Mets Merized Online » prospects Thu, 23 Feb 2017 01:13:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 MMO Exclusive Interview: 2016 First Rounder Justin Dunn Sat, 18 Feb 2017 17:00:48 +0000 justin dunn 3

The New York Mets added yet another high upside pitcher to their system last year, drafting and signing Boston College right-hander Justin Dunn in the first round of the MLB Draft (19th overall).

The Freeport native grew up just thirty minutes from Shea Stadium and Citi Field, attending many games as a youth. Dunn, 21, has the chance to one day join LHP Steven Matz as being able to pitch in one’s back yard, so to speak, as Matz grew up about an hour from where he makes his living in Queens, born and raised in Stony Brook, New York.

Dunn is an intriguing prospect, having pitched both out of BC’s pen and in the starting rotation throughout his three seasons there, posting a combined record of 9-7, with a 3.67 ERA in 45 games, 15 of those starts. Dunn had his most successful season as a junior in 2016, where he posted a 2.06 ERA (4th in BC’s history for single-season records), and had career bests in WHIP (1.07), K/9 (9.87), IP (65.2), and games started (8).

Upon signing with the Mets on June 21, the team assigned the hard throwing righty to Brooklyn, where he appeared in 11 games, eight starts, posting a minuscule 1.50 ERA over 30 innings. Dunn held opponents to a .227 average, and struck out 10.5 batters per nine.

The hype is certainly warranted for Justin Dunn, MMO’s sixth best prospect for 2017, as he features a mid-nineties fastball that touches 97, a slider, curve and changeup. The Mets limited his innings in 2016, as he began tossing just two innings for the Cyclones before transitioning to the starting rotation, where he was capped at three innings of work.

Dunn also ranked twice in this offseason’s Top 100 prospect rankings with his highest being #84 by Keith Law.

I had the privilege of speaking to Justin earlier in the week, where we discussed the draft, playing close to home, and an awesome dunk tank story!

MMO - Hey Justin, thanks for taking some time to speak with me today. What was draft night like for you? Many Met fans have seen the video of you with your Boston College teammates celebrating at a sports bar when you heard the news, can you talk a bit about that night and the emotions you felt?

Justin - That night was awesome. We were down in Miami playing in a super regional for the first time in school history, so going down there for that weekend we knew it was draft day, we knew I had a chance to go in the first round. But we also knew we were doing something that had never been done in school history so there was a lot of different emotions going on. We had just finished up practice that night, and coach decided to have a team dinner.

We went over to Duffy’s Sports Bar in Miami; we sit down, long night, long stressful night. Kept waiting to hear my name called, pick after pick not hearing it and then to come down to 18 and 19 and see the Mets and the Yankees right there (Yankees had the 18th pick) that’s two New York teams, and then to see that the Mets were the team that drafted me was honestly a dream come true because being a pitcher you can’t beat this organization.

And growing up in Long Island, I’ve been to more Mets games than I can count, probably more than my own games. I was very familiar with the Mets and I love being home in New York, so that video was raw emotion of how excited I was to become a Met and start my career.

MMO - Did you have any inclination that the Mets had interest in you prior to the draft?

Justin - No that’s what made it even cooler, that video was raw. I didn’t get a phone call that was… I saw my name on the screen when all the Mets fans did and I jumped up in pure excitement. It’s a dream come true to have the potential to be playing thirty minutes from home to where my parents hop on the Cross Island and head straight into Queens.

MMO - The Dodgers drafted you in 2013 in the 37th round; did going through the draft process back then make it any easier for you last year?

Justin - Yeah for sure, I mean at that point in my career I was in a little bit different place. I was a buck fifty maybe, five-ten, and I wasn’t in a situation to where I was ready to go play with grown men that were 21-22 years-old like I am now.

Going into the draft I knew I needed to mature and I was most likely going to college unless someone came with an offer that I couldn’t refuse. So for that day it was just more of a learning (process), and getting used to the experience because I knew at some point in my college career I would go through it again. So for me, it was more learning what interest is and the process itself for draft day and how to handle the punches and things like that, and it was just an honor that the Dodgers even called my name because they didn’t have to.

MMO - Speaking of your time at college, can you talk a little bit about your experience attending Boston College, and how it prepared you for where you are now in your professional career?

Justin - If it wasn’t for BC I wouldn’t be where I am today. We had some great coaches come in: Coach Foster came in my sophomore year, and my freshman year I had Coach Friedholm as pitching coaches so I was fortunate enough to have two outstanding pitching coaches during my college career. And Coach Gambino, our head coach, he helped shape me into the man I am today, and put the morals and values that I have and the way I carry myself as a person, a lot of it is because of him and my parents.

On the field wise, my game kind of went to the next level when Coach Foster came in and broke down the mental side of the game for me. I’m a very mental player, I like to know my hitters well and have a good, lengthy scouting report going into the game, so that was something he taught me how to do; how to read a swing in the middle of an at-bat, how to sit down the night before and analyze a lineup and understand how to attack a lineup the first time through and be able to save a pitch for the second and third time through the order. It helped me go through all of my outings when I became a starter because I understood what he was doing, calling a game, and it made my job as well as his job a little bit easier.

MMO - I read a report on NY Daily News last year, where your dad recollects that you two went into an arcade and he couldn’t hit the dunk tank target. However, you hit the target three times in a row at a young age. Is that true?

Justin - (Laughs) One hundred percent true. We were at Dave & Buster’s and I think I was six years old. He (his dad) always likes to think that I throw the way I do because of him, so he was like ‘all right come here and watch this, I’m going to dunk this lady’. So I’m just sitting there at six years old watching him, and he goes 0-for-3. So I was like let me try, and he was like ‘no you’re not going to be able to do it’ and was like just let me try dad. And he paid the three dollars or whatever it was for three balls, and there was like a clown or somebody, or some dude sitting in the tank, and I think he called me ‘Little Bow Wow’ or something like that.

Just making fun of me, and the first ball I threw I squared it up, just knocked him straight down, and he got up and said ‘you can’t do it again’. Boom straight down (for the second time). Then he kind of got quiet, and there was a big crowd starting to circle because everybody was going nuts because I was this little kid dunking this clown that nobody else was able to dunk two times in a row and I did it again. So that was pretty funny, and then we ended up going to a carnival again a few years later and the same thing, and I dunked them like three-four times in a row.

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MMO - Was that your earliest baseball memory?

Justin - Honestly, my earliest memory was watching my dad play, he never played at a high level, but that was his passion. Going to watch his games, I think I was five or six, he would go play in a men’s league, and he’d bring me up and I’d be the bat boy for the team. But they would take me out there and let me catch groundballs, take some swings off the tee, stuff like that. And just seeing the fun he had, it was something we could share together, and I knew it was something I wanted to do from a very young age.

MMO - Growing up on Long Island, who were some of your favorite players to watch, and do you have any that you style your game after today?

Justin - I grew up a Yankee fan, so I grew up in the era of Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, all those guys, Tino Martinez, so obviously being a New York Yankees fan you’ve got to have Jeter as their favorite player. And I loved David Wright too , I did love David Wright growing up, loved the way he carried himself. Mariano RiveraAndy Pettitte, just that whole New York core on both sides I loved all those guys.

And then now, I don’t really model myself after a single person to be honest, because at the level I’m at now I’m not a fan anymore. So I just like to watch good baseball, so I try to take bits and pieces from everybody because everyone at that level is where I want to be, so they all do something that I don’t know how to do yet. So I try to learn from them, and I just sit back and watch the game and look at things that I’m not doing that they’re doing that helps them get hitters out at that level, because it takes a lot of talent to do that against the best hitters in the world.

MMO - Growing up, did you pitch at an early age? What other positions did you play?

Justin - No, I was small like I said, so I didn’t always throw very hard. I mean I threw decent speed for how old I was, but it wasn’t enough for teams to be like you’re just a pitcher and going to come in and pitch for us. I was actually a middle infielder growing up. And our college coach kind of recruited me that way and said you’re going to be a middle infielder.

Coach Gambino (BC head coach) came to a game, and I’ll never forget it, they brought me into pitch, I forgot why, and he saw me warming up on the side and he’s like ‘drop your arm down a little bit, go at three-quarters, throw like your throwing from shortstop, don’t throw over the top’. And I went into that game and that was the first time I hit 90 at like 16-17 years-old and from then on he was like ‘all right I think he’s a pitcher’. But if you were to ask me when I was younger I thought I was going to be a shortstop. I always loved pitching, but I would’ve said I’m a better defensive player than I am pitcher.

MMO - Were you a decent hitter growing up?

Justin - No I was pretty bad. I’ll mess with people and tell them I was good, I mean I could get the job done, but definitely wasn’t the best though.

MMO - Once you were drafted and signed by the Mets, you started your career in Brooklyn. Tell me about that experience and what it was like pitching so close to home and in front of friends and family.

Justin - Yeah I mean you said it, being able to start my professional career 45 minutes from my house to where I had family and friends coming to see me play that haven’t seen my play since I was 12 years-old. To have close to 15-20 people at every game that I was pitching in was awesome. To come out and see familiar faces, to see my mom, see my dad, see my brother, and then to also have a great group of guys that we had in Brooklyn, it made my first year awesome. And I thought it was a great learning experience for me as a player, I learned a lot about pro ball, (I) have a lot more to learn, but I felt like it was a pretty good grasp for my first season and I was pretty happy with it.

