Thursday, November 30, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
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
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.
At the start of the season, MLB.com 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|
| LEVEL |
| LEAGUE |
| TEAM |
| W |
| L |
| PCT |
|* 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|
| Average |
| .341 |
| Corey Coles |
Michael Devaney, Evan MacLane
|Complete MiLB statistics |
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.
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.
Mike Carp had 88 RBI in 2006.
Mike Carp took in the experiences a New York Mets player would have every day, surveying the home clubhouse at Shea Stadium and soaking up the big league lifestyle.
It was his kind of scene, Carp - the Mets' 2006 Sterling Minor League Player of the Year - decided.
"I could get used to this someday," Carp said. Carp, a 20-year-old first baseman, was tabbed as the Mets' top minor league player after a standout season at Class-A St.
Lucie of the Florida State League. A left-handed batter, Carp hit .287 with 69 runs scored, 27 doubles, one triple, 17 home runs and 88 RBI in 137 games for Gary Carter's club, which sealed a Florida State League title by sweeping all five games they played in the postseason this month.
Sharply outfitted in slacks and a dress shirt, Carp was presented with his award in a ceremony before Saturday's 12-6 Mets victory over the Washington Nationals.
A ninth-round selection in the 2004 draft, Carp ranked second in the FSL in RBI and batted .350 (7-for-20) in the postseason to help the Mets past the Palm Beach Cardinals and the Dunedin Blue Jays.
His defense also earned rave reviews, improving by leaps and bounds this year. Carp was named the best defensive first baseman in the Florida State League. The performance has Carp headed on his first-ever trip to Hawaii - not on vacation, but as a participant in the Hawaiian Winter League.
"I was surprised," Carp said of his selection. "I was planning on going to the Instructional League (in Port St. Lucie, Fla.) or maybe down to the Dominican. When they invited me to Hawaii, it didn't take long for me to decide."
Carp has pointed to his development as a more complete hitter as a major reason for his continued success. A .249 hitter with Class-A Hagerstown of the South Atlantic League in 2005, Carp has worked on using the entire field as part of his hitting approach, leading to a 38-point increase in his batting average this season.
"I think it has paid off," Carp said recently. "Overall I [had] a pretty good year. I'm going with the pitches more, hitting them where they're pitched, and not being so one-dimensional now."
We feel that Carp is primed for a HUGE breakout season next year, and we're not alone in that assessment. But what is Mike Carp all about? Here it is:
Carp Maintaining In His Development
Mike Carp isn't looking to change anythingBy Patrick Teale
Two and a half years after being selected in the ninth round of the 2004 MLB Draft, first baseman Mike Carp has quickly evolved into one of the top Mets' prospects. He has made marked improvements to his approach at the plate, cut down on his strikeouts, and transformed his defensive game at first base. Now all he wants to do is maintain his game as he most likely moves up to double-A in 2007.
When Mike Carp was drafted, the Mets thought they were getting just a left-handed pull hitter with power potential who might struggle with strikeouts. An outfielder and first baseman in high school, nobody was even sure which position he would play
Fast-forward to the end of the 2006 season and he has quickly made adjustments in all aspects of his game. Once a dead pull hitter, even as recently as a year ago with the Hagerstown Suns, Carp became a much better all-around hitter in the Florida State League this year.
"We've worked a lot this year on getting me to use the whole field and I think it has paid off," Carp told InsidePitchMagazine.com. "Overall I [had] a pretty good year. I'm going with the pitches more, hitting them where they're pitched, and not being so one-dimensional now."
After hitting .249 with the Suns in 2005 and striking out 96 times in just 313 at-bats, Carp finished the 2006 season hitting .287 with 107 strikeouts in 491 at-bats and he credits
his opposite field mentality for his turnaround.
More than just a slugger now, utilizing the entire field rather than seeing how far he can hit it down the right field line, Carp's power numbers were not as good as a year ago, but
he isn't concerned at all.
"The power will come," Carp said after hitting 17 home runs with the St. Lucie Mets this year, compared to 19 home runs in less at-bats in 2005. "It's a big league park. Balls don't fly as good as they did last year, but I think the average is a big thing for me this year. The power is down but everything else, the run production and stuff, is still the same. Balls just aren't going over the fence."
With home runs not coming at the same rate, some prospects might ditch their new batting philosophy in favor of hitting more home runs. More patient at the plate these days, Carp is also becoming patient in his development. He is confident his
power numbers will only get better.
"I'm only 20 years old and I had a good showing last year," said Carp. "I think that [the power] will take care of itself. I'm just going to go up [to double-A] and do the same things I've done this year. The balls seem to carry better the other way and it's funny, that's where my power is now. If I keep the same approach, it will take off."
Along with his improved approach in the batter's box, the other noticeable difference in Carp's game is his incredibly improved defensive play at first base. Once considered a below average first baseman at the rookie level two years ago, he was named the best defensive first baseman in the Florida State League this past season.
"We worked a lot from Instructs to Spring Training and I think it has paid off a lot," Carp said of his improved defensive game at first base. "There's still a lot I can do to improve
that but I think it has done real well for me this year.
Aiding his defensive turnaround in such a short period of time has been his strong commitment to getting in better shape. Once your typical slugging first baseman, known more his power than nimble feet, Carp has morphed his body into that of an athlete.
"We worked on that through Instructs and Spring Training, trying to slim me down," he admitted. "I feel a lot better athletically. It's not so much weight loss. I've maintained the same weight. I've toned up a bit and the body fat has gone down."
Increased athleticism has helped him progress defensively, no doubt, but a strong conviction to put in the extra hours of work around the bag has made all the difference in the world. Carp and the Mets have even instituted unconventional drills
to improve his defensive play.
"I'm pretty good at picking the balls up out of the dirt," said the 20-year old. "Range is something we've been working on lately, trying to get my footwork a little quicker. Actually I've been taking balls at shortstop to go back and forth to improve my range. That's helping now and I'm starting to get balls easier that I don't [normally] get to."
Carp, who played the majority of the 2006 season as a 19-year old in the Florida State League, realizes he is following the same career path as Mets' third baseman David Wright and some scouts believe Carp could be primed for a similar double-A breakout.
"I feel like the Mets have given me a real good opportunity," Carp told us. "I'm in high-A and I'm 20 years old - you can't ask for much more and hopefully I'll be in double-A next year and try to improve there."
Making marked improvements to his entire game and with the results proving his hard work is paying off, Carp is not looking to change anything in his current game. Rather, he
just wants to maintain the lessons he has learned.
