Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Normally don't do this - Matt Hoey hurt...


I'm writing to let the Mets community know that a friend really needs our prayers and support. You all probably know Matt Hoey because he's been first in line for tickets at Shea for the last seven years. If you don't know him personally you've probably seen or heard about the fan who wears the orange & blue Dr. Seuss hat. Matt was in a accident this weekend and was hurt pretty badly. Joe & I are in shock and still trying to figure out what we can do to help.

Matt is one of the nicest, most genuine human beings we've ever met and he's most passionate about the Mets. We think the best thing to do right now is to send Matt support and love from his largest group of friends. We've created an email for those who want to offer sentiments to Matt & his family. GetWellMatt@mathematicallyalive.com. His mother & wife said theywill read our messages to Matt.

Please take a minute out of your day to send a supportive message to our friend Matt Hoey.

For those who have blogs or post in forums please pass the information along.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for showing some love to Matt.


Kathy Foronjy & Joseph Coburn


I got this at my Myspace account. Now, I don't know Matt, but from the sounds of it, some of you readers might, so ... here you go.

Of course, we here at MPH send out our best wishes for a quick, speedy and complete recovery for Matt.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Report from the Intrasquad Game...

','white')" onmouseout="kill()">Jon Niese had a great inning. He threw approximately 13 pitches ranging from 72 mph (curveball) to 92 mph (fastball). Niese threw consitently in the low 90s with the heater.

','white')" onmouseout="kill()">Bobby Parnell also had a great 1-2-3 inning throwing approximately 18 pitches ranging from 78mph to 97mph. Parnell threw consistently around 90.

NYFS has a GREAT recap from the first unofficial game of Spring Training. Here is the link:

Also, if you join the boards, you can read/participate in the IGT and other discussions.
Link to IS IGT

Monday, February 18, 2008

Some stuff on Fernando, Flores, and others(chat)

ES: Fernando Martinez has been ranked by various prospect lists as high as #10 (Keith Law) and as low as #51 (Kevin Goldstein). Why the gulf, and what are your thoughts on F-Mart right now and two or three years from now?

JM: Well, I had him at No. 17. Right now, he's all about projection and what he might become. If people are extremely high on him, he's going to be a top 20 kind of guy. If not, he'll drop. The fact is, he really needs to play and turn projection into performance this year. He's still really young, but the star will start to fade if he doesn't start producing a little like people think he can. Scouts still love his tools, especially his swing. I think, assuming he can now stay healthy, in three years he'll be a starting outfielder in the big leagues on the verge of becoming an All-Star.

ES: We've been hearing a lot about Wilmer Flores, a 16-year-old Venezuelan shortstop the Mets signed last summer. What can you tell us about him?

JM: One of a bumper crop of international signees -- boy, the Mets have been active in Latin America -- the Mets absolutely love Flores. He's very athletic and looks like he should be able to hit. Of course, he hasn't played a game in the United States yet, but certainly looked good during instructs in the Dominican. The Mets have not shied away from pushing young signees once they come stateside -- just look at Savannah's roster at the beginning of last year. Flores could get a shot to land with that full-season team this spring, but he also may hang around extended and then go to Brooklyn, where he's still likely be the youngest player in the New York-Penn League.

ES: For those who don't know, can you explain the draft slotting system that the commissioner's office encourages teams to follow? Are the Mets' days of adhering to the recommended slot bonuses -- and suffering for it, perhaps -- over?

JM: In short, the "slotting system" are suggested bonus levels for each pick in the draft. The Commissioner's office sends out a guideline for what they feel is the appropriate bonus for any pick in the draft, starting at No. 1 overall and on down. Many teams, as you'd imagine, ignore the slotting suggestions and go over it (the Tigers come to mind with Andrew Miller and Rick Porcello the last couple of years). It's not a mandated system and there's really nothing the Commissioner's Office can do to stop a team from going over slot other than grumble (There are some instances when a team takes a chance on a tough sign later in the draft and then wants to give that player first-round money, that the team will ask MLB if it's ok). I think there's the possibility the Mets would consider going over slot if the right player was there. They've got two first-round picks this June and they are going to want to make them count. To be fair, it was just in 2005 that the Mets went way over slot at No. 9 overall when they took Mike Pelfrey and gave him $3.55 million and a Major League contract, so it's not like they've never done it.

ES: With Kevin Mulvey and Phil Humber gone and Mike Pelfrey a big leaguer (presumably), the Mets' top pitching prospects are mostly guys who were drafted last year. Who do you like out of that crop?

JM: Eddie Kunz is the guy who'll ge there the fastest. I know his AFL stint was less than impressive, but he was gassed by that point. Look for him to move quickly. I love that the Mets took some chances on some high school arms. Even though the system's not deep, they're the kind of organization that can afford to put in the time and be patient developing some of them. I think Nathan Vineyard already has a pretty nice idea of how to pitch and will become even better when he adds velocity to the fastball. Scott Moviel is more of a project -- I thought he might go to NC State like Andrew Brackman -- but the Mets got him signed and his GCL debut was encouraging. With a guy that big, a lot can go wrong mechanically, so they'll probably have to take it slow with him. But the end result could be worth the wait.

Rustich to be used as a starter this season

2007 second-round pick Brant Rustich will be tried as a starter this season.
Rustich was largely unsuccessful as a closer at UCLA, but he excelled out of the pen after being drafted last season. He still projects as a reliever for the long-term, but there's no harm in looking at him in the rotation first.

STARTING OVER: The Mets, down starting pitchers in the upper levels of the minors after trading Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra to the Twins for Johan Santana, will use former UCLA closer Brant Rustich as a starter.

Personally, I think this is a good move. It doesn't really take away from his reliever potential, and we get to see what he can do as a starter. Even though I think he will ultimately become a reliever, he certainly has the arsenal to make it as a starter. He has 3 potential plus pitches, if they aren't already plus, he just needs to work on his control. He is also working in a circle changeup, and is said to be getting a lot of good movement on it so far. Hopefully he can dominate at St. Lucie, where he will start the season, and hopefully move up the ranks of pitching prospects before the end of the year. I could easily see him making it in the top 75 of lists if he does well as a starter, he definitely has the STUFF to excite scouts.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

MPH System Audit Part VII: Misc Stuff

I took a survey of anyone who wanted to on NYFS about their top 5 draft prospects. I got 15 names, and here they are.

1. Nathan Vineyard (215 points)
2. Scott Moviel (205 points)
3. Brant Rustich (165 points)
4. Lucas Duda (112.5 points)
5. Eddie Kunz/Dylan Owen (75 points)
6. Stephen Clyne (47.5 points)
7. Richard Lucas (45 points)
8. Robert Carson (30 points)
9. William Morgan (20 points)
10. Michael Olmsted (17.5 points)
11. Dillon Gee/Cole Abbott (15 points)
12. Richard Lutz (10 points)
13. Guillaume Leduc (2.5 points)

Here is the link to the scores each draftee got

And here is the genesis of the audit. This is the first list I put together way back in November. You'll see how it was rewritten a few times.


1. Carlos Gomez
1. Fernando Martinez
3. Brahiam Maldonado
4. Dan Stegall
5. Raul Reyes
6. Gabriel Zavala
7. Richard Pena
8. Pedro Zapata
9. Ezequiel Carrera
10. Cesar Puello

Corner Infielders

1. Mike Carp
2. Nick Evans
3. Lucas Duda
4. Dan Murphy
5. Brett Harper
6. Richard Lucas
7. Jose Jiminez
8. Zach Lutz
9. Nick Giarraputo
10. Josh Thole

Middle Infielders

1. Emmanuel Garcia
2. Anderson Hernandez
3. Hector Pellot
4. Jonathan Malo
5. Juan Lagares
6. Greg Veloz
7. Ruben Tejada
8. Wilmer Flores
9. Matthew Bouchard
10. Micah Schilling


1. Francisco Pena
2. Sean McCraw
3. Luis Alen
4. Patrick Maat
5. Juan Centeno

Starting Pitchers

1. Mike Pelfrey
2. Phillip Humber
3. Kevin Mulvey
4. Deolis Guerra
5. Jon Niese

6. Bobby Parnell
7. Nathan Vineyard
8. Scott Moviel
9. Cole Abbott
10. Angel Calero

11. Dylan Owen
12. Dillon Gee
13. Michael Olmstead
14. Tobi Stoner
15. Adam Bostick

16. Josh Stinson
17. Nelson Portillo
18. Nick Carr
19. Eric Brown
20. Makiel Cleto


1. Eddie Kunz
2. Brant Rustich
3. Carlos Muniz
4. Kevin Tomasiewicz
5. Dan McDonald
6. Steven Cheney
7. Stephen Clyne
8. German Marte
9. Willie Collazo
10. Ryan Cullen
11. Eddie Camacho
12. Ambiorix Burgos
13. Ivan Maldonado
14. Jose De La Torre
15. Brandon Nall

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

MPH System Audit Part VIa: Relief Pitchers 1-8

As with the SPs, check below for 9-15.


1. Joe Smith (23) R/R (AAA New Orleans 0-0, 2.00 era, 8 G, 9 IP, 7 H, 4/5 BB/K, 1.22 WHIP, MLB New York 3-2, 3.45 era, 54 G, 44.1 IP, 48 H, 21/45 BB/K, 1.56 WHIP)

Total 2007 Stats: 3-2, 3.32 era, 66 G, 57 IP, 58 H, 27/54 BB/K, 1.49 WHIP

Smith was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2006 draft out of Wright State, as one of the top college closers available. He put up 13 saves in 31 appearances, with a 0.98 era in 55 innings pitched. After drafting Smith, the Mets sent him to low A Brooklyn, where he dominated using a low 90s sinker (which hits 94), and an outstanding slider - both offered from a sidearm delivery. After 20 innings in Brooklyn, Smith joined AA Binghamton, bolstering the bullpen for their ill-fated playoff run. Smith served as one of Henry Owens' setup men, and struggled (naturally, having jumped over 3 levels).

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.

Strengths: Smith is unique because he throws much harder than typical sidearmers, and his 89-91 mph fastball has sinking, fading action. It tops out at 94. He stays on top of an 81-83 mph, two-plane slider that destroys righthanders. They hit just .104 against him in pro ball.

Weaknesses: The key to Smith reaching his ceiling is his changeup. He never needed it in college, but he does in pro ball to keep advanced lefthanders honest. They went 10-for-20 (.500) against him in his brief Double-A stint.

In 2007, Smith ran into a wall at around the 40 inning mark, which was unexpected, but not unplanned for by the Mets brass. It was unexpected because the year prior, split over 3 levels, Smith had pitched 87.2 innings. Either way, Smith should open back in the majors during his 2nd full professional season, but that may hinge on Duaner Sanchez' health.

2. Brant Rustich (22) R/R (Pac 10 UCLA 3-2, 6.67 era, 20 G, GS, 29.2 IP, 31 H, 20/28 BB/K, 1.72 WHIP, R Kingsport 1-0, 0.87 era, 5 G, 2 GS, 10.1 IP, 6 H, 1/10 BB/K, .68 WHIP, A- Brooklyn 2-0, 1.62 era, 12 G, 16.2 IP, 2 SVs, 7 H, 3/16 BB/K, .60 WHIP, HWL Waikiki 3-1, 5.82 era, 12 G, 17 IP, SV, 19 H, 11/17 BB/K, 1.76 WHIP)

Total 2007 Stats: 9-3, 4.52 era, 49 G, 5 GS, 73.2 IP, 63 H, 35/71 BB/K, 1.33 WHIP

The Mets took Rustich in the 2nd round of the 2007 draft, 93rd overall, out of UCLA, where as a senior, he went 3-2, 6.67 in 20 games, over 29.2 innings. A finger injury (more specifically, recovery from finger surgery in 2006) contributed to the poor season, and also contributed to his dropping stock. Expected to go somewhere in the first round proper, Rustich fell into the Mets' laps at 93, where they scooped him up. After signing, Rustich was sent to Kingsport, and then Brooklyn, where he totalled 27 innings over 17 games, putting up a 1.33 era, with a .63 WHIP.

Rustich played winterball in Hawaii, where he struggled due to poor mound conditions, putting up a 5.82 era in 17 innings.

Here is a pre-draft scouting report, which will be followed by a post-season scouting report.

