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

Monday, July 23, 2007

The New Top Ten

1) Carlos Gomez
Gomez jumps to the top of the list with his admirable play on the big league level. The numbers will not tell the entire story of his time with the Mets as you had to see him play. His defense was great, his arm was filthy, his speed is Reyes-esque, and his bat looked lively. He seems to swing for the fences at all times, but he looks like the real deal. He also showed that he needs more work and with his lost time this year he needs more time in the minors to start '08. However, there is no reason to think he will not be ready for the bigs in late '08 or be there in case Alou goes down (the Mets will pick up Alou's option).

2) Fernando Martinez
It is still a lot of projection and upside with him and though some are disappointed in Fernando so far, he is doing impressive things at his age. In his first year in pro ball he did a lot of things right and followed that up with a great showing in the Arizona Fall League. He started off hitting well in AA, though with little power, and went down with another freakish injury. His biggest problem is all the time he has sat out with annoying injuries hampering his much needed development time. While the Mets wanted him ready for 2009, it would be a more conservative estimate and probably beneficial to target him for a spot in the bigs in 2010.

3) Phil Humber
Phil has done well for his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. He is on the leaderboard in plenty of categories in the PCL and has kept his walks down. A 3.25 K/BB ratio and a 1.13 WHIP is very encouraging and a power pitcher with a 12-6 curveball would provide a nice change of pace in the Mets rotation. Of course there are no spots for him this year, but he should have an opportunity to fight for a rotation spot in 2008.

4) Deolis Guerra
Like Fernando, it is a lot of projection with him. He has done some really impressive things at his age in pro ball and has been reported to pick up some velocity on his fastball this year. He already has the makings for a plus change and if he really did pick up some velocity on his fastball, he has the ingredients to be a front line starter. He just needs to get his curveball to be a usable pitch to keep hitters honest. Deolis is pitching in St. Lucie at this point and with Pelfrey, Humber, and Mulvey ahead of him, there is no reason to rush him. At this pace he should be ready for big league action in 2010.

5) Mike Pelfrey
I've spoke about him a lot so here so it will not kill anyone to read some more. Whether it is mental or mechanical is anyone's guess, but he is struggling. His secondary stuff is horrible despite him breaking out some really impressive changes and sliders occasionally and his command is not pretty. He seems to nibble too much and runs up high pitch counts instead of attacking hitters. He continually gets himself behind hitters and therefore into trouble. If he can get his change-up, which is more advanced than his slider, to click and stop nibbling, he can probably start getting big league hitters out. Until then, he is useless as a starter.

6) Francisco Pena
Upside, upside, upside. Until he proves he is a bust, he will be a highly regarded as a prospect. He has a good bat, good catching skills, and big league blood lines. His stats might not look good, but few catchers jump into full season ball at his age and that is just an impressive feat in itself and he should most likely repeat Savannah again next year. After next season, he should be moving up one level per year with 2012 as his target for being in the bigs and he will still be at the ripe old age of 22 for the entire regular season of baseball.

7) Kevin Mulvey
He is the only guy on the B-Mets with an ERA under 4.00 and has certainly passed his first test of his first full pro season. He owns four solid pitches with a low 90's fastball. He is never going to make scouts drool or make his way to the top of any prospects lists, but he has the ability and he has the repertoire to succeed at the highest level. He is precisely the type of pitcher that Shea (and hopefully Citi Field) will make look better than they probably are and I have high hopes for Mulvey. He should be ready by mid 2008 should the need arise.

8) Jon Niese
The hard throwing lefty is having rough season statistically. He is getting hit pretty hard in a pitcher's league but the big positive here is that he drastically cut down on his walks, which was his biggest issue in the past. His strikeouts are down substantially, but that could be a product of him throwing more strikes and pitching to contact rather than striking batters out. He should still be moving up to AA next season despite a less than stellar ERA and WHIP as long as he does not implode during the final weeks of the season. He is still 20 years old and a bit unrefined so I would not expect him to be ready for the bigs until mid 2010. Luckily the Mets have plenty of depth so he should not get rushed and should have all the development time he needs.