"Just maintaining," Carp listed as the next stage in his development. "If I stay healthy, and if I continue to do what I've done the whole year, things will be good."
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
173 games, 612 ABs, 178 hits, 86 runs, 35 2b, 3 3b, 17 HR, 109 RBI, 62 BBs, 135 Ks, .291/.356/.441 with a .797 OPS
Dustin Martin (of) age 22 Bats, Throws L (Brooklyn, North Shore)
101 games, 341 ABs, 102 hits, 36 runs, 23 2b, 7 3b, 3 HR, 48 RBI, 10 SB, 7 CS, 35 BBs, 70 Ks, .299/.364/.434 with a .798 OPS
Drew Butera (c) age 22/23 Bats, Throws: R (Hagerstown, North Shore)
117 games, 356 ABs, 70 hits, 30 runs, 19 2b, 5 HR, 43 RBI, 44 BBs, 95 Ks, .197/.285/.297 with a .577 OPS
Fernando Martinez (of) age 17/18 Bats L, Throws R (Hagerstown, St. Lucie, Mesa)
106 games, 424 ABs, 115 hits, 62 runs, 24 2b, 4 3b, 13 HR, 50 RBI, 9 SB, 8 CS, 27 BBs, 86 Ks, .271/.315/.439 with a .754 OPS
Kevin Mulvey (sp) age 21 Bats, Throws R (GCL Mets, Binghamton, Mesa)
9 games, 30.1 IP, 28 hits, 12 ER, 13 BBs, 18 Ks, 2 HR, 3.56 era
Blake Eager (sp) age 23/24 Bats, Throws R (GCL Mets, St. Lucie, Binghamton, North Shore)
30 games, 124.2 IP, 125 hits, 51 ER, 26 BBs, 88 Ks, 12 HR, 3.68 era
Bobby Parnell (sp) age 21/22 Bats, Throws R (Hagerstown, St. Lucie, North Shore)
33 games, 134.1 IP, 132 hits, 74 ER, 66 BBs, 131 Ks, 13 HR, 4.95 era
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Dustin Martin (lf) 2 for 4, run, 2 2b
Mike Carp (1b) 1 for 4, RBI, BB
Drew Butera (c) 2 for 5, 2b, K
Blake Eager 4.2 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 2 Ks, HR
North Shore won the HWL title. I'll be doing a compilation of our players stats from the regular season plus the winter leagues in the next couple days (for the AFL and HWL)
Escogido 2, Ciboa 7
Carlos Gomez (of) 2 for 4, .244, SB (7)
*The DWL stats are very hard to do, because the offical compiler of the stats seems to do them about 40% of the time. The rest of the time, I have to dig into the overall stats and then figure out what the players have done by subtracting.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Dustin Martin (cf) 0 for 1, K, .269
Mike Carp (1b) 0 for 2, LOB, .299
Licey 1, Estrellas 9
Anderson Hernandez (ss) 1 for 4, .270
*Carlos Gomez is now batting .211 (8 for 38)
*Jason Vargas is playing for Escogido (the team Gomez is on), and is sporting a 2.13 era in 12.2 IP, 10 apperances. He's allowed 7 hits, 3 runs, while walking 2 and striking out 8. He's held opponents to a .163 average.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Dustin Martin (lf) 0 for 5, K, 2 LOB, .273
Mike Carp (1b) 2 for 4, 2 runs, 2b, RBI, BB, .305
Drew Butera (c) 2 for 4, 2 runs, 2 2b, RBI, 2 Ks, LOB, .232
Bobby Parnell 3.1 IP, 3 H, 2 BBs, 3 Ks, 6.21 era, W (2-1), 60 pitches, 39 strikes, 21 balls
With the victory, North Shore wrapped up the West Division title, and a spot in the Championship Game on Wednesday.
Carp is 2 for 4, 2 r, 1 2b, 1 rbi, .305 avg
Dustin Matin is 0 for 4, 1 k, .276 avg
Butera is 2 for 3, 2 r, 2 2b, 1 rbi, 1 k, .236 avg
Parnell has pitched 3.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K's
Look for the full report tomorrow sometime when Tejesh does it
Mets purchased the contract of outfielder Carlos Gomez.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Mets acquired LHP Jason Vargas and LHP Adam Bostick from the Marlins for RHP Matt Lindstrom and RHP Henry Owens.
Low-mid-90s heat and strong slider and change-up, backed by impressive poise and command for a young pitcher. That slider is killer against left-handed hitters.
Still needs to work on his approach to right-handed hitters, as well as his endurance.
Good mid-rotation southpaw.
Bostick looks like he could be a solid bullpen arm, possibly a back of the rotation starter and should start the year in a crowded AAA pitching staff.
Great trade by Omar, Vargas is still very young and has very good stuff, but had a disappointing 2006 season. He dominated in the minors in 2004 and 2005, and had a very nice stint in 2005 with the Marlins big league club. He should start out in AAA, and possibly have a shot to crack the rotation if he rebounds nicely.
I'll give this trade a B+ and the MPH seal of approval
Great trade Omar.
Mike Carp (1b) 2 for 4, run, 2b, K, .297
Licey 11, Escogido 0
Anderson Hernandez (ss) 1 for 5, run, 3b, 3 RBI, K, .271
Yes, all is quiet on the Western Front. And yes, Carlos Gomez is wasting his time "playing" for Escogido. There is just one game we care about tonight, and that's North Shore.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Mike Carp (1b) 0 for 4, 2 Ks, 3 LOB, .287
Dustin Martin (ph) 0 for 1, .292
Drew Butera (c) 1 for 3, BB, K, .212
Blake Eager 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, ER, K, 3.47 era
Licey 0, Azucareros 5
Anderson Hernandez (2b, ss) 0 for 4, K, .275
It could also mean that Milledge is on his way out for a pitcher, but I somehow doubt that, unless the right deal for the right pitcher like a Peavy or Willis comes along. But if we have to go to war with Alou-Beltran-Green as our OF, then so be it. It definitely wouldn't be a terrible outfield, in fact it could be a very productive outfield offensively, maybe not so much defensively. But it would be a nice place holding outfield until Milledge and Gomez are fully ready and mature enough to become every day outfielders in the MLB.