Fastball: Rustich features a fastball that sits in the 93-94 mph range.
Slider: Rustich's slider is a plus pitch at times.
Changeup: Rustich has thrown a changeup in the past, but didn't throw one in the weekend series against Winthrop.
Split-fingered fastball: He's thrown a split in the past, but didn't in his two outings over the weekend, perhaps scrapping it because of 2006 finger surgery.
Control: The closer commanded both pitches well over the weekend.
Physical Description: Big, imposing presence on the mound.
Medical Update: Rustich pitched in just six games in 2006 before a finger injury forced him to red shirt. He had surgery, but seemed to throw fine in the opening weekend, albeit without the split.
Strengths: Good two-pitch mix, presence for back bullpen.
Weaknesses: He doesn't have the pure power stuff necessarily to be a big league closer and he lacks deception. Some felt he'd have more value as a starter.
Summary: Overall, it was a good opening weekend for Rustich, who answered some questions about his finger. His delivery had improved from the previous year, with a slightly higher arm slot.

Here is how Rustich sees/describes himself:

He throws a 2 and 4 seam fastball, between 92-96, his 2 seamer has great movement on it, and he calls it his best pitch. He has enjoyed success with it when using it against wood bats. His second best pitch is his slider, which ranges between 85 and 89. He calls it his out pitch. His changeup has been called a splitter, due to the down break on it, which is comparable (as is Kunz') to Gagne's change. Rustich feels he needs to work on his fastball command, and also work on his change. He would most compare himself, however, to Jonathan Papelbon.

Repertoire: Fastball, Slider, Changeup:

Rustich throws two different fastballs, a 4 seamer which sits 94-97, and a 2 seamer at the same velocity. His sinker dives in on righties hands and away from lefties. Much of his success is predicated on his ability to control his 4 seamer early in counts. Besides his two fastballs, Rustich also features a big, hard-breaking slider which he throws in the 86-89 range. This pitch is his goto pitch when he wants a strikeout. In addition to the slider, he throws a 84-88 changeup which acts like a splitter due to it's terrific late movement. Naturally, with Rustich's movement and velocity, he doesn't nibble, he attacks hitters. He prefers to work quickly and deliberately by forcing hitters to swing at his pitch. There is still work to be done with his fastball location, but he showed strong overall command during his rookie season.

ETA. late-2008(as a reliever), 2011(as a starter)The Mets will be converting Rustich into a starter during the 2008 season, and he is expected to open the year with St. Lucie at the front end of their rotation. Due to this, Rustich is expected to develop a curveball, to offset his other hard pitches, and develop a slower pitch. Despite this, we feel Rustich's future at the major league level is in the bullpen, as an elite setup man and future closer. After a successful summer in Kingsport and Brooklyn, he will start the new season in St. Lucie at the least, but should enter camp with a shot at making the Binghamton roster outright. We would expect 3 more seasons in the minors if he is starting, and 1 if he is relieving, so his MLB ready date could either be 2009 or 2011.

3. Eddie Kunz (21) R/R (Pac10 Oregon 3-1, 2.91 era, 31 G, 46.1 IP, 12 SVs, 31 H, 18/37 BB/K, 1.06 WHIP, A- Brooklyn 0-1, 5.40 era, 15 G, 15 IP, 6 SVs, 9 H, 10/12 BB/K, 1.27 WHIP, AFL Scottsdale 0-1, 10.13 era, 9 G, 10.2 IP, 15 H, 8/11 BB/K, 2.16 WHIP)

Total 2007 Stats: 3-3, 4.32 era, 58 G, 75 IP, 56 H, 38/63 BB/K, 1.25 WHIP

The Mets selected Kunz with their first overall pick in the 2007 draft, in the supplemental first round, number 42 overall, out of Oregon State, where he was 3-1 with a 2.91 era in 46.1 innings. After signing, Kunz was sent to Brooklyn, where he struggled to a 5.40 era in 15 innings, having some command issues. A postseason trip to Arizona did nothing to allieviate those issues, as he struggled to a 10.13 era and 8 walks in 10.2 innings.

Here are several pre-draft scouting reports, which will be followed by a post-season scouting report.

He has average command and throws from a three-quarters arm slot out of the bullpen.
He lacks a true weapon against good left-handed batters but his sinker will induce a lot of ground balls and chew up bats in pro ball."

He has a solid fastball that reaches the mid 90s, with some nice movement. Has a bit of a slider, but nothing else. Good control though, and gets lot of ground balls.

Fastball: Kunz threw a heavy fastball that ran up to 94 mph. He keeps his fastball down in the zone, and it has some above-average sink to it.
Slider: His slider sits in the 80-82 mph range. It's a true slider, with a short, late break and hard bite.
Control: Kunz commanded his fastball and slider well over the weekend, particularly in his second outing, on Sunday.
Poise: Above average. He came into both situations and threw strikes.
Physical Description: Big right-hander who throws from three-quarters arm slot.
Medical Update: Healthy.
Strengths: Command and poise. Kunz comes into games and pounds his heavy fastball to the bottom of the strike zone. He gets a lot of ground balls and his stuff will break bats at the pro level.
Weaknesses: He doesn't have a third pitch to attack left-handed hitters.
Summary: Kunz's package of stuff is well-suited to the back of a bullpen, but the lack of the third pitch may keep him from closing as a pro. His future may be as a setup man who can pound his sinker-slider in on right-handed hitters.

He probably doesn't fit there, but his big-time fastball will fit in the Mets
bullpen by next season. Solid, unspectacular pick.

Kunz has plus stuff and closer-quality velocity. He's a behemoth at 6-foot-5, 250 pounds
and will have to watch his body and his weight as a pro. His loose arm and
low arm angle produce 94-96 mph fastballs, and some scouts think a
cleaner body and more consistent mechanics would give him even more velocity.
Kunz throws a changeup to lefthanders that's effective, and at times his
change is ahead of his flat slider.

And finally, here is a scouting report from Kunz himself:

Fstball sits around 95, 96 MPH. Slider sits around low to mid 80s. Changeup is probably around mid to upper 70s. He likes his changeup as his second pitch, and throws a hard sinking fastball. Slider is in development. He sees himself as an Eric Gagne type, similiar sink on his ball, and similiar body type.

Repertoire: Fastball, Slider, Changeup

Kunz primarily throws a sinker, which sits in the mid 90s, and is a very hard, very heavy ball. His groundball rates are extraordinairly high due to his over-reliance on this pitch (a otherworldly ridiculous 8.33 go/ao ratio in Brooklyn, and a still insane 3 in the AFL). As for his secondary pitches, Kunz has greater trust in his changeup than he does his slider. His changeup gets good natural downward movement in the 76-79 range, while his slider is a still developing pitch he throws in the 83-87 range. With his repertoire, Kunz is not afraid to go right after hitters. He did walk 18 in 25.2 innings in his pro debut between Brooklyn and the AFL, but he didn't walk nearly that many during his college season. He did not give up much in the way of contact (.190 OPAVG in Brooklyn), but walks did come back to bite him last season.

ETA. mid-late 2009. Kunz' murky performance vs. LHB in 2007 clouds his projection, with regards to the question of whether he will be the be the Mets closer of the future or a reliable setup man. We would expect Kunz to open the 2008 season in St. Lucie, but he very well could jump all the way to Binghamton. Either way, we wouldn't anticipate Kunz spending a long time in the minors, and would say at the latest, he will make his MLB debut sometime during the 2009 season.

4. Stephen Clyne (23) S/R (ACC Clemson 5-2, 2.58 era, 31 G, 45.1 IP, 3 SVs, 44 H, 18/48 BB/K, 1.37 WHIP, A- Brooklyn 2-2, 2.76 era, 22 G, 29.1 IP, 8 SVs, 24 H, 20/33 BB/K, 1.50 WHIP)

Total 2007 Stats: 7-4, 2.65 era, 53 G, 74.2 IP, 68 H, 38/81 BB/K, 1.42 WHIP

The Mets picked Clyne with their 3rd round pick, number 123 overall, out of Clemson University, where as a senior, he went 5-2 with a 2.58 era in 45.1 innings. After signing, he was sent to Brooklyn, where he enjoyed success, pitching to a 2.76 era in 29.1 innings.

Repertoire: Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup

Like Kunz, Clyne's primary pitch is a 2 seam fastball, which he throws in the 91-93 range, but he can dial it up to 94-95 when needed. It is more effective against righties, since he can throw it in on their hands, but it can also be an effective weapon versus lefties. He can get his fair share of Ks with it, but uses it primarily as a groundball generator. In addition to his sinker, he also features both a slider and curve, as well as a change. He uses his slider more often to righties, typically throwing it at 78-81 MPH, and more often then not, throws it down and away. His 73-76 curveball has much slower and larger break. He throws it with much less frequency than his slider and uses it primarily against lefties, aiming it down and in. He only added the change this year, and it made rapid strides towards being a reliable pitch for him. He throws it 76-79, with good downward movement similar to his sinker, making the pitch very deceptive to hitters on both sides of the plate. Like the other relievers taken by the Mets in the 2007 draft, Clyne is a groundball specialist. He has very good velocity and does exert too much effort to reach it.

ETA. late-2009. Clyne figures to have a floor as a righty specialist, but with his improving changeup, and if he can execute his slider against left-handers, he there is a good chance he could become a reliable late-inning link to the closer. At the highest end of his projection, he could become an eighth inning setup man. We would figure Clyne will open the 2008 season in St. Lucie, and could end the season in Binghamton if he excels. At any rate, we would expect Clyne to spend almost 2 full seasons in the minors, before making the leap to the majors sometime late in 2009.

5. Carlos Muniz (26) R/R (AA Binghamton 2-4, 2.45 era, 44 G, 58.2 IP, 23 SVs, 43 H, 17/62 BB/K, 1.02 WHIP, AAA New Orleans 0-1, 1.86 era, 6 G, 9.2 IP, 6 H, 2/8 BB/K, .83 WHIP, MLB New York 7.71 era, 2 G, 2.1 IP, H, 2/2 BB/K, AFL Scottsdale 0-1, 3.27 era, 8 G, 11 IP, 13 H, 5/9 BB/K, 1.64 WHIP)

Total 2007 Stats: 2-6, 2.50 era, 58 G, 79.1 IP, 62 H, 24/79 BB/K, 1.08 WHIP

Muniz was drafted in the 13th round of the 2003 draft out of Long Beach University, where as a senior, he was 0-2 with a 3.14 era in 26 games, converting 11 saves. He's made a slow trek through the farm system, and last season was his best, however, it came as a 25 year old in the Florida State League. In 2007, he'll need to go through Binghamton and end up in New Orleans, to not fall into the Henry Owens category

And he did just that, ending the season in the major leagues (though for only 2.1 innings over 2 appearances). He should open 2008 back in New Orleans, and be one of the first up in case of a need in the bullpen.

Repertoire: Fastball, Slider, Changeup

As we saw in his brief stint in the majors, Muniz is not an overpowering pitcher, using his fastball that sits at 88-91 (2 and 4 seam) to great effectiveness, pounding the zone with them and his slider. Muniz, despite not having the best stuff, is fearless, going right after hitters, throwing strikes and limiting his walks. His slider sits 84-86, and he throws it on the outside corner to righties, and backdoors it to lefties. The slider underwent a large amount of development this season and he is now able to spot it on multiple levels of the strike zone, changing hitters eye-levels and giving it a bit more deception. His change also developed this year, and he throws this pitch in the 81-83 range.

Muniz doesn't profile as a setup man in the majors, due to his stuff, but there is no reason to believe he couldn't make it as a 6th or 7th inning arm. Muniz should open the 2008 season in New Orleans, and he will be atop the list of relievers to get a call up when the need is there.

6. German Marte (22) R/R (A+ St. Lucie 5-3, 3.50 era, 37 G, 63.2 IP, 5 SVs, 59 H, 15/65 BB/K, 1.16 WHIP)

Marte was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2002. He posted a 1.56 ERA for the 2003 DSL team, with 70 Ks in 75 IP, before coming stateside in 2004, where he got into 9 games, including 6 starts, for Kingsport, posting a 1-0 record with a 5.13 era. He also got into 4 games (2 starts) for the Gulf Coast League team, putting up a 1-0, 2.40 line in 15 innings. 2005 was split between Kingsport and Brooklyn, and 2006 between Hagerstown and Brooklyn.

I'd expect Marte to open 2007 in St. Lucie as a 22 year old.

Repertoire: Fastball, Slider, Split-Changeup. (report from post 2006 season)

Marte features a fastball which sat 92-93 prior to 2006, but inexplicably dropped into the 86-87 range for 2006. this alarmed many scouts, as this is barely batting practice speed. He compliments his fastball with a average to slightly below average slider, and a developing changeup, which acts more as a split-change. He has a very violent delivery and it could be one of the reasons why he was throwing his fastball slower after four seasons taking its toll on him.

