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

Friday, June 08, 2007

Bolstering The Bullpen

“With our first selection, Eddie Kunz, we feel like he has a chance to be a quick mover out of the bullpen,” amateur scouting director Rudy Terrasas said. “We like that he has a power fastball with good sink and a power slider to go with it.”

Said Minaya: “So far we’ve done pretty well with relievers. And I think relievers are so important in the game right now that if you get a chance to get a guy who can help out at the major leagues, you have to consider that. I’m not afraid to take on relievers. When I was in Montreal that time we took Chad Cordero. We took Joe Smith in the third round. We’re not going to be afraid to take what we think is a quality reliever.”

And so there it is. It is amazing how important the bullpen has gotten in the past few years. Here are their complete picks with Baseball America's scouting reports:

1st round (sup) Eddie Kunz rhp Oregon State OR
Kunz will get drafted in the first three rounds and could move quickly as a college reliever with a plus fastball. He was a set-up man for the Beavers' 2006 national championship team and has replaced the departed Kevin Gunderson as the team's closer in 2007. While Gunderson thrived on command, lefthanded funk and moxie, Kunz has plus stuff and closer-quality velocity. He's a behemoth at 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, and will have to watch his body and his weight as a pro. His loose arm and low arm angle produce 94-96 mph fastballs, and some scouts think a cleaner body and more consistent mechanics would give him even more velo. Kunz throws a changeup to lefthanders that's effective, and at times his change is ahead of his flat slider.

1st round (sup) Nathan Vineyard lhp Woodland HS, Cartersville, Ga. GA
Like fellow Georgia high school lefty Josh Smoker, Vineyard has been on the map as a prospect for several years. His performance has been far less consistent than Smoker's, but he re-established himself as a potential high-round pick last fall when he dealt in front of more than 100 scouts in the featured game of a World Wood Bat tournament in Jupiter, Fla. His delivery is loose and easy and the ball jumps out of his hand. His fastball comes in at 88-91 mph, but because he leans heavily on his plus slider, there's reason to believe he will add velocity once he learns to pitch off his fastball. His slider has late break with good depth and tilt. He'll throw it in any count and can spot it down in the zone or bury it as a chase pitch. Vineyard profiles as a No. 4 starter or set-up man in the big leagues and could be drafted as high as the supplemental round.

2nd round Scott Moviel rhp St. Edward HS, Berea, Ohio OH
The Andrew Brackman comparisons are obvious. Product of an Ohio high school? Check. Signed to play in college at North Carolina State? Check. Huge body that has scouts dreaming of a monster frontline starter? Check. Unlike Brackman, Moviel doesn't have a basketball scholarship, but he has played the sport in high school. He's an intimidating 6-foot-10 and 245 pounds and athletic for his size. He has a 91-92 mph fastball that tops out at 94, and he has tightened up a curveball that was loopy a year ago. Brackman had similar stuff when he came out of Cincinnati's Moeller High three years ago, though his breaking ball was better. As with any large pitcher, there are concerns as to how well Moviel will repeat his delivery and command his pitches. His mechanics don't have any major flaws, though he could do a better job of staying on top of his pitches. Because his older brothers Paul (in the Devil Rays system) and Greg (in the Mariners organization) went backward in college, Moviel is considered signable, especially if he goes in the top three rounds as expected.

2nd round Brant Rustich rhp UCLA CA

3rd round Eric Niesen lhp Wake Forest NC

3rd Stephen Clyne rhp Clemson SC
Clyne began experiencing arm trouble when he was still in high school, and in an effort to avoid surgery, elected to redshirt his freshman season in 2003. His arm never got back to normal, and he had Tommy John surgery, costing him all of 2004. It wasn't until last fall that he began to show the stuff that made him a coveted recruit. As a fifth-year senior, Clyne would create bidding interest among multiple teams if Clemson's season ended after the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, but the Tigers were a lock to go to regional play, so Clyne will hope to make his money in the draft. He's shown the stuff to warrant a third- to fifth-round selection, with two hard pitches and the profile of a setup man or middle reliever in the big leagues. Clyne's fastball sits between 91-94 mph with plus sink at times, and his slider can be filthy, registering anywhere from 80-84 mph on radar guns. He has limited feel for his changeup, and Clyne has a tendency to pitch tentatively, and doesn't always seem to have conviction in his stuff. He's around the zone, with solid-average command.

4th round Richard Lucas 3b Wolfson HS, Jacksonville, Fla. FL
5th round Zach Lutz 3b Alvernia College PA

Their first six picks are not so surprisingly pitching. If they weren't going to try and pick up a middle infielder, they might as well went with pitching since they are pretty well covered elsewhere. Their first three picks sound very intriguing with them picking up some high ceiling arms including the poor man's Andrew Brackman. I expect them to sign these guys quickly and get them pitching in the system by the end of the month.

* * *

  • Ron gets his contract extended and rightfully so.