In 2008, we could be looking at Milledge-Beltran-Gomez as the outfield, which would not only be extremely young, fast, athletic, and great defensively, it would also be an outfield that could be part of the core of this team for a very long time. Maybe Alou is a better option than Soriano and Lee, because he doesn't want the long contracts with no trade clauses, and maybe Alou will be almost as productive without blocking Milledge and Gomez. This could turn out to be the best route we could take, not just for 2007, but for far beyond 2007 as well.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Brian Bannister 7 IP, 5 H, ER, BB, 5 Ks, 3.68 era, W (3-2)
North Shore 5, Honolulu 2
Mike Carp (1b) 2 for 4, 2 RBI, K, .301
Dustin Martin (dh) 1 for 4, K, 3 LOB, .296
Bobby Parnell 1.2 IP, H, 2 BBs, 2 Ks, 7.01 era, 35 pitches, 21 strikes, 14 balls
Licey 6, Azucareros 5
Anderson Hernandez (2b, ss) 1 for 4, run, .289, E
Henry Owens 1 IP, H, R, 2 BBs, 0.87 era, SV (9)
*Also, Carlos Gomez is batting .229 (8 for 35) in 17 games with Escogido. As you can tell, he is not getting regular playing time, which, IMO, is doing more to hurt him then help, at this point. He's got a .243 OBP, and 6 steals. 0 BBs and 13 Ks.
Just an aside, the Arizona Fall League season is done, and the Hawaiian Winter League will be ending in 4 days, with the championship game. I fully expect our North Shore Honu to make the game, seeing as it's just the divisional winners, and the Honu are 2.5 games up on the West Oahu Canefires. Mike Carp is leading the HWL in batting with his .301 average, and Dustin Martin would be 3rd, if he had enough ABs to qualify. That is impressive considering the top 4 pitchers all have ERAs lower then 1.35. Carp ranks 3rd in RBI with 16, and 4th with a .398 SLG.
Licey is once more a powerhouse in the Dominican Winter League, they're 17-8, good for a 3 game lead over 2nd place Gigantes (the team I call Ciboa).
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Dustin Martin (lf) 0 for 3, run, BB, K, LOB, .299
Mike Carp (1b) 2 for 4, run, RBI, 2 LOB, .291
Drew Butera (c) 1 for 3, BB, K, 2 LOB, .204
Licey 3, Aguilas 4 in 11 innings
Anderson Hernandez (2b) 3 for 5, RBI, .292
Escogido 1, Estrellas 4
Carlos Gomez (cf) 1 for 4, RBI, K, .241
Mesa 0, Peoria Saguaros 5
Blake McGinley 3.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, BB, 2 Ks, HR, 2.70 era
Bobby Malek (cf) 0 for 3, LOB, .227
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Michel Abreu (1b) 2 for 4, run, HR, 2 RBI, .281
Licey 7, Estrellas 6
Anderson Hernandez (2b) 1 for 5, .269
Escogido 3, Ciboa 7
Carlos Gomez (cf) 1 for 2, K, .240, E (3)
North Shore 3, West Oahu 2
Dustin Martin (rf, lf) 2 for 4, run, 2b, RBI, K, LOB, .312
Mesa 5, Scottsdale 2 (November 15th)
Neither player the Mets acquired will make any significant contribution, and I can't for the life of me see Johnson stealing Milledge's spot in the OF.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
With Matsuzaka gone, Mets now focusing on Zito
Posted: Tuesday November 14, 2006 12:25AM; Updated: Tuesday November 14, 2006 12:42AM
The guys from Queens surely know by now they've lost out to the Red Sox despite what they thought was a strong bid for Japanese League star Daisuke Matsuzaka (though not as strong as Boston's -- it's now believed the Sox bid a stunning $45 million-plus). And the Mets don't believe Jason Schmidt, the other top-of-the-rotation starter, would seriously consider playing in New York.
The Mets do believe Zito is the remaining pitcher who 1) fits the profile they're looking for, and 2) is gettable. While they might not be willing to meet agent Scott Boras' asking price of about $105 million for seven years, they're expected to make a serious offer for five or perhaps even six years for the free-agent left-hander.
Mets general manager Omar Minaya didn't wish to discuss specific targets, but said, "With Pedro (Martinez) out, we're looking at how to try to improve our pitching. We're OK, we've got numbers. We've got guys to go to. But you have to consider pitching."
The Mets are still hopeful Tom Glavine will choose to remain with them rather than return to the Braves. But for now, there are no certainties to fill the front end of the rotation. Though the Mets have expressed the hope that Martinez could be back by the second half next year, that seems to be a best-case scenario. He had a serious shoulder surgery, and while Mets people won't say so publicly, there's certainly some doubt as to whether he will pitch at all this coming year.
While the Mets may take a peek at Carlos Lee (their well-respected bench coach, Jerry Manuel, loves Lee) for left field and will still definitely look at second-base options (Brooklyn native Julio Lugo is a possibility) even after deciding to bring back Jose Valentin, pitching is their clear priority. It is believed they started by making a very viable bid for Matsuzaka, only to have Boston blow everyone out of the water.
The Mets didn't pursue Zito in a trade last summer but only because they didn't want to deal top young players to only rent a pitcher, knowing there was no likelihood of a quickie long-term deal. But they aren't opposed to giving a multiyear deal to the pitcher who's thrown as many innings as anyone except Mark Buerhle over the past several years.
Zito also appears to be someone who'd like to go to New York rather than someone who has to be talked into it. Friends say he loves big cities, and all things being equal, New York and Los Angeles would seem to be his most likely landing spots. While money is the key factor in any of these competitions, it can't hurt that their pitching coach Rick Peterson is extremely close to Zito, going back to even before Peterson joined Zito in Oakland.
With Matsuzaka no longer an option, the Mets met here with Boras, who's saying there are a very large number of teams bidding on Zito -- as many as 12 to 15 -- which shouldn't be surprising considering the small number of top-flight starters who are free agents. There's a big dropoff after Matsuzaka, Zito and Schmidt to the next tier, which includes Gil Meche, Vicente Padilla, Ted Lilly, Jeff Suppan and Jeff Weaver.
The trade market isn't exactly bursting with possibilities, either. One of three White Sox starters -- Freddy Garcia, Javier Vazquez or Buerhle -- could possibly be available in trade. But last summer, the White Sox wanted young pitcher Mike Pelfrey and more for Garcia, and the Mets consider Pelfrey "untouchable." Pelfrey's status is also the reason they'd have trouble prying Dontrelle Willis away from Marlins even if Florida should make Willis available.
The Angels are another team that's expected to aggressively pursue Zito, and the Cubs, Rangers, Yankees and anyone else who lost out for Matsuzaka will also look at the lefty. The Yankees will consider Zito but may not be as inclined as their crosstown rival to meet the monetary demands. However, if the Yankees don't play for Zito, they're going to have trouble finding a strong response to Boston's ultra-aggressive start to the winter.
