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

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A Retrospective Look

John Sickels took a look at the top pitching prospects of 1983. For anyone that missed it, take a look as it is definitely interesting. It does however seem that is was particularly weak year because very few of them had what could be called electric stuff.

OFF from Metsgeek.com chimed into the conversation in the comments section.

I'm a believer in TINSAAP when it comes to middling prospects, but not when it comes to top prospects. Obviously, I understand that due to injuries or bad luck, some top pitching prospects won't make it, but I think they are relatively safe. When I say "top" prospects I mean guys who have clearly dominated a league a la King Felix, Kazmir, etc. I'm not really sure if any of these guys really qualifies. I checked out the minor league career BB/9 and K/9 of the top six guys on the list, and based on this very quick and dirty evaluation (and I use the term loosely), I don't think its that surprising none of these guys became aces:

2.21 BB/9 6.94 K/9 Trax
3.27 BB/9 7.72 K/9 Sele
2.69 BB/9 8.07 K/9 Helling
3.36 BB/9 7.77 K/9 Baldwin
4.11 BB/9 8.47 K/9 Bere
4.23 BB/9 8.00 K/9 Van Poppel

by OFF on Tue Aug 09, 2005 at 02:06:36 AM EST

There is definitely some good banter going on for the topic. But I think OFF really nailed it with his observation. While they may have been some impressive prospects, there weren't that many with electric arms. When you look at the top prospects coming into this year, the top arms were Felix Hernandez, Scott Kazmir, Adam Miller, Chad Billingsley, Jeff Neimann, Jeff Francis, and Jose Capellan. With the exception of Francis, all of those guys bring it and bring it hard. It seems a lot of the top pitching prospects in '93 owned more pitchability than stuff. All in all it was very interesting and I hope he keeps doing these retrospectives on the past top prospects because it really puts things in focus about how volatile prospects are, especially pitching prospects. Also, while some people may look at this as a reason to trade prospects for established players, I look at it as a reason you need a deep system. The more prospects you have, the more you have a chance of someone actually turning out to be good. The Mets have a long way to go to build depth, but they need to keep an eye towards the future and look at the Angels who are a first place team with the best farm system in baseball. Armed with cash, prospects, and a solid Major League club, they are poised for a long successful run and are the model organization for all of baseball. Bill Stoneman does not get much ink, but what he has done over there is nothing short of amazing.

* * *

  • Steve Phillips actually has a really interesting piece on ESPN.com that is scouting reports on the GMs of today. It is an insider article and for you cheap bastards who do not subscribe to the service which is nearly useless (I stole my login from someone else, so I'm a cheap bastard too), here are the highlights.

    John Schuerholz, Atlanta Braves
    Schuerholz is the dean of all GMs. He listens more than he talks. He only answers the questions asked, never expounding and telling you more than he should. He would make a lawyer proud if it were a deposition. It doesn't matter how you ask a question, he doesn't tell you much about what he is doing.

    He is also creative, and is capable of making the big deal just as he is capable of letting young prospects play. He always seems to know what the right thing to do is. It is a very rare occasion that a player leaves Atlanta and improves. He lets players go at just the right time. He believes in his philosophies and his decisions. Simply put, he is in charge and there is no doubt about it.

    It really sounds dead on for a guy who has to be one of the best GMs of all time.

    Jim Bowden, Washington Nationals
    Bowden is one of the most aggressive and flamboyant GMs around. He wants to make a deal. When I was the general manager of the Mets, he would call in the middle of the night and leave messages like, "I have the deal that will make you Executive of the Year. You will win it all. Call me back." Of course, when I called him back expecting a blockbuster deal, it was usually a lopsided deal in his favor. But he would try to sell it like it was something he really believed would help me. Beware of the GM who sells his proposal too hard; the harder the sell, the more he thinks it isn't fair.

    I have no idea what Bowden sounds like, but I'm picturing he sounds like those executives from the Astros organization from Seinfeld that called everyone a son of a bitch. This guy sounds great, but not a GM I want for my team. He is definitely fun to watch because he does make deals and he did a pretty good job outside of Christian Guzman.

    For Paul DePodesta he said that he is always the smartest person in any conversation, but judging how his moves worked out this past off season I would tend to disagree unless we aren't talking about baseball here.

    Omar Minaya, New York Mets
    Minaya is cool in his approach. He is also creative, and very aggressive. He lives to make the big splash of a deal, but gets just as much satisfaction with a small baseball trade for a utility man. He wants to win and has a "go for it" philosophy.

    He is also a hard worker and a friendly guy. People like Minaya and include him in conversations. He is also willing to think outside of the box, and is willing to take a chance. He has good street smarts and relies on them, as he wants very much to make deals, and he likes players, which is important.

    Minaya has been well-trained … well, he was my assistant GM! That said, he also played in the minors, coached in the minors and scouted on the amateur, professional and international levels.

