Mets Merized Onlinehttp://metsmerizedonline.comen-USMon, 23 Jan 2017 04:45:30 PSThttp://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.17hourly1http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/http://metsmerizedonline.com/http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j225/metsmerized/wordpres/BlueOrangeLogo3copy.jpgMetsmerized OnlineJust How One-Dimensional Was The 2016 Mets Offense?http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/6jN7h2a2CQI/Mets News & NotesBaltimore OriolesJose ReyesMets offenserunsLogan BarerMon, 23 Jan 2017 04:30:39 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229914neil walker

The 2016 Mets offense hit 218 home runs, setting a new franchise record and was the 5th highest mark in the Major Leagues. They had four players hit more than 20 home runs, two of which hit more than 30. However, despite the many long balls, the 2016 Mets offense has been described by plenty of people as one-dimensional. Would that be a correct assessment?

Despite hitting the 5th most home runs in the Major Leagues, they were 16th in slugging percentage with a .417 mark. Slugging percentage is calculated by dividing total bases by at bats, and therefore a pretty good measure of the power of a certain player or team. It stands to reason that a team or player that hits a lot of home runs, which account for four bases in one at bat, would have a high slugging percentage. For example, the Baltimore Orioles led the league with 253 home runs and had a team .443 SLG% good for third in the league.

How is it possible that they hit so many home runs but still could only manage a .417 SLG%? It might have something to due with the fact that the Mets’ 240 doubles ranked 29th in the Majors only ahead of the Phillies’ 231, and their 19 triples rank 27th. If they had never brought in Jose Reyes, who hit four of those triples, they would have ranked 29th ahead of only the Baltimore Orioles, who tallied only six.

Out of all the Mets players who hit at least 15 home runs in 2016, only one of them hit more doubles than dingers. Yoenis Cespedes hit 31 home runs and 25 doubles, Curtis Granderson hit 30 home runs and 24 doubles, Wilmer Flores hit 16 home runs and 14 doubles, and Neil Walker hit 23 home runs and only 9 doubles. Asdrubal Cabrera stood apart with his 30 doubles compared to 23 home runs. Curtis Granderson hit five triples, Jose Reyes hit four, Juan Lagares hit two, and nobody else hit more than one.

The Baltimore Orioles have an excuse for their low double and triple rates compared to home runs in that their stadium is a bandbox. Their offense was built to hit home runs to take advantage of their stadium, just as the Yankees stack their offense with left-handed hitters to take advantage of their right field dimensions. The Mets do not have that excuse in that Citi Field has a roomy outfield and can definitely be describes as a pitcher-friendly park.

Apart from slugging percentage, the Mets were lacking in other offensive categories as well. They stole 42 bases, and with the exception of Jose Reyes who swiped nine, nobody else stole more than five. They ranked 28th in stolen bases ahead of only the Cardinals (35) and the Orioles (19). They were, however, successful in 70% of their stealing attempts, good for 14th in the Majors. If they were adequate in that category, why didn’t they steal more bases?

The most glaring response to that would be that they hit so many home runs so they didn’t have the chance to steal. Another less obvious response would be that they didn’t find many ways to first base in general. The Mets were 23rd in the Majors with a .316 OBP, which when combined with their .417 SLG%, adds up to a .733 OPS, good for 17th in the Majors.

The Mets aren’t a slow team. While they don’t steal many bases as a whole, they are not too slow to get to second or third base on a ball in the gap. The problem seems to be that they’re not hitting line drives to the gap. They’re hitting the ball high in the air, either sending it over the fence or in to an outfielder’s glove. Hitting a ton of home runs is absolutely fine and fun to watch, but as the Mets were 26th in runs scored in 2016, they obviously need to do more.

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The 2016 Mets offense hit 218 home runs, setting a new franchise record and was the 5th highest mark in the Major Leagues. They had four players hit more than 20 home runs, two of which hit more than 30. However, despite the many long balls, the 2016 Mets offense has been described by plenty […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/just-how-one-dimensional-was-the-2016-mets-offense.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/just-how-one-dimensional-was-the-2016-mets-offense.html/
MMO Mailbag: How Many Games Will Mets Win In 2017?http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/2deMw5zfclY/Mets ThoughtsgameslineupNew York MetsrunsJoe DMon, 23 Jan 2017 03:00:27 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229915degrom syndergaard

Adam asks….

How many games will the Mets win next season? We haven’t made any improvements to last year’s roster and the bullpen might even be worse off. Are we just going to fight five teams for a wild card spot again?

 Joe D. replies…

Almost every projection system and even most of the Las Vegas odds makers have the Washington Nationals (10-1) finishing ahead of the New York Mets (18-1). But what the hell do they know?

Last season, the Nationals took the division with 95 wins while the Mets finished 8.0 games back with 87 wins. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that all those analysts, odds makers, and projection systems are all wrong. I fully expect the Mets to win 92 games in 2017, and let me explain why.

After a season decimated by injuries, a season that would see four starting pitchers lost for the year, a season that would have all four infielders log time on the disabled list, and a season which saw their top producing outfielder play the entire second half while hampered by a quad injury, somehow the Mets were still able to secure the top wild card and make the playoffs. Truth be told, many had written the Mets off by mid-July.

I’m actually very confident that we won’t have to endure another season like that one again. I’m very encouraged by all the early reports on Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz this offseason. They all feel great, but what sticks out the most for me is hearing all three talk like they have a chip on their shoulders. They are all chomping at the bit to get back on the mound in 2017 and put last season behind them. And even if one of them does suffer a setback or isn’t ready to start the season on time, I love what I saw from Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo during their trials by fire last Summer.

Walker Neil

Another thing the Mets have going for them is all the key players entering walk years in 2017. It’s no secret that ballplayers tend to see an uptick in their performance when they are playing for a new contract. We actually witnessed Neil Walker having the best season of his career before succumbing to a back injury. The Mets will have no shortage of players in their walk years in Walker, Lucas Duda, Curtis Granderson; Jose Reyes, Addison Reed, and potentially Asdrubal Cabrera who has a team option. That’s a lot of players chasing a big paycheck. I like that.

Some of you may have seen me talk very highly of Michael Conforto and Josh Smoker in previous articles and quite often in our comment threads. I project huge breakthrough seasons for both these players in 2017. I expect Conforto to bounce back in a big way, easily surpassing the numbers he posted in his rookie season. Look for him to also emerge as a leader in the clubhouse. He has that Curtis Granderson and David Wright gene in his DNA. Smoker, a former first rounder, always had the talent and potential, but saw his career slowed year after year by significant arm woes. That’s all behind him now and this is the year he puts it all together and emerges as a lethal weapon in the Mets bullpen. You read that here first.

yoenis cespedes conforto

Of course, the Mets’ biggest X-Factor and the straw that stirs the drink is left fielder Yoenis Cespedes. He’s the complete package and has found a home he loves in New York – and the fans in New York loves him. Complain about the slow Mets offseason all you want, as I said back in November all I cared about was getting his name on the dotted line and Sandy Alderson did just that. Despite playing hurt for half the season, Cespedes still finished 8th in the MVP voting and won himself a Silver Slugger. In his  1 1/2 seasons with the Mets, they are 106-74 with Cespedes in the starting lineup and 18-23 without him. That’s all you need to know.

So yes, I see this Mets team easily winning over 90 games and with a little luck they can win the NL East for the second time in three seasons. But whether they win the division or not, a third straight trip to the postseason is virtually assured. And to think, I never even mentioned Noah Syndergaard.  LGM

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Adam asks…. How many games will the Mets win next season? We haven’t made any improvements to last year’s roster and the bullpen might even be worse off. Are we just going to fight five teams for a wild card spot again?  Joe D. replies… Almost every projection system and even most of the Las […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/mmo-mailbag-how-many-games-will-mets-win-in-2017.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/mmo-mailbag-how-many-games-will-mets-win-in-2017.html/
Talkin’ Mets: Our Farm System Gets National Recognitionhttp://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/S79eZagPKEY/Talkin' Mets PodcastConfortoJerry BlevinsMetsrotationMike SilvaSun, 22 Jan 2017 11:52:37 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229886robert gsellman

Keith Law of ESPN.com released his annual farm system report and the New York Mets shined with a No. 7 ranking. Despite the Michael Fulmer trade and the promotions of Conforto, Nimmo, Rivera, Gsellman and Lugo, there is still a ton of value in the system.