The Mets are intending to make a strong play for Barry Zito, SI.com's Jon Heyman reports.
Sources told the Chicago Tribune's Phil Rogerts that there have been preliminary talks between the White Sox and Mets about a Javier Vazquez deal.
Sorry guys, was on vacation in Arizona, but im back now
Mets Prospect of the Day 11-13-06
Deolis Guerra P R R 6′ 5″ 200 17 04-17-1989
Guerra was one of top 2 International prospects secured by the Mets last year. The Mets inked the 16 year old Guerra in July 2005 for $700,000, and he made his professional debut with Hagerstown on May 6, 2006. He actually signed the same day as fellow prospect Fernando Martinez. OnDeck ranks Guerra as the 8th Mets prospect. His pitches include a 91-92 mph fastball, and a developing change-up. It’s hard to judge a 17 year old playing organized ball, but Hagerstown has purposely limited Guerra’s pitches this season. The SAL’s youngest player, Guerra never allowed more than two earned runs in any of his 17 outings. The Mets did keep him on tight pitch counts, but his 2.20 ERA still would have ranked third in the league if he had enough innings to qualify. He excelled at age 17 mainly on the strength of his changeup, showing an advanced feel for the pitch. The changeup has plus arm action on it which is very rare for a person this young. It is fairlt straight, but has a little fade and parachutes at the end. His fastball is already in the 87-91 range and should add velocity as he matures. Gotham Baseball updated their Mets prospect list in August 2006 and Guerra was ranked 7th.
Deolis Guerra, Mets
Age: 17.4 H/9: 6.75 BB/9: 4.39 K/9: 7.18
His ratios aren't great, but this is a guy born in 1989 (feel old yet?) who is already in the Florida State League and holding his own. Sitting at 89-91 mph with plenty of projection thanks to a 6-foot-5, 200 pound frame, Guerra's changeup is already a solid offering and his curveball has made great strides. The Mets need to slow down his development, but his ceiling is sky high.
Deolis Guerra (RHP) - Minaya gambled that Guerra was going to make Mets fans (or at least the ones that follow the minor leagues) forget all about Gaby Hernandez. So far, he’s been proven right, The 17-year old is far more polished than the departed Hernandez, and so far, seems to be the pitcher with the higher upside. An ERA under 2.20 in 17 starts in the offensive-minded, tiny ballpark-having SAL doesn’t hurt either.
Deolis Guerra, RHP (17 years old): Throws a 88-91 mph fastball with an above-average change that eventually will be a plus pitch. He’s only 17 and is very projectable, so there is no reason not to think he can’t add another 2-3 mph to his fastball and make that a plus pitch as well. The Mets had him work on his breaking pitches in instructional league. Next season he will probably start at St. Lucie. He’s on the fast track, but remember that he’s only 17 and still needs to build up arm-strength (i.e., so he can pitch an entire major league season) and needs to develop his breaking pitches, so I wouldn’t expect him at Shea until late-2008 or early 2009.MPH Take- This kid was amazing in 2006. Like Fernando Martinez, he tore up Mid-A Hagerstown and was called up to High A. A 2.20 era for a 17 year old player is amazing, especially in Mid A. His change up is absolutly filthy, which is pretty crazy for someone as young and raw as him. His fastball touches 91-92, and he could add a few more mph to that before its all said and done, which should become a plus pitch. He is also working on a couple breaking pitches as well. He should start out in High A St Lucie next season and could be called up to AA towards the end. He is looking at a late-2009 arrival to the Mets, and could be an Ace for us for years to come. Watch out for this kid, he could be realllllll good.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Anderson Hernandez (2b) 0 for 5, 2 Ks, .274
Henry Owens 1.1 IP, H, R, BB, 2 Ks, SV (7)
Culican 2, Guasave 7
Brian Bannister 5.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BBs, 4 Ks, 4.25 era, L (2-2)
North Shore 4, Honolulu 1 in 7 innings
Blake Eager 3 IP, 3 H, 3.38 era
Mesa 5, Phoenix 5, suspended after 11 innings
Michel Abreu (1b) 2 for 6, run, RBI, 3 LOB, .271
Bobby Malek (rf) 1 for 6, 2 Ks, 3 LOB, .229
Blake McGinley 2 IP, H, BB, 3 Ks, 1.35 era
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Mike Carp (1b) 0 for 4, K, 2 LOB, .280
Dustin Martin (dh) 3 for 4, LOB, .300
Drew Butera (c) 1 for 4, 3 Ks, 5 LOB, .196
Licey 11, Escogido 4
Anderson Hernandez (2b) 2 for 4, run, 2b, RBI, .298 (Licey)
Carlos Gomez (cf) 0 for 1, K, .217 (5 for 23 - Escogido) - they refuse to play him everyday! I wanna find that manager and shoot him repeatedly!
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Editoral Comment: He sounds more and more like David Wright everyday. Think about Wright's slumps, it's when he gets pull happy. Carp is going to be a beast. And he doesn't turn 21 until mid season next year. We're set with Delgado's replacement. You can book it.
Mike Carp (1b) 2 for 4, run, 2b, RBI, K, .296
Bobby Parnell 3 IP, H, BB, 2 Ks, 7.48 era, 39 pitches, 23 strikes
Licey 1, Aguilas 11
Anderson Hernandez (2b) 0 for 3, run, BB, .283
Mesa 10, Peoria Javelinas 12
Michel Abreu (1b) 2 for 4, run, 2b, RBI, BB, LOB, .266
Fernando Martinez (cf) 0 for 1, .253
*Nando is not hurt*
Friday, November 10, 2006
Dustin Martin (rf) 1 for 3, 2b, 2 Ks, 3 LOB, .268
Mesa 1, Phoenix 2
Bobby Malek (rf) 0 for 4, 2 Ks, 2 LOB, .192
Anderson Hernandez (2b) 0 for 4, BB, .300
Escogido 6, Azucareros 5
Carlos Gomez (lf) 1 for 3, RBI, K, .227, CS (1)
North Shore 0, Waikiki 2
Mike Carp (1b) 1 for 3, BB, 2 Ks, .286
Dustin Martin (rf) 0 for 3, 2 Ks, LOB, .264
Drew Butera (c) 0 for 3, 2 Ks, .195
Mesa 5, Phoenix 4 in 11 innings
Michel Abreu (1b) 2 for 5, run, 2 RBI, BB, K, 3 LOB, .253
Bobby Malek (rf) 0 for 5, K, LOB, .247
Fernando Martinez (cf) 1 for 4, run, BB, 2 Ks, .253
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Yes, he does deserve credit for the signings of Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez. Why? Mr. Fred Wilpon didn't seem all too interested in taking a discount to sign A-Rod, and he didn't seem at all interested in signing Vlad. Omar got into Wilpon's head, and convinced him to make big investments for future gains. All about that time value of money which is drilled into my head every semester by my finance professors. Make an outlay now, recoup that and more later.