MMO - Can you give me a quick scouting report on yourself for fans that might be new to you? What are some of your strengths and weaknesses?

Justin - Me as a pitcher, I like to consider myself a pitcher with power stuff, where I’m not just going to throw 100 percent fastballs and try to throw it by you, I’m still a pitcher where I have three other pitches that I can come at you with. And I understand how to use all four of them.

But my weakness I would say is my changeup right now. It’s something that we started to develop in college and contributed a lot to my success at school. It was just another pitch for me to help get lefties and righties out, keep people off my fastball and make my fastball that much more effective. So the development of that, and tightening up my slider a little bit and understanding when to use it, when not to use it , when to make it tight when I want to spin it for a stike. Just things like that, the ins and outs of pitching that I didn’t really know before. But I would say I’m definitely a hard thrower who understands how to pitch.

MMO - You pitched out of the pen and started in college, do you have a preference when it comes to starting or relieving?

Justin - Yeah a lot of people ask me that, no I love to pitch. I just love being on the field and that was one of the things that held me back from loving pitching so much when I was younger because I couldn’t pitch everyday, but I could play infield everyday and I just loved being on the field. So for me it’s wherever you need me on the field and wherever I’m going to get a chance to play and do what I love, I’m fine with it.

In college, Coach said you should be a starter but we need you in the back end of the pen to close some games for us in the beginning of the season and I said that’s fine. Whatever’s going to help us win games is what I’m happy with because at the end of the day it’s all about winning, so I don’t have a preference at all, whatever the Mets see me as is what they see me as and I can’t control that and I just want to help (them) win, so whatever it takes to do that, I’ll do.

MMO - What’s the offseason been like for you? What’s a normal training day for you?

Justin - So I came down to Florida for this offseason, I’ve been working out at Cressey Performance in Jupiter. I’ve been working out with Eric (trainer) since I was a freshman in college, he was the start of me working out, and start putting some velocity on my fastball and my body thawing out a little bit. So I came down here with one of my teammates from college, Mike King, and we’ve been working out six days a week.

We throw in the mornings, throwing pens – I threw my sixth pen yesterday (Monday Feb 13), but it’s been going well. I’ve put on about ten-fifteen pounds this offseason, which is always nice, so I mean I’m happy with it and I’m excited to see how it translates into the spring.

MMO - Now every year there’s always the top prospects lists that come out from Keith Law, Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, etc. You’ve made a lot of these lists this year, which must be awesome to see considering you’ve only thrown 30 professional innings. Do you pay close attention to these lists, and what does it mean to you when you see your name listed among the game’s best prospects?

Justin - Yeah I mean it’s awesome, I try not to look into it honestly because there’s a lot of other things that go into the decision making in the front office that aren’t about those lists. So at the end of the day my focus is just going out there and performing and trying to put up some numbers because if you put up numbers then it’s hard to ignore you. The lists are great honors and I’m very appreciative to be on those lists with the great talents in minor league baseball and be mentioned with some of them. But I try not to let them get to my head too much and stay grounded and just keep working hard.

MMO - Thank you again Justin for taking some time to answer some questions, all Mets fans are excited to see your progression and we’ll be rooting for you.

Justin - No problem, thanks for reaching out.

Follow Justin Dunn on Twitter, @Dunn_Deal19

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Six Prospects That Could Make Major League Debut In 2017 Fri, 10 Feb 2017 20:15:11 +0000 champ stuart

The New York Mets had a number of prospects that made their Major League debut during the 2016 season to varying degrees of success.

Prior to the start of the 2016 season if I had told you that Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo would play a key role in the Mets returning to the playoffs you would’ve called me crazy.

The Mets also saw contributions from other players that made their big league debuts in 2016. T.J. Rivera stepped in to play second base when Neil Walker was hurt, Ty Kelly hit lefties well, Brandon Nimmo had a few big pinch hits down the stretch and Josh Smoker gave the Mets some much needed depth in the bullpen.

Overall, during the 2016 season, eight Mets players made their major league debuts. Here are six players I believe will make their big league debut for the Mets in 2017:

1. David Roseboom LHP – There will be injuries in the Mets bullpen and Roseboom will start the season with the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s only one level away from getting the call. The 24-year old was spectacular in 2016 with the Double-A Binghamton Mets pitching a 1.87 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and held batters to a .170 average.

The native New Yorker also struck out 54 batters and walked only 18 in 57.2 innings. He became the B-Mets closer after the trade of Akeel Morris and went 14 for 15 in save chances. He continued his straong season the Arizona Fall League with a 0.79 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 11.1 innings.

2. Paul Sewald RHP – I was a little surprised last summer when the Mets bullpen was starting to look tired that Sewald never got the call despite pitching well in the Pacific Coast League for the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s. Sewald continued his great minor league career with a 3.29 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 11.0 K/9 in 65.2 innings for Vegas in 2016. For his career, he has a 2.20 ERA, 1.03 and a 10.7 K/.9 rate.

Sewald relies on control, pitching down in the zone and a great slider to be successful and was able to do so without a big fastball in a tough pitching environment. I would expect to Sewald sooner rather than later in 2017 being one of the best reliever options the Mets will have in the minors.

3. Champ Stuart OF – The plus side for the 24-year old outfielder is that he has legit 80 grade speed (40 SB in 2016) and is a superb defender. The bad side is that he struck out a whopping 168 times in 459 at-bats during the 2016 season. He did hit a respectable .300/.329/.400 in the Arizona Fall League with 12 steals and only one caught stealing.

Two years ago, the Mets purchased Eric Young Jr. in August to be a pinch runner and defensive specialist down the stretch. I envision the same type of role for Stuart in September/October and could be used even more given his superior defensive skills compared to Young.

corey taylor

4. Corey Taylor RHP – The Mets 7th round pick from 2015 has been a pleasant surprise in the bullpen and could be on the fast track to the major leagues. He started his pro career by dominating the New York-Penn League for the Brooklyn Cyclones with a 1.50 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Mets then had him skip over the Columbia Fireflies and start the 2016 season with St. Lucie. That worked out just fine, Taylor collected 20 saves as the St. Lucie closer with a 1.87 ERA and 1.25 WHIP.

Taylor was then sent to the Arizona Fall League last year and continued his strong body of work. Reports from the AFL had his fastball up to 96 MPH and an improved slider at 87/88 MPH. Big key from in 14 inning stint in the AFL was his 17 strikeouts compared to only one walk. During the regular season he only struck out 7.7 per nine innings. Taylor will certainly start as the Binghamton Mets closer and shouldn’t be long before Warthen gets his hands on the 24-year old.

5. Dominic Smith 1B – The 21-year old Smith has spent the offseason with a personal trainer making sure he’s in great shape coming into the 2017 season. He’s lost 20-25 pounds while still adding some muscle. Smith hit 14 home runs in 2016 after hitting 10 in his previous three minor league seasons. He finished the season slashing .302/.367/.457 with 29 doubles and 91 RBI. He also struck out only 74 times and walked 50 in 542 plate appearances.

Smith will start the year in Triple-A and already is a major league caliber defensive first baseman. Lucas Duda spent most of the 2016 season on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his back leaving the Mets to sign James Loney to play first. The Mets have Wilmer Flores whom made his first start at first last year (27 for the season). He looked good at first base, but has struggled against right-handed pitching (.661 OPS) during his career.

If Duda is injured again with something that requires a lengthy DL stint the Mets could look to the young Smith. Of course, it could depend on at what point in the season the injury happens and the seriousness. If Smith is hitting like he has the past two years the Mets could also try to get him some major league experience in September given that he could be the Mets long-term and 2018 answer at first base. Smith will have to be added to the 40-man roster following the 2017 season to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.


6. Amed Rosario SS – The Mets shortstop of the future, #1 prospect and Top 5 prospect in baseball is coming off a breakout offensive season in 2016. The 21-year old hit .324/.374/.459 with a career high in doubles (24), triples (13), home runs (5) and RBI (71) in 120 games between St. Lucie and Binghamton.

Rosario while still needing some fine tuning on defense (needs to charge in on balls and not always rely on arm) is already a plus fielder at short. He has quick hands, great arm and good lateral movement that give shim above average range. On the offensive side, Rosario shorted his swing the year that helped him make more contact which was a big reason his offensive game has struggled. He’s always made hard contact when he was able to barrel balls.

Rosario, like Smith, would need at least one injury to pave his way to the big leagues. Starting shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera had DL stints the past two years and his primary back up Jose Reyes has had his own injuries. Not to mention, that Reyes is also primary backup at third base where David Wright is the starter and has played a combined 75 games the past two seasons. Mets also have Neil Walker coming off back surgery.

One scenario I could see getting Rosario to the big leagues is Walker and Wright getting injured at the same time that puts Cabrera at second base and Reyes at third base everyday. Rosario would then man the shortstop position where he’s a better defender than Cabrera and Asdrubal does have experience at second. The Mets do have good infield depth with T.J. Rivera, Matt Reynolds and Wilmer Flores as backups.

Rosario is the only player on this list already on the 40-man list which certainly increases his chances of seeing the big leagues in 2017.

