in Monday’s Grapefruit League game against the Marlins reaching only 88 to 91 mph with his fastball.

Pitching coach Dan Warthen told Rubin that last year’s issue is different from the current one. A year ago, “we felt like he was out of shape,” Warthen said.

Warthen said the Mets will back Edgin off pitching in games for an undetermined period. Edgin said the entire forearm is uncomfortable.

The Mets have no proven safety net if Edgin were to miss any significant time.

They  opted to bring in a couple of low-cost lefty-relief options and passed on an established complement for Edgin.

March 9

According to a report by Adam Rubin of ESPN New YorkTerry Collins is worried about LHP Josh Edgin, whose velocity sat between 88-91 MPH during his outing on Monday when he allowed back to back hard hit triples to left-handed batters in his 1/3 inning of work.

“What you look for right now is not necessarily anything more than making sure his velocity gets up, Collins said. “That would be right now a concern — the fact that his velocity is not there yet.”

“That’s going to be something we’ve got to certainly work on long-toss-wise, arm-speed-wise, because that sets the tone for everything.”

“When Josh Edgin is pitching good, he’s throwing 93 mph. And that’s enough to throw it by somebody. And now his slider becomes more effective. If the hitter doesn’t worry about you getting your fastball by him, they settle on his offspeed stuff.”

The Mets have been banking on Edgin to be their primary lefty in the bullpen this year. In fact, confidence in him has been so high, that on three occasions Sandy Alderson said he may go with Edgin as the lone lefty in the bullpen if someone else doesn’t emerge in Spring Training.

And so far, nobody seems to be stepping up.

Jack Leathersich has a 33.75 ERA and 5.25 WHIP after two appearances with 5 walks in 1.1 innings. I love Leathersich… If he could just throw more strikes he could become another Billy Wagner. But I digress…

The Mets selected Sean Gilmartin in the Rule 5 draft believing he could be that second lefty. The knock on him is that he doesn’t really have outstanding stuff. On Monday he allowed a walk and 2 hits in an inning of work, unfortunately one of those hits was was a three run homer off Avery Romero. (Did you just scratch your head and say, who?)

Scott Rice could put himself into the conversation and has two scoreless innings this Spring. But coming off major reconstruction surgery on his elbow, and a 5.93 ERA in 2014 he’s a significant risk. And that was before he admitted yesterday, that sensation in his pinky and ring finger only returned late November, but that he is still waiting for it to come back on his elbow. Really?

So here’s the real kicker. After Mondays 13-2 loss Fred Wilpon met with Terry Collins and among other things, he expressed concern with our lefthanded relievers. Of course, he could have done something about it as over a dozen lefty relievers in free agency signed MLB deals with other teams one by one. Gee thanks Fred, for being such a sport.

Getting back to Edgin, he’s had these velocity issues before and what we know is when he’s throwing 94-95 he’s an incredible reliever. However when he’s throwing 89-91 he’s as dangerous (in a bad way) as a Bouncing Betty. One false move and… Well, you know.

Let’s just hope things straighten out and he gets that velocity where it needs to be. It’s only March 10, plenty of time for the situation to improve.

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2015 MMO Top 25 Prospects: Numbers 20-16 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/2015-mmo-top-25-prospects-numbers-20-16.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/2015-mmo-top-25-prospects-numbers-20-16.html/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 14:46:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=175765 jack leathersich

No. 20 Jack Leathersich, LHP

Age: 24
Height: 5’11
Weight: 200
Bats/Throws: Right/Left
Last year: #21

Synopsis: Jack Leathersich has posted huge strikeout numbers at every level proven by his career 15.2 K/9, unfortunately he also walks more than his share as well. He has walked nearly a hitter per inning at Las Vegas while only 4.9 BB/9 in the lower levels. Throws his fastball in the low-mid 90′s but his deception and crossfire delivery are the key for his big strikeout numbers. He complements his fastball with a pretty good slider that sits around 79-82 with good movement but can’t always spot. Has only allowed 9 homeruns in 197 career innings with 4 of those coming in his time in AAA. May not be suited for a strictly loogy role as left handed hitters have hit him better the last 3 years with OPS against him of .733, .883, .707 respectively. While righties have had an OPS under .600 over that same span. The stuff is there to be a Major League reliever he just needs to cut the walks down and not be afraid of more contact.

ETA: 2015, will definitely get look in September if not called up before then.

Best Case: Learns to throw more strikes and carves out a permanent bullpen role like Mike Dunn has with Marlins.

casey meisner chris mcshane

No. 19 Casey Meisner, RHP

Age: 19
Height: 6’7
Weight: 190
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Last Year: Unranked

Synopsis: Casey Meisner was drafted by the Mets in the 3rd round in 2013 out of high school in Texas. Struggled to repeat his delivery early in the season which contributed to his 8.82 ERA in July. His season turned around in Augusta however and only allowed 6 earned runs over his last 6 starts. Over that span he pitched 35.2 innings allowing only 6 walks and striking out 38 batters. He finished the season strong winning his last 5 decisions. His fastball sits in the 92-93 range while occasionally hitting 95, not bad for a 19 year old kid. With his large and still developing frame it wouldn’t be shocking to see him add a couple MPH over the next year or two. Has already shown good control, only walking 18 batters in 67 innings last year. He also throws a changeup and curve with the latter being the better of the two offerings. Needs to work on the arm motion on the changeup because he tends to telegraph that the pitch is coming.

ETA: 2018, could be a big part of the next Mets wave of elite pitching prospects.

Best Case: Continues to develop off-speed offerings and turns into a middle of rotation starter ala Aaron Harang.