MMO and MMN executive editor Michael Mayer joins me to talk about this ranking. Michael gives comps to top prospects Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith. Hear his thoughts on how the Mets have fared in the International market.

Can young arms like Justin Dunn and Thomas Szapucki allow the Mets to absorb losses to their young rotation? Finally, are there value arms in the system that will allow Sandy Alderson to pass on veterans Jerry Blevins and Fernando Salas in the free agent market?

We address all this and more in the latest farm report.

 

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Keith Law of ESPN.com released his annual farm system report and the New York Mets shined with a No. 7 ranking. Despite the Michael Fulmer trade and the promotions of Conforto, Nimmo, Rivera, Gsellman and Lugo, there is still a ton of value in the system. MMO and MMN executive editor Michael Mayer joins me to talk about […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/talkin-mets-our-farm-system-gets-national-recognition.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/talkin-mets-our-farm-system-gets-national-recognition.html/
Former General Managers Discuss Mets’ Jay Bruce Situationhttp://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/yY0OJu23nt8/Mets News & NotesDodgersMetsMichael ConfortooutfieldLogan BarerSun, 22 Jan 2017 10:00:26 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229862jay-bruce-2

John Harper of the New York Daily News recently spoke to a few former General Managers about the Mets current situation involving Jay Bruce. He spoke to former Dodgers’ and Giants GM Ned Colletti, former Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd, and former Mets GM Steve Phillips.

Ned Colletti was certainly a good person to talk to on the subject, as he was manager of the Dodgers when their outfield was packed with Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, and Yasiel Puig from left to right. He opted to keep all four outfielders, all with high salaries, instead of dumping one for some salary relief.

“I lived in that situation,” he said. “And the season is so long, inevitably things happen. Is it worth making a trade when you can’t guarantee health and productivity from everybody else? With our outfield, there were far more days when only three of them were available than four. And there were a lot of days when only two were available… I can’t give you a black-and-white answer if payroll is part of it, but I just know that if you take away the safety net, are you sure of what you’re getting? Because if you’re not, a lot of times you will pay and pay and pay for that.”

The difference between the Mets and his Dodgers is that the Mets currently have five legitimate starting options, in Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Curtis Granderson, and of course Bruce. You could even count Jose Reyes in that group to a lesser degree as he is learning to play outfield in spring training, plus Brandon Nimmo is waiting in the wings. So, in terms of keeping Bruce because he’s a safety net, I would have to disagree with Colletti.

Dan O’Dowd, the former Rockies GM, has a different take: “So if it’s me and I can’t get what I think he’s worth, I’m bringing him to spring training and it may work itself out. Worst-case scenario, Michael Conforto spends some more time in the minors. I know Scott Boras might have a coronary hearing me say that, but he’s a young player whose development program has been somewhat disjointed.”

I’m going to have to disagree with Mr. O’Dowd as well. Why would you keep a veteran in the Majors when you could have a youngling putting up as good if not better numbers, whilst providing better defense and not jeopardizing his development by shuttling him back to Triple-A?

The former Mets GM Steve Phillips had a very different take on the situation: “With all the corner outfielders, I would have tried to trade Bruce and Granderson, and I think you could have done that early in the offseason if you were just trying to free up money. From there I would have non-tendered Duda and signed Encarnacion to play first base.”

“Then, I would have tried to trade Conforto and Matz to get either Charlie Blackmon or Andrew McCutchen. I like Conforto but I don’t think he’s going to be as good as those guys. And I worry about the injuries with Matz. Blackmon is a great player and I’m convinced McCutchen will bounce back and play at an MVP level. With either of those guys you get a true center fielder.”

That is drastic to say the least. He suggests the Mets should have tried to dump his salary at any cost, and while I wholeheartedly disagree with his method, I do agree with his motivation: “The Mets need to sign a reliever. There are still some good lefties out there. Boone Logan. I like Travis Wood as a guy who can give you one inning or multiple innings. Or Blevins.”

If you’d like to read the much more comprehensive report from Harper which has the full quotes from all three former general managers, please read the original article from the New York Daily News.

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John Harper of the New York Daily News recently spoke to a few former General Managers about the Mets current situation involving Jay Bruce. He spoke to former Dodgers’ and Giants GM Ned Colletti, former Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd, and former Mets GM Steve Phillips. Ned Colletti was certainly a good person to talk to […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/former-general-managers-discuss-mets-jay-bruce-situation.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/former-general-managers-discuss-mets-jay-bruce-situation.html/
Yordano Ventura, Andy Marte Killed In Separate Car Crasheshttp://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/itiV5Wmpr9s/Mets News & NotesDominican RepublicRoyalstimeWorld SeriesRob PiersallSun, 22 Jan 2017 09:24:11 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229890yordano ventura

According to several different sources, including Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports on Twitter, Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car crash early Sunday morning in the town of Juan Adrian in the Dominican Republic.

Ventura, 25, was a hard-throwing righty with loads of potential.

In a statement issued by the Royals in regards to the death of Ventura, Senior VP of Baseball Operations and General Manager Dayton Moore had the following to say:

“Our prayers right now are with Yordano’s family as we mourn this young man’s passing. He was so young and so talented, full of youthful exuberance and always brought a smile to everyone he interacted with. We will get through this as an organization, but right now is a time to mourn and celebrate the life of Yordano.”

After signing with the Royals in 2008 as an international free agent, Ventura peaked as the Baseball America’s 26th ranked prospect in baseball in 2013.

2014 saw Ventura pitch in the first and statistically best season of his career.

The young righty started 30 games for the Royals, pitching to a 14-10 record, with a 3.20 ERA, finishing sixth in American League Rookie of the Year voting.

Eerily, Ventura’s stand-out moment came in the 2014 World Series. After learning of fellow Dominican Republic born Oscar Taveras’ death, also in a car crash, Ventura fired seven shutout innings against the San Francisco Giants to force a game seven.

Though the Royals went on to lose, Ventura was able to capture a World Series ring the next year in 2015 against the Mets, despite losing the one game he started.

Andy+Marte+Pittsburgh+Pirates+v+Arizona+Diamondbacks+zuLsq7NAU2Il

In a separate car accident in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, former big league infielder Andy Marte was killed.

Marte’s agency, J.M.G. baseball had the following to say on Twitter:

“Words can’t express the emotions from the loss of our client Andy Marte. Gone too soon. A great person on and off the field.”

Marte, 33, broke into baseball with the Atlanta Braves in 2005, before playing for the Cleveland Indians from 2006-2010.

In 2014, Marte returned to the bigs, appearing in six games for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

This is the second and third time in five months that the baseball world have lost precious, young lives after Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in September.

Our hearts here at MMO go out to the families of both Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte during this very tragic and hard time.

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According to several different sources, including Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports on Twitter, Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car crash early Sunday morning in the town of Juan Adrian in the Dominican Republic. Ventura, 25, was a hard-throwing righty with loads of potential. In a statement issued by the Royals in regards to […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/yordano-ventura-andy-marte-killed-in-separate-car-accidents.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/yordano-ventura-andy-marte-killed-in-separate-car-accidents.html/
Shoebox Memories: 1962 Topps Hobie Landrithhttp://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/MVsWnX8hCoY/Mets Thoughts1962 MetsHobie LandrithCarl AridasSun, 22 Jan 2017 07:00:34 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229616hobie landrith

Before Travis d’Arnaud, before Mike Piazza, before Gary Carter, John Stearns or Jerry Grote, there was Hobie Landrith, pictured above on card number 279 of the 1962 Topps set.

The expansion draft for baseball’s two newest franchises, the New York Mets and the Houston Colt .45s, was held the day after the 1961 World Series ended. Picking first, the Mets selected Hobie Landrith, a back-up catcher for the San Francisco Giants.  As Mets manager Casey Stengel jokingly explained, “You have to have a catcher or you’ll have a lot of passed balls.”