Smith and Rosario are the names everyone is excited for but I believe the previous four players could also help the Mets return to their third straight playoff appearance. All six players on this list have been invited to big league camp this spring.

Other players to keep an eye out for possibly making their major league debut in 2017 include right-handed starter Chris Flexen, right-handed reliever Kevin McGowan, left-handed starter P.J. Conlon, right-handed starter Ricky Knapp, utility guy Phillip Evans and right-handed swingman Logan Taylor.

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2017 Mets Top 30 Prospects: #26-30 Led By Crismatt Thu, 02 Feb 2017 17:00:55 +0000 nabil crismatt

26. RHP Nabil Crismatt

Ht: 6’1″  Wt: 200  Level: Brooklyn Cyclones (Short-A), Columbia Fireflies (Full-A), Binghamton Mets (Double A)

B/T: R/R  Age: 12/25/1994 (22) Age Dif: -3.5 (Double A)

Last year: #50

Acquired: Signed by the Mets as a non-drafted free agent on Aug. 3, 2011

2016 Statistics: 13 G, 65.2 IP, 1-4 W/L record, 2.47 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 74/7 SO/BB

Profile: The 22-year-old right-hander was signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Colombia in 2011, and spent the first four years of his professional career playing with the rookie levels of the Mets’ minor league system (DSL Mets, GCL Mets, and Kingsport Mets). During that time, Crismatt was utilized mainly as a reliever, except for eight starts he made in 2015 with Kingsport. Crismatt posted a record of 6-1 with a 2.90 ERA in 62 innings in 2015, and ranked third in the Appalachian League in strikeouts (63) and in WHIP (1.03).

Crismatt opened the 2016 season with the Brooklyn Cyclones, appearing in eight games, three of them starts, and posted a 3.19 ERA with a 0.97 WHIP, along with 35 strikeouts to only four walks. Had he qualified, Crismatt would’ve been second in the New York-Penn League in WHIP.

He earned a promotion to Columbia on August 5, and pitched in four games with the Fireflies as a starter. He pitched at least 6.2 innings in each game, and had two double-digit strikeout performances (August 13 and 26). He held opponents to a .191 average, and continued to impress with his strong strikeout to walk numbers, averaging 10.05 K/9 and 0.63 BB/9, (a career best). He finished the year in Binghamton, making one start, allowing one run over six innings with seven strikeouts.

Mike M adds…

Crismatt is a personal favorite of mine because he attacks hitters and has a plus changeup that he will use in any count. Also has clean mechanics that are easily repeatable and has shown the ability to pitch effectively in any role. His 26.2 K-BB% was 20th among 1,877 minor league pitchers who threw at least 50 innings in 2016.

2017 Outlook -

The Mets have steadily increased his workload, as Crismatt pitched the highest number of innings this past year (65.2) of his five-year career. He’s shown that he has excellent control (9.7 K/9 to 2.0 BB/9 for his career), however, he’s not a hard thrower, routinely sitting in the 88-92 MPH range. If he can continue with his success limiting walks and adding a strong third pitch to go along with his fastball and changeup, then he could be an arm to keep an eye on during his progression through the system. He should open the year with Columbia, and could reach Binghamton before the 2017 season concludes.

27. SS Luis Guillorme

Ht: 5’9″  Wt: 190 Level: St. Lucie Mets (Advanced-A)

B/T: L/R  Age: 9/27/1994 (22) Age Dif: -1.7

Last Year: #16

Acquired: Selected by Mets in 10th round of the 2013 Draft from Coral Springs (Fla.) Charter High School.

2016 Statistics: 123 G, 441 AB, 16 2B, 2 3B, HR, 46 RBI, 47 R, 43 BB, 63 SO, .263/.332/.315

Profile: Luis Guillorme’s claim to fame even before he was selected in the 10th round of the 2013 Draft by the New York Mets was his superb defense up the middle. Praised for his accurate arm, speed, and soft hands, Guillorme has excelled at shortstop during his four-year career thus far.

His breakout performance came in 2015, where he spent the entire season with the Savannah Sand Gnats as a 20-year-old, earning the South Atlantic League’s Most Valuable Player Award with a slash line of .318/.391/.354, with 67 runs scored, 55 RBI, and 18 stolen bases in 122 games. Guillorme was 4th in the SAL in OBP (.391), 2nd in average (.318), and 2nd in hits (142). His splits were also solid against both righties and lefties, as he posted an OPS of .743 against RHP, and .752 against LHP. His impressive numbers in ’15 may have partially been attributed to his rather high BABIP (.374), a career high for the Florida native.

The high BABIP in ’15 came back down in 2016 with the St. Lucie Mets, as Guillorme saw decreasing stats in all the main categories, slashing .263/.332/.315 in 123 games. Guillorme continued to post strong strikeout to walk numbers though, as he drew a walk 8.5% of the time, and struck out 12.5% (down from 13.4% in his MVP ’15 season). He did finish the season strong in Florida, in his final 14 games he posted a .306/.364/.347 line.

Guillorme split his time between shortstop and second in ’16 to accommodate Mets top prospect Amed Rosario, the first season he’s played anywhere besides short in his professional career.

2017 Outlook -

With fellow shortstop and top prospect Amed Rosario inching his way closer to the majors, Guillorme’s best chance at sticking with the Mets might be to move to second permanently moving forward or in a utility role. His defense is what scouts rave about, as he grades well above average and is routinely chosen as the Mets’ best fielding shortstop in the minor leagues.

As of now, he profiles more as a solid bench or role player, though, if he can continue to get on base at a solid clip (career .355 OBP), and fill out and add a bit more power to his game, he could be an enticing top of the order hitter. He should begin the year with Binghamton in 2017 as their starting shortstop.

corey taylor

28. RHP Corey Taylor

Ht: 5’11″  Wt: 245  Level: St. Lucie Mets (Advanced-A)

B/T: R/R  Age: 1/8/1993 (24) Age Dif: -0.1

Last Year: N/A

Acquired: Selected by Mets in 7th round of 2015 Draft out of Texas Tech University

2016 Statistics: 45 G, 53 IP, 4-5 W/L record, 1.87 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 45/13 SO/BB

Profile: Corey Taylor got his career off and running in 2015 with the Brooklyn Cyclones, mere weeks after he was selected in the 7th round of the ’15 Draft out of Texas Tech (just the 5th player out of Texas Tech that the Mets have drafted in team history). Taylor tossed 18 innings in Brooklyn, posting a 1.50 ERA along with a 1.00 WHIP, and averaging 8.0 K/9.

Taylor’s journey wasn’t an easy one at times, he didn’t draw many college offers out of high school, instead attending Cisco Junior College for his freshman year. Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock saw Taylor while he was playing in a regional at Texas Tech’s campus. When Taylor went to play for Texas Tech in his sophomore year, he went 2-5 with a 7.18 ERA and 1.61 WHIP in 52.2 innings pitched. Taylor transitioned more and more to the pen following his sophomore year, appearing in 40 games between his junior and senior seasons, while starting only 7 of them. In his final year in college, Taylor impressed, posting a 4-0 record with a sparkling 0.31 ERA and 0.85 WHIP over 57.1 innings.

Taylor followed up his strong ’15 season with Brooklyn by posting similar numbers just over more games in 2016 with the St. Lucie Mets as the team’s closer. In 45 games, Taylor posted a record of 4-5 with a 1.87 ERA (10th in the FSL), a 1.25 WHIP, and held opponents to a .252 batting average. Taylor saved 20 games out of 23 chances. Taylor was selected to the Arizona Fall League following the conclusion of the ’16 season, and in nine games Taylor posted a 1.93 ERA with 17 strikeouts and one walk in 14 innings pitched. He was also selected to the AFL All-Star Game.

Mike M adds…

Taylor really impress in the AFL flashing a plus sinker that topped out at 96 MPH and an improved that slider has become a swing and miss pitch for him. He will be in big league camp with the Mets and I wouldn’t be shocked for them to fast track him to the majors. Hitters have a tough time barreling up Taylor’s sinker, he’s allowed only two home runs in 71 innings.

2017 Outlook -

The sizable righties’ arsenal consists of a sinker, slider, and changeup, sitting in the low 90s with his fastball, and at times can reach back at 95 MPH. Since Taylor is an older prospect (just turned 24 in January), the Mets might be inclined to push him through the minors a bit more, pushing him and testing him at higher levels. Taylor should begin the season with Binghamton.

29. RHP Andrew Church

Ht: 6’2″  Wt: 200  Level: Columbia Fireflies (Full-A), St. Lucie Mets (Advanced-A), Las Vegas 51s (Triple A)

B/T: R/R  Age: 10/7/1994 (22) Age Dif: -2.1 (St. Lucie)

Last Year: #79

Acquired: Selected by Mets in 2nd of 2013 Draft from Basic High School in Henderson, Nevada.

2016 Statistics: 16 G, 95.2 IP, 7-4 W/L record, 2.92 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 78/25 SO/BB

Profile: For his first three professional seasons, Church had a hard time finding consistency while also battling injuries. The second round selection in the 2013 Draft had an especially tough time limiting hits (12.6, 12.5, and 10.7 in 2013, ’14, and ’15), coupled with low strikeout totals (5.3 his career high in 2014). Church told Michael Mayer in an exclusive interview on MMN, that he found it difficult to repeat his delivery and during every start “something didn’t feel right”. Church underwent hip surgery following the 2015 season, and it seemed to do wonders for the 22-year-old right-hander in 2016.

