Friday, April 29, 2011

And Greg Vaughn's Son

The Mets minors are still going a long in a mostly positive way. The pitchers... for the most part have all hit the first "Bump in the road" of the season but at the same time, the hitters are heating up. There are lots of things to be happy about. One of them, is related to Mr. Vaughn.


Full Name: Ruben Dario Tejada
Born: 10/27/1989
Birthplace: Veraguas, Panama
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 185
Bats: R
Throws: R

Before the season I referred to Tejada as a bench middle infielder in the same mold as a Chin-Lung Hu. He had good defense and that was about it. Thus far, in 2011 he's got an OPS of .800 and has 14 RBIs. Ruben Tejada has gone from looking like he couldn't hit to looking like he's one of the better hitting SS's. He's obviously hitting for some power with an .800 OPS, but how much? 3 Doubles, 2 Triples and 2 Homers in 22 games. On the down-side, he's still not running enough. 2 SBs and 1 CS make me really hesitant to see him in a lead-off role. Right now he's looking like a very nice #7/#8 hitter option at the major-league level.

Full Name: Kirk Robert Nieuwenhuis
Born: 08/07/1987
Birthplace: Santa Monica, CA
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 215
Bats: L
Throws: R

Captain Kirk is looking like a star. An OPS of 1.021 makes that pretty obvious. However all of his hitting is not turning into production. He trails Ruben Tejada by 8 RBIs. It's just a little screwy and has more to do with where they are hitting in the order. Kirk may not be capable of holding down a good enough CF to last in Citi-Field but he's hitting like a +++CF so... he's hitting well enough to play right field if he's asked to. If Pagan were going to be out for a month or longer I'd give Kirk a shot at coming up and getting a look as an everyday player. Yesterday I saw someone comment that He should come up and be on the bench. I wanted to smack that fan. Kirk could be a starting OF for the Mets in 2012 and they don't want to halt his progress by making him a bench player.

Full Name: Jesus Fernando Martinez
Born: 10/10/1988
Birthplace: Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 205
Bats: L
Throws: R

Fernando has already taken a 2 week break this season. By which you should know I mean he's been injured. He's responded to the critics by returning with a vengence. He's got 3 extra base hits in his 6 games back and his OPS is sitting at .935. However, don't get excited unless he stays healthy for all of May and continues to hit. Then you can start to think about whether he or Kirk will replace Carlos in right.

Full Name: Jenrry Manuel Mejia
Born: 10/11/1989
Birthplace: Tabara Arriba, Dominican Republic
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 205
Bats: R
Throws: R

Jenrry has finally hit a bump in the road. After looking flawless in his first two starts he looked okay on the 19th and bad on the 24th. He's still really limiting hits and looking pretty sharp in general but it is evident that he belongs in AAA for the time being. Mejia is a pretty solid thought for a late-season call-up particularly if the Mets fall from contention.


Full Name: Joshua Satin
Born: 12/23/1984
Birthplace: Hidden Hills, CA
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 200
Bats: R
Throws: R

Joshua Satin has emerged as the biggest threat in the Binghamton lineup. Once Den Dekker and others join him, that will likely shift, but for now... he's the king of Binghamton. He's really doing just about everything we could want him to. Hitting often and for power. He's also a touch old. He's 26 and only in AA. He could be in AAA easily but even if he were... is he better than Justin Turner? I don't think he is.

Full Name: Jordany V Valdespin
Born: 12/23/1987
Birthplace: San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 190
Bats: L
Throws: R

Jordany had a BAD start to the year but things are improving. He's now hitting .237 which is 50 points of improvement from where he was not so long ago. He's also shown speed and some power. The drawback with Jordany will always be his discipline. He's not good at taking a walk and he shows a David Wright-like ability to strike out. It's not good to see but it's not impossible to correct. He's on a short list of people who would potentially replace Jose Reyes in 2012 but I hope it doesn't come to that. Valdespin would make a GREAT bench player as he has good defense and a reasonably good bat.

Full Name: Mark E. Cohoon
Born: 09/15/1987
Birthplace: Burleson, TX
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 195
Bats: L
Throws: L

Holt and Carson suffered bad starts and Cohoon too had a bump in the road. Mark's bump was REALLY minor. He has looked like the most polished and ready pitcher in the farm and he's the most likely guy to be called up next. He's blocked by Dillon Gee who is providing depth at the major-league level right now. If the Mets shift Capuano into the bullpen (as I think they should) then Cohoon will be next in line to get a call. Is AAA necessary for him to stop at on the way? I don't think it really is.

Full Name: Matthew G Den Dekker
Born: 08/10/1987
Birthplace: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 205
Bats: L
Throws: L

Den Dekker was pegged by some as the best defensive OF in the Met's system. I just wanted to illustrate something about his hitting. Matt owns a 1.024 OPS and a 1.380 OPS over the past 10 games. 11 Doubles, 3 Triples and 1 Homer, almost half of his hits have gone for extra bases. The only thing holding Matt in A+ ball is likely the organization trying to demonstrate patience and diligence. He's ready to test the tougher pitching of AA and I hope he can continue his great hitting.

Full Name: Wilmer Alejandro Flores
Born: 08/06/1991
Birthplace: Valencia, Venezuela
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 175
Bats: R
Throws: R

So... Baseball America is ready to write Wilmer off. His approach is no good, he's terrible at defense and he has no power. If you can definitively say that after 1 month of baseball, I think you should thank Ms. Cleo for your information. Wilmer is hitting... for average. He's starting to pick up the pace for power, but if you look at his history it follows his progression. When he landed in A+ ball last year he hit the ball consistently and for no power for a little over two weeks before he settled in and started looking to drive the ball. Is his defense bad? You bet. Look for Marte to move to Binghamton and Wilmer to possibly shift to third.