Born on March 16, 1930, Landrith was signed by the Cincinnati Reds before the 1949 season.  A back-up catcher with the Reds/Redlegs through 1955, Landrith was traded to the Cubs after the 1955 season for Hal Jeffcoat, a poor hitting outfielder who had converted to a pitcher and would go 8-6 with a 2.95 ERA with the Cubs in 1956.

Hobie Landrith was the starting catcher for the Cubs in 1956, but hit a poor .221 with only four home runs and 32 RBIs before being included in a large eight-player trade to the Cardinals before the 1957 season.  Landrith remained a backup catcher with the Cardinals in 1957 and 1958 before being traded again with Billy Muffett and Benny Valenzuela to the Giants for minor league pitcher Ernie Broglio and Marv Grissom after the ’58 season.  Ernie Broglio would make the majors in 1959, win 21 games in 1960 and is best remembered for being the main pitcher the Cubs would receive in exchange for a young outfielder named Lou Brock.

As a 32-year old light-hitting back up catcher, Landrith was left exposed by the Giants in the draft, and was selected by Mets’ GM George Weiss.  Proof that Mets management have a history of not being overly generous with players, GM Weiss sent Hobie Landrith a salary offer of $7,500, which was the required minimum for all first round picks in the draft.

When Landrith was sent the contract offer, he turned it down, saying it was at least a $3,000 pay cut.  Weiss sent exactly the same contract three times, eventually leading to Landrith giving up and signing the deal on February 11, 1962.  Landrith was slated to be the first-string catcher, with Choo-Choo Coleman as the team’s backup catcher. Incidentally, Coleman passed away last season.

landrith (5)Landrith waas behind the plate when the New York Mets played their very first regular season game on April 11, 1962 against the St. Louis Cardinals, batting 8th for the Amazins.  It was an inauspicious start for both the Mets and Landrith as the team lost 11-4 to the Cards and Hobie went 0 for 4, allowed three stolen bases (two to center fielder Curt Flood), and he made an error as well. In a word, yikes.

Never a slugger, Landrith hit only one home run with the Mets, and even that was almost a disaster.  As reported in the New York Times, on May 12, Landrith pinch hit in the bottom of the 9th inning with two outs and the Mets down 2-1 against the Milwaukee Braves.

Pitching for the Braves was future Hall of Famer and future Met Warren Spahn. Landrith hit Spahn’s first pitch for a game-winning two-run home run. However, Rod Kanehl, who was pinch running for Gil Hodges, failed to touch third base after the home run.

Third base coach Solly Hemus gave Landrith a sign to slow down, then escorted Kanehl back to third base. If Landrith touched third base before Kanehl, Rod would have been called out and the Mets would have been the first team to ever lose a game while hitting a walk-off home run.

After losing their 16th and 17th straight game, on June 7, 1962, the Mets included Hobie Landrith in the trade to the Baltimore Orioles as the player to be named later, in exchange for Mets legend Marvelous Marv Throneberry.  He ended his brief career with the Mets with a rather robust .289/.389/.422 in 23 games.

Now 86, Hobie Landrith, the Mets’ first ever draft choice and opening day catcher, is still with us unlike many members of the 1962 team.

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Before Travis d’Arnaud, before Mike Piazza, before Gary Carter, John Stearns or Jerry Grote, there was Hobie Landrith, pictured above on card number 279 of the 1962 Topps set. The expansion draft for baseball’s two newest franchises, the New York Mets and the Houston Colt .45s, was held the day after the 1961 World Series […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/shoebox-memories-1962-topps-hobie-landrith.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/shoebox-memories-1962-topps-hobie-landrith.html/
MLB Draft Order Set, Mets Will Have 20th Overall Selectionhttp://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/sTlwuNOSwxU/Mets News & NotesfirstMLB NetworkNew York MetsprospectsJoe DSun, 22 Jan 2017 05:59:24 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229877MLB draft manfred

Now that all qualifying free agents have been signed, the order for June’s First Year Player Draft is officially set. The 40 rounds will run from June 12-14, and can be viewed on MLB Network or MLB.com.

Three teams have lost their first-round selections in the draft: the Cleveland Indians signed Edwin Encarnacion, the Colorado Rockies signed Ian Desmond, and the St. Louis Cardinals signed Dexter Fowler.

As a result, the Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers, and Chicago Cubs each gained a selection in the compensation round immediately following the first round. The official draft order is as follows:

2017 MLB Draft Order (First Round & Compensation Round)

1. Minnesota Twins
2. Cincinnati Reds
3. San Diego Padres
4. Tampa Bay Rays
5. Atlanta Braves
6. Oakland Athletics
7. Arizona Diamondbacks
8. Philadelphia Phillies
9. Milwaukee Brewers
10. Los Angeles Angels
11. Chicago White Sox
12. Pittsburgh Pirates
13. Miami Marlins
14. Kansas City Royals
15. Houston Astros
16. New York Yankees
17. Seattle Mariners
18. Detroit Tigers
19. San Francisco Giants
20. New York Mets
21. Baltimore Orioles
22. Toronto Blue Jays
23. Los Angeles Dodgers
24. Boston Red Sox
25. Washington Nationals
26. Texas Rangers
27. Chicago Cubs
28. Toronto Blue Jays (From Cleveland Indians Signing Edwin Encarnacion)
29. Texas Rangers (From Colorado Rockies Signing Ian Desmond)
30. Chicago Cubs (From St. Louis Cardinals Signing Dexter Fowler)

The New York Mets will have the 20th, 59th and 97th overall selections during the first three rounds of the draft as they look to add some fresh new talent to their farm system – which was recently ranked the seventh best in baseball by ESPN’ Keith Law.

Last year, the Mets’ Farm System was ranked 16 by ESPN and 21 by Baseball Prospectus. However the Mets loaded up on some highly viewed prospects in last year’s draft while seeing players like Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Thomas Szapucki and Tomas Nido make huge strides in 2016.

Additionally, the Mets have two rising stars in shortstop Amed Rosario and first baseman Dominic Smith, both of whom rank first and third respectively at their positions in the most recent MLB Pipeline rankings.

You have to give general manager Sandy Alderson, scouting director Tommy Tanous, and their talented scouting department a lot of credit for keeping the Mets farm system flush with talent and some exciting prospects, many of which are highly regarded and coveted by other MLB teams.

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Now that all qualifying free agents have been signed, the order for June’s First Year Player Draft is officially set. The 40 rounds will run from June 12-14, and can be viewed on MLB Network or MLB.com. Three teams have lost their first-round selections in the draft: the Cleveland Indians signed Edwin Encarnacion, the Colorado Rockies […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/mlb-draft-order-set-mets-will-have-20th-overall-selection.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/mlb-draft-order-set-mets-will-have-20th-overall-selection.html/
Mets Look to Trust Righty Relievers in Penhttp://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/-kmjmV_KiBU/Mets News & NotesAddison ReedbullpenFernando SalasGreg HollandHansel RoblesJerry BlevinsJeurys FamiliaMetsReliefBrian GreenzangSun, 22 Jan 2017 04:00:15 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229872hansel robles

The New York Mets have one glaring hole on their roster with just about three weeks left til pitchers and catchers report for spring training.

The bullpen continues to be the target of much talk surrounding this team as they have yet to sign or trade for any notable major league reliever. Names continue to get knocked off the board as we head twoards the 2017 season and Sandy Alderson does not seem too inclined to move on the current market as pointed out by Matt Ehalt of NorthJersey.com.

“I like that we have so much flexibility and so many different options. We go out and sign a reliever we’re locked in. If you go back and look at our history, we haven’t exactly come up cherries on signing free agent relievers and I think that has a lot to do with the volatility they represent,” Alderson said.

“The fact is once you commit to someone that eliminates and detracts from the flexibility we currently have right now and I think we have flexibility with quality.”

Alderson is looking to rely on his right-handed relievers who have performed well against left-handed hitters. Both Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed performed nicely against hitters on both sides of the dish in 2016. One of the more surprising names though who handled lefties with a sense of dominance was Hansel Robles.