Church opened the year with Columbia, starting in two games and winning both, tossing 12.2 innings while allowing just two runs, one earned, along with 15 strikeouts. He was promoted in early June to St. Lucie, where Church made six starts, going 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 35 innings. His strikeouts were down and walks were up while with St. Lucie (22-14 SO/BB), and was subsequently demoted in July back to Columbia. In seven starts from July 16 to August 24, Church went 3-2 with a 2.66 ERA while limiting the opposition to a .582 OPS. His first start back with Columbia on July 16 was a masterful complete game, one-hit shutout against the Rome Braves, with just one walk and 10 strikeouts, a career high.

Church pitches to contact and features a fastball that sits in the low 90s, slider, curve, and changeup. He works quickly on the mound, and has the old school mentality of wanting to pitch a complete game each time out. He keeps his pitch count low, only hitting 100 pitches once in ’16 (and that wasn’t even during either of his two complete games).

2017 Outlook -

After reaching career highs in innings pitched, games started, SO/9, ERA, and WHIP, it appears Church has found a consistent rhythm and routine on the mound. While he won’t be a strikeout machine, if he can continue to work quick, keep his pitch count low, and get his changeup to be a more consistent pitch for him, he could be a quick riser in the Mets’ system. While he made it all the way up to Triple-A Las Vegas in ’16 for what was supposed to be a spot start (his plane ended up requiring maintenance, and instead arrived in the third inning) he should begin the season with Double-A Binghamton in 2017.

30. LHP David Roseboom

Ht: 6′ 2″  Wt: 225  Level: Binghamton Mets (Double-A)

B/T: L/L  Age: 5/17/1992 (24) Age Dif: -0.5

Acquired: Selected by Mets in 17th round of 2014 Draft from University of South Carolina Upstate (Spartanburg, SC)

2016 Statistics: 52 G, 57.2 IP, 1-1 W/L record, 1.87 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 54/18 SO/BB

Profile: A casual fan wouldn’t necessarily expect a 17th round draft pick to garner a ton of attention and be given high praise as a potential future cog in the bullpen. That’s exactly what left-hander David Roseboom has done in his short Mets’ career.

Taken in the 2014 Draft out of the University of South Caroline Upstate, Roseboom was mainly a starting pitcher in his four years in school (65 games, 56 of them starts), and had mixed results. A career 4.67 ERA along with 10.41 H/9 and only 5.88 K/9 left much to be desired, yet the Mets took a chance on the lefty, and wanted to see how he’d respond out of the pen instead. Roseboom started his professional career off strong with Kingsport after the draft, appearing in 16 games and pitching to a 1.59 ERA, picking up four saves, and averaging 11.9 K/9.

He began the ’15 season with Savannah, in which he posted superb numbers in ERA (1.15), WHIP (0.80), and K/9 (10.1). He earned a promotion to St. Lucie at the end of June, however, his early season success would not translate in Florida, as Roseboom’s ERA rose over three runs to 4.55, and his under 1.00 WHIP with Savannah jumped to 1.61. Roseboom attributes his struggles in the Florida State League to not being very aggressive, and trying to be too fine with his pitches at times.

Roseboom opened the ’16 season with Double-A Binghamton, and took pitching coach Glenn Abbott‘s advice of attacking the bottom part of the strike zone more.

“If I ever get hit, it’s because I’m up — not because I’m walking guys and falling behind,” Roseboom told ESPN

Roseboom assumed the closer role for Binghamton in July, once Akeel Morris was traded to the Atlanta Braves for Kelly Johnson and Beck Wheeler earned a promotion to Las Vegas. He saved 14 out of 15 games and posted a 1.87 ERA in 52 games on the year. From July 2 to the last regular season game on September 5, Roseboom tossed 29.1 innings, holding opponents to a .130/.193/.383 slash line, and a 0.92 ERA. Roseboom was selected to participate in the Arizona Fall League, where he posted a 0.79 ERA over 11.1 innings of work, while holding left-handed hitters to a microscopic .083 batting average.

2017 Outlook-

Writer Logan Barer proposed on MMO last week that Roseboom might be a candidate to make the 25-man roster out of spring, especially considering the lack of bullpen moves the Mets haven’t made thus far. At the very least, the Mets and their staff will be able to get a good look at Roseboom and his repertoire of slider, sinker, and changeup up close. If Roseboom doesn’t make the opening day roster, I’d expect him to open the year with Las Vegas, and preparing for a potential call-up this season. Roseboom has the potential to be a solid back-end reliever, or could be a lefty specialist as MLB prospect guru Jonathan Mayo opined while watching him pitch in Arizona this past fall.


1. Amed Rosario, SS

2. Dominic Smith, 1B

3. Robert Gsellman, RHP

4. Thomas Szapucki, LHP

5. Desmond Lindsay, OF

6. Justin Dunn, RHP

7. Gavin Cecchini, INF

8. Brandon Nimmo, OF

9. Andres Gimenez, SS

10. Tomas Nido, C

11. Wuilmer Becerra, OF

12. Peter Alonso, 1B

13. Marcos Molina, RHP

14. Ali Sanchez, C

15. T.J. Rivera, INF

16. Luis Carpio, INF

17. Merandy Gonzalez, RHP

18. Gabriel Ynoa, RHP

19. Gregory Guerrero, SS

20. Chris Flexen, RHP

21-25 Led by Josh Smoker

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Featured Post: Mets Will Have 20th Overall Selection In MLB Draft Mon, 23 Jan 2017 23:05:24 +0000 MLB draft manfred

Now that all qualifying free agents have been signed, the order for June’s First Year Player Draft is officially set. The 40 rounds will run from June 12-14, and can be viewed on MLB Network or

Three teams have lost their first-round selections in the draft: the Cleveland Indians signed Edwin Encarnacion, the Colorado Rockies signed Ian Desmond, and the St. Louis Cardinals signed Dexter Fowler.

As a result, the Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers, and Chicago Cubs each gained a selection in the compensation round immediately following the first round. The official draft order is as follows:

2017 MLB Draft Order (First Round & Compensation Round)

1. Minnesota Twins
2. Cincinnati Reds
3. San Diego Padres
4. Tampa Bay Rays
5. Atlanta Braves
6. Oakland Athletics
7. Arizona Diamondbacks
8. Philadelphia Phillies
9. Milwaukee Brewers
10. Los Angeles Angels
11. Chicago White Sox
12. Pittsburgh Pirates
13. Miami Marlins
14. Kansas City Royals
15. Houston Astros
16. New York Yankees
17. Seattle Mariners
18. Detroit Tigers
19. San Francisco Giants
20. New York Mets
21. Baltimore Orioles
22. Toronto Blue Jays
23. Los Angeles Dodgers
24. Boston Red Sox
25. Washington Nationals
26. Texas Rangers
27. Chicago Cubs
28. Toronto Blue Jays (From Cleveland Indians Signing Edwin Encarnacion)
29. Texas Rangers (From Colorado Rockies Signing Ian Desmond)
30. Chicago Cubs (From St. Louis Cardinals Signing Dexter Fowler)

The New York Mets will have the 20th, 59th and 97th overall selections during the first three rounds of the draft as they look to add some fresh new talent to their farm system – which was recently ranked the seventh best in baseball by ESPN’ Keith Law.

Last year, the Mets’ Farm System was ranked 16 by ESPN and 21 by Baseball Prospectus. However the Mets loaded up on some highly viewed prospects in last year’s draft while seeing players like Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Thomas Szapucki and Tomas Nido make huge strides in 2016.

Additionally, the Mets have two rising stars in shortstop Amed Rosario and first baseman Dominic Smith, both of whom rank first and third respectively at their positions in the most recent MLB Pipeline rankings.

You have to give general manager Sandy Alderson, scouting director Tommy Tanous, and their talented scouting department a lot of credit for keeping the Mets farm system flush with talent and some exciting prospects, many of which are highly regarded and coveted by other MLB teams.

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Law: Mets Have 7th Best Farm System Fri, 20 Jan 2017 19:30:23 +0000 keith law

Keith Law of ESPN, released his rankings for the Top 10 farm systems in baseball and had the New York Mets as the 7th best. The Mets move up nine spots after being ranked 16th last year.

For the second straight season, Law had the Atlanta Braves at the top of the rankings. They are followed by the New York Yankees at #2, San Diego Padres at #3, Pittsburgh Pirates moved up to #4 and the Los Angeles Dodgers dropped three spots to round out the Top 5.

The rest of the NL East teams are outside of the Top 10 with the Philadelphia Phillies dropping eight spots to #14, the Washington Nationals dropping seven spots to #22 and the Miami Marlins staying at #29.

Law had this to say about the Mets ranking, “The Mets were not aggressive at the trade deadline in July, and while that may have angered some of their fans, it means we won’t see someone they traded win a Rookie of the Year award in 2017. It also means a very strong, deep system remained intact, with two potential stars at the top of the system and a lot of pitching depth to potentially help, even as soon as this year with the sudden velocity spike Robert Gsellman saw in 2016.”

Gsellman took a huge leap this past season with his velocity spike and refined slider that helped him be successful at the major league level. He’s a big reason why the Mets farm system will see a jump in rankings and he could be in some publications Top 100.