Here is where it gets dicey. If Eddie Kunz and Brandon Efferson had signed, I would have slid them right into the top ten with Kunz sliding into the 8th spot and Efferson sliding into the tenth spot. Though they will most likely sign, they have not yet and I have to play by the rules.

9) Scott Moviel
Scott was the second round pick this year for the Mets and was signed for $414,000. He is gigantic and he has an arm with big potential. He is pitching in the Gulf Coast League and the early returns are good. He has a 2.12 ERA, .219 BAA, and fourteen K's in seventeen innings. He has as much upside as any pitcher in the system and could move up quickly. If all goes well this season he could find himself pitching for Savannah next year in his first full season of pro ball. His target would be 2012 if everything goes well and he continues to develop.

10) Nathan Vineyard
Big Nate was the Mets second pick in the compensation round of the 2007 draft and signed for nearly $700,000. He is a lefty who throws in the low 90's with a nice slider. He has gotten knocked around so far giving up twelve runs in 13.1 innings but he also managed to strike out sixteen batters so far. He is getting hit to hard and giving up to many fly balls, but it is still early and it would be silly to judge any rookie in pro ball on such a small body of work. His target would be 2012 barring injury and could be moved through the system alongside fellow draftee Scott Moviel.

The issue I see with the top ten is there are three teenage pitchers, another twenty year old pitcher, and two college ones who have not pitched as well as many would have expected. With young arms, there is so much that can go wrong and so many things that can derail their progress. Also, it is rare that you can look at a guy and predict greatness like in the cases of Felix Hernandez or Homer Bailey (who can still have many things go wrong) so you never know what you truly have until they get closer to the bigs. When four pitchers are at High-A or lower, there is a ton of projection and a ton that could go wrong.

Throw on top of that Fernando, who has a lot more developing to do, Francisco having a ton of work to put in and a hard road to the bigs, Pelfrey and Humber not meeting expectations, and Gomez still being raw and you have a potentially explosive top ten. The likely scenario is a few make an impact with the downside being everyone burning out and the Mets getting a few middle relievers and corner outfielders who do not hit enough to keep their day jobs. However, the upside there is pretty immense as well. I would prefer some more sure bets, but the Mets youth and cash on the big league level certainly make things more palatable.

Other Noteables:
Dustin Martin, Sean Henry, Josh Stinson, Mike Carp, Jose Castro, Bobby Parnell, Tobi Stoner, and Brahiam Maldanado.

Mike Carp had been injured this season, but after a solid spring with the big club, expectations were high for him to make the next jump. That never happened and though he has not been horrible, he drops from the top ten it wasn't all that hard of a decision. His fifteen walks and sixteen extra base hits in 54 games in a hitter's league is certainly disheartening for Carp fans. Not to add fuel onto the fire, but he's hitting .140/.173/.140 line against lefties.

Martin, Henry, and Maldonado are solid and have been impressive at times, but I'll go with the young arms over guys who are slightly old for their leagues any day of the week. That being said, I do like them and there is value there. Henry is the best of the group and his athleticism is well known, but he needs to continue to add some pop and follow up his solid year in St. Lucie with a slightly better year in Binghamton to take that next step.

Bobby Parnell gained some velocity and is not too far behind Mulvey, but 78 baserunners in the FSL at 22 is nothing amazing. Parnell would have been #10 if Vineyard or Moviel did not sign, but they did and young unknowns with good arms and higher ceilings take precedent. Parnell still could be a #4 or #5 in the bigs if he keeps progressing, but should ultimately end up in the bullpen.

I'm still not sold on Castro. Too many singles...too little walks...too small...too many errors. He is 20 and leading the FSL in batting average so that does count for something, but he would have been in the #11 through #15 range for me and that is more of a reflection of a system that is not very deep more than anything.