    Most GMs say no to every trade proposal initially to buy time to consider all of the possibilities. At some point, the GM has to stop analyzing and pull the trigger. Sometimes the GM needs someone on his staff to push him to decide. Minaya was that guy for me. Minaya is a pioneer and I am proud of him.

    The fact that Minaya was an understudy of sorts of Steve Phillips is scary and I am amazed he is so good in lieu of that.

    Overall, it was pretty interesting but he was reluctant to say anything bad about anyone. Most of the scouting reports were similar to each other and he failed to mention what a douchebag Chuck Lamar is and he instead called him a a tireless worker and very serious guy. I would have liked to see a more fair evaluation of guys and it seemed he really did not want to say anything negative about anyone, but it was interesting nonetheless.

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk beat Charlotte 9-4. Anderson Hernandez continues to rebound after a big slump and went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, Angel Pagan went 3 for 5 for two runs, one homer, and two RBIs, and Victor Diaz went 2 for 5 with a run scored, a double, his tenth homer, and four RBIs. Brian Bannister picked up his third AAA win and pitched decent. He went five innings giving up seven hits, two walks, three earned runs, and struck out five. He is 3-1 with a 3.58 ERA. Royce Ring went 1.2 innings and gave up one hit, one walk, and struck out one.
    • Binghamton lost to Norwich 8-5. Lastings Milledge went 1 for 4 with a run scored and a walk, Aarom Baldiris went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and Mike Jacobs went 2 for 3 with a run scored, two RBIs, and two walks. Why this kid is still at AAA at this point is just ridiculous. Evan MacLane went five innings and gave up six hits, two earned runs, one walk, and struck out five.
    • St. Lucie vs. Palm Beach was suspended in the 8th inning due to wet grounds. Andy Wilson went 1 for 4 with his 23rd homer of the year, Grant Psomas went 1 for 3 with a double, Aaron Hathaway continues to pick up some hits and went 1 for 2 to bring his average up to .289, and Brahiam Maldonaldo continues to impress and went 1 for 2 with a double.
    • Lexington beat Hagerstown 5-4. Carlos Gomez went 2 for 4 with a double and his 52nd stolen base, Ambiorix Concepcion went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI, and James Burt went 2 for 3 with a run scored, a homer, and three RBIs.
    • Mahoning Valley beat up on Brooklyn 11-3. Jonathan Malo went 2 for 3 with his second homer on the year, a walk, and two RBIs.
    • Pulaski beat Kingsport 5-2. Gregory Gonzalez went 2 for 3 with a run scored, a double, and a walk.
    • The GCL Mets blanked the GCL Marlins 6-0.
  • Jamie Moyer was claimed off waivers by the Yankees and declined to join the club.

  • Kaz had a nice rip up the middle returning from the DL. The Mets need pop and he might be able to provide it. Take a chance Willie and stop being stubborn.

    "He's just going to be a part of our team and play his way into whatever I feel is best for him," Randolph said. "That's all. Miguel's playing right now, he's doing well for us, so I can say [Matsui's] not going to be thrown back into the lineup to play every day. This time of year, it's about winning ballgames. I play who I think will help us win."

    I like Miguel, but he is certainly expendable.

  • "I wouldn't come back if I wasn't," Trachsel said about starting. "I've never done anything else. I wouldn't be myself in the bullpen."

  • While we are at it, I want to catch too.

    Roberto Hernandez, who converted from catcher to pitcher while in college, wants to catch an inning before he retires, a la Todd Zeile last season. That can wait. Not only does Hernandez want to pitch again next year, the Manhattan product made it no secret that he wants to re-up with the Mets. Talks with the organization likely will wait until the off-season, however.

  • From NY Daily News:

    Agent Scott Boras, who represents Carlos Beltran and Padres starter Chan Ho Park, had a lengthy chat with Jeff Wilpon, Minaya and Mets special assistant Tony Bernazard during batting practice. The sides are not believed to be close on a deal for first-round pick Mike Pelfrey, another Boras client.

  • I love it. People yelling at the kid to jump or sit down. Well, he obviously jumped.

    Dumbass Yankee fans.

  • On of my new most favorite things to do is read the logins for newspapers on Bug Me Not. For the NY Post:


  • Wright's bare handed catch last night just looked amazing.

    "It was over my right shoulder and I couldn't reach it with my glove. So I took a stab at it with my right hand," Wright said. "It found my hand. ... I was pretty shocked I caught it."

    Mike Cameron told Wright it was one of the best plays he had ever seen, as did Cliff Floyd.

    "He better take me to the ESPYs," Doug Mientkiewicz said. "If that's not the play of the year I don't know what is."

    He got a standing ovation from the crowd.

  • Last night's game was painful. Petco is supposed to be an extreme pitcher's park, but the Padres hitters sure did not make it look that way as they were getting plenty of good swings on Pedro.

  • Jeff Duncan has asked for his release.

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