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