Mets Merized Online » RHP http://metsmerizedonline.com Sat, 03 Dec 2016 14:30:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.16 Pace 2017 Salary Projections: Matt Harvey, RHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/pace-2017-salary-projections-matt-harvey-rhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/pace-2017-salary-projections-matt-harvey-rhp.html/#comments Wed, 02 Nov 2016 16:00:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225696 matt harvey 2

Adam Rubin is rolling out his ever popular Pace Law Annual Salary Projection Series. In making their determinations, Pace puts together a panel that will base their projections on the following:

  • The quality of the player’s contribution to his club during the past season (referred to as his “platform season”), including but not limited to his overall performance, special qualities of leadership and public appeal
  • The length and consistency of his career contribution
  • The player’s past compensation
  • Comparative baseball salaries
  • The existence of any physical or mental issues on the part of the player
  • The recent performance record of the club, including but not limited to its league standing and attendance, as an indication of public acceptance

Matt Harvey, RHP

Pace Salary Projection: $5.325 million

MLBTR Salary Projection: $5.2 million

According to Pace, Harvey will be most closely compared to Phil Hughes (2011), Dillon Gee (2014), and Jeremy Hellickson (2014) due to his struggles. You can read their full analysis here.

Matt Harvey battled injuries this year, including a blood clot in his bladder during spring training, and more notably, thoracic outlet syndrome. The latter required surgery, during which one of his ribs was removed.

His thoracic outlet syndrome directly affected his pitching in many ways, including losing feeling in his fingers, as he never could really put it together in 2016. He went 4-10 posting a 4.86 ERA. In 17 starts, he pitched 92 2/3 innings and struck out 76.

Nobody is totally sure how his surgery will affect his pitching going forward. Best case scenario (which, let’s face it, doesn’t happen for the Mets often) would be for him to return to his 2013/2015 form. He is on track to come back healthy for spring training, and if he pitches nearly as well as he has in the past, he will help round out what could end up being the best rotation in the majors.

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MLB Draft: Mets Give It The Old College Try http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mlb-draft-mets-give-it-the-old-college-try.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mlb-draft-mets-give-it-the-old-college-try.html/#comments Sat, 11 Jun 2016 17:17:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=214625 Justin-Dunn-2016-mj-624x440

Mets 1st Round Pick RHP Justin Dunn

During Day 1 of the MLB Draft, the Mets selected RHP Justin Dunn of Boston College and LHP Anthony Kay of UConn with their two first round picks, and 1B Peter Alonso of Florida in the second round. You can read more about them here.

During Day 2 of the draft, the Mets selected eight more college players in Rounds 3-10. 

Round 3 (100): Blake Tiberi, 3B, Louisville

Round 4 (130): Michael Paez, SS, Coastal Carolina

Round 5 (160): Colby Woodmansee, SS, Arizona State

Round 6 (190): Chris Viall, RHP, Stanford

Round 7 (220): Austin McGeorge, RHP, Long Beach State

Round 8 (250): Placido Torres, LHP, Tusculum College

Round 9 (280): Colin Holderman, RHP, Heartland CC

Round 10 (310): Gene Cone, OF, South Carolina

Amateur scouting director Tommy Tanous said the Mets did not make a concerted effort to avoid high school talent, but the players they liked were either selected before the Mets had an opportunity to draft them or had signability issues.

Read scouting reports and profiles on each player here on MetsMinors.net.

The draft concludes on Saturday afternoon with rounds 11-40 which you can follow on this MMN Draft Thread

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MMO Top 30 Prospects: No. 9 Marcos Molina, RHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/mmo-top-30-prospects-no-9-marcos-molina-rhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/mmo-top-30-prospects-no-9-marcos-molina-rhp.html/#comments Thu, 14 Apr 2016 01:37:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=209626 Marcos -Molina (Photo: Bryan Green)

Marcos Molina (Photo: Bryan Green)

No. 9 - RHP Marcos Molina

Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 188  Level: GCL & St. Lucie Mets  B/T:R/R  Age: 3/8/1995 (21)  Age Dif: -2.9

Statistics: 44.1 IP, 9 games, 8 games started, 4.26 ERA, 49 hits, 11 BB/36 K

Marcos Molina is oozing with talent, boasting frontline starter material, and already has control of all of his pitches. However, he had Tommy John Surgery in September and will likely miss the 2016 season.

In Baseball Prospectus‘s 2014 top 10 Mets Prospects Jason Parks shocked Mets fans everywhere by including 18 year old Right-hander Marcos Molina, who had posted a 4.39 ERA at Rookie-Level Gulf Coast league in the top 10 ranking. At the time, Parks described him as “electric”, however he also stated he was raw.

Signed for $100K out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, his initial report by Baseball America stated him as a guy with a smooth delivery with the ability to throw strikes consistently. At the time of his signing,

In 2014, right after Parks made a ranking gamble on Molina, he rewarded Jason’s faith by dazzling the college-age league New York-Penn League with a 1.78 ERA. His domination earned him the honor of top prospect of the NYPL in 2014 by Baseball America.he had an 88-92 mile per hour fastball, with an above-average changeup, but the breaking ball was very slurvy. He went to work immediately in the Dominican Summer league, pitching 14 games, and posting a 3.58 ERA in 55.1 innings.

The Mets were so pleased by Molina, that they jumped him to High-A St. Lucie in 2015. Molina did well in his first five games, posting a 3.33 era with 28 K’s in 27 innings before letting up 11 hits and six earned runs against Tampa, and going down with forearm issues after a May 13th start. Molina tried to come back in August but after 3 starts, he wasn’t healthy enough to continue pitching and underwent Tommy John Surgery that September.

Molina is strange to me. He’s highly touted for his stuff but his delivery causes a slight split between scouts to whether he will become a starter or a reliever.

He throws relatively hard, with a 92-94 mile per hour fastball that reaches 96, he pounds the zone with ease through a three-quarter slot. He also is armed with a plus changeup and an improving slider that he can locate pretty easily like his fastball.

His delivery can be worrying, as he has little leg movement and a short stride, both of which make him rely mostly on arm speed. This could cause potential strain on the arm. As predicted, elbow issues persisted, and we won’t see him again until the season 2017 in his Age-22 year. He will likely re-start in St. Lucie after rehab games in the Gulf Coast League.

Ted’s Prospect Extras:

On his profile page as a Brooklyn Cyclone, when asked what he would do if he won the lottery, he said that he would start a home for Abandoned Children.

Previous prospects in the top 30: 

#10 Robert Gsellman#11 Logan Verrett#12 Seth Lugo#13 Jhoan Urena#14 Gabriel Ynoa#15 Ali Sanchez#16 Luis Guillorme#17 Chris Flexen, #18 Max Wotell#19 Milton Ramos#20 Akeel Morris

MMO Top 30 Prospects: #30-26

MMO Top 30 Prospects: #25-21

If you would like to see the rest of our series, please tune into MetsMinors.net where we covered the Top 80 Mets Prospects.

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MMO Top 30 Prospects: No. 11 Logan Verrett, RHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/mmo-top-30-prospects-no-11-logan-verrett-rhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/mmo-top-30-prospects-no-11-logan-verrett-rhp.html/#comments Wed, 06 Apr 2016 23:49:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=209104 logan Verrett

 

No. 11 RHP Logan Verrett

Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 190 Age: 6/19/1990 (25)

2015 Level: MLB New York Mets/Texas Rangers, Triple-A Las Vegas 51s

MLB Statistics: 18 G, 4 GS, 47.2 IP, 1-2 W-L, 3.59 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, .202 BAA, 39/15 K/BB, 6 HR

MiLB Statistics: 18 G, 11 GS, 64.2 IP, 5-3 W-L, 4.59 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, .278 BAA, 53/19 K/BB, 1 HR

The key to success for any major league team is depth. Whether it’s a young infielder that can spell a veteran third baseman for a game, or a promising starter in Triple-A that could step right into the rotation if need be, having that sort of player is crucial in the long grind that is the 162 game major league season. Logan Verrett is certainly ready to provide that depth in 2016.

Verrett’s 2015 season got off to a wild start. Originally selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the Rule V Draft in December of 2014, he was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers, four days before the regular season was set to begin. With no prior major league experience, Verrett made the Rangers’ Opening Day roster. He was eventually returned to the Mets on May 4, after appearing in four games with Texas, all in a relief role.

The road to the major leagues was not a lengthy one for the native Texan. Verrett was selected by the
Mets in the third round of the 2011 draft, after establishing himself as a dominant starter in three years at Baylor University. He was held out of games until 2012, when he made 17 starts between Savannah (A) and St. Lucie (A+). That season was highlighted by a complete game shutout with the Sand Gnats on July 10.

In 2013, Verrett joined Binghamton (AA), and helped them finish in first place in the Eastern League for the first time since 2000. By 2014, he had cemented his place among the Mets’ top pitching prospects not named Noah Syndergaard, and threw the most innings of his young career with Las Vegas (AAA).

After rejoining the Mets organization in May of 2015, Verrett returned to the 51s for ten games, before making his Flushing debut. A career starting pitcher in the minor leagues and college, Verrett was relegated to a bullpen role. “I feel like I’ve done well out of the bullpen and shown them that I can be effective,” he told ESPN shortly after his promotion.

There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that the signature moment of Verrett’s career to this point came on the afternoon of August 23. That day, in Colorado, the 25-year-old limited the inferior Rockies lineup to one run, and a mere four hits, while striking out eight batters over eight innings. Of the 43 other Mets who have made a start at Coors Field, which opened in 1995, none had ever lasted as long as Verrett did that day.

He throws the basic four pitch mix: four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, changeup, and slider. Occasionally he’ll toss in a curveball, but he relied on the slider heavily last season, netting 21 of his 39 major league strikeouts with the pitch. Along with a fastball that approached 92-93 miles per hour at times last season, Verrett possesses a potentially strong arsenal.

Because of some pretty good pitchers that already occupy all five spots, it’s clear that his future role is not in the Mets’ rotation. A more plausible outcome, however, would be as a middle inning reliever who could neutralize big hitters with his offspeed stuff. He should crack the Opening Day roster as a long reliever, with a chance to make spot starts as needed.

But remember, depth is the key.

Previous prospects in the top 30:

#12 Seth Lugo#13 Jhoan Urena#14 Gabriel Ynoa#15 Ali Sanchez#16 Luis Guillorme#17 Chris Flexen, #18 Max Wotell#19 Milton Ramos#20 Akeel Morris

MMO Top 30 Prospects: #30-26

MMO Top 30 Prospects: #25-21

If you would like to see the rest of our series, please tune into MetsMinors.net where we covered the Top 80 Mets Prospects

All four of the Mets full season affiliates have announced their rosters, we covered each at MMN. Las Vegas 51s, Binghamton Mets, St.Lucie Mets, and Columbia Fireflies.

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MMO Top 30 Prospects: No. 12 Seth Lugo, RHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/mmo-top-30-prospects-no-12-seth-lugo-rhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/mmo-top-30-prospects-no-12-seth-lugo-rhp.html/#comments Mon, 04 Apr 2016 20:00:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=208987 seth lugo

No. 12 – Seth Lugo

Ht: 6’4″  Wt: 185  Level: Binghamton & Las Vegas 51’s  B/T: R/R Age: 11/17/1989 (26)

Acquired: 2011 Draft, 34th Round, Centenary College of Louisiana

Statistics: 24 GS, 136 IP, 3.84 ERA, 135 H, 35 BB/127 K, .254 BAA

While the Mets already have one of the best rotations in baseball, they still have a few solid arms that project to be capable of pitching in a Major League rotation and that starts here with Seth Lugo. We recently ranked him as our number four right-handed pitching prospect in the Mets farm system.