Tobi Stoner is a somewhat of a cult hero amongst Met fans, but he's 22 and not doing anything special in the FSL. He has decent stuff but really is more of a middle relief prospect. He would be in the #15 to #20 range.

Josh Stinson is a decent prospect with a good sinker, but has not translated his ability into results.

Overall the Mets system is pretty much what it has been since 2003. It has some potential impact players with little depth behind them. That seems to be the Mets thing these days and although the system does have a bit more depth that it has had, it is all the difference from them being a top ten system and a bottom fifteen system. One thing that is curious is the Mets lack of Latin American signings.

Is there a dearth of talent out there? There has to be someone out there and with the Mets not exactly spending big in the past two drafts, holding steady on big league payroll, greatly increasing attendence, and their own network, it would make sense that they would be out there and active bringing in the top international talent as they did with Fernando and Deolis.

* * *

  • More prospect talk....Benny and Danny checked in with their thoughts on Pelfrey.

    You know how Peterson preaches location and with some pitchers he tells them to take off a few mph for some location?
    Well Pelfrey still has shitty location so maybe he should just throw as hard he can, taking off a few mph obviously isn't helping.
    Cause I mean c'mon, throwing 92 mph just isn't that special. I'm VERY dissapointed in Pelfrey and I'm a very patient guy.

    Pelfrey's fastball just has not been too special to this point which is part of the problem. He needs two very good secondary pitches to supplant his fastball whereas many said he just needs passable secondary stuff because his fastball was that good. He was supposed to throw 94 mph consistently and up to 97 while keeping it up in late innings. Now he is down to 92 to 94 mph and touching 95 mph. Could taking off a couple of notches on his fastball affect the movement?

    The Mets have completely screwed up Pelfrey. They did two things to him:

    (1) They flew him through the minor leagues before he had even mastered a decent offspeed pitch.

    (2) Peterson tried to turn Pelfrey into a sinker-balling, groundball inducing machine, by asking him to take a couple of miles off his fastball and pound the bottom of the zone with sinkers. And oh yeah, even though that is not how you have ever pitched in your life, learn how to do that at the major league level.

    It's nearly a crime the way they have mishandled Pelfrey. The worst thing the Mets could do is trade him now that they have submarined his value. The prudent thing to do is slow down and allow him to develop this year at AAA, and stop yanking him up and down, and certainly don't move him to the pen.

    Be very wary of giving up on young pitchers. That's why I actually sort of liked what Pelfrey did when he came back to the bigs this last time. He was letting the fastball go at 95-97 and getting more swings and misses with it. The problem is, this is not Peterson's philosophy and they are going to butt heads on Pelfrey's approach. Pelfrey wants to be a power guy and Peterson stresses efficiency. It's not a good mix.

    Pelfrey will thrive is he is traded somewhere and gets with a pitching coach that can exploit his strengths. I like Peterson a lot but he is screwing Pelfrey up.

    Seems like what the Pirates did to Perez in a way. His fastball will induce groundballs, but that does not mean he should be confused with a sinker-ball pitcher who's job is to do only that and pitch to contact. He needs to simply miss more bats and worry less about groundballs since he doesn't have sinker per se, but a fastball with heavy sink. There is a big difference between what he throws and what Lowe and Webb throw.

  • Genius or stupid? You decide....

    "I said to Jerry [bench coach Jerry Manuel], 'He's going to get a hit here. He's going to come through and do it for his dad.' I get those feelings sometimes--and sure enough, the next pitch he got a hit on. So I'm happy for him because he's been in Triple-A and he's been around a while."
    --Mets manager Willie Randolph on Chip Ambres' game-winning hit.

  • Alou will be back tomorrow.

    "I think my presence will help there," Alou said. "I think my bat will help in the lineup. I know I am not 100 per cent there yet, it is going to take a while to get my swing back."

    While Alou's swing may not be completely back yet, he believes his quadriceps is.

    "I think I am 99 percent," said Alou, who called the injury the worst muscle pull of his career.

    The thing with Alou is that his injuries are more freakish than anything at times, but it has been yet another bizarre year for him.

