From: Ruben Safir on
On Mon, 21 Dec 2009 05:21:45 -0800, jonathan wrote:

>> I agree but the situation is more complex than that.  In truth, we
>> might not know what we are going to get next season and what we get
>> might largely depend on pitching.
> I don't disagree. My point was that Maine, Pelfrey, and Perez pitching
> better are as critical as any other factor. The other thing that would
> help is if Maine and Perez actually made 60 starts and learned how to
> get out of the 5th inning. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening.
>> The team was devastated by injuries.  I think it likely that Reyes, and
>> Betran come back to the line up as strong as ever.  I think it is
>> likely
> There's plenty of evidence that would agree with your assessment.
>> to see a marginally better output by Murph.  And I'm all but certain
>> that Wright will return to form.  So the addition of Bay might be very
> There's nothing wrong with Wright that a little luck wouldn't have
> fixed. The truth is when you break down his numbers, his season wasn't
> as bad as many suggest. I would have done the work but Rob Neyer
> already did it for me :-)
> "Prior to 2009, Wright averaged 29 home runs per season. He was
> consistent, too: 27-26-30-33. He's always been consistent. In his four
> previous seasons, Wright's batting average and on-base percentage and
> slugging percentage never strayed far from his career averages. Over the
> course of four years, he firmly established himself as a . 310/.390/.530
> sort of hitter. You could set your watch by the guy.
> Until 2009. Oh, his batting average and on-base percentage were still
> dead on target, same as usual. He hit 40 doubles, as usual. But the home
> runs disappeared. Instead of hitting 30 home runs, Wright hit 10. Which
> is what has Klapisch all worked up.
> Is Flushing's new yard the problem, though? Wright hit only five homers
> there ... but that means he hit only five homers on the road, too. I
> can't get inside his head, but I'm not sure it was Wright's head that
> kept him from hitting more homers in road games.
> For what it's worth, Wright's line-drive rate was the highest of his
> career (by an eyelash) and his fly-ball rate was down slightly. The
> outlier was his home runs per fly ball, which was just seven percent,
> compared to roughly 16 percent entering the season. So either his fly
> balls weren't going as far as usual, or they were simply flying to the
> wrong part of the outfield.
> Yes, the deeper dimensions in the new ballpark probably played a part.
> My guess is that if you accounted for the ballpark and the time Wright
> spent on the disabled list and poor luck, you could reasonably push him
> to 20 home runs.
> Which isn't 30. But if he'd hit 20, nobody would be worrying too much
> about him.
> So I'm not going to worry. Not yet. In 2009, there were more home runs
> hit by right-handed batters in Mets home games than in road games.
> Sometimes the statistics trick us, and sometimes our eyes do. I'm
> willing to bet that David Wright's pre-2009 body of work shows up again
> in 2010."
>> significant.  Its the pitching that rally has me worried and I'm very
>> concerned about the pitching coach.  If Pelfry doesn't have a break out
> The pitching coach is an idiot. From everything I can tell his
> knowledge of pitching is stuck around 1985. Even Peterson isn't as
> cutting edge as these guys: - but I'd
> still take him. Warthen is using betamax; Peterson is on DVD, and these
> guys are BluRay . . . to make an analogy.
