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.
  • Tuesday, December 12, 2006

    Nobody is above an ass-whooping

    People have been counting the years down until Barry Zito was a free agent. People were drooling at the prospect of being able to get the left-hander on the right age of 30 on their favorite baseball team. Now? He's a veritable whipping boy a very expensive back end starter. You can throw all comps at me between this guy on the market and that guy on the market over the past three years, but I just want to give you some tasty morsels to chew on for today.

    I want Zito on the Mets bad and I'm sick of all the trash talking that he is not a number one or a number two, but probably a number three! There are not many teams Barry would be a number three on and if he is a 'number three', that is because there are two top, top tier pitchers ahead of him, which generally is not the norm. Barry is still one of the best in the league and here is a nice comparison through age 28 between another lefty who has been pretty successful.

    Tom Glavine through age 28:
     G    IP     HR  W  L   ERA  h/9  WHIP  k/9  bb/9  k/bb  w%
    233 1522.2 104 108 75 3.58 8.67 1.30 5.34 3.03 1.76 .590
    Barry Zito through age 28:
     G    IP    HR   W   L   ERA  h/9  WHIP  k/9  bb/9  k/bb  w%
    222 1430.1 148 102 63 3.55 7.73 1.25 6.90 3.52 1.96 .618
    When you take into consideration the offensively charged era that Zito did that in while pitching in the American League, you would have to be impressed. If he keeps pace with Tom Glavine for the duration of his career, he will be worth every penny he gets. I'm not saying he's worth $20 million per season, but six years at $96 million is not looking so bad.

    Despite Keith Law's insane statement that Gil Meche and Ted Lilly were actually above Zito on the totem pole, the guy is a top tier arm. Zito may not be your typical ace being he won't blow batters away, but he has the ability to be the best pitcher on any staff he is on and would be a legitimate Cy Young Award candidate in New York City on this Met team. Zito's contract will be much maligned when it happens and whoever hands him that boatload of cash will catch a fair amount of negative press, but do not believe the hype. Barry Zito is an ace.

    * * *

  • Back from the dark side and a failed managerial debut, Lee Mazilli!

    Mazzilli, whose contract wasn't renewed by the Yankees, will join pre- and post-game studio host Matt Yallof for 85 of the 125 games on the Mets' network. The SportsNet New York broadcast team includes former Mets' teammates Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling and lead booth announcer Gary Cohen.

    "[They will] form one of baseball's elite broadcast teams," said Jon Litner, president of SportsNet New York, during a conference call on Monday. "[Mazzilli has] strong Mets roots and a deep passion for baseball."

    Good to see he's back.

  • Ken Rosenthal agrees with me about Gil Meche.

    I'm not saying I like this contract.

    I'm just saying I understand it.

  • Daisuke will not be in Boston and he certainly won't be on the Mets.