The Mets drafted Lugo in the 34th round because he caught the eye of Mets associate scout Jimmy Nelson. Nelson then suggested him to fellow scout Tommy Jackson who got to see him only two weeks before the drat. The Mets selected him despite a rough senior year in which he went just 3-7 with a 5.57 ERA.

He had a solid pro debut with the Kingsport Mets of the Appalachian League making 11 appearances (10 starts) pitching to a 3.66 ERA when the league run average was 5.21. That offseason his career took a turn for the worse when he found out after numerous MRI’s that he had spondylolisthesis which is the forward displacement of a vertebra.

Doctors told Seth that he might never pitch again he underwent a lumbar fusion and surgery that lasted nearly ten hours. The surgery took him out of the entire 2012 season as he had to stay bedridden for three months.

He beat the long odds, returning to the mound in 2013 making 12 starts between the Brooklyn Cyclones and Savannah Sand Gnats. In 2014, Lugo pitched a then career high 105 innings in 27 games including four starts for the St. Lucie Mets. He struck out 115 batters and had a 4.11 ERA during that span.

The 2015 season is when he really started opening some eyes, making a career high 24 starts and pitching well (30 K’s in 27 innings) in his short stint with the 51’s to end the year. I was able to see Lugo multiple times in person this year when he was with Binghamton and came away thinking I saw a future 4th/5th starter in the big leagues.

I talked to a couple of scouts after they had seen Lugo for the first time and they all used the word projectability for him, thinking he could be a back of the rotation starter. I know from talking to a few sources that he was a hot topic when the Mets were talking trades during the deadline.

The first thing you will notice when you watch him pitch is all the different velocity readings on the radar gun, he loves to mix it up. He throws a two-seamer early in the count at 88-89 MPH, dials it up to 93-94 with the four seamer and has a very good curveball that he uses as a swing and miss pitch when he is ahead in the count. Could probably stand to use his curveball more earlier in the count while his changeup is still a developing pitch.

When I talked to Seth earlier this offseason he was participating in the Mike Barwis program in hopes of strengthening his core and maybe adding a few digits on the fastball. The Mets saw enough from him this year to add him to their 40-man roster this offseason protecting him from the Rule 5 draft.

He should be slated for the Triple-A Las Vegas rotation for the start of the season and could be one of the first options to make a spot start if an injury occurs in the big leagues.

Previous prospects in the top 30:

#13 Jhoan Urena#14 Gabriel Ynoa#15 Ali Sanchez#16 Luis Guillorme#17 Chris Flexen, #18 Max Wotell#19 Milton Ramos#20 Akeel Morris

MMO Top 30 Prospects: #30-26

MMO Top 30 Prospects: #25-21

If you would like to see the rest of our series, please tune into MetsMinors.net where we covered the Top 80 Mets Prospects

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2016 Season Preview: Noah Syndergaard, RHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/2016-season-preview-noah-syndergaard-rhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/2016-season-preview-noah-syndergaard-rhp.html/#comments Sat, 02 Apr 2016 20:09:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=208884 noah syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard

Bats/Throws: L/R

DOB: August 29, 1992 (23 on Opening Day)

Contract Status: Pre-Arb (Will make league minimum)

2015 Review

Noah Syndergaard burst onto the scene in a big way last season, at times pitching like an ace. The six-foot-six righty brought an incredible array of pitches that was at times even more impressive than those of Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, or Jacob deGrom.

In 150 major league innings, Syndergaard put up a 3.24 ERA, 3.25 FIP, and 2.91 xFIP. His strikeout rate of 9.96 K/9 was sixth in baseball among pitchers with 150 or more innings while his 1.86 BB/9 rate was 17th. His fastball, according to Fangraphs, averaged 97.1 miles per hour. That was the best in baseball.

In the postseason, Syndergaard proved to be a force both as a starter and out of the bullpen. He kept his cool in the most high-pressure innings of his life, which bodes well for a club that will likely be in the playoffs a lot going forward.

Somehow, Syndergaard managed to only finish fourth in NL Rookie of the Year voting, but he left no doubt that the Mets have something special on their hands.

2016 Projections

Steamer – 176 IP, 3.14 ERA, 9.90 K/9, 2.34 BB/9,  3.07 FIP, 4.1 fWAR

ZiPS – 172 IP, 3.09 ERA, 10.15 K/9, 2.25 BB/9, 2.99 FIP, 3.6 fWAR

The projection systems are optimistic that Syndergaard will make at least slight improvements this upcoming season. Given his peripherals, it’s easy to see why. Someone who strikes out that many, walks so few, and throws so hard isn’t going to have a 3+ ERA for too long.

The one area where Syndergaard needs to improve in order to really be on the level of a Matt Harvey or Jacob deGrom is his efficiency. But that’s really just nitpicking. (Zack Wheeler is the guy who we should really be worried about in this area.)

There is nothing I can point to that says Syndergaard will be anything but great this season. The man misses bats at astounding rates. He has incredible command of his entire repertoire. He is perhaps the most intimidating starter in baseball. The improvements on his curveball have been promising and the killer slider he added last season will only give him more options late in at-bats.

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Official 2016 Mets Opening Day Roster http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/official-2016-mets-opening-day-roster.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/official-2016-mets-opening-day-roster.html/#comments Sat, 02 Apr 2016 02:50:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=208738 terry collins spring

The New York Mets just announced that RHP Jim Henderson has made the Opening Day Roster. Great news for him as he had a terrific Spring for the team. RHP Logan Verrett has also made the team, which means that both Erik Goeddel and Sean Gilmartin will begin the season in Triple-A Las Vegas. Gilmartin will be stretched out as a starter in Vegas and you can bet Goeddel will be the first reliever on call should the need arise.

Additionally, Johnny Monell, Matt Reynolds and Zack Thornton have each been reassigned to Las Vegas while Zack Wheeler and Josh Edgin were placed on the Disabled List. That means Eric Campbell and Kevin Plawecki have both earned spots on the Opening Day Roster.

In the end, the Mets decided they’d carry a traditional seven-man bullpen and five-man bench. I’ve updated everything down below for you.

Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson, RF
  2. David Wright, 3B
  3. Yoenis Cespedes, CF
  4. Lucas Duda, 1B
  5. Neil Walker, 2B
  6. Michael Conforto, LF
  7. Travis d’Arnaud, C
  8. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS

Bench

  1. Kevin Plawecki, C
  2. Wilmer Flores, IF
  3. Eric Campbell, IF
  4. Juan Lagares, OF
  5. Alejandro De Aza, OF

Starting Rotation

  1. Matt Harvey, RHP
  2. Noah Syndergaard, RHP
  3. Jacob deGrom, RHP
  4. Steven Matz, LHP
  5. Bartolo Colon, RHP

Bullpen

  1. Jeurys Familia, RHP
  2. Addison Reed, RHP
  3. Antonio Bastardo, LHP
  4. Jerry Blevins, LHP
  5. Hansel Robles, RHP
  6. Jim Henderson, RHP
  7. Logan Verrett, RHP

All in all, what a tremendous team we have entering the new season, so much to be excited about here. This is a significantly vast improvement over last year’s Opening Day roster. Let’s Go Mets!

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2016 Season Preview: Matt Harvey, RHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/2016-season-preview-matt-harvey-rhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/2016-season-preview-matt-harvey-rhp.html/#comments Fri, 01 Apr 2016 10:18:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=208786 matt harvey tall

Matt Harvey, SP
Bats/Throws: R/R
DOB: March 27, 1989 (27 on Opening Day)
Contract Status: First year arbitration eligible ($4.3 million salary)

2015 Recap

Matt Harvey was not at the level of dominance that he was before his elbow surgery in late 2013, but he wasn’t that far off either, he pitched as well as you could have hoped for a pitcher in his situation.

For the year, Harvey tossed 189.1 regular season innings, posting a 2.71 ERA, 3.05 FIP, and 3.24 xFIP. That was significantly worse than his 2.26 ERA in 2013, but still fantastic considering he hadn’t pitched in an MLB game in almost a year and a half. His walk rate remained incredibly low at 1.76 per nine innings while his strikeout rate of 8.94 remained quite good.

Harvey clearly lost a little something due to the surgery. There is no denying it. He simply wasn’t as sharp with his command as he was in 2013. But all things considered, his season could have gone a lot worse. Even with the massive layoff, he remained one of baseball’s most elite pitchers. He pitched an unprecedented number of innings for a Tommy John patient. You could not have asked for much more. Or as Ken Rosenthal put it, it was historically the greatest season ever for any pitcher coming back in his first year from Tommy John surgery.

2016 Projections

Steamer: 203 IP, 3.08 ERA, 3.11 FIP, 9.17 K/9, 1.94 BB/9

Marcel: 155 IP, 2.96 ERA, 8.9 K/9, 2.0 BB/9

ZiPS: 170 IP, 2.91 ERA, 2.96 FIP, 8.51 K/9, 2.17 BB/9

Look, none of these projection systems are nearly sophisticated enough to count on Harvey building arm strength from last season, which I think most of us expect he will do. Harvey was able to bring his ‘A’ game in some important postseason starts, but he was less successful as the season wound down. He pitched to a 3.99 ERA over the last month of the season (although his peripherals point to that as being bad luck). He seemed to tire more quickly and be more vulnerable in the seventh and eighth innings than he has been in the past.

Is it reasonable to expect Harvey to become one of the top three starters in baseball again? No. The only pitcher you can really expect that from is Clayton Kershaw. However, I do think that Harvey’s 2015 will be sort of the floor for him going forward. There were no glaring indicators that suggest Harvey over performed (or underperformed), but having over 200 innings behind him will only help him in not only avoiding another UCL tear but also in staying sharp later in games and seasons.

Expect another stellar year from the Mets’ ace.

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Nationals, 12:10 PM (SNY) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-nationals-1210-pm-sny.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-nationals-1210-pm-sny.html/#comments Wed, 30 Mar 2016 14:21:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=208643 matt harvey

The New York Mets and Washington Nationals get together for a rare 12:10 pm matchup today at Tradition Field. Matt Harvey will start but is only scheduled to pitch two innings and then he’ll be followed by Noah Syndergaard who should get about five innings or more. They will be opposed by right-hander Trevor Gott for the Nationals.

Terry Collins is using his projected No-DH Lineup when the Mets face a right-handed pitcher.

The Mets will close their exhibition season with two games in Las Vegas at the home of their Triple-A affiliate vs. the Cubs. The Mets play the Cubs on Thursday, March 31 at 8:05 p.m. (ET) and then play at 4:05 p.m. (ET) on Friday, April 1.

New York Mets

  1. Curtis Granderson, RF
  2. David Wright, 2B
  3. Yoenis Cespedes, CF
  4. Lucas Duda, 1B
  5. Neil Walker, 2B
  6. Michael Conforto, LF
  7. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  8. Travis d’Arnaud, C
  9. Matt Harvey, RHP

Washington Nationals

  1. Ben Revere, CF
  2. Anthony Rendon, 3B
  3. Bryce Harper, RF
  4. Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
  5. Daniel Murphy, 2B
  6. Jayson Werth, LF
  7. Wilson Ramos, C
  8. Danny Espinosa, SS
  9. Trevor Gott, RHP

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Braves, 1:05 PM (WOR) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-braves-105-pm-wor.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-braves-105-pm-wor.html/#comments Sat, 26 Mar 2016 14:39:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=208411 jacob degrom

The New York Mets travel to Disney on Saturday to play the Atlanta Braves in a 1:05 PM matinee. The two teams are meeting for the third and final time this spring with each winning a game. RHP Jacob deGrom gets the start for the Mets and will oppose RHP Bud Norris for Atlanta.

DeGrom is making his fourth start of the Spring and has only allowed one earned run over 10.0 innings (0.90 ERA). He tossed 4.0 shutout innings in his last start on March 31 vs. Miami.

