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

Saturday, July 16, 2005

2004 Retrospective

When the well runs dry, rip off someone else and copy down their information. Bill James' Handbook has a really interesting section in which he keeps track of leaders in terms of fastest average fastball, highest percentage of curveballs, etc. There are plenty of Mets and ex-Mets all over and I found it pretty interesting to see how soft tossing the Mets rotation was amongst other things.
Slowest Average Fastball    Pitches Less Than 80 MPH
------------------------ ------------------------
(minimum 162 IP) (minimum 162 IP)
Lawrence, Brian SD 83.2 Sparks, Steve Ari 1033
Reuter, Kirk SF 84.2 Ishii, Kaz LA 873
Maddux, Greg ChC 84.9 Weaver, Jeff 835
Glavine, Tom NYM 85.6 Morris, Matt 716
Ishii, Kaz LA 85.6 Lidle, Cory Cin-Phi 629
Leiter, Al MYM 86.8 Oswalt, Roy Hou 619
Hernandez, L Mon 87.0 Hernandez, L Mon 610
Webb, Brandon Ari 87.2 Seo, Jae NYM 587
Trachsel, S NYM 87.2 Lawrence, Brian SD 564
Davis, Doug Mil 87.2 Rueter, Kirk SF 550
 Lowest % of Fastballs       Highest % of Changeups
------------------------ ------------------------
(minimum 162 IP) (minimum 162 IP)
Fogg, Josh Pit 39.8 Glavine, Tom NYM 37.4
Perez, Od LA 40.9 Lima, Jose LA 31.6
Johnson, Ra Ari 41.3 Perez, Od LA 28.2
Glavine, Tom NYM 44.9 Maddux, Greg ChC 24.9
Hernandez, L Mon 46.4 Schmidt, Jason SF 23.7
Lima, Jose Mon 47.2 Fogg, Josh Pit 19.9
Leiter, Al NYM 47.4 Hampton, Mike Atl 18.6
Lawrence, Brian SD 48.2 Suppan, Jeff StL 17.9
Lidle, Cory NYM 49.2 Reuter, Kirk SF 17.3
Weaver, Jeff LA 49.5 Wilson, Pa Cin 16.2
Highest % of Curveballs       Highest % of Sliders
------------------------ ------------------------
(minimum 162 IP) (minimum 162 IP)
Sheets, Ben Mil 28.4 Johnson, Ra Ari 41.1
Morris, Matt StL 27.2 Clement, Matt ChC 33.5
Ishii, Kaz LA 26.1 Lawrence, Brian SD 24.7
Myers, Brett Phi 25.4 Perez, Ol Pit 21.6
Carpenter, C StL 20.9 Hernandez, L Mon 20.1
Oswalt, Roy Hou 20.4 Peavy, Jake SD 17.9
Weaver, Jeff LA 20.2 Jennings, Jason Col 17.7
Wells, David SD 20.0 Benson, Kr Pit-NYM 17.5
Valdez, I SD-Fla 19.5 Weaver, Jeff LA 17.4
Williams, Woody StL 18.8 Pavano, Carl Fla 16.6
Other quick notes:
  • Kyle Farnsworth led the Majors and threw more pitches over 100 MPH than all other pitchers combined in 2004 in the AL. He threw thirty, Wagner threw eight, Burnett threw four, and Edwin Jackson threw two to round out the NL leaders.

  • Roy Oswalt had the fastest average fastball out of all starters that three at least 162 innings at 94 mph and threw the most pitches over 95 mph with 733. Also, as you can see from above, he was in the top ten for most pitches under 80 mph. That stat right there illustrates why this guy is one of the best and so dominating.

  • Al Leiter had the lowest Opp BA w/ RISP at .173 (minimum 125 BF). Can any guess who lead the AL? Not hard, huh? Victor Zambrano had a .157 Opp BA w/ RISP. Victor has improved this year in not getting into those situations as much and Leiter has not cut down in getting himself into those situations and has not fared well in keeping that number as low this year.

  • Pedro Martinez was ninth in the AL in % of changeups thrown with 15.8.% He also came in eighth for highest % of curveballs thrown with 14.4%.

  • Jamie Moyer had the lowest average fastball (non-knuckler) at 81.6 MPH. Why couldn't I be born a lefty?

  • Rich Harden lead the Major Leagues in the highest average fastball with at least 162 innings pitched and had and average fastball of 94.3. He also lead the Majors in pitches thrown over 95 mph with 746.

  • CC Sabathia edged out Randy Johnson as the hardest throwing lefty that threw at least 162 innings with a 93.8 mph average fastball compared to Randy's 93.6 mph fastball.

    * * *

  • Baseball America has their mid-season top 25 for minor league prospects. Here is the low down for all Mets related content for you cheap bastards who are not subscribers.