ETA. 2010. Marte regained the lost velocity during the 2007 season, as evidenced by his more then a K/inning. This solidifies his projection as a setup man in the majors. He is still roughly 2 years away from the majors, and should open 2008 in Binghamton.

7. Will Morgan (22) R/R (Lewis & Clark State 5-1, 1.46 era, 23 G, GS, 67.2 IP, 41 H, 17 BBs, 78 Ks, .86 WHIP, A- Brooklyn 3-0, 2.77 era, 24 G, 39 IP, 2 SVs, 23 H, 11/42 BB/K)

Total 2007 Stats: 8-1, 1.94 era, 47 G, GS, 106.2 IP, 64 H, 28/120 BB/K, .86 WHIP

The Mets drafted Morgan in the 12th round of the 2007 draft, 393rd overall, out of Lewis & Clark State, where as a junior, he excelled, putting up a 1.46 era in 67.2 innings, covering 23 games. After signing with the Mets, he was sent to Brooklyn where he excelled, pitching to a 2.77 era in 24 games, spanning 39 innings.

ETA. late-2009. Morgan features a low 90s fastball, a good slider, and a developing changeup. He calls his slider his best pitch, followed by his fastball, then his change. We would expect Morgan to open 2008 in St. Lucie, with a possible promotion to Binghamton during the season.

8. Dan McDonald (21) L/R (Big East Seton Hall 2-2, 3.37 era, 26 G, 34.2 IP, 6 SVs, 23 H, 19/39 BB/K, A- Brooklyn 1-2, 3.16 era, 20 G, 25.2 IP, 3 SVs, 10 H, 20/30 BB/K, 1.17 WHIP)\

Total 2007 Stats: 3-4, 3.28 era, 46 G, 60.1 IP, 33 H, 39/69 BB/K, 1.19 WHIP

ETA. late-2009. The Mets drafted McDonald in the 8th round of the 2007 draft, 273rd overall, out of Seton Hall, where he went 2-2 with a 3.37 era in 34.2 innings. After signing, he was also sent to Brooklyn, where he went 1-2 with a 3.16 era in 25.2 innings. He only allowed 10 hits, but he walked 20, way too many in 25.2 innings. We would expect Morgan to open 2008 in St. Lucie, with a possible promotion to Binghamton during the season.

Here is how McDonald sees/describes himself:

He throws a 2 and 4 seamer, along with a slider and change. His 4 seamer can reach 94, and it is his primary pitch. He feels he needs to work on his slider, and get better command on all 3 pitches. Due to his small stature, he compares himself to Pedro Martinez.

MPH System Audit Part VIb: Relief Pitchers 9-15

9. Steven Cheney (21) R/R (A- Brooklyn 4-4, 2.70 era, 18 G, 40 IP, 33 H, 12/39 BB/K, 1.13 WHIP

Cheney was drafted by the Mets in the 25th round of the 2006 draft out of Florida Gulf and Coast University. After signing, he was sent to Kingsport, where as a 19 year old, he put up a 2.73 era in 17 games, spanning 29.2 innings. In 2007, Cheney spent the season in Brooklyn, where he wasn't slowed down at all, putting up a 2.70 era in 40 innings, covering 18 appearances.

ETA. late-2010. It wouldn't be a shock to see Cheney in St. Lucie next season, either to start the season, or at some point after opening in Savannah.

10. Ivan Maldonado (27) R/R (AAA New Orleans 3-1, 3.86 era, 41 G, 44.1 IP, 9 SVs, 42 H, 20/49 BB/K, 1.40 WHIP, VWL Magallanes 1-3, 5.92 era, 29 G, 24.1 IP, 25 H, 9/18 BB/K, 1.40 WHIP)

Total 2007 Stats: 4-4, 4.59 era, 70 G, 68.2 IP, 67 H, 29/67 BB/K

The Mets drafted Maldonado in 18th round of the 2002 draft out of Indian Hills Community College. He has advanced a level per year, starting off in Kingsport in 2002. however, he did skip high A, jumping directly from Cap City (Sally League) to Binghamton (AA). Maldonado was left unprotected in the 2007 Rule V draft, but was not taken. Maldonado should compete for a bullpen slot in spring training 2008, but more then likely, he will head back to New Orleans and await a call up.

11. Willie Collazo (28) L/L (AAA New Orleans 6-5, 2.46 era, 53 G, 4 GS, 98.2 IP, 91 H, 19/69 BB/K, 1.11 WHIP, VWL La Guaira 4-5, 3.62 era, 15 G, 14 GS, 74.2 IP, 88 H, 19/39 BB/K, 1.43 WHIP)

Total 2007 Stats: 10-10, 2.96 era, 68 G, 18 GS, 173.1 IP, 179 H, 38/108 BB/K, 1.25 WHIP

The southpaw was originally drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 10th round of the 2001 MLB Draft out of Florida International University. After spending years within the Braves and Angels organization, he signed on with the Mets prior to the 2006 season. In his two years with the Mets, he has been used in varying roles. In 2008, he should compete for a bullpen slot in spring training 2008, but more then likely, he will head back to New Orleans and await a callup.

Repertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Changeup

Collazo throws his fastball in the 84-88 range, and as evidenced by his miniscule 38 walks allowsed in 173.1 innings this year (1.97 walks per 9), he can command his pitches exceptionally well, whether it be starting or relieving. He can throw his fastball to both corners, and also can occasionally throw it up in the zone to throw off a hitter's timing. He also throws a cutter in on righties hands, and away from lefties. Aside from his 2 fastballs, Collazo also throws a 73-77 curveball, which he can throw to either corner. He keeps this pitch down, and will not hesistate to throw it in any count. He finishes his off his repertoire with a good changeup that he works consistently down in the zone as well.
Collazo is a smart pitcher, and knows he won't overpower anyone. He works to contact and is a good groundball pitcher.

As many people noted during his brief appearance in the majors, Collazo looks and pitches like a mini-Feliciano, and that is his ceiling, a solid setup man. More likely, however, is Collazo being a very effective lefty specialist who shouldn't see many righties. We would expect him to open 2008 in New Orleans, and be among the first up in case of trouble.

12. Ryan Cullen (27) L/L, (AA Binghamton 0-1, 4.38 era, 8 G, 12.1 IP, 18 H, 0/12 BB/K, 1.46 WHIP, AAA New Orleans 2-6, 3.04 era, 45 G, 71 IP, 74 H, 19/52 BB/K, 1.31 WHIP, DWL Licey 0-1, 5.87 era, 11 G, 7.2 IP, 10 H, 2/3 BB/K, 1.57 WHIP)

Total 2007 Stats: 2-8, 3.46 era, 64 G, 91 IP, 102 H, 21/67 BB/K, 1.35 WHIP

Cullen was drafted in the 33rd round of the 1998 draft by the Texas Rangers. In 2000, he was traded by the Rangers to the As, and he was released in 2004, after missing the entire season. The Mets picked him up in 2005, and he only appeared in 3 games, totalling 5.1 innings. In 2006, Cullen spent the bulk of the season in Binghamton, appearing in 35 games, totalling 60.1 innings. He sported a 2.98 era, and gave up 47 hits, while walking 16 and striking out 52.

Cullen spent most of 2007 with New Orleans, compiling a 3.06 era in 40 games, spanning 67.2 innings. Much like Maldonado and Collazo, he should compete for a bullpen slot in spring training 2008, but more then likely, he will head back to New Orleans and await a call up.

13. Jose De La Torre (22) R/R (A+ St. Lucie 4-7, 4.76 era, 28 G, 8 GS, 62.1 IP, 8 SVs, 79 H, 10/51 BB/K, 1.43 WHIP)

The Mets signed De La Torre as an undrafted free agent out of Texarkana College in 2005. in 2006, De La Torre spent time in Kingsport and Brooklyn, pitching to a 1.93 era in 37.1 innings between the levels, allowing 29 hits, while walking 14 and K-ing 46.

In 2007, De La Torre opened the season in St. Lucie, in the starting rotation, but after 8 starts, he was moved back to the bullpen. It was revealed in October that De La Torre needed Tommy John Surgery.

Repertoire: Fastball, Slider.

De La Torre's repertoire is very limited. He throws a low 90s fastball with good movement, and a plus mid 80s slider. His slider is his out pitch due to the tremendous break he gets on it. De La Torre would be best served in a relief role due to his meager arsenal, not starting as he was during the early portion of the 2007 season. With such a small arsenal, there really isn't much he can do to confuse hitters, and so he goes right after them. Due to his undergoing Tommy John Surgery during the winter, he is expected to miss all of 2008 and some of 2009. With that in mind, we would expect him to be ready sometime in mid 2011 at the earliest, and early 2012 would be a more conservative time frame.

14. Brandon Nall (25) R/R (AA Binghamton 2-0, 4.57 era, 34 G, 43.1 IP, 50 H, 17/37 BB/K, 1.55 WHIP, A+ St. Lucie 3-2, 2.21 era, 11 G, 20.1 IP, 4 SVs, 15 H, 3/21 BB/K, .89 WHIP)

Total 2007 Stats: 5-2, 3.82 era, 45 G, 63.2 IP, 65 H, 20/58 BB/K, 1.34 WHIP

Originally drafted by the Braves in 2002, Nall declined to sign and instead opted to go to LSU, where he missed the entirety of the 2003 and 2004 seasons recovering from a torn labrum. In 2005, he posted a 3-2 record with LSU, but a 5.18 era in 7 games (4 starts), spanning 24.1 innings. The Mets signed him as an undrafted free agent and sent him to Hagerstown, where he struggled, posting a 7.06 era in 12 games (2 starts).

2006 was a much better year for the righty, but he was old for his level. He will open 2007 in Binghamton, as a 25 year old, and should end the season in New Orleans.

Repertoire: Fastball, Slider, Changeup

Nall is a submarine righty, who throws between 87-91 on his fastball, with the lower speeds conducive to higher movement. He did not generate as many Ks in Binghamton as he did in St. Lucie this season, a sign that he may be topping out around the AA level. Aside from his fastball, Nall throws a slider with very good movement on it (down and away from righties), this pitch is thrown between 77 and 81 MPH. He continues to work on a changeup, but he did not throw it much in 2007 so its development is still a long ways away.

ETA. late-2009. Nall projects as a righty specialist at the big league level, with his ceiling being a middle innings reliever. This assumes he will further refine his changeup. We would expect Nall to open 2008 in Binghamton, and if all goes well, to end in New Orleans, with a mid to late 2009 arrival date in the majors.

15. Eddie Camacho (25) L/L (A+ St. Lucie 1-1, 2.77 era, 9 G, 13 IP, 3 SVs, 10 H, 2/15 BB/K, .92 WHIP, AA Binghamton 0-0, 0.00 era, 5 G, 11.2 IP, SV, 9 H, 3/10 BB/K, 1.03 WHIP, AAA New Orleans 2-1, 4.14 era, 36 G, 2 SVs, 50 IP, 53 H, 15/46 BB/K, 1.36 WHIP, AFL Scottsdale 0-2, 2.31 era, 10 G, 11.2 IP, 15 H, 2/9 BB/K, 1.46 WHIP)

Total 2007 Stats: 3-4, 3.13 era, 60 H, 86.1 IP, 87 H, 22/80 BB/K, 1.26 WHIP

The Mets signed Camacho as an undrafted free agent in 2004 out of Cal State Northridge. He spent 2004 in the GCL and NYPL, followed by the FSL in 2005, and then a level per year until now.

As with the other AAA relievers, he should compete for a bullpen slot in spring training 2008, but more then likely, he will head back to New Orleans and await a call up.

Monday, February 11, 2008

MPH System Audit Part Va: Starting Pitchers 1-8

Decided to split this up, because reading it all can be strenuous in one sitting, so you get 8 now, and 7 in the next post. Read below this post for SPs 9 thru 15.

Starting Pitchers

Needless to say, the late breaking trade of 3 of the top 4 prospects that were on this list severely diminshes the starting depth in the organization. However, the addition of Santana diminishes the need for the farm to produce any starters. Indeed, with Mike Pelfrey here, you have 4 starters 28 and younger for the foreseeable future, and the likelihood of a contract extension for Pedro Martinez would preclude the need for a starter until the 2011 season, by which time the pitchers taken in the 2007 draft should be close to ready, if they pan out.