 (Photo by Michael Baron)

No. 18 Wuilmer Becerra, RF

Age: 20
Height: 6’4
Weight: 190
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Last Year: Unranked

Synopsis: Wuilmer Becerra came to the Mets in the R.A. Dickey trade basically as a lottery ticket and so far so good. Becerra was only 11 games into his Minor League career when he was hit by a pitch in the face in 2012. It was a scary scene that resulted in a broken and wired shut jaw and not playing again that year. He successfully rehabbed in 2013 but struggled with a .243/.351/.295 line in his first year with the Mets. However, 2014 was a complete turnover for him and he slugged his way to a .300/.351/.469 line in Kingsport. Becerra has a strong throwing arm (7 assists in only 58 games)and moves well in the OF, seems like a natural fit for RF. Becerra is still raw but the power potential is tantalizing and hopefully we will see it in Brooklyn at some point this year.

ETA: 2019

Best Case: Everyday right fielder with 20-25 homerun potential in Jayson Werth mold (minus the prison time).

MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at Miami Marlins

No. 17 Cory Mazzoni, RHP

Age: 25
Height: 6’1
Weight: 200
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Last Year: #23

Synopsis: Cory Mazzoni is a former 2nd round pick that has missed big chunks of the last two seasons with injury. He made 14 starts across 4 levels last year finishing with a 7-2 record and a 4.68 ERA. The inflated ERA doesn’t tell the whole story though, he had a 4.18 FIP and 4.08 SO/W at Las Vegas. Cory looked to get more comfortable as the year progressed winning his last 4 decisions and producing a 41/2 K/BB over his last 41.2 innings. His fastball and slider are very good but some scouts question whether his splitter is a good enough 3rd pitch to stick as a starter. He hasn’t pitched in relief(besides Spring Training) since 2011 but the Mets obviously are pretty stacked when it comes to starters.

ETA: 2015, expect to see him make a spot start or relief appearance pretty early in the season.

Best Case: Middle of the rotation guy along the lines of Dan Haren.

matt reynolds

No. 16 Matt Reynolds, SS

Age: 24
Height: 6’1
Weight: 198
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Last Year: Unranked

Synopsis: Former 2nd round pick Matt Reynolds had himself a breakout year that saw him go from a bust to a legitimate Major League prospect. Hitting .343/.405/.454 over two levels is the big reason why Reynolds has shot up the prospect lists. He credited his new found success to Rick Strickland a hitting coach and part time Mets scout who helped retool his swing allowing him to hit to all fields. Reynolds is a fantastic athlete and has impressed Mets officials with the shape he came to Spring Training in. He has a strong enough arm for SS and adequate range there as well. He’s not going to win any gold gloves at SS but could very well be average and according to one scout he is already a better fielder and hitter than Ruben Tejada. He also has experience playing 2B in the minors as well as 3B in college.

ETA: 2015, will be first middle infield call-up when someone gets hurt/struggles.

Best Case: Offensive minded everyday SS much like Michael Young.

(Photos: Becerra by Michael Baron, Meisner by Chris McShane, Others by USATSI)

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Assessing Mets Second Lefty Reliever Candidates http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/assessing-mets-second-lefty-reliever-candidates.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/assessing-mets-second-lefty-reliever-candidates.html/#comments Thu, 08 Jan 2015 16:19:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172837 Scott Rice, Darin Gorski, Sean Gilmartin, Dario Alvarez or Jack Leathersich?  Who will emerge this spring as the Mets second left-handed pitching option out of the bullpen to assist Josh Edgin?  Make your pick.

Mets relief pitcher Scott RiceOnly one pitcher, Scott Rice, has any major league experience to speak off.  A feel good story, after 14 years of trying in the minor leagues, Rice finally got his shot at the big leagues in 2013 and made good of the opportunity.  Rice was a favorite option out of the pen for Terry Collins appearing in 73 games that year with a 3.71 ERA.

The magic was gone in 2014.  Rice made the cut out of camp in the spring but his ERA exploded rising to 5.93 in 32 appearances with an inflated 1.98 WHIP before the Mets demoted him to Triple-A.  No major league team took a flyer on Rice after the Mets removed the lefty reliever from the 40-man roster allowing the Mets to re-sign him to a minor league contract putting him in contention for a coveted bullpen spot this spring.

Darin Gorski is a long shot at best to make the Mets roster out of spring training.  Gorski  has dazzled in recent years as a starter in Binghamton but that success has not translated into success at Triple-A.  It seems unlikely Florida baseball will provide Gorski the kind of audition he would need to impress Met brass that he’s the guy who can make a difference in the Met pen.

Sean GilmartinPerhaps the most intriguing guy of the bunch, Sean Gilmartin was picked up by the Mets from Minnesota in this winter’s Rule 5 draft.  That means to keep Gilmartin, the Mets need to keep the left-hander in Citi Field during the entire 2015 season.  That in itself could give Gilmartin, a former number 1 draft pick of the Braves and a pitcher who profiles somewhat like Gorski, a slight edge.  Gilmartin might fill multiple roles as a spot starter when needed, a long reliever, and someone to face just one batter to end a late inning threat.

An other-worldly 2014 minor league campaign places Dario Alvarez in the mix.  Nothing in Alvarez’s minor league professional career would have predicted the success he attained last spring and summer.  In fact after three less than stellar years pitching in the minors for the Phillies, Alvarez dropped out of affiliated baseball for three years.

The Mets signed Alvarez in 2013 and he made 12 starts for Brooklyn in the NY/Penn League.  Alvarez opened some eyes this spring pitching in Savannah throwing 61.1 innings as both a starter and reliever compiling a 7-1 record with a 1.32 ERA.  Even more impressive was Alvarez’s 95 strikeouts against just 14 base-on-balls.  Those numbers saw Alvarez elevated first to St. Lucie and then to Binghamton where combined he pitched 12 innings without allowing a run, striking out 19 and walking just 3.  Next, in a dizzying summer, Alvarez arrived at Citi Field.  In a minuscule edition, Alvarez pitched only 1.1 innings, but it didn’t go well as he allowed two runs.  Where Alvarez stands on the depth chart is anybody’s guess.

Leathersich jackFinally, enter Jack Leathersich either the wild card or the joker of the lefty relief deck.  Leathersich intrigues Met fans with his lively left arm, his deceptive delivery and his off the charts strikeout per nine inning ratio.  Over four years in the Met system as a professional pitcher, Leathersich has amassed a 15.2 SO9 average.  Those numbers have only once dipped below 15.0, that during a short stay in Las Vegas in 2013 when Leathersich struck out 14.6 batters every 9 innings.

