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

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Prospect Talk

BP has their version of the Mets top ten prospects out and there are some surprises to say the least.

1. Fernando Martinez, cf
2. Philip Humber, rhp
3. Mike Pelfrey, rhp
4. Carlos Gomez, of
5. Alay Soler, rhp
6. Jon Niese, lhp
7. Kevin Mulvey, rhp
8. Mike Carp, 1b
9. Deolis Guerra, rhp
10. Joe Smith, rhp

Just for your edumacation, the Mets Inside Pitch's top ten....

1. Carlos Gomez
2. Mike Pelfrey
3. Fernando Martinez
4. Phil Humber
5. Brian Bannister
6. Mike Carp
7. Shawn Bowman
8. Jonathan Niese
9. Jesus Flores
10. Deolis Guerra

First, I was bit surprised Fernando was number one. With guys like Humber, Pelfrey, and even Gomez with tremendously high ceilings and extremely close to being ready, it was a shock to see him ranked above all of them. That's not to say you cannot argue the point and he does quite possibly have the highest ceiling of anyone in the system, but he's less of sure bet to hit that ceiling than Humber or Pelfrey because he is so young and in A-ball.

Second, it was the first time that Humber got his due from a baseball authority that I can remember and be ranked above Pelfrey. Mike Pelfrey is good and has the potential to be an ace, but Phil is also really sick and is more likely to reach his ceiling in my estimation.

Third, Alay Soler #5? Ahead of guys like Niese, Carp, Guerra, and Mulvey? Interesting to see him that high, but it does reinforce the idea that he could really help this team out of the bullpen.

Highlights/Interesting Tidbits...

It's interesting to note that when the updated PECOTA cards come out, his comps will include Jose Reyes and Miguel Cabrera, so the system doesn't know what he'll end up as either, other than really, really good.


All three pitches are capable of generating swings and misses, and Mets brass are still buzzing about the inning of relief against Atlanta during his big league debut when he touched 96 and looked dominant.

Hmmm...I wrote that article and suggested using him in the bullpen and it might not be that far off the Mets management's radar. If Humber is shifted into the bullpen due to the logjam in the rotation, he could be absolutely devastating in one inning spurts. With that hammer curveball and batters not being able to see that a few times around, they would have virtually no shot....like Beltran vs. Wainwright.

He had a decent over-the-top curveball in college, but he just never found his feel for it this year, forcing him to pitch primarily off his fastball, which worked in the minors, but hindered his effectiveness during a brief big league look. Changeup is usable, but like the curve, he loses confidence in it, reducing himself to a one-pitch pitcher.

Fastball? Off the charts. Other stuff? Not so much. Look, if it was just that easy to learn good secondary pitches, everyone would do it and some guys wouldn't be forced into the pen due to not having good enough secondary pitches. He is a bit far along to be so behind his with secondary stuff and ultimately, I am concerned.

In A Perfect World, He Becomes: An all-star outfielder who nearly matches teammate Jose Reyes on the excitement factor.

Um, yeah. That would be nice.

Guerra needs to find more velocity and a breaking ball quickly, as his speed-changing ways will not generate the same success at the upper levels. His control also needs work, with the biggest problem being inconsistent mechanics, specifically with his release point.

They did give him some high praise, but they certainly painted a picture that he has a lot more work to do than most of us thought.

* * *

  • What I took away from the above is that the Mets bullpen might be a lot better than most people though. With Burgos, Heilman, Sanchez, Feliciano, D. Williams, and Wagner in the mix already with Mota and Joe Smith lurking, they are pretty strong already. Now with the possibility of Humber and/or Soler being thrown into the mix, that could make them devastating one through seven even more so than last season. I said before that the Mets will have more than seven guys that could be extremely effective in the bullpen and I still firmly believe that. Willie will have a hard time finding innings for everyone once again. I know people were miffed that Bradford was let go, but you can see why Omar felt good letting him walk.

  • Earth to Barry Zito....come back from Plant Zito and check this out.