1. Mike Pelfrey (23) R/R (AAA New Orleans 3-6, 4.01 era, 14 GS, 74 IP, 74 H, 26/56 BB/K, 1.35 WHIP, MLB New York 3-8, 5.57 era, 15 G, 13 GS, 72.2 IP, 85 H, 39/45 BB/K, 1.71 WHIP

Total 2007 Stats: 6-14, 4.79 era, 29 G, 27 GS, 146.2 IP, 159 H, 65/101 BB/K, 1.53 WHIP

Pelfrey was originally drafted by the Devil Rays in the 15th round of the 2002 draft, but instead of signing, he opted to go to Wichita State, where he posted a 33-7 record, with a school-record 2.18 ERA, in 3 seasons. The consensus top pitcher in the 2005 draft, he fell to the Mets at the 9th pick due to signability concerns. Pelfrey signed early in 2006, and after pitching 7 innings in major league camp, he went to high class A St. Lucie, where it was obvious he outclassed the league, after 4 starts in the Florida State League, he went up to Binghamton.

Pelfrey credits veteran catcher Mike DiFelice--whom the Mets sent to Binghamton solely to serve as mentor--with helping him gain confidence in his secondary stuff. He earned a major league callup when Pedro Martinez first went on the disabled list in July and won his first big league start before being sent to Triple-A Norfolk.

Strengths: There are few pitchers in the minors whose fastball can rival Pelfrey's. His two-seamer sits at 92-95 mph with fierce sink and late life and rates as a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He throws it effortlessly from a 6-foot-7 frame on a steep downhill plane with great extension and solid command. He also has a four-seamer for extra velocity higher in the zone. Though Pelfrey barely needed to use a changeup as an amateur, he already has a good feel for it and it's his No. 2 pitch. He fiddled with his grip in 2006 and improved his command of the pitch. He fields his position well and has a good pickoff move, though the Mets would like to see him get faster to the plate from the stretch.

Weaknesses: A lack of a reliable breaking ball is the biggest thing holding Pelfrey back. He has thrown both a curveball and a slider but now favors the slider, which is better suited for his power arm. He throws it at 84-87 mph with some depth, and he can reduce the break on it to give it more of a cutter look against lefthanders. He has yet to learn how to command his slider consistently, and it probably always will be his third-best pitch. Though his mechanics are clean, he tends to over-rotate his lower half in his windup, which hurts his ability to locate his pitches.

The Future: Though he needs better command of his secondary stuff, there's little left for Pelfrey to prove in the minors. With Martinez out until at least the all-star break, Pelfrey will definitely be in the mix for the Opening Day rotation. He should be in the Mets rotation for years to come and has the potential to be a legitimate No. 1 starter.

Contrary to popular belief, Mike Pelfrey is still very highly thought of inside and outside the Mets organization. The ceiling to become a legit #1 is still there. However, what has somewhat changed is that he is a year deeper into his pro career, and to most, he hasn't made the necessary adjustments to maximize his talents, neither has he been afforded a full season of minor league ball to develop. It also did not help that his leech of an agent had him hold out into 2006. Once more in 2008, Pelfrey should be considered to be the favorite to win the #5 starter spot with the big club out of spring training.

2. Jon Niese (21) L/L (A+ St. Lucie 12-7, 4.02 era, 29 GS, 143.1 IP, 155 H, 34/122 BB/K, 1.32 WHIP)

Niese was drafted in the 7th round of the 2005 draft, after allowing a staggering 1 run in 78 innings, for a 0.11 ERA. He was deemed a tough sign, but after a recruiting call from Gary Carter, he signed for above slot money, $175,000. He was sent to the Gulf Coast League, where he went 1-0, 3.65 in 7 games, 5 starts. In 2006, Niese started in Hagerstown, skipping Kingsport and Brooklyn. He showed no ill effects of the jump, and before late season arm fatigue, was dominating the South Atlantic League. A late promotion to St. Lucie produced mixed results. His first start was decent, as he allowed 3 runs, 1 earned, in 5 innings, while walking 3, striking out 5 and allowing 3 hits. His next start, however, was not good, as he surrendered 5 runs, 4 earned, over 5 innings, while walking 2, striking out 5 and allowing 5 hits.

He's a projectable (6-foot-3, 180 pounds) lefty who already has a high-80s fastball. His splitter, curveball and slider all have potential.

Repertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Changeup

Niese throws his fastball in the 88-91 range, but can dial it up to 92-94 when he needs to. He spent 2007 working on many things, including pitching inside with his fastball. His best pitch, however, is his over the top curveball which he throws in two ways. One is a more relaxed curveball which he uses to change a hitters pace and eye level. The other is much more devastating pitch that he snaps off with much sharper break, serving as his finishing pitch. He consistently works on its improvement, but it currently is a very lethal pitch. In addition to the fastball and curve, he also has a change which he throws in the 77-81 range. He has worked on strengthening the change since entering the system in 2005. Niese spent 2007 working on command and control, sacrificing other metrics, and did cut his walk rate noticably, which allowed him to stay in games longer.

ETA. 2010. Niese projects as a 3-4 starter, with definite upside as a possible 2. The Mets have been relatively conservative with him, only moving him a level per season. With that in mind, he should spent all (or most) of 2008 in Binghamton, with a projected 2010 MLB debut.

3. Bobby Parnell (23) R/R (A+ St. Lucie 3-3, 3.25 era, 12 GS, 55.1 IP, 56 H, 22/62 BB/K, 1.41 WHIP, AA Binghamton 5-5, 4.77 era, 17 GS, 88.2 IP, 98 H, 38/74 BB/K, 1.53 WHIP)

Total 2007 Stats: 8-8, 4.19 era, 29 GS, 144 IP, 154 H, 60/136 BB/K, 1.49 WHIP)

The Mets selected Parnell in the 9th round of the 2005 draft out of Charleston Southern College, where he had simply an abysmal junior year (3-5, 8.86). However, Met scouts saw something in Parnell, and the Mets drafted and signed him, sending him to Brooklyn. Parnell excelled in Brooklyn, going 2-3, but with a 1.73 era in 15 games, 14 starts. In 2006, the Mets sent Parnell up to Hagerstown, their Sally League affiliate, where he performed decently, 5-10 with a 4.04 era in 18 GS. A 3 game trip to the FSL proved disasterous, leading to an 0-1, 9.26 line in 11.2 innings.

Parnell began 2007 in St. Lucie, where he performed very well, 3-3, 3.25 in 12 GS. The Mets then promoted Parnell to Binghamton, where he struggled, but showed flashes of brillance (0-2, 3.13 era in 4 GS, 18 IP in June and 4-1, 3.24 era in 6 GS, 33.1 IP in August). Indeed, if you removed Parnell's last 4 starts, he would've ended his stint in Binghamton with a 7-7, 3.86 line. Parnell should open the 2008 season right where he ended 2007, in Binghamton, with a mid-season promotion to New Orleans not out of the question.

Repertoire: Fastball, Slider, Changeup

A lot of mention this spring was spent on Deolis Guerra's increase in velocity, but Parnell also came to camp with more life on his fastball. He can now dial his 4 seam fastball into the mid 90s, while his sinker sits comfortably in the 91-94 area. In addition to his two fastballs, Parnell also has a nasty overhand slider which can buckle right-handed batters because of its steep downward movement. He throws this pitch in the 82-85 range, and can throw it in any count. Parnell finishes off hitters with a developing changeup. The one negative in Parnell's game is his walk rate, which was 3.75 per 9 innings, but this is negated by his high GB/FB ratio (3.08 in the FSL, and 1.11 in the EL, combined 1.54).

Parnell projects as a solid 3-4 starter in the majors, due to his devastating ability to generate ground balls, and his plus slider. There is also a good chance he could end up in a late inning bullpen role thanks to his velocity and slider but we would expect that, with a lot of the SP depth now in Minnesota, he will stay a starter for now. Parnell should open 2008 right where he ended 2007, and much like 2007, a good performance in Binghamton should pave the way for a promotion to New Orleans sometime in the middle of the 08 season. That would leave him primed for a mid 2009 debut in the majors.
ETA. mid-2009(as a reliever), 2010(as a starter).

4. Nathan Vineyard (19) L/L (R GCL 0-3, 5.27 era, 9 G, 7 GS, 27.1 IP, 30 H, 9/33 BB/K, 1.43 WHIP)

The Mets selected Vineyard in the first round, with their 47th pick in the 2007 draft out of Woodland High School in Georgia, where as a senior, he put up these numbers as a senior: 9-3, 1.19 era, 12 GS, 6 CG, 70.2 IP, 39 H, 12 BBs, 130 Ks; .429/.547/.714, 13 2b, 3b, 3 HR, 22 RBI, 22/7 BB/K. He was sent to the rookie level GCL, where he struggled, but did register more then a K per inning. Given the Mets aggressive policy with prospects, it wouldn't be shocking to see Vineyard in the Sally League at some point in 2008 (either starting there, or ending up there).

Here is a pre-draft scouting report, which will be followed by a post-season scouting report.

Nathan Vineyard (LHP - Woodland HS, Georgia)

Fastball: Vineyard's fastball sat in the 88-91 mph range, and has average life
Slider: Right now, Vineyard's slider is average, but it's already an out pitch.
Changeup: Vineyard's change is below-average now, but projects to be average
Control: He's got below-average command currently, but with a good delivery, projects to have average or above-average command in the future.
Poise: He's got good athletic actions on the mound and excellent aggressiveness in attacking hitters.
Physical Description: The decently sized southpaw has a Jamie Walker-type body.
Medical Update: Healthy.
Strengths: He has the chance to have a three-pitch mix. He's got a good delivery and is athletic on the mound.
Weaknesses: He needs more movement on his fastball because there's not a lot of projection to it.
Summary: He has the chance to have a good three-pitch mix with a slider that is an out pitch right now. While there's not a ton of projection to make, he should improve on things like command and fastball movement.

Here is how Vineyard sees/describes himself:

Low to mid 90s fastball, touches 93, with a hard 84-86 slider. His secondary pitches are both around 76-79, a circle change and a curveball. His slider is his best pitch, which he compares to Randy Johnson's, while his curveball needs the most work.

Repertoire: Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup

Vineyard's fastball is in the low 90s, but he can touch 93 when he needss to. He can locate the pitch down in the strike zone and both sides of the plate with tailing movement. Only 19 years old, he still does have potential to add a few MPH on his fastball, which would turn it into a trus plus pitch. Vineyard's best pitch is his devastating three-quarters slider which he throws in the mid 80s. It has massive break that tails hard down and away to left-handers, dives under the bats of right-handers, and serves as his finishing pitch. He also throws a developing curveball which is in the 76-79 range, and a circle change, in the same range. His change is his third best pitch. Right now, Vineyard keeps the ball down with his full compliment of pitches, pounding the strike zone with his fastball and changeup before finishing hitters off with his slider. He only walked 1 batter every 3 innings, and with further refinement of his pitches, that rate should only improve. As he gets older and his pitches become even finer, he may become more of a strikeout pitcher thanks to his growing velocity combined with his tremendous slider and improving changeup.

ETA. 2012. With Vineyard's deep repertoire (especially for someone as young as he is), and the quality of those pitchesh he has the arsenal to be a leading arm at the front of a big league rotation, most likely a sturdy number two. Vineyard should find himself on the Sand Gnats at some point during the 2008 season, either starting there, or ending up there after spending time at a short season team. After that, he should spend a season at each level between St. Lucie and the majors, setting himself up for a 2012 debut.

5. Scott Moviel (19) R/R (R GCL 0-2, 3.38 era, 12 GS, 40 IP, 45 H, 11/37 BB/K, 1.40 WHIP)

The Mets selected Moviel in the 2nd round, with their 77th pick in the 2007 draft, out of St. Edward High School in Ohio. Moviel was 6-2 this season with a 1.62 era for the Eagles with 102 strikeouts in 50.1 IP. After drafting him, the Mets sent him to the GCL, where he performed well, with a 3.38 era in 40 innings. As with most tall pitchers (Moviel's 6'10), his delivery can sometimes get out of whack, so the Mets may take a slower approach with Moviel, keeping him in extended spring training to work out any kinks. However, as with Vineyard, it wouldn't be a shock to see Moviel end up in the Sally League sometime this season.

Here is a pre-draft scouting report, which will be followed by a post-season scouting report.