But, Leathersich has battled to command the strike zone with a WHIP that swings up and down like a yo-yo.  Like Gorski, his best performances have taken place in Binghamton with Las Vegas proving to be a major obstacle.  An inability to command the strike zone minimizes the effectiveness of Leathersich’s fastball necessitating the need for improved secondary pitches  Leathersich is acutely aware of his need to get ahead of batters and cut down on his walk totals to make a run at the major league roster.

So, who will it be?  From my point of view, I’m hoping the Mets don’t fall back into the old Terry Collins ‘we have to go with someone who has been there before’ mode.  That simply hands Rice the job.  My gut tells me Rice has had his gig, and we need to move in another direction.

Of the remaining four candidates, Gilmartin is probably the favorite.  It might be prudent to give the former number one pick an extended look just to evaluate his long-term potential to the franchise.  I can’t argue that a nod towards the newcomer makes perfect business sense.

But, with the Mets on the cusp of potential upward movement that might place them into postseason contention, Jack Leathersich is the kind of loose cannon history has shown can turn a baseball team’s fortune’s around, that shot n the dark that every so often turns into a winning ticket.

Why not?  Leathersich’s strikeout potential is undeniable, a huge asset for a one-batter option entering a game in the late innings out of the bullpen.  Power pitching out of the pen is redefining baseball.  Leathersich can be electric on the hill providing the Mets with one more bullet in their power armed relief ammo.  Here’s hoping the Mets give Leathersich more than three or four innings in Florida to prove his worth.

May the best man win.  Who do you choose?

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Baseball Prospectus Unveils Mets Top 10 Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/baseball-prospectus-unveils-mets-top-10-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/baseball-prospectus-unveils-mets-top-10-prospects.html/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 15:46:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169729 noah syndergaard

While former chief analyst Jason Parks now scouts future Cubs prospects for Theo Epstein & Co., Baseball Prospectus with their new minor league staff recently kicked off their off-season prospect coverage and is deep into the NL East. Today it was time for the Mets system with in-depth reports on what BP views as the “Top 10” in the system. As an add-on,  3 more prospects considered as “on the rise” but further away are mentioned just like 3 more “factors on the farm” that will likely have some sort of major league impact in 2015 but are ranked outside the Top 10. While BP does note that the Mets are seemingly being managed as a “small market” team in the large Metropolitan market of New York, they see a lot of promise & depth in the system plus among young major leaguers which are documented by a “Top 10 ages 25 and under” list near the end of the article.

“It’s a strong collection of both minor-league talent and young major leaguers that gives the Mets strong depth. The Mets may not have the best collection of prospects and young players in baseball, but you can make an argument for them having the most balanced farm system in the game.”

The Top Ten

  1. Noah Syndergaard, RHP
  2. Steven Matz, LHP
  3. Brandon Nimmo, OF
  4. Amed Rosario, SS
  5. Kevin Plawecki, C
  6. Dilson Herrera, 2B
  7. Marcos Molina, RHP
  8. Dominic Smith, 1B
  9. Michael Conforto, OF
  10. Jhoan Urena, 3B

In their extensive reports – only available to BP premium subscribers – on these 10, the BP staff notes strengths & weaknesses of the prospects, the current “upside” and a more conservative “realistic” outcome plus assesses the “risk factor” of reaching the ceilings while also grading out tools.   Syndergaard headlines the group as arguably the Top SP prospect in the upper minors heading into 2015 with raw stuff that matches that of Matt Harvey & Zack Wheeler and only some fine-tuning needed to reach his ceiling as a true frontline SP. Even in the more conservative “real case” scenario, he should become a quality # 2/3 SP in time which is quite a bullish outlook. As a positive,  the following 9 prospects all project as  1st division regulars in terms of “upside” – with only Kevin Plawecki receiving a “high 5 solid average regular” upside but with a low risk profile. That already sets the Mets´ system apart from other systems that have been written on thus far.

It´s also apparent that BP is very much on board with the “upside” of lower level minor leaguers Amed Rosario, Marcos Molina, Dominic Smith, Michael Conforto and Jhoan Urena who are quite a bit away but do have several tools & factors working for them.

As for prospects on “the rise”, BP notes:

RHP Casey Meisner

OF Champ Stuart

RHP Gabriel Ynoa

These three are all candidates for the Top 10 list next year and received positive reports from the various BP staff members / scouts – Meisner mainly as a body projecting and growing in a positive direction, Stuart for his present-day tools and Ynoa for his pitchability profile.

As factors on the farm, BP expects 2015 contributions from:

RHP Rafael Montero

LHP Jack Leathersich

OF Cesar Puello

Montero just missed the top 10 but lacks true above average offerings to project as more than a back-end type SP for BP though he should be ready for that role right away. Leathersich could help in a setup role shortly while Puello´s loud tools are hampered by his poor approach and lingering Biogenesis doubts.

All in all, BP completes their outlook with their

Top 10 Talents 25 And Under (born 4/1/89 or later)

  1. Zack Wheeler
  2. Noah Syndergaard
  3. Jenrry Mejia
  4. Steven Matz
  5. Jeurys Familia
  6. Brandon Nimmo
  7. Wilmer Flores
  8. Amed Rosario
  9. Kevin Plawecki
  10. Dilson Herrera

Note that Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Juan Lagares and Travis d’Arnaud all weren´t eligible and BP in general went with the major leaguer over the prospect when players were viewed on an equal level.