  • The Nats are inexplicably trying to trade for Adam Dunn. For a team that is so far away from competing, words cannot describe how insane that would be. If he does get traded, they will have a crack at him in the off-season as his contract would be up after the 2007 season with 2008 being voided.

  • Some Pedro news but I'm not sure exactly what it all means.

    The club said only this much: that Martinez had thrown 50 pitches and that his next activity -- throwing batting practice, a sideline session, another simulated game or pitching in a Minor League game -- would be determined Tuesday after Martinez's condition had been re-evaluated.

    I'm not really sure what time frame those next activities would occur in, but August 20th seems like an aggressive target date at this point.

  • Joe Smith says he is not tired, but it certainly looks like he is.

  • Belliard is now off the market with his bargain two year contract being inked with the Nationals for 2008 and 2009.

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    Anonymous Danny said...

    Interesting comparison of Pelfrey to Oliver Perez and what the Pirates did to them. You're right, it's not all that different.

    The Mets also have a couple of small college Parnell-like guys who are dominating the lower levels like William Morgan and Dylan Owen. So we'll see where they hit the wall.

    The prospect that I irrationally love right now is Ruben Tejada, a shortstop with the GCL Mets. The Mets thought enough of the 17 year-old to move him from VSL to the GCL, the only player they have done that with this year. He is struggling since his promotion to the GCL a little so far, but he has shown a little pop, some speed and a definite ability to take a walk at both levels. Me likey.

    10:29 PM

    Blogger bmc said...

    Best prospect not on the list: Carlos Muniz.

    The B-Mets closer has been dealing this year.

    Pelfrey's fastball is legit. Up the ladder or knees down at 93+ it's flat out nasty. Diving and sliding all over the place. The problem is he can't hit his spots during games and has to throw 2-0 90mph down the middle.

    2:30 AM

    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    Most fans tend to over-rate their prospects but you are not among them. You seem to try to be objective and that can lead to emotional outbursts against you. There is a lot to be said for polishing in your own blog. :)

    After reading your evaluation of the ten best prospects it would seem to me that the Mets would be fool hardy in trading their young talent. The Mets find themselves in a precarious position. Some of these kids are so far away you cannot with any certainty know which one will develop into the prized player. And because they are so far away it would take a package of them to land a mediocre major leaguer in a trade. One thing for sure I would not trade LM, CG or FM. And with Carp’s failure to suitably advance this year you may want to think about teaching FM to play both the outfield and 1st base. Of course next year could be the year Carp once again starts to shine. But teaching 1st base to FM would increase future options.

    I’m not surprised the Mets are not signing the Latin American kids. If you check the Wilpon’s history their major spending sprees have always been a knee jerk reaction to consistent failure and media ridicule of the team. And before Omar it mainly led to (except for a few signings during Phillips initial tenure) absurd signings. Even the signing of Omar and the opening of the checkbook for him was in response to the embarrassment the organization had become and the media attacks on the Wilpons. With the Mets now being one of the best franchises in baseball it provides an opportunity for the Wilpons to reign in the purse strings a little and try to maximize the profits. It will be interesting to see if they open the vault this off-season or wait until they move into the new park. The additional resources of the new park will certainly allow for greater expenditures. It is good that Omar developed the ability to acquire talent on the cheap while the GM of Montreal. It helps him supplement the high salary acquisitions with cheap solid talent.

    3:02 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Parnell kind of disappointed at Binghamton so far, but I still like him. Not sure how much upside is there, but maybe he surprises.

    Has anyone made the jump from the VSL yet to a decent prospect for the Mets? They have not done much down there. It’s Dominican or bust for them.

    BMC…He’s 26. Not sure what to make of him as minor League relievers are kind of sketchy….I also like Eddie Camacho who is supposed to have three good pitches, but they have not moved him along at all. The only time relievers will get love is if they were dominant closers in the college are freshly drafted. We all know how Bell was treated…Owens…etc.

    After reading your evaluation of the ten best prospects it would seem to me that the Mets would be fool hardy in trading their young talent.

