A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

The Untouchables

With all the talk around the Mets attempting to upgrade their team for a playoff push, I thought I would weigh in with my two cents and outline who should be on the block that actually has some trade value, and who is untouchable. Am I saying a deal should be done? No. However, if one is made, the below people are who we should keep as well as the people that should be put on the block in my opinion.

Funny thing is, I started doing this during last night's game. After watching it I felt like the Mets should sell the entire lot of those losers. Then I turned on the cartoon network and watched Aqua Teen Hunger Force . After watching it, and laughing my ass off, I was able to come off the ledge (if you have not seen it , you are missing some funny crap). Then part of me was saying, "Mike, one more bat and we sweep these Twinkie bums". I am conflicted. The biggest issue out there is not if we can get a bat, but who the hell we can land that will be a significant upgrade without giving up one of the untouchables? Beltran seems like a far reach. Finley is old and just makes the damn team older, besides, he has veto power on any trade. The rest of the league is around .500. The Rumor Mill is cold as ice. There is not much out there. No Jose Guillen that could come at a bargain price, or anything like that.

The Untouchables:

  • David Wright - Why? He was ranked in the top 25 by most amateur baseball accounts coming into this year, but has become a super stud prospect of epic proportions in 2004. He is on an absolutely torrid pace tearing up AA pitching and the object of many GMs desires (suck an egg, you can't have him). He is striking fear into pitchers hearts with a .362 average, 39 RBIS, 10 homeruns, 27 doubles, 19 stolen bases, and a .463 OBP. Oh, did I forget to mention he is gold glove caliber 3b? You cannot find anything wrong with this guy. He hits for average, hits for power, can field, can steal bases, and has a permanent smile on his face. He has as many RBIs as strikeouts and is not far behind in walks. He is a Moneyball GM's wet dream. The bottom line is, Wright's favorite baseball team growing up was the Mets. If he gets traded, it will be a horrific mistake and a tragedy. He projects to be .300 hitter with 20+ home run power and gold glove talent. Newsflash, he is a keeper.

  • Matthew Peterson - Why? He has a low 90's fastball with a devastating curveball. He got off to a hot start to his 2004 AA campaign, but has been getting knocked around of late. He may be further away from the majors than I would like, but may show up sometime in 2005. He needs to refine his control a bit as he averages walking .38 people per inning. That is too high to be effective in the upper levels of professional baseball. But I like this kid anyway. He has good stuff and has the possibility to be a frontline starter.

  • Lastings Milledge - Why? He is another one that should be permanently tagged as an untouchable. He is a five tool prospect and the only top tier outfield talent in our entire system. Milledge, who just turned 19, is more than holding his own in low A-ball. He made is first Prospect Hot Sheet this week and they pointed out, has an uncanny ability to drive in runs from the leadoff spot. In 21 games he has 26 RBIs. He also has 21 runs scored, four homeruns, seven doubles, one triple, .313 AVG, and a .360 OBP. At this point, he looks like the real deal. It is early, but everything you read about him is positive. He works hard, has a good attitude, and he is pretty damn young for his league. He is becoming a favorite of mine and fast.

  • Yusmeiro Pettit - Why? I think everyone has come to love this kid. What is there not too like? While he does not have overpowering stuff, he just flat out does his job. He won his seventh game last night to bring his record to 7-1 and is sporting a 2.34 ERA. He had an astounding 10 K's while walking nobody. HOLY CRAP! He is 19 years old and will not turn 20 until November. He has a 4.58 to 1 K/BB ratio, which is the biggest reason he is so successful. He throws strikes. He has allowed 57 base runners in 59.1 innings. Absolutely astounding for such a young pitcher, he is a keeper.

    There are plenty of guys in the Mets organization that have some usefulness in trades that do not necessarily fit into the long term plans.

