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

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Random Wednesday Stuff

First things first in Pedro Beato. You have a guy who has an opportunity to cash in on a weak draft class. He is the thirteenth ranked overall prospect according to Baseball America but would have surely not cracked the top twenty picks had this been a year ago and maybe not even the top thirty picks. The thirteenth overall pick last year signed for $1.6 million dollars. The first high school pitcher chosen was Christopher Volstad and he got $1.6 million dollars. Beato figures to get a seven digit payday and the Mets viewed him as too expensive for what they thought he was worth. Newsday reported that they offered him $750,000 and he was looking for double that.

Conventional wisdom says that it is a no brainer that the Mets would have signed Beato who was a first round talent when they had no first round pick, but the 22nd pick last year was also a high school pitcher who signed for $1.2 million, the 32nd pick last year was a high school pitcher who signed for just a tick over $1 million, and the 34th pick last year was a high school pitcher who had similar velocity signed for a tick under a million.

A lot of players will make some money off this being a down year and there are years when teams are happy they do not have a first round pick so they don't have to waste first round money on second round players. I'm not saying a Beato is a second round talent, but in most years, he certainly would not be as highly ranked as he is now. If the Mets viewed him as a million dollar talent and he thinks the can get 60% more than what the Mets were offering by waiting another week, why would he sign? It would make no sense for him to accept the Mets deal regardless of what he may truly be worth. He is a lock to make more than what the Mets reportedly offered.

The Mets most likely decided to not over pay and use that cash in the international market as they did last year when they got the talented Fernando Martinez. Jim Callis of Baseball America called Martinez a possible top five pick if he were eligible for the draft this year and they signed him for $1.4 million. Omar felt he could net more for the money on the international market and was not going to sign Beato just to sign him. You have to respect the fact that they didn't fold and stood strong. That money will not go to waste. It will be spent on talent, just not on Pedro Beato.

Next thing on my boring agenda is Lastings Milledge. He just looks like a ball player. He looked anxious at the plate during his first at-bat, but ripped a ball to short in his first with runners on base and later doubled in the seventh inning for his first Major League hit. Most of us have seen him in Spring Training, but seeing him in high def goodness is always better. His bat is as fast as advertised and as Keith pointed out, the kid has a very level swing. For those of you who worry about his power, it is surely something that will take a bit longer for him to develop than David Wright's did.

Wright hit 11 in 135 games at 19, 15 in 133 gams at 20, and 32 in 160 games between AA, AAA, and the bigs at 21. Wright does not have a huge uppercut, but he certainly has a bit of an uppercut swing and gets some lift on the ball. Milledge hit 15 in 87 games at 19 and 8 in 100 games 20. This year he has not flashed much homerun power, but his swing is line drive swing and he simply will not get much lift on the ball. He will pepper the wall until he gets stronger, but most of his homeruns will be mistakes when he gets under the ball. Milledge's power not coming right away has nothing to do with him being a productive player, but it will probably take him a few years before he starts hitting a significant number of homeruns.

The last thing is Alay Soler. His rough first inning with that horrible stolen base call seemed to set the stage for the day. He had tons of trouble getting his breaking stuff over the plate in the first inning and stayed away from his fastball. He gave up two runs even though he should have made it out unscathed. He then came back to the fastball a bit more and pitched OK until the fifth inning when he got lit up by a few homers. Soler ended up laboring on a humid night and the Mets really played one of their sloppiest games of the year behind him which did not help the situation.

Yes, he should have been out of the first inning with no runs allowed and a few less pitches, but those types of things happen and you have to overcome and move on. He was unable to and was very angry with himself throughout the game while Miguel Batista kept calm and worked out of trouble all night to throw a complete game. It just was not the Mets night. Alay's next start is against the Dodgers in Los Angeles and with John Maine's return and him having started his rehab assignment, Soler really cannot afford another bad start.

* * *

  • Jon Lieber has joined Cole Hamels on the disabled list and that is bad news for the Phillies to say the least.

  • Lastings likes the word fabulous.

    "It's fabulous to be in New York," Milledge said. "What a feeling."

  • Lee Jenkins rehashed the Kazmir deal and makes a lot of good points. Yes, it was a horrible deal, but if the deal was not done, would the Mets be where they are now? Obviously we will never know and people will differ in opinion, but most likely the Mets would not be exactly where the are. Maybe they could have been better, but that is doubtful. Most likely, the would have been worse and Omar would not be here.