Law added this as well, “Several years of strong draft results have restocked the system, first with young position players with upside and now with polished starting pitchers, led by Justin Dunn and Thomas Szapucki. Getting the team’s Low-A affiliate out of the hitters’ graveyard of Savannah won’t hurt matters either. And there’s more upside to come, with three of their top 20 prospects coming back from major injuries (Luis CarpioWuilmer Becerra, Anthony Kay).

Dunn and Szapucki are two very high ceiling pitchers that the Mets have scooped up in the past two drafts. In the 2016 draft. they also added a ton of college infield talent with the picks of first baseman Peter Alonso (our #12 prospect at MMO), second baseman Michael Paez, shortstop Colby Woodmansee and third baseman Blake Tiberi. They picked up outfielder Desmond Lindsay (our #5 prospect) in the second round of the 2015 draft and he has become a borderline Top 100 prospect in baseball already.


The Mets top two prospects Law calls potential stars are shortstop Amed Rosario and first baseman Dominic Smith, who could both start the 2017 season at Triple-A Las Vegas. They could also both be long-term fixtures in the Mets lineup with Rosario having the higher ceiling and higher floor that will have him in ranked in some Top 10 MLB prospect lists.

Beyond the guys that Law mentioned the Mets also have two high ceiling players in Andres Gimenez and Gregory Guerrero that they spent a $2.7 million combined on as international free agents in 2015.

The 2016 season brought breakout performances from the likes of catcher Tomas Nido (our #10 prospect), left-handed pitcher P.J. Conlon and infielder Phillip Evans. Right-handed pitchers Chris Flexen, Marcos Molina and Andrew Church came back from injuries to continue the Mets trend of developing intriguing rotation prospects.

The Mets farm system also has players ready to contribute at the major league level in outfielder Brandon Nimmo, infielder Gavin Cecchini, lefty reliever Josh Smoker, infielder T.J. Rivera and right-handed pitcher Gabriel Ynoa.

Other names to watch out for this season for the Mets bullpen are prospects David Roseboom (lefty), Paul Sewald, Kevin McGowan and Corey Taylor.

I’m not that surprised to see the Mets ranked 7th given the high end talent they have in their top 10, prospects they have that could help in 2017 and the great depth they have in not only their pitching prospects (amazingly still after numerous trades) but now in position players too.

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Breakout Prediction: Hansel Robles Mon, 16 Jan 2017 13:30:07 +0000 hansel robles

I wholeheartedly agree with everyone who says the Mets need to bring in a late-inning reliever to supplement Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia. However, with a recent report saying the Mets want two prospects for Jay Bruce, there is a possibility that they might not bring in a player like that. If that possibility comes to fruition, the Mets have someone I believe could fill that role.

Hansel Robles will have a breakout 2017 season. In 2016, he went 6-4 with a 3.48 ERA, striking out 85 batters in 77.2 innings. Those are average numbers for a reliever, but upon further investigation into his statistics, they show that he could be a lot better. Below are his splits by month:

April: 10.2 IP, 15 Ks, 3 BB, .286 BAA, 1.69 ERA
May: 12.1 IP, 12 Ks, 6 BB, .146 BAA, 5.11 ERA
June: 15.1 IP, 19 Ks, 9 BB, .267 BAA, 2.91 ERA
July: 11.2 IP, 12 Ks, 2 BB, .225 BAA, 0.00 ERA
August: 15.0 IP, 13 Ks, 12 BB, .293 BAA, 9.00 ERA
September: 12.0 IP, 13 Ks, 4 BB, .182 BAA, 0.75 ERA

As you can see, one month he would pitch lights out, and the next he would pitch poorly. However, the reasons he pitches poorly vary. In May, despite a very good .146 BAA, his opponents still managed to score seven earned runs in 12.1 innings off him, due to a whopping five home runs allowed that month. However, in June, despite a high .267 BAA and nine walks in 15.1 innings, he managed to keep his ERA at a respectable 2.91.

What is the cause for his inconsistency? What can Robles to in order to consistently put up numbers like he did last April, July, and September? First of all, he needs to be able to throw his secondary pitches in hitters counts. Here are opponents batting averages against him in hitters’ counts:

0-0: .406 (13-for-32), 4 2B, 1 HR
1-0: .286 (6-for-21), 2 2B, 1 HR
2-0: .000 (0-for-4), 0 2B, 0 HR
2-1: .545 (6-for-11), 3 2B, 1 HR
3-1: .400 (2-for-5), 1 2B, 0 HR

I as a pitcher know the importance of getting a secondary pitch over the plate when the hitter is surely sitting dead red. Smart hitters will take the pitch for a strike, and others will be out in front and hit a weak ground ball. Robles has always had a good slider, and has recently learned a changeup which proved effective (.208 BAA in 2016).

A mark of a good pitcher is the ability to get batters out even after falling behind in the count. If he were to throw his changeup or slider in the above counts instead of fastballs, he would surely enjoy more success.

By the same token, he has shown that he is very good at putting hitters away when ahead in the count:

0-2: .167 (5-for-30), 1 2B, 1 HR, 17 Ks
1-2: .119 (7-for-59), 1 2B, 0 HR, 34 Ks
2-2: .159 (7-for-44), 1 2B, 3 HR, 20 Ks
3-2: .229 (8-for-35), 2 2B, 0 HR, 14 Ks

As you can see, once he is ahead, he has no problem doing away with hitters. However, getting ahead is the hard part, and therein lies another one of his problems. Above, you saw that batters hit .406 on the first pitch with four doubles and a home run. However, if he lived to throw another pitch, here is how batters fared against him, throwing a first pitch strike or a ball:

After 0-1: .189 (28-for-148), 8 2B, 2 HR, 11 BB, 56 Ks
After 1-0: .259 (28-for-108), 6 2B, 4 HR, 25 BB, 29 Ks

As is the case with most pitchers, Robles is much more effective when the first pitch he throws is strike one. So, Hansel Robles must get ahead in the count. If he falls behind, he must trust his slider and changeup. If he does those things, I would expect him to have a standout 2017 and emerge as a very good option for the Mets going forward.

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Mets Are Looking For Two Prospects In Exchange For Bruce Sun, 15 Jan 2017 22:15:21 +0000 jay-bruce

According to a report by Philadelphia beat writer Jim Salisbury of, the New York Mets are holding out for two prospects in exchange for outfielder Jay Bruce.

The Phillies, he writes, have had longstanding interest in Bruce, however they are committed to hanging on to their prospects, and feel that they could sign Brandon Moss or Michael Saunders on a short-term deal without having to give up any of their prospects.

Last week, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that the Phillies are looking to add a bat to play a corner outfield position or first base and he too mentioned the Phillies had their eyes on Saunders and Moss.

He also added that the Phillies could be interested in a hitter like like Bruce, but they were not interested in moving more than a lower tier prospect for such a hitter.

As long as sluggers like Mark Trumbo, Jose Bautista and Mike Napoli remain on the free agent market, it will be difficult for the Mets to deal Bruce, and it does not appear as though Sandy Alderson will simply move his excess corner outfielder is a straight salary dump. Rightfully so.

Incidentally, the Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers are still reportedly interested in Bruce.

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Red Sox To Acquire Chris Sale Tue, 06 Dec 2016 18:24:29 +0000 chris sale

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports on Twitter, the Red Sox have agreed to a blockbuster trade that will net them stud pitcher Chris Sale from the White Sox in exchange for the #1 prospect in baseball according to IF Yoan Mocada as well as prospects RHP Michael Kopech, OF Luis Basabe and RHP Victor Diaz.

Rumors swirling from the Winter Meetings last night had the Nationals and White Sox making significant progress on a deal, and that Washington had an “80/20 chance” of acquiring the all-star lefty in the eyes of rival excutives, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted last night.

This is a huge sigh of relief for the New York Mets, as they won’t have to face Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Sale in a weekend series any time soon.

Sale, 28 on Opening Day, has spent the entirety of his seven year career with the White Sox, pitching to a 74-50 record with an even 3.00 ERA and 10.1 K/9.

Sale has appeared in five consecutive all-star games, and was the American League strikeout leader with 274 in 2015.

The southpaw will join a rotation that already includes reigning Cy Young winner Rick Porcello and five-time all-star David Price.

Moncada, 21, joined the Red Sox in 2015 after defecting from Cuba, and is oft considered the best prospect in baseball.

Moncada made debut for the Red Sox as a September call-up, appearing in eight games for Boston, going 4-for-19.

In two minor league seasons, Moncada hit to a .287/.395/.480 clip with 23 homers an 100 RBIs.

Kopech, 21 on Opening Day is the #67 prospect in baseball and the #5 prospect in the Red Sox system at the time of the trade.

Kopech was drafted in the first round of the 2014 first year player’s draft, and has topped out at 105 MPH on the radar gun.

The righty got as far as high-A ball last year, going 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA in 11 games started for the Salem Red Sox.

The other two prospects the White Sox are getting back in the deal for Sale are the #8 and #28 prospects in Boston’s system respectively.

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Nationals Discussing Deal For Chris Sale, Other Teams Still In The Mix Tue, 06 Dec 2016 03:00:29 +0000 chris sale

Update, 10:26 p.m.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, other teams are still in the mix for Sale and that no deal is expected tonight. He also reports that the Nationals are refusing to give up Trea Turner in any deal for Sale.