Full Name: Jefry Leonal Marte
Born: 06/21/1991
Birthplace: La Romana, Dominican Republic
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 187
Bats: R
Throws: R

Marte is known for starting slow and then playing okay baseball to reclaim some of his potential. This season he started like a rocket. He's hit the ball with authority, 4 HRs and he's shown some discipline with 10 BBs. Marte has sorta re-established his value in the farm after falling out of many peoples lists. Marte is leading the team with Den Dekker and may soon be LEAVING the team with Den Dekker. I would expect to see Jefry and Matt move to AA and perhaps Flores shifting to 3rd.

Full Name: Cesar David Puello
Born: 04/01/1991
Birthplace: La Romana, Dominican Republic
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 195
Bats: R
Throws: R

Puello rocketed into our combined consciousness in 2010 after having a big second half in Savannah. He's started 2011 slowly, but the hope is that he's starting to make corrections. He's bringing his batting average steadily upwards and he's hitting some doubles, but that STAR quality is missing. My biggest worry is his 2/18 BB/K ratio. He needs to fix that if he's going to stay in the Met's top 10 prospects.

Full Name: Matthew Harvey
Born: 03/27/1989
Birthplace: Groton, CT
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 210
Bats: R
Throws: R

Another pitcher who had a rough go this week. Through 4 starts... FLAWLESS. The last one... shows he's a work in progress. Still, 5 starts in his minor league career and he's 4-1 with a 1.37 ERA and a K/9 over 9.00. Harvey has a bright future and still has a ticket to Binghamton at some point this season.

Full Name: Jeurys Familia
Born: 10/10/1989
Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 185
Bats: R
Throws: R

Familia has the benefit of not having pitched in the last couple days. Will he avoid the plague of bad outings? Well... I think he's got a good shot. The secret to Familia's success has been not allowing anyone on base. 9 hits and 7 walks in 25.2 innings makes it REALLY hard to lose ball games. Familia might actually be the pitching prospect with the highest ceiling in the Met system.


Full Name: Aderlin Rodriguez
Born: 11/18/1991
Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 210
Bats: R
Throws: R

Do I really have a player hitting below .200 on this list? Yes, yes I do. First of all he's hitting .279 in his last 10 games and second of all, do you know how hard it is to have a .192 average and an SLG over .400? Aderlin's power is REAL. He's also shown he can probably stick as a 3B, though he's not a whiz in the field. He's hit all four of his homers in the past 5 games so it will be interesting to see how long his power streak will live. I am really okay with Rodriguez moving up the system pretty slowly so look for him to stick around in Savannah for a while.

Full Name: Cory Vaughn
Born: 05/01/1989
Birthplace: Carmichael, CA
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 225
Bats: R
Throws: R

Greg Vaughn's kid is not exactly a clone of his father. He's taller, he's faster and he's capable of playing all OF positions. Vaughn has been the only really consistent bat in Savannah and he's putting together a strong overall game. He's got some power and some speed, he's not too prone to strike out and he's been solid in the field. We are all waiting to see if he can start to belt with consistent power like he did in Brooklyn. If he can do that he'll rocket up the scouting reports.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Someone mentioned to me that there are actually 4 other teams in the Met's division. I did some research and discovered this was true. So I decided to see what they'd been up to.

#1 Philadelphia Phillies, 16-8: The city of neighborly hatred is well known for greasy sandwiches, funny names for heroes and being across the river from the Camden Aquarium. The team, which is named so cleverly after long-time SNL favorite Phil Hartman, wears red and white in honor of their favorite color, pink. Led by a pitching staff Aced by Joe Blanton, they manage to do pretty well with the likes of Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee rounding out the rotation. Young slugger, Raul Ibanez is likely to be a franchise player and hang around in Philly for a long-term contract.

#2 Florida Marlins, 15-8: Not far from "The Birdcage" and only an hour (or so) South of Boca Woods Retirement Village, the Florida Marlins play baseball in a Football stadium. The team which is full of elderly players and inflated contracts is in dire financial trouble as they are constantly competing with heavy spenders like Pittsburgh and Minnesota. The offensive star of the team is clearly Donnie Murphy, while they rely heavily on Chris Volstad in the pressure pitching department. The team will likely try to move Hanley Ramirez for an older more expensive player as he doesn't fit the teams model for success. I hear the Yankees are interested.

#3 Atlanta Braves, 13-13: While native American's were un-abashedly wiped out of Georgia by the prison colonies that landed in the 18th century, their memory is kept alive by racist-ly pretending to scalp opposing teams and chanting a slightly less racist hymn then, "What Made the Red Man Red?" The team, which is haunted by the ghost of Bobby Cox, is known for their sure-handed defensive second baseman. Their third baseman, Larry Jones, will probably never amount to much and shouldn't make too much of a lasting impact. Thankfully Brooks Conrad is their to replace him.

#4 New York Mets, 11-13: Not so many miles from where the greatest Chinese restaurant in history once stood (Lums) is a stadium nestled into one of the safest and most friendly neighborhoods on earth. Next to that Tennis stadium and across the train tracks is Citi Field. Terry Collins is new to the team and he made himself stand out by being far whiter than the previous two managers. The change has greatly helped Jason Bay. It's rumored that all Canadians have a natural fear of skin pigmentation.

#5 Washington Nationals, 10-13: This team might have the largest fan-base in the nation. Selling out every game (against the Phillies) the Nationals enjoy the much deserved respect of a team with a long and inspiring history. When George Washington chopped down the cherry tree it was to craft a bat to play for his beloved Nationals. Coincidentally he needed wooden teeth because he used his teeth to carve that very bat. The Nationals are in last place, but it could be far worse. Thankfully their Achilles Heal, Ryan Zimmerman, cannot play currently and drag the team farther down with his awful all-around game.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Keeping the Pace

With the Mets on a roll it seems like a good time to do some math to see what they are on Pace for. I mean, if everyone can stay relatively healthy... Note, these stats are just simple projections based on their production so far vs. how many at bats I think they COULD reach.