But more then that, Omar has transformed the farm system into, if not a raging flood of prospects, then a large lake. True, he's only been at it for two years, but look at who he's brought in. Fernando Martinez, Deolis Guerra, Mike Pelfrey, Jonathan Niese, Kevin Mulvey, Joe Smith, Josh Stinson, and many many more. He completely overhauled the scouting department twice. Yes, the previous administration got us Mike Carp (the first baseman who we really like here at MPH), Phillip Humber, Jose Reyes, David Wright, Lastings Milledge, etc. It's not all Omar. But Omar is nurturing that talent in a way previous administrations didn't.
The lesson? Second guess him at your own peril. Personal? You bet. I didn't like the Carlos Delgado trade. I loved what I saw from Mike Jacobs. I routinely made a case for Jake = 80% of Delgado at a fraction of the cost. I was dead wrong. I loved Jeff Keppinger. He's gone. Did Omar screw up on that one? I think so, but we'll see (hopefully if KC gets their heads out of their asses and plays him, and Gordon, and Butler, and oh my they're loaded). I loved Victor Diaz, what he pulled this season felt like a personal betrayal by a friend. He screwed himself over, but Omar isn't without fault there.
When you look at the "present and future" banner David's put up, though, most of that is Omar's hard work. We're not saying they'll all pan out. But at least Omar's built up a farm system, something that was sorely lacking since the failed Gen K in the mid 1990s. All Hail Omar, Renaissance Man.
PS: I still love Jake ;) And Kepp, and Diaz. And I still wonder about the right side that never was.
Signed by the Mets for a $1.4 Million signing bonus out of the Dominican Republic as a 16 year old in December of 2004, Fernando Martinez came to the U.S. with huge expectations and pressure placed on him. Martinez, a future franchise outfielder, who just turned 18 this month, had a nice, if not spectacular season this past year between Low-A Hagerstown and High-A St. Lucie. As young a player as there was in either the South Atlantic or Florida State League, Martinez combined to hit .279 with 10 homeruns and 39 rbi's in 76 games in a season that was slowed by a thumb injury at the midway point. Martinez dominated the Sally League batting .333 over 45 games at Hagerstown. Things got tougher in the Florida State League as his average dipped to .193 in 30 games, however he was able to equal the home run total he had at Hagerstown in 15 less games. Look for Martinez, who will play all of 2007 as an 18 year old, to begin and most likely play the entire season at St. Lucie. Also expect Martinez, who is currently batting under .200 in the Arizona Fall League, to make some spring training appearances with the Mets this March. Without a doubt, Martinez could easily be one of the Top 10 prospects in baseball this time next year.
Mets top 3 prospects:
New York Mets
1. Fernando Martinez, OF: You can imagine Mets scouts in the Dominican salivating watching this highly-touted prospect named “Jesus” spray line drives from gap to gap. After dropping Jesus in favor of Fernando and signing to a $1.4 million contract in 2005, the 18-year-old (10/10/88) tore up Low-A Hagerstown before he was awarded a late-season promotion to High-A St. Lucie. His production slowed after the promotion, but he put up .279/.336/.457 combined vitals.
#37. Fernando Martinez (18) Outfield -- New York Mets
AFL(Fall Ball) 22 Games .253 2HR 7RBI
St. Lucie (High-A) 30 Games .193 5HR 11RBI
Hagerstown (Low-A) 45 Games .333 5HR 28RBI
GCL Mets (Rk) 1 Games .250 0HR 0RBI
His full AFL numbers:
22 Games, 79 AB, .253, 5 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4BB/12K, 1 SB
Hes gonna be a stud, book it.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Anderson Hernandez (2b) 1 for 4, run, .326
North Shore 2, Waikiki 0
Mike Carp (1b) 2 for 4, RBI, 2 Ks, .283
Mesa 4, Grand Canyon 0
Michel Abreu (1b) 1 for 4, RBI, LOB, .
MLB completes sweep with walk-off
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
Jose Reyes watches his walk-off shot in the bottom of the 10th Wednesday. (Andrew T. Malana/MLB.com)
FUKUOKA, Japan -- In the United States, it has become universally known as the walk-off homer. Here in Japan, the adjective they use for a game-ending blast is "sayonara".
On behalf of all the Major League All-Stars who wreaked havoc here for the past week, Jose Reyes said sayonara to the fine folks of Japan. The Mets' shortstop clubbed a two-run homer with nobody out in the bottom of the 10th inning, instantly capping this Japan All-Star Series with a 5-3 victory over Nippon Professional Baseball in Game 5.
It was a clean sweep -- the first in the history of the Japan All-Star Series.
"We came all the way over from the States to come here and play, and to win," said Ryan Howard, the MVP of the All-Star Series. "The Japanese team was great, they never stopped fighting. They were in every game. They gave us a good run for our money. Reyes was fortunate to have a little bit of motivation from myself and David Wright and some of our other teammates to be able to go up there and hit one."
What did that motivation entail?
"We were just messing around with him," said Howard. "We were telling him, 'Don't be afraid to do something.' He rose to the occasion."
So much so that the Fukuoka Dome suddenly sounded like Shea Stadium, with chants of "Jose, Jose, Jose" cascading around the home-run hero.
"It feels good to have some fans on the other side of the country," said Reyes. "It was exciting for me when I heard my name, Jose, Jose. I felt like I was playing in Shea Stadium. It was kind of exciting for me."
And it encapsulated the feel of the entire series, which entailed three games in Tokyo and one each in Osaka and Fukuoka.
"It just goes to show you that baseball transcends just where we are," said Howard. "It's global. For people to cheering for Jose and anybody and everybody on the team is a good feeling."
I love it, the whole Jose-Jose-Jose thing, in JAPAN, is just amazing. If we get Matsuzaka, we will be that side of the countries favorite baseball team by far.
But no harm. A year later Delgado wound up with the Mets, and he helped them get close to the World Series. Now they are ready to take the next step.
