Saturday, December 30, 2006

John Sickels' 2007 Top Mets Prospects

2007 New York Mets Prospects
By John Sickels
Posted on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 04:22:05 PM CST

2007 New York Mets Prospects

  1. Fernando Martinez, OF, A- (tools and youth, just needs refinement)
  2. Mike Pelfrey, RHP, Grade A- (I think the breaking pitch problem is overblown. He had a good one in college and I think he'll find it again. I am sticking with my guns on this one)
  3. Phil Humber, RHP, B+ (Many prefer him over Pelfrey, I like both)
  4. Carlos Gomez, OF, B (great tools, but I'm not sure about his power)
  5. Jon Niese, LHP, B- (projectable lefty is a personal favorite)
  6. Deolis Guerra, RHP, B- (live arm, a long way away)
  7. Kevin Mulvey, RHP, B- (accidently left off first list)
  8. Joe Smith, RHP, B- (impressive reliever could advance fast)
  9. Mike Carp, 1B, B- (developing power bat to watch)
  10. Alay Soler, RHP, C+ (Cuban defector looks better as a reliever to me than a starter)
  11. Adam Bostick, LHP, C+ (acquired from the Marlins, good breaking ball)
  12. Josh Stinson, RHP, C+ (interesting arm but another guy who will need time)
  13. Sean Henry, OF, C+ (toolsy, skills may be developing)
  14. Mike Devany, RHP, C (looks like a utility pitcher to me)
  15. Nick Evans, 3B, C (making slow progress)
  16. Shawn Bowman, 3B, C (back injuries two years in a row)
  17. Michel Abreu, 1B, C (good stats, but how old is he? 26? 31? 52?)
  18. Stephen Holmes, RHP, C (intriguing arm from '06 draft)
  19. Tobi Stoner, RHP, C (control artist dominated New York-Penn League)
  20. Brandon Nall, RHP, C (good numbers but old for the level)
  21. Dustin Martin, OF, C (hit .315 in the NY-P but strikes out a lot)

Others of Note: Corey Coles, OF; Ambiorix Concepcion, OF; Jose Coronado, SS: Emmanuel Garcia, SS; Brett Harper, 1B; Anderson Hernandez, INF; Mike Nickeas, C; Robert Parnell, RHP; Todd Prviett, LHP; Dan Stegall, OF.

The Mets In One Sentence: This system has quality at the top, but the talent level bottoms out very fast.

For some reason, Mets fans tend to get very defensive about their farm system, likely a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from trades over the last few years. Face it guys: this system has three strong prospects at the top, four or five more who are interesting but have question marks, then a whole bunch of guys who are only marginal right now. This isn't an insult; there are lots of systems like this around, and the Mets are not the worst. I just don't understand why people get so upset about it. The Mets have problems, sure, but at least you are not rooting for the Minions of Evil like Yankees fans.


MPH Analysis: Its a good list overall, I agree with the placing of Nando at number 1, even though he is still very raw and far away, his upside is insane, look for him to start in St. Lucie this year. The next two I also agree with, Pelfrey has higher upside, but Humber is more ready to help the Mets right NOW. Pelfrey still needs to refine his offspeed stuff, but its not like he has to get himself a new pitching repetoire. Pelfreys fastball is special, and should let him become a very very good pitcher in the Bigs. Humber looks to be more of a #2, with #1 potential in his prime. If he does in fact get the 5th spot in the rotation, look for him to put up solid numbers, a nice k/9, some control and command issues, and an era around 4.10, he should also put up nice h/9 numbers as well. These two pitchers could anchor the top of the Mets rotation for a long time. Next we have a very toolsy outfielder in Gomez. He is very raw and doesnt have much plate discipline, but his speed, defense, and overall exciting play has got many people and scouts raving about him. He also has nice power potential and should fill out as he gets older, as hes only 20. Look for him to start in New Orleans next season. Next one might be a little high, but Tejesh has been following him since we drafted him, and he absolutly loves him. Like Sickels said, he is very projectible, and a lefty, which already gives him an advantage over our other lower level pitching prospects. Hes still very young and should be starting in St Lucie this season. The next guy on the list is someone who I actually think should be number 5, but its alright. Guerra is only 17 years old and had a great year in 2006, dominating players 2-3 years older than him in A ball. He projects to be a frontline starter, and has the upside to be an Ace. He should be starting out in St. Lucie, which should make that team very fun to follow in 2007. Next up we have the Mets first overall pick in the 2006 draft, Kevin Mulvey. After he signed, he started out in AA and started 3 games and pitched to a 1.35 era. He also pitched in the AFL, and looks to project out to a #3/#4 starter in the future. Look for him to start out in Binghamton(AA) next season. Next up we have Joe Smith, a side arming reliever who moved up pretty quickly. He dominated in Brooklyn, but struggled a bit in Binghamton. He struggles against lefties, but should become a decent reliever in the future. Look for him to start out in Binghamton this year. The next guy on the list is an MPH personal favorite, and someone who should be higher on the list IMO. You should know a lot about Carp already, and if you don't, look through our archives on this site and read up on some of the Carp articles we posted. He should start the year out in Binghamton. Rounding out the top 10 is the bull, Alay Soler. I think he was pretty good in his first few starts in the MLB, but the Red Sox and Yankee games ruined him. I still think he could be a solid reliever for us, because he does have good stuff.

Thats all for now, hope you enjoyed.

Nicaraguan League/Winter ball Stats as of 12/25

-Nicaraguan Winter League:

League Leaders as of 12/25:

Shawn Bowman .347 - 3rd in league
9 - 2nd in doubles
5 HRs - 2nd in league
21 RBIs – 3rd in league
Caleb Stewart .344 - 4th in league
10 - 1st in doubles
Ambiorix Concepcion 6 HRs - tied 1st in league
25 RBIs - 1st in league
8 SB - 1st in league
Miquel Perez 2.18 ERA - 2nd in league
5-0 - 2nd in wins

-Nicaragua *Updated 12/24*

Shawn Bowman: .347, 5HR, 21RBI, 10BB, 15K, 1.011OPS
Ambiorix Concepcion: .281, 6HR, 25RBI, 8BB, 30K, .823OPS, 8SB
Caleb Stewart: .344, 4HR, 16RBI, 18BB, 13K, 1.031OPS
-Puerto Rico *Updated 12/22*

Ruben Gotay: .284, 3HR, 10RBI, 18BB, 15K, .837OPS
Brahiam Maldonado: .400, 0HR, 3RBI, 0BB, 4K, .933OPS
Willie Collazo: 1-2, 3.24, 25IP, 24H, 4BB, 14K, .247BAA
Orlando Roman: 4-0, 2.61, 41.1IP, 34H, 11BB, 18K, .227BAA
Eddie Camacho: 0-0, 2.89, 9.1IP, 11H, 6BB, 7K
-Dominican *Updated 12/24*

Carlos Gomez: .242, 0HR, 5RBI, 2BB, 26K, .271OBP, 12SB
Anderson Hernandez: .310, 0HR, 10RBI, 12BB, 15K, .381OBP, 3SB
Marcelo Perez: 0-0, 13.53, 1.1IP, 0H, 1BB, 2K
Jason Vargas: 0-1, 2.13, 12.2IP, 7H, 2BB, 8K, .163BAA

A little Q&A with Phillip Humber from

Q&A: Mets pitcher Philip Humber

Philip Humber was 2-2 with a 2.88 ERA at Double-A.By Bryan Hoch
Inside Pitch Magazine
Posted Sep 5, 2006

Philip Humber will get his first taste of the major leagues on Tuesday, as the former No. 1 draft pick was promoted from Double-A Binghamton along with several New York Mets top prospects.

A hard-throwing right-hander, Humber has rebounded from season-ending Tommy John surgery in 2005, coming back to the Double-A level stronger than before. Over the weekend, Humber spoke with Inside Pitch's Bryan Hoch during the Binghamton Mets' series at Connecticut, discussing his return to prominence in the farm system and his
possibilities for a big league call-up which has now arrived.

Q: Has it been good to get back into the competitive spirit of a playoff race with Binghamton here, and was it something you missed?

A: That was something I missed last year in St. Lucie; we didn’t have a very good year and I was used to, in college, always being in a playoff environment and actually playing for something. It’s a lot more fun when that’s going on. Instead of thinking about yourself, you're thinking about the team. And that's part of the rehab process from an injury, you're forced to focus on yourself.

Q: Was that a change for you?

A: For sure. Most of the rehab stuff you do is by yourself, until you get to extended [spring training], when you get into a team setting. It's a lot more fun out there competing and playing for something than it is in the gym rehabbing or throwing in the bullpen.

Q: Did it get lonely at times? I know you have the support staff and the coaches, but at the end of the day, it's really just you out there.

A: Yeah, exactly. I'm the kind of person who can deal with that. I'm pretty capable of motivating myself and not having someone push me. Sometimes it was tough.