Original Post, 10 p.m.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Nationals have a “legitimate chance” to land White Sox ace Chris Sale and are now “haggling over the final pieces” with Chicago.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post adds that a rival executive believes the chances are 80/20 that Sale ends up in Washington.

Rosenthal says the deal as of now would send top outfield prospect Victor Robles as well as fireball right-hander Lucas Giolito. They are the two best prospects in the Nationals’ system and Giolito is considered one of the top five prospects in all of baseball.

Sale, meanwhile, is coming off another superb season for Chicago in which he went 17-10 with a 3.34 ERA over 226.2 innings pitched. He posted stellar strikeout (9.3 K/9) and walk (1.8 BB/) rates as well. He has been in the top six in the AL Cy Young Award results each of the past five seasons. Over that span, he’s fourth in Fangraphs pitcher WAR behind only Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, and David Price.

Needless to say, the Nationals would be adding a stud to an already-loaded pitching staff. Washington posted a 3.52 ERA last season, which was second in baseball only to the Cubs. As a staff, they struck out 9.1 batters per nine innings, second only to the Dodgers. Their 2.89 BB/9 rate was ninth in baseball.

Their starting staff was as good as the Mets in just about every metric. Nationals starters owned a combined 3.601 ERA compared to the Mets’ 3.61. They posted a higher strikeout rate (9.25 K/9 vs 8.07) but posted a worse walk rate (2.85 BB/9 vs 8.07). With Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, and Tanner Roark, this deal could give the Nationals’ staff the edge going into 2017 — at least on paper.

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Mets Can Deal Prospects for Reliever, Checked in on Ziegler Mon, 05 Dec 2016 18:50:16 +0000 brad ziegler

According to multiple sources including Buster Olney on Twitter, the Mets are one of thirteen teams that have checked in on free agent Brad Ziegler. Ziegler, 37, has been a very effective reliever since his debut in 2008. His funky motion has helped him to a career 2.44 ERA and he has pitched even better of late.

After being traded from the Diamondbacks to the Red Sox in 2016, he appeared in 33 games, recording a 1.52 ERA and striking out 31 batters in 29.2 innings pitched. He has appeared in at least 60 games every season since 2009 and that, paired with his outstanding statistics, makes him a very reliable option.

Free agency is one way to go about improving the bullpen, but another is via trade. It has been said that the Mets would love to get some serious bullpen help when they trade Jay Bruce and/or Curtis Granderson, but they would be okay with getting prospects in return. However, they are not the only tradeable pieces that could net a good reliever.

According to Mike Puma on Twitter, the Mets second tier prospects are drawing some interest and could be used in acquiring some bullpen help for 2017. He uses Brandon Nimmo and Gavin Cecchini as examples. Adam Rubin said that the Mets could trade anybody but Amed Rosario if the price is right, so don’t be surprised if Sandy makes a move for a big reliever on a rebuilding team.

If the Mets trade prospects for an arm and then trade Bruce for prospects (probably more than were traded for the bullpen help), that is certainly a net gain for the team. By the end of the Winter Meetings, you can expect the Mets to have a good arm to pitch the 7th inning in front of Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia. Stay tuned!




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NL East News: Braves Acquire Starter Jaime Garcia Thu, 01 Dec 2016 23:16:35 +0000 jaime garcia

The Atlanta Braves have acquired left-handed starter Jaime Garcia from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for prospects according to Mark Saxon of ESPN.

The Braves will send former Mets prospect John Gant, infield prospect Luke Dykstra (son of Lenny), and right-handed pitching prospect Chris Ellis to the Cardinals according to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation.

Garcia, 30, went 10-13 with a 4.67 ERA and a 1.375 WHIP in 171.2 innings for the Cardinals during the 2016 season. In his eight year career, all with the Cardinals, he is 62-45 with a 3.57 ERA and has a 3.97 ERA in seven postseason starts.

The veteran lefty will join former Mets R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon in the new look Braves 2017 rotation.

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The Binghamton Mets Are Now the Rumble Ponies Thu, 03 Nov 2016 14:52:52 +0000 cwwjf46uoaazcxs

The Binghamton Mets have been renamed the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. The renaming of the team was part of the new affiliation agreement between the Mets and Binghamton’s new owner John Hughes.

As Hughes told WBNG, “What I’m looking to do is strengthen the ties between the team and the community. I want the community to really be able to identify with this team, as well as this team be a proud representative of the Binghamton heritage, the Binghamton name and have something the community can relate to.”

With that the soon to be former B-Mets had a contest where fans could submit suggestions for what the new team name should be. The finalists were:

  1. Bullheads
  2. Gobblers
  3. Rocking Horses
  4. Rumble Ponies
  5. Timber Jockeys
  6. Stud Muffins

The Bullheads were a reference to the catfish that are in the nearby Susquehanna River, and the Gobblers were in reference to the turkey hunting that occurs in the area. The final four submissions were a nod to the fact that Binghamton considers itself the “Carousel Capital of the World.” As noted, and frankly unsurprisingly,

Accordingly, the 2017 season will be the inaugural season of the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. The new team colors will be red, blue and silver. A tribute to the Triple Cities’ carousel heritage, the “Binghamton Rumble Ponies” is a herd of fierce horses that no carousel center pole can contain.

Binghamton has been the Mets Double-A affiliate and played at NYSEG Stadium since 1992.

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Could The Mets Be Changing Triple-A Affiliates Again? Thu, 11 Aug 2016 23:57:19 +0000

Sandy Alderson will be heading out to Las Vegas this weekend to discuss the club’s affiliation with the Las Vegas 51s, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post.

The Mets and 51s have had an affiliation agreement since the 2013 season, after the Buffalo Bisons ditched the Mets for the Toronto Blue Jays. The Mets were essentially stuck with Las Vegas, which has caused all sorts of problems. The hitter-friendly run environment both in Las Vegas and in the Pacific Coast League as a whole has made it more difficult to evaluate players and the distance between the two clubs has caused some logistical issues.

Ideally, the Mets would like a team close by and in the International League, rather than the PCL. The Rochester Red Wings are the most logical option and with Terry Ryan gone in Minnesota, they could look into changing parent clubs.

To attract a decent affiliate, the Mets will probably need to show that they can provide them with some decent prospects. The system is certainly not as loaded with big-time talent as it was a few years ago, but names like Gabriel Ynoa, Robert Gsellman, Gavin Cecchini, and Brandon Nimmo could help them reel in a new Triple-A team.

Teams in Toledo, Lehigh Valley, Colorado Springs, or El Paso could be of interest as well. Whatever happens, Las Vegas will probably be the last choice.

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Pirates GM Regrets Walker-Niese Swap Fri, 15 Jul 2016 17:59:56 +0000 jon niese

The Jon Niese – Neil Walker swap hasn’t worked out so well for Pittsburgh, said Pirates GM Neil Huntington in some very frank comments on a local radio station Friday morning.

“In hindsight, maybe the two fringe prospects and trying to figure out where to re-allocate the money might have been a better return,” he told 93.7 The Fan, ”That’s where the results take us.”

“Given the thinness of the starting pitching market, given the dollars that we had available, we felt that that was our best return, and it has not played out that way, and that’s a challenge, we own that, we accept that.”

“At the time Jon was one of the better starting pitchers available on the market given what we typically can do in this revenue stream, and that’s the reality.”

Niese has certainly failed to perform up to expectations this year. He owns a 5.13 ERA in 101.2 innings with the Pirates this year, a full run above his 4.13 ERA in 2015. His WHIP has ballooned to a career-high 1.574.

Niese is still owed about half of his $9 million salary and a $500,000 buyout at the end of the year. The Pirates are currently shopping him, according to reports, altough he probably doesn’t have much value left.

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Michael Fulmer Making Most Of Opportunity Fri, 03 Jun 2016 14:25:24 +0000 michael fulmer 2

Steven Matz leads all rookie pitchers in wins, strikeouts, walks per nine, and WAR, clearly an early front runner for National League Rookie of the Year. In the American League, another starting pitcher looks to make his case for the award, and is a familiar name for most Met fans.

Michael Fulmer, 23, one of the arms dealt to the Detroit Tigers last season for Yoenis Cespedes, is having a very good start to his rookie campaign. Since making his Major League debut on April 29th, Fulmer has gone 5-1 with a 3.24 earned run average in seven starts. Fulmer boasts an arsenal of four pitches, four-seam and two-seam fastballs, change-up, and a slider. The hard throwing right-hander sits in the low to mid nineties with his fastball, averaging 95.08 on his two-seam fastball, almost three miles per hour faster then the MLB average.

Taking a look at the rookie starting pitcher league leaders, Fulmer is currently ranked second in wins behind Matz with five, third in strikeouts per nine (9.50), fourth in earned run average (3.24), fourth in swinging strike percentage (11.0%), and fifth in WAR (0.7). And remember, Fulmer didn’t make his debut until the end of April, so he’s two to three starts behind guys like Matz and Kenta Maeda.