Asdrubal Cabrera Went 2-4 with two singles in a minor league game yesterday. It was his first action since suffering a strained patella tendon of his left knee on March 10.

Curtis Granderson is hitting .324 (11-34) this spring with two doubles, one triple and three RBI. Juan Lagares has six RBI in 15 spring games and is hitting .324 (11-34) with a .410 on-base percentage.

New York Mets

  1. Juan Lagares, CF
  2. Patrick Biondi, LF
  3. Travis d’Arnaud, C
  4. Wilmer Flores, 2B
  5. Eric Campbell, 3B
  6. Marc Krauss, 1B
  7. Travis Taijeron, RF
  8. Matt Reynolds, SS
  9. Jacob deGrom, RHP

Atlanta Braves

  1. Ender Inciarte, CF
  2. Erick Aybar, SS
  3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
  4. Adonis Garcia, 3B
  5. Nick Markakis, RF
  6. Hector Olivera, LF
  7. A.J. Pierzynski, C
  8. Jace Peterson, 2B
  9. Bud Norris, RHP

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Nationals, 1:05 PM – Let’s Get It On! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/mmo-game-tread-mets-vs-nationals-105-pm-lets-get-it-on.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/mmo-game-tread-mets-vs-nationals-105-pm-lets-get-it-on.html/#comments Thu, 03 Mar 2016 14:58:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=207189 rafael montero

The New York Mets (0-0) begin their 2016 Grapefruit League season on Thursday afternoon against the Washington Nationals (1-0) in Viera, FL at 1:05 PM ET.

It’s the first of six spring matchups with the Nats and the first of three at Space Coast Stadium in Viera. The game will not air SNY, but can be heard on WOR 710 AM.

RHP Rafael Montero gets the start for the Mets and will oppose RHP Max Scherzer for the Nats. Also expected to pitch in the game for the Mets are RHP Gabriel Ynoa, RHP Jeff Walters and RHP Paul Sewald.

Juan Lagares and Dilson Herrera both hit solo home runs as the Blue squad defeated the Orange squad, 4-3 on Tuesday. Lagares finished the game 2-2 with his homer and a stolen base.

Zack Thornton pitched 2.0 scoreless innings for the Blue team and struck out five while allowing one hit. Matt Reynolds, Dominic Smith and T.J. Rivera all collected two hits apiece for the Orange team. LHP Josh Smoker worked 2.0 scoreless innings for the Orange team and struck out one.

Michael Conforto went 1-2 and drove in the first run of the intrasquad game on Tuesday afternoon and is in today’s lineup batting third. As a rookie in 2015, Conforto batted .270 with 14 doubles, nine home runs and 26 RBI in 56 games. He was named to the 2015 Topps Rookie All-Star team.

John Franco will be a guest instructor at camp from March 7-11 and Mookie Wilson will be a guest instructor in camp from March 21-25.

Manager Terry Collins enters his sixth season at the helm of the Mets. He was named the 2015 NL Manager of the Year by The Sporting News, but finished third in the NL Manager of the Year voting by the BBWAA after leading the Mets to the World Series last season.

The Mets will host the Miami Marlins at Tradition Field on Friday, during which Logan Verrett, Buddy Carlyle, Zack Thornton and Jerry Blevins are scheduled to pitch.

Mets Lineup

  1. Alejandro De Aza, DH
  2. Juan Lagares, CF
  3. Michael Conforto, LF
  4. Wilmer Flores, 3B
  5. Kevin Plawecki, C
  6. Marc Krauss, 1B
  7. Eric Campbell, RF
  8. Ruben Tejada, SS
  9. Dilson Herrera, 2B

Nationals Lineup

  1. Ben Revere, CF
  2. Daniel Murphy, 2B
  3. Bryce Harper, RF
  4. Anthony Rendon, 3B
  5. Clint Robinson, 1B
  6. Danny Espinosa, SS
  7. Reed Johnson, LF
  8. Jhonatan Solano, C
  9. Jason Martinson, DH

homer the dog

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Featured Post: Six Things To Watch As Mets Begin Spring Training http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/featured-post-six-things-to-watch-as-mets-begin-spring-training.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/featured-post-six-things-to-watch-as-mets-begin-spring-training.html/#comments Sat, 20 Feb 2016 17:37:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=205942 wright flores spring

Spring Training Battles

The Mets head into Spring Training with a team that is pretty much set and ready to go. Barring any injuries or last minute trades, the offense is set around the horn in the infield, the outfield was cemented as Conforto in LF, Cespedes in CF and Granderson in RF after the ink on Yoenis’ new contract dried. About the only thing that will need to be decided is who gets the final two spots in the bullpen after Familia, Bastardo, Reed, Blevins and Robles. In the mix to round out the staff, the Mets will have Erik GoeddelSean GilmartinLogan VerrettRafael Montero, Dario Alvarez and Jim Henderson. Expect to see Terry Collins using them early and often once Grapefruit League games begin. I’m tabbing Goeddel and Henderson as the favorites to lock down those spots.

If At First…

Lucas Duda is firmly entrenched as the everyday first baseman after posting another solid season that saw him collect 33 doubles and 27 homers while posting an impressive 133 wRC+ in in 135 games. But expect him to get his rest in whenever there’s a tough lefty on the mound. Wilmer Flores will likely be the primary backup as he begins his new role as the team’s super utility man. Meanwhile catchers Kevin Plawecki and Travis d’Arnaud should also get some work at first base this Spring according to GM Sandy Alderson. This isn’t the big issue some are making it out to be, essentially we’re talking about a potential 12-14 starts in a 162 game season.

On Second Thought…

I would be shocked if Flores isn’t in the lineup whenever the team faces a left-handed starter in 2016. Last season, Flores posted a 162 wRC+ vs. LHP and when you compare that to Neil Walker and his 58 wRC+ vs. LHP, the choice is pretty clear. While you shouldn’t expect Terry Collins to come out and say it, expect second base to be a strict platoon between Walker and Flores this season.

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

There’s a building undercurrent that the Mets may look to trade outfielder Alejandro De Aza this Spring, but I’m not so sure that will happen. It may be in the team’s best interest to hang onto him until later in the season where they can use him as a trade chip after they identify a potential need. De Aza does give the Mets a solid bat off the bench, speed on the base paths, and insurance in case of injuries. I think he stays put and you’ll see him on the
Opening Day roster.

Wright As Rain…

The Mets are saying that David Wright will not play more than 130 games this season as they look to keep his spinal stenosis in check. Sandy Alderson said this week that both Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker will see some time at third base to spell Wright at third. If the Mets could get the same .289/.379/.434 production that Wright produced in 38 games last season, everyone will be happy. But that’s a big if.

Keeping Those Young Arms Healthy

Especially for the young guns who will comprise the Mets’ starting rotation this season. Nothing is more important than ensuring Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz avoid any sort of aches and pains. All of them are being counted on for 200 innings not counting the postseason. Zack Wheeler is expected to rejoin the rotation around July after completing his rehab from TJS. While there will be no innings limits this season, Sandy Alderson said there will be occasional skipped starts and even the return of the six-man rotation at times to ensure those young arms are as strong in November as they are in April. Oh, and don’t expect anyone to throw Syndergaard’s lunch in the trash this Spring. :-)

Final Thoughts

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for one of the most fun and exciting seasons the Mets have ever had. I am going into 2016 with the same confidence in this team as I had in 1986 which is pretty cool as we celebrate the 30 year anniversary of that magical World Series championship season. I can’t remember the last time we had a team go into Opening Day with as much balance and talent as this team. The starting pitching is the envy of all baseball and now we not only have an offense that will provide all the run support they’ll need, but we have one of the strongest bullpens in the league. Throw in all the versatility, flexibility and depth, and there are no apparent weaknesses to start the year. It’s important that we stay healthy and break camp with all the key players intact. But the bottom line is that this is going to be an incredibly dominating and memorable season for the Mets, so Getcha Popcorn Ready. LGM

ya gotta belive gfx mr. met footer

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MMO Fan Shot: How Great It Feels To Be A Mets Fan http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mmo-fan-shot-how-great-it-feels-to-be-a-mets-fan.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mmo-fan-shot-how-great-it-feels-to-be-a-mets-fan.html/#comments Tue, 26 Jan 2016 21:58:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=205082 mets win

An MMO Fan Shot by Austin Smith

At the beginning of the offseason, we were PRAYING to have a payroll around $120 million or at least enough to upgrade the roster as needed and give us a lineup that would compete with the Nationals and complement our rotation. Wrong. With the moves we have made, and Yoenis Cespedes of course falling into our laps because of his strong desire to remain in NY, our payroll is up to a surprising $140 million.

Let that set in for a second. The cheapskate Wilpons, who for years have been pinching every penny they can, stepped up and went all-out for Cespedes. Of course it probably helped that there was tons of pressure from the media and fan base, but still, you have to tip your hat to them.

cespedes gifffer

So most of us fans, myself included, expected us to be done after Alejandro De Aza signing, but this Cespedes deal changes everything. When you plug him in along with the additions of Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera, Antonio Bastardo and even bringing back fan favorite Bartolo Colon, wow.

All these moves truly puts us among the top three teams in the NL in my personal opinion, and certainly the best team in the NL East. Also, as important as the Cespedes contract is for us, the big takeaway is we kept him away from the Nationals. That’s huge.

I expect that Cespedes will likely opt-out after the first year and give us a comp pick, but if he doesn’t all the better. He’ll replace Curtis Granderson after next season, and hopefully Brandon Nimmo or Juan Lagares could produce at a well enough level to warrant the center field job and give us an outfield of Michael Conforto in LF, Nimmo or Lagares in CF, and Cespedes in RF. I’ll take it.

Plus, I think we have enough depth in the minors to keep the success we have going for at least another 5-10 years. Our young starting pitchers are being paid pennies for the next 2-4 years comparable to the market rate for their performance levels.

Matz Syndergaard deGrom

After that, Cespedes’ contract will be off the books, and Lucas Duda will be gone in favor of Dominic Smith in a year or two, so I think we will have the financial flexibility to sign at least three of our young guns and maybe even four if any of them give us a hometown discount. And why wouldn’t they, our New York Mets are a hot destination right now.

Okay, enough about the future. Lets look at where we stand for the 2016 season!

Starting Rotation

  1. Matt Harvey
  2. Jacob deGrom
  3. Noah Syndergaard
  4. Steven Matz
  5. Zack Wheeler and Bartolo Colon

I see Harvey and deGrom both taking steps forward, but I honestly believe Syndergaard will take the biggest leap of them all. I truly think he is a dark horse for Cy Young (call me crazy). Matz will be an above average southpaw, so long as he can stay healthy. Colon will give us at least average performance until Wheeler is ready. But more than that his leadership, mentoring, popularity, antics, and willingness to swing to the bullpen when needed makes him so valuable. Hopefully Wheeler can be back by mid-June, and I’d be happy if he had a 4.00 ERA, but much happier at around a 3.70. This is baseball’s best rotation.

jeurys familia

Bullpen

  1. Jeurys Familia – Closer
  2. Antonio Bastardo  -Setup
  3. Addison Reed – Setup
  4. Jerry Blevins – Lefty Specialist
  5. Hansel Robles – Middle Reliever
  6. Erik Goeddel – Middle Reliever
  7. Verrett/Montero/Colon – Long Reliever/Swing man (Whoever wins out ST)

Familia will be Familia, top 5 closer in baseball, if he perfects his new pitches he’ll be top 2. Edgin could become of the best LH Relievers in baseball when healthy if you ask me. He dominates LHH and RHH just the same, he’s expected back in May. Love the Bastardo signing, lefty who gets out both LH/RH hitters with a consistent ERA under 3, and can be a solid setup man. Reed had a solid month with the Mets, but I wasn’t too sure he was worth the $6M tender. But after looking at the FA relievers and their price tags, I’m okay with it. Blevins is an absolutely perfect lefty specialist, though he only faced 15 batters last year before breaking his arm .He retired all 15 and has a track record of getting out lefties. Robles is a bit wild, but him and Goeddel should win roles in ST. Both have question marks and big upside, but I think Robles an become a beast. I also love his competitiveness. Also, should some guys flake out, we have some nice backups in Smoker, Morris, etc.

curtis granderson

Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – RF
  2. Neil Walker – 2B
  3. Yoenis Cespedes – CF
  4. Lucas Duda – 1B
  5. David Wright – 3B
  6. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  7. Michael Conforto – LF
  8. Asdrubal Cabrera – SS

I expect Grandy to produce similar to last year, maybe a tad worse because of age, and he did over perform a little last season. Walker, I expect similar to Murphy numbers with more power vs RHP, but he doesn’t hit LHP very well so vs LHP I’d plug Flores in at 2B because he is a much better defender at 2B than SS, and mashes lefties.

