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

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Breeding Good Players

The Mets farm system has had some high end impact players and plenty of guys who were AAAA type players, but have never really had a well rounded, deep system since I have been following them. The major contributing factor to the equation and the reason they really have not been able to assemble a deep farm system over the years is partly due to an organizational philosophy that has lead to a lack of compensation picks and sandwich picks. Compensation picks and sandwich picks are such a large part of accumulating top tier talent and the Mets have lacked big time in this area. Since the inception of the sandwich pick in 1999, the Mets have only had two first round picks in one year twice in the eight years it has been around.

The problem has been the players they were signing. The Mets sign a lot of free agents that have been costing them draft picks and the Mets have only had ten picks in the first four rounds since 2002. Not only have the Mets lost a lot of picks by picking up players, they have not been receiving any picks when these players leave. When you sit down and look at who they have targeted and picked up, you see a lot of guys on the wrong side of thirty. They are guys that when their contracts are up as Mets, they are not players that you can even think about offering arbitration too. This past off season it was Mike Piazza, the year before it was Al Leiter, and before that there was an endless line of guys who were spent by the time their Met days were over. They were expensive guys that could cost you a pretty penny if they accepted arbitration and were not worth it for another team to waste a high draft pick on if they were offered arbitration.

Severely compounding the problem has been their extreme lack of good drafts. When a team produces a lot of players through a good farm system, the results have a cascading effect. For one, you can use B-level prospects to make the necessary trades to bolster your team while holding onto your premium talent. Secondly, when you bring up good players through your system and they make it through to the big club and then to free agency, you will receive compensation for good ones by way of arbitration. If players decline the arbitration offered by their current team and opts to explore free agency, the team that signs him will need to give his old team a draft pick to compensate for that team’s loss of that player as outlined by the collective bargaining agreement. The problem is the Mets have suffered from a dearth of talent. From 1996 to 2000, only 27 players the Mets drafted had reached the big leagues and the most notable are Ty Wigginton, Mike Jacobs, Bandon Lyon (who they did not even sign), and Jason Phillips. After that, you have guys like Billy Traber, Dicky Gonzalez, and Angel Pagan. To call that ugly would be an extreme understatement.

The Mets system right now leaves a lot to be desired. Yes, there are still some good pieces down there and they have recently produced some solid players and a few great ones, but it is looking pretty desolate right now. With Milledge in the big leagues, Humber not back on the mound yet, and Fernando Martinez injured, there is not much to look at when neither Mike Pelfrey nor Jon Niese are on the mound. Drafting better and making better free agency pick ups is where it all needs to start to improve long term. Drafting better produces Major League players who bring back compensation picks if they leave the organization and bringing in younger free agents or making deals for players closer to their prime via trade will result in the team being able to receive some talent in return when they leave. Omar is definitely moving in that direction, but it will be while before the Mets have a deep enough system that they can reach into for trades while still producing a steady team of big leaguers to help the big league club.

* * *

  • This story has to be one of the worst of the year, but it continues.

    "No, I really don't," said Milledge, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI last night. "You know what? It happened. If it all replayed again, you know what, I don't regret one thing I did. As far as showing up somebody, it might look like that. But I'm not here to show up anybody, because I haven't done anything here at the big-league level. ... Did it look like it? Maybe it did. But I didn't have any intentions of showing anybody up. I wanted the fans to enjoy the home run with me, and enjoy the moment. It was a one-time thing. That's what I wanted to do. I did it. Let's move on from it.

    "I decided to show the fans love. They pay my salary. It's becoming a big thing. I don't think it's like I shot somebody or something. You know what? It's good for the fans. And the fans will always remember it. And I'll always remember it."


    Trying to get this kid to apologize for a moment that an overwhelming majority of fans loved is just ridiculous. This is the last you will read about this crap here. With the draft today, the Mets riding high, Soler's best start, and Milledge looking great, there is plenty of other meaningful stuff to write about.

  • Last night's game was one that the Mets and Met fans needed direly. They got off to a nice three run lead before the Dodgers even got up to bat courtesy of a Jose Reyes leadoff homerun and a Carlos Delgado two run shot. Alay Soler pitched a great game and gave up one earned run in seven innings and the Mets finished the game out with Pedro Feliciano and Chad Bradford. Bradford picked up the save and it is the second time this year someone other than Billy Wagner picked up the save. As for Soler, he really did need to put a up a good game to keep himself in the rotation because there are other options.