Overall, it appears the Mets may have one of the deepest if not the deepest collection of young talent in the majors and minors overall right now. Beyond the young pitchers, there may be no future stars in there. But even a lineup loaded of first division, average to above average regulars would be quite a feat after essentially being barren in that spot for over a decade beyond stars Wright and Reyes.  Now, if only ownership could provide the funds to help not only take this to a top level but also sustain it…

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

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

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

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

Here are my top five relief prospects for the Mets:

beck wheeler

#5: Beck Wheeler

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

Bret Mitchell 1

#4: Bret Mitchell

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

adam-kolarek

#3: Adam Kolarek

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

jack leathersich st. lucie

#2: Jack Leathersich

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

jeff-walters

#1: Jeff Walters

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

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

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

(Photos: MiLB.com, Baltimore Sun)

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Which Mets Prospects Can Fill Current Team Needs? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/which-mets-prospects-can-fill-current-team-needs.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/which-mets-prospects-can-fill-current-team-needs.html/#comments Tue, 04 Mar 2014 13:58:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149567 New York Mets Spring Training at their Minor League practice facility located within Tradition Field in Florida

In an article for MLB.com, Bernie Pleskoff took a look at how the current crop of Mets prospects may fit into the major league teams needs. It’s an interesting topic of discussion and here’s some of what Pleskoff had to say:

For this season, right-handed prospect Noah Syndergaard could potentially fill the roll as a fifth starter.

Syndergaard, a huge right-hander at 6-foot-6, 240 pounds, uses a high-velocity fastball and a devastating curveball to miss bats and control a game. Pitching downhill with his large frame, the ball reaches the hitter in a flash.

It’s no surprise that Noah was the first name brought up. With a potential open rotation spot the 6’6 righthander’s name is bound to arise, although it isn’t likely to happen until at least June. However, a prospect who could break camp with the Mets is Rafael Montero, who Pleskoff also touched on– as well as Jacob deGrom.

Right-handed pitcher Rafael Montero has a 2.51 career ERA in three Minor League seasons. His WHIP is 1.01, and he is an excellent starting pitching option.

Right-handerJacob deGrom may join Montero as a rotation starter. deGrom lost some development time to injury in the past, but his plus fastball and slider may work well in the future Mets rotation.

I think I speak for most Mets fan when I say that I hope Montero and deGrom get a fair look when it comes to cracking the opening day rotation. It appear Terry Collins is pulling for veterans John Lannan and Daisuke Matsuzaka. However, I think if Sandy Alderson feels either Montero or deGrom is ready he won’t hesitate to overrule Collins.

There are certainly some bullpen spots up for grabs, and there’s several young names who have the potential to step in and be effective.

The Mets’ bullpen has been successful at times and has been problematic as well. Adding Kyle Farnsworth could help.

Rookie right-handed relief pitcher Vic Black has the velocity and arm strength that can help get the game to the back end of the bullpen. But he has to be able to consistently throw strikes to be effective.

Pitcher Jeurys Familia is a big, strong right-handed pitcher with a limited repertoire that is best suited for the bullpen. Familia has trouble finding a consistent release point, resulting in spotty command and control. There is little question his arm is strong enough to be meaningful in the mid-to-late part of a game. Familia could claim a role in the Mets’ ‘pen this spring.

It appears that Black and Familia both appear headed for bullpen spots. Pleskoff could have touched on players like Jeff Walters and Jack Leathersich, who are also in competition for relief roles. Both have great seasons in the minors last year and can strike out batters at extremely high rates.

The article then went on to look at some other players who are further down the road. Players like Brandon NimmoCesar Puello and Domingo Tapia. However I feel like since those players aren’t likely to see the majors this year (with perhaps the exception of Puello if all goes well) there’s no real way to tell how they fit into the teams needs since we don’t know what those needs will be.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Photo credits: Anthony J. Causi

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Projecting the Mets Non-Roster Invitees http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/projecting-the-mets-non-roster-invitees.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/projecting-the-mets-non-roster-invitees.html/#comments Sun, 02 Mar 2014 14:54:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149373 mets dugout helmets USATSI brad barr

The Mets currently have 26 non-roster invitees in camp, according to mets.com. The list consists of 15 pitchers, 2 catchers, 6 infielders, and 3 outfielders.

It’s not too often that players with very high numbers in camp end up making the team, so let’s sort the non-roster invitees by the numbers so we can watch them over the spring to see if they break the usual high-number trend and make the team or get cut from camp.

Will the higher the number translate to an earlier cut from camp?

82 – Matt Clark – IF

81 – Jack Leathersich – P

80 – Logan Verrett – P

79 – John Church – P

77 – Brandon Nimmo – OF

76 – Chasen Bradford – P

75 – Cory Mazzoni – P

74 – Cory Vaughn – OF

73 – Adam Kolarek – P

72 – Kevin Plawecki – C

68 – Eric Campbell – IF

67 – Dustin Lawley – OF

64 – Daniel Muno – IF

61 – Miguel Socolovich – P

60 – Brandon Allen – IF

55 – Noah Syndergaard – P

53 – Jeremy Hefner – P (Out for season, recovering from Tommy John surgery)

50 – Rafael Montero – P

47 – Jose Valverde – P

44 – Kyle Farnsworth – P

34 – Joel Carreno – P

32 – John Lannan – P

23 – Taylor Teagarden – C

16 – Daisuke Matsuzaka – P

2 – Anthony Seratelli – IF

0 – Omar Quintanilla – IF

The Mets now have 38 players on the 40 man roster giving them two open spots to play with. If any more than two non-roster players end up going north for Opening Day, the Mets will have to designate some players for assignment.

Thoughts…

Of the 26 players noted, I count 15 players that have absolutely no chance of making the team out of spring training. Going by the uniform numbers, it appears the Mets are not expecting Adam Kolarek or Jack Leathersich to make it through the bullpen competition.

There are 10 non-roster invitees to keep an eye on.

Pitchers:

Noah Syndergaard – He’s not making opening day. Mid season call up if he performs in Las Vegas.

Rafael Montero – Mid season callup, unless there are injuries. He’s not on the 40 and could get this year’s Harvey/Wheeler treatment.

Jose Valverde – Good shot at making the pen.

Kyle Farnsworth – Good shot at making the pen.