Cespedes won’t do what he did in his two months with us last year, but I do expect him to carry our lineup and produce a .285/.325/.580 line with 30-35 home runs, and better defense in CF than people give him credit for.

People say Duda is inconsistent, but he’s been one of the most consistent first basemen in the majors over the last three years. People say he couldn’t hit lefties (he couldn’t), so he battled and actually hit lefties better than righties in 2015. Just not as many homers, but he evens it out with gap to gap doubles.

We all know Wright is a question mark, but if we can get 125 games from him with the same kind of production he had last season, we are going to be fine. If his injuries catch up, well then we have Flores and Cabrera to take over at third base instead of Campbell and Muno.

D’Arnaud will hopefully stay healthy and produce the way he’s shown he can. I expect 120+ games, .270/.350/.500, and 20-23 homers, not to mention how solid a defensive catcher he is, despite his weak arm.

Conforto will be hitting against RHP which is often, and he’ll get more AB against LHP. He has the look and feel of a future All Star. Lagares, who mashes lefties, should get plenty of work as a defensive replacement and part of a platoon. 

Flores Wilmer

Bench

  1. Wilmer Flores – Super Utility
  2. Ruben Tejada – SS/2B/3B
  3. Juan Lagares – CF
  4. Alejandro De Aza – OF
  5. Kevin Plawecki – C

I think De Aza is a fantastic signing. Didn’t think so before the Cespedes deal, but now knowing he’s a 4/5 outfielder, he’s an excellent asset. A .275 career hitter, not a bad defender, speedy, and a .800 OPS against RHP. Having that on the bench is huge, especially in the playoffs. Our entire bench could be starters on other teams. I think that says enough about how good our team looks right now.

Final Thought

An absolutely A+ offseason by Sandy Alderson, and respect to the Wilpons for allowing him to pull the trigger on all of these upgrades especially Cespedes. I am ready to enjoy the Mets dominate the 2016 season from wire to wire. I love everything about this team. I haven’t been this excited to begin a new season in quite some time. Boy, does it feel great to be a Mets fan right now. LGM

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by Austin Smith (@NotDwright). Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Met fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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Philosophy Of Flexibility Part II – Infield Evaluation http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/philosophy-of-flexibility-part-ii-infield-evaluation.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/philosophy-of-flexibility-part-ii-infield-evaluation.html/#comments Sun, 29 Nov 2015 14:07:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201099 wilmer flores

In part one of the Philosophy of Flexibility I outlined the different types of flexibility that are used to construct a baseball team. These areas were positional, lineup, pitching and financial flexibility. Applying this lens to the Mets current roster, the biggest area of concern from this perspective is the construction of the infield.

Infield Evaluation

Assuming Lucas Duda is not traded, he will be our first baseman in 2016 with Michael Cuddyer possibly seeing a handful of starts there as well. Though many have their gripes on Duda’s streakiness and Cuddyer’s disappointments, this duo should still rank in the top half of performance in the majors so let’s leave this position alone for now.

Instead, I’d like to turn our focus to the other three positions which are currently being slotted by Dilson Herrera, Wilmer Flores and David Wright, each who provide immense value based on their past history or future potential but at the same time are major question marks.

All three players require adequate playing time so that we can know if they can perform, but at the same time, we also want to have a legitimate option to fill in for any of the three if one of them falters (a very likely scenario). Our goal here is to find a player who we can either start at shortstop (start 100-140 games) which allows Flores to be your super utility player or one who can serve as that super utility player himself.

So what we want to look for is a player who complements the trio of Wright, Flores and Herrera and we start by identifying a few areas we can improve. The first such area that stands out is that all three have much better numbers against LHP than RHP.

The second area of concern is that Flores is not yet an established defender at SS. Defensive metrics rate him as average defensively and he played very well in the playoffs but I believe he needs to continue that play for a longer stretch before we peg him as an adequate shortstop.

Finally, a third area of improvement is adding some speed and a stolen base threat to the lineup, a skill-set that we sorely lack on our roster.

Infield Candidates

With these three areas identified, the ideal candidate would have these qualities in order of importance:

  1. Must hit well against RHP.
  2. Plays average to above average defense at SS and capable of playing 2B/3B.
  3. Has above average speed and is capable of leading off.

Now that we know that type of player we are looking for, it’s easy to identify some candidates. Two players who fit this mold are Brock Holt and Marwin Gonzalez but because neither is likely available in a trade, I will not include them in the following list. Two other candidates that would qualify, Brad Miller and Jed Lowrie have already been acquired. Those who are left and should be realistically available are the following:

  • Ben Zobrist, FA – An established hitter who’s strongest skill set may be his flexibility. I am a little concerned on whether he can have the range and quickness to play SS in the next few seasons at ages 35-38 if he gets that four-year deal he’s looking for.
  • Daniel Murphy, FA – He doesn’t play SS but he does play 1B. He is also the best hitter out of this group and by far the best hitter against RHP. If you start him 10 games at 1B, 70 games at 2B and 60 games at 3B, that leaves plenty of playing time for Herrera and Wright to show what they are capable of.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera, FA – Is he average or below average defensively? Eye test and sabermetrics seem to be inconclusive for Cabrera in this regard. He wouldn’t make much sense if he cannot play SS since his bat is not that valuable.
  • Jose Ramirez, CLE – Just 22 years old, Ramirez is a switch hitting SS capable of leading off and plays solid defense. He lost his job to top prospect Francisco Lindor after struggling to start the season. I believe this would be a great time to buy low on a player who still has the potential to be an everyday SS.
  • Jose Reyes, COL – He has near identical splits against RHP and LHP and gives you the much needed backup option as a leadoff hitter should Curtis Granderson get hurt. Everything indicates that Colorado would be very willing to move him so he should be dirt cheap in a trade. However, he recently caught a domestic violence charge and that could be an issue, plus he’s owed $44 million over the next two seasons.
  • Jurickson Profar, TEX – Former #1 ranked prospect in all of baseball who is coming off shoulder surgery (throwing shoulder). There are concerns about whether he can still be productive at the plate or at SS and the Rangers are probably better off holding onto him as a lotto ticket than selling low on him. Scouts were impressed with him during the just completed AFL season.

Final Analysis

Once again, the primary goal is to find a player who can play multiple positions which enable the trio of Herrera, Flores and Wright to all have adequate playing time. This will also serve as insurance should a player get injured or perform poorly. The secondary goal is to find a player who can complement them so that Terry Collins can maximize their values in pitching and defensive matchups.

No one knows for sure how much these guys are asking for in free agency or how much GMs are asking for in a trade so the only correct answer on who should be signed or acquired should depend on their price in money or their price in assets we must give up. With that said, if I had to venture a guess on their asking prices, I believe the best value and flexibility will be with one of Daniel Murphy or Jose Ramirez.

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Mets 2015 Draft Analysis: The Year of the Lefty http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/mets-2015-draft-analysis-the-year-of-the-lefty.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/mets-2015-draft-analysis-the-year-of-the-lefty.html/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 12:56:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=184161 MLB draft manfred

The New York Mets wrapped up the 2015 Amateur Draft, finishing with 39 picks from rounds 2 through 40.

After forgoing their first round pick to sign Michael Cuddyer, the Mets were left with an MLB low $3,587,800 to spend on their picks, making getting high-upside picks much more difficult to acquire without some creativity.

What they did was go for college seniors early to gain more money to spend on higher upside players in rounds of 11 to 40.

Also unique of this draft was their selection of 10 lefty pitchers, from as early as the 3rd round, which was something that Sandy’s regime had not done before. Since 2011, they have drafted just 16 left-handed pitchers and not many were starters.

Here is the breakdown of positions chosen:

C: 3
2B: 1
3B: 2
SS: 1
OF: 4
RHP: 17
LHP: 10

In my recap, I’ll go through every pick and give as much information as I can, as well as commitments if they are a high school student, slot values,  likely destination, and signability.

2, 53: Desmond Lindsay, OF, Out-Of-Door Academy (FL), R/R, 6’0, 200, 1/15/97 $1,142,700

Lindsay DesmondMets’ first pick of out a relatively small school in Florida, he was a 1B/3B in high school, which were uncharacteristic positions, considering he has above-average to plus speed. He has great bat speed, and the potential for above-average to plus power, but has some swing and miss to his game as well.  His athletic ability will allow him to be used in center field, which is a new position to him, but he’s just 18, so he has time to learn the position. However, his arm is below average, so it won’t be a cannon from center.

While he is unranked on MLB’s top 200, he is ranked 102 on Baseball America’s top 500, and 71on Keith Law’s top 100, as well as 75 on Scout.com, so it’s not as much of a “reach” on the draft board. I’m not going to buy Depo’s “Hitting Machine” and “We got a first rounder in the second round”, however, until he swings a bat with authority in the Minors. Instead, I’ll label him High Risk, High Reward.

Why he slipped, considering his upside and value, however is because he had only played 7 games due to a hamstring injury, so while his upside is considerable, another perk of drafting someone like him gives the Mets the chance to pay him a below-slot bonus on a pre-draft deal and get creative with higher upside in the draft. As for Lindsay, I believe he’ll start at either Gulf Coast League or Kingsport, in the Appalachian League.

3, 88: Max Wotell, LHP, Marvin Ridge HS (NC), R/L, 6’3, 180, 9/13/96 $666,500

wotell6’3” projectable lefthander with a funky delivery, who can run his fastball up to 93. He throws with a lowish arm slot, and has a curve he needs to improve, and feel for a changeup.

Said via Twitter that he’s ready to go, but we won’t know until someone reports the ink is dry. Gulf Coast League or Kingsport are his likely assignments, should he sign.

4, 119: David Thompson, 3B, Miami, R/R, 6’1, 220, 8/28/93 $474,800

david thompsonThompson has a lot of power, hitting 19 homers this past year with the University of Miami. However, he has not had a lot luck staying on the field, with two surgeries to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, depleting his throwing strength, as well as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which required him to  remove a rib.

This year, he was finally healthy, playing third base for the Hurricanes, but he does not figure to stay there due to his throwing arm, and instead move to the other corner of the diamond, or left field, where his plus power will play just fine. While he has plus power, there are some worries about his bat speed and whether or not he will catch up to premium velocity. He does have a good eye at the plate, however, and had more walks than strikeouts this year. Should he sign, he will likely bat cleanup in Brooklyn.

5, 149: Thomas Szapucki, LHP, William T. Dwyer HS (FL), R/L, 6’2, 190, 6/12/96, $355,500

Thomas SzapuckiHigh School lefty has a fastball that has reached 95, and stays steadily 92-93, with a slider that has a chance to be plus. His changeup also could be average. He struggles with control, but among young lefties, that is common. He does throw with a little effort, and from a low arm slot, making questions about his ability to stay a starter. Still a high-risk, high reward lefty. He lives near St. Lucie and has indicated that he is going to sign via Twitter. I’d bet on him being in the Gulf Coast League rotation.