Robles held lefties to a .179/.299/.586 batting line this past season. He may be the one pitcher that Alderson and manager Terry Collins look to see continue growth from as part of their reasoning in not signing another reliever. In what once seemed to be a lock, it no longer seems a sure thing that the Mets will sign or trade for any relief.

The Mets though are in need of some help to sure up this pen, especially for a team who will contend. There are some quality options left on the market as our own Michael Mayer pointed out the other day in this article. It would seem silly for Alderson to not bring in some extra help, especially with a lengthy suspension looming over the head of their closer.

Brining back Jerry Blevins and Fernando Salas would be a huge boost to their current corps. This is something that Sandy really must look to do at this point as this team cannot afford to have this bullpen as a weakness with too many question marks regarding its starting staff and how long they may pitch into games.

Personally, I would like to see the Mets take a shot on former Royals closer, Greg Holland. He will be looking to prove his worth yet again, coming back from Tommy John surgery and could be quite beneficial on a one-year deal.

With pitchers and catchers scheduled to report to spring training on February, 13, it will be interesting to see if we are looking at the same bullpen that we currently have now as we ready for opening day of the 2017 season.

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The New York Mets have one glaring hole on their roster with just about three weeks left til pitchers and catchers report for spring training. The bullpen continues to be the target of much talk surrounding this team as they have yet to sign or trade for any notable major league reliever. Names continue to […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/mets-look-to-trust-righty-relievers-in-pen.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/mets-look-to-trust-righty-relievers-in-pen.html/
Can Mets Eclipse Last Season’s Franchise Record 218 Home Runs?http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/pU-0XwL2ORU/Mets News & NotesgamesHome RunsJames LoneyTravis d'ArnaudLogan BarerSat, 21 Jan 2017 09:29:01 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229851USP MLB: MIAMI MARLINS AT NEW YORK METS S BBN USA NY

Last season the Mets hit 218 home runs, 5th most in the MLB. That mark also set a new franchise record for most home runs in a single season. A question for this season then becomes: Can the Mets put up similar power numbers in 2017? The names on the 2017 roster will be mostly the same, however in actuality, the lineup on any given day will have some major differences than 2016.

First of all, and probably the most important difference, is slugger Lucas Duda should be healthy for an entire season. The Mets went without his services for most of the 2016 season, employing light-hitting James Loney who hit nine home runs in 100 games, as opposed to Duda’s seven home runs in only 47 games.

In 2014, Duda hit 30 home runs in 153 games and 27 in 135 games in 2015. It remains to be seen how his injury last season affects his power going forward. It is a safe assumption to say he will return to form after an offseason’s work and will be good for as many as 30 home runs in 2017. We must also take into account that it is, for the first time in his career, a contract year as he will be a free agent after the season.

Another huge ‘if’ is whether or not Michael Conforto can break out into the power threat we all hope he can be. Even in his absolutely abysmal 2016, he still managed to hit 12 home runs in 109 games. Nobody knows for sure how good he will be in 2017 and beyond, but if he emerges this year as a legitimate offensive threat at the age of 23, I would not be surprised if he hit at least 20 home runs.

The Mets have yet to trade outfielder Jay Bruce, but for the sake of this article, that is a good thing. In nine seasons, Bruce has hit 241 home runs, averaging 31 per 162 games. Even though he didn’t exactly hit the ground running when he got to New York in 2016, he still managed to crush 33 home runs in the season. If he remains a Met on Opening Day, it is safe to assume two things: First of all, he will definitely be a trade deadline candidate, and second, his role will not be the every day starting job he’d enjoyed in Cincinnati.

Yoenis Cespedes will start every day, and as the Mets front office has said they want Michael Conforto out there every day as well, Bruce will be fighting for at bats with Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares. Before being traded to the Mets in 2016, Bruce hit 25 home runs in 97 games for the Reds. If he were to play slightly less games due to the clogged outfield and then get traded in July, I’d estimate he’d add about 20 home runs to the Mets’ total.

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The Mets will also be without constant home run threat Bartolo Colon. In 2016, Mets pitchers accounted for four home runs with Noah Syndergaard blasting three, including two in one game against Kenta Maeda. Matt Harvey also has a home run in his career (2015), and while Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz have yet to hit one over the fence, they are both above average hitting pitchers. I could see Mets starters accounting for five home runs in 2017, but again, the loss of Colon really hurts here.

There will be some constants returning to the Mets lineup. Neil Walker hit 23 home runs last season, and as he averages 21 home runs per 162 games, another 20 home runs out of him would not be crazy to ask for. Yoenis Cespedes blasted 31 homers of his own, and after hitting 35 the year before, his goal for this season should be at least 30. Fellow outfielder Curtis Granderson has improved on his home run total each of the past three seasons, blasting 30 in 2016. I think he will be good for another 25-30 home runs in 2017.

Asdrubal Cabrera hit 23 home runs last season, falling just short of his career-high 25 set in 2011. He missed some time in 2016 with a strained left patella in his knee, and even after he came back he was still playing through pain. Coming in to this season healthy, a conservative prediction for him would be somewhere in the 20 home run range.

Utility man Wilmer Flores has quietly hit 16 home in each of the past two seasons, last year doing it in only 307 at bats. With everyone coming back healthy, he will probably not get as much playing time as either of the last two seasons barring any injuries in the infield. Even so, at the rate he has been improving, I wouldn’t be surprised if he hit 15 home runs in 2017 as he will surely be facing a lot of lefties, against whom he thrives.

David Wright and Jose Reyes will be sharing the spotlight at third base this season, so it would be best to group them together. Reyes hit eight home runs in 60 games last season, and will probably play plenty more than that in 2017. I estimate he will account for 10 home runs this season. Wright, while not the 30-homer threat he used to be, is still plenty capable of hitting it over the fence. It remains to be seen how many games he will play in, but after hitting 12 home runs in only 75 games the last two seasons, that seems like a good estimate for 2017.

MLB: Spring Training-Detroit Tigers at New York Mets

The last starting player to predict, with the exception of maybe Michael Conforto, is the toughest. Travis d’Arnaud has severely underperformed his entire career, hitting only 13 home runs in 108 games in 2014, improving with 12 homers in 67 games the next year, falling back to only four home runs in 75 games last season. He has many problems to work on, but his .323 SLG% is certainly one of them. The front office is giving him one last chance in 2017, passing on free agent All Star catcher Matt Wieters. An optimistic prediction is that he breaks out with 20 home runs this season, but a more realistic expectation is in the 10-15 range.

It is important to remember the bench when making these predictions, as they will account for plenty of home runs. Juan Lagares hit three home runs last year, but he’s got more than that in the tank. Unfortunately, whether or not Bruce gets traded, his playing time will once again be severely curtailed, so I wouldn’t expect more than five out of him. Rene Rivera is returning, and the six home runs he hit last season is a good expectation for 2017 as well.

To sum up, here is a list of my final predictions for each Mets’ home run totals in 2017 (keep in mind I am a very optimistic person):

Yoenis Cespedes: 31-35
Lucas Duda: 27-33
Curtis Granderson: 24-30
Michael Conforto: 21-25
Asdrubal Cabrera: 20-24
Neil Walker: 18-23
Jay Bruce: 18-23 (before traded at deadline)
Wilmer Flores: 13-18
David Wright: 13-18
Travis d’Arnaud: 10-15
Jose Reyes: 8-13
Rene Rivera: 3-7
Juan Lagares: 3-7
Pitchers: 3-7

Some of those players will hit less than my prediction, some will hit more, and most likely, some will get injured. The Mets hit 218 home runs last year without Lucas Duda and a productive Michael Conforto. Those two additions alone should help shatter last year’s home run total as long as everybody else hits around the same amount they did last year.

We must give serious credit to Mets hitting coach Kevin Long. Before he arrived, the Mets were 20th in home runs, hitting only 125 as a team in 2014. In 2015, his first season, they moved up to 8th with 177 home runs. In 2016, with the help of Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera, and a full season from Yoenis Cespedes, they jumped up again to 5th place with 218 dingers. While the Mets made some strong acquisitions during that time, Long was certainly one of them.