    Or better off trading them. F-Mart’s stock has not dropped like Tabata, but what has he done to differentiate himself? I’m not saying I want to trade him, but would it be a truly bad thing if he was traded for an impact player? While none are on the market, making him available might pry one loose. The guys I would be most against trading are the ones that are the most projectable at this time. But as good baseball people will tell you, you have to put you chips down on one or two players that you truly, truly, truly believe in. The rest? Up for sale in the right deal and that is 100% the way Omar runs his system…or at least I think he does.

    8:41 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    You're really down on Pelfrey, as if the Mets are screwing him up. But I've read that a lot of industry sources (both in and out of the Mets) believe that his lack of progression is more a product of the ego-stroking of Scott Boras than it is of the mis-match of Pelfrey and The Jacket.

    10:28 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    You're really down on Pelfrey, as if the Mets are screwing him up. But I've read that a lot of industry sources (both in and out of the Mets) believe that his lack of progression is more a product of the ego-stroking of Scott Boras than it is of the mis-match of Pelfrey and The Jacket.

    I am down on him..maybe unjustly, but I've seen him with my own eyes and not much has really been encouraging. The thing is this...it is really hard to learn new pitches. That is why it is amazing that Smoltz and Clemens were able to pick up a split and Smoltz was then later to pick up a cutter.

    It just is not easy and not many guys can do it with success. If everyone could just learn a devastating curve or a sick change-up or movement on their fastball, the world would be a better place. But people cannot learn these things all the time. People do, but the majority do not.

    Having a decent repertoire is the difference between starting and relieving. Pelfrey has a bit to go before he can start and even relieve at this point. He has dominated minor leaguers, but has not show flashes of anything when moved up.

    He struck our Berkman on a ridiculous 3-2 change this year. RIDICULOUS. Something is there and it is not that he is done or anything, but he has some work to do, but as time goes on it is certainly less likely he attains his ceiling.

    Also, I read that article as well. That could be the case and Pelfrey could be stubborn, but that was the first it came out. If that is the case, then he might as well not have the ability. If you do not want to learn you are not going to get better. And if that was/is the case, the Mets should have traded him in the off-season before his stock dropped and let it have been someone else's headache.

    11:18 AM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    But what if Pelfrey should be reluctant to the changes that Peterson requested of him? Peterson wants to set his ceiling at Jake Westbrook? Is Pelfrey's sinker even as good as Westbrook's? Aaron Cook? It's certainly not a Brandon Webb sinker.

    The guy throws a 4-seamer 95-97 MPH consistently. Why ask him to throw the 90-92 MPH sinker at the knees every pitch? If Pelfrey elevates that pitch at all it gets killed. And it's not the style that Pelfrey has ever pitched in, so of course he is going to struggle with its execution.

    He should be working on 4-seamers up, 2-seam sinkers down, and his offspeed pitches at AAA until they figure out a style that works for him. The shortcut to making Pelfrey a passable 5th starter at the big league level immediately starting this year was to get him to throw sinkers down and try to get guys to pound the ball into the ground, because he doesn't have a good offspeed pitch.

    It seems to me that Peterson took a shortcut with Pelfrey because the Mets felt like they needed him in the rotation this year. Team needs superceding his personal development. Perhaps Pelfrey/Boras would be correct in their reluctance? And I think it was shortsighted for the Mets to treat him this way. Why lower his celiing for a potential short-term gain? And then it didn't even work out that way. It was really poor judgement by the Mets. Really poor.