Jose Reyes, SS: 94/6/35/35/47 - Jose is on pace to have a good year with plenty of stolen bases and runs scored. However I was expecting more. It seemed to me that Reyes' projections would be better. He's really having a great early season and the numbers are merely GOOD. With Bay back in the lineup and with Murphy settling in for support, I'd expect the pace numbers to go up.

Daniel Murphy, 2B: 67/10/77/38/10 - I think I, Daniel Murphy and most Met fans will sign up for those numbers from Murphy. They aren't blow me away numbers, but they're solid numbers from a 2B. I won't go so far as to say that Murphy could exceed them, but I will say that he is capable of this kind of production.

David Wright, 3B: 116/32/97/77/32 - A 30/30 season? Gee... when you look at the fact David is a career hitter nearly 50 points higher then he's at, this production seems insane. Can he get these numbers? Sure. Can he exceed them? Maybe? You know... if Wright continues to hit well with Bay in the lineup and improves his batting average back to where it's usually sat, he could have TREMENDOUS numbers.

Carlos Beltran, RF: 85/20/66/39/0 - Beltran will steal a base. It's tough with basic mathematical projections to deal with someone who just hasn't tried something yet. Imagine if I were to project 0 HRs from Justin Morneau? Beltran's numbers are pretty solid but I think the RBI numbers should be a touch higher and if the knee flares up... everything could be much lower.

Jason Bay, LF: 118/24/71/47/0 - Okay... so Bay's small sample size skews the numbers and they look all sorts of strange. We're working with what we have. If Bay continued on this pace the Flushing Faithful would likely issue a pardon to Bay for 2010.

Ike Davis, 1B: 89/28/124/83/0 - So... the stolen base numbers are accurate. Could Ike be that good? I think he could be BETTER. I mean, I think Ike has the power to lead the team in homers so that 28 could easily be eclipsed by something on the brighter side of 35. The other numbers reflect Ike's improved discipline at the plate, which is hard to deny.

Angel Pagan, CF: 46/7/39/59/26 - I have to believe that Angel is better than this, but at the same time... I can't predict EVERYONE to have a good year. So if I can get those big years I've already listed above, I'd suffer with a diminished Pagan... at least until we promote Captain Kirk.

Josh Thole, C: 22/0/50/29/0 - Another victim of a slow start, Thole has proven to still be a clutch hitter and is learning to adjust to pitchers now that he's a known quantity. I would imagine that he'll exceed these numbers easily even losing additional playing time to Paulino's bat.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Glass Half Awesome

Being a Met fan and an optimist is a bit difficult. The Mets aren't exactly awesome at doling out the feel good games and consistent wins. It's actually quite easy to be a Met fan and a pessimist. The Mets are in last place, they have really only looked good against Arizona, Reyes is likely leaving, Wright only knows how to strike out and the stands are as empty as a campus library on free taco day. So... here are a few reasons to buck up.

New York Mets

The Mets are 9 and 13 after winning four straight. That means that we were recently 5 and 13 with almost no reason to field a team. They are in last place and, as you might expect, the 4 Ace Phillies are in first. Why should you be happy?
  • Have you heard? Jason Bay is back.
  • David Wright is lining up to have excellent production.
  • Jose Reyes looks like an All-Star again.
  • Carlos Beltran is healthy.
  • Chris Young is back.
  • Dillon Gee looks like a real-deal MLB starter.
  • Mike Pelfrey and Jonathan Niese might not be heading for the glue factory.
  • Pedro Beato looks like an A+ Rule V pick.
  • K-Rod has trade buzz.
  • Luis Castillo and Ollie Perez are gone and never coming back.
Buffalo Bisons

Haven't we already been through the ringer with most of these guys? This team was supposed to have a lot of talent on it and they are only 8 and 11. Fernando Martinez is the biggest name on the roster and he's already been hurt this year. Why should you be happy?
  • Kirk Nieuwenhuis is hitting a lot (15-game hitting streak)
  • Kirk Nieuwenhuis is hitting for power (8 Doubles 3 HRs)
  • Fernando Martinez is back (also hit a PH HR)
  • Ruben Tejada has become a hitter.
  • Jenrry Mejia look like he'll be ready for the MLB rotation later this year.
  • Chris Schwinden and Jorge De La Torre look like they could be solid MLB bullpen guys.
Binghamton Mets

Another sub .500 team? Am I supposed to buy that the team will produce stars when they can't beat other AA teams? The top player is some kid I've never even heard of. Why should I be happy?
  • Joshua Satin named EL player of the week.
  • He's hitting .327 and powering the offense largely alone.
  • He and I have similarly massive eyebrows.
  • Alright... the real reason. PITCHING!
  • Brad Holt (Remember Him?) 0.50 ERA, 18 IP, 14 Ks, 0.78 WHIP.
  • Mark Cohoon 0.47 ERA, 19 IP, 20 Ks, 1.00 WHIP.
  • Robert Carson 1.69 ERA, 16 IP, 16 Ks, 1.19 WHIP.
  • Jordany Valdespin is walking more? (And hitting less)
Port St. Lucie Mets

Wait... this team doesn't fit. They're 17 and 2. The team has 9 players hitting over .280. The team has 4 starters with ERA's under 4.00. Clearly this team will have a few things to be happy about.
  • Pedro Zapata is a base stealing CF. He's hitting .400 and has stolen 8 bags in 8 attempts.
  • Francisco Pena has the body for power and is at least hitting for average.
  • Matt Den Dekker has good gap power and excellent tools.
  • Jefry Marte is exceeding every one's expectations and basically re-establishing his value.
  • Wilmer Flores started slow, but has heated up. The power will return this is how he typically finds his groove. (He's hitting .297)
  • Caesar Puello is also finding his groove and looks to be turning the corner in A+.
  • Matt Harvey... He's 4 and 0 in 4 starts. He's got a 0.00 ERA with 27 K's in 22 innings. This is his first year in the minors and he's already demanding to move up in the system. (Not verbally)
  • Jeurys Familia... He's had less luck in his starts. He's only 1 and 0 but his 0.35 ERA and 25 Ks are pretty sweet. Sweeter still is his 0.62 WHIP.
  • Nicholas Carr is establishing himself as a potential late inning relief man.
So... always remember that if you look hard enough, there are plenty of things to find to make you happy.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Bay After Tomorrow

The Met's were inches from the critical desalinization point. Gatorade, Saltines and Dennis Quade couldn't save them. Yet someone showed up to get the beleaguered team into the metaphoric safety of the New York Library.