    I wasn't thinking about going out and pitching well to stay in the rotation," Soler said. "What I did was go and pitch the way that I'm capable to pitch and that's the reason I had a pretty good game today."

    Milledge continues to be impressive with a 2 for 4 night with one RBI. However, regardless of how good he does, Nady should be taking the spot back when he gets back. With Diaz playing his way out of the minds of the people in the front office, the Mets still need Nady and Milledge on the team next season. Milledge can go a long way to ease any doubts the Mets front office would have had in regards to how Milledge would perform and to what level. It is early, but with his track record and being has highly touted as he is, it looks like a safe bet he will be a meaningful part of the team next year will not pull a Casey Kotchman when he is going to be depended on which is an important thing to know going into 2007.

  • Eli Gelman has a nice piece on one of my favorite guys in the Mets system Joseph Holden.

    Holden got a hit in his first at-bat and hasn't looked back. The 2005 21st-round draft pick stepped in and picked up right where he had left off last season in Brooklyn as perhaps his new team's most consistent hitter. As the team's leadoff hitter, he entered last night's game at West Virginia hitting .333 with four doubles, one home run, 14 RBI and seven stolen bases in 21 games.

    Last night, Holden went 3 for 4 with two homers and three RBIs and upped his batting average to .342. He has some speed and can play the outfield well so hopefully he can stick up with the Suns when Fernando Martinez commes back.

  • If Almonte gets drafted, it would not be because of his skill.

    "If he didn't cheat in Little League, he would just be another soft-tossing high school lefthander," one scout from an AL team said on the condition of anonymity. " . . . When you think about it, he has only gained about 5 miles per hour since his Little League days." Almonte hits about 83-84 mph on the radar gun, according to the scout.

    The Yankees can still drum up some publicity by drafint him with a late round pick and I would assume they will do just that.

  • Simply nuts.

    The Mets are expected to seek $10 million per year, which would be the most for a baseball-only park. The Giants/Jets could command double that, which would blow by the $10 million a year Reliant Energy pays for the Houston Texans' stadium and the Astrodome complex.

    That is a lot of dough. Anyone still opposed to selling the naming rights of the stadium? If the Mets get a Pedro Martinez-type with that money then sell away. Sell whatever you can. Whore yourself out and get the best product on the field.

  • Jae Seo is out of the rotation.

  • Jonathan Mayo has his first round projections out today for MLB.com. I really like Longoria to the Devil Rays. The really need a third baseman and look committed to Upton at short. Their outfield is stacked and they have a lot of young arms and Longoria's refined bat fits in well and should be helping them out sometime in 2007 if they can ink him fast.

    As for my favorite player in the draft? Kyle Drabek. Little brat of not, the kid can pitch. His fastball touches 97 and he owns five pitches. The kid is simply nasty and arguably has the best arm in the draft though he is not as refined as he should be for being the son of a Major League pitcher.

    Jim Callis from Baseball America has Pedro Beato sliding to the Yankees in the Sandwich Round. If the Yankees have the chance to draft him, you better believe Steinbrenner would love to stick it to the Mets a bit and get him.
  • 51 Comments:

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    There is an interesting rumor on Cliff Flyod on mLBtraderumors. I would not advocating floyd for a number of reasons, but getting a tier A starting pitcher or two at the double A level, could help offset the inevitable 1rd pick loss from next year that Zito or schmidt will cost the Mets.

    As much as it is about a first place team going to the post season and developing guys like Milledge. Depth could really help in 2008/09.

    IF they were to ever get to an 8 or nine game lead it would behoove the mets to deal for the future and put Milledge in left around the trading deadline. That being said, i wouldn't do the deal today.

    If omar doesn't spend two mil on International players this year to add depth to the system the Mets will be crazy. Robb

    10:49 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Wow, I'm not against trading Floyd since he has been invisible for the most part anyway and the Mets have looked good, I cannot see him. bring back too much. If the offer is high, then do it. If it is for some marginal prospect, forget it. No way. He is a solid guy to have around and should not be traded for anything less than a stud. The Mets do not need to make any deal putting them in the driver's seat.

    10:55 AM

     
    Anonymous DG's Media Feeding Frenzy said...

    Wouldn't put much faith in that rumor. Even the site says it is pretty much speculation. Personally, I cannot see the Mets trading a player like Floyd in a year that they hope to reach the playoffs. It's far too risky of a proposition, and Floyd will produce big time before the end of the season. People forget quickly in this town.