Fastball: Moviel threw his fastball in the 88-92 mph range and threw it consistently at 90 mph.
Curve: Moviel's curve has the chance to be a good offering, but he gets in front of it a little too much and his mechanics sometime get in the way of consistently delivering the pitch.
Changeup: He showed a changeup, but he didn't throw it much in this outing.
Control: With all that can go wrong with a 6-foot-10 pitcher's delivery, Moviel can struggle with his command when his mechanics go awry.
Poise: Moviel had very good mound presence and stands out there like he wants to win.
Physical Description: Big, imposing right-hander, much like NC State starter Andrew Brackman. Like Brackman, Moviel could be headed to NC State and is a former basketball player, so he's fairly athletic, especially for someone his size. He's very coordinated and has surprising quickness.
Medical Update: Healthy.
Strengths: The body plus the arm strength. At 6-10, Moviel could have the ability to throw a plus, plus fastball to go along with an above-average curve. It's all about projectability.
Weaknesses: He's a project. He struggles with inconsistency and guys his size have to make sure they have everything completely together for everything to work properly. His pitches past his fastball lag behind currently.
Summary: Moviel is a huge 6-foot-10 right-hander who'll be a bit of a project for whichever team takes him. He is fairly athletic and used to play basketball, but as is often the case with pitchers his size, he struggles to repeat his delivery and maintain his mechanics. He does have a solid average fastball, a curve that could become a good pitch with some help and a changeup he doesn't throw much. Finding consistency will be the key to Moviel's success. Some pitchers his size have found it, others have not.

Repertoire: Fastball, Sinker, Changeup, Curveball

Due to Moviel's imposing height, his low 90s fastball appears to be harder. He has very good location with the pitch and is able to consistently spot it on the corners. It is a straight fastball, so he typically doesn't throw it in hitter's counts, or in 2 strike counts. To get his outs, he usually relies on his hard sinker, which he added more depth to this season. When Moviel came to the Mets, he leaned on his curveball as his primary secondary pitch, but as he learned to throw a changeup, it became his favorite option behind his sinker. He throws this pitch in the upper 70s to low 80s, depending on if he wants movement or location. As for his curveball, it sits in the high-70s and is still there when he needs it. He usually will throw it when he feels he can get the hitter out in front or chasing. Moviel doesn't yet have imtimidating velocity, but that really isn't his MO right now. He is a contact pitcher who induces a ton of grounders with his sinker/change combination. He can still collect his share of strikeouts, and he keeps his walks at a minimum, which bodes well for him as he moves up the ladder.

ETA. mid-late 2012. Moviel, like Vineyard, has shown to be a quick student, and pitches well above his age. With this in mind, it wouldn't be shocking to see the Mets challenge him with an assignment to Savannah to begin 2008. Either way, he will be there at some point during 2008, playing a lead role on what will be a very young staff. We will hedge our bets and say that if all bodes well, he could be looking at just three more years in the system before making the big league roster. 2012 is a safe target date, but the organization could play it a bit more conservative and push his debut back another year.

6. Cole Abbott (19) R/R (R GCL 0-3, 7.31 era, 10 G, 2 GS, 16 IP, 18 H, 12/10 BB/K, 1.88 WHIP)

The Mets stole Abbott in the 25th round, with their 783rd pick in the 2007 draft. Expected to go much higher, Abbott fell precipitously, and the Mets snapped him up, and sent him to the GCL, where he did not pitch much, and struggled with command when he did toe the rubber. Abbott should find himself in Kingsport to start 2008, with an outside shot of ending his season in Savannah.

Here is a pre-draft scouting report from Abbott's coach

Tall athletic pitcher with a fastball in the low 90's. Has touched 93 on several occasions. Above average slider that he can throw for strikes in any count. Cole only weighs about 170 pounds. As he matures and grows he has the frame to easily carry 200-210 pounds. When he develops his legs, his velocity should go up and he will be able to go much deeper in games. Cole is very athletic and very competitive. These two attributes will allow him to learn and develop at a much faster pace than a lot of pitchers. Seems to be very natural on the mound. Needs to develop a third pitch. Has the ability to throw a decent change up, but lacks the confidence to throw it in games.

When Cole misses he misses up and tends to put himself in bad counts. Needs to tweak his grip a little to be able to get some movement on his fastball. As he gets better and throws more innings, I have complete confidence that he will be successful as a professional, and he will learn to get great hitters out.

ETA. 2013. Abbott should not be challenged significantly in 2008, expect him to open in Kingsport or Brooklyn, where he should stay for most of the season. Four more years in the minors puts him in line for a 2013 debut.

7. Nick Carr (20) R/R (A- Brooklyn 5-2, 3.80 era, 14 GS, 66.1 IP, 55 H, 27/74 BB/K, 1.24 WHIP, HWL Waikiki 1-0, 3.65 era, 5 G, GS, 12.1 IP, 11 H, 10/10 BB/K, 1.70 WHIP)

Total 2007 Stats: 6-2, 3.78 era, 19 G, 15 GS, 78.2 IP, 66 H, 37/84 BB/K, 1.31 WHIP

The Mets drafted Carr in the 41st round of the 2005 draft, out of Twin Falls High School, in Idaho. Instead of signing with the organization out of high school, Carr took his mid-90s fastball and deadly slider to the junior college ranks, more specifically - Southern Idaho College, where he was a teammate of Todd Privett. Carr went 5-4 with a 2.96 era in 13 games, 11 starts, spanning 54.2 innings. He allowed 38 hits, while walking 38 and striking out 66. Carr signed with the Mets as a draft and follow on May 17th.

Carr was sent to the rookie level Appalachian League, where he posted decent numbers, as a 19 year old. Carr should be in the mix for a starting job in the South Atlantic League with Savannah.

Carr instead spent the season in Brooklyn of the New York Penn League, where he put up very good numbers, going 5-2, 3.80 in 66.1 innings. He played in Hawaii during the fall, getting into 5 more games, totalling 12.1 innings, and posting a 3.65 era. Carr should either continue his one level ascent through the system, or if the Mets feel like pushing him, he could open the year in St. Lucie.

Repertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Changeup, Slider

Carr's fastball isn't talked about much, but he can easily pitch in the mid-90s with it, and he has some projection left, so it could turn into a true plus pitch in the future. He likes to work his heater high in the zone, especially in two-strike counts to change a hitter's eye level. He comes back with a good two-seam fastball that he works on both sides of the plate, but to be truly effective, he needs to work on the consistency of his command with both pitches. Carr throws a mid 80s slider to compliment his hard fastball, and this is his finishing pitch. He also has a strengthening curveball in the low-80s, but he is still working on its consistency. A still developing changeup (currently in the low 80s) rounds out Carr's repertoire. Carr is a pitcher who goes after hitters, and isn't afraid to challenge anyone. He vastly improved both his stuff, and his command in 2007, leading to a lot more success then 2006. As he continues to develop both his curveball and changeup, that should make him even more dynamic and tougher to hit as he moves up the ranks.

ETA. mid-2011. Right now, Carr projects as a 3-4 starter, but further refinement of his repertoire would boost that projection. He certainly has the velocity to be a number 2, it depends on the development of his secondary pitchers whether he gets there or not. If he doesn't, a career in the bullpen wouldn't be out of the question. Although Carr did not make it to a long-season squad as previously predicted, his strong year in Brooklyn should set him up to break camp with St. Lucie, which would put him on pace to spend 2 additional seasons in the minors, before cracking the major league roster at the start of the 2011 season.

8. Dylan Owen (21) R/R (Francis Marion 10-1, 1.14 era, 17 G, 13 GS, 3 CG, 102.1 IP, 77 H, 19 BBs, 121 Ks, 0.94 WHIP, A- Brooklyn 10-1, 1.4 era, 15 G, 14 GS, 77.1 IP, 55 H, 12/76 BB/K, .87 WHIP) + 5 ip, 4 h, 7 ks

Total 2007 Stats: 20-2, 1.25 era, 32 G, 27 GS, 179.2 IP, 132 H, 31/197 BB/K, 0.91 WHIP

The Mets selected Owen with their 20th round pick in the 2007 draft, 633rd overall, out of Francis Marion College, where he went 10-1, 1.14 as a junior. Owen was sent to Brooklyn where he put up insane numbers, going 10-1 with a 1.40 era. Overall in 2007, Dylan Owen put together an altogether ridiculous year, with 20 wins and a 1.25 era over 179.2 innings. Owen will no doubt be in St. Lucie to open the 2008 season, and it wouldn't be shocking to see him end up in Binghamton.

Here are a couple of pre-draft and draft week scouting reports from Owen's coach and a rival coach. And following that will be a post-season scouting report.

Dylan features a fastball that sits around 88-91, topping out at 93. His slider is his (strike)out pitch, sitting at 78-82. He also throws a curve and change. His curve sits 73-76, while his change is between 79-83. He feels he needs to work on throwing the fastball inside more, and also get more comfortable throwing any pitch inside.

Here are Coach Chris Calciano's (GCSU) thoughts on a rival pitcher the Mets drafted, Dylan Owen.

"The Mets took another kid from our Conference Dylan Owen, who is in Brooklyn right now. I really like that kid!!! He can flat out pitch. Plus slider that is 80-83 and an excellent strikeout pitch. His fastball is 89-92 with some movement.

Both kids are physically a bit smaller than you would like, but mechanically they are solid and should not breakdown with injuries!"

Repertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Slider, Changeup

Owen sits 90-92 with his fastball, but he can pump it into the mid 90s when needed. Overall, he does not try to overpower hitters, but instead he works to contact. His slider, as mentioned above, is a deceptive pitch he uses to great effect. His very good command of his slider gives him the ability to spot it on the outside corner to righties or backdoor it to lefties, making for a very effective out-pitch. He also features a changeup which he doesn't hesistate to throw in any count. It is about 6-8 MPH slower then his fastball, so he does need to work on taking a touch more off it. Due to his strong 4 pitch arsenal, Owen is a bulldog on the mound, attacking hitters rather then being passive. During his rookie season, he demonstrated excellent control and was not hit hard with any frequency
while pounding the strike zone with his whole arsenal.

ETA. late 2010. Owen doesn't project to add anymore velocity, and with that being the case, he projects as a 4-5 starter in the majors. After embarassing both DIII and the NYPL in 2007, Owen should find himself with a more challenging task in the FSL. It wouldn't be completely out of the realm of possibility to see him in AA if he excels in St. Lucie. No matter how his time in the system is divided, Owen is still looking at three full seasons down on the farm before making his big league debut sometime during the 2010 season.

MPH System Audit Part Vb: Starting Pitchers 9-15

9. Phillips Orta (21) R/R (R VSL 0-0, 1.29 era, 4 G, 3 GS, 14 IP, 8 H, 3/12 BB/K, .79 WHIP, R Kingsport 2-2, 4.58 era, 11 GS, 53 IP, 62 H, 21/45 BB/K, 1.57 WHIP, A Savannah 27 era, 0.2 IP, 5 BBs, K, 25 WHIP)

Total 2007 Stats: 2-2, 3.90 era, 15 G, 13 GS, 67 IP, 70 H, 24 BBs, 57 Ks, 1.40 WHIP

The Mets selected Orta in the 10th round of the 2006 draft out of Western Nebraska Community College. After signing in 2007 as a draft and follow, the Mets sent him to the Venezuelan Summer League, where he appeared in 4 games, pitching 14 innings to a 1.29 era. The Mets brought him stateside and sent him to Kingsport next, where he spent the bulk of the season, starting 11 games (53 IP), pitching to a 2-2, 4.58 line. He spent one relief outing in Savannah, getting bombed due to command issues.

Repertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Changeup

Orta's fastball is one of the best in the system, blazing in in the mid 90s. He also has a low 90s 4 seamer can he pound in the bottom of the strike zone. The 4 seamer has good tailing movement and once he learns to really paint the pitch, it should become even deadlier on hitters. Orta's primary secondary (hahaha) pitch is a curveball he throws in the 78-83 range. It is sharp curveball with which he has consistent command. His curveball has good, late snap to it and does not so much curl through the strike zone as it does shred through the zone. His arsenal is capped off by a developing changeup which will become more devastating once he can gain better command of it. Orta boasts two plus pitches that allow him to attack hitters by keeping them off balance with his high velocity and strong breaking ball. He needs to work on his command, as even excluding that ridiculous Savannah relief outing, he walked 24 in 67 innings, or 3.22/9. Including that outing skyrockets that number to 3.86/9.

ETA. 2012. As this was Orta's first pro season, projecting his career proves difficult. He has the velocity to be a front end starter, but he needs to improve his command to achieve that lofty projection. He has been said to have #2 potential, however, and projects as a 3-4 if all goes well. We should know more about his future at the end of the 2008 season. Orta finished 2007 in Savannah, and that should be where he opens 2008. Spending 3 more seasons in the minors would put him on a course to make the majors in 2012.

10. Gavin Dlouhy (19) R/R (R GCL 1-1, 2.49 era, 8 G, 4 GS, 25.1 IP, 23 H, 6/34 BB/K, 1.14 WHIP)

The Mets signed Dlouhy out of Australia in July of 2006, and he made his debut a year later for the GCL Mets, but only managed 25.1 innings in a crowded staff.