Q: You came back to Double-A and posted your first victory at this level. Did you add any significance to that based upon how far you came to get back here?

A: My goal coming into this year, when I sat down with Tony Bernazard in spring training, was that at the end of the year I wanted to be one of the guys who is being talked about that can help the big club. I think maybe I'm in that discussion now. That’s really my goal. Wins and losses, there's not a whole lot I can do about that at times, except give the team a chance to win. That’s when I get in trouble, a lot of times, so I just try to focus on getting myself prepared for next level and at same time have fun with this playoff race.

Q: So it would be fair to say you set your goals well past coming back to Double-A and winning one game.

A: My goal all along has been to get to the big leagues as fast as I can. I had a setback because of the surgery, but I think so far I've overcome that and kind of minimized the impact of that.

Q: A few weeks ago, Omar Minaya was at Shea Stadium and he was discussing starting pitching depth in the system. He mentioned the guys you'd usually think of, but he also threw your name in there. Did you hear about that, and how did you react?

A: Some people told me about it and I saw it in the papers. That's always nice to hear. It's a compliment to know that you're thought of as a guy who has possibilities of helping
the big club that's great to be in that discussion this year. Next year I can really make a push to be one of the guys that's up there. For him to say that, it was flattering for him to say that.

Q: Was it surprising?

A: No, I think I've pitched pretty well and I think I've shown I'm healthy. That’s kind of out of my control, whether they think I'm capable right now or not. I definitely think I've
shown I'm healthy and that I can make the pitches I need to, and get people out.

Q: Has it been a quick road or a long road back from surgery?

A: Well, when I first started out rehab, they tell you it's going to be 12 months until you get back on a mound. But looking back, it's really flown by. I guess once I started throwing it started going by a lot faster, because there wasn't the monotony. I was building on something every day, the amount of throws or the distance I could throw. It's gone by really fast and I'm thankful I haven’t had any setbacks with it. I've been able to pretty much progress as fast as the program would allow.

Q: I remember you saying in spring training that it was your goal to "prove a lot of people wrong." Do you feel like you did?

A: That was my goal at that time. I was pretty fired up. The season I had the year before, I didn't feel like I showed the way I was capable of pitching. I figured there were some
doubters out there that were skeptical; was this the right decision, making this guy the number one pick? I think I've done that and more. That's not my goal anymore, to prove
people wrong. My goal now is to prove people right. I think I've turned the tide a little bit as far as people doubting whether I'm coming back from surgery or whether I can compete in professional baseball.

Q: Everyone wants be a number one pick, obviously, but it is also something that never goes away. Do you feel people judge you based upon that?

A: No, and that's something I struggled with last year. I came in and put a lot of extra expectations on myself because of that, and I tried to live up to whatever expectations people think a No. 1 pick should be.

Q: Which is probably different for every person.

A: Exactly. There's a lot of guys who weren't number one picks who have been great in the big leagues. This year, I've taken a better approach to just trying to do my best and be the best pitcher I could be, regardless of where I was picked. I don't let whatever anyone else expects of me affect the way I go about my business and the way I prepare to pitch a game.

Q: Realistically, what do you feel your timetable is for reaching Shea Stadium?

A: If it's not this year, I want it to be next year. They've invited me to the [Arizona] Fall League and that's something that I think I'm going to go do, and improve on some things.
There's going to be a lot of competition, if you look at the guys now and the guys coming up. I'm sure there's going to be some guys that they get in the offseason, and a lot of things are going to happen. Spring training will be a battle next year, and hopefully it'll be the World Champion New York Mets spring training. It's going to be fun and I'm going to be prepared for it. I don't ever want to have that opportunity and not be ready for it.

Q: You were in spring training this year and, although you were on rehab, you watched as Brian Bannister surprised a lot of people and slipped into the rotation. Do you take inspiration from seeing that it can happen, even in New York?

A: He was my locker mate. Being around him and seeing the type of person he was, I could tell he was a fighter and regardless of what people thought about him going in, he was capable of proving them wrong. He just went out there and did it. You can't argue with the results he put up. Mike Pelfrey had the same thing happen. It just shows the Mets don't care how old you are or how much experience you have. They're going to go
with the best guy, so that's encouraging.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Another dark horse candidate for 2007, Shane Hawk

Hawk Set To Resume Throwing

Shane Hawk will start throwing in InstructsBy Patrick Teale

Posted Sep 19, 2006

It has been over two years since talented left-handed hurler Shane Hawk threw a pitch in the Mets farm system. Surgeries to repair two tears in his labrum and another in his rotator cuff before a subsequent surgery prior to the start of the 2006 season has kept him on the shelf, but he's set to resume throwing during Instructs.

"I feel great," an excited Shane Hawk told "I feel stronger than I've ever felt in my life. I feel bigger than I've ever felt in my life. I've put on about ten pounds of muscle, about fifteen pounds total."

"I had slimmed down a bit after my last surgery but I've hit the weights harder than I've ever hit them. They told me I'll be able to start playing catch again during Instructs so
that's pretty exciting."

Hawk had his first surgery in the offseason prior to the 2005 season, repairing two tears in his labrum in his left shoulder and another tear in his rotator cuff. He had worked his way back but had yet another setback at the beginning of Spring Training this season.

"I had the exact same pain that I had before my first surgery," Hawk revealed. "They went in and looked and said there was nothing there except a lot of scar tissue. I'm so
loose naturally that my shoulder was coming out every time I was throwing a ball. It was coming out of the socket and going back in. They sutured up some tendons in the front and tightened it up and pulled it back in the normal position."

Unable to throw a baseball this past season, not even allowed to play catch at all, Hawk has been limited to a steady diet of lifting weights, running, and shoulder therapy in the
trainer's room at the minor league complex in St. Lucie.

"I lift weights like a madman," said the 25-year old. "I feel like I'm Arnold Schwarzenegger from 'Pumping Iron' or something. The therapist comes in on Tuesdays and Fridays and I do my shoulder stuff. I just workout as hard as I can. I want to get back to where I was at."

Hawk had posted a 3-1 record with ten saves and a 2.02 ERA in his career prior to the shoulder problems, quickly earning the distinction as the top left-handed relief prospect in the system.

Drafted in the fourth round of the 2003 MLB Draft out of Oklahoma State University, the now oft-injured Hawk has seen some of his friends find their way to Shea Stadium.

"It hurts seeing a lot of guys, this year actually, young guys going to the big leagues that I know I can compete with," he admitted. "But I know if I can get back to 85-90 percent of
where I was at I can get to a good level and help out the Mets at a certain level, even in the big leagues in the bullpen or something."

Physically in the best shape of his life and seemingly ready to go, he is set to resume throwing during the Mets' Instructional League. Soft-tossing from 45 and 60 feet are on
the agenda and perhaps even some long-tossing from as far as 90 or 120 feet.

"I don't know if I'll be on the mound yet but I'll definitely be working my way into some long-toss," said Hawk. "That's my goal, to get on the mound before the Instructs' season ends and before the whole thing ends."

But while Hawk and the Mets are excited to get him back to throwing a baseball, everybody realizes caution is the name of the game.

"Spring Training for sure," Hawk said of when he thinks he'll return to the mound for sure. "I don't want to rush into anything and blow something out before I even get back.
Obviously this year is a wash so why waste it."


MPH's take: With Omar trading away most of our upper level relief prospects (no matter how bad we think they were/are, they were there), Shane Hawk will be a pleasant surprise for Mets fans who follow the system, if he's 100% healthy. He throws hard. He could move quickly this year, assuming everything is a go on his left arm, which is another key, he's a lefty.

We do have several talented, if unnamed, relief prospects in our system. Grady Hinchman, Carlos Muniz, Kevin Tomasiewicz, Brandon Nall, German Marte, Shane Hawk, and others I'm sure I'm forgetting. Hawk's the only lefty of the group, though, which will aid in his ascent.

PS: Doesn't that shoulder thing sound absoultely painful? My god. Ouchies.

2007 Dark Horse Shawn Bowman?

Mets' Bowman slugs away in Nicaragua
Bowman's 5 HR and 15 RBI pace all of Nicaragua. By Bryan Hoch Inside Pitch MagazinePosted Dec 12, 2006

Mets prospect Shawn Bowman has been among the standouts in Nicaragua this winter, leading the league in home runs and RBI to earn Player of the Month honors for November.

Bowman, a 22-year-old third baseman, has powered the offense for Tigres de Chinandega, serving as the club's cleanup hitter. Entering play Tuesday, Bowman was batting .342 (26-for-76) with five homers, six doubles, 13 runs scored and 15 RBI. In addition to pacing the circuit in home runs and RBI, Bowman ranked fifth in the Nicaraguan League in batting average, fourth in hits and third in runs scored.