    The Beato watch is officially on. If he falls to Callis's prediction, he is already close to losing money. Last year, a late sandwich pick basically signed for between $600,000 to $800,000. That's right about where the Mets offered him ($750,000). If he falls out of the first round, he's officially signing for less than the Mets offered, though I suppose he could go back to school if he's so inclined.

    I wrote last night, late, that it was interesting to see how he has fallen since the Mets failed to reach a deal with him. Makes you wonder about the mechanizations, non? (Anyone sense a conspiracy theorist?) In any case, this kid might have gotten a bad read on his value. It would be funny if the Mets grabbed him at #62, but then again, I imagine that that might lead to some rather acrimonious negotiations.

    The Mets need some sportswriters who actually like the team. I've always gotten the impression that Adam Rubin like them at least. Heyman & Klapisch have the true love hates of longtime fans, but of course, neither write exclusively about the team. Feel bad for Milledge, but he seems like he can handle it.

    12:01 PM

     
    Anonymous Benny white said...

    The worst part about the past with the Mets is that they were signing mediocre guys that cost draft picks.
    The past few years they been getting Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, and Billy Wagner.

    Much better than the days of Roger Cedeño and even Mike fuckin' Stanton costing a draft pick.

    See the difference? Although with Wagner i think i still wuold have gone after BJ Ryan who didn't cost the BLue Birds anything...

    I think with smart dafting it would only have to take about 2 years for them to bed deep. I mean the DBacks became a deep system in how long? 2 years? Same with the Red Sox who jsut keep having SOLID drafts.

    Does Victo Diaz have ANY form of trade value... at all? At this point I think I'd almost trade him for anything.

    This is a weak draft year... Not many names that jump out on you.
    I realyl want Dellin Betances but shit, he'd be long gone before the Mets pick at 62 :(

    And now for another daily baseball clip. Big Richie

    12:04 PM

     
    Blogger Condor Schmitt said...

    This Cliff Floyd rumor is all over the net. Might have some truth being that the Tigers are in 1st place and do need a DH/OF from the left side. Omar has traded with the Tigers before so maybe we could get a couple of useful youngsters to retrade for a Zito or D-Train.

    I would miss Cliff but not as much as a good #2 or 3 pitcher.

    12:12 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    DG, I agree on Floyd. Unless they get mowed over, there is not need to make a move especially for a midlevel guy.

    As for Beato, he kind of gambled and lost. At this point anyway. The Mets looked like they were righ on with their assessment on how much he is worth.

    I don't think they can draft him again unless I'm wrong on the rules. I think not signign hurt him interestingly enough since people thought it was a slam dunk he would sign. Probably would have been better if he did sign, he could net less which is not what it looked like two weeks ago.

    Milledge can handle it, but even Chris Cotter's pre game interview was just silly. The entire thing is silly. It's like he punched a fucking fan or something. The Mets have no main stream backers. I don't want schills, but guys who demonstrate crazy knowledge about them and are fair. The Yankees can keep their schills and biased reporting.

    True dat Benny. They are losing them on better players. There were so many things wrong with how they were operating.

    Yeah, but you need picks to rebound in one year or two years. The Red Sox did it in 2004 and 2005, it can be done. But they had sandwich picks and complensation picks. Look how many 1st rounders the Marlins had last season? You cannot catch up with 2nd and 3rd round picks missing or them being your first picks.

    Diaz has no value anymore.

    Betances might not be gone man. Buck up.

    I like that Mariners commerial. They had a few really good ones that I saw that someone sent me links too.

    12:15 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Condor, the Mets are in the driver's seat as stated. Staying put makes the most sense unless someone overpays for Cliff.

    12:17 PM

     
    Blogger Condor Schmitt said...

    I agree with Benny, too many picks were given for less than stellar vetrans who we often kept for less than a season. But then again I look at who we have drafted in the lasty 40 years and there are some names that were horrible and many that were great...for another team.

    I look at it this way, this year we drafted a closer who was available right from the start of the year and required no minor league work.

    12:17 PM

     
    Blogger Condor Schmitt said...

    You are right Mike, make em pay for Cliff. I think they will. Detroit is in a good position to make a run at the division title or at least the wild card. If they need a lefty bat then they havethe talent pool to give up to get him. Saying that though Floyd has picked up his game and is making any trade for him even better for us.