>> year and Main and Perez give us repeats of last season..then it is hard
>> to see how the team can compete.
> The biggest problem is that neither guy shows any trending toward
> actually becoming a reliable 200 IP major league starter. Neither one
> of these guys has EVER thrown 200 IP in a professional season. When you
> consider they have a combined 19 seasons in professional baseball, that
> becomes even more glaring. Say what you want about Mike Pelfrey,
> because he definitely regressed, but he at least has a 200 IP season
> already in 4 years of pro ball.
> I know that sounds simplistic and some people will point to 'inning
> eaters' or some bullshit like that, but the truth is that in the game
> today, if you can throw 200 IP in a season, it means you're 1. healthy
> enough to make 30+ starts, and 2. good enough to stay in those starts
> long enough to average the 6+ innings you need.
>> But the real weakness is a lack of development, and that can't be
>> remedied in a single season and if signing Bay means giving up draft
>> picks, it might be hard to swallow.
> I know you're obsessed with losing draft picks, and I agree with you . .
> . BUT . . . do you have any real confidence this group will do anything
> with those picks? Seriously? Their draft record is horrendous so far.
> Omar has had 5 drafts.
> 2005
> Pelfrey (1) - Jury still out, but at least he made the big leagues.
> Niese (7) - most likely won't be anything more then a fringe starter,
> but I hope I'm wrong
> Parnell (9) - middle reliever
> Thole (13) - there's still hope
> The rest of the top 10 in that draft never made it out of A ball except
> for Drew Butera who got traded to the Twins in the Castillo deal and is
> at best a 3rd catcher.
> 2006
> Mulvey (2) - fringe major league pitcher Smith (3) - middle reliever
> Murphy (13) - most likely a bench/platoon player Stoner (16) - fringe
> major league pitcher
> Again, the rest of the top 10 hasn't made it out of A ball.
> 2007
> Kunz (1) - maybe will be a major league middle reliever
> At least Eric Niesen (3), Stephen Clyne (3), Zachary Lutz (5), and Lucas
> Duda (7) have made it out of A ball. Of course, none are considered big
> time prospects and given the Mets reputation for rushing prospects to
> make them look more appealing . . .
> 2008
> Nobody yet, but at least given THREE first round picks Omar had some
> success. Ike Davis tore up AA and I actually believe they may have a
> player there. His BB/K rate is actually pretty good for a Mets
> prospect. He should get a season at AA but more likely the Mets will
> rush him to the big leagues when they realize Daniel Murphy and Fernando
> Tatis can't cut it. Brad Holt should start at AA but I'm anticipating
> the Mets will rush him too because they're so thin with arms. Reese
> Havens had a nice year in high A and it looks like he's finally healthy.
> If he starts well at AA he could see Buffalo by the end of the year.
> Oh wait, these are the Mets. He'll be at CitiField by June. I like
> Kirk Nieuwenhuis (3) - the Mets don't draft many OF who can actually
> hit. I also think Josh Satin (6) could be interesting although it's
> likely he won't hit for enough power.
> Hard to tell what 2009 brought, but the early returns are not promising.
>> If FMart, Ike et al don't quickly pan out, and they aren't supported by
>> more prospects, it will be tough going for another five years.
> It really doesn't take 5 years. Take a look at what Jack Zduriencik has
> done in Seattle in a year. This is the same guy who built the Brewers
> system.