I think the Mets will eclipse their total from last year. I predict they’ll move up to second in the Majors, surpassing the Seattle Mariners, the Toronto Blue Jays who lost Edwin Encarnacion (42 HRs in 2016) and the St. Louis Cardinals who lost Matt Holliday (20) and Brandon Moss (28). The Baltimore Orioles should lead the league again, especially after re-signing Mark Trumbo who hit 47 last season.

What do you think of my predictions? Do you think they’re too lofty or should they be higher? Comment below!

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Last season the Mets hit 218 home runs, 5th most in the MLB. That mark also set a new franchise record for most home runs in a single season. A question for this season then becomes: Can the Mets put up similar power numbers in 2017? The names on the 2017 roster will be mostly the […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/can-mets-eclipse-last-seasons-franchise-record-218-home-runs.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/can-mets-eclipse-last-seasons-franchise-record-218-home-runs.html/
David Wright Doesn’t Want Sympathy – He Wants A Ringhttp://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/4Xkcfl7U97k/Mets News & NotesbaseballDavid Wrightspinal stenosistornLogan BarerSat, 21 Jan 2017 07:22:57 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229846david wright

Speaking at his own charity event, David Wright made it clear that all the work he is putting in to stay in shape is not for any other reason than a passion for the game and a desire to win.

“Health is extremely important, but I have to go out there and do what I’m capable of doing,” Wright said in an interview with Kevin Kernan of the NY Post.

“That’s just as much in the equation as staying healthy, playing well. This is not about being a feel-good story, we’re trying to win. There are no personal feel-good stories. There is a fire burning inside of me to succeed.”

The event was the 7th annual David Wright Vegas Night at the Virgina Beach Convention Center, which raises money for the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters.

Also attending was long-time friend and former met Michael Cuddyer. Of Wright, he said, “Hey, I know when it’s time to retire. To succeed, first and foremost it’s a mindset. You’ve got to get yourself in the mindset that you are not going to go through the motions.”

“He’s in the mindset I’m not only going to prove myself right, I’m going to prove everybody else right that has stuck with me, that I am going out and battle. I’m going to do my best to get this team back to the World Series.”

Another person attending the event that knows Wright pretty well was his wife Molly, who said, “David is a fighter, he is so determined to get back on the field, literally he will do whatever it takes.”

“I’ve had people come up to me the last couple of weeks and ask: ‘Do you still play?’ That’s how little I’ve played,” said Wright. “This is the longest stretch I haven’t played baseball in my life.” Wright, 34, has managed to play in only 75 games over the past two seasons, batting .260/.365/.436 with 12 home runs and 31 RBIs.

I can speak from my own experience in this case. I play baseball at Ithaca College and have torn the ACL in my right knee twice in the last three years. I have worked my way back and will be pitching again this season for a team that expects to win the Division III College World Series. People ask me why I went through so much rehab (so much) and my answer would be the same as Wright’s: I love the game and I want to win. He doesn’t want my sympathy, but he sure as hell gets my empathy.

David Wright, though, has gone through much more than just two ACL tears. Not only did he have neck surgery, not only is he dealing with a chronic issue of spinal stenosis, but he is under the scrutiny of the New York spotlight.

I am tremendously impressed with how he has carried himself under these circumstances and how perfectly he has said what he has wanted to say – He wants to win, and no herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or spotlight can stand in the way of him doing just that.

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Speaking at his own charity event, David Wright made it clear that all the work he is putting in to stay in shape is not for any other reason than a passion for the game and a desire to win. “Health is extremely important, but I have to go out there and do what I’m […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/david-wright-doesnt-want-sympathy-he-wants-a-ring.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/david-wright-doesnt-want-sympathy-he-wants-a-ring.html/
Dominic Smith Ranked Third Best 1B Prospecthttp://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/awWW74Qc6lQ/Mets News & NotesbaseballDominic SmithfirstRBIMets DaddySat, 21 Jan 2017 06:00:07 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229783dominic smith

MLB Pipeline unveiled their rankings for the Top 10 first base prospects in baseball, and Mets prospect Dominic Smith was ranked third for the second consecutive year. He finished behind Dodgers prospect Cody Bellinger and Pirates prospect Josh Bell.

Smith, 21, is coming off his best season as a professional. While being the youngest player to play a full season in the Eastern League, Smith hit .302/.367/.457 with 29 doubles, two triples, 14 homers, and 91 RBI. In the second half of the season, Smith seemed to finally find that power stroke everyone has been waiting to see with him hitting .348/.429/.525 with 13 doubles, one triple, seven homers, and 40 RBI after July 1st. If you extrapolate the numbers from that 56 game stretch, that would amount to 38 doubles, three triples, 22 homers, and 116 RBI.

Speaking to MiLB.com, Smith said, “I want to improve every year in every category, but the power was the one thing I really wanted to showcase. It really took me until this past year to get my swing in tune with my body and learn how to be a solid run producer.” In addition to his improving offense, Smith has been noted to be a plus defender at first base with great footwork and a terrific glove. His glove and improving bat were two reasons why Smith was named to Team USA in the 2016 Future’s Game.

Not noted in the piece is the fact that Smith has spent the offseason trimming down and getting into much better baseball shape. This is yet another indication of his willingness and ability to improve as a baseball player. “I started out by going to Michigan and participating in the [Mike] Barwis training method a lot of the Mets use,” Smith said. “It’s been one of my most productive offseasons as far as getting after it. I’ve hit it hard from start to finish, so I’m pretty happy with how things have gone.”

Smith should start the year in AAA, and depending on the health of the Major League team and Smith’s continued improvement, we may very well see him in Flushing during the 2017 season. He was invited to Major League Spring Training camp for the second consecutive year, and when asked about who has been most helpful, Smith said, “Curtis Granderson would talk to me all the time and so would David Wright.”

Lucas Duda showed me the ropes the last few years and I also worked out in the offseason with him. Even younger guys like Michael Conforto and Wilmer [Flores] pull me to the side and give me insight on how things are supposed to be done and how the game is supposed to be played. I appreciate them and the family environment.”

He keeps getting better and having that support system is surely aiding his development. It is entirely possible that the Mets will let Lucas Duda go via free agency after the 2017 season and Smith will be the every day starter at first base in 2018. In the meantime, though, Smith will most likely play the majority of this season in AAA Las Vegas.

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MLB Pipeline unveiled their rankings for the Top 10 first base prospects in baseball, and Mets prospect Dominic Smith was ranked third for the second consecutive year. He finished behind Dodgers prospect Cody Bellinger and Pirates prospect Josh Bell. Smith, 21, is coming off his best season as a professional. While being the youngest player […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/dominic-smith-ranked-third-best-1b-prospect.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/dominic-smith-ranked-third-best-1b-prospect.html/
Jose Reyes Ready For Anything In 2017http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/JEoApwnkWM0/Mets News & NotesMetsLogan BarerSat, 21 Jan 2017 04:30:44 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229821jose-reyes

Jose Reyes lit a fire under the Mets last season when he joined the team and produced more than enough to be brought back for 2017. He can play second base, third base, and shortstop so he will serve as a super-utility man this season. His versatility will be increased as he will be learning to play outfield in Spring Training.

In a phone interview on Mets Hot Stove, Reyes said, “I’m ready to do whatever they ask me to do, that’s all I’m focused on right now… It’s going to be different. When I played third base last year, it was still the infield. I never had the opportunity to play outfield other than one game when I played rookie ball in 2000. But, like I told you, whatever they ask me to do I’m going to be more than happy to do.”

“It’s all about the right mindset,” he said. “I’m going to have the right attitude and work at every position in spring training. I’m looking forward to the challenge.” Reyes has a strong, accurate arm which paired with his plus speed should make his transition to the outfield comparatively easy.

Reyes brings a certain spark to the team that the Mets had been lacking since, well, Jose Reyes. In 2016, Reyes hit .267 with four triples, eight home runs, nine stolen bases, and 24 RBIs while playing shortstop and third base in 60 games.