    11:18 AM

    Blogger AE said...

    if bowden is given an opportunity to negotiate with dunn for a long term deal before he commits to a trade, i think it's a good move for the nats. if it's for a rental, yeah it's a dumb move...

    with a new stadium opening in dc next year, they need somebody with a "name". yes, the stadium will be filled with people because of the newness of it - for example, pnc park in pittsburgh. the year pnc opened attendance averaged 30,430/game. since then, the average has been around 22,000/game. it's only so long before people stop going because of the losing.

    dunn would be a big upgrade over ryan church in leftfield and therefore add wins to the team. also, church will be arbitration eligible next year, so he will be in line for a decent pay raise. i would rather pay dunn the big bucks than have to pay church mid level money.

    also, payroll as it stands is only an estimated $37.4M. they could spend significantly more money. i think the nats could spend upwards of $75M/year with the new stadium in place and field a highly competitive team and still make money. we'll see how greedy the owners get though. i think dunn would be a decent base to get the franchise going in the right direction. he's not an alfonso soriano or a carlos beltran, but he's definitely a step in the right direction for a franchise that needs just about everything...

    11:33 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Danny…correct me if I’m wrong, but Pelfrey has a fastball with natural sinking action and does not actually throw a sinker. That makes all the difference if you ask me and I think that is the source of confusion. While he will certainly induce his share of groundballs, he is not going to control the game by getting a 3/1 groundball to flyball ratio. He needs secondary pitches much more than Lowe, Wang, or Webb and that is what is failing him right now.

    RE: Dunn…true, but they don’t lose a 1st round by going after him after the season if he was to be traded. Also, would spending a solid prospect on Dunn be the wise move. Is HE the guy to build around? Scary to think about that being a guy that you want to build around. He’s a supplemental bat with power, but by no means a centerpiece. I do not see how he fits into the long term there in any form. They would presumably be giving up arms, which they are in no position to do.

    As for the name, they have Ryan Zimmerman…off year, yes, but we are talking about Dunn here and that is not exactly a draw like Ichiro, Pujols, Reyes, etc…

    I agree they can spend a lot more money, but they need to be rebuild and trade for young prospects and not 30 year olds that that are one dimensional. I’m sorry, but I don’t get this in any respect.

    11:51 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I like Jake Ruckle. He has low 90's stuff and a really unusual delivery that could be a help in middle relief. He is bouncing between starting and middle relief.

    Nathan Vineyard - don't know much about him but his sister martha is a lot of fun.


    12:04 PM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    That is my understanding as well. Pelfrey's "sinker" would be a 2-seam fastball with heavy sinking action (when thrown correctly), and not a traditional "sinker" like what Westbrook, Wang or Webb possess (perhaps if his name was Welfrey he would be better off).

    Pelfrey's 4-seamer actually has tails up and in with good movement, similar to John Maine's, but with more velocity (though with probably less of that late giddyup that Maine magically possesses).

    His 2-seamer doesn't move laterally, so that's why it gets killed if he leaves it above the knees, because if it has no sink it's a dead straight fastball and not with great velocity. And since he has no offspeed pitches to work with on a consistent basis, they are sitting fastball every pitch.

    By the way, that changeup you reference that he struck out Berkman with was SICK. If he could ever harness that, wow.

    12:10 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Adam...Ruckle is certainly a bubble guy...but I he wasn't sniffing the top ten enough or one of my personal faves to get listed. That trio of outfielders probably didn't belong, but I like them.

    RE: Pelf's mystical change-up...isn't it nuts that some people can do a certain action that is spectacular but potentially lack the ability to replicate whatever action caused that reaction? It's there...we saw it...but can we see it again...and again...and again...

    12:28 PM

    Anonymous jake said...

    just back from vacation -- how did marlon anderson get back on the mets?

    1:52 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Willie likes the way he plays the game.

    2:01 PM

    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    I do watch some Yankees games (maybe I shouldn’t admit that) and I have never heard them say that Wang’s sinking fastball is a true sinker (which requires a different grip and location in your hand) but rather a heavy two seam fastball with incredible movement. The few times he’s hit hard occurs when he get that pitch up. He also possess’ a four seem fastball that he can throw from 95 to 98 mph. His other pitches are very pedestrian.