    However, one thing that stuck out me more than other things was this:

    At 5:15 p.m., Duquette called Chuck LaMar, then the Devil Rays' general manager, and said, "Do we have a deal?"

    Not only did the Mets want to do this trade, but they were chasing LaMar down. Lamar had to think about the deal. The guy should have been fired as soon as the deal was done if that was the case. He has to be the worst GM of all time.

  • The Redbird Nation is strong and loud. Albert Pujols leads all All-Star voting and is more than half a million votes in front of second place Carlos Delgado for first base. Scott Rolen has David Wright edged out by about 48,000 votes, Jose Reyes is third behind second place Edgar Renteria and first place David Eckstein, Paul LoDuca has a small lead over Mike Piazza, and Carlos Beltran is second in the voting among outfielders.
  • 39 Comments:

    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    I know it's a cliche, but Lastings "looked like a big leaguer" last night, much the same way Sugar Pants did in his first game. Maybe all the hype affected the way I saw him, but that's how I felt.

    I was more encouraged by Delgado's opposite field double, which is an excellent sign. Would love for him to bust out just in time for the coming west coast swing.

    Finally, you should stop by Toasted Joe, I posted a special treat for you.

    11:47 AM

     
    Blogger SonnyD said...

    it certainly feels like a tuesday, but it's wednesday...

    11:48 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    It's cliche, but some people look like they belong. Like Kaz doesn't and A Hern at the plate.

    Sugar Pants certainly did and even Mike Jacobs did at the plate when he came up.

    I had Delgado for the MLB Beat the streak last night and I picked him so far ahead of time that I forgot I picked him in the midst of an uber slump. I thought my streak of 11 was dead, but the big guy came through.

    Special treasts? I'll be there. I usually don't make it there until like 12:30 or 1:00...work usually gets in the way.

    Today just feels like shit. I'm the only asshole who gets sick when it's nice out. Nice all weekend and nice today. Maybe I should stop licking the bathroom door handles in Starbuck's throughout the city.

    12:14 PM

     
    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    I had a 10-game streak going on Beat the Streak recently, and I was done in when Big Papi inexplicably went hitless against the Yankees. I switched it from Manny at the last minute, too, who proceeded to bash two home runs and a double (or something like that). I stink.

    12:18 PM

     
    Blogger Mets Guy in Michigan said...

    We need to get voting, people. You're allowed 25 votes per e-mail address. I'll concede Pujols, but there's no way David Wright shouldn't be sarting at third in Pittsburgh. If all of us did 50 votes, it should help hi cause!

    12:24 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Oh, you cannot switch last second. That is the kiss of death. If I had gotten to switch Delgado, I would have used Wright for sure....guess who went 0 for 4 predictably?

    I made it to 25 games once and when I lost, I was too defeated to try it again.

    Wright should be starting...I'll hop on the voting. I have no sent once yet.

    12:33 PM

     
    Blogger Count Choculitis said...

    Daily News today:


    There was plenty of speculation that the Yankees, Phillies and Marlins were working on a three-way deal that would put Pat Burrell in pinstripes, send Dontrelle Willis to Philadelphia and stock the Marlins with prospects, but the trade talk was shot down. -- New York Daily News

    12:40 PM

     
    Blogger Condor Schmitt said...

    To be honest if our guys dont make it i'm not upset. It gives them some time to rest up for the second half and think about where they are. I'd like to see Omar let Pedro go home for a week to keep his mind level.

    Tuesday stuff. Guess it does feel like Tuesday.

    Clemens still sucks.

    12:40 PM

     
    Blogger Condor Schmitt said...

    The Yankees dont have the prospects to get a major chip so they have to rely on other teams overpaying for whatever they get. Philly and FLA would be wise to stay away from these jerks.

    12:42 PM

     
    Blogger Condor Schmitt said...

    I liked the article. I think its right in that if Kazmir was not voted off of the Island then the team would still be run by Al Leiter in Jeff Probst fashion. Yeah we miss Kaz but not as much as I would miss Beltran, Delgado, Pedro and Lo Duca. Could you imagine if Duquette was still in charge and Al Leiter was still pitching? This wouldnt be a year of glory it would be the 2003 groundhog day!

    12:51 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    I fixed the Tuesday/Wednesday thing and won't even offer my explanation, but I did write the post on Tuesday in my defense (ok, just a small one)....

    Condor, Duquette was never in charge.