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Jose Reyes lit a fire under the Mets last season when he joined the team and produced more than enough to be brought back for 2017. He can play second base, third base, and shortstop so he will serve as a super-utility man this season. His versatility will be increased as he will be learning […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/jose-reyes-ready-for-anything-in-2017.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/jose-reyes-ready-for-anything-in-2017.html/
James Loney, Jim Henderson Sign With Rangers, Cubshttp://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/pfk1Slbkm80/Mets News & NotesChicago CubsJim Hendersonminor league dealNew York MetsConnor O'BrienFri, 20 Jan 2017 18:49:11 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229816james loney 2

First baseman James Loney and relief pitcher Jim Henderson will not be returning to the New York Mets this season. Loney has signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Jim Henderson will be headed to the Chicago Cubs on a minor league deal, according Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish.

Loney, 32, disappointed in 100 games with the Mets in 2016. He slashed just .265/.307/.397 with nine homers, 16 doubles, and a triple, well below average both for the league and the first base position. He was an emergency acquisition to replace Lucas Duda, who missed most of the season due to injury. Loney was acquired from the San Diego Padres after playing two months in their minor league system. He owns a career .284/.336/.410 batting line.

Henderson, 34, had an up and down season with the Mets, finishing the year with a 4.11 ERA over 35 innings pitched. Over that span he struck out an impressive 40 batters while walking 14. He missed most of June, July, and August with a bicep issue. He has a career 3.61 ERA in 137 MLB innings.

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First baseman James Loney and relief pitcher Jim Henderson will not be returning to the New York Mets this season. Loney has signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Jim Henderson will be headed to the Chicago Cubs on a minor league deal, according Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/james-loney-jim-henderson-sign-with-rangers-cubs.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/james-loney-jim-henderson-sign-with-rangers-cubs.html/
Nimmo Will Participate In WBC For Italy, Conforto Won’thttp://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/oijCnUJeQ8A/Mets News & NotesBrandon NimmoMichael ConfortoTeam ItalyTerry CollinsWorld Baseball ClassicJohn JacksonFri, 20 Jan 2017 17:55:06 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229805Conforto and Nimmo Futures Game

The World Baseball Classic is an event among 16 countries that is now held every four years. Around this time, many players are added to their respective countries’ teams. New York Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo was one of those players and will be playing with Team Italy according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.

Morosi also reported that fellow Mets outfielder Michael Conforto will not be participating in the Classic even after Team Italy recruited him.

The 23-year-old Nimmo was the Mets first-round pick in 2011. He made his major league debut in 2016 and played in 32 games. In those games he hit a modest .274/.338/.329 with one home run, six RBI, and 12 runs. He, like most hitters, hit much better in the dry air of Triple-A Las Vegas. There he batted .352/.423/.541 with 11 home runs, 61 RBI, 72 runs, 25 doubles, and eight triples in 97 games.

Nimmo will be joining Francisco Cervelli, Drew Butera, and Chris Colabello as MLB participants for Team Italy. The team goes into the Classic as underdogs.

They will be playing for Manager Marco Mazzieri in Group D with Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. Their first match will be on March 9 against Mexico whom they defeated in their 2013 World Baseball Classic opener with a ninth-inning comeback.

It is not too surprising to see Conforto decline to play in the World Baseball Classic. Even after Terry Collins encouraged Conforto to play winter ball back in December, his agents did not agree.

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The World Baseball Classic is an event among 16 countries that is now held every four years. Around this time, many players are added to their respective countries’ teams. New York Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo was one of those players and will be playing with Team Italy according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. Morosi […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/nimmo-will-participate-in-wbc-for-italy-conforto-wont.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/nimmo-will-participate-in-wbc-for-italy-conforto-wont.html/
Harvey Has Experienced No Pain When Throwing This Offseasonhttp://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/JUpp6oQvv5w/Mets News & NotesgamesLong IslandMetsoffseasonRob PiersallFri, 20 Jan 2017 12:23:26 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229795matt harvey 2

Mets’ starter Matt Harvey, who underwent surgery in July for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, threw off of a mound at Storm Sports Academy on Long Island on Wednesday.

Harvey, 28 in March, said he felt no pain when throwing this offseason, when talking to reporters at a team charity event earlier this month.

The Mets and Harvey agreed to a one-year, $5.1 million deal to avoid salary arbitration this offseason. The pitcher can also earn up to $100,000 in performance bonuses.

Harvey pitched in only 17 games for the Mets in 2016 before going down in July and missing the remainder of the season.

However, Harvey says that the symptoms he was experiencing during 2016 are all gone.

“My hand was really cold all the time,” Harvey said. “I’ve got some warmth back. No more tingling and the ball’s really coming out really good right now.”

For his career, Harvey holds a 29-28 record, with a 2.94 ERA, 2.79 FIP and 9.1 K/9 in 519.2 innings pitched.

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Mets’ starter Matt Harvey, who underwent surgery in July for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, threw off of a mound at Storm Sports Academy on Long Island on Wednesday. Harvey, 28 in March, said he felt no pain when throwing this offseason, when talking to reporters at a team charity event earlier this month. The Mets and […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/harvey-has-experienced-no-pain-when-throwing-this-offseason.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/harvey-has-experienced-no-pain-when-throwing-this-offseason.html/
Law: Mets Have 7th Best Farm Systemhttp://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/G34Re9L_R9w/Mets News & NotesdepthfirstNew York MetsprospectsMichael MayerFri, 20 Jan 2017 11:30:23 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229771keith law

Keith Law of ESPN, released his rankings for the Top 10 farm systems in baseball and had the New York Mets as the 7th best. The Mets move up nine spots after being ranked 16th last year.

For the second straight season, Law had the Atlanta Braves at the top of the rankings. They are followed by the New York Yankees at #2, San Diego Padres at #3, Pittsburgh Pirates moved up to #4 and the Los Angeles Dodgers dropped three spots to round out the Top 5.

The rest of the NL East teams are outside of the Top 10 with the Philadelphia Phillies dropping eight spots to #14, the Washington Nationals dropping seven spots to #22 and the Miami Marlins staying at #29.

Law had this to say about the Mets ranking, “The Mets were not aggressive at the trade deadline in July, and while that may have angered some of their fans, it means we won’t see someone they traded win a Rookie of the Year award in 2017. It also means a very strong, deep system remained intact, with two potential stars at the top of the system and a lot of pitching depth to potentially help, even as soon as this year with the sudden velocity spike Robert Gsellman saw in 2016.”

Gsellman took a huge leap this past season with his velocity spike and refined slider that helped him be successful at the major league level. He’s a big reason why the Mets farm system will see a jump in rankings and he could be in some publications Top 100.

Law added this as well, “Several years of strong draft results have restocked the system, first with young position players with upside and now with polished starting pitchers, led by Justin Dunn and Thomas Szapucki. Getting the team’s Low-A affiliate out of the hitters’ graveyard of Savannah won’t hurt matters either. And there’s more upside to come, with three of their top 20 prospects coming back from major injuries (Luis CarpioWuilmer Becerra, Anthony Kay).

Dunn and Szapucki are two very high ceiling pitchers that the Mets have scooped up in the past two drafts. In the 2016 draft. they also added a ton of college infield talent with the picks of first baseman Peter Alonso (our #12 prospect at MMO), second baseman Michael Paez, shortstop Colby Woodmansee and third baseman Blake Tiberi. They picked up outfielder Desmond Lindsay (our #5 prospect) in the second round of the 2015 draft and he has become a borderline Top 100 prospect in baseball already.

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The Mets top two prospects Law calls potential stars are shortstop Amed Rosario and first baseman Dominic Smith, who could both start the 2017 season at Triple-A Las Vegas. They could also both be long-term fixtures in the Mets lineup with Rosario having the higher ceiling and higher floor that will have him in ranked in some Top 10 MLB prospect lists.

Beyond the guys that Law mentioned the Mets also have two high ceiling players in Andres Gimenez and Gregory Guerrero that they spent a $2.7 million combined on as international free agents in 2015.