Considered the top third base prospect in the Mets system, Bowman was a 12th round selection in 2002 out of high school in Canada. He was sidelined in 2006 while playing with Class-A St. Lucie of the Florida State League due to a fractured L-5 vertebrate in his back, the second consecutive year Bowman suffered such an injury.

In 32 games for St. Lucie, Bowman batted .252 with three home runs and 19 RBI. He briefly considered having surgery to repair the back but eventually settled upon a rehabilitation program, which was carried out at the Mets' Tradition Field training complex.
He is expected to vie for a promotion to Double-A Binghamton of the Eastern League during spring training, though a return to St. Lucie is possible.

Bowman's Chinandega club also features four other Mets farmhands: Ambiorix Concepcion (.241, 4 HR, 6 RBI), Caleb Stewart (.324, 3 HR, 10 RBI), Wilson Batista (.345, 2 HR, 12 RBI) and Chuck Smith (1-2, 5.82 ERA in 21 2/3 IP).

Thanks to Gerald Hernandez of the Nicaraguan Winter League for his assistance.


MPH's take: I remember hearing, as early as 2005, that Shawn Bowman would eventually move David Wright to first base. Well, in the last 2 seasons, Bowman's broken his back, twice, in the exact same place. Who knows if he's got the range he had 2 years ago? Obviously, by the numbers he's putting up this winter, he can rake. He could very well end the season in New Orleans, he'll most likely start in St. Lucie, though as the article says, Binghamton's not out of the realm of possibility. He's still only 22/23, so he'll be right on track as a prospect if he heads north. My personal take is, the Mets will keep Mike Carp as their first baseman of the future, keep Darkwing David Wright at third, and use Bowman, along with some other non top tier prospects (think Vargas, Bostick, Devaney, Soler, Harper, Evans, etc...) to bring in a veteran at the deadline.

However, David really really likes Bowman. One thing David is good at that I'm not is spotting diamonds in the rough, before they break out. He called Michael Devaney's breakout when he had a 5+ era in St. Lucie, and Carp when he was hitting .260 in St. Lucie.

Monday, December 25, 2006's METS Prospect Report + Comments and analysis from me


Organization MVP: Lastings Milledge. Barring an injury in New York, the Mets' top prospect is probably stuck at Triple-A, where he should reward the team's decision-makers for electing to hold on to him during a whirlwind of trade talks over the offseason. As well as he's handled Major League pitching during Spring Training, you've gotta believe Lastings can hang in the IL.

This was dead on in a number of ways. First, it was an injury that brought Milledge up to New York. Second, he did hang in the IL, batting .277 with 32 extra-base hits in 84 games. He did hit better early on (.357 in April), with the travels to and from New York perhaps taking their toll. That being said, he didn't actually win the Sterling Minor League Organizational Player of the Year Award, an honor that went to first baseman Mike Carp.

Cy on the farm: Mike Pelfrey. He was widely considered the best pitching talent in last year's draft, and judging by his Spring Training performance, the long layoff didn't negatively affect him. Brian Bannister will be pitching at a much higher level -- possibly even in the Majors -- and other promising hurlers like Jon Niese and Bobby Parnell could be pitching at the same level as Pelfrey, just at a younger age.

Well, Pelfrey did have a successful run in the Minors. He went 7-3 with a 2.43 ERA across three levels, striking out 109 and walking only 33 in 96 1/3 innings. Opponents hit just .232 against him and he made it to the big leagues for four starts in his first pro season. But it was Mike Devaney who took home Pitcher of the Year honors after leading the organization in ERA and wins and finishing second to Niese in strikeouts. There's not likely to be too much debate, though, over which Mike is more highly touted at this point.

High Tide: With players like Milledge, Brian Bannister, Jeff Keppinger, Brett Harper and Chase Lambin possibly spending time in Norfolk this season, the Tides could have quite a talented young nucleus in the International League. They made the playoffs last year while relying largely on older, veteran players like Brian Daubach, Ron Calloway, Benji Gil, Rodney Nye, Eric Junge and Jae Seo. This year, a return trip wouldn't be a surprise, although potentially with a much younger cast.

Oops. Norfolk finished 57-84, 22 games behind division winner Charlotte. Some of the players, like Milledge and Bannister (before getting hurt), were lost to the big leagues. Keppinger hit well before being traded. Lambin batted just .222 before being demoted to Double-A. Harper missed most of the year and the time he did play also was also in Double-A.

Latin love: Conspiracy theorists tried to accuse GM Omar Minaya of being a racist because of his proclivity for signing Latin players. But Mets fans won't be complaining if youngsters like Deolis Guerra, Fernando Martinez and/or Junior Contreras pan out as they're expected to. Martinez, from the Dominican Republic, and Guerra, a Venezuelan, are 16 and 17 respectively and signed for a combined $2.1 million last year (with Martinez getting $1.4 million). Contreras is a hulking 6-foot-6, 250-pound first baseman, who was second in the Gulf Coast League with eight home runs last year. The 20-year-old Dominican also drew 26 walks and was fourth in the league with a .401 on-base percentage and fifth in slugging (.500).

Muy bien. Guerra had a 2.20 ERA in 17 starts in his first taste of full-season ball (at age 17), yielding just 59 hits over 81 2/3 innings, before getting a three-start taste (including one playoff start) of the Florida State League. Martinez was the youngest player ever to play in the Arizona Fall League after he hit a combined .279 across two levels during the season. The teenage sensation is on the Top 50 prospects list and hit .333 in 45 games with Hagerstown before stumbling a little with an aggressive promotion to St. Lucie. Contreras made more modest gains, hitting .284, though without much power, mostly with Kingsport in the Appalachian League.

End result: Technically, we hit .250 on this one. But if you call the Pelfrey call a push, we improve to .333.


Lastings Milledge had a good rookie season in the majors, and there is no reason to question his talent, or ability. His personality, perhaps, but not the talent. He displayed all 5 tools in his 166 AB introduction to the majors. He will likely begin the year in New Orleans, with Shawn Green (why?) in right field.

Mike Carp? He's legit. In a couple of the articles we posted late last month here, you read that Carp reinvented his stroke, spraying the ball around rather then being a dead pull (Jacobs?) hitter. We feel that this puts Carp into the David Wright mold of hitting. Carp's got natural power, enough to where he can and will hit 25-30 homers, just like Wright, along with a .300+ average. Look for big things out of Carp in Binghamton

Mike Pelfrey didn't do anything to harm his prospect status in his 4 MLB starts, but Phillip Humber, in my opinion, did a whole lot to boost his prospect status. Naysayers point out Humber is 23, which is true. However, Pelfrey's 22 and alot less refined. Humber has a 94 mph fastball which touches 96, with a hammer curve and a power change. Pelfrey just has a 96-98 mph fastball, and then several weak secondary pitches. Both pitchers will begin the season in New Orleans, most likely, headlining what looks to be a very very strong team.

The Latin Connection? Strong and vibrant. Fernando Martinez and Deolis Guerra are, without question, going to be stars in the majors, someday. FMart showed good discipline at Hagerstown, 15/36 BB/K ratio in 192 at-bats. Then, as a 17 year old (HS senior?) in high A St. Lucie, he hit 5 homers in 119 ABs, doubling his season total to 10. Guerra just tore the Sally League apart, and he's also just 17. Look for his fastball to pick up between 4-7 mph, becoming a plus/plus offering. He is also very refined, with a very good changeup.

All in all, I feel that the Mets farm system doesn't get the props it deserves. But that'll change, really soon. We have 7 very legit prospects in the farm, and good depth, too.


PS: Sorry about not updating this blog in a while, but the winter months are extraordinairly quiet with regards to prospects.

PPS: Carlos Gomez is 5 for his last 8, raising his average to .242. His stats: 11 runs scored, 0 2b, 3b, hr, 5 RBI, 2 BBs/26 Ks (yes, his plate discipline ain't good, but he wasn't playing regularly for a long time, he is now), 12 SBs (considering he's gotten on base a whopping 24 times, that's pretty good, the 12 steals).