    12:21 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    True Condor. Dombrowski has a deep system and has a shot NOW. He might overpay to get something done and go for the gusto since it won't have huge long term ramificiations.

    They can always use Cliffy as a DH next season. Not a bad place for him.

    12:37 PM

     
    Blogger BookieD said...

    I always love the naming rights conversation about the new ballpark. I am all for the $10 million per year; I just hope we end up with a name that doesn't sound too wacky (a la "MinuteMaid Park" or "US Cellular Field"). Based on absolutely zero scientific analysis, my early money is on Banco Popular, Geico and (most interestingly) MetLife as likely candidates. How about "The New York Board of Trade BallPark"?

    1:01 PM

     
    Anonymous Benny BLANCO said...

    The first pick of the draft?
    The Royals choose my main man Luke Hochevar.

    1:09 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Hochevar goes #1....Royals are going to open up their wallets. I think it was a good choice. He'll help them soon.

    Bookied, I agree. Geico is not bad and neither is MetLife. I don't think Banco has the financial juice for $10 mill a year. At least Geico will just pass that charge onto us.

    1:11 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Longoria to the Rays...I like it. Good choice for them. Last year's Wade Townsend pick was an absolute dud, nice recovery.

    1:12 PM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    DRAys take at 3 Evan Longoria and the Tigers remain solid by picking Andrew Miller at 6. SOLID pick.
    And Brad Lincoln goes to the Pirates at 4.

    1:15 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Tigers got a steal there. Humberto, Verlander, Miller, Zooooomaya...Holy shit. Buy stock in El Tigres.

    1:16 PM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    Drew Stubbs went to the Reds and it's funny because I did not read 1 mock draft where Stubbs DIDNT go to the Reds.

    1:17 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Which is weird. Strong pitching year and they always need pitching. Stubbs is kind of an enigma though. Great glove, but the bat is borderline and not much power. Drabek was the thing to do, but he was far away.

    1:18 PM

     
    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    How about New York Department of Health Field? That way we can have a huge billboard in centerfield featuring a picture of that guy with the tracheotomy hole in his throat.

    1:35 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    That add is driving me nuts. What's really weird is you can hear his spanish accent threw the mechanized voice. I have to look away whenever it's on. Gives me the creeps.

    1:37 PM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    That commercial is madd funny.
    The dude still has a spanish accent, lol.
    "Nating will eber be de sange againg"

    1:51 PM

     
    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    Benny's going to hell for making me laugh.

    1:53 PM

     
    Anonymous DG's Media Feeding Frenzy said...

    Beato probably got his wishes as second supplemental. He'll get a million, perhaps his million two.

    2:12 PM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    Kevin Mulvey, rhp (national rank:30 & top prospect in PA)
    School: Villanova
    Hometown: Parlin, NJ

    B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 170. Birthdate: 5/26/85.
    Scouting Report: Mulvey, the top arm in the Northeast, could be a perfect fit for the Phillies, who have made an effort to target top local talent, such as Glen Mills, Pa., native Mike Costanzo-their top pick last year (second round) out of Coastal Carolina. Mulvey, who hails from Parlin, N.J., has been a weekend starter since he arrived at Villanova and has seen his stock rise this season even while posting rather pedestrian 3-7, 3.66 numbers. Scouts are impressed with his command of three average or better pitches: a 90-94 mph fastball, a slider that is effective against righthanded hitters and a curveball that some scouts like even better than the slider. He also has good feel for a changeup that can be used to get lefties out. Mulvey has loose, easy arm action and clean mechanics, and he has learned to eliminate distractions from umpires and defensive lapses behind him that tended to rattle him early in his college career. He always works around the zone and is not afraid to attack hitters. Mulvey doesn't figure to last past the Phillies at No. 37 overall and could go before that.

    clipped from BA

    2:36 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Brian Mulvey, Villanova with the Mets first pick.

    Glad to see Beato didn't go to the Yankees.

    The shot of that dude Q-Tip'in his hole is sweet.

    -Bada

    2:38 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Yeah, Beato got at least a Million.

    Mulvey sounds good, but he gave up a lot of hits for a bad team. That is cencerning, but BA ranked him at the #30 overall prospect. That bodes well, but it looks like he's still got some work to do.

    2:51 PM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    Four pitches ain't bad. Sounds like a decent pick at that spot.

    BTW, I doubt the whole MLB prices/Beato story.

    Sidearmer Joseph Smith in the 2nd Round from Wright State University. Didn't know they got around to naming a college for David Wright already.