The 2016 season brought breakout performances from the likes of catcher Tomas Nido (our #10 prospect), left-handed pitcher P.J. Conlon and infielder Phillip Evans. Right-handed pitchers Chris Flexen, Marcos Molina and Andrew Church came back from injuries to continue the Mets trend of developing intriguing rotation prospects.

The Mets farm system also has players ready to contribute at the major league level in outfielder Brandon Nimmo, infielder Gavin Cecchini, lefty reliever Josh Smoker, infielder T.J. Rivera and right-handed pitcher Gabriel Ynoa.

Other names to watch out for this season for the Mets bullpen are prospects David Roseboom (lefty), Paul Sewald, Kevin McGowan and Corey Taylor.

I’m not that surprised to see the Mets ranked 7th given the high end talent they have in their top 10, prospects they have that could help in 2017 and the great depth they have in not only their pitching prospects (amazingly still after numerous trades) but now in position players too.

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Keith Law of ESPN, released his rankings for the Top 10 farm systems in baseball and had the New York Mets as the 7th best. The Mets move up nine spots after being ranked 16th last year. For the second straight season, Law had the Atlanta Braves at the top of the rankings. They are […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/law-mets-have-7th-best-farm-system.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/law-mets-have-7th-best-farm-system.html/
What The Current Relief Market Looks Likehttp://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/MULJrFlaWBM/Mets News & NotesBoone LoganLHPMets bullpenRHPMichael MayerFri, 20 Jan 2017 10:50:47 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229787boone logan

The New York Mets have yet to dive into the free agent reliever market outside of a few minor league signings, yet still have holes in their bullpen.

Jerry Blevins is still a free agent and leaves the Mets without a true LOOGY because Josh Smoker struggles vs lefties and Terry Collins has yet to use Hansel Robles as the weapon he can be against them. Lefties have just a .577 OPS against Robles in his career.

Fernando Salas, who the Mets traded for last August, is still a free agent as well after shining in his limited time in New York. Re-signing him would help bridge to Addison Reed who will be the closer in the possible suspension absence of Jeurys Familia to start the season.

On Wednesday, the Milwaukee Brewers finalized a deal with right-handed reliever Neftali Feliz to be their closer. The Tampa Bay Rays are finalizing a deal with right-handed reliever Shawn Tolleson as the bullpen market continues dwindle.

So who’s left that could help the Mets bullpen outside of bringing Blevins and/or Salas?

RHP Greg Holland  - In 2013 and 2014, Holland was one of the most dominant closers in the game, saving 93 games and pitching to a 1.32 ERA. In 129.1 innings he struck out 193 batters and pitched to an 0.889 WHIP. When his average fastball velocity took a downward turn in 2015, from over 96 MPH to 93.6 MPH, it was discovered that he had actually torn his ulnar collateral ligament late in the 2014 season, and it surely affected his performance. It will be 17 months since his surgery when 2017 spring training arrives.

Jim Bowden of ESPN reported on Wednesday that Holland could sign soon. Holland is also reportedly seeking a two-year deal that includes an opt out after the first year.

RHP Sergio Romo - Since 2008, Romo has been one of the most consistent relievers in the game for the San Francisco Giants. He sports a career 2.58 ERA and 2.71 FIP to go with a 0.8 HR/9, 1.8 BB/9, and 10.2 K/9. He has plenty of closing experience, having saved 84 games in his career. There has been very little chatter on the market for Romo to this point.

RHP Joe Blanton - Since moving to the bullpen full-time in 2015, Blanton has been very effective. In 2016, he went 7-2 with a 2.48 ERA (3.33 FIP) with a 1.013 WHIP. Both the Dodgers and Rockies have shown interest in the right-hander.

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RHP Joe Smith - Since 2009, Smith has been one of the most reliable relievers in the game, appearing in 503 games (7th among Major League relievers), with a 2.80 ERA, 146 holds (5th), 1.151 WHIP, and 203 runners stranded (6th). Smith’s best overall season came in 2014 as a member of the Angels, where he posted a career best 1.81 ERA, tied his career high in wins with seven, pitched a career high 74.2 innings, had a career high 68 strikeouts, and posted his best WHIP at 0.804 (6th in the majors). Another reliever for who’s market has been extremely quiet.

LHP Travis Wood - Once a full time starter, Wood was an important cog in the Cubs’ bullpen during their World Series run. He was extremely effective against lefties in 2016, holding them to a .128/.208/.239 slash line. Overall, he went 4-0 with a 2.95 ERA. He has also been used as a pinch hitter, as he has nine career home runs. The Cubs remain interested in bringing back the lefty after missing out on Tyson Ross.

RHP Matt Belisle – The 36-year old reliever had a good 2016 season with the Washington Nationals. In 46 innings he had a 1.76 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and a strong 4.57 K/BB ratio. Given his age and the fact that only received a minor league deal last year I would expect his price range to be a perfect for the Mets.

RHP David Hernandez – The 31-year old pitched a ton for the Phillies last season with 72.2 innings over 70 appearances in which he finished 16 games. He did strike out 80 batters in 2016, but also allowed 77 hits and 11 home runs. The good news is that he still throws hard (averaged 95 MPH on his fastball) and opponents had only a .576 OPS off his breaking ball last season.

LHP Boone Logan – He had great season with the Rockies with a ERA of 3.69 in 66 games. He struck out 57 batters in 46.1 innings while pitching to an impressive WHIP of 1.01. Logan was even better vs lefties in 2016, holding to them a lowly .142/.222/.252 slash line. It was reported very early in the offseason that the Mets were showing interest in the former Yankee.

LHP Javier Lopez – The overall numbers for his 2016 aren’t that appealing (4.50 ERA, 1.46 WHIP), but he was much better against left-handed hitters to which he to a .622 OPS. Lopez is the perfect definition of a LOOGY, he rarely pitches to more than a couple of batters and has held lefties to a .202/.283/.289 slash line in his career. He could be a good low cost back-up option to Blevins and Logan for the Mets.

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The New York Mets have yet to dive into the free agent reliever market outside of a few minor league signings, yet still have holes in their bullpen. Jerry Blevins is still a free agent and leaves the Mets without a true LOOGY because Josh Smoker struggles vs lefties and Terry Collins has yet to […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/what-the-current-relief-market-looks-like.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/what-the-current-relief-market-looks-like.html/
Athletics Sign Alejandro De Aza To Minor League Dealhttp://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/83l2z7jwYGs/Mets News & NotesgamesMetsminor league dealtimeRob PiersallFri, 20 Jan 2017 10:43:37 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229791alejandro de aza

The Oakland Athletics have signed free agent OF Alejandro De Aza to a minor league deal with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, the team announced on Friday.

De Aza, 33 in April, spent 2016 with the Mets appearing in 130 games, and hitting a meager .205/.297/.321 in a semi-reserve role.

Before the Mets were able to sign Yoenis Cespedes, the plan was to have De Aza and Juan Lagares split time in center field, but after New York inked the stud outfielder, De Aza was mitigated to a lesser role.

The nine-year veteran has bounced around in his career, also spending time with the Marlins, White Sox, Orioles, Giants and Red Sox.

However, his best years came in Chicago, and more specifically in 2013 when the outfielder appeared in 153 games, clubbing 17 homers, driving in 62 runs and hitting at a .264/.323/.405 clip.

With the Mets resigning Cespedes and not yet having traded Jay Bruce, the outfield is beyond crowded, so De Aza’s fate with New York was sealed long ago.

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The Oakland Athletics have signed free agent OF Alejandro De Aza to a minor league deal with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, the team announced on Friday. De Aza, 33 in April, spent 2016 with the Mets appearing in 130 games, and hitting a meager .205/.297/.321 in a semi-reserve role. Before the Mets […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/athletics-sign-alejandro-de-aza-to-minor-league-deal.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/athletics-sign-alejandro-de-aza-to-minor-league-deal.html/
Opinion: Does Anyone Want Jay Bruce?http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/GPwsLNw-1Ao/Mets News & NotesJay BruceMetsBrian GreenzangFri, 20 Jan 2017 10:00:51 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229763jay bruce
As time continues to tick by and we get closer to spring training, Jay Bruce remaining a New York Met begins to look like more of a reality. It has to beg the question, does anyone want this guy?