6, 179: Chase Ingram, RHP, Hillsborough CC (FL), R/R, 6’3, 190, 4/17/95 $266,200

Righthanded pitcher out of Junior college, he has a fastball that reaches 92, but also a plus curve and an average changeup. He has usually pitched from the stretch, but has been a starter his entire career. He could be either a back of the rotation starter or a fast-moving reliever going forward. He has indicated he is signing via twitter

7, 209: Corey Taylor, RHP, Texas Tech, R/R, 6’1, 250, 1/8/93, $199,500

College senior who throws 91-95. He went 4-0, 0.31 era, but projects as a reliever. Likely signing, as a below-slot senior sign. He’ll fit in nicely in Savannah or Brooklyn’s bullpen.

8, 239: Patrick Mazeika, C, Stetson, L/R, 6’3, 210, 10/14/93 171,900

Career .348 hitter as a lefthander with some good patience at the plate. He might not be long for Catcher with an average arm and large frame for a Catcher. Likely signing, and you’ll see him at both 1B/C at Kingsport.

9, 269: Kevin Kaczmarski, OF, Evansville, L/R, 6’0, 190, 12/31/91 $160,700

Has minor league bloodlines with a father who played in the Padres’ farm system a few years in the 80’s. Kevin is a 5-year, redshirt senior who missed the season in 2011, and has never been drafted. While those aren’t in his favor, he is a good hitter, having a .465/.543/.746 line, and a solid gap-to-gap approach. He also gives the Mets flexibility to spend more in later rounds. He is probably signing, since he has no leverage, and could be an outfielder in Brooklyn.

10, 299: Witt Haggard, RHP, Delta State, R/R, 6’2, 205. 12/09/91 $150,000

Former walk-on quarterback at Missisippi who didn’t play in 2 seasons, and then transferred to Meridian Community College to play baseball, before moving to Delta State. He runs his fastball into the low 90’s but doesn’t have much control as a reliever, nor much experience due to playing football. He is likely another guy saving them money signing below slot so they can go after more upside later in the draft. He is probably slated for Kingsport.

11, 329: Jake Simon, LHP, Galveston Ball HS (TX), L/L, 6’2, 175, 1/21/97

A lefty with a chance to fill out and gain velocity, he sits 87-89 right now. He also has feel for a changeup and a breaking ball. He however, might be hard to sign, as he has a commitment to Rice. Should the Mets give him a nice bonus, he could be going to Kingsport or Gulf Coast League

12, 359: Joe Shaw, RHP, Dallas Baptist, R/R, 6’4, 240, 12/20/93

As a college reliever, before, Shaw showed a plus fastball around 96-97, but that dropped significantly when he was converted to a starter for his junior year, and was instead throwing 88-92, with the occasional 93-94. His breaking ball and changeup are iffy at best, so he might be a reliever going forward. Definitely seems signable, and would probably be heading to the Brooklyn Cyclones.

13, 389: PJ Conlon, LHP, San Diego, L/L, 6’0, 175, 11/11/93

A soft-tossing lefty with a good slow curve who will likely sign and dominate the New York-Penn League

14, 419: Vincent Siena, 2B, Connecticut, R/R, 5’10, 190, 12/24/93

Had an inconsistent career at Uconn, starting out with a season over .300, and then struggled in the cape league, and then as a sophomore, before hitting .362/.424/.519 as a Junior, with 7 homers. He has above-average bat speed and is a good gap hitter, and if he had performed in his sophomore year, probably would have been drafted much earlier. He also has a plus arm, and could play 2nd, 3rd, or the outfield. Should he sign, he should be slated for Brooklyn.

15, 449: Thomas Hackimer, RHP, St. John’s, R/R, 5’11, 190, 6/28/94

Converted shortstop who pitches from a side-arm slot, that gets up to 91 miles per hour. He has a good slider that’s an asset. He could be a fast-rising reliever. He could be signable, and would probably have an advanced assignment in the minors.

16, 479: Dillon Becker, RHP, Angelo State, R/R, 6’3, 225, 4/21/94

Don’t have much info on his stuff, but he is a college reliever with good college stats. He seems signable, and would likely be heading to Brooklyn or Kingsport.

17, 509: Sixto Torres, LHP, Faith Baptist Christian HS (FL), L/L, 6’4, 220, 3/31/96

Lefty that sits in the low 90’s and hits 94, with even more in the tank. His slider could become plus and change could likely be average or better in offerings. His command could be inconsistent, but that is expected. Although he is committed to Alabama State, people have considered him signable, and the Mets will likely give some of that extra bonus to this high-upside lefty.

18, 539: Jordan Humphreys, RHP, Crystal River HS (FL), R/R, 6’1, 190, 6/11/96

Don’t have much info on him except that he throws in the low 90’s. Not sure how signable he is.

19, 569: Nic Enright, RHP, The Steward School (VA), R/R, 6’3, 205, 1/8/97

A guy who was ranked at MLB.com at #132 and Baseball America at #231, who lost draft standing because his usual 94 mile per hour fastball, and above average curve didn’t show up last spring. He is committed to Virginia Tech and seems unlikely to sign.

20, 599: Thomas McIlraith, RHP, Oklahoma JR, R/R, 6’4, 185, 2/17/94

Not much info on him, but struggled out of the pen at Oklahoma. Seems signable, likely Kingsport-bound.

21, 629: Taylor Henry, LHP, Centenary, L/L, 6’2, 185, 7/6/93

Senior Lefty Reliever with good stats, definitely signable.

22, 659: Nick Blackburn, RHP, Illinois JR, R/R, 6’2, 205, 7/10/94

A righty college reliever with solid stats and only 20 innings under his belt. Seems unsure whether or not he will sign.

23, 689: Kenneth Bautista, OF, Puerto Rico BB Academy, R/R, 6’3, 210, 8/7/97

Large kid from Carolina, Puerto Rico with some great power potential. Really glad to see the team is drafting more Puerto Ricans players. He could be signable, and if so, will likely go to the Gulf Coast League.

24, 719: Jordan Verdon, 3B, Granite Hills HS (CA), L/R, 6’3, 190, 1/7/97

A good hitter with a nice left-handed stroke and some good power potential. Unlikely the team will buy him out of a San Diego State commitment.

25, 749: Dylan King, RHP, Riverdale HS (TN), R/R, 6’3, 190, 12/5/96

Not much information, but has touched 91 in the past, and is a Belmont University Commit, so he could sign and head to Kingsport or Gulf Coast League.

26, 779: Shane McClanahan, LHP, Cape Coral HS (FL), L/L, 6’1, 165, 4/28/97

Thanks to a growth spurt that shot him up 8 inches in the last year and a half, he gained velocity that took him from pitching in the mid-80’s, to 90-94, with more in the tank. He also has a potentially plus curve, and good changeup. He is committed to University to South Florida, but will go pro, based on the dollar amount.

27, 809: Jake Higginbotham, LHP, Buford HS (GA), L/L, 6’0, 175, 1/11/96

A lefthander that throws in the high-80’s, to low 90’s, and could add more strength, and has a curve and change that could be at least average offerings. His control is above average, but he is committed to Clemson, with some possible leverage of being eligible for the draft again in his sophomore year. Signing remains unlikely. Nice Name

28, 839: Anthony Dimino, C, Belmont Abbey SR, L/R, 5’11, 180, 8/5/93

Not much information except that he hit .452 this past year, but has indicated that he is signing. Likely headed for Brooklyn.

29, 869: Seth Davis, LHP, Augustana, SR L/L, 5’10, 185, 5/8/93

Left-handed Starter, senior, likely going to sign.

30, 899: Jackson Wark, RHP, Bellerose Composite HS (AB), L/R, 6’6, 215, 5/23/97

Tall, projectable Canadian high school pitcher who already reaches the high-80’s. Gulf Coast League possibility. He is committed to Saint Louis University.

31, 929: Tanner Dodson, RHP, Jesuit HS (CA), R/R, 6’1, 160, 5/9/97

Not signing, as tweeted last night.

32, 959: Dustin Beggs, RHP, Kentucky, R/R, 6’3, 180, 6/14/93

College Senior who throws in the high-80’s to low 90’s, with an above average curve, as well as a slider and change, and great location and deception. He’s a senior so he’s definitely signable, and could possibly go to Savannah.

33, 989: Brendan Illies, C, Puyallup HS (WA), R/R, 6’0, 195, 9/28/96

Very smart catcher with plus defensive skils, and a feel to hitting with some power. However, at the 33rd round, with a University of North Carolina commitment, he is probably not going to sign.

34, 1019, LT Tolbert, SS, IMG Academy (FL), L/R, 6’3, 175, 6/7/96

A line drive hitter with a decent left-handed stroke, who has some good power projection. However, committed to University of South Carolina, and it will be very hard to buy him out of that.

35, 1049: George Thanopoulos, RHP, Columbia, R/R, 6’1, 205, 1/18/93

14 G, 13 GS, 75.2 IP, 69 H, 31 ER, 28 BB, 68 K, 3.69 ERA in Ivy League Baseball this year as a senior.

36, 1079: Anthony Gordon, OF, Terra Nova HS (CA), L/R, 6’3, 185, 8/28/97

No information available on this guy, if he signs, he goes to the Gulf Coast League.

37, 1109: Geoff Hartlieb, RHP, Lindenwood, R/R, 6’6, 210, 12/9/93

Tall Redshirt Sophomore with a College Senior’s age. Signable.

38, 1139: Jacob Wyrick, LHP, Cleveland State CC, L/L, 6’0, 165, 11/14/95

Youngish lefty community college starter. Unsure about him being signable or not.

39, 1169: Chad Luensmann, RHP, Bellwood Antis HS (PA), L/R, 6’3, 208, 2/4/97

Has a heavy 88-90 Fastball and a funky delivery, and a sharp slider, and a slow curve and changeup. He is committed to the University of Nebraska.

40, 1199: Nick Conti, 2B, Dr. Phillips HS (FL), R/R, 5’9, 160, 2/14/97

Grandson of Guy Conti, with good defense. Unsure about commitment or signabilty.

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Mets Opening Day Roster and Lineup Challenges http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/mets-opening-day-roster-and-lineup-challenges.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/mets-opening-day-roster-and-lineup-challenges.html/#comments Mon, 06 Apr 2015 09:00:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=178196 CASEY-STYLE FAREWELL

“They told me my services were no longer desired because they wanted to put in a youth program as a way of keeping the club going. I’ll never make the mistake of being seventy again.”  ~ Casey Stengel

Here is the official Opening Day roster followed by a look at today’s potential lineup.

Starting Lineup

opening day 20151. Juan Lagares, CF
2. Curtis Granderson, RF
3. David Wright, 3B
4. Lucas Duda, 1B
5. Michael Cuddyer, LF
6. Daniel Murphy, 2B
7. Wilmer Flores, SS
8. Travis d’Arnaud, C

Bench

1. Anthony Recker, C
2. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF
3. John Mayberry Jr, OF
4. Ruben Tejada, IF

Starting Rotation

1. Bartolo Colon, RHP
2. Jacob deGrom, RHP
3. Matt Harvey, RHP
4. Jon Niese, LHP
5. Dillon Gee, RHP

Bullpen

1. Jenrry Mejia, CL
2. Jeurys Familia, SU
3. Carlos Torres, RHP
4. Rafael Montero, RHP
5. Buddy Carlyle, RHP
6. Alex Torres, LHP
7. Jerry Blevins, LHP
8. Sean Gilmartin, LHP

Disabled List

Vic Black
Bobby Parnell
Josh Edgin
Zack Wheeler

As for the Opening Day lineup, because the Mets have opted to forgo a fifth bat for the bench,  choosing instead to carry an extra arm in the bullpen, the Mets are now considering an unorthodox starting lineup.