BTW for what it is worth, these are considered the top 10 by baseball
1. Jenrry Mejia, rhp
2. Wilmer Flores, ss
3. Fernando Martinez, of
4. Ike Davis, 1b
5. Brad Holt, rhp
6. Jon Niese, lhp
7. Reese Havens, 2b/ss
8. Josh Thole, c
9. Ruben Tejada, 2b/ss
10. Juan Urbina, lhp

Looking at it, I wonder if they might see what the market will bare for
Jose Reyes.

From: jonathan on
> This is partly unfair.  I've scoured the 1st, 2nd and 3nd round picks in
> the draft going back at least a decade, and in truth, most picks fizzle
> on a big scale.  Player DEVELOPMENT is nearly as important picks and
> quantity is more important than even the best quality.

OK, and you think this organization has strong player development?
What are you basing this on? I know you think Wally Backman is the
next John McGraw and the Ken Oberkfell is a brilliant tactician, but
where is the evidence? Where are all of the prospects this
organization has developed? They haven't developed a top-flight
starting pitcher in 20 years. The farm system has had no depth in the
last decade.

> This is not to discourage the importance of scouting.  Scouting is a
> critical thing but it doesn't stop with the draft.  Scouting other teams,
> players as they develop, understanding what their prospects are worth and
> how to nurture them is key to successfully stocking a minor league and 40
> man roster.  I think that it is interesting that the Phillies TRADED Lee
> for Halliday and STILL got back prospects...So that is another mindset
> issue.  This team has money and for the cost of one Delgado contract they
> can fully stock their minor league system...but it has to be viewed as an
> essential priority.

OK . . . but that comes back to Omar Minaya. Do you really think the
Wilpons sit there and say, 'don't try to get any prospects back'. No,
they sit there and say, 'do what you have to to win within our
budget'. That's Omar. He's never been in a position where he
actually had to build a farm system. He inherited one in Montreal
which he traded away. I understand that mitigating circumstances
here. In NY, with all of the resources he has at his disposal, he's
done very little. Where are all of the prospects?

> Tatis is gone, I believe...which should have happened last year...again

He'll be back. Wait until there's an injury or two. I firmly believe
he's another Minaya favorite. Minaya had him in Montreal and he'll go
to him again if he has the opportunity.

> SCOUTING.  I don't think it is necessarily bad to rush a player.  What is
> bad is that the Major League club isn't good at nurturing players.  That
> was a priority that Willie Randolf had, Valentine had, Johnson and Hodges

Bobby Valentine didn't care about nurturing anybody. Don't get me
wrong. The man knows more about the game of baseball then just about
anybody on this planet, but he's an egomaniac who cares about Bobby
Valentine. His liking of young and part-time players was because they
didn't have contracts to talk back to him. He was not what you would
call a good leader.

> had.... I'm more disillusioned with Manual at this point than Minya.

I have no use for either one at this point. Don't get me wrong . . .
I like Omar, but he's changed. The Omar who took the job used to talk
about things that the Omar today doesn't talk about. I don't think he
ever understood how to deal with the media, and I think ultimately
it's been his undoing.

> > Brad Holt should start at AA but I'm anticipating
> > the Mets will rush him too because they're so thin with arms.  
> I saw him in Brooklyn actually.  Don't know what I think of him.
> Overall 3.64 ERA and not much success in AA.  Definitely seems to need AA
> seasoning but his clock is ticking at age 22.  12 base runners per nine
> innings isn't great.

How is his clock ticking at 22? I know you think all pitchers should
peak at 18, but we can't all be Dwight Gooden. His peripheral numbers
were very good. He dominated in Brooklyn. I don't know what you were
watching. I expect him to come back to AA and pitch very well. He
shouldn't get any higher then Buffalo this year, but I'm afraid the
Mets will rush him and hurt his development.

> The guy I really have hope for is Neise.  I know nothing about scouting
> but the kid has a live curve ball, Byleven like (yah yah - tag him for
> the Hall of Fame).  But I want to see him to get a lot of innings this

Niese needs a third pitch because his fastball is not a plus pitch and
never will be. You're not going to survive as a starter against big
league hitters without two plus pitches. If his changeup comes along,
he has a chance. He also has a chance because he's lefthanded. At
this point though, there's a lot of work to go there.

> season.  Also, keep in mind that the scouting hasn't always failed them,  
> Omar plucked Maine for spare parts (and Perez).  They've over leverages

Maine was a high pick (6th round) and one of the top prospects in the
Orioles organization. He had started to lose some favor there but
it's not like the Orioles were ever regarded as a great judge of
pitching in recent times. Perez was also a highly regarded prospect
that the Pirates (another model organization) had soured on. These
guys didn't come out of nowhere.

> Perez, or so it seems at this point, but the team has previously come up
> with unexpected pitching for the right trades.  If they can unload
> someone Francour for well scouted pitching, they might be able to pull
> something out.

Nobody wants Francouer. I doubt there are more then a handful of
organizations that would give you anything of value for the guy. Most
organizations recognize that he's an out machine and has no place as a
starting major league outfielder. The only organization I can think
of that has the amount of disregard for plate discipline and advanced
statistics that the Mets seem to have is the Royals. Gee, maybe they
can deal Francouer and Oliver Perez for Zack Greinke. Why has no Mets
fan brought this up yet? That's a perfect trade!