    I have read that in BP sessions Pelfrey throws both fastballs very hard with movement and location. But during the game he cannot duplicate it. Unfortunately pitching is like opening a retail store. It’s all about location, location and location. I think Pelfrey loses some velocity on the mound because he tries aiming his pitches. When you do that you become more of a dart thrower and lose movement and velocity. If it was just a case of keeping all things equal and you just propelled the ball towards the plate with less force it would reduce the linear velocity on the ball and increase the proportional effect of the other forces on the ball. This should cause greater movement on the ball. Anyway with Pelfrey’s talent he could go from disappointment to #1 pitcher on the staff overnight.

    The reason I don’t want the Mets trading their young talent (other than the fact they have had so many fiascos with this type of trade) is because the present state of their young talent makes it very difficult to judge who will be good and who will be a disappointment. I remember the Cubs saying the reason they didn’t draft Doc Gooden with the 1st pick in the 1982 draft (Gooden was drafted with the 5th pick in the draft) was because at that time Gooden didn’t have the “eye popping” fastball. It wasn’t until the following year after he physically matured a bit that Gooden’s fastball went from not bad to “oh my G-d.”

    3:40 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Gooden was also a teenager and Pelfrey was drafted as junior in college, but point taken. He could shoot back up to the top of the rotation if he could harness that sinking change that is working for him at those rare times, but that is the big issue.

    I don't watch Wang and I thought he had a sinker...I just checked ESPN's scouting report and it certainly corroborates with what you say...Either way, Pelfrey's sink isn't as good as Wangs. Wang seems to be a freak of nature if he gets that sink with fastball movement.

    3:50 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Check that....ESPN's scouting counts sinkers as fastballs. I could have sworn he throws one.

    3:56 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Nice summary, thanks for putting it together. I'm more or less right there with you until you get to Pena, Moviel, and Vineyard.

    Pena has a .575 OPS, plus leads / almost leads the league in passed balls & stolen bases against. Not good. I know he's young - very young - but he has shown NOTHING so far. Add in the fact that BA thought he was only the second or third best international catching prospect last year, and this looks like a miss for the good guys. He doesn't deserve to be on any Top 10 list until he shows something. Anything.

    As for Moviel and Vineyard, sure there's some upside but I have a hard time putting guys in the Top 10 who were passed over 46 and 76 times in the draft a month ago respectively. Until they show me something, which again neither player has, let's just hold judgement.

    Otherwise, Ruben Tejada has to be on this list. .952 OPS with 16 steals and a 1:1 K:BB ratio as a 17 yr old in the VSL, rapidly promoted to the Gulf Coast (where he only has a two dozen atbats as of now). Plus, as a 14 yr old, he was the MVP of Venezuela's Amateur World Series. Sounds like a guy the Mets found early and stashed away.

    Personally, I think Pena, Moviel, and Vineyard should be swapped out for Tejeda, Nick Carr (20 yr old righty starter in Brooklyn with a 95 mph FB, 3.38 ERA, and 10.7 K/9 ip, following up on a decent year in Kingsport in 06) and either Parnell (lots of K's, advancing quickly), Carp (fighting a broken finger this year, driving his numbers down; his other years are very solid), or Henry (very good numbers year after year, 22 is avg age for FSL). All depends on your preference. But it makes for a fun conversation...

    4:20 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Again…Pena’s #’s are uninspiring, but given his age and the difficulty of the position he plays, he receives the benefit of doubt. I think he repeats that level next year and the grace period is over, but you cannot throw the kid under the bus for playing the most difficult position in baseball at that age and at that level. I’m not sure there is much of a precedent for what he is doing. Catching and pitching requires maturity and he gets bonus points for what he is doing. As for not making the top ten until he shows something…no prospect would with that viewpoint. Part of the value in a lot of prospects is that they have not had the chance to fail. They get the vote of confidence on upside alone. That’s just the way it is.

    There are two schools to anyone’s evaluation of prospects. Production and ceiling. Gomez would be a prime example of ceiling though I can show you a number of guys of comparable age with better numbers that will not get chosen over Gomez 100 times out of 100. I’m siding with Pena’s upside.