Fulmer has been getting progressively stronger in his most recent outings, going at least seven innings in his last three starts against the Rays, Athletics, and Angels. His most recent performance on June 1st was exceptionally strong, throwing a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Angels on the road. His final line for the day was 7 2/3 innings, giving up two hits, walking two, and striking out eight, including a pair against All-Star Mike Trout, and one against pinch-hitter Albert Pujols.

Fulmer currently has a scoreless innings streak of 16.1 innings, and he’s only the second Tigers pitcher in history to have back to back starts with seven or more shutout innings, the last was Mickey Lolich back in 1968.

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Fulmer’s success shouldn’t come as a surprise to Mets fans, as he was highly regarded during his tenure with the club. Especially last season, when Fulmer was named the Double-A Eastern League pitcher of the year, and put up tremendous numbers in Double A Binghamton, going 6-2 in 15 starts with a minuscule 1.88 earned run average, and a 1.12 WHIP. When the Mets were looking to upgrade with a power bat before the trade deadline, Fulmer’s name came up with Detroit, who were looking to add prospects and concede that their season was over.

Fulmer finished out the 2015 season with Detroit’s Double A affiliate the Erie Seawolves, and went 4-1 in six starts, with a 2.84 earned run average, and averaged more than a strikeout-per-inning. He made three starts in their Triple A affiliate this year before getting the call in late April for the injured Shane Greene.

Fulmer already has a big fan in his teammate and former Cy Young award winner, Justin Verlander.

“I liked his mentality on the mound,” Verlander said. “He’s not scared and I love his stuff. He pitches, attacks guys, and I think he’s got a chance to be an excellent pitcher at the big league level.” (Detroit Free Press)

Fulmer has emerged as the Tigers number three starter, after Anibal Sanchez was demoted from the rotation and another former Met, Mike Pelfrey, continues to struggle with a near 5.00 earned run average and a 1.77 WHIP. Manager Brad Ausmus has been so impressed by Fulmer and his poise on the mound, he likened his mentality to that of a young Roy Oswalt.

“He’s not afraid of (guys) stepping into the batter’s box,” Ausmus said. “The environment doesn’t seem to bother him. I think it’s his makeup. He’s got good stuff.”

While Fulmer is having a breakout rookie performance with the Tigers, this is a trade the GM Sandy Alderson would make again and again, after witnessing what Yoenis Cespedes can do for a team and its lineup.

Cespedes is currently on pace for his best statistical season yet, and has been one of the more consistent contributors to the Mets lineup this year. This might turn out to be a rare trade where both sides got a good return. I’m sure I speak for most of us when I wish Michael success in his big league career.

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An MMO Original: What is the Wright Move? Mon, 04 Apr 2016 15:50:49 +0000 david wright

A routine error by Yoenis Cespedes, the highest paid center fielder in baseball according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, will gloss over the bigger fielding mistake from the Mets Opening Day 4-3 loss.

Cespedes striking out to end the game will make the highlight reel, a real-enough action to easily create a distraction to the true anchor that could weigh down the prospects for this season. And it took place just one batter before.

With the game-tying run 90 feet away and one out, David Wright just needed to avoid grounding into a double play. What was needed to extend the game was a productive out. What happened was the face of the franchise got blown away.

Jessica Mendoza, the new addition to the ESPN broadcast booth, noted that Wright hadn’t proved he could catch up to a high-powered fastball; something also noted by the New York Post’s Mike Vaccaro. Wright was having a hard time all night catching up to 92-94 mph fastballs. Wade Davis took advantage of that fact, but that wasn’t the big problem.

The bigger concern took place in the sixth inning when Eric Hosmer bunted to the left-side of the infield. Wright barehanded the ball, but didn’t have enough on his throw to get the sliding first baseman. It should have been a routine out as analyst Aaron Boone noted, “that’s a play 90 percent of third basemen make.”

A similar play happened in the fifth, when Omar Infante‘s ground ball to third was fielded but Wright’s long throw wasn’t fast enough to get the 34-year old with a career 80 stolen bases. As Keith Hernandez would say, “there was no mustard on the throw.”

While his bat may eventually catch up with the high-octane heat from relievers like Davis, his arm has become a liability. It was on display last season, the sidearm style adopted due to his back troubles, and the resulting high-arching throws from third base.

It was something the Royals took advantage of – something I’m sure every team the Mets face will test – and something Collins is likely to do little about anytime soon. Granted, his first option is to replace the Captain with Wilmer Flores as a defensive replacement… but even that seemed strange as I wrote it. It certainly will seem foreign to a manager who’s known for standing by ‘his guys’.

I don’t think there’s a viable solution and that’s means another infielder who’s presence on the field is purely tied into his performance at the plate. The $87 million dollar question is do you think Wright will hit enough to make this irrelevant?


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Keith Law: Mets’ Farm System Ranked 16th In Baseball Wed, 10 Feb 2016 21:44:42 +0000 thor matz degrom syndergaard

Some recent farm system graduates you may have heard of…

Keith Law of is releasing his yearly rankings of both individual prospects and entire farm systems this week. In his first piece in the series today, he ranked each team’s minor league system, taking into account all players who have not exceeded rookie eligibility. Overall, the Mets’ system was ranked 16th in the league.

While the ranking may seem low for a team that has shown great ability in turning out top young talent over the last few years, keep in mind how much the minor league system lost in 2015. Kevin Plawecki, Noah Syndergaard, and Michael Conforto, all consensus top 100 prospects, lost their eligibility. Nonetheless, the Mets will still put four players (including Steven Matz) on Laws 2016 rankings. From last year, the organization fell 12 spots, from fourth a year ago to 16th now.

Here is what Law had to say about the Mets’ system:

Still well-stocked with position players, but most of the pitching is gone in trades for Tyler Clippard and Yoenis Cespedes, leaving them very dependent on the health of the five young stars in the big league rotation. With a little luck, the next wave of hitters will hit Citi Field just as there are openings in the right spots in the lineup, helping them continue to compete behind their phenomenal young rotation.

In the Clippard and Cespedes trade, the Mets lost Michael Fulmer, Luis Cessa, and Casey Meisner, with Fulmer being the undisputed gem of this group. Meisner, who was traded for Clippard, was not a top 100 prospect in baseball, but he was one of the best remaining arms in the Mets’ system, coming in at number seven on our own Quinn Berry’s midseason list last June. Other significant losses in pitching include John Gant, Rob Whalen, Miller Diaz, and Matt Koch. Gant and Whalen were traded in the Juan Uribe-Kelly Johnson deal while Diaz and Koch were exchanged for Addison Reed.

As Law notes, the system has transitioned from pitching-heavy to hitter-heavy as pitchers like Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Noah Syndergaard exited the ranks of the minor leagues. Outside of Matz, it is likely that three of Amed Rosario, Gavin Cecchini, Dominic Smith, and Brandon Nimmo round out the four that made the cut on Law’s top 100 list, which will be released soon.


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The Sixth Tool Tue, 02 Feb 2016 14:00:16 +0000 image

Although it may sound like a M. Night Shyamalan movie, the sixth tool does exist in baseball, and is arguably the most important and yet overlooked tool a player can possess.

We know the traditional five tools are hitting for average, hitting for power, base running (speed + skills), throwing ability and fielding ability. Players are generally rated on a scale which determines where on the spectrum of each tool that they lie. If they excel in all five, that is the coveted five tool player that every scout is trying to find.

As they stand alone, these tools are nothing more than abilities, and make no determination as to whether or not the player will be successful on the field of play. So what determines whether a player with three, four, or even five tools becomes a successful player at the major league level?

This is where the sixth tool comes into play.

The sixth tool has been incorrectly identified by some in the past, as the pitch recognition tool. While this is very important to develop, I would still list that as one of the attributes that fall under one of the traditional five tools — hitting for average. You can’t hit for average if you can’t recognize pitches.

No, the sixth tool is much more than that.

The sixth tool is having an in-depth knowledge of the game, as well as one’s self. It’s primarily mental for the athlete. It gives the player the ability to get a better jump on a ball, or know what pitch is coming next. This is the sort of thing that can’t necessarily be measured, which is why it is often the most underrated and overlooked tool in the player’s tool box.

The sixth tool is not just some way to explain how crazy plays happen — like the iconic Derek JeterFlip Play” during the 2001 ALDS. There is no such thing as “right place at the right time” to explain how a crazy play just took place, it was the player’s innate sixth tool which allowed it to unfold.

The sixth tool is what I would argue gets a promising prospect to the big leagues, and it also transforms good prospects into eventual Hall of Famers. These players are able to read angles, understand strategy so well that they are thinking three steps ahead, and know themselves better than the other players on the field know themselves. They tend to rise to the occasion no matter what you throw at them. When you watch these players, you say they have “it.” I usually say they’re just damn good ball players.

The most recent player that comes to mind that demonstrates the sixth tool is Joe Panik, of the San Francisco Giants. I followed Panik’s career very closely due to the fact that he is the only athlete to ever play professional sports from my alma mater high school. He wasn’t drafted out of high school, but went on to St. John’s University and was one of the top college short stops in the nation back in 2011. He was selected at the end of the first round of the 2011 draft, and the pick immediately drew criticism.

The criticism didn’t stop there. Although Panik was listed as a top prospect in the Giants organization, all you heard was people questioning the guy’s tools, and question if he would be anything more than a fringe platoon player due to his lack of “standout tools.” Unfortunately for them…no…actually, fortunately for them, Panik did have a standout tool — the sixth tool. The kid could just play ball. It more than compensated for his lack of standout tools. And now, the Giants are reaping the benefits of having an All-Star second baseman, just starting to test the limits on what he can accomplish on the field.