Have a nice and safe Christmas, everyone.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

BP Mets top 10 prospects and analysis

Excellent Prospects
1. Fernando Martinez, cf
2. Philip Humber, rhp
3. Mike Pelfrey, rhp
Very Good Prospects
4. Carlos Gomez, of
Good Prospects
5. Alay Soler, rhp
Average Prospects
6. Jon Niese, lhp
7. Kevin Mulvey, rhp
8. Mike Carp, 1b
9. Deolis Guerra, rhp
10. Joe Smith, rhp

1. Fernando Martinez, cf
DOB: 10/10/88
Height/Weight: 6-0/185
Bats/Throws: L/R
Signed: Dominican Republic, 2005
What he did in 2006: .333/.389/.505 at Low A (211 PA); .250/.250/.250 at Rookie Level (4 PA); .193/.254/.387 at High A (130 PA)
The Good: After receiving the largest bonus in the 2005 international signing season ($1.4 million), Martinez looked to be worth every penny. Both his hitting skills and approach are remarkable for his age, and power should come as he learns how to pull balls. Every tool grades out as average or plus, and he's a sound center fielder with a plus arm.
The Bad: Power is still mostly projection, and some scouts see a swing that is not designed for loft. Struggles against good lefties. Concerns exist about his ability to maintain speed as body fills out, leaving some to project a move to a corner slot.
The Irrelevant: After going homerless against lefthanders in the Sally League, Martinez bashed three in 49 at-bats against southpaws after a late-season promotion to the Florida State League.
In A Perfect World, He Becomes: It's hard to figure out where Martinez will bat in the lineup when he's done, but most agree it was be as an impact hitter in the one, two or three slot. It's interesting to note that when the updated PECOTA cards come out, his comps will include Jose Reyes and Miguel Cabrera, so the system doesn't know what he'll end up as either, other than really, really good.
Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: High – but remarkably low for a player so young. Even the Mets were surprised as to how quickly Martinez's tools translated on the field.

2. Philip Humber, rhp
DOB: 12/21/82
Height/Weight: 6-4/210
Bats/Throws: R/R
Draft: 1st round, 2004, Rice
What he did in 2006: 6.75 ERA at Rookie Level (4-7-1-7); 2.37 ERA at High A (38-24-9-36); 2.88 ERA at AA (34.1-25-10-36); 0.00 ERA at MLB (2-0-1-2)
The Good: Return from Tommy John surgery was not only quick, it was remarkable for how quickly the stuff came back. Throws strikes and works all four quadrants of the zone with a low 90s fastball and a hammer curveball, as well as a power change up. All three pitches are capable of generating swings and misses, and Mets brass are still buzzing about the inning of relief against Atlanta during his big league debut when he touched 96 and looked dominant.
The Bad: Control is there, but like many TJ survivors, the command can falter at times. The surgery will be an issue until he pitches a full season.
The Irrelevant: Former big leaguer Robert Ellis, who has had the surgery himself, assisted Humber with his rehab and has earned praise for an unorthodox approach that involves drills in which the pitcher throws underhanded.
In A Perfect World, He Becomes: A No. 2 starter capable of winning 15-to-18 games annually with an upper-echelon team.
Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Low – There's no need to rush Humber, as the Mets rotation is filled, and for now 2005 first-round pick Mike Pelfrey is a little ahead of him in the pecking order. He'll begin 2007 at Triple-A, but will certainly return to the majors at some point.

3. Mike Pelfrey, rhp
DOB: 1/14/84
Height/Weight: 6-7/210
Bats/Throws: R/R
Draft: 1st round, 2005, Wichita State
What he did in 2006: 1.64 ERA at High A (22-17-2-26); 2.71 ERA at AA (66.1-60-26-77); 2.25 ERA at AAA (8-4-5-6); 5.48 ERA at MLB (21.1-25-12-13)
The Good: Outstanding fastball features plus-plus velocity (92-95 mph, touches 97) and plus-plus movement, as he's capable of adding major cutting or sinking action on it. Height, and therefore downward plane, only adds to Pelfrey's effectiveness. Repeats delivery well and has very good command for such a large pitcher.
The Bad: Breaking ball pulled a bit of a disappearing act in 2006. He had a decent over-the-top curveball in college, but he just never found his feel for it this year, forcing him to pitch primarily off his fastball, which worked in the minors, but hindered his effectiveness during a brief big league look. Changeup is usable, but like the curve, he loses confidence in it, reducing himself to a one-pitch pitcher.
The Irrelevant: As great as the Mets pitching staffs of the 1980s were, Pelfrey became the first Metropolitan to win his first two starts since 1969 (Gary Gentry).
In A Perfect World, He Becomes: A frontline starter.
Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Higher than it should be. Pelfrey's Arizona Fall League season was cut short by some minor arm soreness, and the organization would like to see if he can find some consistency with his secondary pitches at Triple-A. If they sign Barry Zito, assigning him there to begin the season becomes that much easier.

4. Carlos Gomez, cf
DOB: 12/4/85
Height/Weight: 6-2/175
Bats/Throws: R/R
Signed: Dominican Republic, 2002
What he did in 2006: .281/.350/.423 at AA (486 PA)
The Good: Oozing with athleticism, there are people within the Mets organization who think his tools are batter and his ceiling is higher than Martinez or Lastings Milledge. Overmatched initially after the double jump to Double-A, Gomez hit .341 after July 1. Power is not there now, but potential is there once he adds bulk to his long, lanky frame. Excellent base stealer thanks to plus-plus speed which also helps him in centerfield to go along with above-average arm.
The Bad: Still raw as a hitter. Needs a more patient approach, which like his hitting, is something he made great strides with during the second half of the season. Has difficulty facing lefthanders, particularly ones with good breaking pitches.
The Irrelevant: Whether clutch hitting exists or not, Gomez hit .421 (40-for-95) with runners in scoring position in 2006, with a .663 slugging percentage.
In A Perfect World, He Becomes: An all-star outfielder who nearly matches teammate Jose Reyes on the excitement factor.
Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Average – the gap between what Gomez can be and his actual numbers is pretty sizeable, yet scouts are so universal in their praise for him, it's a little easier to think he'll make enough adjustments to be of value in the big leagues. He'll begin the year as a 21-year-old in Triple-A, and should make his big league debut at some point in 2007, though the Mets outfield picture is too confusing to predict anything more.

5. Alay Soler, rhp
DOB: 10/9/79
Height/Weight: 6-1/240
Bats/Throws: R/R
Signed: Cuba, 2004
What he did in 2006: 6.23 ERA at Short-season (4.1-2-2-9); 0.60 ERA at High A (30-13-9-33); 2.75 ERA at AA (19.2-16-3-22); 6.30 ERA at AAA
(10-13-4-12); 6.00 ERA at MLB (45-50-21-23)
The Good: After waiting nearly 18 months to get visa issues resolved, Cuban refugee finally arrived in the states and worked his way to the majors in short order. 88-92 mph fastball is a plus pitch due to command and movement – he uses the pitch primarily to set up his slider, which is among the best in the system.
The Bad: Between being a Cuban defector and the visa problems, Soler is old for a prospect and has little to no projection. The Mets were not thrilled with Soler's conditioning, and some blame the injured calf that slowed him in the second half on it.
The Irrelevant: When pitching for Pinar Del Rio in the Cuban League, Soler was the second part of a nasty 1-2 rotation punch that started with Jose Contreras.
In A Perfect World, He Becomes: A number three or four starter.
Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: While Soler is likely to start the year at Triple-A, it's not as if he's going to get much better. Because of the Mets rotation, he could become a valuable middle reliever in the short-term.

6. Jon Niese, lhp
DOB: 10/27/86
Height/Weight: 6-3/190
Bats/Throws: L/L
Draft: 7th round, 2005, Ohio HS
What he did in 2006: 3.93 ERA at Low A (123.2-121-62-132); 4.50 ERA at High A (10-8-5-10)
The Good: Projectable lefthander averaged more than a strikeout per inning thanks to a 88-91 mph fastball than should gain a tick or two as he matures while also flashing a curveball that can be plus at times.
The Bad: Niese's mechanics need refinement. He upper and lower halves don't coordinate well in his delivery, which some feel led to minor arm soreness towards the end of the season. Changeup is rudimentary, and he often loses snap on his curveball.
The Irrelevant: Niese is a graduate of Defiance High School in Ohio, the same school that produced Dodgers righty Chad Billingsley.
In A Perfect World, He Becomes: A solid lefthanded starter.
Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: As good as Niese was in his pro debut, there's still plenty of work to be done. He'll be a one-step-at-a-time prospect, with the next step being the Florida State League.

7. Kevin Mulvey, rhp
DOB: 5/26/85
Height/Weight: 6-1/175
Bats/Throws: R/R
Draft: 2nd round, 2006, Villanova
What he did in 2006: 0.00 ERA at Rookie Level (2-1-0-1); 1.35 ERA at AA (13.1-10-5-10)
The Good: Advanced college arm had enough polish for the Mets to feel comfortable sending him to Double-A and the Arizona Fall League after signing. Has four quality pitches with low-90s fastball, good slider and solid curve and changeup. Throws strikes and goes after hitters.
The Bad: Body offers little projection. Scouts love the depth of his arsenal, but wish he had that one offering that graded out as a dependable out pitch.
The Irrelevant: Mulvey's career record in college was 14-16, but it certainly wasn't his fault. In 2006 alone, Villanova was shutout in three of his starts and scored one run in two others.
In A Perfect World, He Becomes: A average major league starter who can eat up innings, and get to the majors quickly.
Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Low – Mulvey was expected to go much higher in the draft, and the Mets feel like they moved up 20-30 spots essentially when he fell to them. He'll likely follow the path of highly regarded Mets pitching prospects drafted out of college – beginning his first full season in the Florida State League and moving up to Double-A once the weather warms up.