  • Victor Diaz - Why? Two time batting champion in the minor leagues, he is currently very hot in AAA, and can play a corner outfield spot as well as second base (although fielding is not his strong point). On top of that, Victor is pretty much major league ready this year at some point, if not already. He also presents a plus to an American League team as he can be used as a DH and may actually project best to be a DH, and a good one at that. As for a future on this team? The Mets will be looking for an outfield bat next year, and he will have no roster spot in future. Might as well trade him.

  • Craig Brazell - Why? He is on his way to leading the Mets minor league system in homeruns for the third year in a row. He has plus power and projects as a .265 to .275 hitter with 20+ home runs in the majors. Craig has hit at every level of the minors, as dictated by his career .290 BA and has nothing left to prove in my opinion. He is a guy that you can plug into the Major Leagues right away. On top of that, with Piazza's move to first, he has no where to go. The Mets also have other quality first base prospects behind him.

  • Royce Ring - Why? He has a career ERA under 2.60 in the minors and has handled every stop along the way. He projects to be a solid set-up man and is close to being ready for the big show. Ring could prove to be a useful piece for a team that is looking to bolster their future bullpen. It does not hurt that he is a lefty either. We need him, but we also have a few other options for the pen in the future.

  • Tyler Yates - Why? He has plus fastball which can touch 95 miles per hour as well as three other pitches. In total, he throws a 4 seamer, a 2 seamer, a change-up, and a curveball. He can step into a major league roll immediately as a reliever and has a future as a possible closer. It certainly does not hurt that he got his cup 'o joe already. His BAA in the 1st inning is .167 in the majors, which certainly cannot be ignored. Like Ring, he would be nice to have, but there are other options within our organization.

  • Bobby Keppel - Why? Because it is his birthday today for one. Happy B-Day Bobby! But more importantly, it is because he is a solid, young talent. He is just turning 22 this year and is already in AAA. He is getting a little knocked up so far, but still getting into the swing of things since coming back from an injury in spring training. He threw a no-hitter in AA last year during a campaign where he went 7-4 with a 3.04 ERA. Any team that gets him could expect him to make a major league appearance in late 2004 or opening day 2005. He has the tools to be a quality middle of the rotation guy. I like him a lot, but with the addition of Humber and Peterson nearing major league readiness, he becomes a guy we can part with.

  • Danny Garcia - Why? Danny is a career .281 hitting coming into this year. He also has the distinction of being the first Brooklyn Cyclone to hit the majors. In his short stint with the Mets in '04 he proved that he has potential as well as being an intense player. He can be plugged into second base immediately in the majors if there is need. Garcia was also a center fielder in college so he serves some usefulness as being a possible super utility guy sometime down the line. Since our middle infield is solidified until he turns 27, give the guy a shot to stick somewhere else.

  • Ty Wigginton - Why? Ty is on track for 17 home runs this year and is currently hitting .280. He has also proved that he can hold his own at both the 2b and 3b position which gives whatever team picks him up some flexibility. Ty only knows how to give 100% at all times and works hard to continue to improve. He is a solid guy that can contribute to any team. Also, Ty has improved his propensity to strike out and is only on track for 67 K's. He has a bit of room to improve, and has the ability to be a .275-ish hitter that can poke 20 homers annually. He can help out any team that picks him up immediately. With supestuddd David Wright and that guy who is supposed to play second base, his days as a Met are numbered anyway.

  • Shane Spencer - Why? I'm sure he may be a shock to be on this list. But if a team is looking for an outfielder to bridge a gap to 2005 for that prized rookie to make his appearance or just a solid guy off the bench? Then you found your guy. He has that veteran presence that the Mets brass is enamored with, what's not too like?

  • Karim Garcia - Why? See Shane Spencer, but less valuable.

  • Jeremy Griffiths - Why? He has a great range of speed in his pitches. He can go from a 91 MPH fastball to high 60's curveball. In AAA in 2003 he finished the year with a 7-6 record and a 2.74 ERA. He got off to a slow start in 2004, but has caught on of late. He needs to improve on his K/BB ratio which is almost 1 to 1, which is way off this career mark 2.7 to 1. He is another guy that is close to major league service and could be a quality 4 or 5 guy in the long run and has virtually no use to the Mets.