Joel Carreno – Pitched well for AAA Buffalo last year, but hasn’t been in the majors since 2012. Not jumping over Valverde & Farnsworth barring a major letdown.

John Lannan – In a battle for the 5 spot. An injury in the rotation bodes well for him if he throws well.

Daisuke Matsuzaka – In a battle for the 5 spot just like Lannan.

Catcher:

Taylor Teagarden – He’s not going to make the team. He’ll have to leapfrog over Anthony Recker and Juan Centeno for the backup job and they’re not going to burn a spot on the 40 man for a backup catcher when they have two already.

Infield:

Anthony Seratelli – He’s 31 years old. He’s never played in the majors, but he has a low number and he has a few things going for him. He has some pop in his bat. He draws walks. He’s versatile and can play anywhere in the infield as well and in the outfield. He’s never done it at the MLB level, but he’ll do whatever is asked of him and he’ll play cheap. The low number shows he’s being given a serious chance and as long as another shortstop doesn’t come into the fold from outside of the organization, he’s likely to make Opening Day unless he falls flat on his face.

Omar Quintanilla – We know what we have with Omar. He’s destined for AAA again if Tejada shows anything. He’s there to give Tejada some competition and let him know that there’s someone there that will produce at least as much as him if he falters.

Outfield:

The only guys with any chance of making the Opening Day roster are already on the 40. Aside from Granderson and both Youngs, the other players already on the 40 (including Juan Lagares, who I think should be playing regularly) will be fighting for the 4th and 5th outfielder spots.

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With Improved Control, Leathersich Could Become A Late Inning Star http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/with-improved-control-leathersich-could-become-a-late-inning-star.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/with-improved-control-leathersich-could-become-a-late-inning-star.html/#comments Mon, 24 Feb 2014 16:42:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149009 jack leathersich

John Harper of the NY Daily News writes that lefty reliever Jack Leathersich‘s live stuff and deceptive delivery could make him a late-inning star, if he solves his control issues.

Harper compares Leathersich’s control to ‘Wild Thing” Mitch Williams, and calls him the Mets’ most intriguing pitching prospect.

In his three seasons moving through the Mets organization, Leathersich has 241 strikeouts in 143 innings of relief and Harper shares that the lefty’s deceptive delivery makes his 94-mph heater look more like 100 to hitters.

“Hitters tell me he throws an invisi-ball,” Zack Wheeler joked with Harper. “For some reason, they just don’t see it very well.”

Leathersich, who is 5-foot-11, isn’t a big presence on the mound like Noah Syndergaard, but his ability to strikeout a ton of batters, helps his case. In 2013, Leathersich began the season with Binghamton (AA) and recorded 16.9 strikeouts per nine innings with a 1.53 ERA in 24 games. However, after he was promoted to Las Vegas (AAA), his ERA ballooned to 7.76, but he still managed to record 14.6  strikeouts per nine innings. He also walked nearly double the batters with Vegas in about the same 29 innings of work.

“He’s got a big-league arm,” Triple-A manager Wally Backman shared on Sunday. “If he gets past the command issues, he could be special.”

Making the jump from Double-A to Triple-A he learned quickly how losing command of his pitches could change a game, “Even though I was still getting swings and misses,” Leathersich tells Harper, “I was also losing guys (to walks) or getting behind. And when you get behind on guys at that level, they make you pay.”

“That stuff had never really affected me before, but at that level I realized I needed to make a change, so all offseason I worked on getting the ball down. I’ve made a couple of tweaks in my delivery to keep my front shoulder from flying open, and it should help me throw more strikes.”

On Sunday at Mets camp, I watched as Leathersich threw to live batters and did struggle with his command, and not sure if you can chalk that up to just nerves or something he still hasn’t been able to shake.

If Leathersich is going to enjoy any success at the major league level, he is going to have to get a handle on his command issues. With highly regarded pitching coach Frank Viola there to help, he may be able to get those issues resolved and earn himself a spot in the Mets bullpen at some point this season.

Photo Credit: Howard Simmons/NY Daily News. You can read the entire article at the NY Daily News and follow John on twitter @NYDNHarper

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Baseball America’s Top 31 Mets Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/baseball-americas-top-31-mets-prospects-oozing-with-upside.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/baseball-americas-top-31-mets-prospects-oozing-with-upside.html/#comments Fri, 07 Feb 2014 14:57:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147301 syndergaard

On Wednesday, Baseball America released their Top 31 Mets Prospects. Why 31? Why else, they have a man-crush on Mike Piazza, doesn’t everyone?

1. Noah Syndergaard, rhp

2. Travis d’Arnaud, c

3. Rafael Montero, rhp

4. Dominic Smith, 1b

5. Kevin Plawecki, c/1b

6. Wilmer Flores, 2b/3b

7. Amed Rosario, ss

8. Brandon Nimmo, of

9. Gavin Cecchini, ss

10. Jacob deGrom, rhp

11. Cesar Puello, of

12. Steven Matz, lhp

13. Dilson Herrera, 2b

14. Michael Fulmer, rhp

15. Gabriel Ynoa, rhp

16. Cory Mazzoni, rhp

17. Vic Black, rhp

18. Jeurys Familia, rhp

19. Domingo Tapia, rhp

20. Logan Verrett, rhp

21. Gonzalez Germen, rhp

22. Luis Mateo, rhp

23. Jack Leathersich, lhp

24. Matt Koch, rhp

25. Matt den Dekker, of

26. Dustin Lawley, of/3b

27. Robert Whalen, rhp

28. Juan Centeno, c

29. Wilfredo Tovar, ss

30. Jayce Boyd, 1b

31. Matt Reynolds, ss

No matter where you go for your top prospects fix, the first five all seem to mirror each other. As a matter of fact, without revealing too much, our MMO Top 25 had the same players in the top ten save two. We had Puello and Matz in there and Cecchini and deGrom just outside the ten best at 11 and 12.

I’m still shocked at how many are still so down on Puello and are all leaving them out of their Top 10, especially coming from three outlets who screamed loudly at the BBWAA for not voting in prominent players that never failed a drug test like Piazza, Bagwell, et al. I guess sanctimony is a two way street.