Dlouhy features a low 90s fastball, developing change, and a good splitter. He should open the season in A ball. He was highly regarded out of Australia, and has put up good numbers in limited time. His stuff is good enough to move up in the ranks of starting pitcher prospects in the system, and should be one to watch going forward. He is definite a sleeper candidate in 2008.

11. Dillon Gee (21) R/R (SOU UT-Arlington 4-8, 4.67 era, 16 GS, 111.2 IP, 138 H, 22/96 BB/K, 1.43 WHIP, A- Brooklyn 3-1, 2.47 era, 14 G, 11 GS, 62 IP, 57 H, 9/56 BB/K, 1.06 WHIP) + 5 ip, 4 h, bb, 8 ks

Total 2007 Stats: 7-9, 3.78 era, 31 G, 28 GS, 178.2 IP, 199 H, 32/160 BB/K, 1.29 WHIP

The Mets drafted Gee with their 21st round pick, 663rd overall, out of the University of Arlington Texas, where he was 4-8, 4.67 in 111.2 innings. After signing, the Mets assigned him to Brooklyn, where he went 3-1, 2.47 in 62 innings. Gee should be a part of the St. Lucie Mets in 2008.

12. Eric Niesen (22) L/L (ACC Wake Forest 6-5, 3.00 era, 30 G, 7 GS, 84 IP, 66 H, 38/83 BB/K, 1.24 WHIP, A- Brooklyn 0-3, 3.30 era, 9 GS, 30 IP, 30 H, 25/27 BB/K, 1.83 WHIP, A+ St. Lucie 0-0, 0.00 era, 2 G, GS, 4 IP, 3 H, 4 BBs, 4 Ks, 1.75 WHIP)

Total 2007 Stats: 6-8, 2.97 era, 41 G, 17 GS, 118 IP, 99 H, 67/114 BB/K, 1.41 WHIP

The Mets selected Niesen in the 3rd round of the 2007 draftt, with their 99th overall pick, out of Wake Forest University, where he was 6-5, with a 3.00 era in 84 innings. After signing, the Mets sent him to Brooklyn, where he got into 9 games, all starts, but only totalling 30 innings. He ended his season with the St. Lucie Mets as they made a push to the playoffs, and he got into 2 games for them, one start during the regular season (3 innings), and one relief outing during the playoffs (1 inning). Overall, he had an ERA a shade under 3 in 118 innings split between 3 "levels" as it were.

We would expect Niesen to open 2008 right where he ended 2007, in St. Lucie. Whether it be in a starting role or relief role remains to be seen. We would hope Niesen remains in the bullpen where his fastball can be used as a true plus pitch.

Here is a pre-draft scouting report, which will be followed by a post-season scouting report.

Fastball: Since moving into the bullpen, Niesen's fastball has been a plus, touching the mid-90s.
Slider: Some like his slider, but others grade it as below-average.
Changeup: Niesen's change is a below-average pitch.
Control: His command is below-average as well.
Physical Description: Niesen is a small lefty with a low three-quarters arm angle and fits a Dan Reichert-type body mold.
Medical Update: H ealthy.
Strengths: Plus velocity on his fastball with an interesting arm angle.
Weaknesses: None of his other pitches grade out average or above.
Summary: Niesen has found success since moving into Wake Forest's bullpen earlier in the season. His fastball has picked up a few notches, and he throws it with a three-quarter arm angle. That being said, he lacks deception for a lefty reliever and his other pitches lag behind the fastball.

Here is how Niesen sees/describes himself:

He throws a fastball, slider and changeup. His fastball sits 93-94, topping out at 95. His slider and changeup both sit in the 78-83 range. He feels he needs to work on his consistency with his offspeed pitches. He compares himself to Billy Wagner in terms of the guy he wants to pitch like.

Repertoire: Fastball, Slider, Changeup

As a reliever, Niesen can dial his fastball into the 93-95 range, but as a starter, it sits more in the 91-93 area. Since he does not have exception velocity on his fastball when starting, location is paramount. Niesen relies on his slider as a finishing pitch and a way to induce groundballs. He throws it 78-82, with good downward movement. He also throws a changeup which is a work in progress, this pitch is in the 81-83 range. Despite not boasting plus stuff, Niesen isn't shy about pitching to contact, and he will go right after hitters. He is more consistent within the strike zone then he appeared to be last season, his high walk total was more of an anomaly. That should be seen better in 2008, with a greater sample size of IP.

ETA. mid-late 2010. Niesen projects as a 3-4 starter or a back of the bullpen reliever down the line. If he does want to start in the majors, he must add a 4th pitch to his arsenal. He should open 2008 in St. Lucie, where he ended 2007, which would then give him 2 more years in the minors, before a mid to late 2010 debut.

13. Josh Stinson (19) R/R (A Savannah 3-11, 4.86 era, 26 G, 21 GS, 109.1 IP, 131 H, 33/52 BB/K, 1.50 WHIP

The Mets drafted Stinson in the 37th round of the 2006 draft, and sent him to the rookie level Gulf Coast League, where he went 1-2 with a 2.00 era in 9 games (4 starts), totalling 27 innings. A late season promotion to Hagerstown of the South Atlantic League didn't derail the righty, as he put up a 0-1 record, but an outstanding 1.35 era in 3 starts, 13.1 IP. He combined between the two levels to go 1-3 with a 1.79 era. The Mets found themselves another steal with Stinson, since he was projected to go around rounds 8 to 10. Instead, he dropped to the 37th round, but signed for 7th round money.

Stinson features 5 pitches, a 2 and 4 seam fastball, slider, curve and change. His fastball varies from 85-89, sometimes topping out at 94. Due to the various speeds at which this pitch is thrown, he must spot it correctly, or it can hurt him because he does not get many batters to swing and miss at it. He prefers his two-seam fastball which, despite its wide range of speeds, has a strong downward movement and enough life to it that he can induce many groundballs. His best seconary pitch is his changeup, which has a deceiving drop which makes hitters believe it his two-seamer when it comes out of his hand. His curveball is his best breaking pitch, and he made strides with this pitch, working it into many more counts, and gaining confidence in it. He fools around with a slider, but only throws it as a get me over pitch.

We said this about Stinson last year: Expect Stinson to open the 2007 season as a 19 year old in the South Atlantic League, with the new class A affiliate Savannah. A promotion to the Florida State League wouldn't be out of the question.

However, that didn't come to frutition, as Stinson struggled to find himself in Savannah, and spent the entire season there, barely managing to get his ERA under 5. Stinson's stock has dropped a bit in the last year, but he is still young enough to turn that around. He needs to gain a few ticks on his fastball, and strengthen his curve and change. He should spend all of 2008 in St. Lucie, affording him a friendly ball park to make adjustments to his game. It looks like he will still need another three years of minor league baseball until he breaks into the bigs.

14. Tobi Stoner (23) R/R (A Savannah 3-5, 3.61 era, 11 GS, 57.1 IP, 59 H, 17/50 BB/K, 1.33 WHIP, A+ St. Lucie 4-5, 4.90 era, 16 GS, 82.2 IP, 90 H, 25/57 BB/K, 1.39 WHIP)

Total 2007 Stats: 7-10, 4.37 era, 27 GS, 140 IP, 149 H, 42/107 BB/K, 1.36 WHIP

Stoner was drafted in the 16th round out of Davis and Elkins College, in 2006, where as a senior, he went 8-6 with a 2.90 era in 18 games, 12 of which were starts. In 90 innings, he allowed 85 hits while walking 16 and striking out 79.

He should start the 2007 season as a 23 year old with Savannah, although an outside shot of him opening in St. Lucie exists.

Stoner did open in Savannah, but he ended in St. Lucie, with mixed results. He performed very well on a very young and inexperienced Savannah team, but struggled upon his promotion to the higher league. We would expect Stoner to open 2008 back in St. Lucie, with a mid-season promotion to Binghamton likely.

Repertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Slider, Changeup

Stoner throws a 2 and 4 seam fastball, with his 4-seamer sitting 88-92, touching 94. His two-seam fastball has a lot of natural movement which he also works inside to righties with the goal of breaking bats and inducing ground balls. His three secondary pitches are all highly developed and he is able to throw all of them in any count. The curveball and slider are both Major League ready while his changeup is close to that point. His curve is his favorite secondary pitch, it is a big breaking curve which is in the 70-73 range. He throws a 76-79 MPH slider which improved this year, but he uses this pitch to get hitters to fish. He strengthened his changeup this year by using it in fastball counts and now has the confidence to throw it at any time. With five quality pitches, Stoner isn't afraid to go after hitters and relies on his aggressiveness for success. A very valuable asset for Stoner is that he can throw his 1breaking pitches or changeup even when he is behind in the count. He does suffer through some mental lapses on occasion which lead to his walks and occasional rough innings.

ETA. mid-late 2010. Stoner's as polished as he's going to get from a stuff point of view, but he still needs to work over some mental lapses which lead to innings getting away from him on occasion. Stoner should open in St. Lucie to start 2008, but he'll finish it in Binghamton, with any success. That would put him in line for a 2009 split between Binghamton and New Orleans, with a mid 2010 ready date.

15. Adam Bostick (24) L/L (AAA New Orleans 6-7, 5.50 era, 22 G, 21 GS, 103 IP, 108 H, 48/100 BB/K, 1.51 WHIP, AFL Scottsdale 2-0, 2.74 era, 6 GS, 23 IP, 20 H, 13/23 BB/K, 1.43 WHIP, DWL Estrellas 0-3, 5.51 era, 6 G, 5 GS, 16.1 IP, 17 H, 11/8 BB/K, 1.71 WHIP)

Total 2007 Stats: 8-10, 5.06 era, 34 G, 32 GS, 142.1 IP, 145 H, 72/131 BB/K, 1.52 WHIP

Bostick was drafted in the 6th round of the 2001 draft by the Marlins, and assigned to their Gulf Coast League team. He missed all of the 2002 season with an injury, and began his 03 season with Jamestown of the New York Penn League. He did not get above A ball until the latter half of the 05 season. 2006 was the first time he'd been to AAA ball. On November 20th, 2006, the Marlins traded Bostick, along with Jason Vargas, to the Mets in exchange for a pair of minor league relievers, Matthew Lindstrom and Henry Owens.

Various scouting reports have said that he has a smooth delivery, and pitches at 88-90 mph and tops out at 93 mph. He has known for having the best curveball in the Marlins system, but his changeup needs work. He also has had erratic command and shown a lack of endurance, but only gave up 7 home runs in the 2006 season.

2007 saw the same lack of endurance, as he only averaged 4.90 innings per start. However, unlike 2006, he got lit up in AAA, posting a mid 5 era. After the trades of Humber and Mulvey, Bostick's spot in the 2008 New Orleans rotation is secure. It remains to be seen what he does with it. His lack of endurance, combined with his good strikeout rate would seem to play well in the bullpen, but his ridiculously high walk rate (4.55 per 9) would definitely NOT play well out of the pen. If he improves his control, he could be a useful lefty out of the pen down the line.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

MPH System Audit Part IV: Catchers


The system is extremely thin in catching prospects, so much so that a .210 hitter snags the top spot. That said, he's got a tremendous pedigree and is a terrific defensive catcher. The bat will/should come, and remember, he was 17 in A ball. Behind him include a couple of pickups from this offseason! In addition to those mentioned on this list, there are a few exclusions, 4 catchers who we signed during the 2007 International Free Agent signing period. Hansel Santana (16), Amauris Valdez (18), Milvin Vargas (17), and Hector Alvarez (16). Keep in mind that the Mets have not had a history of promoting catching talent from within, with their last real homegrown catcher being Todd Hundley.

1. Francisco Pena (18) R/R (A Savannah 103 games, .210/.263/.283, 77 for 367, 26 runs, 12 2b, 5 HR, 30 RBI, 24/76 BB/K, 1/2 SBs)

The 16 year old is considered a great prospect because of his hitting ability, power potential, plate approach, and his solid defense. He got a $740,000 signing bonus, and is the son of former Major League catcher Tony Pena. He is looking at a stateside debut, whether it be in the GCL, Kingsport, or Brooklyn, either way, keep an eye out for him, he could be a good one.

Pena started off in the full season A ball Sally League (at only 17), and put up atrocious stats. However, a few things to keep in mind: he is going to be only 18 years old next year, and now, with a full season of catching (103 games) under his belt, and a full season of playing in the states, at a level he had no business playing in, he should produce at a much higher clip then last season.