    The Big Picture: Rankings Combined With Non-Rookies 25 Years Old Or Younger (As Of Opening Day 2007)

    1. Jose Reyes, ss
    2. David Wright, 3b
    3. Lastings Milledge, cf/lf
    4. Fernando Martinez, cf
    5. Philip Humber, rhp
    6. Mike Pelfrey, rhp
    7. Carlos Gomez, of
    8. Oliver Perez, rhp
    9. John Maine, rhp
    10. Ambiorix Burgos, rhp

    Every organization has ten guys 25 or under, but the Mets have seven or eight that could be All-Star caliber players and I wouldn't be surprised if John Maine dropped a stellar season mixed with a bunch of solid ones at some point that could get him a spot in the mid-summer classic at some point. The Mets need Zito, but they should certainly be able to lure him with less money than the Rangers might offer. This is the type of team that people make sacrifices to be on.

    Now that Daisuke has signed, it's go time for the Zito negotiations.

    Wright said he's been following the Zito saga closely.

    "I'm part of this team and want to see us get better," said Wright, who played the part of Santa Claus yesterday at Shea Stadium.

    "If Barry comes here, I'd be more than happy to show him around. But New York sells itself. If you turned on the TV and saw our games in the playoffs, that's a selling point.

    "In my eyes, he'd be crazy not to want to be a part of that."

    Taking the money and going to Texas is a bad career move needless to say. He probably would not be in the playoffs next year and his numbers would most likely suffer as well. It's a no brainer, but it is just a case of the Mets needing to get close enough to the Rangers bid to make it happen. However, Daisuke's negotiations might have gone a long way to helping land Zito. Those negotiations really taught us that Boras could be bullied. Yes, this is a different situation, but there are things to be learned. When you know you have the trump card, you have the power. Right now, the Mets are in more of a power position than Boras and Zito. They have an improved staff that took the Mets to game seven of the NLCS. If they miss out on Zito, they will survive.

  • I agree with Buster a 100% in that Epstein the Red Sox were absolutely brilliant in the Daisuke negotiations.

    We'll probably never know exactly what happened late Tuesday night in the conversations between Boras and Matsuzaka, whether the agent advised Matsuzaka to go back to Japan, or whether the pitcher told his agent to get a deal done. But in the negotiating room, Boras, with a weak hand, without any real negotiating leverage, effectively folded his hand.

    Boras could not be happy with this outcome and had to have his tail between his legs a bit.

    Blogger Emad Mekhaeil said...

    'Every organization has ten guys 25 or under'

    Looking at the Top 10 of the Marlins, Twins and Angels, you could make a very serious argument that the Mets have the best "Core" of talent in baseball. If you consider Beltran a part of said group, the future is luminous.

    I just don't know about Pelfrey. It's just a shame Wagner has that no trade. I can see Pelfrey having great success in a Closer role. His fastball reminds me a bit of Mariano's. Its nearly impossible to center.

    11:39 PM

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    Reading all that on Guerra was good. Knowing he needs help... helps us!
    I still have high hopes for him. He was very close to being born in the 90's and that's scary. He has plenty of time.

    THe only problem with Humber/Soler in the bullpen is... would the Mets management really put them there? I hope so but I don't think they would.

    Isn't it amazing that an "L" on the Scott Boras column is equal to 6 years $60 million? Scott Boras you amazing son of a bitch.

    4:17 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Emad...optimism from you? Wow...But I do agree, you would be hard pressed to show me a better core group of players. The Angels...Dodgers...Marlins are impressive too as are the Devil Rays even, but the fact that the Mets have two 23 year olds that finished in the top ten for the MVP voting just solidifies that for them. Not many teams in the history of baseball can claim that.

    I'm ok with Wagner's no trade. I think he was stellar last year. Yes, he had some dissapointing moments, but he's solid. Three more years is just find with me. If Pelfrey did end up being the eventual closer, he certainly wouldn't be doing it in the next few years. He's set up for a bit and then get moved in. Being he's not ready to even relieve in this league this season, it's not really impacting any possible move to the closer's role. You still need two pitches unless you are Mariano Rivera and Pelfrey still has one.


    RE: Guerra...if he really needed that much help, could he have dominated at high A at 17? I think it was a bit over exagerated. If he succeeds at high-A, at 17/18, I'm pretty sure he's a safe bet to be a front of the rotation quality starter.

    RE: Humber and Soler...that piece led me to believe Humber to the bullpen is not a foreign idea to them. There is a bottleneck in '07 in the rotation if they get Zito and that is only exacerbated when Pedro returns...furthermore, Pedro, Duque, Maine, Perez, Zito (possibly), and possibly Glavine will be here in '08 too. Humber will be ready soon. Why let him sit in the minors with nothing to prove?