From: jonathan on
> BTW for what it is worth, these are considered the top 10 by baseball
> America
> 1.      Jenrry Mejia, rhp

Mejia has pitched well, and he's young. He should start the season in

> 2.      Wilmer Flores, ss

Flores is all potential. He's not a shortstop. He may end up at 2B
or in the OF. He's an incredibly raw tools guy who is years away at
this point. I doubt he gets to AA this year. He's still only 18.

> 3.      Fernando Martinez, of

He can hit, but he's never played 100 games in a professional season.
Frankly, if he can't stay on the field he's not much of a prospect.

> 4.      Ike Davis, 1b

I have high hopes. I really like what he did in AA last year.

> 5.      Brad Holt, rhp

I think in terms of potential impact MLB player, this is their best
chance. There's a lot of things to like about Holt.

> 6.      Jon Niese, lhp

It's possible.

> 7.      Reese Havens, 2b/ss

Havens probably won't be a SS, and he needs to make more contact, but
he has strong plate discipline and developing power. He's a guy I
like and while he needs work at 2B, he's a possibility down the road.

> 8.      Josh Thole, c

I think Thole is interesting. I just don't know if he'll defend
enough to be player.

> 9.      Ruben Tejada, 2b/ss

Another tools guy who was probably rushed. He's not a strong defender
so he may end up at 2B too. He has shown some plate discipline at a
young age. He doesn't have the potential upside of Flores but in some
ways I like him better as a player.

> 10.     Juan Urbina, lhp

He's more of a finesse guy even though he's 6'-2". He's Ugie's son so
hopefully he got dad's fastball but not his temperment.

> Looking at it, I wonder if they might see what the market will bare for
> Jose Reyes.

Reyes is a free agent after this year. If the Mets had anybody in the
organization to play SS, I'd consider it. But the truth is that
ultimately the Mets can't trade Wright or Reyes or Beltran because
they're so short in upper level positional talent that they'd have to
get major league ready talent, and nobody is going to do that with
Beltran's contract or Wright or Reyes's impending free agency.
From: ruben on
On Mon, 21 Dec 2009 18:33:46 -0800, jonathan wrote:

Bobby Valentine didn't care about nurturing anybody. Don't get me
wrong. The man knows more about the game of baseball then just about
anybody on this planet, but he's an egomaniac who cares about Bobby
Valentine. His liking of young and part-time players was because they
didn't have contracts to talk back to him. He was not what you would
call a good leader.

> call a good leader.

I just included Valentine on the list. I understand all the problems
Valentine brings to the dugout...believe me. But it is unfair to add to
the list that he doesn't know how to nurture young players...because he
really did. Do you think Jerry Manuel could ever squeeze a 120 OPS out
of Benny Agbayani or get a decent season from the likes of Bobby Jones,
Butch Husky et al. Let also not forget that he handled Fonzy pretty well.

From: jonathan on
> I don't want to be put in a position where I have to over defend Minaya.  
> He's not a god, but he sure isn't as incompetent as people make him out

I don't think he's incompetent. I think he's overmatched at this

> to be.  This much is true Wilpon's + Minaya = bankrupt baseball team.  I
> think Minaya reads his boss very well and is expert and delivering to

I don't agree. I think if he read them well, he would be able to
manage his owners. I don't think he can do that. I think he allows
them to dictate policy. I understand they're the boss, but you can
look at the Red Sox or the Yankees as examples of difficult owners
being managed by the General Manager.

> them what they want in the short term and makes them very happy...until
> the chickens come home to roost.  But the only hope here is that the
> Wilpon's can learn and adapt, and I believe that they can.
> Ruben

I think they need to hire somebody who can teach them that. I like
your Gillick idea, but I don't think they'd ever consider it.
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