8. Mike Carp, 1b
DOB: 6/30/86
Height/Weight: 6-2/205
Bats/Throws: L/R
Signed: 9th round, 2004, California HS
What he did in 2006: .287/.379/.450 at High A (.287/.379/.450)
The Good: Big first baseman put up excellent numbers for a 19/20 year old in the Florida State League. Good hand-eye coordination and bat speed allows him to use all fields and let his natural power work for him. Good approach for age. Nice first baseman with soft hands and good instincts.
The Bad: Currently needs a platoon partner after batting .238 with just three home runs in 151 at-bats against lefthanders. Not a stiff by any means, but not especially athletic either.
The Irrelevant: Carp has stolen exactly two bases in each of his pro seasons, not making at attempt in 2006 after May 27 in order to keep the streak alive.
In A Perfect World, He Becomes: An above-average big league first baseman.
Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Carp will begin the year as a 20-year-old in Double-A, so while he made great strides in 2006, that pace will need to continue, as coming up as a first baseman is a difficult assignment.

9. Deolis Guerra, rhp
DOB: 4/17/89
Height/Weight: 6-5/200
Bats/Throws: R/R
Signed: Venezuela, 2005
What he did in 2006: 2.20 ERA at Low A (81.2-59-37-64); 6.14 ERA at High A (7.1-9-6-5)
The Good: The definition of projectable – just look at the size and the birth date. Succeeded in a full-season league at such a young age thanks to an outstanding changeup. Fastball currently in the upper 80s, but it's hard to believe he won't gain some velocity in the next few years.
The Bad: Guerra needs to find more velocity and a breaking ball quickly, as his speed-changing ways will not generate the same success at the upper levels. His control also needs work, with the biggest problem being inconsistent mechanics, specifically with his release point.
The Irrelevant: Guerra allowed three or fewer runs in all 17 Sally League starts, and three only once.
In A Perfect World, He Becomes: Some envision a frontline starter, but it's really too early to say.
Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Very high – As good as Guerra's debut was statistically, his stuff still has a long way to go. His development will continue in the Florida State League, a pitching-friendly environment.

10. Joe Smith, rhp
DOB: 3/22/84
Height/Weight: 6-2/205
Bats/Throws: R/R
Draft: 3rd round, 2006, Wright State
What he did in 2006: 0.45 ERA at Short Season (20-10-3-28); 5.68 ERA at AA (12.2-12-11-12)
The Good: One of the top college closers, Smith reached Double-A in his pro debut after overmatching the New York-Penn League with a 88-91 mph sinker and outstanding slider – both offered from a sidearm delivery.
The Bad: Smith's control can falter at times and like most sidearmers, he has real problems with the opposite side, as Double-A lefties went 10-for-20 against him.
The Irrelevant: Lefthander Brian Anderson, who was the third overall pick in the 1993 draft and went on to a 13-year major league career, is the only major league pitcher to have honed his skills at Wright State.
In A Perfect World, He Becomes: A sidearming setup man.
Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Low. It's hard to project sidearmers for stardom, but Smith could be among the first 2006 draftees to reach the majors. He'll most likely begin the year at Double-A.

The Sleeper

Despite a smallish frame, 2004 draftee Sean Henry has surprising power and solid hitting skills despite having yet to get out of short-season ball. He looked good in a conversion from the middle infield to center field in 2006, and could be an interesting power/speed combination at Low A this year.

The Big Picture: Rankings Combined With Non-Rookies 25 Years Old Or Younger (As Of Opening Day 2007)

1. Jose Reyes, ss
2. David Wright, 3b
3. Lastings Milledge, cf/lf
4. Fernando Martinez, cf
5. Philip Humber, rhp
6. Mike Pelfrey, rhp
7. Carlos Gomez, of
8. Oliver Perez, rhp
9. John Maine, rhp
10. Ambiorix Burgos, rhp

Yes, I just put Reyes ahead of Wright. In order to stem the flow of angry e-mail (somehow, I get the feeling that's not going to happen) let me proclaim up front that Wright is clearly one of the best young players in the game. That said, I think Reyes is a little better. Reyes' game took a giant leap forward in 2006, and many within the industry believe he's capable of a similar level of improvement in the coming year. If that happens, you're talking about a leadoff man who is pushing 350 total bases or so. If you ask me right now who will win the National League East in 2007, I'll say the Mets in another landslide. If you ask me who the MVP in the NL with be, I just might say Jose Reyes. While the Mets have been willing to discuss Milledge in trade talks, that says more about the organization's depth than any negative feelings about his skills. The attitude, on the other hand, could use some work. Perez and Maine will both likely begin 2007 in the rotation, and with Perez, it's still a coin flip situation where he won't surprise many if he wins 15 games, and won't surprise anyone if he's out of a job by May. Maine is solid and no more, but good enough to carve out a Steve Trachsel kind of career. Picked up during the winter meetings, Burgos has struggled so far in the big leagues, but it's hard to ignore such a young power arm.

It's a top heavy organization, but the Mets don't need much in the way of talent at the big league level. Many of their top young prospects could be used as valuable chips in the mid-season trade market, with Mets fans hoping for something better than 2004's Scott Kazmir/Victor Zambrano debacle.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Interview with Fernando Martinez, sounds confident!

Fernando Martinez Interview


by Adam Foster
Project Prospect Editor

Fernando Martinez puts on an impressive batting practice display. The 18-year-old has that special something that causes the ball to crack off hit bat in an unparalleled tone.

Signed out of the Dominican Republic for $1.4 million in 2005, Martinez hit .333/.389/.505 in Single-A Hagerstown before he was promoted to High-A St. Lucie at the beginning of August, where he hit .197/.254/.387.

Following an Arizona Fall League game at HoHoKam Park, Martinez told us about what it’s like to have played exclusively against much older competition, why his AFL teammates called him "pequeño", and how Alex Rodriguez used to be his favorite major leaguer.

Foster: At which outfield position do you feel the most comfortable?

Martinez : I really, really like center. But I never know. Maybe [I’ll] play left, [I’ll] play right because Beltran’s over there.

Foster: Who was your favorite major leaguer growing up?

Martinez : Now, for me the best is Pujols. Before [it was] Alex [Rodriguez]. But Alex…I don’t know what happened man. For me now, it’s Albert Pujols.

Hes already planning on playing next to Beltran, yeahhhh, lets go Nando

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Anderson Hernandez Hurt?

Anderson Hernandez may be hurt. I don't know, because I can't read Spanish. He was taken out of the game on the 6th after 1/2 an inning. If someone fluent in Spanish could go to and poke around, I would really appreciate it greatly.

12/6: Carlos Gomez (cf) 1 for 3, RBI, .224, SB (9)
12/7: Carlos Gomez (rf) 0 for 3, K, .213
12/8: Carlos Gomez (rf) 2 for 4, run, K, .231

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Mets swap starter Brian Bannister for Reliever Ambiorix Burgos

Great deal Omar, great deal.

According to, the Mets and Royals have agreed to swap Ambiorix Burgos and Brian Bannister.
We give the Mets the advantage on this one, though Bannister will probably be of more help to the Royals next year than Burgos will to the Mets. Bannister has nothing more than fourth-starter upside and may settle in as a No. 5 or a middle reliever. Burgos, on the other hand, still projects as a very good reliever for the long-term.

Not only did Burgos have a very solid 2005 season, hes only 22 years old, throws 98 mph with a nasty splitter, has a ton of upside, stikes out a batter per inning, but the best part? We only gave up Brian Bannister! Bannister was decent and all, but he didnt project to even compete for our rotation with the mass of young pitching we have fighting for 3 spots. Meanwhile, Burgos could be in the bullpen with some improvement this spring, but is most likely heading to AAA for more work, which isn't a bad idea. When he comes up, look out for him to be a sleeper stud ala Dirty Sanchez.
This trade gets the MPH Seal of Approval, and an overall A from me, good trade Omar.

Monday, December 04, 2006

December 4th Minor League Report! Ahern!

Licey 5, Escogido 4
Anderson Hernandez (2b) 2 for 2, BB, K, .310, SB (3)
Carlos Gomez (cf) 1 for 3, BB, 2 Ks, .218, SB (8)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

12/3 Minor League Report

Licey 3, Azucareros 2 in 17 innings

Anderson Hernandez (2b, ss) 1 for 6, 2 BBs, .297

Escogido 6, Aguilas 7

Carlos Gomez (rf) 0 for 3, BB, K, .212

Saturday, December 02, 2006

December 2nd Minor League Report! AHern!