A very good sign for Pena this year was his comparitively low strikeout totals, only striking out in 20.71% of his ABs, and his 0.316 BB/K ratio. While he did walk 24 times, he was rather impatient at the plate, and that, in part, led to his low batting average. He also showed off pretty good power for his age, considering the level he was playing at. The hope is that the power will keep coming as he physically matures in coming years. Behind the plate, Pena's abilities of calling games and receiving balls helped gain the trust of his pitchers, but he suffered through his share of passed balls and throwing errors. His arm is strong but he does not have the proper mechanics, which led to a lot of throwing errors. As it expected, Pena is still very raw in many facets of the game, both offensive and defensively.

ETA. mid-2012. The Mets believe there is a large amount of upside to be had from Pena, which is why they brought him to the States at such a young age. Though he struggled in his rookie year, there is still plentiful time for Pena to make himself a household name among prospect watchers, and he is still very very young. However, at 6'2, 230, Pena needs to keep himself in playing shape, lest his defense (and offense) suffer. We would expect Pena to repeat the Sally League next year at age 18, and thereafter move a level per year, until being MLB ready sometime during the 2012 season.

2. Sean McCraw (21) L/R (A Savannah .272/.427/.377/.805, 41 for 151, 21 runs, 4 2b, 4 HR, 19 RBI, 37/35 BB/K, A+ St. Lucie .261/.340/.341/.681, 23 for 88, 17 runs, 4 2b, HR, 17 RBI, 10/23 BB/K, HWL Waikiki .143/.295/.257/.553, 5 for 35, 5 runs, 2b, HR, 5 RBI, 8/13 BB/K)

Total 2007 Stats: .252/.383/.350/.743, 69 for 274, 43 runs, 9 2b, 6 HR, 41 RBI, 55/71 BB/K)

McCraw was originally drafted by the Brewers in the 37th round of the 2004 draft out of high school, but instead chose to attend a one year college, San Jacinto in Texas. The Mets then drafted McCraw in the 8th round of the 2005 draft, and he signed and was immediately assigned to Kingport of the Appy League, where he hit a paltry .218/.313/.257/.570 in 32 games (101 ABs). McCraw repeated Kingsport in 2006, as the Mets wanted to keep the lefty batter away from lefty-Hell (Keyspan Park). He performed much better, hitting .266/.377/.439/.816 in 40 games (139 ABs).

2007 saw the catcher in Savannah, where he hit .272/.427/.377/.804 in 50 games (151 ABs). A late season promotion to St. Lucie slowed down McCraw, he hit .261/.340/.341/.681 in 26 games (88 ABs). McCraw played winterball in Hawaii, where he struggled mightily, hitting just .143/.295/.257/.553 in 11 games (35 ABs). However, since McCraw easily set career records in games played (87), and ABs (274), one could assume he tired out down the stretch in Hawaii.

McCraw tore his quad during the season, and that hampered him in the power department, but he did have a good year swinging the bat between Savannah and St. Lucie. The potential is still there for greater home run power as he strengthens his lower half, but aside from the long ball, he is a quality gap hitter. However, he still needs to work on his hitting versus left-handers (.182/.382/.255/.637). Nevertheless, he is an intelligent hitter who displays good patience and knows how to come through in clutch situations. McCraw is very solid in every facet of his work behind the plate. His good reaction time makes him proficient at blocking balls, and his good is strong enough to throw out most baserunners. He could benefit from cleaning up his mechanics, which improve his caught stealing ratio.

ETA. 2011. McCraw should spend the bulk of 2008 in St. Lucie, but much like this past year, a late summer promotion to Binghamton may not be a stretch. No matter how he finishes 2008, it is anticipated he will spend three more full seasons in the system before debuting sometime during 2011.

3. Luis Alen

Alen was signed out of Winnipeg (Canada) in the winter of 2007.

BA has this to say about him:

Alen, a 22-year-old from Venezuela, spent the 2006 season in Italy after playing four years in the Marlins organization. He was a light-hitting catcher with the Marlins, hitting .230/.289/.280 in 391 career at-bats before being released in 2005.

The Goldeyes weren't expecting much offensively, but they knew that he was a solid defensive catcher with an outstanding arm. The arm was just as good as advertised, and he registered consistent 1.8-1.85-second pop times (the time from the catcher's mitt to the second baseman's glove on a throw) while showing a quick release and accuracy. He gunned out 31 percent of basestealers as one of the youngest players in a league dominated by minor league veterans.

But what was surprising was Alen's development as a hitter. He hit .333/.396/.453 to finish eighth in the Northern League in batting. He struck out 20 times in 285 at-bats. His swing is not particularly short, but he does have a plan at the plate and shortens up if he falls behind in the count.

"He has a plan in every at-bat. He gets good wood on the ball," Winnipeg manager Rick Forney said. "The power will come. He hit a hard .330 with a lot of line drives."

4. Ralph Henriquez (20) S/R (Hou A Lexington .185/.227/.280/.507, 69 for 372, 12 2b, 3b, 7 HR, 36 RBI, 21/86 BB/K)

Henriquez was drafted in 2005 by the Houston Astros in the 2nd round. He was dealt to the Mets in the winter of 2007 for left hander Joshua Appell.

Here is a scouting report from the 05 draft on Henriquez.

Ralph Henriquez -- Henriquez was the top prospect at the Showcase and put on one of the most impressive hitting displays we've ever witnessed. We've seen Henriquez a number of times before in WWBA tournaments and while he's been a solid prospect in the past, there was no hint of this coming. Since October Henriquez has gotten stronger, especially in his upper half and changed his hitting approach some. There might very well be a connection between his improvement since then and the fact that his father, the Atlanta Braves minor league catching instructor, has been off the road during that time. Whatever the case, Henriquez showed us very good professional level bat speed from both sides of the plate. He gets excellent extension from both sides and attacks the ball with an aggressive vengeance. The Henriquez we've seen in the past was more of a gap to gap hitter with a more contact oriented approach. This Henriquez looks to hit the ball 450' and is very capable of doing so. If anything, Henriquez has a bit of wrap and is slightly longer from the left side than the right, but that's quibbling. As you would expect with the coaching he's received, Henriquez is a very sound defensive catcher with good shifting and blocking ability. His workout pop times aren't in the elite range but Henriquez "cheats" far less than most catchers and his arm strength and release are MLB quality. He's a hard worker from a baseball environment and a good student. He's a big time prospect!

5. Patrick Maat (20), R/R (R GCL .190/.352/.238/.590, 8 for 42, 4 runs, 2 2b, 3 RBI, 10/12 BB/K)

The Mets signed Pat Maat, who was a highly regarded catcher coming out of Australia, in January of 2005, and he made his debut in 2007 for the rookie leveel GCL Mets, but only got 42 ABs. He still has good upside, and should be one to watch going forward.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

MPH System Audit Part III: Middle Infielders

Middle Infielders

The Mets didn't, as some of us had hoped, significantly address their middle infield situation in the draft, opting to draft college middle infielders with limited upside, instead of high school middle infielders who would take time to develop. In the International Free Agent market, they added Wilmer Flores, who does crack our top 10, and then several other signees who do not (Miguel Tejada and Carlos Perez). With the trade of Jose Castro, and the rapidly approaching irrelevance of Anderson Hernandez, Manny Garcia is the only middle infielder of note who is within 2 years of the major leagues.

1. Emmanuel Garcia (21) L/R (A+ St. Lucie .256/.339/.301/.640 (125 for 488, 65 runs, 12 2b, 5 3b, 31 RBI, 34/47 SBs, 63/103 BB/K, HWL Waikiki .348/.427/.485/.912 (23 for 66, 13 runs, 5 2b, 2 3b, RBI, 8/7 BB/K, 8/9 SBs, Team Canada .375/.545/.500/1.045 (6 for 16, 4 runs, 3b, 5 BBs, 4 Ks, RBI, 2/3 SBs)

Total 2007 Stats: .270/.356/.328/.684, 154 for 570, 82 runs, 17 2b, 8 3b, 33 RBI, 44/59 SBs, 76/114 BB/K

Garcia was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2004, and opened the 2005 season, his first in pro ball, with the GCL Mets, where he excelled, hitting .339/.412/.409 in 45 games, as a 19 year old. In 2006, Garcia opened with Kingsport of the Appy League, putting together a .291/.373/.379 line in 51 games. A late season promotion to Brooklyn slowed him down a bit, as he hit .240/.316/.240 in 13 games, still managing to draw 5 walks versus 13 strikeouts.

On the surface, Garcia's 2007 numbers look rather pedestrian, but digging deeper shows that from June 1st all the way to the end of his stint with Team Canada (in mid November), Garcia tore up the minors. In 403 ABs, he had 120 hits, a .298 average, with a 52/73 BB/K ratio, good for a .378 OBP. Never one to display much power, he managed a .370 SLG during that time, with 13 2b and 8 3b, to go along with a 32/40 success rate in SBs.

Garcia's shown a very good tendency towards patience so far in his minor league career, with a career IsoD of 80, with 116 walks versus 195 strikeouts. While he does not have much power to speak of, he is capable of driving the ball to the opposite field. This year, he was working on adding the ability to the pull the ball and make stronger contact with pitches on the inside corner. This approach should lead to higher doubles and homer numbers as he becomes further familiar with higher level pitching. He is 6'2 but only 180 lbs, and as he fills out some more, he should also get a power boost there, too. However, it is his speed which truly makes Garcia an attractive prospect. He is an excellent base stealer (78.49% career success rate, 72.34 last season), and should only get better as he better learns how to read pitchers. A significant flaw in Garcia's game remains his defense (36 errors last year split between shortstop and second base). Prior to this season, he had been primarily a shortstop, but this season was spent on both sides of the second base bag. However, his defensive shortcomings followed him to second base, which is where he likely is going to stick, if he makes it to the majors.

ETA. mid-2010. Garcia does not need to develop significant power to be a steady second baseman in the major leagues (just look at Luis Castillo), but he does need to get much better with the glove, ASAP. His speed and ability to hit for a decent average, combined with an above average eye at the plate will serve him well. However, at this point, with his defense being such a question mark, we cannot predict him to become a starter at the major league level. He is likely to be about 2 1/2 years away from a permanent spot in the majors, beit as a starter or a bench player. He spent the entire season in St. Lucie in 2007 when he was expected to be in Savannah, which should set the stage for him to start the upcoming year in Binghamton. We're adding in a half year just in case, so he should be ready sometime in mid 2010.

2. Hector Pellot (20) R/R (A Savannah .274/.344/.381/.725, 118 for 431, 52 runs, 19 2b, 3 3b, 7 HR, 34 RBI, 37/102 BB/K, 33/50 SBs, A+ St. Lucie .304/.407/.522/.929, 7 for 23, 3 runs, 3b, HR, 3 RBI, 4/3 BB/K, 2/3 SBs, HWL Waikiki .275/.328/.367/.695, 30 for 109, 10 runs, 2b, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 8/29 BB/K, 4/6 SBs)

Total 2007 Stats: .275/.344/.384/.728, 155 for 563, 65 runs, 20 2b, 4 3b, 11 HR, 49 RBI, 39/59 SBs, 49/134 BB/K

The Mets drafted Pellot in the 4th round of the 2005 draft out of Puerto Rico. In 2006, Pellot played for Hagerstown of the South Atlantic League, and put together a complete disaster, batting .189/.292/.259/.551. A repeat of the level in 2007, this time in Savannah, produced sharply better results, a .274/.344/.381/.725 line. The strikeouts remain an issue for Pellot, as does the lack of any appreciable power. Pellot should open the 2008 season in St. Lucie, where he ended the 07 season.

As mentioned above, Pellot made significant strides at the plate last season, shortening up his swing, leading to much greater contact. Though he still strikes out too often, he did bring his average up 85 points from 2006, showing that his pitch recognition improved, which allowed him to work deeper into counts. Pellot's good natural speed came to the forefront last year, as his 52 point increase in IsoD allowed him to attempt 53 stolen bases, compared to the 10 attempts in 2006. However, his success rate of just 66% needs to be improved upon as he gets closer to the major league level. Due to the fact that this was the first season he could really attempt to steal bases (due to his improved numbers), as he gains more experience on the bases, he should also develop a better idea of when to run and when not to run. Pellot moved from his natural shortstop position to second base after being drafted, and after committing 28 errors in 2006, he cut his error total more then in half, to 12. He is is still learning the fine ins-and-outs of second base but with further experience, should come continued improvement.