Bruce’s most likely suitors have all filled their needs with other players. The Blue Jays re-signed Jose Bautista. The Phillies signed Michael Saunders. The Orioles will have a reunion with Mark Trumbo.

There has to be some team out there who may want a player who hit 33 homers last year to go along with 99 RBI, right? Mike Puma of the NY Post believes it may be down to two teams for Sandy Alderson to work some magic with as he tries to get Bruce out of town, paving the way for Michael Conforto to see regular playing time.

Puma believes that both the San Francisco Giants or the Texas Rangers could look to acquire the 29-year-old slugger. Both teams had shown interest in Bruce at the trading deadline prior to the Mets acquiring him for top prospect, Dilson Herrera.

With spring training now less than a month away and the Mets wanting to get clarity on their outfield situation, Bruce’s price is surely to go down for other teams. There is also the possibility they will now include money in a deal, something they were previously reluctant to do. Bruce is owed $13 million for the upcoming season.

The Mets were said to be seeking two prospects in any deal for Bruce, where at this point they may just need to settle for less than expected. The demand for Bruce has surely not been what anyone could have expected, seeming simply nonexistent.

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As time continues to tick by and we get closer to spring training, Jay Bruce remaining a New York Met begins to look like more of a reality. It has to beg the question, does anyone want this guy? Bruce’s most likely suitors have all filled their needs with other players. The Blue Jays re-signed […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/opinion-does-anyone-want-jay-bruce.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/opinion-does-anyone-want-jay-bruce.html/
2017 Mets Top 30 Prospects: No. 14 Ali Sanchez, Chttp://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/phpTl5qeY8A/Mets News & NotesinjuryMetsminor leagueRHPMets DaddyFri, 20 Jan 2017 05:00:04 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229759ali sanchez

#14 C Ali Sanchez

Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 200 Level: Short Season Brooklyn Cyclones

B/T: R/R Age: 1/20/97 (20) Age Dif: -2.1

Acquired: Signed as International Free Agent for $690,000 (7/2/13)

Last year: 15

2016 MiLB Statistics: 46 G, 181 PA, 171 AB, 15 R, 37 H, 10 2B, 11 RBI, 2 SB, .216/.260/.275

When the Mets signed Sanchez as a 16-year old international free agent out of Venezuela, he was already regarded as someone who was advanced behind the plate. Sanchez was seen as not only having a accurate arm, but he was also seen as being a good pitch caller and receiver. He’s athletic with soft hands which allows him to block balls in the dirt and make the plays on balls near the plate. Essentially, Sanchez is exactly the catcher you want behind the plate.

Unfortunately, most of these skills are hard to quantify, especially at the minor league level, because the data just is not readily available. In fact, the one thing that can be proven from the data available is you don’t want to run on Sanchez as he threw out 48% of attempted base stealers this past season.

Regardless of the lack of data, Sanchez has shown that he not only has the tools to handle all the duties a catcher has behind the plate, he also has the ability to excel in each and every single one of those areas. Sanchez’s ability behind the plate is advanced for both his age and for the level he played at last season. If he keeps improving behind the plate, he is going to be a Gold Glove caliber catcher at the major league level.

The only thing holding him back from reaching the majors is his offense.

Early reports on Sanchez were that like his defensive game, he was advanced in his awareness at the plate. He has an idea what he wants to do up at the plate. Given the fact that he has been a skinny kid without much power, Sanchez focuses on making contact. As a contact hitter, Sanchez has shown a willingness to use all fields.

The main problem with assessing on how Sanchez has progressed offensively was a hand injury at the end of June. Time and again, we see how hand and wrist injuries, no matter how minor, can wreck havoc on a player’s ability to produce at the plate. That hand injury could be the reason why he saw a player who hit .303/.406/.394 in 2014 for the Dominican Summer League and .278/.339/.315 in the Gulf Coast League in 2015 hit barely over the Mendoza line in 2016.

It’s important to remember how young Sanchez is. He was a 19-year old (turns 20 today) catcher playing in the New York-Penn League, a league where many teams send some of their top drafted players and some of their top international prospects. Another important consideration is catchers tend to develop later offensively. A large part of that is due to the focus that is put on catchers in regards to calling a game and handling a pitching staff.

Sanchez has a smooth level swing at the plate. As he begins to build some muscle, he should begin hitting the ball with some authority. More balls will go for base hits, and more of his base hits will go for extra bases.

For the sake of comparison, back in 2013 Tomas Nido was a 19-year old catcher in Brooklyn. Nido would struggle mightily, worse than Sanchez, hitting .185/.218/.261. Two years later, Nido’s offensive game started to round into form with him winning the Florida State League batting title. This led to Nido being added to the 40 man roster this offseason so the Mets wouldn’t lose him in the Rule 5 Draft. That was a development you might not have expected given his struggles in Brooklyn.

The long story short is Sanchez proves the axiom that you scout the player and not the stat line. While there are some warning signs in his offensive game, he still has plenty of room to grow.

2017 Outlook

If Sanchez is following the same career path as Nido, he should be ticketed for the Columbia Fireflies in 2017. With Sanchez being fully recovered from his hand injury, look for him to put up numbers closer to what he posted in the Gulf Coast League. No matter where he winds up, he is still going to be terrific behind the plate.

2017 MMO TOP 30 PROSPECTS

1. Amed Rosario, SS

2. Dominic Smith, 1B

3. Robert Gsellman, RHP

4. Thomas Szapucki, LHP

5. Desmond Lindsay, OF

6. Justin Dunn, RHP

7. Gavin Cecchini, INF

8. Brandon Nimmo, OF

9. Andres Gimenez, SS

10. Tomas Nido, C

11. Wuilmer Becerra, OF

12. Peter Alonso, 1B

13. Marcos Molina, RHP

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#14 C Ali Sanchez Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 200 Level: Short Season Brooklyn Cyclones B/T: R/R Age: 1/20/97 (20) Age Dif: -2.1 Acquired: Signed as International Free Agent for $690,000 (7/2/13) Last year: 15 2016 MiLB Statistics: 46 G, 181 PA, 171 AB, 15 R, 37 H, 10 2B, 11 RBI, 2 SB, .216/.260/.275 When the Mets signed Sanchez as a 16-year old international free agent out of Venezuela, he […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/2017-mets-top-30-prospects-no-14-ali-sanchez-c.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/2017-mets-top-30-prospects-no-14-ali-sanchez-c.html/
Orioles, Mark Trumbo Agree On Three-Year Dealhttp://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MetsMerizedOnline-GetMetsmerized-NewYorkMets/~3/cvhkHZiGWTY/Mets News & NotesBaltimore OriolesrunsTwitterwinningRob PiersallThu, 19 Jan 2017 14:37:31 PSThttp://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229752mark-trumbo

According to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag on Twitter, the Baltimore Orioles and free agent Mark Trumbo have agreed on a deal. The deal is for three years, $37.5 million, pending physical.

Trumbo, 31, was the MLB home run leader in 2016, clubbing 47 long balls and driving in 108 runs, while hitting at a .256/.316/.533 clip, as well as winning a Silver Slugger award and appearing in his second all-star game.

The powerful outfielder/DH broke into the bigs in 2010 with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, made stops in Arizona and Seattle and ended up in Baltimore for the 2016 campaign.

The Rangers and Rockies had said to have interest in Trumbo, but nothing substantial had come to fruition, hence why Baltimore picked up conversations with Trumbo again.

The deal, on the surface, doesn’t seem like much for a slugger who hit 47 homers, but with his low batting average and on-base percentage, combined with his subpar fielding, he is limited in his abilities.

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According to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag on Twitter, the Baltimore Orioles and free agent Mark Trumbo have agreed on a deal. The deal is for three years, $37.5 million, pending physical. Trumbo, 31, was the MLB home run leader in 2016, clubbing 47 long balls and driving in 108 runs, while hitting at a […]http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/orioles-mark-trumbo-agree-on-three-year-deal.html/feed/0http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/orioles-mark-trumbo-agree-on-three-year-deal.html/