    1:02 PM

     
    Blogger Kenny said...

    Ah, Beat the Streak. Let me say that I hate this game. Whenever I get to 10 games, I lose. Every single time. Bastards.

    I want Lastings in our fantasy league. Yahoo needs to get on the ball.

    Any of you people like soccer? If so, I'm setting up a World Cup pick 'em group over on ESPN. If so, go to http://games.espn.go.com/worldcup/group?groupID=52509&password=cocks and sign up. The group name is Three and Out and the password is cocks.

    1:37 PM

     
    Anonymous jake said...

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/story/422385p-356547c.html

    i went over to toasty's and saw this. it's kinda disturbing. anybody have any insight as to whether this is the writer's creation or a real concern?

    1:43 PM

     
    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    I have heard about 'Stings attitude problems, so I don't think it's a fabrication. But he's young, so we'll see. Ironically, bringing him up may actually keep his ego in check since he'll be exposed to great pitching for the first time.

    1:53 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Kenny, word to the wise. Pick up Lastings if you think he'll last for the rest of the season and Nady is as good as traded. Wasting the top waiver pick on a on month guy who won't hit many homers is ill-advised.

    That being said, Balls Deep will win and you can do whatever you want since the league has already be won.

    Beat the Streak makes me mad. Very mad. It seems so easy, but it's so hard. I used to take into account pitcher/batter match-ups, but if you over think it, you lose. I just pick them all at one time and let it ride.

    I'm all signed up. I don't watch soccer, but I'm in. Already took Costa Rica for the upset becuase that place kicks ass and Poland because I'm half Polish. I will vote like a girl during the NCAA's and Football Pools from here on out.

    Jake, that is disturbing to say the least, but he always says the right things. Are we sure Madden did not mix up Delmon Young and Lastings? I know he is confident, but confidence and arrogance are similar, but very different.

    Toasty...that is unless he rips it up.

    2:38 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The Kazmir piece left me wanting more. It discusses that there were 10 people from coaches to executives to medical staff on the phone and that there was far from a concensus on the deal, but the people who spoke the loudest were the ones who had the final say. I wanted to know who was it that spoke the loudest, what was the context that Peterson give his "10 minute" line what was Duquette's part, how about the Wilpon's, was it really Livesey who pitched this? We should have a full congressional investigation with subpoenas to clear the air once and for all so we can send the culprits off to Gitmo and move on with our lives.

    As far as Milledge. I liked the stroke, pretty compact, he seems like once he learns the strike zone, he will be hard to strike out.

    Also liked the fact that he carries two extra bats around his neck so that if his regular one breaks he can take one of the pieces of wood connected as a cross and use that. Save time during the game.

    Adam

    2:55 PM

     
    Blogger Condor Schmitt said...

    I thought Milledge wasgoing to be a speedster. He really didnt seem to turn it on in that double he hit. Reyes would have pushed hard at third.

    If he is a clubhouse jerk he will be cut to shreds by Delgado, Lo Duca, WrightValentin and especially Franco. l'edge better watch his 'tude or he'll get a cap busted in his ass.

    3:07 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Well, Peterson was asked a question and he said, "yes, the guy has tools and I could do something with him." If he wasn't injured, maybe he could of, but I doubt a pitching coach is making the moves there.

    Livesly is the bigger culprit since he scouted him originally. If Omar has taught us something, it is that he feels better about guys he worked with in the past and is attached to them. It's not a stretch to think Livesly was thinking along the same lines. In the Mets defense, they traded for damaged goods. His BAA never translated to the NL and it should have and was never throwing like he could. Even at his best, he is not Kazmir, but he is useful. This came from the front office and scouting and I'm not sure Duquette played a large part. I think it was a puppet regime with the Wilpon's and the scouts running the show on the big league level.

    That cross was huge. I think Jake had mentioned that he wears a huge cross when he interviewed him.

    Condor, he looked fast. He didn't bust it to 2nd, but not many players do on a true double. They cruise. He was cruising and Reyes would be busting it if it was to right field, not to left. A triple to left means someone kicked the ball or the fence is 450 to the corner.

    I agree that he will be cut to shreds by the big guys if he steps out of line. There are some big time players there who will not put up with that crap.

    3:23 PM

     
    Blogger Kenny said...

    I may add Lastings to my team in hopes that he plays a ton after the all-star break. But I do agree, you hate to waste the #1 waiver priority. I keep hoping somebody will accidently drop a stud into my lap. Perhaps I could have worded that better...