According to a report by Marc Carig, sources tell him that Opening Day lineup will have Curtis Granderson leading off, David Wright batting second, Lucas Duda hitting third, and Michael Cuddyer batting cleanup ahead of Daniel Murphy in the fifth spot.

Further, Carig points out than given the smaller bench, batting the pitcher eighth may make more sense even with Bartolo Colon. He says it reduces the chances of Collins burning a pinch hitter in that spot.

He speculates the Opening Day lineup to look like this:

  1. Curtis Granderson (L) RF
  2. David Wright (R) 3B
  3. Lucas Duda (L) 1B
  4. Michael Cuddyer (R) LF
  5. Daniel Murphy (L) 2B
  6. Wilmer Flores (R) SS
  7. Juan Lagares (R) CF
  8. Bartolo Colon (R) RHP
  9. Travis d’Arnaud (R) C

Also, because Eric Campbell is not on the team, they have no emergency catcher meaning Anthony Recker is not going to see any pinch hitting duties.

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Breaking Down MLB’s Top Mets Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/breaking-down-mlbs-top-mets-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/breaking-down-mlbs-top-mets-prospects.html/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 11:02:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=176709 michael conforto
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com provided an interesting analysis last night of the Mets’ minor league system. Mayo said that the Mets have a lot of talent up and down the minors, but he described it as more “top-heavy” with a total of 12 prospects with an ETA of 2015.

Here is his breakdown of the Mets’ highly ranked farm.

Biggest jump: Marcos Molina, RHP (2014: Unranked | 2015: 9)

Biggest fall: Domingo Tapia, RHP (2014: 15 | 2015: Unranked)

Breakdown by ETA
2015: 12
2016: 5
2017: 6
2018: 7

Best tools:

Hit: Michael Conforto (55)

Power: Conforto (60)

Run: Champ Stuart (80)

Arm: Amed Rosario (65)

Defense: Milton Ramos (65)

Fastball: Noah Syndergaard (70)

Curveball: Syndergaard (60)

Slider: Dario Alvarez  (60)

Changeup: Akeel Morris (60)

Control: Gabriel Ynoa (60)

How they were built
Draft: 20
International: 7
Trade: 2
Free agent: 1

Breakdown by position
C: 1
1B: 1
2B: 2
3B: 1
SS: 4
OF: 5
RHP: 12
LHP: 4

Thoughts: It’s not surprising to see Conforto given the top hit and power tool. He is the best pure hitter the Mets have in the minors, and he can move up the system very quickly. Conforto batted .331 with 3 home runs in 42 games for Brooklyn last season.

On the pitching side, Syndergaard is an obvious choice for the best fastball and curve. However, it’s nice to see under the radar pitchers like Morris, Alvarez and Ynoa get some recognition for their abilities.

While Tapia had the biggest fall last season, I wouldn’t be so quick to count him out just yet. Despite his disappointing performance, Tapia has an explosive mid-to-high 90′s fastball with excellent sink. Tapia can still put it all together someday, and he’s someone who might find success if he’s transitioned into a relief role.

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MMO Fan Shot: 2015 Mets Projections Using Career Splits http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/mmo-fan-shot-2015-mets-projections-using-career-splits.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/mmo-fan-shot-2015-mets-projections-using-career-splits.html/#comments Sun, 18 Jan 2015 05:00:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173413 juan lagares scores

An MMO Fan Shot by Chris Maloney

I can’t believe some of the negativity I’m seeing this offseason from some Mets fans who lack confidence in our team. This one sucks, that one sucks, ad nauseam. So I decided to share some analysis just to show how good the Mets offense can be in 2015.

The charts below were created using most players’ career averages. Here’s a brief explanation.

1. I used career averages for batting splits for each player.

2. I adjusted to show as 162 games or 650 plate appearances.

3. I copied results for players vs RHP and LHP (Career splits based 650 PA)

4. I adjusted results using a 70/30 split, 70% of totals below weighted for RHP and 30% weighted for LHP.

The following example shows Murphy’s career averages vs both lefties and righties based on a total of 650 PA, 455 vs RHP and 195 vs LHP. So in his Career Average year his slash line would be .274/.306/.374/.681 vs LHP and .295/.342/.435/.777 vs RHP.

stat 1

NY METS 2015 LINEUP VS RHP

I repeated the process above for each position player for the 2015 Mets 25 man roster. The below shows IMO the best possible lineup for the Mets against RHP. The batting order can be tweaked but this is how it should shake out. The average slash line as a team reads .271/.331/.442/.774. These are based on all players having an average year not a career year vs RHP.

stat 2

BENCH VS RHP

The bench’s numbers are how they would perform given an equal number of AB vs RHP. Granted MDD is an incomplete for lack of AB, but I included him anyway for his 2014 numbers projected over 455 PA.

stat 3

NY METS 2015 LINEUP VS LHP

Here is what the career average numbers look like against LHP. What, no Duda? What, no Flores? Look at the numbers. Tejada’s numbers against LHP are great .285/.368/.347/.715, Flores’ numbers are not very good vs LHP. So Tejada starts 30% of games and is a defensive replacement in late innings of close games. Bottom line for 2015 Mets .277/.340/.447/.787, is a killer lineup vs LHP.

stat 4

BENCH VS LHP

The bench numbers are how they would perform given an equal number of AB vs LHP. Granted MDD and Flores are incomplete for lack of AB, but I included with 2014 numbers projected over 195 PA.

stat 5

NY METS 2015 PLATOON LINEUP

Finally, the 2015 Platoon lineup uses aggregate career numbers for the six non platoon player’s vs both LHP and RHP. The Duda / Mayberry platoon I will get to that below. The Flores / Tejada is the best surprise for the nay-Sayers, .285/.336/.391/.727 which are great numbers for SS and with the rest of the 2015 offense you can sacrifice a little defense. Duda, same thing but maybe not as a straight platoon even though numbers strongly suggests it.

stat 6

Platoon Duda?

The case to platoon Duda might be sacrilege to some because everybody loved what he accomplished in 2014. But as you can see below all the damage was done vs RHP. He leaves the Mets very vulnerable when he starts vs LHP. The Duda / Mayberry platoon career splits project a .265/.343/.509/.852 with 32 HR and 93 RBI. I realize these numbers are similar to what Duda put up in 2014 by himself in 596 PA.

stat 7

Now if you were to combine Duda’s 2014 numbers vs RHP with Mayberry’s career numbers vs LHP you get the monster numbers below. Duda still starts over 70% of games and is a Huge Bat off the bench in late innings in games he doesn’t start. What other team can potentially get 39 HR and 110 RBI production from First Base.

stat 8

Many are saying there are a lot of ifs and there are, but this outlook is based on players having an average year. Bottom line Team numbers of .274/.336/.445/.781 are awesome. Combine this with our pitching and the Mets should challenge the Nats for the NL East. I actually think we beat them head-to-head this year, the LaRoche numbers alone IMO won them 3-4 games last season and now he’s gone.

The numbers for the 2015 Mets reserves included above can be used to plug in if and when injuries occur and they look very good to hold down the fort if used correctly.

Let’s say for example Wright goes down with his shoulder. One choice would be to move Cuddyer to 3B and have a new RF platoon, choosing one of the below. If you go with MDD you now have a speedier lead-off hitter with much improved contact in second half of 2014, which is not included in his stats below. In any case these are not bad options if Wright is injured. So In the event of injuries we have the depth to Platoon are way forward.

stat 9

So look at the numbers and you might change your mind about the team we have going into the 2015 season. Even if all the players have an average year this season, expect the team to be making some noise. Be positive and Lets Go Mets!

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader Chris Maloney. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Met fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to us at  FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

mmo fan shot

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Reds Acquire Marlon Byrd From Phillies http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/reds-acquire-marlon-byrd-from-phillies.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/reds-acquire-marlon-byrd-from-phillies.html/#comments Wed, 31 Dec 2014 22:21:31 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172472 hi-res-50922623-marlon-byrd-of-the-philadelphia-phillies-stands-at-bat_crop_north

The Cincinnati Reds have acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for RHP prospect Ben Lively.

Byrd, 37, hit 25 home runs and drove in 85 runs for the Phillies last year, and owned a slash line of .264/.312/.445 in 591 plate appearances.

Byrd was involved in the 2013 August trade along with John Buck that netted the Mets Dilson Herrera and Vic Black.

The former Met has one year left on his contract with a club option for 2016.

In return, the Phillies are getting 22 year old Ben Lively, who was drafted in the fourth round by the Reds in the 2013 draft.

In two seasons in the minors, Lively has compiled a 13-11 record with a 2.58 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 10.6 K/9 over a span of 39 starts.

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Mets Minors: Top 15 Organizational Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mets-minors-top-15-organizational-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mets-minors-top-15-organizational-prospects.html/#comments Wed, 31 Dec 2014 16:00:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172424 Perhaps 2015 will be the season that the Mets finally return to the playoffs. And if that does happen, you can credit an elite farm system for taking them there and not roster built with free agent dollars.

The Mets’ system is still flush with talented arms such as Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard, however, the emergence of a bevy of surprisingly talented position players has catapulted the system into the Top-5 range in baseball as we approach a new year.

I just completed my own Mets Top 15 Prospects for my site Grading on the Curve. I asked Joe D. if it would be okay to share it here on MMO as we also get ready to roll out the MMO Top 25 in January. I’m also part of the very talented Metsmerized minor league staff that is helping to put that together.

So, without further adieu, here are fifteen of the most elite players in the New York Mets farm system including my analysis, ETA, and projection.

matt reynolds

15.  Matt Reynolds, SS

Age: 24 

B/T: Right/Right 

H/W: 6’1”/198 lbs

Analysis: Booked as a glove-first potential utility infielder, Reynolds’ prospect stock hit rock bottom after he posted an abysmal .226 batting average for Advanced-A St. Lucie in 2013. Despite his struggles in the Florida State League, the Mets aggressively pushed Reynolds to Double-A Binghamton to start the 2014 season, and it was in Binghamton where the young shortstop turned his career around. He opened the season hitting a scorching .355, to go along with a .430 OBP and 75 hits in just 58 games. His performance earned him a promotion to Triple-A Vegas by midseason, and there, in 68 games, Reynolds continued to flourish by batting .333 with an .864 OPS at the minor league’s highest level. .

2015 Forecast: Scouts and analysts close to the Mets say that Reynolds may have a shot to break camp in Queens as a backup infielder, however, his lack of power (5 and 6 home runs in 2013 and 2014, respectively) and minor league experience will likely limit him to Triple-A, at least to start the 2015 season. Should Ruben Tejada and/or Wilmer Flores struggle, Reynolds would be the next man up on the depth chart. In the worst-case scenario, the Mets call him up in September.

MLB ETA: 2015 as a backup infielder or even a starter should the other Mets’ internal options fail.

14.  Gabriel Ynoa, RHP

Age: 21

H/W: 6’2”/158 lbs

B/T: Right/Right

Analysis: A quick look at Ynoa’s Earned Run Average from the last three seasons (2.23, 2.72, 4.07) shows a concerning trend as the young righty climbs the minor league ladder. However, Ynoa’s stellar walk ratio (1.5, 1.4, 1.6 BB/9) has stayed constant from his time in the New York-Penn League to last season’s campaign in Double-A Binghamton, proving that he has not and will not relinquish his calling card (control) as he continues to get closer to the big leagues. Furthermore, Ynoa was 3.6 years younger than the average Eastern League ballplayer, so even his seemingly pedestrian 4.21 ERA in Binghamton is impressive. Gabriel does not possess elite talent, however, his age, minor league numbers, and pitching poise make him a good candidate to quickly ascend from unknown prospect to a starting-caliber major league talent, just like the rise of Rafael Montero in 2013-14.