Licey 3, Estrellas 4
Anderson Hernandez (2b) 3 for 5, RBI, K, .305

Escogido 0, Cibao 4
Carlos Gomez (cf) 1 for 3, .224

Mayo on Mets prospects

Mayo believes the majority of the team's top pitching prospects are not candidiates to help in the major-league team's bullpen, mostly because they are so young and project to be starting pitchers as they all have a wide array of pitches, such as Jason Vargas, who was acquired recently from the Marlins.

According to Mayo, though Vargas has done some relieving, he does not profile as a reliever, instead he is more of a back-end-of-the-rotation type of guy. Of course, Mayo is certain to reference cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright, who was initially projected to be a starter, but was quite dominant as a closer this past season when called upon to do so.

Regarding Joe Smith, who the Mets selected in the 2005 draft, Mayo believes he could be ready to pitch at the major leagues by the middle of this season, noting he will be more successful as a set-up man and not a closer.

Like many minor-league experts, Mayo was very impressed with the progress and maturity of Fernando Martinez, who was the youngest player to play in the Arizona Fall League, during which he hit .303. The 18–year-old Martinez, according to Mayo, has lived up to early expectations at this point in his young career, which is certainly worth noting since many international signees struggle early on.

Mayo was quite surprised to see Phil Humber return as strong as he did, following Tommy John surgery a year-and-a-half ago. As Mayo put it, “He went from being sort of a, 'well, he's an injury guy, we'll have to see what happens, another ruined-arm from Rice,' to a guy who is ready to help out in New York as early as next April.

Lastly, Mayo does not believe that other teams have soured on Lastings Milledge, noting, “considering his age, and his skillset,” while not outstanding, the young outfielder did quite well in 2006. “Maybe a little bit of the luster has faded, since he didn't come up and dominate,” Mayo explains, but he should still be considered a top prospect.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Back to School for Kevin Mulvey

Kevin Mulvey posted a 1.35 ERA at Double-A.

It happened in the "snap of a finger" for Kevin Mulvey. The Mets' top selection in the 2006 draft, Mulvey – a 21-year-old right-hander - needed just three months to go from the thrill of hearing his name called to a whole other type of excitement: Pitching in a Double-A pennant race for the Binghamton Mets.

Though Binghamton's playoff hopes ended on a rainy weekend in Connecticut, with the B-Mets splitting a doubleheader that could have helped them edge into the postseason, it wasn't any fault of Mulvey's, who made three starts at Double-A and fared progressively better in each one.
"It's definitely been quick," Mulvey said. "A two-month layoff and then all of a sudden I'm in a playoff race in Double-A baseball. But I'm not really surprised at the way it worked out, because that's just the philosophy of the people upstairs, to get people moving."

Because the Mets surrendered their first-round selection as compensation for signing Type A free agent Billy Wagner over the winter, New York's first opportunity in the June draft came 62nd overall.

There, they decided upon Mulvey, who pitched three seasons at Villanova University and was a second-team All-Big East selection last spring.

His Wildcats teammates had trouble at times backing Mulvey with run support, which was one reason for a 3-8 record in 2006. Mulvey compiled a team-best 3.61 ERA in 14 starts, including 88 strikeouts in 92 1/3 innings and five complete games.

Mulvey, who features a 92-93 MPH fastball, a slider and a developing change-up and curveball, agreed to terms on a contract with the Mets in August. He was introduced to the New York media at Shea Stadium, holding court with general manager Omar Minaya in the team's dugout as his family looked on from the field.

Surrounded by reporters and television cameras, Mulvey – a Parlin, N.J. resident who has attended numerous Mets and Yankees home games - said he allowed his thoughts to drift briefly to what it could be like if he one day makes it back to Shea as a player.

"Playing baseball in New York is the greatest baseball town in the world," Mulvey said. "It'd be great to play for the Mets in New York City. It's fun playing in Binghamton. I can't imagine how much fun it'd be there."

First, though, Mulvey couldn't wait simply to get back on a mound. He did so in the Gulf Coast League, working out and making one two-inning start on Aug. 19 before being summoned to Double-A Binghamton.

"That's probably been the longest that I've been without playing baseball since I was about eight," Mulvey said. "At least when I was eight I'd be playing other sports. But just sitting around doing nothing, trying to keep my arm in shape, running and throwing and not being able to compete – that was tough."

Promoted after the Gulf Coast tune-up, B-Mets pitching coach Mark Brewer said he recognized Mulvey's talent instantly.

"The first time I saw him throw on the side, you could see right away what the scouts saw from his raw ability," Brewer said. "His first outing was somewhat tentative, but his second outing was like he'd been here all year from the standpoint of execution."

His Double-A debut came in an Aug. 24 game at Binghamton's NYSEG Stadium, when Mulvey allowed two runs and two hits over three innings, taking a no-decision to the Erie SeaWolves.

Mulvey admitted to feeling some nerves before the start, though he said life in the Eastern League was pretty much as expected.

"Growing up, I've been to a lot of professional baseball games," Mulvey said. "In New Jersey, the Trenton Thunder play and I'd been to a couple of those games throughout my life. I've been around baseball my whole life. I was pretty prepared."

Start two came five days later at home against Portland, with Mulvey shutting the Sea Dogs out on four hits through 4 1/3 innings before leaving – the victim of running into a strict 75-pitch count.

"I knew I was on a pitch count from the start," Mulvey said. "I would have liked to have gone a little deeper into the game with 75 pitches, but that's where I was."

Finally, making his last start of 2006, Mulvey ventured six innings at Connecticut on Sept. 4, allowing two runs (none earned) in a loss to the Defenders.

He finished the year 0-1 with a 1.35 ERA in 13 1/3 innings for Binghamton, leaving his thoughts optimistic toward the 2007 campaign and a continuation of his progression.

Brewer said he was impressed by Mulvey's presence of mind and his willingness to learn. That can only help down the road, as the pitching coach noted incoming collegiate pitchers have quite a bit of learning to do as they adjust to the professional game.

"In your major colleges, a lot of the things that you need to do in professional baseball within a game are pretty much done for you at the college level," Brewer said.

"That's just the way it is. What we're trying to do is just bleed that into what he's doing. He's going to have to understand who's on base; who the burners are, who are the guys that would take advantage of him if he slips up. He's going back to school again."

Since its a Mulvey day...Mulvey stats/bio/scouting report

Macks Facts:

Kevin Mulvey P R R 6’2” 190 5-26-85

Originally selected by St. Louis Cardinals in 34th Round of 2003 amateur, but chose to attend college (Villanova) instead. Mulvey was 3-8 with a 3.61 ERA as a junior at Villanova. He logged 92.1 innings, and compiled 88 Ks against just 23 walks.Mulvey pitched 5 complete games, but got little support from his team. Villanova scored 1 or less run in 5 of his 14 starts, including a four-game stretch in which the Wildcats scored just 5 runs total in 30 innings pitched by Mulvey. He was drafted in the 2nd round by the Mets in 2006 (the 37th pitcher chosen in the draft) and signed in August 2006. He went 0-1, 1.35 in three starts at Double-A Binghamton after one appearance in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. He is considered by Baseball America to be the `best arm in the Northeast" and a "pitcher who always works around the zone and isn't afraid to attack hitters." Mulvey features a dominating fastball that has been clocked as high as 94 and consistently is in a range between 89-92. He sets that up with a slider to right-handed hitters and an improved curveball and changeup (82-84 mph) that he uses to get lefties out. The change-up comes out of his hand the same way as his fastball. Baseball America ranks him in the Mets 2nd tier of prospects. Mulvey pitched 2006 winter ball for Mesa of the Arizona Fall League. Baseball America tagged him with the best fastball of all Mets 2006 draftees. "He's got good command of three pitches," a scout from an American League club said. "Good velocity on the fastball--90-93 (mph)--and a nice mix of secondary pitches with a pretty darned good feel for his changeup." Mulvey was experimenting with a cut fastball this fall in winter ball, which could complement his fastball/slider/changeup/curveball repertoire.

Parlin's Mulvey a rising star in Mets' system


Kevin Mulvey
This has certainly has been a whirlwind year for Kevin Mulvey.The Parlin native began the calendar year as a student-athlete for Villanova University in suburban Philadelphia and finished the year pitching for the Mesa Solar Sox. Along the way he made stops in the Gulf Coast League and Binghamton, N.Y.

As the holiday season fast approaches, we naturally associate "seasonal employment" with the retail world. However, professional baseball players will take up seasonal employment at the behest of their major league employers. The Mets' right-handed pitching prospect was honing his craft during the just-completed Arizona Fall League.

Each ML team sends six prospects to play in the AFL. Mulvey was one of only three players taken in the 2006 draft to play this season. The Mets, Cubs, Twins, Dodgers and Astros played for the Mesa Solar Sox. In all, there are six teams that play six games per week. The players enjoy the high level of competition and most are jockeying for position within their own organization, while others are auditioning for jobs with other teams. In fact, one of the first off-season trades included a current AFL player.