It was great to see Lawley on this list, but at 26 years old is den Dekker still considered a prospect? He struck out 23 times in 58 at-bats with the Mets before being shipped back to Las Vegas and has racked up 136 whiffs in 474 Triple-A at-bats.  

My sleepers on this list are Reynolds, Whalen and Koch. Look for all three to move to the teens by next year. Also, Chris Flexen is a huge omission here.

You compare these lists with 4-5 years ago and it’s amazing how many high ceiling prospects we now have in this organization. This group is oozing with upside.

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Jeff Walters Has A Solid Chance To Make Opening Day Bullpen http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/jeff-walters-has-a-solid-chance-to-grab-opening-day-bullpen.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/jeff-walters-has-a-solid-chance-to-grab-opening-day-bullpen.html/#comments Fri, 07 Feb 2014 14:25:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147471 A Mets insider told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that pitching prospects Jack Leathersich and Jeff Walters are candidates to make the opening day roster and fill out the Mets bullpen. Rafael Montero or Cory Mazzoni were also not ruled out.

Jeff  Walters

We have several original MMO articles spotlighting all four of these players in great depth and detail. And earlier this week we projected that Walters has the best shot of making the club with Leathersich still needing some seasoning before he eventually gets the call as well.

Me and many of my colleagues at MMO do not see Montero serving in a relief role at this time regardless of what’s been speculated by other outlets.

With the disastrous way in which Jenrry Mejia was handled still fresh on their minds, we doubt the Mets would take the number two pitching prospect in the system and throw him into the bullpen.

While Rubin says the Mets bullpen is light on lefthanded relievers, I would argue that Scott Rice pulled his weight just fine last season and that Josh Edgin ended the season with some signs of dominating before being lost for the season to injury.

Mazzoni is a different case. MMO projected that he profiled as a reliever last March. We still feel the same way a year later. However, we’re not quite sure that the righthander is ready to make the jump from Double-A to the majors just yet.

I’ll continue to stick with Walters as the favorite to make the team and my confidence is fueled by the fact that of the four, he’s the only one on the Mets 40 man roster.

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2014 Mets Top Prospects: No. 15 Michael Fulmer, RHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-15-michael-fulmer-rhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-15-michael-fulmer-rhp.html/#comments Thu, 23 Jan 2014 14:31:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=140585 Top 25 Prospects michael fulmer 15

15. Michael Fulmer

Height: 6’3”
Weight: 200 lbs.
Age: 20
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Overshadowed by Oklahoma high schoolers Archie Bradley and Dylan Bundy at the time, Michael Fulmer was taken in the supplemental first round of the 2011 draft. He’s a big kid weighing in at 200 lbs. and standing at 6’3” with room to fill out. His fastball already sits in the low to mid 90’s and as he gets older and stronger, he could certainly add some more velocity. His slider has the potential to be an above average major league offering but his changeup will ultimately determine if he ends up a starter or reliever. It is below average as of now but he’s still just 20 years old so there’s room for it to develop into a major league average pitch.

Last season, after just 2 starts in the Gulf Coast League, the Mets sent Fulmer to play full season ball in St. Lucie. Across both levels, he pitched to a 3.33 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. His K:BB ratio (42:19) suggests that his control could use some work but as of right now, it’s not nearly anything to worry about as he is still a very raw prospect. Just be glad that the strikeouts are there already.

Outlook: He’ll most likely start the year in St. Lucie, but if he finds success, there’s an outside chance he could move up to AA by the end of the season. If all goes well with Fulmer, he’ll likely inherit the ‘top power arm’ status of the organization once Noah Syndergaard graduates. His fastball and slider have the chance to be at least above average pitches which would be enough to excel in the bullpen, especially with his bulldog mentality. If he can develop his changeup into at least an average offering and improve his command, his ceiling could be as high as a number 2 or 3 starter. This is a big year for Fulmer because if he improves on his success from last season, his name will start to ring out and he could find himself as a top 10 prospect by the start of next season.

MMO TOP 25 PROSPECTS

25. Wilfredo Tovar, SS

24. Juan Centeno, C

23. Cory Mazzoni, RHP

22. Jeff Walters, RHP

21. Jack Leathersich, LHP

20. Luis Mateo, RHP

19. Jayce Boyd, 1B

18. Domingo Tapia, RHP

17. Gabriel Ynoa, RHP

16. Vic Black, RHP

15. Michael Fulmer, RHP

14.

13.

12.

11.

10.

9.

8.

7.

6.

5.

4.

3.

2.

1.

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Mets Minors: HoJo Loves deGrom, Weighing In On Vaughn, Havens Retires http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mets-minors-hojo-loves-degrom-weighing-in-on-vaughn-havens-retires.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mets-minors-hojo-loves-degrom-weighing-in-on-vaughn-havens-retires.html/#comments Tue, 21 Jan 2014 15:19:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=140509 Jacob DeGrom

Oh No, Ho Jo…

New Seattle Mariners hitting coach Howard Johnson watched Zack Wheeler and Rafael Montero from the opposing dugout while coaching in Triple-A last season, but it was Mets prospect Jacob deGrom who impressed him the most at Triple-A Las Vegas last season, according to what he told Adam Rubin.

“I saw deGrom. I like him a lot,” HoJo said. “As a matter of fact, at David Wright‘s wedding, I mentioned deGrom to the front office. He pitched one game against us, and he pitched very well. And the things I saw, I liked. He was the guy that I remember, for sure. And we saw them all — Wheeler, Jack Leathersich and some of the other guys.”

DeGrom was added to the 40 Man Roster by the Mets and will be in big league camp vying for a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Reese’s Pieces?

Remember Mets second baseman of the future Reese Havens? Well Adam Rubin reports that the former 2008 first-round pick has decided to hang them up after a professional career that was fraught with one injury after another. Havens played six minor league seasons in all, and finishes with a career .252/.355/.423 batting line in 345 games played. What a shame for a kid who was oozing with so much talent and promise, but couldn’t find a way to stay on the field. Fare well, Reese… We hardly knew ye…

Vaughn For The Road…

Our Minor League Analyst Teddy Klein weighs in on Cory Vaughn who he says needs to stay on the field and get hings going.