In the two winters Omar Minaya has been their general manager, the Mets have done well, adding, among other players, Carlos Beltrán, Pedro Martínez, Delgado, Paul Lo Duca and Billy Wagner. The Mets, in fact, have spoiled their fans, who have come to expect sparkling additions.
Who could those additions be this off-season?
Begin with the starting pitching because the Mets’ No. 1 priority is a No. 1 starter. Tom Glavine will very likely return for a fifth season with the Mets, and Orlando Hernández may be back, too. Manager Willie Randolph also has a group of younger pitchers to consider for the rotation: Oliver Pérez, John Maine, Brian Bannister, Mike Pelfrey and Dave Williams.
But with Martínez unavailable for the first half of next season after shoulder surgery, the Mets need a No. 1. They could sign a free agent (Barry Zito?), they could win the Japanese lottery (Daisuke Matsuzaka) or they could make a trade (Dontrelle Willis?).
Minaya wouldn’t snub a top-flight free agent, but based on previous comments he has made, he likes the idea of trading for a player over signing him. Willis, then, would most likely be his No. 1 choice. He tried to persuade the Marlins to trade him last season, and they resisted. He will certainly try again.
Jake Peavy(pictured at top) of San Diego could be another target. Peavy, a 25-year-old right-hander, had a losing record (11-14) with a division champion, but he can be a dominant pitcher. In his last 10 starts, he had a 6-3 record and a 2.86 earned run average, which lowered his season E.R.A. to 4.09 from 4.69.
•When Minaya talked to the Marlins about Willis last summer, he was not necessarily prepared to trade some of the Mets’ young prospects. His position, however, has most likely changed.
Lastings Milledge, for example, lost some of his luster in his visits to New York during the season, and the Mets would very likely be willing to include him in a package for Willis. They would also likely be willing to trade Philip Humber, the third player selected in the 2004 June draft, or another pitcher, like Bannister or Pelfrey.
Timing could be a problem in their effort to get Willis. The Mets will learn in the next day or two if they are the winning bidder for Matsuzaka, and if so, they would then have 30 days to sign him. Minaya might be able to determine in that time if he had a chance to trade for Willis, but maybe not.
If the Mets found they could get Willis, would they abandon their attempt to sign Matsuzaka? If they did that, would they violate the rules or the spirit of the posting system? No, they would not. Nothing in the posting rules provides for penalties if a club, for any reason, fails to sign the player. The club would simply lose its right to negotiate with him.
But what if the Mets were to sign Matsuzaka first? Would Minaya still try to get Willis? Given that Willis can’t be a free agent for three more years, why not?
Failing to get Matsuzaka or Willis, the Mets would most likely pursue Zito, although his price tag would very likely be higher than his status warranted. By most assessments, Zito is a No. 2 or No. 3 starter, but in this market, with so many teams desperate for pitching, he is viewed as a No. 1. In addition, his agent, Scott Boras, will market him as a No. 1 and have a book full of statistics to show to skeptical clubs.
The Mets are not guaranteed any pitcher through any means, but Minaya has established a good track record for getting what he goes after, Delgado excepted, and would have to be given a strong chance to get one of the pitchers he wants.
•Aside from pitching, the Mets need to address second base and left field. With the 50-game suspension for Guillermo Mota, a free agent the Mets had planned to re-sign, they will have to look at their bullpen, too. But they have Duaner Sánchez coming back from his shoulder injury, they still have Aaron Heilman and they could re-sign Chad Bradford.
For second base, the Mets could re-sign José Valentín, although they could not expect him to duplicate the performance he gave the Mets for much of last season. They will also consider the free agents Julio Lugo, Ron Belliard and Mark Loretta.
The best hitters available for left field in the free-agent market are Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Lee. Each will cost more than the Mets will want to spend if they sign an expensive pitcher. They signed Beltrán and Martínez two years ago, and last year they signed Wagner and took on Delgado’s expensive contract. But they won’t commit to those expenditures every year.
With their offense, though, they don’t need to spend lavishly to get a hitter of the magnitude of Soriano and Lee. They started last season with a payroll a few dollars under $100 million and wound up at $111 million. They will probably start around the same level and save some money in order to acquire a player at the July 31 trading deadline.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Anderson Hernandez (2b) 3 for 5, run, 2 RBI, .350
Henry Owens 1.1 perfect innings, 0.00 era, SV (7)
Mesa 21, Grand Canyon 4
Michel Abreu (1b) 3 for 5, 4 runs, 2b, 4 RBI, BB, .242
Bobby Malek (rf) 1 for 5, RBI, BB, K, LOB, .281
Fernando Martinez (cf) 2 for 4, 3 runs, 2 2b, RBI, BB, .250
Kevin Mulvey 4 IP, 4 H, ER, 2 BBs, K, 6 era, W (1-2)
Hawaii - North Shore Honu
Mike Carp (MPH Top Prospect - 1b, St. Lucie), Drew Butera (C, Hagerstown), Dustin Martin (OF, Brooklyn), Blake Eager (SP, St. Lucie), Bobby Parnell (SP, Hagerstown)
Arizona - Mesa Solar Sox
Blake McGinley (RP, Norfolk), Kevin Mulvey (SP, Binghamton), Michel Abreu (1b, Binghamton), Fernando Martinez (MPH Top Prospect - OF, St. Lucie), Bobby Malek (OF, Binghamton), Brandon Nall (RP, Binghamton)
Dominican Winter League
Escogido - Carlos Gomez (MPH Top Prospect - OF, Binghamton)
Licey - Anderson Hernandez (2b/ss - Norfolk), Henry Owens (MPH Top Prospect - RP, Binghamton)
Puerto Rican Winter League
Arecido - Eddie Camacho (RP), Jorge Padilla (OF)
Coguas - Jose Castro (SS), Jose De La Torre (RP), Orlando Roman (SP)
Carolina - Willie Collazo (SP), Ivan Maldonado Oquendo (RP), Jonathan Santos (SS), Luis Rivera (SS/2B)
Ponce - Enrique Cruz (2B), Bryan Edwards (RP), Carlos Muniz (RP), Hector Pellot (2B), Royce Ring (RP), Alay Soler (SP)
Michel Abreu (1b) 3 for 4, 4 runs, 2b, 4 RBI, BB, .246
Bobby Malek (rf) 1 for 3, RBI, BB, LOB, .290
Fernando Martinez (cf) 2 for 4, 3 runs, 2 2b, RBI, BB, .250
Kevin Mulvey 4 IP, 4 H, ER, 2 BBs, K, 6 era, in line for his first win, barring something ridiculous happening
And now it's 21-3.