Bay and Knight

The Mets didn't realize until too late that the Wilpons had hung them out to dry and were letting them "die" on this mission (season). Thankfully the Mets ran into a charming and sexy Jason Bay. Now they are learning to trust each other as they both fight to stay alive.

28 Bays Later

Four weeks after the cataclysmic start to the 2011 season Jason Bay wakes up to find his world shattered. Now he must band together with a handful of survivors, Beltran, Wright, Reyes, Davis and Murphy to try to find sanctuary (the playoffs).

The Bay the Earth Stood Still

Jason Bay arrives in the Met clubhouse and tells the team they must learn how to win baseball games... or be destroyed.

Bay..... O
Me say, Bay-ay-ay... O......
Bay's bat come and the Mets finally win...
Bay, me say Bay, me say Bay, me say...
Bay's bat come and the Mets finally......
Hit all day and they scorin' runs!

You get the point. Actually, I'm not buying into the whole idea of Jason Bay being the savior of the team. Sure, he's adorable and the Mets are winning, but he's really not doing much beyond allowing Collins to bat Davis 6th. Are the Mets better with Bay in the lineup? Yes! Can he walk on water and then turn it to wine? Yes! He's Canadian... they ALL can. Are the Mets winning BECAUSE he's back? I'm not so sure. Though... I can't argue that they ARE winning.

Up This Week:

My Half-Full Glass Runneth Over - Who needs stats and physical evidence? I have HIGH hopes.

Keeping the Pace - Will the Mets hitters keep their pace up? If they do, what does that mean?

The Other Guys - Oh... right, we're like in a division and junk.

Freeing the Trapped Minors - Or at least bragging about them.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Minors Must Be Accompanied By Adult

With Reyes in the final year of his contract, the Wilpons in denial about their need to get out of Dodge and the Mets floundering at the worst record in baseball, I wanted to look at teams who might have a good package of players to offer the Mets. First I'll identify teams who have a need for Jose Reyes and who the Mets COULD trade with. Then I'll see who has the players in the farm to interest the Mets in MAKING a deal.

Why am I doing this on a Friday? Fridays are for minors and I'm looking into the minors for many other teams to find trade partners. If you want an update on the Met's minor leaguers, visit Toby's blog and check it out. The news has been good.

The Long List:

Arizona Diamondbacks - They have Stephen Drew. No
Atlanta Braves - They need a SS in 2012 and may like Reyes' future more than waiting for a prospect. The issue is that Atlanta is not going to trade good prospects to a division rival and the Mets are not going to trade Reyes to Atlanta. No
Baltimore Orioles - Hardy isn't the answer but they already have THE top SS prospect so I can't see them biting. No
Boston Redsox - Jed Lowrie is on fire and they ALSO have Jose Iglesias and too many guys who hit lead-off. Boston is a possibility if only because they can afford to move Iglesias for a surer thing. Yes
Chicago Cubs - They have Starlin Castro. No
Chicago White Sox - They have Alexei Ramirez. No
Cincinnati Reds - They have the need at SS and no great internal solution. Yes
Cleveland Indians - They have Asdrubal Cabrera and if they are buyers, I'd bet he's playing plenty well. No
Colorado Rockies - Troy Tulowitzki is there and that means it's obvious. No
Detroit Tigers - The Tigers finances are already stretched and they have a fine SS. No Florida Marlins - Hanley Ramirez is not being moved to make room for Jose. No Houston Astros - The Astros would love Bourn and Reyes hitting together but have no reason to spend in 2011. No
Kansas City Royals - Not after they traded for Alcides Escobar. No
Los Angeles Angels - Alright, so they have Aybar, and he's fine, but they'd love Reyes and they can make trades using a pretty solid farm. Yes
Los Angeles Dodgers - They have Furcal, but even so... Tom Gordon's son is ready to replace Rafael and Bud Selig is not looking to spend on a big long-term contract now that he controls the team. No
Milwaukee Brewers - Milwaukee is interesting but hard to see happening. They have the need for Jose, they'll be in contention, and they will likely free up money because Fielder will walk. Maybe
Minnesota Twins - They are in an awful funk but even assuming they recovered and were buyers I don't think Reyes is a Twins-type move. No
New York Yankees - Derek Jeter has a few more years left but do the Yankees want to deal with his declining range and arm? Yes
Oakland Athletics - They could easily be in contention and looking to upgrade over Cliff Pennington. Would the Athletics part with prospects like Grant Green and a pitcher to get Reyes on their team? Maybe
Philadelphia Phillies - Rollins is set to walk and DEFINITELY in the growing twilight of a good career. Alderson would be assassinated if he made a move like that. No
Pittsburgh Pirates - Pirates spend money? Well... let's just think about the fact that their lineup is starting to have signs of growth and that they do have an opening at short for Reyes. Maybe (Probably Not)
San Diego Padres - Jason Bartlett is all they can afford at that position. No
San Francisco Giants - With Miggy not a long-term answer for anyone, I'd imagine that the Giants will be on top of the Mets to see what can be worked out. Yes
Seattle Mariners - I can't see the Mariners as buyers so I can't even make this a thought. No
St. Louis Cardinals - St. Louis has bigger problems but if they are close they might offer a good package for Reyes to win again before Pujols leaves. Probably Not
Tampa Bay Rays - Reid Brignac and Sean Rodriguez seem to not be the greatest fits for the team and they'd love Reyes to hit in front of Longoria but the money is an issue and a long-term deal is unlikely. Maybe
Texas Rangers - Andrus is already like Reyes but younger. No
Toronto Blue Jays - On the one hand they need a lead-off hitter like Reyes but on the other they are squared away with Yunel Escobar. No
Washington Nationals - Not with Ian Desmond. No