    Only rookie-eligible players currently in the minor leagues were eligible for BA’s midseason Top 25 Prospects, which really seems unfair for Braves fans. Andy Marte and Jeff Francoeur also would have made the top 25 had they been sent down before the Futures Game in Detroit, and lefties Zach Duke (Pirates) and Scott Olsen (Marlins) could say the same. But the goal isn’t to be a top prospect, after all; it’s to be a big leaguer. B.J. Upton reached that goal last year with 159 at-bats, making him ineligible for a prospect list, but the Devil Rays have left him in Triple-A this season to work on his defense. His struggles with the glove at Durham would put him behind fellow Rays farmhand Delmon Young and Mariners flamethrower Felix Hernandez. Young’s precocious power and complete offensive package make him the game’s top prospect.

    Player, Pos., Organization Skinny
    1. Delmon Young, of, Devil Rays
    2. Felix Hernandez, rhp, Mariners
    3. Ian Stewart, 3b, Rockies
    4. Jeremy Hermida, of, Marlins
    5. Stephen Drew, ss, D-backs
    6. Joel Guzman, ss, Dodgers
    7. Chad Billingsley, rhp, Dodgers
    8. Justin Verlander, rhp, Tigers
    9. Prince Fielder, 1b, Brewers
    10. Hanley Ramirez, ss, Angels
    11. Brandon Wood, ss, Angels
    12. Andy LaRoche, 3b, Dodgers
    13. Matt Cain, rhp, Giants
    14. Daric Barton, 1b, Athletics
    15. Lastings Milledge, of, Mets
    16. Adam Miller, rhp, Indians
    17. Felix Pie, of, Cubs
    18. Francisco Liriano, lhp, Twins
    19. Carlos Quentin, of, Diamondbacks
    20. Conor Jackson, 1b, Diamondbacks
    21. Billy Butler, 3b/of, Royals
    22. Joel Zumaya, rhp, Tigers
    23. Kendry Morales, 1b/of, Angels
    24. Nick Markakis, of, Orioles
    25. Cole Hamels, lhp, Phillies

    Second-Half Surge
    Expect these prospects to improve their numbers over the season’s remaining games. Matt Cain might have been in the majors already in a different organization, but the Giants still think they can win in 2005. Fellow hard throwers Homer Bailey (Reds) and Mark Rogers (Brewers), adjusting to their first year in pro ball, have shown flashes of brilliance—Rogers has hit 100 mph this season—but are still learning what they can and can’t do against pros rather than preps. A pedestrian first half by Eric Duncan (Yankees), who was still adjusting to Double-A pitching, might have dampened his trade value.

    46. Yusmeiro Petit, rhp, Mets
    50. Philip Humber, rhp, Mets

    As Expected
    Living up to expectations isn’t easy, and it also isn’t the same for every player. If Felix Hernandez (Mariners) and Delmon Young (Devil Rays) had not dominated, it would have been a disappointment, but both teenagers have lived up to their hype. Others, such as Joel Guzman (Dodgers) and Brian Anderson (White Sox), have merely consolidated gains they have made previously in their careers. Ezequiel Astacio has pitched well in the minors and is being groomed to help the Astros in middle relief, but he flopped in a big league trial. Anthony Reyes (Cardinals) has pitched well when healthy but can’t keep from missing a start.

    11. Lastings Milledge, of, Mets

    Jumping In
    Stephen Drew (Diamondbacks) and Jered Weaver (Angels) held out until the last minute but finally signed with the clubs that drafted them in 2004. Drew’s debut has been spectacular in the California League (including an .865 slugging percentage in 74 at-bats), while Weaver (2-1, 5.85 but 28-4 K-BB ratio) has been uneven after his layoff. Several other 2004 draft picks also have catapulted themselves into top prospects with strong 2005 seasons, including young pitchers such as Gio Gonzalez (White Sox) and Troy Patton (Astros. No one has come as far as fast as Justin Verlander (Tigers), though. The No. 2 pick last year had some doubters but has responded to mechanical tinkering to have the best year by any pitcher in the minors, and he earned a one-game cameo in Detroit. These players are listed alphabetically.

    Gaby Hernandez, rhp, Mets


  • Jose Reyes saw eight pitches in the first at bat of yesterday's game. That is a perfect way to set the tone and get everyone behind him a few pitches to see and what he needs to do. Now if he can just swing a bit more level.

  • In the pre-game of last night's game, they said that Piazza's opposite field homerun on Thursday was his first opposite field homerun of the year. That means he went 88 games into the season without an opposite field shot. If that stat alone is not indicative of Mike Piazza's decline, I do not know what is.