“Because of his injury, I could see Cory repeating at Double-A, but just for a moment. At 24, Vaughn is on the cusp of losing prospect status, turning 25 in May. He will join his other outfield counterparts such as Darrell Ceciliani and possibly Alonzo Harris in Triple-A this year afterwards, and likely have a shot at making the bench if Chris Young or Cesar Puello falter. Long Shot, I know.”

Three more weeks until pitchers and catchers report…

mmn grain

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2014 Mets Top Prospects: No. 17 Gabriel Ynoa, RHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-17-gabriel-ynoa-rhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-17-gabriel-ynoa-rhp.html/#comments Sun, 19 Jan 2014 00:40:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=140024 Top 25 Prospects ynoa 17

17. Gabriel Ynoa

Height: 6’2”
Weight: 158 lbs.
Age: 20
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Gabriel Ynoa is a promising pitcher in the lower level of the minor league system who flies under the radar. Other than Syndergaard and Montero who are set to make their debuts this upcoming season, there’s been talk of pitchers like Fulmer and Matz who are next in line to take the reigns of top prospect status. Ynoa should be in that conversation as well. In his arsenal is a low 90’s fastball with sink, a fringy slider, and average changeup.

He may not have as high of a ceiling as Fulmer or Matz, but his pitchability is what stands out. At only age 20, Gabriel has already displayed impressive control and command of his pitches, which will only improve as he matures. He already has 135.2 innings pitched under his belt and his repeatable delivery should help him stay healthy in the future. In Savannah last season he pitched to a 2.72 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with a 106:16 K:BB ratio. His K/9 (7.0) should improve as he adds a few ticks to his fastball and both his slider and change develop some more.

Outlook: Ynoa is a type of pitcher like Rafael Montero; one who does not have the highest ceiling but should climb the system with relative ease as his already impressive control improves even further. He’ll most likely begin this upcoming season in St. Lucie and, if he shows he can handle the hitters there, could be moved to Binghamton by the end of the season. He should be able to handle the upper levels of the minors quite nicely because of his command and feel for pitching. He’s a name to keep a close eye on because if all goes well with his development, he could make his major league debut sometime in 2016. The Mets won’t waste any time promoting him because he is so advanced. His ceiling is probably a mid rotation starter; sort of like Dillon Gee with a better fastball.

MMO TOP 25 PROSPECTS

25. Wilfredo Tovar, SS

24. Juan Centeno, C

23. Cory Mazzoni, RHP

22. Jeff Walters, RHP

21. Jack Leathersich, LHP

20. Luis Mateo, RHP

19. Jayce Boyd, 1B

18. Domingo Tapia, RHP

17. Gabriel Ynoa, RHP

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2014 Mets Top Prospects: No. 18 Domingo Tapia, RHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-18-domingo-tapia-rhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-18-domingo-tapia-rhp.html/#comments Thu, 16 Jan 2014 16:15:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139757 Top 25 Prospects Tapia 18

18. Domingo Tapia

Height: 6’4”
Weight: 186 lbs.
Age: 22
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

This kid’s arm strength is off the charts. Domingo Tapia consistently throws in the high 90’s with the ability to hit triple digits at times which is why he finds himself high on this list. Both his fastball and changeup have sink that help him induce a good amount of groundballs. His curveball lags behind the other two pitches but should develop into an average offering when all is said and done. Up until last season in St. Lucie, Tapia had put up good BB/9 numbers but last year was his worst with 5.09. He also put up his highest WHIP (1.48) since playing professional ball. Because he was putting so many runners on base, his ERA ballooned to 4.62. This could have been due to the burned hand incident but we won’t know that until we see him perform this season.

Hopefully his lackluster control was just an aberration and he can improve it this upcoming season where he could start in St. Lucie again or move up a rank to Binghamton. His ceiling is sky high but if he is not able to keep the walks down, he’ll have trouble reaching the majors.

Outlook: Some scouts see Tapia as a future starting pitcher. I on the other hand, think he is best suited in the bullpen because the human body is not designed to throw that hard for multiple innings on every fifth day and his two pitch mix fits better there. His shaky control and slow delivery to the plate could forcibly land him there anyway. As he fills out his large frame and adds more strength he should have an easier time taming that ferocious fastball and serving it over the dish more. Once his changeup and curveball develop a little further, he could project in a rotation but more likely as a dominant bullpen arm. It’s only a matter of time before this kid starts to shoot up prospect lists because of his true plus potential.

MMO TOP 25 PROSPECTS

25. Wilfredo Tovar, SS

24. Juan Centeno, C

23. Cory Mazzoni, RHP

22. Jeff Walters, RHP

21. Jack Leathersich, LHP

20. Luis Mateo, RHP

19. Jayce Boyd, 1B

18. Domingo Tapia, RHP

17. Friday, Jan. 17

16. Saturday, Jan. 18

15. Sunday, Jan. 19

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2014 Mets Top Prospects: No. 19 Jayce Boyd, 1B http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-19-jayce-boyd-1b.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-19-jayce-boyd-1b.html/#comments Wed, 15 Jan 2014 16:55:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139738 Top 25 Prospects Boyd 19

19. Jayce Boyd

Height: 6’3”
Weight: 185 lbs.
Age: 23
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

I don’t think Jayce Boyd receives enough credit as a prospect. You won’t find him high on many top prospect lists because as a first baseman, he struggles to hit for much power. What he can do, however, is simply hit.

Drafted by the Mets in the 6th round of the 2012 draft out of FSU, Boyd went straight to Low-A ball in Brooklyn that same year and struggled. However, 2013 tells a completely different story. He started in Savannah, completely tearing up the pitching there with a .361 average and .441 OBP in 249 AB’s. After being moved to St. Lucie he continued to impress with a .292 average and .392 OBP. He only hit nine home runs across both levels (659 AB’s) which is what holds him back as a first base prospect, but it is also worth noting he only struck out 91 times across both levels (with 86 BB’s).