    RE: Soler, it's his only option. He's no where near the top of the depth chart in the rotation at this point as Pelfrey, Williams, Vargas, and Humber might all be above him.

    6/$52...It's a "L" because he got half he wanted, though he did get six years. The Red Sox wanted to pay $8 mill and they paid like $8.7. Amazing.

    8:56 AM

    Anonymous Der Gee said...

    Good to see you thinking outside of the box, but Pelfrey makes way more sense in the pen than Humber does. Humber has a full major league arsenal of pitches; he would be wasted as a middle reliever/set up man. He was made to start and has a nice new strong elbow. Although unlikely, he's the one Met prospect from that top ten that might actually make the squad.

    Agree that Soler's only option is relief at this point. Of course, he could also dress up as Mr. Met or a Care Bear or something!

    Guerra reallys isn't that rushed and will find velocity as he fills out. No one should be worrying about this kid, but we should wonder why people haven't figured out that Jonathon Niese is special. (And Carp replaces Delgado in 09!)

    I think the four organizations you mention are all stronger than the Mets in terms of depth, but, yeah, I think we have some nice cream at the top. Still, I'd rather see the big boys - Humber & Pelfrey - make it in NY instead of part of a trade. We've reached the point of salary madness that home grown prospects keep even the highest payrolls in check. This guys are worth more to us in the long term than even the prospect of a Haren, Harden, etc. I'd much rather see us go with a more speculative fifth starter from Omar's prospect pool than a big trade that robs us of a salary buffer in the next few years.

    Anyway, Barry makes the most sense even at the depressing salary that's likely necessary.

    Lastly, I'm still surprised about Omar's bonehead pronouncement about Giles. I'm hoping that it just a tactic, but let's face it, there's always the chance that Anderson Hernandez ends up batting eigth at some point this year.

    10:22 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Slightly off-topic during the Zito-watch period...

    Have you seen the webcam setup for the new Nationals ballpark? It's pretty slick.


    Too bad the Mets or the construction group didn't set one up for CitiField. I noticed this website link from MetsBlog showing pictures of the progress. A webcam would be nice, though.


    - Bada

    10:40 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Humber has a full major league arsenal of pitches; he would be wasted as a middle reliever/set up man.

    Long term, Humber is unquestionably a starter, but we are talking about the short term here. He's going to have issues cracking the top five in '07 and possibly '08 at this point and having him sit in the minors makes little to no sense.

    Like Wainwright and Papelbon, the bullpen is the way to crack into the bigs sometimes and you can get moved to the rotation later. For me, that is Humber's optimal path with the roadblocks of getting a spot in the rotation.

    I think they were good about Niese. He's a one step a year guy for sure as he isn't quite dominated and needs to work on his control, but mid rotation lefty that throws in the low 90's is nothing to sneeze at.

    If the Mets nab Zito, Pelfrey and Humber will be here to stay. My desire for Zito goes beyond me wanting him simply because he is good. Getting him ensures the Mets have Milledge, Humber, and Pelfrey....

    Salary madness needs to be kept in check with homegrown guys that take 'discounts' on their first contracts like Reyes and Wright did. Long term viability is certainly tied to the type of talent that you grow yourself. It's vital and I do think that Omar gets that.

    A Hern batting eight playing gold glove defense would not be the worst thing if Milledge or Ben Johnson could beat out Green.

    10:41 AM

    Anonymous Dandy DG McGee said...

    A Green/Johnson (and not Giant) platoon will be fine in 2007. Green will be in his walk year, so I expect we'll see an extra little something from him. He ain't going to hit 30 homers, and the Mets corner defense will be less solid than it was this past year.

    Humber probably needs more innings to work up arm strength, which argues against the pen in 2007. He either starts (at Shea) or starts (in AAA). Remember someone's got to be available to replace El Duque when he breaks down, and who knows who else will break down? On the same note, Pelfrey needs to learn another pitch, so the same argument applies for different reasons. A Vargas or a Soler in the pen, that makes more sense.

    By the way, I have to say that these late night posts are not a bad way to wake up (and no I don't have the luxury of waking up right now - it's 6 pm in Paris), and it seems like there is actually more dialogue over the course of a day than there used to be. Course, I hope that when you have a choice between a nice little chiquita and a new post, you will continue to do the right thing and post! Yeah, right! I trust you got those priorities worked out.