GO JETS! Oh...
I like the 1 year deal much better than that 2 year 25 mil deal they were talking about.
Bring him home, Omar!
By Mark Healey on Monday, November 6 2006
Before the New York Mets re-joined the ranks of the “serious contenders with serious money” club two years ago, the weeks between the end of the World Series and December's Winter Meetings had become a quiet lull for most New York baseball fans.
The Yankees had pretty much targeted – and quickly signed -- which players they had interest in, and nobody, with the exception of a few internet diehards, really cared what the Mets were up to.
A lot has changed, and now baseball's a year-round sport in Gotham. So much so, stories about agents saying such-and-such team “likes'” such-and-such player (who just happens to be in the agents' employ). Regrettably, these fountains of information are the worst people to talk to right about now, as they are in “My player is great and wants to play (insert team with money here)" mode.
So, over the past week, we’ve talked with several baseball people – most notably one from the Northeast and one from the Bay Area, -- to try to get a handle on what can be expected in the coming weeks.
While everyone is convinced that the Yankees are the frontrunners for Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, and that the Mets and several other teams are mulling serious bids for his services, the sudden “availability” of Tigers right-hander Jeremy Bonderman is making many of those teams, including the Mets and Yankees, consider their options more carefully.
According to reports out of Motown, Detroit is mulling the pros and cons of dealing Bonderman, saying that the Tigers, who are seeking a first baseman with power, a young catcher to eventually succeed Pudge Rodriguez, and infield help in return for their talented hurler.
Our Northeast source said that “don’t be surprised if you hear that the Tigers are seriously considering Alex Rodriguez” instead.
One Bay Area official didn’t disagree, but also told Gotham Baseball Magazine that the Tigers are “trying to find a team that can satisfy all of their needs in one deal”, but are finding that difficult.” Reportedly, the Reds have offered Adam Dunn, Jason LaRue and Brandon Phillips, but the Tigers are not “very positive about that as a potential return for Bonderman.”
(As a side note, our CA source went out of his way to say that Dunn’s value is “plummeting”, saying that teams are not willing to trade “significant young talent” in exchange for a player “whose average goes down while his salary goes up.”)
Instead, he says that “Like other teams, who are excited about adding a 200-inning, 200 strikeout arm, the Mets and Yankees are said to trying to find a way to get those players the Tigers would want.”
The Mets do not have a potential power-hitting first base option in their system that is major-league ready, but they do have a young catcher in Jesus Flores that scouts rave about, and they have equally high-ceiling prospects in Carlos Gomez and Mike Pelfrey to consider as potential substitutes in a deal as well.
However, it’s unlikely that the Mets would deal such a large group of young talent for a pitcher (not named Dontrelle Willis, anyway) with Matsuzaka and Barry Zito available, but they “will look into the Bonderman situation before it’s done.”
If the Yankees are indeed trying to “keep” A-Rod, perhaps –- and this is speculation for those keeping score at home -- they may propose a deal of Gary Sheffield, Phil Hughes and Robbie Cano that could make it happen.
In GBM’s opinion, that would be far too much to give up, but acquiring a talent like Bonderman could make up for losing a prospect like Hughes. Given the Tigers’ interest in Sheffield, it’s not as far-fetched as it would seem. Also, the free agency of second baseman Ronnie Belliard – whose solid postseason performance helped the Cardinals win the World Series, could offset the potential trade of young Cano.
Ronnie B to Gotham?
Published reports say the Mets are interested in Mark Loretta, and while we couldn't find anyone this weekend that disagreed with that, we also hear he's not the only second baseman the Mets are looking at seriously.
Over in Flushing, though recent speculation has the Mets looking at Loretta “very seriously”, Ronnie Belliard is quickly “emerging as the front runner to play 2B for the Mets in 2007 and beyond,” said our NE source.
There's also reports that Belliard is looking for a home in New York these days, which may or may not be an indication of where the Bronx, NY native will be playing in 2007.
“Don't discount the Yankees having interest in Belliard either (even if they don’t trade Cano),” says our CA source, who says that Belliard might be “willing to play third in the Bronx” if the Yankees deal A-Rod.
In the past, any player that was interested in playing for the Mets and the Yankees didn’t have much of a decision to make, but Mets’ GM Omar Minaya and his manager Willie Randolph, have created an environment at Shea Stadium that is “more than inviting” to potential free agents and players with no-trade clauses.
Mulling Mulder and Other Stuff.
Several published reports this past weekend confirmed GBM’s report of more than a week ago that the Mets have significant interest in St. Louis left-hander Mark Mulder. Our CA source, who had informed us of this interest at the time, said that “while Mulder will listen to what the Cards have to say” he is finding a change of scenery would be “more beneficial” at this point in his career.
Some other items of interest:
- The Yankees may be forced to pay more than half of Gary Sheffield’s salary in order to get something of value for him.
- The Red Sox are finding very uninterested parties in the Mets, Orioles and Phillies as potential trading partners for Manny Ramirez.
- Pat Gillick’s “desire” to sign Alfonso Soriano isn’t quite accurate, as the Phillies are having very little luck in finding anyone that wants Pat Burrell playing for them in either league. If they can’t move Burrell, they may just add some serviceable players in secondary roles.
- The Mets may be more open to moving Aaron Heilman into the starting rotation than previously reported, but are trying to determine the market for secondary setup men. They continue to be very averse to dealing him at all, despite all of the recent rumors that describe him as a “chip”.
- Octavio Dotel, who began his career with the Mets, and tried to rush back into the big leagues after signing with the Yankees after Tommy John surgery last summer, is a reliever the team is mulling as a non-roster ST invitee.
Also, Mets like Loretta:
|Mets Trade Rumors|
| Agent: Mets Like Loretta|
New York Post: "Mark Loretta may be one of the Mets' top choices to play second base. They have shown more interest in him than any other club so far, Loretta's agent told The Post last night."
-InsidePitch’s Top 10 Mets Prospects:
10.) Deolis Guerra: 17 year old pitcher who reminds the Mets’ of Yusmeiro Petit, he has to add another pitch to his repetoire. He’s young with a lot of time to improve, and he had a 2.20 ERA last year, his first in the minors.
9.) Jesus Flores: The best catching prospect in the Mets’ system, Flores’ picked up his game last year under manager Gary Carter’s tutelage. He has plus skills defensively and shows power potential, but he has to work on his plate discipline. He’s been rumored to be involved in any potential trade for Dontrelle Willis.