    3:00 PM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    5. Joe Smith, rhp (National rank: 127)
    School: Wright State. Class: Jr.
    Hometown: Cincinnati
    B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 205. Birthdate: 3/22/84.
    Scouting Report: Smith is one of the more improbable success stories in college baseball. He had shoulder surgery as a high school senior in 2002 and couldn't crack the Wright State roster in his first year at college. When he made the team as a walk-on in 2004, he used a high three-quarters arm slot and pitched at 85-87 mph. After Rob Cooper took over as head coach before the 2005 season, new assistant coach Greg Lovelady suggested Smith drop down to a sidearm delivery. That usually adds movement and subtracts velocity, but Smith's fastball now sits at 88-91 mph and reaches 94. He also throws a nasty slider and his changeup has improved this spring as well. Hitters have trouble picking up his pitches, as evidenced by his regular-season 0.75 ERA--which would lead NCAA Division I if he weren't five innings short of qualifying. Smith could move quickly as a pro reliever. Because he's a redshirt junior, he'll become a draft-and-follow if he doesn't sign this summer.

    3:03 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    D-WRIGHT is all set. He's got University's named after him and next is a small country.

    Can he get lefites out though? That seems to be the problems with side armers.

    Either way, a ROOGY is bit weird for that slot, no?

    3:25 PM

     
    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    Wouldn't it be Sugar Pants U?

    3:38 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    It should be.

    I got reprimanded at Sunday's game for cheering for Sugar Pants. My friend was none to happy about me using that in public.

    3:39 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Someone posted this on Metsgeek.com about the Mets last pick John Holdzkom.

    Among the most signable players in the state is 6-foot-7, 230-pound RHP John Holdzkom, who was academically ineligible to play for his high school team until late April. Even when he was reinstated, he pitched sparingly because of issues with his coach and control problems. In his first game back, he gave up nine runs in two innings while hitting three batters and making three wild pitches. Much like his brother Lincoln, who also came with makeup questions when he signed with the Marlins as a seventh-round pick in 2001, he has considerable upside. He has touched 93-94 in limited outings and workouts, and scouts believe there is more in there. A team will have to believe in its player-development department to warrant taking him in the first 10 rounds.

    3:42 PM

     
    Anonymous Joe said...

    John Holdzkom
    Well this is embarrassing...
    http://www.slcc.edu/athletics/athletics/baseballplayerbios.htm
    (scroll to the bottom)

    3:45 PM

     
    Anonymous dgenerate said...

    Hobbies: power-walking, line-dancing, making the world a better place

    WELL, IT SOUNDS LIKE HE'LL LIKE NY!

    Quick Poll (answers requested today): which is worse 1) power-dancing 2)line-dancing 3)making the world a better place?

    I'll take number 1 for $100 please!

    3:55 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    #1 is worse. I thought it said power-walking when I first saw it. Seriously, what is power-dancing?

    3:59 PM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    Mets #5, was 2nd best prospect in Lower NE

    Stephen Holmes, rhp (National rank: 187)
    School: Rhode Island. Class: Jr.
    Hometown: Lincoln, R.I.
    B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 205. Birthdate: 8/31/85.
    Scouting Report: Holmes has gone 20-3 in his college career, giving him the URI record for career winning percentage (.870). That's the best way to describe Holmes: He's a winner. He doesn't dominate with his stuff, but he is a fierce competitor with the best feel for pitching of anyone in the Northeast this year, and he always works around the plate. He has a solid-average 88-92 mph fastball that he locates wherever he wants, and his out pitch is a curveball that can be inconsistent. It is not particularly tight and lacks depth, but he still uses it to induce plenty of ground balls and some strikeouts. He also has good feel for a changeup, but he hasn't used it nearly as much as his other two pitches. Holmes doesn't have much projection left, so his ceiling is a back-of-the-rotation starter, but he has a clean delivery and is polished enough that he could move fast.

    4:13 PM

     
    Anonymous joe said...

    I don't think that kid Holmes has peaked yet. He only just developed the changeup over the last year and he worked hard in the offseason to drop 15 pounds. Sounds like a winner to me.

    4:22 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    88-92? That means 86-88.

    4:32 PM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    I hate the fucking Mets...
    So Dellin Batences goes to the damn Yankees.
    Wow... i guess they were too busy drafting headcases, sidearm relievers, and of course the toosly OF

    5:10 PM

     
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