The Short List:

Boston Red Sox -
The biggest reasons Boston wouldn't make a trade are the success of Jed Lowrie and the presence of Jose Iglesias. It does seem to follow logic of recent Boston teams that trading for Reyes would at least be an option. The concept requires Lowrie to not be doing well and Iglesias not ready to help with a playoff push, but it's possible. The Mets should not get TOO excited if Iglesias is the big part of the trade package as I'm not sold on him being much more of a hitter than Ruben Tejada.
Cincinnati Reds - Zack Cozart doesn't strike me as a replacement to Reyes or anything to hinge a trade on. HE DOES have a mix of power and speed but he's not going to turn into Troy Tulowitzki. The average looks like it'll be around .250 in the majors and I don't know how well the other numbers will translate.
Los Angeles Angels - Brandon Wood is probably not going to excite the Mets too much, but he might be the logical choice as a part of a larger package. Though L.A. could easily also go with an offer that included the safer Erick Aybar. The Mets would need to hinge the package on other prospects. Don't you dare mention Mike Trout, they aren't trading Tim Salmon's illegitimate son. However the Mets might inquire on Tyler Chatwood, Jordan Walden and others.
Milwaukee Brewers - The Brewers don't have a good SS prospect to match but I suppose Baseball America named Scooter Gennet 2B/SS their #4 prospect for 2011. Frankly the top 4 are all doing miserably, but Milwaukee is doing well and could use Reyes so I wouldn't count them out.
New York Yankees - The Mets would have their choice of lovely catching prospects but that doesn't help when they'd need pitching and a SS. The good news is that the Yankees have several pitchers of note. Now... two of them have had bad starts but I'd wager to say the Yankees would be in the mix if Reyes were available.
Oakland Athletics - Oakland has Grant Green in their farm and he's a good prospect. That might preclude them from dealing for Reyes alone. What Oakland doesn't have is a "Star". People don't line up for Kevin Kouzmanoff. Oakland's pitching staff is solid and they ALWAYS have more prospects down the pipe. If I'm the Mets Mr. Green MUST be part of the deal if I trade.
Pittsburgh Pirates - They have two things going for them right now. They have a talented farm and they are starting to build a talented team. Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen are a good core, but imagine adding a star like Reyes to the team and the kind of boost he'd be to the fans. On the side of what they have to offer, look at Chase D'Arnaud who doesn't WOW me and a boat load of pitchers including Jeff Locke but excluding James Taillon... they aren't trading him.
San Francisco Giants - I've come up with two SS's Brandon Carwford and Ehire Adrianza and a pitcher, Zack Wheeler. Crawford looks like the better prospect and Wheeler looks good but expendable in an over-stocked pitching system. Crawford isn't ready for the majors yet and Tejada is not going to last, so it might make sense to see a swap for the Mets nabbing Crawford and pitching and the Giants getting Reyes. Maybe we could include K-Rod as the Giants wouldn't need to let him close?
Tampa Bay Rays - Plenty of reasons to not do it. They don't have a great shot at holding onto Reyes and they are in the toughest division in baseball. HOWEVER, if they got him he'd make the team an instant top contender again. The other half against the likelihood is that they have TWO good SS prospects. Do the Rays get itchy for another run at glory and cut a deal. They have the pieces to trade and could easily hold onto either Tim Beckham or Hak-Ju Lee and let Reyes walk. I could see them thinking about it.

I'd say that the Giants and Reds probably match up best in terms of need/offer. With pretty good prospects in their systems at SS they can both make trades to appeal to the Mets. Perhaps later this year I'll venture what the packages offered might be.

Sitting Here On Top Of The Bay

The Jason Bay experiment in queens is an ongoing research assignment to discover if Canadians wither in New York. This will come in handy should the Mets or Yankees ever target Joey Votto. The good news for the Mets and the researchers at the Institute for Canadian Adaptation (The ICA) is that Jason is returning to Flushing to resume the study.

Thus far, the warning reads: May cause extreme loss of power and contact with occasional bouts of running into walls and seeing small yellow birds.

Let us look at Mr. Bay's brief Met career:

Bay only managed 95 games with the Mets in 2010 because of his slug-fest with the left field fence. His OPS was .749 a whopping 140 points below his career average and it showed. This is evident by his unseemly drop in power (only 6 HRs) and production (47 RBIs). Surely part of this can be blamed on the Mets not surrounding him with ideal talent, right?

Let us look at Mr. Bay's time surrounded by ideal talent:

Right... Boston wasn't too shabby in 2008 and 2009. Well he wasn't a flat-out God, but he did hit a few homers for Boston. Clearly a result of playing along-side David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis and others. Although... it MAY have had something to do with the short/high porch in left. I won't stress over it too much but I'd wager that Bay's production was boosted by being surrounded by a pretty solid lineup, with Pedroia and Ellsbury getting on base ahead of him.

So... all the Mets need are better players. Bay needs help to be the useful star he was in Boston.