  • The Mets have a developing bullpen issue.

    No, the issue is the rest of the late-inning bullpen corps. Scott Schoeneweis has been a disaster lately, and the question now, after he lost the game in the 10th and his ERA ballooned to 7.17, is just how many more chances Willie Randolph is going to give him in important situations.

    Randolph went to him in a 3-3 game in the 10th last night because he wanted lefty-lefty matchups with Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, if necessary. The strategy backfired when Utley doubled home Rollins to break the tie, and it surely has the manager re-evaluating his use of Schoeneweis.

    They almost have to consider using one of their AAA starters in the bullpen until Sosa and can be put into the bullpen when Pedro comes back.

  • Valentin is back.

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Seems solid if unexciting. You get the impresssion that Kunz would have been there at 47 if one of those earlier comp picks were still available. Moviel is intriguing. The college relievers, besides Eddie, might also start at to AA/AAA.

    There are still a bunch of interesting top 100 players out there, but I'd guess they don't move until after the 10th round. 5-10 is meat and potatos org prospects (if not high end prospects); most teams want all of those picks to sign.

    Still they've worked the phones and know if someone might be approachable out of the top 100's left. Love if they'd make a run at McGeary, but they'd have to be seriously willing to pay up.

    Mets need to hit.

    7:56 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I really like thr Rustich pick too. He has great stuff, but with a lingering finger issue. If they can get a handle on that, he's a mid-90s potential back-end of the bullpen type.

    Schoeneweis is mostly a problem because Willie refuses to use him as a LOOGY. He makes every righthander he faces better than Manny Ramirez, but is reasonably effective against lefties. Yet Willie uses him in tight games not as a LOOGY, but your standard reliever. He's not putting him in situations to succeed. It's frustrating that it's fucking June and Willie won't.stop.misusing him!

    Trying to stay with positive thoughts, but Willie's in-game flaws are magnified when the team is struggling and our talent isn't overwhelming the other team.

    It would be easier to handle the sweep in stride if the Mets didn't waste 3 consecutive quality starts by the rotation by blowing leads late in each game and not situationally hitting AT ALL.

    It will get better. It's just really frustrating right now.

    9:18 AM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    Solid if unexciting is perfect. I agree with the fact that Kunz would have been there at 47, but no one dropped and at that point they made the right move. Closer quality arm is better than a HS SS that might gain some power.

    McGeary needs to get drafted and they need to see what they can do. It seems as though he’s sold on going to school, but draft him and fly him in to meet some Mets and throw some cash at him. It’s hard to turn down being a millionaire, not? Ask Brad Meyers how that worked out?

    Willie cannot use a bullpen. Period. He can use a bullpen like last year when everyone was good, but not this year. I’m sorry, it’s not in his brain capacity. Also, the guy is hurt. He’s not this bad and they need to let him get better and just bring up Vargas, who is nothing more than a spot starter with this team long term with the depth they have.

    It will get better for sure, but they are unwatchable it might get really, really bad over the next two weeks.

    11:43 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I'm sure Meyers lost out big time as the Mets used to pony up before the whole Beatro fear of exceding the comish's directive crap. But hey, he got an education for his baseball committment or at least three quarters of one.

    You've got to wonder if Shoenough hid his injury, but not too long, because he clearly did! Willie needs to use him on a short leash until he borders on consistency again. As far as I'm concerned he should be due for Burgos work. Oh yeah, but Burgos is a "quasi"-rookie, better know as a young guy, not a proven veteran like Shoenot.

    2:43 PM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    Willie and young guys don't mix. It is sad really. People wonder why I don't think he's a good manager? Guys like Cox go with skillzzzz and effectiveness overall, not how many years they have been in the league. Injured or not, DL him and let him think about how much he sucks and 'rehab' in AAA for a bit. I'm all for Vargas getting a shot in the pen.

    3:34 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I am for Vargas, or humber or even pelf out of the pen.

    I dont get why young starters dont get shots out of the pen anymore. It worked great for santana. Maybe someone here can explain it to me.

    I have always liked willie but he is starting to piss me off. I still cant figure out why he messed with moving lo duca out of the 2 hole.

    4:20 PM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    I dont get why young starters dont get shots out of the pen anymore.

    Well, you know I supported Humber in the pen earlier. I see a lot of Wainwright in him...but Humber is better long term, which we all know. Right now, the Mets need to do something.

    4:23 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    'Solid if unexciting is perfect.'

    You must be on mood-altering drugs. That draft was disgusting. Have we even drafted a position player yet?

    Jesus H. Christ. There are questions about whether or not Kunz can get lefties out. DRAFTING COLLEGE RELIEVERS AND LOW-CEILING HS STARTERS IS RETARDED. PERIOD.

    The game last was disgusting. You ask me why I hate Wagner so much... THAT'S WHY. That was THE most important game of the year last night and he blows it. Useless hick. Go back to whatever cornpone you came from and leave me alone.