2015 Forecast: Ynoa will likely begin the 2015 season with Double-A Binghamton, but considering he already pitched decently in 66.1 innings with the B-Mets last season, a strong performance should lead him to a midseason promotion to Las Vegas. The elite arms ahead of Ynoa on the depth chart (Syndergaard, Matz, Montero) will keep him from reaching the bigs in 2015, barring an injury epidemic, but trades or injuries could open up a spot for Ynoa on the Mets roster by midseason 2016

MLB ETA: Mid-season 2016 as a reliever, 2017 as a starter

13.  Michael Fulmer, RHP

Age: 21

H/W: 6’3”/200 lbs

B/T: Right/Right

Analysis: The Mets selected Michael Fulmer in the supplemental first round of the 2011 draft, and the big righty proved his worth right out of the gate. In his first full season of pro ball, Fulmer posted a stellar 2.74 ERA, with 101 strikeouts and only 38 walks for Single-A Savannah. But after tearing his meniscus during spring training the following year, he fell off the prospect radar and became an afterthought behind more impressive Mets pitching prospects like Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard.

Even considering his lost 2013 season, Fulmer is still one of the more exciting arms in the Mets’ system. In his 2014 return, he sported a solid 3.97 ERA and walked only 31 batters with the St. Lucie Mets, eventually earning a promotion to the B-Mets before a shoulder strain ended his season in August. While the Oklahoma native allowed far too many hits in 2014 (118 in 98.2 innings), there’s nevertheless a lot to like about this former top-100 prospect. His fastball still reaches 95 MPH and his put-away slider has the potential to be an above-average major league pitch.

2015 Forecast: If Fulmer can stay healthy and continue his success with Double-A Binghamton in 2015, he should be able to earn a promotion to Triple-A Las Vegas by season’s end and become a number-three starter or a valuable trade chip for the Mets as soon as 2016.

MLB ETA: Injuries will hold Fulmer back from reaching the big club next season, but mid-2016 as a reliever or Opening Day 2017 as a member of the starting rotation are not out of the question.

12.  Akeel Morris, RHP

Age: 22

H/W: 6’1”/170 lbs

B/T: Right/Right

Analysis: It was only two years ago that Akeel Morris concluded the worst season of his young pro career by posting an 0-6 record and 7.98 ERA as a starter for the Kingsport Mets of the Rookie League. That implosion may have been the best thing for the young right-hander, however, as Morris has become a lights-out hurler in the pen, finishing the 2013 and 2014 seasons with a 1.00 and 0.63 ERA, respectively. Some of this excellent work may be due to his pitching repertoire, which plays up from the ‘pen. A 95 plus mile per hour fastball accompanied by a “defined curve” allowed Morris to toy with Single-A hitters in the last two seasons.

2015 Forecast: Double-A is often the level which separates the real prospects from the busts, and that is likely where the 22-year-old Morris is headed in 2015 since the Mets’ front office added him to the 40-man roster before the Rule V Draft. Should he continue his success in Binghamton, there is no reason Morris can’t refine his game and ascend to Triple-A Vegas by the end of the 2015 season.

MLB ETA: Late-2015 may be a bit too optimistic, but Morris could break camp with the Mets as a member of the bullpen in 2016.

jhoan urena

11.  Jhoan Urena, 3B

Age: 20

H/W: 6’1”/200 lbs

B/T: Switch/Right

Analysis: I’ll be honest, before Jhoan Urena’s breakout showing in Brooklyn in 2014, I had no idea the Mets possessed such a talented infield prospect. Urena did hit .299 for the GCL Mets in 2013, but his lack of power (6 doubles, 0 home runs) left the teenager mostly off the prospect map heading into the 2014 season. But after finally reaching the .300 clip, smacking 20 doubles, and posting a career-high .787 OPS along with 85 hits in just 75 games, Urena has skyrocketed up Mets prospect lists and established himself as a legitimate positional prospect within a pitching-rich Mets system.

2015 Forecast: Exciting bat speed and control manifesting in a 20-year-old kid has to excite the Mets about the potential to develop a long-term replacement for David Wright at the hot corner or Daniel Murphy at second. Given his youth, I don’t expect the Mets to push Urena to High-A St. Lucie to open the 2015 season, but rather have the youngster continue on his level-per-year track, which would ticket Urena to start 2015 in Single-A Savannah, his first full season of ball.

MLB ETA: Late-2017 or midseason 2018: at this point Murphy will likely have left in free agency or trade and Wright will be around 35 years old.

10.  Dominic Smith, 1B

Age: 19

H/W: 6’0”/185 lbs

B/T: Left/Left

Analysis: Selecting high school players in the first round of the MLB Draft is quite a gamble, but it looked worth the risk when the 18-year-old Dominic Smith, selected 11th overall in the 2013 June Amateur Draft, batted .301 with an .837 OPS in his first season of professional ball. The Mets’ brass believed this performance (along with scouting reports noting Smith’s pure swing and maturity) merited skipping Smith to Single-A and allowing him to begin the 2014 season with the Sand Gnats. It would be forgiving to say that the 19-year-old smith struggled in 2014. The young first baseman played his home games in the infamously large Grayson Stadium, but even that does not excuse Smith’s minimal power: he hit just one home run in 461 at-bats, unacceptable for a player that counts raw power among his top tools. Furthermore, while Baseball America dubbed Smith as the “best pure hitter in the prep class” prior to the draft, 2014 scouts were extremely unimpressed by Smith’s swing, approach, and footwork. Here’s what Roto Scouting had to say about the Mets’ top first base prospect, the report was published in April 2014.

“On offense, Smith struggled to make solid contact, repeatedly beating balls into the ground…Smith has a tendency to fly open with his front foot. When this happens, he spins off the baseball instead of driving through. Combine this with a flat plane swing and it appears as if Smith is selling out for power, while generating none.”

I’m not ready to give up on Smith just yet, evident by his top-10 ranking, but it certainly seems that the Mets have a lot more developing to do than they originally planned.

2015 Forecast: Given his lack of success with Savannah, I expect the Mets start Smith again with Savannah and go from there. Lucas Duda’s 2014 breakout season takes some pressure off Smith, so expect the New York front office to take things more slowly and develop the big lefty’s skills before exposing him to the higher levels.

MLB ETA: MLB.com says 2016, but that seems too optimistic at this point. Smith should join the big league roster by midseason 2017.

9.  Marcos Molina, RHP

Age: 19

H/W: 6’3”/188 lbs

B/T: Right/Right

Analysis: After posting a mediocre 4.39 ERA and giving up 56 hits in 53 innings for the GCL Mets, it wasn’t surprising that Marcos Molina didn’t make many top prospect lists before the 2014 season. But after dominating the New York-Penn League in 2014, he has vaulted himself into the conversation as one of the best arms in the entire Mets system.

In 76.1 innings pitched with the Brooklyn Cyclones, Molina easily paced the NYPL with a stellar 1.77 ERA and 91 strikeouts against only 18 walks, an outstanding 5.1 K/BB ratio. Furthermore, the Dominican phenom allowed only two home runs and finished the year with a superb 0.84 WHIP, even more impressive when you realize that Molina is only 19 years old.

2015 Forecast: Considering Molina’s recent success and a fastball that can reach 96 MPH, the 2012 signee is certainly a Top-10 prospect in the Mets’ system. While it’s not hard to get excited about Molina’s 2014 performance, the righty’s first exposure to full-season ball in 2015 will be a big test of his organizational standing. He has been overshadowed by the Mets’ incredible pitching depth, but if his power arm can carry 2014’s success into next season, Molina may challenge Steven Matz for the coveted title of the Mets’ top pitching prospect by the end of 2015.

MLB ETA: If everything breaks right, Molina will be pitching for the Binghamton Mets by the end of 2015. That would put him in prime position to latch on to the big club in late-2016 as a reliever or possibly open the 2017 season as a member of the starting rotation.

8.  Rafael Montero, RHP

Age: 24

H/W: 6’0/185 lbs

B/T: Right/Right

Analysis: Heralded as one of the two arms (Syndergaard being the other) that would eventually lead the Mets back to the World Series, Montero’s lack of progress during the 2014 season caused him to be surpassed by the wily veterans Dillon Gee and Bartolo Colon, as well as upcoming prospect Steven Matz on the depth chart. But despite receiving noticeably less attention than he did a season ago, Montero continued to pitch well in the minors, finishing out the year with a 6-4 record and a 3.60 ERA for Triple-A Las Vegas and even seemed to hold his own in the big leagues (4.06 ERA in 8 starts). However, it was the loss of his control, the skill that made him so talented, that caused a precipitous drop in Montero’s prospect stock. During 2011-2013 minor league seasons, Montero’s BB/9 rates sat at 1.6, 1.4, and 2.0, respectively, extremely impressive considering the Dominican pitched over 348 innings total in those three seasons. For some reason, however, Montero’s walk rate rose to almost 4.0 BB/9 in the minors during 2014 and to nearly 5.0 during his time in the bigs. With the Mets, the rookie looked uncomfortable, unprepared, and hesitant, surprising considering scouts raved about Montero’s pitching knowledge and IQ years before he reached the big stage.

2015 Forecast: It’s clear that Montero has nothing left to prove down in Triple-A, but the Mets have at least six starters that are more ready to help them win games right now. That means that the 24-year-old Dominican is likely headed to the bullpen, a fate the Mets’ front office was hoping for him to avoid, at least to start the 2015 season.

MLB ETA: N/A, reached the Majors in 2014.

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7.  Michael Conforto, OF

Age: 21

H/W: 6’1/211 lbs

B/T: Left/Right

Analysis: Conforto was praised as the most polished college bat in the 2014 June Amateur draft, and the former Oregon standout proved his worth right out of the gate. In his first experience of pro ball with the Cyclones, Conforto batted .331 with an .851 OPS in 186 at at-bats, even earning a promotion to Single-A Savannah to participate in the playoffs at the end of the season. Some analysts felt the Conforto pick was too safe a move, especially when Trea Turner, a player that filled the Mets’ need at shortstop, was available. However, Mets scout Tom Gamboa, with over 40 years of baseball experience, had this to say about the newest Mets prospect.

“It’s just rare to see that kind of selectivity in somebody that is so young… Everything we had heard — he was one of the top college hitters in the country — has proved to be true in pro ball.”

Tommy Tanous, the Mets’ scouting director, backed up Gamboa statment’s with praise of his own.

“He really opened our eyes”

2015 Forecast: Considering rave reviews on Conforto, it’s clear that he is highly valued within the organization. The Mets’ recent signing of Michael Cuddyer allows Conforto plenty of time to develop, so the 21-year-old will likely begin the season with Single-A Savannah. Due to his advanced age and plate approach, however, I would not be surprised if Conforto is playing in Double-A Binghamton by season’s end.

MLB ETA: 2016, likely after the super two deadline.

6.  Amed Rosario, SS

Age: 18

H/W: 6’2″/170 lbs

B/T: Right/Right

Analysis: The Mets’ shortstop issues have been well-documented over the last few seasons, but while many analysts are proposing that the Mets acquire a player outside the organization, the answer may actually lie within, if the Mets are willing to wait. Amed Rosario has been steadily climbing the Mets’ organizational ladder during the last two seasons, showing improvement each stop along the way. Rosario, only 18 years old, broke out during the 2014 season with Brooklyn, and his performance may be a harbinger of things to come for the talented shortstop. He batted .289, posted a .717 OPS, and knocked 77 hits in 68 games (all career highs). While Rosario’s career highs are not particularly impressive, the fact that the young prospect posted these marks at an age when most players are still in high school demonstrates that this teenager is ready to match his talent to production. Amed’s quick hands, elite bat speed, and incredible defensive potential will give him the chance to become a solid starting major league shortstop sometime in the future.