Amed Rosario (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Amed Rosario (Photo by Jim Mancari)

When evaluating prospects and players, it is wise to not get too excited when we hear about “toolsy players” that have done little-to-nothing to show they can play the game of baseball. A player that jumps out at me with this distinction is Amed Rosario. Everyone gets googley eyes when someone is rated highly with their tools. They have visions of the next Ken Griffey Jr., or Ozzie Smith in their minds. The reality is the majority of those players are going to wash out, and the players who possess the sixth tool — the players who may have been ranked towards the back end of the prospect list due to their lack of standout tools, are the players that make an impact on a team.

However, when you do find that coveted five tool player that possesses the sixth tool…it’s magic. That’s when you get your Mike Trouts, your Griffeys, and your other iconic players that define generations. But that doesn’t necessarily mean players need all five tools to get to that level either. Larry Bird, the godfather of the sixth tool (applied it to basketball), proved that.

So how do you know when you have a player in front of you that possesses the sixth tool? I said earlier there is no way to measure it — I hate to say it, but you just know it when you see it. After watching the player perform day in and day out it becomes easy to identify. And even though it may be obvious that they have the sixth tool, the players that possess it often take a back seat to players with the standout tools that can be measured on a scale. That is, until you can’t ignore it anymore.


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Would You Trade Steven Matz For Yoan Moncada? Thu, 14 Jan 2016 17:30:54 +0000 steven matz

Baseball America has published a fascinating article that proposed five different trades that are prospect swaps including one that involves the Mets and their big four. J.J. Cooper thinks that a swap of left-handed pitcher Steven Matz and shortstop prospect Luis Carpio to the Boston Red Sox for infielder Yoan Moncada could make sense for both teams.

“This is a blockbuster. Moncada is one of the best position prospects in baseball. Matz is among the best pitching prospects in the game. And a swap would help fill big needs for both. Moncada could be the Mets long-term answer at second base (where Neil Walker has been acquired as a short-term replacement for Daniel Murphy) but his versatility means he also could become a rangy, explosive center fielder. That’s not an option in Boston where Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley already in the majors.”

I think it would be tough for the Mets to part with Steven Matz right now given the Mets lack of depth with starting pitching in the upper minors. If would force the Mets to rely on Rafael Montero (pitching healthy in winter ball), Seth Lugo (little AAA experience), Robert Gsellman (good prospect but not ready), or the likes of Sean Gilmartin as a starter until Zack Wheeler comes back in full force.

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Nonetheless, the talent seems to be very close on both sides of this trade as the Mets would be getting one of the best prospects in all of Major League Baseball (currently #8, in Moncada while the Sox get another top flight arm they need. The 20-year old Moncada showed his five-tool potential in the South Atlantic League last year hitting .278/.380/.438 with 19 doubles, eight homeruns, and 49 stolen bases with only three caught stealing.

He had a tough time adjusting to minor league baseball hitting only .200 in his first 90 games before snapping out of it in the second half of the year and hitting .310/.415/.500 with 45 steals in his final 56 games. All 56 of those games came out of the leadoff spot where he seemed to flourish. The switch-hitter is listed at 6’2 and 205 pounds.

The Red Sox gave Moncada a record $31.5 million bonus in March which actually makes their financial responsibility $63M because of the matching penalty they had to pay for exceeding their international bonus pool. Moncada played second base exclusively in the minors last year but has experience at third base, shortstop, and center field.

Last year Matz showed why he is considered one of the top left-handed pitching prospects in baseball during his limited time in the big leagues going 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA and 34 strikeouts in his first six starts. He also threw a career high 155.2 innings in 2015 between the minors, regular season, and his three playoff starts.

“Initially this deal did not include Carpio, but a scout surveyed about this deal said he felt that Moncada is a significant enough talent and Matz has enough injury concerns that they believed the Mets would have to include an additional piece. Carpio fits the bill as a middle infielder who is far enough away (he played in the Appalachian League last season) that his ETA would be closer to the 2019-2020 window where Boston may eventually start looking for middle infield help.”

Carpio, 18, has shot up the Mets prospect ranks after having a strong stateside debut this year with the Kingsport Mets hitting .304/.372/.359 in 45 games. He played 22 games at shortstop and 19 games at second base during the 2015 season. Scouts rave about his high baseball IQ and approach at the plate for such a young player, part of the reason BA had him as their 7th best prospect in the Mets farm system.

To me, this is certainly a deal the Mets would have to consider with the five-tool potential of Moncada and the rarity of his skill set for someone who plays in the middle of the diamond. Ultimately I think the Mets would pass on this deal because they seem unwilling to part with any of their big four and rightfully so. They also have Dilson Herrera (who I think is long-term answer at 2B), Gavin Cecchini, and Amed Rosario formulating what could be a strong middle infield for years to come.

I would be more inclined to do this trade if I knew Moncada could player center field which seems to be one of the Mets biggest weaknesses currently and possibly long-term as well if Juan Lagares doesn’t return to his 2014 form. If I was talking trade with the Red Sox and was willing to give up a stud pitcher Mookie Betts is the guy I would target but I see little reason for him to be available now.

Definitely an interesting trade idea, one that I think fits more with the Red Sox current needs and aspirations then it does with the Mets.

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Daniel Murphy Held Out Hope For Mets Deal Wed, 23 Dec 2015 20:30:23 +0000 daniel murphy game over

The possibility of a Daniel Murphy-Mets reunion was apparently once possibly, at least in the mind of Daniel Murphy. As Mike Puma wrote in today’s New York Post, Murphy held out hope that he and the Mets could reach a multi-year deal until the Neil Walker trade went down.

According to Puma, Murphy was not aggressively pursuing other options until the Walker trade, despite being told by team officials that a reunion wasn’t going to happen.

Despite an incredible Division Series and Championship Series, Murphy’s market isn’t as hot as it was expected to be. (The entire position player market hasn’t been particularly great this winter.) Even with Ben Zobrist off the board, teams don’t seem too keep on the possibility of committing three or four years to an above average hitter with below average defense.

Even teams who would presumably be interested in Murphy like the Nationals, who were more willing to trade prospects and take on a cumbersome contract than sign Murphy, aren’t interested. The idea that Murphy could get upwards of four years and $60 million is now long gone.

That being said, Murphy’s drop in price could bring some more teams back into play, especially in the National League. Teams may be more willing to give up a draft pick if they are giving up $35 million instead of $60 million.

Whatever happens, it seems like the Daniel Murphy saga will continue at least for a few more weeks.

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Phillies Trade Closer Ken Giles To Astros For Five Prospects Sat, 12 Dec 2015 19:55:18 +0000 usa-today-8006515.0

One of the most useless pieces for a last-place team is a dominant closer. The Phillies capitalized on that this week by dealing their dominant 25 year-old closer Ken Giles to the Astros for a package of prospects which included former number one overall draft pick Mark Appel.

In two seasons in Philadelphia, Giles has compiled 16 saves with a 1.56 ERA. His ERA indicators are high on him as well, with his FIP coming in at 1.82 and xFIP coming in at 2.65 over 115.2 innings pitched. He strikes out a ton of batters, posting an 11.75 K/9 rate so far. Being just two years into his career, he still has five years of team control left.

In exchange, the Phillies got a slew of talented prospects. The headliner is right-hander Mark Appel, who is rated the number two prospect in the Astros’ system according to He was drafted number one overall out of Stanford in 2013 after an excellent college career. However, he has struggled at almost every level of the minor leagues, owning a career 5.12 ERA. Nonetheless, he is still considered a promising prospect.

The Phillies will get another consensus top 100 prospect in Vincent Velasquez, a 23 year-old right-hander who made his debut with the Astros this year. Over 19 appearances with the big league club this season, he posted a 4.37 ERA, but also struck out 9.4 batters per nine innings.

Thomas Eshelman, another righty and the Astros’ second round pick this year, will be heading to Philadelphia. He was a top 15 prospect in Houston’s system.

Brett Oberholtzer, a 26 year-old left-handed starter will be headed to the Phillies as well, and will presumably join their rotation next year. He has made 42 total starts with the Astros the past three years, and owns a 3.94 career ERA. He doesn’t strike out a ton of batters (5.9 K/9), but he has a very low walk rate (2.1 BB/9).

The last piece heading to the Phillies is Harold Arauz, a 20 year-old righty. Arauz has split time between the bullpen and a starting role and struggled to the tune of a 5.75 ERA in 2015.

Giles is the main player heading to Houston, but the Phillies are also sending 17 year-old shortstop and second baseman Jonathan Arauz. He slashed .254/.309/.370 wit two homers, two triples, and ten doubles in 44 games with the Phillies’ Gulf Coast League affiliate.

Now under new management, the Phillies are clearly in all-out rebuilding mode. They won’t be needing a dominant closer like Giles for a few more years, so perhaps it makes sense to use him to re-tool an ailing minor league system. Meanwhile, the Astros are building a very dangerous bullpen. After combining for a sixth-in-baseball 3.27 ERA this past year, their already top-notch bullpen should be even better in 2016.

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