    As for Moviel and Vineyard, the Mets system is very thin and their inclusion was due to the legions of uninspiring players. I’ll side with their upside any day of the week. Mr. Jim Callis loves Moviel’s upside and he should add some velocity and Vineyard’s left arm gets him bonus points too. Also, those guys shift off the list once the Mets sign Kunz and Efferson.

    RE: Tejada….I didn’t know much about the kid since I rarely have time to dip below Savannah these days. I used to track all the way down the VSL…but not these days. But wouldn’t Tejada fall into the group of guys that have not proved themselves? Also you mention that Moviel and Vineyard were passed over, but would Tejada have honestly been drafted higher than Moviel and Vineyard if he was eligible for the draft and not from Venezuela? I’m guessing not...

    As for Nick Carr, I think if you compare his first year stats with Moviel and Vineyard’s, they’ll should be ahead. Again, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them both at Savannah in ’08.

    Parnell is still #11 for me and Carp’s star has diminished. He dropped big time for me hand injury or not. His splits are ugly and the scouts seem to be on the fence about him now. He needs to come back in a big way next season.

    I like Henry a lot but his first few seasons really hurt him. He didn’t turn it on until last year and I think a solid season at Binghamton and him flirting with 20 homers could catapult him. But being 22 in the FSL, I couldn’t put him above anyone in the top ten….

    But I 100% agree with you that’s up for debate. The Mets prospect list thins out quickly after Mulvey and you could interchange a lot of people but I side with upside of a young catcher in Savannah, a big righty, and lefty with a solid slider.

    4:54 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I guess it's a matter of semantics with a lot of these guys.

    Pena - I've heard Omar, his dad, and his agent talk about his upside, but they are all a bit biased. Haven't heard BA, BP, or any other site rave about him. Combine that with horrible numbers offensively and defensively, and I think he's gotta be outside the Top 10. If he was in the Skanks system, we'd all be laughing at them for calling him a prospect. If he does repeat Savannah next year and holds his own, I'm all for including him on the list. But not before.

    Tejada - he has over 120 AB's in the VSL, so that's a decent sample size. (He's still making his name in the GCL). Plus, he has some things on his amateur resume. It's impossible to know, but if he was in the draft (and played in the US where he could have been scouted) I would be highly surprised if he would have dropped out of the first round.

    Carr, Vineyard, and Moviel - Nick Carr K'd 8.3 per 9 in 48 innings last year, which is 3x either Moviel or Vineyard's innings so far with a better K rate. Plus he's taken another step up this year. Moviel is at least doing well in a very limited sample, but Vineyard is getting pounded (ERA near 8).

    Again, it's a difference of philosophy. I don't like to award best prospect status based on assumptions like draft status or money signed for. Maybe a rare exception like Pelfrey.

    But again, it's a great debate. And I don't think the system is as thin after Mulvery as you do - just that all the guys have a wart or two...

    5:25 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I know Vineyard is struggling, but it's a small sample size...we'll see. I love lefties with nice sliders. Watching Kazmir and Perez devastate people with theirs is one of my favorite past times. You just don't see slider's come out of righties hands like that. Not that I'm comparing his to two of the best in the game....

    Vineyard has the ability to have to speed and already possesses a nice weapon. I'm pretty high on him at this point and will enjoy tracking him through the system.

    The first round was actually pretty deep this year and the beginning of the sandwich round was pretty solid as well. This year's draft was deeper than the last few years in my opinion so I think the Mets got some value...I really like Efferson, Kunz, Moviel, and Vineyard...in that order. I think the Mets did well given their draft position.

    6:01 PM

    Anonymous JohnF said...

    Kunz signed today. Cerrone posted on Metsblog that it was announced on SNY's pregame show.

    9:17 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Gracias Juan...I just found out when I saw him going to town on popcorn. The man chews like he was born to do it.

    9:39 PM

    Blogger bmc said...

    Nick Evans. 21 y.o. in high A+ is a bit old but check out his slash stats:

    Here's the part I like best: 37BB / 41K

    1:44 AM


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