Unless you look back to Pittsburgh:

The Pirates surrounded Bay with the total package... by which I mean, not very much. He arrived after a trade with San Diego (also brought Pittsburgh Mr. Ollie Perez I believe) and he caught on fast. In 2004 he won the Rookie of the Year, in 2005 and 2006 he was an all-star and landed his name on MVP ballots. Sure, in 2007 he has a rough go, but he pretty much powered the team as the lone bright shining beacon of hope in an otherwise dark and depressing horizon.

Bay has been in the spot-light, out of the spot-light, surrounded by talent and surrounded by scrubs and found ways of succeeding. I can't believe he'd come to New York and that would suddenly be his Kryptonite. Maybe I'm wrong but I still have hopes and dreams of Bay proving to be halfway useful to the Mets in 2011 and 2012 and... 2013... alright so even in my hopes and dreams I can't be a TOTAL optimist. Welcome to the life of a Met fan.
I wonder what would have happened if he was allowed to actually play in his home country?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Generation K... Again?

As I talk about these players below as a new potential home-grown force for the Mets I caution those fans who lived through the first Generation K not to slit their own wrists. Let me also just say, "Paul Wilson looks a lot like Mike Pelfrey." Anyway... The old Generation K produced an oft-injured starter, a very good closer and... Bill Pulsipher. It didn't kick off a new Golden Age (First Golden Age?) for Met pitching and they didn't win a fist full of Cy Youngs.

Why should I have faith in this new crop of young guns? Because... well... you shouldn't. History and math are steeply stacked against them. Why do I have such faith? I'm a glutton for punishment. Care to meet them?

Jenrry Mejia - 10/11/1989 (21) AAA
6'0", 160 Lbs Bats: R Throws: R

If you haven't yet heard the name Mejia, you are likely not an East Coast baseball fan. He's not only the Met's top pitching prospect he's among the better prospects overall in the minors. Mejia is all of 21 years old and looks pretty dominant in AAA. His most recent start did begin with an UGLY inning but he followed that with a flawless 4.2 that should put everyone at ease. Mejia is the first pitcher on the list because he's the closest to a finished product and has one of the highest ceilings in the group. His fastball can hit up to 97 and usually sits around 94. He has a plus change up and a curve ball that can be used effectively if sparingly.

Matt Harvey - 3/27/1989 (22) A+
6'4", 225 Lbs. Bats: S Throws: R
Matt has what is known to scouts as the ideal build for a starting pitcher. Something about having a body like the trunk of a tree seems to get scouts all excited. What gets me as a fan excited is his 96-97 MPH fastball, his plus-plus slider and his flawless minor league record. Harvey not only looks like the real deal, he looks like he could be the second closest pitching prospect despite being new to the farm and only in Port St. Lucie. The consensus is that Matt will travel North to Binghamton once Binghamton becomes a little warmer. Once there he could continue to pitch well and see a September call-up (depending on the MLB clubs awful record.

Brad Holt - 10/13/1986 (24) AA
6'4", 194 Lbs. Bats: R Throws: R
Not only do you probably remember this guy, you probably have already written him off. I don't know if I can blame you. In 2008 he obliterated the New York Penn League. In 2009 he fared well in Port St. Lucie and less well in Binghamton. In 2010 he imploded BIG TIME falling back from AA and still doing poorly down in A+ However 2011 has seen a resurgence from Bradley. He's only had two starts but the big stat that plagued him is not cropping up in a big way. He's walking far fewer. His velocity is also supposed to be back (some... not all) and that means that he's back on track to see the majors in 2011 or 2012.

Jeurys Familia - 10/10/1989 (21) A+
6'3", 185 Lbs. Bats: R Throws: R
So... I seriously debated putting Jeurys above Holt but he lands 4th on the list because I think the Mets will try to play it safer with him. Frankly, of all the great season starts for Met minor league pitchers... Familia's is the best. He's through three starts and he's given up 6 hits. His K/9 is floating just beneath the 9.00 mark where I imagine all front-end starters should be and his ERA... like most on this list is almost non-existent 0.48. Last spring Met officials talked about Familia having the best fastball in camp. His season was not perfect but he had the K's and low-ish Opp Avg that I know he's capable of. If I had to pick which of the pitchers on this short list could be a TRUE ACE... it would be him.

Will any of these young guns turn into the second coming of Ryan and Gooden? Will they provide the home-grown pitching that made Atlanta the most predictable playoff team of a decade? I hope so. Just remember that for every bunch of Maddux, Smoltz and Glavines, there's an equally un-thrilling Jason Isringhausen, Paul Wilson and Bill Pulsipher.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