  • Aaron Baldiris - Why? He is another horse for the stable for any team that would take him. One step behind Wright, he is on the St. Lucie club. A career .316 hitting coming into this year and is holding his own in high A-ball with a .282 average. His lack of power may ultimately mean a switch to 2b, but he is a good prospect nonetheless. His OBP coming into this year was .399 and has a solid glove. Wright and that future second baseman, whose name escapes me, are blocking his way to the big time.

  • Justin Huber - Why? Who does not like a catcher that projects to have 20+ home run power, with decent power, and solid OBP. He may not be the best defensive catcher, but that is something he can work on. He has also taken some games at first base, but is still projecting as a catcher down the line. For all the heat he takes in being a sub-par defensive catcher, he still had thrown out 24% of the base runners last year. With Jacobs and Aaron Hathaway now in the system, we do not need that many catchers. On top of that, another young catcher in Jason Phillips is on the major league roster. Someone needs to get their walking papers.

  • Mike Jacobs - Why? Although he is off to an atrocious year in AAA, his 2003 year cannot be ignored. He hit .329, banged 17 homeruns, and drove in 81 RBIs in Binghamton last year. He has a sweet left handed stroke and has taken some grounders at 1st. Like Huber he is sub-par defensively, but still is a good prospect. Huber is definitely the most desirable of the two catchers. He is expendable for the same reasons Huber is.

  • Kole Strayhorn - Why? He is strong armed right handed closer type. He can get his fastball into the mid to high 90's. He is holding his own in AA right now, and would be more of a throw in to any deal. He is more or less a forgotten man and would not be too missed.

  • Jose Diaz - Why? He has only been pitching since 2001. The converted catcher is a work in progress at this point. He can toss it close to 100 MPH and is virtually un-hittable when he gets the ball over the plate. Which leads me to his only negative, he walks too many people. He almost walks one guy per inning, and despite that, he has had success to date. While he is a project, he certainly has a huge upside and could be the icing on any proposed deal. The Mets could let him go and not really worry about it. He would be enticing for any team by his arm strength alone.

  • Aaron Heilman - Why? I'm not sure myself. However, someone might think he still has good tools and my want to take a chance at him. He may just need a change a scenery.

  • Wayne Lydon - Why? He possesses solid fielding skills and can run. Saying he can run may be an understatement, he burns up the basepaths. If he could hit for higher average, he could steal 100 bases in a year. He could be a real throw back leadoff hitter if he can manage another .020 points on his average, which people are starting to look for again.

  • Prentice Redman - Why? He is a solid defender that can destroy AA as dictated by his 2002 and 2004 numbers. He never excelled in AAA, but just needs more time. He can be a serviceable major leaguer with some more work in the minors. If Tike can do it, why can't he?

  • Scott Kazmir - Why? He was arguable the best left handed prospect in all of minor league baseball in 2003. He led the minors in K's per nine innings in 2003 with 11.9. Although he is not putting up Kazmir-like numbers this year, he still has a ton of potential. He has a terrific fastball, a plus slider, and a good changeup. The reason I add him to this list, is that you may need a blue chipper to get something done. Out of all of the Mets' blue chippers, he has the most question marks. Many baseball people are concerned about the future of his elbow, if he does not have elbow issues already. With the Mets depth of pitching prospects, compiled with the fact that he has not seen anything above high A-ball makes him expendable in my book. Now I am not saying I want to see him go, or I do not think he is good, but I am merely saying the Mets might need some extra umph to get a big deal done. For the record, he should not be included in a 1/2 year rental type deal, but only a Zito-like deal if one is made.

    Random Things:
  • Keith Hernandez, take note. It is Keith GINTER and not Keith GITNER. Enough already! Show some respect and say the guys name right.

  • Here no Reyes, see no Reyes, speak no Reyes. You will not hear me speak of him again (besides this time) until I see him at Shea, playing 2b. He has toyed with my emotions too many times.