2015 Forecast: Rosario will likely continue his steady ascension through the system with Single- A Savannah. Should he continue to improve his approach and refine his tools, Rosario has a chance to reach High-A St. Lucie, if the Mets believe he’s ready. If all breaks right, Rosario will be a Top-100 prospect in baseball and could challenge for the top prospect spot in the Mets organization.

MLB ETA: Best-case he’s in Queens by midseason 2017, but it’s more likely he challenges for a roster spot during the spring of ’18.

5.  Kevin Plawecki, C

Age: 23

H/W: 6’2”/225 lbs

B/T: Right/Right

Analysis: In most systems, Kevin Plawecki would be praised as the unquestioned catcher of the future; he’s a player you can count on to call a good game and contribute with the bat. Remember, however, that the young Travis d’Arnaud has that position secured after rebounding in the second half of last season. d’Arnaud may have closer to All-Star potential, but right now, Plawecki looks like a safe bet to be a top-flight starting catcher as well. Plawecki, 24, has solid bat control, a line drive swing, and is a good receiver behind the plate, at least by MLB.com standards. He will never top 20 home runs in a season, but his 2014 slash line of .309/.365/.460 is very attainable for the young backstop when he reaches the big league level. Furthermore, MLB.com praises the 2012 First rounder as a “leader” and a player who “looks more than capable of being an everyday player in the big leagues”

2015 Forecast: Having already accrued 152 at-bats in Triple-A and achieved moderate success (.283 BA, .766 OPS), Plawecki is nearly ready to contribute at the big league level. Nevertheless, he will likely begin the 2015 season in Vegas and move to Queens if d’Arnaud gets injured or the super two deadline passes, whichever comes first.

MLB ETA: Plawecki will likely join the Mets by the 2015 midseason, but with no veteran catcher on the books yet for the Amazins, Plawecki could win the job as backup to d’Arnaud with a solid showing in Spring Training.

4.  Brandon Nimmo, OF

Age: 21

H/W: 6’3”/205 lbs

B/T: Left/Right

Analysis: We’ve now reached the real elite prospects in the Mets system, but even the promising Brandon Nimmo had a polarizing 2014 season that clouded his future as a potential big league regular for the Mets down the road. Nimmo began the year scorching hot with the St. Lucie Mets, posting a ridiculous .448 On Base Percentage and smacking 73 hits in only 62 games. This performance forced the Mets to finally promote their 2011 first round pick to Double-A, but the big outfielder faltered against the more advanced pitching. While he continued to exercise his excellent bating eye in Binghamton, Nimmo’s batting average fell nearly .100 points (to .238) and his OPS dropped to .735. Still, despite the lackluster finish, 2014 marked a season in which Nimmo posted career highs in RBIs, steals, batting average, and home runs. Additionally, scouts and analysts across baseball seem to like Nimmo’s skill set; a rival scout said “[Nimmo] could start on a first-division team”, and Keith Law praises his “short swing” and “line-drive approach”. If Nimmo continues to match his talent to production, he’ll be knocking on the door to the big leagues in the very near future.

2015 Forecast: Given his marked improvement across the board, I have no trouble believing that Nimmo will rebound from his poor Double-A performance and continue to stride towards becoming the best positional prospect in the Mets system in 2015. Nimmo should start next season in Double-A and swiftly move to Triple-A if everything goes as expected.

MLB ETA: I believe Nimmo will join the Mets in early-2016, but J.J. Cooper of Baseball America thinks the majors is within arms’ reach. “As far as ETA, Nimmo could put himself in position for a call-up to New York with a strong first half.”

3.  Dilson Herrera, 2B

Age: 20

H/W: 5’10”/150 lbs

B/T: Right/Right

Analysis: Dilson Herrera’s ascent from High-A St. Lucie to a starting major league gig is why the Colombian ranks third in an organization flush with young talent. Herrera sports what Baseball America calls “average power”, but don’t let the seemingly negative connotations of ‘average’ fool you: this kid has the potential to knock 15 home runs in a season, pretty valuable at second base. Furthermore, Dilson’s “super-quick hands, above-average bat speed, and aggressive swing” help him generate extra-base power from his 5’10” frame. Scouts also praise his work ethic and baseball IQ, which, when added to his obvious ability to produce results from his talents, give the Mets a real ballplayer here.

2015 Forecast: Herrera reached the majors at the ripe age of 20 last season, however, it is very likely that he begins the 2015 season in Triple-A, not Queens. In short, the Mets simply have too many second baseman ahead of the Colombian native on the depth chart, but should Wilmer Flores struggle or Daniel Murphy get traded (one of these things occurring is very probable), Herrera will be the next man in line for a call-up.

MLB ETA: N/A, reached the majors in 2014.

2.  Steven Matz, LHP

Age: 23

H/W: 6’2”/200 lbs

B/T: Right/Left

Analysis: The quick rise of Steven Matz has added even more quality pitching depth to an elite Mets system. Matz, following a similar trend as Brandon Nimmo, began the year dominating the High-A competition and earned a promotion to Double-A. However, unlike Nimmo, the lefty’s production did not taper off at the higher level. The prized prospect pitched to a 2.27 ERA, walked only 1.8 batters per nine, and led his B-Mets to the Eastern League Championship, even taking a no-hitter into the 8th inning of the series-clinching game. Fox Sports expects Matz’s minor league success to transfer to the big leagues, as they list the young lefty’s repertoire as consisting of an above-average fastball with “exploding action”, a “sharp and tight” curve that he uses to baffle left-handed hitters and change eye levels, and an inconsistent change-up he can throw for strikes. From the scouting reports, it looks like Matz is set up for a big league career as a middle-of-the-rotation starter, potentially reaching his ceiling of a number two starter if everything works out.

2015 Forecast: Considering the short work Matz made out of High-A and Double-A hitters, he should be ready to break camp with Triple-A Vegas. However, as of right now, the Mets have at least six starters above Matz on the depth chart, so his only real chance of joining the rotation in 2015 banks on injuries or a trade.

MLB ETA: If he stays healthy, the lefty should be able to reach the bigs in 2015. But should no rotation spot open for Matz, the New York native would be an excellent late-inning reliever or even a lefty specialist if the Mets were amidst the playoff hunt.

1.  Noah Syndergaard, RHP

Age: 22

H/W: 6’6”/240 lbs

B/T: Left/Right

Analysis: Coming into the 2014 season with the expectation of a call-up, it’s easy to view Noah Syndergaard’s 2014 campaign with the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s as a total failure. The big righty posted a mediocre 4.60 ERA and gave up far too many hits (154 in 133 IP), however, when comparing Noah’s 2014 season to those of his past, there is much evidence for a 2015 rebound. Opposing batters tagged Syndergaard for a career-high .378 BABIP in 2014 (Batting Average on Balls In Play), which could be explained by the problem of pitching in the hostile environment that is the Pacific Coast League. Furthermore, Noah has never allowed a BABIP above .326 in any minor league stint prior to 2014, so we can expect that number to trend closer to his career mark of .290 next season. Additionally, Syndergaard’s K/9 rate of 9.8 (145 K’s in 133 IP) is right in line with his MiLB career average of 10.0 strikeouts per nine, so clearly Noah’s stuff is not the issue: a lack of poise, an awful environment, and some unlucky bounces plagued his 2014 season. Syndergaard’s HR/9 marks, like his K/9 numbers, also don’t differ much from his career output. His 0.7 home runs per nine allowed was only 0.2 off his career mark, impressive considering the Texan pitched the entire season in the light-aired PCL. These stats, coupled with an inflated ERA that actually translates to a much more palatable 3.70 FIP, and the no-doubt #1 Met prospect should be well on his way to a rebound in 2015.

2015 Forecast: Syndergaard will certainly begin the 2015 season with Vegas (the Mets pitching depth and penny-pinching strategy will hold him back), but midseason 2015 is a definite possibility, if not a probability, and it could be sooner due to trades or injuries.

MLB ETA: 2015

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Syndergaard and Matz Top Sickels’ Mets Top 20 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/syndergaard-and-matz-top-sickels-mets-top-20.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/syndergaard-and-matz-top-sickels-mets-top-20.html/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 20:29:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171940 steve matz

Here are the New York Mets Top 20 Prospects for 2015 as comprised by John Sickels of Minor League Ball.

1. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Grade A-: Age 22, 4.60 ERA with 145/43 K/BB in 133 innings in Triple-A, 154 hits. I don’t think there is anything wrong with Syndergaard that getting out of the PCL/Las Vegas won’t cure. Velocity continues to increase, curve continues to improve, just needs to prove that minor health issues aren’t precursor to anything major.

2. Steven Matz, LHP, Grade B+: Age 23, 2.24 ERA with 131/35 K/BB in 141 innings between High-A and Double-A. Great story on Tommy John recovery, power lefty arm with good command, fastball well into the 90s now. Terrific complement to Syndergaard.

3. Dilson Herrera, 2B, Grade B+: Age 20. He’s just 20. Hit .323/.379/.479 with 13 homers, 23 steals, 47/96 BB/K in 524 at-bats in High-A/Double-A. His reputation is growing but if anything he may still be under-estimated.

4. Brandon Nimmo, OF, Grade B/Borderline B+: Age 21, hit .322/.448/.458 in High-A but just .238/.339/.396 in Double-A. I love Nimmo’s on-base abilities and overall approach, but I am hesitant to go full-bore B+ or higher at this time due to serious platoon split problems. For now I have Herrera ahead, which is likely a minority view. That should be seen as praise for Herrera, not any disrespect towards Nimmo, who is one of my favorite prospects.

5. Kevin Plawecki, C, Grade B: Age 23, hit .309/.365/.460 between Double-A and Triple-A. Just a solid all-around prospect, not deadly against base runners but otherwise very skilled on defense, not a big home run hitter but should maintain solid average and OBP with gap power. Great backup for Travis d’Arnaud, can start if necessary. He would also make attractive trade bait.

6. Rafael Montero, RHP, Grade B

7. Michael Conforto, OF, Grade B

8. Marcos Molina, RHP, Grade B-

9. Amed Rosario, SS, Grade B-/Borderline B

10. Jhoan Urena, 3B, Grade B-

11. Gavin Cecchini, SS, Grade C+

12. Dominic Smith, 1B, Grade C+

13. Cory Mazzoni, RHP, Grade C+

14. Robert Whalen, RHP, Grade C+

15. L.J. Mazzilli, 2B, Grade C+

16. Cesar Puello, OF, Grade C+

17. Wuilmer Becerra, OF, Grade C+

18. Jack Leathersich, LHP, Grade C+

19. Gabriel Ynoa, RHP, Grade C+

20. Casey Meisner, RHP, Grade C+

Here are some comments on the overall system, which he’s extremely high on.

“The big strength is pitching. Noah Syndergaard is one of the top pitching prospects in the game. Steven Matz is another Top 50 pitching prospect and his success is a testament to the efforts of the rehab staff, coaches, and his own work ethic in coming back from a difficult Tommy John recovery.”

Rafael Montero still looks like a solid prospect to me, and there is a large group of Grade C+ types who could be fourth/fifth starters or sound relief options. The Mets have done a particularly good job discovering solid arms for reasonable bonuses in Latin America, but they’ve found talent at the college and high school levels as well.”

“The lower level pitcher with the greatest potential is Marcos Molina, who took a giant step forward and dominated the New York-Penn League in ’14. We need to see how he responds to a larger workload, but he could top this list next year.”

Sickels believes the position players could look even better if Dominic Smith and Gavin Cecchini can live up to their first-round draft status. “Perhaps that won’t happen,” he says. “But Latin American products Amed Rosario and Jhoan Urena will transition to full season ball in 2015 and provide more depth should the early North American draftees fail.L.J. Mazzilli and Matt Reynolds provide up-the-middle depth possibilities from the college ranks. Even enigmatic Cesar Puello could still turn into an interesting player.”

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