    And Reyes is turning into late-career Rickey Henderson. CAN WE GET A FUCKING XBH?



    4:27 PM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    Emad, given what was on the draft board at the time, I think they did good. A potential close who throws hard and has a plus slider? The next two starters are not low ceiling starters. I know BA says #4 starter, but I wouldn't say that a lefty that might throw in the low 90's with a good slider is low ceiling guy. And the poor man's Brackman could very well throwing 94 mph consistently as he gets older.

    I'm sure they would have favored if someone dropped for whatever reason or if Frazier/Noonan dropped, but that wasn't to be. That catcher with the french name even came off the board first. There simply wasn't an over abundance of first round-esque talent out there. You could have taken that Russian kid, but I'm not sure that is the way to go. They got two college relievers that might be in the pen as early as next year and both making a big impact.

    Then they took two solid pitching prospects to bring along. It is tough to put something together when you don't pick until the 40's. I think they managed to do just fine given the circumstances and it will not wow you, but I think it was solid. Certainly no worse than last year and they have a guy in the pen already tearing it up with a mid-rotation starter on the way. Not much else you can ask for!

    The big team is just horrible right now. Their offense is putrid. I don't even want to talk about them and now they need to find someone to DH? Oh man...

    4:34 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Take one reliever, fine.

    They took four. Insanity.

    College relievers are low risk, but they are also low reward. A team like the Mets should be going after the highest upside talent available.


    I need a stiff drink.


    4:44 PM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    I agree on the 2b thing. I thought that was the single most important thing, but who was out there? That's usually the weakest position in every draft much less this year's draft.

    I just think they can duct tape second base together or just form a nice platoon with Gotay, who hits righties very well.

    If you think about how desperate...and I mean desperate people are for relief pitching...even you third and fourth guys out of the pen, I see where they are coming from. Where do the Mets get relief help from now? Overpay for Gagne? That ain't happening. Relief pitching is such at such a premium these days Omar is trying to get a hold of four or five guys he can implicitly control. I cannot fault him for taking that strategy when nothing else is really on the board of significance.

    Hopefully they take a pick on McGeary and back up the truck and try and entice him away from school. Hopefully that reel in the best SS/2b guy from the international market and bring up someone through their system.

    5:09 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    'Overpay for Gagne? That ain't happening.'


    I don't care about overpaying for relievers. I care about overpaying for crappy ones. Guys like Linebrink are solid, and as far as the Mets are concerned, 10MM is bupkus.


    5:21 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Relievers are the least valuable players on a team. For a team like the Mets, taking four of non-Lidge talent is foolish. Even Kunz was nothing exceptional in college.



    5:25 PM

    Blogger AE said...

    a couple of sources say the mets had a shitty draft. ok, i can accept that...as long as minaya and co have a serious handle on the international market it shouldnt be too bad...

    5:36 PM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    Relievers are the least valuable players on a team.

    Until you are a playoff team and they can bury you. There just isn't enough of it out there, but I guess you can say that about all pitching.

    Yeah, the draft was nothing to write home about, but if Kunz pulls a Joe Smith I think people will change their tunes. The jury is still out on this one...

    5:39 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    thank god newhan is gone?

    8:35 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...


    8:35 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Well, 2006 was immediately received as a disaster and now doesn't look that bad. In the same situation, actually worse, the Mets drafted a decent pitcher who fell a bit (Mulvey), a major league reliever (Smith) and a bunch of guys that have shown promise so far (Daniel Murphy, Tobi Stoner, Tim Stronach, Josh Stinson, Dustin Martin & Daniel Stegall). Plus they signed Phillips Orta as a D&F. So, it's early to say that this draft is an utter failure Emad. Sure, one would want more but wait and see....

    The draft would get better if the Mets can sign Cole Abbott, listed as Nick on one site. He fell because he's a Mormon BYU bound, but I thought I saw somewhere that he was hoping to do his two years proselytizing abroad thing after his career.

    And Lagares (25th error tonight) is being seriously challanged, Emad. He should be working on his defense in short season ball.

    8:59 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Family affair: Among the players the Mets selected in the second day of the First-Year Player Draft was Glen Johnson, the 18-year-old son of first-base coach Howard Johnson. Glen is a shortstop for South Folk High School in Stuart, Fla., close to the Mets' Spring Training site in Port St. Lucie.

    9:46 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    'Sure, one would want more but wait and see.'

    I know I can be irrational and reactionary, but its the PHILOSOPHY behind the picks I detest. Even if every pick pans out, it still doesn't mean they were right.

    'And Lagares (25th error tonight) is being seriously challanged, Emad. He should be working on his defense in short season ball.'

    Yep. He's not even a prospect in my eyes.

    Can we trade Pelfrey or somebody for Brian Roberts? Am I alone in my admiration for him? Complaints? Grievances?


    12:33 AM


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