8.) Jonathan Niese: This 19 year old lefty shows promise, but he’s not a fastball pitcher and a portrait of a young Tom Glavine comes to mind. He has an excellent curve, and needs to work on the placement of his fastball and change before he can be declared a major league prospect.
7.) Shawn Bowman: Mr. Hard-Luck, Bowman broke his back in the same place 2 seasons in a row. Three years ago, as Jonathan and I were leaving a Spring Training game in St. Lucie, we were reading through the Mets program and we read that Bowman would eventually become the Mets’ starting third-sacker, as his defense was way above-average and he projected as a power hitter (a la a Ryan Zimmerman-type.) At the time, David Wright had not yet made the jump to the majors, and we were wondering if Bowman would eventually move Wright to first or the outfield. At this point, we’d be happy if Bowman had one injury-free season and lived up to the potential he’s shown the organization for a few years now. We’d settle for a great trade-chip at this point.
6.) Mike Carp: Carp, a big first baseman with plus power potential, could be the eventual heir to Carlos Delgado at first base. He’s only 19, and he was already voted the best defensive first baseman in the Florida State League last year, where he hit .287 with 17 homers. Carp is one of those kids to keep an eye on, as he might be starting 2-3 years from now when Delgado’s career is winding down.
5.) Brian Bannister: It’s sad to see Bannister still on this list, as injuries last year robbed him of his first chance in the bigs. He’s a control pitcher, and he projects out as a 4th or 5th man in the rotation. With the Mets pursuit of either/or Zito and Willis, the expected resigning of Glavine and Hernandez and last season’s emergence of John Maine, Bannister might be hard-pressed to make the roster out of Spring Training. We hope he remains healthy, as we think he’d be a good addition to the staff for a lot of years to come.
4.) Philip Humber: Once the top pitching prospect in the organization, a year removed from Tommy John Surgery and the drafting of Mike Pelfrey has taken Humber somewhat out of the spotlight. He seems to have come back very well from the surgery, and he presents a plus fastball, hitting 91-94 and, like Zito, possesses a wicked curve. His injury forced Humber to develop a change-up, which makes him a more complete pitcher. We think big things will come from Humber, and, in combo with Pelfrey, Bannister and last years’ first pick, Kevin Mulvey, this is the most exciting group of young Mets pitchers since the days of Pulsipher-Isringhausen-Wilson (with, we hope, LOTS more success and longevity!)
3.) Fernando Martinez: Another 17 year old, Martinez was the most sought-after young prospect not draft-eligible a year ago, and Omar scored a great coupe signing him. He has good power for a young kid who will grow into his swing and his body each year. Currently playing center-field, he projects more as a corner outfielder or first baseman. He pulls the ball well, and could be a perennial candidate to win batting titles at every level in the minors. Long-term, he projects as a major talent; let’s hope he’s not rushed too far, too soon and his development isn’t impeded. After all, he’s still only 17 and still learning english. He’s got to get some time under his belt before we can really dream about his major league prowess, but he’s the type of prospect worth waiting for!
2.) Mike Pelfrey: He’s a Randy Johnson-like six foot, seven, making his 95+ mph fastball seem that much faster to batters. He has a good change-up, but his curve is very inconsistent, which causes him to rely on his fastball to his detrement, something he can’t do in the majors. Let’s hope Peterson can tutor him well enough in Spring Training that by 2008 he’ll take his place on our major league staff for many years to come. He projects as a number 1 starter, which is why the Mets might not pursue both Zito and Willis.
1.) Carlos Gomez: A year ago, Jonathan told me that Gomez might be the player we all expect Milledge to be. A year later, his words look prophetic as Gomez is a 5-tool player with a cannon of an arm in the outfield and speed that, we’ve heard, rivals or surpasses Jose Reyes. He hit .341 in Double A during the last 61 games of the season, jumping an entire level in the process. He’s still growing into his power, but Gomez might merely be a year away from the majors, which will also factor into Omar’s decision-making process this offseason. We can’t wait to see him line up next to Beltran, and he might be the best home-grown outfield prospect we’ve ever had.
2007 New York Mets Top 10 Prospects - Compiled by J.P. Schwartz
#1. Mike Pelfrey (23) Pitcher
New York Mets (MLB) 21.1IP 2-1 5.48ERA 179K
Norfolk (AAA) 8IP 1-0 2.25ERA 6K
Binghamton (AA) 66.1IP 4-2 2.71ERA 77K
St. Lucie (High-A) 22IP 2-1 1.64ERA 26K
#2. Carlos Gomez (21) Outfield
Binghamton (AA) 120 Games .281 7HR 48RBI
#3. Fernando Martinez (18) Outfield
St. Lucie (High-A) 30 Games .193 5HR 11RBI
Hagerstown (Low-A) 45 Games .333 5HR 28RBI
GCL Mets (Rk) 1 Games .250 0HR 0RBI
#4. Philip Humber (24) Pitcher
New York Mets (MLB) 2.0 IP 0-0 0.00ERA 2K
Binghamton (AA) 34.1IP 2-2 2.88ERA 36K
St. Lucie (High-A) 38IP 3-1 2.37ERA 36K
GCL Mets (Rk) 4IP 0-0 6.75ERA 7K
#5. Deolis Guerra (17) Pitcher
St. Lucie (High-A) 7.1IP 1-1 6.14ERA 6K
Hagerstown (Low-A) 82.1IP 6-7 2.20ERA 64K
#6. Alay Soler (27) Pitcher
New York Mets (MLB) 45IP 2-3 6.00ERA 23K
Norfolk (AAA) 10IP 1-1 6.30ERA 12K
Binghamton (AA) 19.2IP 0-1 2.75ERA 22K
St. Lucie (High-A) 30IP 1-0 0.60ERA 33K
Brooklyn (Short-A) 4.1IP 0-1 6.23ERA 9K
#7. Kevin Mulvey (21) Pitcher
Binghamton 13.1IP 0-1 1.35ERA 10K
GCL Mets (Rk) 2IP 0-0 0.00ERA 1K
#8. Joseph Smith (23) Pitcher
Binghamton (AA) 12.2IP 0-2 5.68ERA 12K
Brooklyn (Short-A) 20IP 0-1 0.45ERA 28K
#9. Jonathan Niese (20) Pitcher
St. Lucie (High-A) 10IP 0-2 4.50ERA 10K
Hagerstown (Low-A) 123.2IP 11-9 3.93ERA 132K
#10. Mike Carp (20) First Base
St. Lucie (High-A) 137 Games .287 17HR 88RBI
As you can see, 2 different takes on the Mets system, but generally the same players, just in different places.