ETA. 2011. After putting together an infinitely better 2007, Pellot raised his stock considerably inside the organization. If he can maintain his approach that led to his 07 season, his natural talent should shine through. We would expect Pellot to open 2008 right where he ended 2007, which is back in St. Lucie. However, coming off a strong stint in the Hawaiian Winter League, the Mets may take a chance and push him to Binghamton and see how he responds to an even higher level of competition. Either way, time in Binghamton during 2008 should be expected if he excels in St. Lucie. We'll take a conservative stance with Pellot and say he'll spend 3 more seasons in the minors, before a 2011 debut.

3. Juan Lagares (18) R/R (A Savannah .210/.262/.317, 59 for 281, 26 runs, 12 2b, 6 3b, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 18/64 BB/K, 11/18 SBs)

Juan Mercado, the scout that found Jose Reyes, said in a Dominican newspaper that 16-year-old SS Juan Lagares is better than Reyes at the same age. Lagares was signed by the Mets in 2005 and played for the DSL team in 2006, getting into 57 games and hitting .255/.339/.412.

Lagares will most likely (insert broken record) be moved to second base sometime soon, and we hope he makes his stateside debut this year. If he does, it will most likely be as an 18 year old in the Gulf Coast League.

ETA. late-2012. We obviously underestimated the over-aggressive nature of the Mets when it comes to pushing certain prospects. Lagares opened in the full season Sally League, and struggled mightily, barely managing to stay above the Mendoza line. His defense also proved to be very raw, as evidenced by his staggering 40 errors in just 83 games played. A repeat at the age of 19 is certainly not out of the question, but keeping in mind the above-mentioned over-aggressiveness, it wouldn't be shocking to see Lagares in the FSL. Lagares and Veloz were very close in the decision between 3 and 4, but Lagares got the slight nod due to being younger and playing a full season at A ball.

4. Greg Veloz (19) S/R (A Savannah .171/.243/.235/.478, 40 for 234, 20 runs, 7 2b, 3b, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 23/73 BB/K, 15/19 SBs, R Kingsport .271/.344/.450/.793, 70 for 258, 43 runs, 13 2b, 9 3b, 5 HR, 28 RBI, 26/62 BB/K, 18/25 SBs)

Total 2007 Stats: .224/.296/.348/.644, 110 for 492, 63 runs, 20 2b, 10 3b, 7 HR, 42 RBI, 49/135 BB/K, 33/44 SBs)

Veloz was signed out of the Dominican Republic and assigned to the DSL Mets. He was one of 2005's top 10 International prospects. In 2006, Veloz hit .262 for the DSL team with an OBP of .366. He is expected to come stateside in 2007. The Mets named Veloz as the winner of the 2006 Sterling Award as the best player with the DSL team. Veloz will most likely start 2007 with the Gulf Coast League Mets, although like Juan Lagares above, he could open in Kingsport or Brooklyn.

ETA. late-2012. Veloz also made the leap from the DSL to the Sally League in 2007, and if possible to fathom, had a worse debut in that league then Lagares, struggling to an OPS under .500. He, however, "earned" a respite, and a demotion to the Appy League, where he performed much better, OPSing close to .800. Veloz also struggled with his defense, but not to the extreme of Lagares, committing 32 errors in 132 games split between the two leagues. While his defense isn't great, he did flash his nice tools with the bat in the power and speed department, hitting 20 doubles, 10 triples, and 7 hr, as well as stealing 33 bases. He could be considered a better prospect than Lagares at this point, but it is close enough to give the younger player in Lagares the benefit of the doubt, especially considering he spent the full season at A ball.

5. Ruben Tejada (18) R/R (R VSL .364/.466/.479/.946, 44 for 121, 32 runs, 5 2b, 3 HR, 25 RBI, 19/19 BB/K, 16/21 SBs, R GCL .283/.401/.367/.768, 34 for 120, 13 runs, 4 2b, 3 3b, 16 RBI, 19/16 BB/K, 2/3 SBs)

Total 2007 Stats: .324/.434/.423/.857, 78 for 241, 45 runs, 9 2b, 3 3b, 3 HR, 41 RBI, 38/35 BB/K, 18/24 SBs)

The Mets signed Tejada out of Panama in the summer of 2006, and he began the 07 season in the Venezuelan Summer League, but performed at such a high level that the Mets secured a visa for him and brought him stateside, assigning him to the rookie level Gulf Coast League, where his power faltered, as did his average and SBs, but his excellent plate discipline continued. We know and love the Mets, so Tejada should be competiting (or even outright be placed at) for a job in the Savannah infield, as an 18 year old.

The patience exhibited by Tejada is, needless to say, extremely rare in someone so young, especially considering his 1:1 BB/K ratio in the GCL, where he was a year younger then the high school draftees, and at least 4 years younger then any college draftees in that league. He knows how to work the strike zone in his favor and extend at-bats, which allow him to maintain both a high batting average and high on-base percentage. That, combined with his contact-orientated swing serve to give him a very nice base to build his offensive game off of. Perhaps even more compelling then the discipline is his stunningly low strikeout ratio. He also has good natural speed, legging out 3 triples in his 120 AB stint in the GCL, as well as stealing 18 bases in 24 attempts. The one true knock on his game, as with many other young shortstops, is his defense. His quickness gives him good range, but he struggles with fielding balls cleanly and making consistent accurate throws. He committed 21 errors in combined games 65 games played last season, but he definitely has the range to play shortstop, and with hard work, he should become a good defender in time.

It is way too early to put any solid numbers on Tejada, as far as ceiling and whatnot, however, so far in his brief (very brief) pro career, he's shown the ability to draw a very healthy amount of walks (38 in 241 ABs), not strike out (35 in 241 ABs), and to hit for a very high average (.324). It remains to be seen exactly how many, or which of these skills translates to the upper levels of the system, but so far, there is plenty to get excited about. As mentioned above, we know and love the Mets, so Tejada should be competiting (or even outright be placed at) for a job in the Savannah infield, as an 18 year old. To expect him to not struggle would be foolish, so we'll say he spends the next 2 seasons in Savannah, followed by a season at each level above, putting his expected debut at the start of the 2013 season.

6. Wilmer Flores (16) R/R (-R Liga Paralela .257/.280/.368/.648, 37 for 144, 12 runs, 13 2b, HR, 15 RBI, 5/15 BB/K, 1/3 SBs)

Flores was one of the Big 3 to be signed out of the Latin American market this year, and he made his "debut" with the Liga Paralela Mets (a minor league version of the Venezuelan Summer League), putting up decent numbers, considering even in this league, he was between 2 and 4 years younger then most of his competition. We would expect Flores to open the 2008 season with the VSL proper, and he could, if he excels, follow in Ruben Tejada's footsteps. Keep in mind that the VSL opens a month prior to the GCL, so it's likely the Mets would like Flores to "open" in the GCL, but also want to get him as many competitive ABs as possible, which would dictate him opening in the VSL to get an extra 100 or so ABs. Flores was a highly regarded IFA signing, and seems to have as high a ceiling as anyone on this list.

7. Anderson Hernandez (25), S/R (AAA New Orleans .301/.339/.397/.736, 167 for 554, 84 runs, 28 2b, 5 3b, 5 HR, 42 RBI, 31/82 BB/K, 16/25 SBs, MLB New York Mets .333/.333/.333/.667, 1 for 3, run, K, DWL Licey .179/.205/.214/.419, 21 for 117, 9 runs, 4 2b, 11 RBI, 5/6 SBs, 4/23 BB/K)

Total 2007 Stats: .280/.315/.365/.681, 188 for 671, 93 runs, 32 2b, 5 3b, 5 HR, 53 RBI, 21/31 SBs, 35/105 BB/K

Anderson Hernandez was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2001 by the Tigers, and assigned to the Gulf Coast League, where he hit .264/.303/.389 in 55 games. The next season, Ahern was jumped 3 levels to the Florida State League, where he naturally struggled, hitting .259/.310/.339. He spent the next two seasons in the Florida State League, and after opening 2004 by hitting .295/.326/.377, Detroit bumped him to the Eastern League, where he hit .274/.326/.376. During the 2004 offseason, Omar Minaya took over as GM of the Mets, and traded backup catcher Vance Wilson to the Tigers for Hernandez.

Ahern, previously known as an all glove, no bat shortstop, put together a career 2005, hitting .326/.360/.462 in Binghamton, before earning a callup to Norfolk, where he hit .303/.354/.379. 2006 didn't get off to the start Ahern was looking for, as 22 games into his first starting job on the major league level, he suffered a back injury after making a stunning highlight reel catch. Hernandez went on the DL, and when he returned, the bat didn't, as he struggled for most of the season in Norfolk.

Hernandez struggled through the early portion of the 07 season, but from May 6th to Sept 2nd, he hit .330/.367/.433/.801, covering 427 ABs. However, with Luis Castillo here for the next 4 years, Hernandez, and Ruben Gotay for that matter, now serve no purpose outside of middle infield backup. We would expect Hernandez to, once more, spend the season in New Orleans, however, this is his last option year, so a trade is not out of the realm of possibility.

8. Matthew Bouchard (21) R/R (Big East Georgetown .329/.378/.475/.853, 72 for 219, 33 runs, 12 2b, 3b, 6 HR, 41 RBI, 19/28 BB/K, 16/22 SBs, A- Brooklyn .267/.336/.356/.692, 60 for 225, 32 runs, 10 2b, 2 3b, 2 HR, 27 RBI, 22/51 BB/K, 8/19 SBs)

Total 2007 Stats: .297/.356/.414/.771, 132 for 444, 22 2b, 3 3b, 8 HR, 68 RBI, 24/41 SBs, 41/79 BB/K

The Mets drafted Bouchard in the 11th round of the 2007 draft out of Georgetown University, where as a junior, he put up a line of .329/.378/.475, 72 for 219, 33 runs, 12 2b, 3b, 6 HR, 41 RBI, 19/28 BB/K, 16/22 SBs. After being drafted, the Mets sent Bouchard to the short A NYPL, where he hit .267/.336/.356.

Bouchard had a very underwhelming rookie season in Brooklyn, OPSing right around .700, and hitting .267. There is not much upside to Bouchard, it's pretty much what you see is what you get. He should bring his average up a tad as he settles in to pro ball, but he isn't expected to be a big power threat. What he can provide is a stable bat who will hit for good contact, extra-base power and a smattering of home run power. Bouchard's struggles versus LHP is an aberration, since he never struggled with them during college, and that led to his low batting average. He shows a keen knowledge of the strike zone and good patience, but still needs improvement against secondary pitches. He should shake off the bumps of his first season and hit for a higher average in the future than the .267 average he posted in 2007. Much of Bouchard's game didn't translate well in his rookie season, and speed was no exception, as he was just 8 of 19 in SB attempts in Brooklyn, after going 16 of 22 at Georgetown. His speed also gives him good range in the field, but he needs to work on throwing consistency and accuracy. He reads balls off the bat well, and sets himself well, but can sometimes suffer from inconsistent throwing
mechanics. He has reasonably good arm strength but his throws had a tendency to sail on him at times. Although he has work to do, Bouchard is a strong defender who should only get better with experience.

ETA. mid-2011. The Mets like Bouchard's game, despite it not translating well to the pro game in his rookie season, and will likely push him to St. Lucie to open the 2008 season. With no pressing need for a shortstop in the organization, he should move a level per year, making his debut in 2011.

9. Jonathan Malo (24) R/R (A+ St. Lucie .255/.322/.377/.698, 59 for 231, 29 runs, 10 2b, 6 HR, 40 RBI, 23/37 BB/K, 2/6 SBs)

The Mets selected Malo in the 40th round of the 2002 draft out of high school, but he chose instead to attend Oklahoma A&M College for a year. The Mets then drafted him in the 48th round of the 2003 draft, as a draft and follow, and he attended Miami-Dade Community College in the 03-04 year. He was placed on the restricted list in 2004 due to work permit issues. In 2005, his permit issues were resolved, and he played for short A Brooklyn, where he hit .231/.392/.369. A return trip to Brooklyn in 2006 producted disasterous results, a .174/.301/.217/.518 line, but the Mets promoted him to A+ St. Lucie anyway, where he hit .239/.330/.365 in 91 games.

In 2007, Malo hit .255/.322/.377 in 78 games for St. Lucie.

10. Micah Schilling (25) L/R (A- Brooklyn .283/.427/.365/.791 69 for 244, 49 runs, 17 2b, HR, 15 RBI, 60/50 BB/K, 13/20 SBs)

Schilling was drafted by the Indians in the 1st round of the 2002 draft, and spent 5 years in their system, rising as high as A+ ball. The Mets picked him up prior to the 2007 season, and sent him to A- Brooklyn, where he put up decent numbers. Not much upside here, though.