    Still trying to recover from Jake's fart query of the other day. Did he ever get his recipe? And in the spirit of full disclosure, can he warn us where not to show up on D-day?

    12:14 PM

    Anonymous Dreaded Ganglion said...

    Oh, I had intended to write that if Ricciardi signs Vern Wells to an extension he deserves the award for best GM of the offseason. It certainly will be the best signing!

    Plus, just riffing, but does anyone see the Cubs as being that much better after all that money spent? I mean, now maybe they win 80 games!

    12:34 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Brilliant writing.

    On Soler: Like Bannister his prime value is in a trade package. I like him but he has no more value than Vargas, Humber or Pelfrey.

    1:01 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Brilliant writing.

    On Soler: Like Bannister his prime value is in a trade package. I like him but he has no more value than Vargas, Humber or Pelfrey.

    1:01 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    I think the Cubs are going to be amazing.
    THe Cardinals suck.
    The Brewers didn't improve.
    The Pirates suck.
    The Reds suck.
    Astros? who knows.
    The Cubs are the only team I look at and see winning. The other teams are either horrible or did not improve.

    1:12 PM

    Anonymous Regular Old said...

    True Benny, we're not talking about the best of divisions. 500 ball may likely win it. Cubs have such a poor staff that I just don't see them doing much, but I've eaten words before...

    Here's some Buster O:

    "We'll see how it turns out. But if the Mets were to go into next year with a rotation of Glavine, El Duque, Maine, Perez and Williams, they would have the third-best rotation in the division, behind those of the Marlins and Phillies."

    ...to which one might append - which means nothing because they have the best offense in the National League....

    1:51 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Green is not the worst thing that could happen so my point of saying if he is beat out them A Hern could start would mean we are getting some pretty decent production from RF.

    I do agree on Humber, but I'm not saying he makes the pen out of the gate. Maybe two months into the season and then he could go out there an dominate.

    Yes, I noticed there is more dialogue with the late night posts and I'm not sure why. It's been much better and yes, I balance out my priorities which is why they will be sporadic forever moving forward.

    Riccardi went for it and made a great signing. That sounded like a lot before the season, but not anymore.

    The Cubs? Yes. They will be contending for the division. They were hurt last year and if they are healthy, I expect them to be good.

    Brew Crew might be good. I thought they'd break out a bit last year, but I still think they can this year.

    The Astros are crap if they don't get Clemens later in the year and why would he sign with them if they suck?

    I'm not concerned about having the third best rotation because the Mets are still the most well rounded team. Also, not for nothing, the Mets rotation could also end up being the best if Pedro comes back and the two wildcards in Perez and Maine perform so it's not completely fair without adding that caveat.

    2:50 PM

    Anonymous Farva hates y*****s said...

    Humber in the pen? Fo Sho MoFo!!!! That is the ideal way to break him into ML baseball and to get him in touch with Professor Rick and guys like Pedro, Glavine and Zito...woops, wishful thinking on that one.

    Borat took one in the ass from Epstein. He knew he had the upper hand and pushed Borat right into the corner. "Epstein does put baby in the corner."
    Now lets see Omar put the screws to him!!!!!!! Unfortunately I think Omar is going to have no choice but to go to AT LEAST 6 years on Mr.Z. In 6 years time that $15m per is going to look like a bargain though just like the Benson deal from all those years ago.

    "If the Mets nab Zito, Pelfrey and Humber will be here to stay. My desire for Zito goes beyond me wanting him simply because he is good. Getting him ensures the Mets have Milledge, Humber, and Pelfrey...."--Could not agree more. This Zito move makes sense for the career length of Humber and Pelfrey. Zito could infact shore up the Mets rotation for the next 20years potentially!

    8:18 PM

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    Anonymous Farva said...

    Good to se Vernon Wells staying put.

    10:34 PM

    Anonymous rick m said...

    Anybody catch this gem from Marty Noble's mailbag:

    What is the status of Steve Trachsel? I really like him, but I'm concerned that he's not listed as a pitcher on the Mets' roster.
    -- Calvin D., Hurricane, W.Va.

    I just threw up in my mouth a little.

    A buddy of mine spoke with Duaner at a card show last week, and he reports that he's good to go!

    1:29 PM

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