Mulvey enjoyed his AFL experience, rising to the level of the competition. In five starts he was 0-2 with a 6.00 earned run average (ERA). However, in his final start he pitched four innings and allowed only one earned run. He noted that every one there was "special," although he marveled at Phil Humber's "dirty curve" and Mike Pelfrey's 97 mph fastball. However, it was the Twins' Kevin Slowey's "ability to put the ball anywhere he wants" that caused him to smile.

Taking Mulvey with the 62nd overall pick was a no-brainer for the Mets. During his three years at Villanova University he made 41 starts, pitching 240 innings, striking out 222 batters, and posting a 14-16 record with an ERA of 4.43. In his junior year he was clearly the anchor/workhorse of the Wildcat staff, leading them with 92.1 innings pitched. He struck out 88 batters and allowed only 91 hits (pretty impressive in the aluminum bat era). Despite a 3-8 record he posted a solid 3.61 ERA and was considered one of the top pitchers in the Big East.

"That, choosing Nova over the St. Louis Cardinals, was not a difficult decision," Mulvey said. "Villanova offered "the best package, an ideal location, a great school and the best scholarship."

He hopes to complete his degree as soon as he can, as playing in the AFL interrupted his immediate scholarly plans. Once the AFL season ended, he was going back to Nova to hang out with friends before resuming his off-season training.

Despite liking all of the New York teams, he favored the Mets. His dad, Tom, liked both teams; whereas his mom, Carole, switched her allegiance from the Mets to Yankees (and now back to the Mets). Most of his friends were Yankee fans though. His two favorite players growing up were David Cone and Don Mattingly. He made the 40-60 minute trip into the city a number of times but doesn't remember ever wearing a Mets jersey. He hopes that will soon change, though he realizes that Met manager Willie Randolph won't likely hand over his number 12 jersey to him.

Mulvey didn't spend much time in the GCL, only pitching two innings. He did, however, get to work on his strength and conditioning. When he moved up to the Eastern League, he noticed the hitters had adjusted to using wooden bats and that the atmosphere was more professional. Nightly attendance in Binghamton was usually around 4,000 fans. During these two stops, he allowed only two earned runs in 15.1 innings before finishing his season with Mesa.

In assessing his game plan for 2007, he sounded much wiser than a typical 21-year-old. Rather than stressing the physical aspect of pitching, he wanted to work on his consistency, getting ahead with his breaking ball, working his fastball inside and finishing off at-bats. Anyone who watches baseball on a regular basis gets frustrated by pitchers who get ahead in the count and then proceed to lose the batter.

This is a young man of character who understands about giving back. When asked about his most memorable job, he replied, "Best paid job was working at a camp - getting to help kids on a daily basis."

He added that going down to Louisiana and helping after Hurricane Katrina has affected him deeply.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

November 30th Minor League Report! AHern!

Licey 3, Estrellas 0

Anderson Hernandez (2b) 3 for 4, 2 runs, 2b, .290

Escogido 0, Cibao 6

Carlos Gomez (cf) 0 for 3, .224

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

November 29th Minor League Report

Escogido 5, Estrellas 6

Carlos Gomez (cf) 1 for 3, run, K, .239

Licey 2, Azucareros 1

Anderson Hernandez (2b) 1 for 4, run, .271

More Carp Info!

These are outtakes from the Yankees/Mets comparison of 1b prospects.

Carp is the most complete first base prospect

The Mets have a pair of first baseman, Mike Carp and Nick Evans, both young prodigies with plus power potential and both have made tremendous strides in the development of their defensive game around the bag.

The Mets have sluggers like Brett Harper (36 home runs in 2005), Mike Carp (17 home runs in the Florida State League this past season), and Nick Evans (15 home runs in low-A ball). But outside of those three, only Binghamton's Michel Abreu (17 home runs in double-A) has a chance of sniffing the 20 home run plateau. Junior Contreras has some power potential, but many scouts are extremely down on his poor conditioning and not only doubt his ability to remain at first base, but question whether or not he has the work ethic to reach even the upper minor league levels.

Hitting For Average: Listed at 27-years old, many doubt the Mets' Michel Abreu's age, prompting some to even speculate the Cuban is already in his thirties. While he can really rake the baseball with the best of them, he isn't a legitimate prospect. Outside of Abreu, the only Mets' first base prospect many scouts consider a good bet to hit for a high average at the big league level is Mike Carp. Carp has made marked improvements in cutting down his strikeouts and taking the ball to the opposite field. While he hit .287 as one of the youngest positional players in the Florida State League, there are some scouts who believe Carp is primed for a David Wright-like breakout sometime soon. Nick Evans also worked very hard on improving his approach at the plate, but he simply doesn't walk enough to project as a high average hitter. Brett Harper has shown to be a high average
hitter, but his sub-par defensive ability at first base has many questioning whether or not he'll remain at the position.

Defense: The Yankees had a clear advantage over the Mets defensively at first base a year ago, but with the rapid defensive progression of Mike Carp and Nick Evans, that gap is quickly closing. Once projecting as an average first baseman, Carp worked tirelessly on his agility, even taking ground balls at shortstop this past season to work on his footwork and hands. The hard worked paid off as he was voted the Best Defensive First Baseman in the Florida State League.

Like Carp, Evans also worked extremely hard to become a complete first baseman. He too dramatically improved his range and footwork around the bag and he has improved his stock as a result. But outside of Carp and Evans, the Mets don't really have
another solid defensive first base prospect.

Overall Potential: Among all the first base prospects in both the Mets' and Yankees' farm systems, Mike Carp is the only safe bet to project as an everyday big league first baseman. His offensive ceiling is nearly as good as Eric Duncan's, and with his defensive prowess, he's easily the most complete first base prospect.

The Yankees' Eric Duncan and the Mets' Nick Evans not only are behind Carp projection-wise, but both have enough defensive shortcomings at first base to open up enough speculation that they may have to move to another position down the road. Duncan's offensive potential should keep him in the mix and the same could be said of Evans.

Highest Ceilings: Mike Carp (Mets), Eric Duncan (Yankees), Nick Evans (Mets), Gerardo Rodriguez (Yankees), Angel Fermin (Yankees)

Best Power: Shelley Duncan (Yankees), Brett Harper (Mets), Eric Duncan (Yankees), Mike Carp (Mets), Nick Evans (Mets)

Best Average: Michel Abreu (Mets), Cody Ehlers (Yankees), Mike Carp (Mets), Eric Duncan (Yankees), Gerardo Rodriguez (Yankees)

Best Defense: Kevin Smith (Yankees), Mike Carp (Mets), Cody Ehlers (Yankees), Kyle Larsen (Yankees), Nick Evans (Mets)

August 9th, 2006

1B Mike Carp: What a difference a year has made for the young left-handed slugger. While nobody questioned his legit Major League power potential, there was some nay-sayers in regards to his ability to hit for a high average and even more critics of his defensive play at first base. Carp, who just turned 20 at the end of June, had only hit 11 home runs in the Florida State League - a notorious pitching friendly league – through his first 107 games. But with a .295 average during that time and now widely regarded as one of the elite defensive first baseman in the league, Carp is gaining national recognition as a quickly evolving prospect.

August 16th, 2006

St. Lucie report: Carp cleaning up

St. Lucie first baseman Mike Carp is enjoying one of his hottest stretches of the season, sparking the Mets' offense with four multi-hit games, a home run and seven RBI over the past week. The 20-year-old Carp is batting .295 with 12 home runs and 73 RBI in 118 games for St. Lucie, numbers that have risen with a strong start to his August.

Regularly serving as the Mets' cleanup hitter, the left-handed batting Carp is batting .320 with two homers and 10 RBI through 14 games in the season's fifth month, following a scorching July in which he batted .349 with four home runs and 20 RBI.

On Friday, Carp went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI against the Vero Beach Dodgers, a contest the Mets won, 6-3, in heroic fashion when Caleb Stewart slugged a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning. Carp followed that performance on Saturday by helping the Mets overcome a 5-1 deficit after six innings, stroking two hits - including a two-run double - as St. Lucie rallied for seven late runs to topple Vero Beach.

Ranked as the Mets' No. 5 prospect coming into the 2006 season by Inside Pitch Magazine, Carp helped out in a pair of losses to Clearwater on Monday and Tuesday. He went 2-for-3 with two RBI in Monday's 7-3 loss to the Phillies and hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 8-5 defeat. His 73 RBI are the most of any farmhand in the Mets system, leading Hagerstown's Nick Evans by nine.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mets boast top talent despite recent trades -- Humber, Pelfrey highlight young pitching prospects

Considering how much talent was traded away during the offseason a year ago, the Mets farm system didn't have a half-bad year.

Don't use the .477 overall winning percentage as a guide. On the flip side, the St. Lucie Mets' title, while a nice addition to Gary Carter's impressive Minor League managing resume, shouldn't be seen as a tremendous omen either.