25 Other Things

And now... 25 things we wish we could forget.
  1. What We Wish We Could Forget: Jose Reyes' impending departure. With Jose in the final year of his contract, having a splendid season and with the Mets not exactly making a World Series run, Jose is likely in his final season as a Met. It bums me out. It would likely bum most Met fans. I remember the excitement when he first came up from the farm. How can one get over the loss of a player like Jose? Enthusiasm. Fill the Reyes void in your life by clapping and smiling for seemingly no reason. If you are moved to dance or point to god... go with it. Whatever gets you through your future Reyes-less years.
  2. What We Wish We Could Forget: Angel Pagan forgot how to hit. Something happened between 2010 and 2011 and it has not been great for the Mets or Angel Pagan. Thus far, Angel is hitting a robust .169 and proven a solid ability to pop-out. ACTUALLY this might make you get off of that proverbial ledge. Along with not hitting angel is doing some things that might make you happy. What are they? Well... if you want to feel better about Pagan's poor year, remember that he's walked 8 times and only k'd 8 times. That mean his OBP is still respectably above .250 despite the poor hitting.
  3. What We Wish We Could Forget: David Wright has more K's than ground-outs. David Wright should donate $1000 for every whiff he commits at the plate. Then there might be someone smiling (besides the opposing pitcher) when David walks grumbling back to the dug-out. What is wrong with Wright? He came up and for two years was a very difficult guy to strike out and then seemingly over-night, he turns into whiff master. How can you find solace? Well... just remember that many teams would kill to have our K-Machine in their lineup.
  4. What We Wish We Could Forget: Carlos Beltran's knee is made out of liquid pain. Not to knock Beltran but his knee has probably had a larger impact on the recent Met teams. Sure... he had a couple magical runs, but overall Beltran's biggest impact has been felt on the disabled list. How can you get past the inevitable pain of watching Beltran limp off the field? For me, it's that Beltran will not be back after 2011, but for most try to imagine the hurt some playoff contender will experience just after the trade deadline. You know when, the recently acquired, Carlos Beltran pulls up gimpy after the team traded some prospects away for him.
  5. What We Wish We Could Forget: Jason Bay is going to be a Met for 2 more seasons. Has Jason Bay been worth his contract? No. Will he ever be? No. Is it Omar Minaya's worst signing? No. Is he Canadian? YES! Bay has spent a lot of time hurt. When not hurt he's spent a lot of time not hitting. So... I guess it evens out. Or just makes it all that much more awful. What do you do to get by your pain of two more seasons of over-priced Jason Bay? Blame Canada! With all their hockey hulla-bulloo and that b!t*h Ann Murray too. They're not even a real country anyway.
  6. What We Wish We Could Forget: Ike Davis is the slowest man alive. There is a lot that we all like about Ike. He's got power, and great defense. He's a force at the plate and more of a clutch hitter than most. What Ike is not... is fast. He's frequently compared to Adam LaRoche for hitting but speed-wise, he gets pared with John Olerud. For those that don't know, John Olerud is basically baseball vernacular for the slowest man alive. What can distract you from Ike Davis' lack of foot-speed? How about you trying to run the bases faster? Try it, I dare you.
  7. What We Wish We Could Forget: Daniel Murphy owns a glove. So... Daniel Murphy can hit, he's not 100% perfect at the plate or on the bases but when he comes up I've got faith that 25% of the time he'll get a hit and get on base 30%+ of the time. However the same confidence fades when he steps onto the field with a glove. Murphy tries really hard, and that is great but he's just missing something in foot-work or coordination that would allow him to be a reasonably successful fielder. How can you distract yourself from Murphy's fielding? Might I suggest Russian Roulette?
  8. What We Wish We Could Forget: Josh Thole hasn't exactly thrown out everyone. I'm a big fan of Thole. His hitting is solid and his lack of power is off-set by the confidence that he will get A hit when he comes to the plate. Also... I had to love how in a single game he went from a poor 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position to a nice 3 for 10 which proves that SO MANY stats are meaningless in the spring. However, how can we get by people stealing freely on his arm? He's not going to magically become Piazza, but let's remember that a catcher does 3 things, calls the game, blocks the plate and throws out runners. He's fine at that middle one, and I think we can get by focusing on that.
  9. What We Wish We Could Forget: Johan Santana might be nothing more than 49.5 Million dollars in payroll. I don't believe Johan Santana will be worth 50% of the money due to him over the rest of his contract. I just can't see him staying healthy. However... when he's been healthy, he's been pretty darn successful. So... how do I reconcile that our BEST pitcher is also the most over-payed? How about the fact that a strong couple games might buy Sandy Alderson enough stock to trade Johan to another more desperate for immediate success team? That's what I'm hoping for, anyway.
  10. What We Wish We Could Forget: Mike Pelfrey is our "Ace". He's not an ACTUAL Ace, but on our staff, Mike Pelfrey is the Ace. I keep repeating this because I want to make tou depressed and nostalgic for Al Leiter. Is it working? The latest brain-wave I've seen is the concept of trading Pelfrey to a contender for prospects. I'm all for it, but who is going to bite on that piece of bait? How can you deal with the deep dark feelings that crop up when you hear Pelfrey and Ace in the same sentence? I'm going with denial, "What are you talking about? R.A. Dickey's our Ace."
  11. What We Wish We Could Forget: Jonathan Niese might have the best "Stuff" in the rotation. You hear a lot of people make reference to polish and stuff. Stuff is the actual raw talent that a player possesses. while polish is how skilled he is at using it. I'll give the example of Aroldis Chapman who throws somewhere around 105 MPH. He has stuff. I'll also give the example of Jamie Moyer who's fastball topped out at 70. He had polish. Jonathan Niese has a swooping curve and a solid fastball, but nothing to freak out over. How do you get past the fact that he's got the best "STUFF" on the roster? Think about the great Met pitchers who had no "Stuff" like Rick Reed. You don't need a 105 MPH pitch, it helps... but you don't NEED it.
  12. What We Wish We Could Forget: R.A. Dickey isn't Superman. I look at Dickey and I hear trumpets playing a heroic fanfare. He's just so darn likable. Not to mention that he's probably the best healthy pitcher the Mets have right now. I just get a little worried over fans who want to dump everyone BUT Dickey for new players. Sure, Dickey is good, he might even be a top of the rotation guy on 50% of the teams in baseball, but he's also a knuckle-baller. What does that mean? It means that hitters know that 9 out of 10 pitches they see from him are going to be knucklers and that could lead to an explosive day every time he pitches. How do you get past this? Lose yourself staring into his majestic beard and soft blue eyes...