  • Watching Reyes and Furcal play short last night and gun runners down was absolutely amazing. Their arms are the two best in the game at that position and their talent never ceases to amaze me when I watch them play.

  • The Yankees two new acquisitions in Tim Redding and Darrel May are not exactly working out too well. They combined to give up twelve runs in 3.2 innings.

    " I could die today a happy man putting the Yankee uniform on for the first time."
    -Tim Redding


    Anyone think he'll get another chance to put that uniform on again?

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk had a double header against Syracuse. In game one, Chase Lambin was the star and went deep three times with three solo homers in a 3 for 3 night. Between AA and AAA he now has seventeen homeruns on the year. His previous high in professional baseball was ten last year with Binghamton. Angel Pagan went 1 for 3 with a double and a run scored, Anderson Hernandez went 1 for 4 with a double and an RBI, and Victor Diaz went 1 for 4 with a double. Eric Junge went a strong six innings, giving up five hits, one earned run, no walks, and struck out nine. In game two, Neal Musser got roughed up and the Tides lost 7-6. Angel Pagan, Victor Diaz, Chase Lambin, and Ron Calloway went 2 for 4 and Anderson Hernandez went 0 for 3 to drop his average to .347.
    • Binghamton beat Reading 6-4. Lastings recovered nicely from his rocky AA start by going 4 for 5 with one run scored and two doubles. Brett Harper went 4 for 4 with a run scored, two doubles, and two RBIs. Mike Jacobs went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, two doubles, and one RBI.
    • St. Lucie beat Clearwater 11-4. Wilson Batista went 2 for 5 with two runs scored, a double, and his tenth homer on the year, Jonathan Slack went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and his third homer on the year, Andy Wilson went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, two RBIs and his twentieth homer of the year, and Shawn Bowman went 3 for 4 with two runs scored a double, his seventeenth homer of the year, and four RBIs. Dante Brinkley went 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. He is batting .347 on the year in St. Lucie and batted .364 in Hagerstown. I think Brinkley may turn out to be a steal in the 23rd round. Gaby had a rough first start in high A ball going five innings giving up six hits, four earned runs, two walks, and struck out two.
    • Lake County beat Hagerstown 7-2. Ambiorix Concepcion went 2 for 3 with an RBI.
    • Williamsport beat Brooklyn 7-3. Kingsport beat Bluefield 13-5. Joshua Wyrick went 2 for 5 with three runs scored, a double, a homer, and four RBIs.
    • The GCL Mets dropped a double header to the GCL Dodgers. They lost the first game 2-1 and dropped the second game 5-4. Brahiam Maldonado went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, a double and an RBI in game #2.
  • The Orioles are looking to acquire AJ Burnett, Mike Lowell, and minor leaguer Eric Reed for Jorge Julio, Larry Bigbie, and Hayden Penn. There are six teams in discussions for AJ Burnett and those teams include the Blue Jays, Tigers, and White Sox amongst them. Screw you Delgado. Your team is officially a seller.

  • Though the Angels have expressed interest as well, the Yankees are eyeing up Al Leiter to start on Sunday in Boston. In case you missed it, things are looking pretty bad in Bronx in the starting pitching arena. This move could end any shot the Mets had in getting Al Leiter to be a commentator for the Mets new network as Steinbrenner would LOVE to steal him from the Mets and have him for the YES channel to try and make their absolutely atrocious color commentary better.

  • Mark Cuban said he would think about buying the Pirates should the chance arise and can anyone think of a better thing to happen for that franchise? It would great for baseball to have him in there and great for the team.

    "If they ever decided to sell, I'd definitely be interested in taking a look," Cuban said. "But I'm certainly not the type to be proactive about it because that's not fair to Kevin.

    "They've done their best with the Pirates, getting the stadium built. I think the Pirates have a great young nucleus for the future."


  • The Mets activated Doug Mientkiewicz and called up Juan Padilla while sending Royce Ring back down to AAA. With Koo the only lefty and Kaz Ishii not cutting it as a starter, the writing is on the wall. Ishii's days as a starter should be over. Here comes the Ishii to the bullpen experiment.

  • Things are looking bad for Phil Humber.

    There's been no official determination on the severity of Philip Humber's right elbow injury, but the New York Mets' 2004 first-round draft choice is considering going for a second opinion.

    Humber may see Dr. James Andrews, the renowned orthopedic surgeon, in Birmingham, Ala., after being examined earlier this week by Mets medical director David Altchek and physician Answorth Allen at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.


    Second opinions and seeing Dr. James Andrews means bad things. Very bad things. See you in 2007 Mr. Humber.

  • The Mets lose last night was a tough one, but can you really complain when you only score one run? That will not cut it, but the Mets are primed to take the next two in the series.
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