His frame should allow him to run into more power in the future but it might be limited due to his wide stance and level swing. He plays sharp defense with soft hands, solid range, and a strong arm so I’m surprised the Mets haven’t tried him out at third base or a corner outfield spot where his advanced hit tool would play much better. Learning to play multiple positions would increase his value in general, especially in the case he ends up a bench player.

Outlook: With his advanced approach and maturity, Jayce should have an easy time making his way through the minor league system. He will most likely begin the year at Binghamton where his talents will be tested more than they were in A ball. If Jayce can continue to hit for such a good average if and when he reaches the big leagues he should have no problem finding a starting job at first whether he runs into more power or not, especially when considering his plus defense.

There are plenty of valuable first basemen in the majors who hit for average but lack plus power. James Loney and Allen Craig come to mind right away and they both start on quality major league ball clubs so you’d have to think Boyd would be able to find a job somewhere if he could hit like them. If he struggles to maintain a high average climbing the minor league system, he may find it worthwhile to learn a few different positions so he could make a living in the majors as a utility player.

MMO TOP 25 PROSPECTS

25. Wilfredo Tovar, SS

24. Juan Centeno, C

23. Cory Mazzoni, RHP

22. Jeff Walters, RHP

21. Jack Leathersich, LHP

20. Luis Mateo, RHP

19. Jayce Boyd, 1B

18. Thursday, Jan. 16

17. Friday, Jan. 17

16. Saturday, Jan. 18

15. Sunday, Jan. 19

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2014 Mets Top Prospects: No. 20 Luis Mateo, RHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-20-luis-mateo-rhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-20-luis-mateo-rhp.html/#comments Tue, 14 Jan 2014 20:34:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139651 Top 25 Prospects Mateo 20

20. Luis Mateo

Height: 6’3”
Weight: 185 lbs.
Age: 23
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Luis Mateo sort of fell into the Mets’ lap after two different deals with two different clubs were botched because of bone chips in his elbow and age falsification respectively. He probably could have been much, much higher on this list if he hadn’t underwent Tommy John surgery last season, but he should have no problem eventually returning to form.

When Mateo first joined the Mets organization he completely manhandled the Dominican Summer League. In 13 games and 63 innings, he posted a 2.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, and 80 strikeouts; incredible numbers any way you look at them.

During the 2012 season, he made his way to the New York Penn League and pitched to a 2.45 ERA with an 85:9 K:BB ratio. There are definitely injury concerns but when healthy he advertises a 92-94 mph sinking fastball, an absolutely devastating slider, a potential plus breaking ball, and a fringe average changeup. He has all the makings of a mid-top of the rotation starter, but as is the case with Jenrry Mejia, his health concerns could land him in the bullpen.

Outlook: Mateo’s path to the majors is currently on hold while he rehabs his elbow. He will most likely miss part of the 2014 season doing so but could land in Binghamton when he returns. He could make his major league debut in late 2015 but that would be a little optimistic. Realistically, he’ll probably be major league ready sometime in 2016. When Mateo comes back, he’ll look to prove that his health concerns are behind him and that he can stick in the rotation for good. Hopefully, he can succeed because he would just be another notch on the belt of promising major league starters the Mets have coming up the pipeline. However, if he can’t, he could very well become a dominant bullpen arm.

MMO TOP 25 PROSPECTS

25. Wilfredo Tovar, SS

24. Juan Centeno, C

23. Cory Mazzoni, RHP

22. Jeff Walters, RHP

21. Jack Leathersich, LHP

20. Luis Mateo, RHP

19. Wednesday, Jan. 15

18. Thursday, Jan. 16

17. Friday, Jan. 17

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2014 Mets Top Prospects: No. 21 Jack Leathersich, LHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-21-jack-leathersich-lhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-21-jack-leathersich-lhp.html/#comments Mon, 13 Jan 2014 14:00:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139536 Top 25 Prospects Leathersich 21

21. Jack Leathersich

Height: 5’11”
Weight: 205 lbs.
Age: 23
Bats/Throws: Right/Left

Jack Leathersich, AKA Leather Rocket, was drafted by the Mets in the 5th round of the 2011 draft out of the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He was a starter in college but has worked exclusively in the bullpen since being drafted due to his weak control. He has one of the highest ceilings of any reliever in the Mets system, advertising a low 90’s fastball with good movement, a nice curveball that will only get better, and a fringe average changeup. Leathersich’s main problem has always been lack of command. Pitching 29.1 innings in AA last season, he posted a 1.53 ERA with a 1.19 WHIP with a ridiculous 16.9 K/9. However, when moved to Las Vegas his ERA and WHIP skyrocketed to 7.76 and 2.10 respectively in another 29.0 innings. His BB/9 climbed from an already shaky 4.9 to an unacceptable 9.0. His ability to miss bats is extremely impressive in its own right, but his inability to find the strike zone is holding him back.

Outlook: The stuff is definitely there for Leathersich and while being a lefty helps his cause, it does not make up for his complete lack of control. If he ever wants to take a breath at Citi Field in the near future he’ll have to learn to not only control his pitches, but to command them as well. If he cannot improve on that, he will continue to be a minor leaguer until he does unfortunately. Especially with this front office that emphasizes commanding the strike zone at all levels of the Mets system. If he ever learns how to pitch and not just throw, he will become one of the best relievers the Mets have in their system with a chance to contribute to the big club right away. Hopefully, the latter is the end result.

MMO TOP 25 PROSPECTS

25. Wilfredo Tovar, SS

24. Juan Centeno, C

23. Cory Mazzoni, RHP

22. Jeff Walters, RHP

21. Jack Leathersich, LHP

20. Tuesday, Jan. 14

19. Wednesday, Jan. 15

18. Thursday, Jan. 16

17. Friday, Jan. 17

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Presented By Diehards

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