    I'm glad you joined the World Cup pick 'em. I want revenge for the ass-kicking that I'm currently absorbing in baseball.

    3:51 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    I keep hoping somebody will accidently drop a stud into my lap.

    You may want to reword that....

    You will own me in the soccer thing. I have no idea who is any good.

    Well, if you pass up Lastings, the second guy will take him. I just know I'm not going to get him. Truth be told, I'd use my #1 waiver pick on him, but I wouldn't have mine . If I was at #1 I would have taken Cole Hamels and we all know how that worked out.

    I don't even know of any real big guys coming up for you to save it for. I don't think Pelfrey is a reason to hold it and he may never come up and it's pretty rare someone will drop a useful player. There are not many left out there.

    4:55 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    You know were that money from Beato has to go Michael. Your boy Daisuke Matsuzaka

    5:12 PM

     
    Blogger Count Choculitis said...

    Clearly i was wrong, but at the time I was not all that against the Zambrano trade. The stronger argument is not "we should not hvae made that trade" but rather "we could have gotten more for Kazmir". With that statement I can agree. But these young, prospect pitchers are in more cases than not chips and nothing more. They often fail to pan out; they often turn out to suck. In fact, in the related Benson trade, we all remember that the Mets traded another prospect (Peterson?) that fans were upset about. Have you heard about him since? Fact is, Zambrano was a winning pitcher, in a better-hitting league, on a worse (nay, horrible) team. Injuries aside, it is probably fair to have assumed he could have won 12-15 games a year for an improved Mets team. Now, I will go vote for Kazmir for the all-star team....

    5:47 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I think it was a puppet regime with the Wilpon's and the scouts running the show on the big league level.

    Sounds like this was during the phase when Wilpon wanted everything to be like the Yankees including the Tampa/NY two-headed mgmt that all reports to George. His "baseball people".

    I agree with the Count on the fact that we rushed this deadline deal and got a pitcher who at best was a 12-15 game winner for our best chip. We could have waited until the off-season and gotten Mulder or Hudson, the A's got a lot less in return (although I remember in Moneyball Bean made fun of the Mets for drafting Kazmir over Swisher).

    Adam

    6:05 PM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    Hey, no time to post a comment today, but great post, MIke. Think you're right on with Beato analysis.

    7:23 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Count...I actually had a post way back when that I said Kazmir was a good chip. But more for Zito than Zambrano and I didn't have a problem trading for one pitcher, but two? With Clement and Benson on the market in the off-season (..and Pedro of course, but I exclude him because I assumed he would not be a Met) it didn't make sense. Peterson was no big loss, but then they tossed in Huber seemingly for shits and giggles.

    They traded Kazmir, Peterson, and Humber for Zambrano, Maine, and O Hernandez (we'll just forget Jose Diaz and Fortunato existed). Really not good stuff. I do agree that trading Kazmir was not the crime and it wouldn't be a crime to trade Milledge, but for who.

    Also to Lee Jenkins' point and your point, Zambrano was better before the trade. He was damaged goods and never got a shot. I feel bad for him, but it sucks. And we can rationalize like I did and say "if that's what it took for the Mets to learn their lesson..blah..blah..blah", but why do a bunch of grown men who are supposed to be the best at what they do need to learn their lesson? Beane has a good handle on things. So does Sabean, Towers, Williams, and Dombrowski.... It's a shame. The entire situation is. Mistakes are made, but this one looked horrid from the start. Oh well.

    Adam, I wonder if it was Fred so much as Jeff. Jeff did not get much positive press in the past.

    Thanks DG...

    8:34 PM

     
    Anonymous Brian B said...

    I was at the game tonight and holy crap did the place erupt when lastings made that throw. Shea was shakin... it was amazing.

    12:08 AM

     
    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    Incredible throw. Speedster on base, slow hit single, and it still wasn't even close.

    8:14 AM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Kazmir and Beato:

    This really is not an issue but;
    1. Kazmir fell to the Mets in the draft because of signability issues. The mets signed him without issue. He was also a highly ranked HS pitcher.
    b.I doubt the Mets are done, I believe Stephen Drew and others..signed the night before the next draft. The issue to me is whether his arm is sound.

    2:06 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I concur.

    I think Milledge is being groomed as a Kenny lofton style leadoff guy. But in the meantime I STILL think Beltran belongs in the #2 spot with D Wright behind him.

    5:47 PM

     
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