To get Carlos Delgado and Paul LoDuca, the Mets had to give up a fair amount of depth. They've also given up a fair share of draft picks (last year for signing Billy Wagner, the year before for Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran), so they haven't been able to restock as well as other teams.

That being said, they did get a number of contributions to the big-league club courtesy of the farm in 2006. Lastings Milledge made his highly anticipated debut, and while he had some issues in the clubhouse and on the field, his skill is evident, even if he's traded to help make that last step to the World Series in 2007. Most of the help, though, came on the mound. Mike Pelfrey rose quickly, making four starts after signing late, Philip Humber quickly recovered from Tommy John surgery to make his big-league debut, and Brian Bannister looked impressive before injuries cut short most of his season.

That trio alone should have Mets fans pleased about the future. Throw in some interesting young outfielders and perhaps more pitching on the way, and the Mets should be able to retool quickly -- whether it be by promoting homegrown talent or using said talent to actively partipate in offseason trade talks.

Five Faves

At the start of the season, identified five prospects to keep an eye on. Here's how they fared in 2006:

Lastings Milledge, OF
On the one hand, 2006 was a big success for the Mets' top position prospect. After impressing in Spring Training, he headed to Triple-A for the first time and started out like gangbusters. Milledge hit .357 in April with seven steals and it seemed a matter of when, not if, he'd get his first callup. That moment came on May 30 and the 21-year-old stuck around enough to pick up 166 big-league at-bats and even made some positive contributions (four homers, 22 RBIs in 56 games). On the other hand, Milledge may have gone from untouchable to trade bait after rankling the feathers of more than one veteran for what was perceived to be an unrookie-like attitude. His future with the Mets this offseason is very much up in the air, especially since the 2007 outfield once again looks crowded.

Philip Humber, RHP
Humber made his first game appearance on June 22 after coming back from Tommy John surgery, but he made up for lost time in a hurry. After one outing in the Gulf Coast League, he made seven starts in the Florida State League (3-1, 2.37 ERA) with uncharacteristic command for someone just coming back from surgery. He had similar results in six Double-A starts -- 2.88 ERA, .195 batting average against -- which resulted in a surprising September callup. He made his big-league debut on Sept. 24 and finished the season with two scoreless innings of relief work. He headed to the Arizona Fall League to get some more work in, but was shut down after just two innings as a precaution because of shoulder tendinitis. If he's healthy next year, he should contribute in New York at some point.

Carlos Gomez, OF
The Mets seem to be growing young outfielders with Milledge hitting the big leagues and teen sensation Fernando Martinez making it to the Florida State League. Gomez sits between them in his development. He leapt from the South Atlantic League up to Double-A and played well in the Eastern League at just 20 years old. He hit .281 and led the organization with 41 steals (tied for second in the EL). Clearly the Mets have high hopes for him as they added him to the 40-man roster this offseason. Some time in Triple-A wouldn't hurt, but he could be pushing for a callup at some point in 2007 should the need arise.

2006 Organizational Record
A (Adv)
St. Lucie*








* Won League Championship

Anderson Hernandez, 2B
After a breakout 2005 season that saw him hit a combined .315, there were hopes Hernandez might even take over second base chores in New York in 2006. He did break camp with the big club and got in 41 at-bats in April (hitting .146). He went back to Norfolk and stayed there until September thanks to Jose Valentin's renaissance and his own lackluster offensive performance. Hernandez hit just .249 in 102 Triple-A games while playing more at shortstop than second. He did end up on the Mets' League Championship Series roster and could still find a way to be a handy utilityman in the future.

Brian Bannister, RHP
Things started out so well for Bannister, with the right-hander winning the Mets' No. 5 starter spot thanks to a splendid Spring Training. But he ended up appearing in just eight games (six starts), going 2-1 with a 4.26 ERA over 38 innings. He went 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA in five April starts, but was shut down with a hamstring injury. He didn't hit the big leagues again until the end of August (he tried to come back in May, but it was a no-go). He made five starts in Norfolk in August after two in St. Lucie in July to get himself ready to rejoin the Mets. He's making up for lost innings in Mexico this offseason and has pitched reasonably well. He could be in the mix once again in 2007.

2006 Organizational Leaders
Home Runs
Stolen Bases



Corey Coles
Jesus Flores
Mike Carp
Carlos Gomez

Michael Devaney
Michael Devaney, Evan MacLane
Jonathan Niese
Carlos Muniz
Complete MiLB statistics

Cinderella Story

Mitch Wylie, RHP
Wylie has been through a lot since being drafted back in 1998 by the White Sox, but it looked like he might get the chance to finally break through to the bigs after the Mets took him from the Giants in last year's Rule 5 Draft. But he was at the end of Spring Training and offered back to the Giants, who turned him down. He headed to Norfolk, hit the disabled list early with a sore shoulder, tried to come back, went back on the DL and missed nearly six months with a shoulder strain. He also missed a couple of weeks with a blister problem in late July. When he was on the mound, he pitched pretty well, with a 2.96 ERA and 53 K's in 48 2/3 IP. But he'll be 30 next year, so he'll need a real Cinderella story to make it up in the future.

Breakout Year

This player was pegged as a breakout candidate before the season began. Did he live up to expectations?

Shawn Bowman, 3B
The 21-year-old headed back to St. Lucie with the hopes of building on what had been a good offensive stretch before a back injury -- a broken vertebrae, to be exact -- hijacked his season. He started slowly, hitting just .220 in April, but was hitting .324 with three homers and 11 RBIs in 10 May games before the back stepped in again -- breaking the same vertebrae in the same place for the second straight season -- and ended his season. He didn't need surgery and spent the rest of the year rehabbing with hopes of a 2007 return.

2006 draft recap

1. Kevin Mulvey, RHP
The Mets didn't have a first-round pick due to the signing of Billy Wagner, so Mulvey was their top pick in the second round. The Villanova product moved quickly, finishing the year in Double-A before heading to the Arizona Fall League. He only threw 15 1/3 Minor League innings, but gave up just two earned runs and 11 hits in that span. He got in 15 more innings in Arizona and should be able to pitch in the upper levels of the system for his first full season with a fastball that sits in the low-to-mid 90s.

2. Joe Smith, RHP
After posting a 0.45 ERA and 28 strikeouts (vs. just two walks) in 20 innings for Brooklyn, the Wright State product moved all the way up to Binghamton. There he appeared in 10 more games and scuffled a little more, though he still struck out nearly a batter an inning. The side-armer throws a pretty good fastball and a nasty slider.

3. John Holdzkom, RHP
Holdzkom can throw extremely hard, but he doesn't always know where it's going. That was fairly clear in his pro debut in the Gulf Coast League, where he struck out 23 and walked 20 in 23 1/3 innings. But Major-League ability runs in the family as the 6-foot-7 right-hander's brother, Lincoln, has logged some time in the bigs. Holdzkom will have to prove that some issues as an amateur -- including being academically ineligible for part of his senior year of high school and dropping out of junior college after a problem with a coach -- are things of the past.

4. Stephen Holmes, RHP
Holmes did nothing but win in Rhode Island, setting that university's record for career winning percentage and earning Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Year and third-team All-American status in his final season. He signed and was assigned to Brooklyn but didn't end up throwing a professional inning this past summer.

5. Scott Schafer, RHP
Schafer, a Texas high-school right-hander, went in the sixth round. He didn't pitch much after signing, but did manage to get his pro debut out of the way, yielding a hit and two walks while striking out three in a two-inning stint for the GCL Mets at the end of June.

2005 draft recap

1. Mike Pelfrey, RHP
It seems the late signing didn't affect his development, did it? After not making his pro debut until Spring Training (and pitching well there), he pitched at three Minor League levels and put up a combined 2.43 ERA while striking out 109 and walking only 33 in 96 1/3 innings. He also made his big-league debut in his first pro season, making four starts for the Mets in July and August. From there, he went to the AFL for some fine-tuning, getting in four innings before being shut down with "general soreness."

2. Hector Pellot, 2B
Taken in the fourth round, Pellot didn't make his pro debut until this year after signing a 2006 contract. The second baseman played 100 games for Hagerstown and struggled in 359 at-bats, hitting just .189 and striking out 95 times while finishing the year on the DL with a sprained knee. On the plus side, he did draw 41 walks and he's only 19 years old. He headed home to Puerto Rico for some winter ball work and might have to return to Class A in 2007.

3. Drew Butera, C
The son of former big-league catcher Sal Butera, the Central Florida backstop continued to show that it'll be his defense that will carry him anywhere. he hit just .186 in 295 at-bats with Hagerstown, bringing his pro career average down to .198. He then went to Hawaii and hit .232 in 21 games there. He did make nine errors with the Suns, but also threw out 47 percent of would-be base stealers. As impressive as that is, though, he's probably going to have to swing the stick a little better to keep advancing in the system.