  13. What We Wish We Could Forget: Chris Young is being "RELIED" upon. I like Chris Young. I harassed Metsblog for news on Chris Young on a nearly daily basis before he signed. I even feel that WITH the injury, he was Alderson's best signing of the offseason. However... even I didn't think we could "RELY" on him. How can you get by the inevitable injuries that this giant man will suffer? Well, Dillon Gee could help by continuing to pitch that well, but just breath deep and know that all the Mets NEED from Young are 20 games started.
  14. What We Wish We Could Forget: Chris Capuano is a starter. I like Chris, no I love Chris, as a relief pitcher. He's quite capable of being a great lefty specialist / long reliever. The issue is that unless Gee sticks with the team, Santana returns or the Mets promote Mejia, Capuano is going to start for the Mets. How can you cope with the inflated ERA that will come with exposing Capuano to a fill assortment of righties? He'll be relegated to the bullpen at some point. It'll be okay.
  15. What We Wish We Could Forget: Francisco Rodriguez will likely vest his absurd option. How could the Mets let this happen? 17 Million for K-Rod is ABSURD! However, the Mets will need to pay it if he finishes over 55 games. The simple solution would seem: Just don't let him do that. However the players union will clearly block that. How can you deal with the pain that K-Rod will vest because he's still the best option the Mets have to close out the game? ACTUALLY, start hoping he pitches REALLY well. A team might be willing to trade for K-Rod if the Mets pay some of the money back. I'd rather pay 5-7 Mil in 2012 for K-Rod AND have a prospect than pay 17 Mil and K-Rod.
  16. What We Wish We Could Forget: Bobby Parnell looks a lot like a batting cage pitch machine. I like Parnell. He could totally round into a closer. I had secret hopes that would happen in 2011, but that seems RATHER unlikely. Right now I just want Bobby to return to being a setup guy rather than an BP pitcher. How can you cope with the Parnell blues? It's rough, with few prospects with as much potential waiting in the wings. Perhaps we should just remember that Bell struggled as a Met and then went on to be a slightly decent pitcher.
  17. What We Wish We Could Forget: Jason Isringhausen is really REALLY old. Okay, so my father is going to punch me, but as I'm only 27, 38 seems REALLY old. At least for baseball. Now... I know that some pitchers are timeless and can get away pitching into their 40s but my worry with Izzy is the ware and tear on his arm. I'm 27 and after serving a volleyball a few times at full power I'm in need of physical therapy. How can you deal with Isringhausen's age-related vulnerability? How about the fact that he showed up out of nowhere. WHATEVER he gives the Mets. Is SUPERB. If he was injured getting out of bed today, he'd have done enough in 2011 to earn our thanks.
  18. What We Wish We Could Forget: Taylor Buchholz is as likely as anyone to get hurt. At least Taylor buchholz can be counted on... right... I think you might want to recall that Taylor's had a few years off from his tremendous debut. Sure, I like him and think he's talented but like Chris Young, you can't RELY on health. How do you cope with yet another fragile arm? How unlucky can the Mets be. If you have 4 players start the year known for being injury prone, I'd bet at least 1 could be healthy for 90% of the season.
  19. What We Wish We Could Forget: Pedro Beato cannot be demoted. I like Beato but I don't like the amount of faith I'm forced to have in him. The Mets have to keep Beato with the major league club or return him to Baltimore. Beato looks VERY good "Stuff"-wise so... it's not a bad thing, but it does mean that the Mets need to be more lenient if he hits a rough patch. Where can you find solace? Beato is not going to be the difference between a winning and losing season. You can take that to the bank.
  20. What We Wish We Could Forget: Tim Byrdak is the ONLY bullpen lefty. As I mentioned above, Capuano could shift into the pen, but for now... it's Byrdak and Byrdak and Byrdak for any and all lefty relief work. He's not been great and has Mike O'Connor waiting in the wings but I seriously want the Mets to stop relying on 1 guy to be the ONLY lefty. How do I cope with the fact that the Mets never learn to have multiple lefties? The problem is that the Mets have too many righties who demand time. I get by crossing my fingers that D.J. Carrasco will be sent to the minors.
  21. What We Wish We Could Forget: D.J. Carrasco is going to be back next year. I am not a Carrasco fan. He eats innings with a side order of blowing the lead. Why is he even on the team? I'll tell you why. Carrasco signed a bleeping two year deal and is on the team as a fixture because he's paid more than the guys who better deserve spots. My hope is that the Mets will send him packing the moment they feel they have the flexibility to move Capuano into relief. That's what keeps me warm at night.
  22. What We Wish We Could Forget: Ronny Paulino is a confirmed cheater. You know... at least when the Mets were bad I could always hold my head up high and say, "Yeah? Well at least we weren't cheaters." PAULINO! Now, let's point out that he didn't cheat as a Met, but that credability I used to enjoy is now forever in question. How can I deal with the crushing hypocracy of it all? Find a Yankee fan and ask them. They should be used to that sort of thing.
  23. What We Wish We Could Forget: Brad Emaus is taking up a perfectly good bench spot. Brad Emaus was a giant offensive disappointment, wrapped in a larger defensive disappointment, wrapped in creamy nougat. He couldn't hit, which was bad, but he also couldn't field. He was supposed to be an OBP machine but all he seemed to be good for was an easy out ahead of the pitcher. How should I cope with my sense of disappointment in Brad Emaus? Well... moments ago he was DFA'd and Justin Turner was promoted to take his spot. Just wait, it won't take long for Justin to find something for us to hate about him.
  24. What We Wish We Could Forget: Scott Hairston hit .210 last year. For all that I like Hairston as a human and a player, he's not a savior or a great guy on the bench. He DOES have power and he has been clutch, but he's just a touch on the... doesn't get a lot of hits side. He was on my fantasy squad last season as I figured he'd have a starting gig in San Diego. That didn't quite happen. How can you see a silver lining in Hairston? Well... he's wound up allowing Nick Evans to get some late seasoning in AAA. PLUS... he can play CF.
  25. What We Wish We Could Forget: Willie Harris can't field with Citi Field's lights on. Harris hasn't been bad. His batting line is respectable and he's made some good plays. HOWEVER, there have been at least two that I've seen that look absurdly bad. Running in from left field he's twice been blinded by the spot-lights at Citi Field. What can we do when we see that? How about mailing Willie some shades or demanding the lights be dimmed for his benefit.