Brodie Van Wagenen Creating A Queens Dustbowl

As most are aware, the Dustbowl refers to a period of severe drought which destroyed farms across six different states. To boil it down to an overly simplistic point, the situation was created because farmers did not understand how to farm and maintain the land. They sought immediate profit without an understanding of how their actions would have a long term impact.

It’s like what Brodie Van Wagenen is doing with the Mets.

Van Wagenen’s first major move as the General Manager was to trade Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn two former first round picks who are also two top 100 prospects, for Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano along with $100 million of the $120 million remaining in his contract.

Also included in the deal was Gerson Bautista who was the prize from the Addison Reed trade. It also so happens Bautista throws near triple digits, and he started to put some of his control issues behind him in the Arizona Fall League.

In terms of the farm system, it was a big hit. Agree or disagree with the trade, the Mets opted for the short term goal of improving the 2019 roster, and the expense was two of your best prospects. While you could disagree with the move, you could understand the rationale.

What you can’t understand is the Mets trade with the Astros.

In J.D. Davis, the Mets obtained an infielder who hit .194/.260/.321 in 181 plate appearances. While he’s put up much better power numbers in the minors, talent evaluators believe he swings and misses often and struggles hitting good fastballs. (Mike Puma, New York Post).

While you may believe he just needs more playing time to succeed, you also have to understand it’s not coming with the Mets. Davis, should he even make the Opening Day roster, will have to fight Peter Alonso, Todd Frazier, Jeff McNeil, and whoever else the Mets have on their bench for at-bats. Put simply, he’s not getting the at-bats he needs to succeed.

As for Sam Haggerty, no one truly believes he’s much of a prospect.

In exchange for that, the Mets traded Ross Adolph, Scott Manea, and Luis Santana, which is almost universally believed to be an overpay. Santana was the real prize obtained by the Astros as he’s a player many scouts are high on:

Santana is a two-time Sterling Award winner and was considered to be among the top 10 prospects in a much improved Mets farm system.

With respect to Adolph, he was the steal of the draft. The 12th round pick proved the skills which made him the MAC player of the year translated to professional baseball. He hit .276/.348/.509 for Brooklyn, was the MVP of the New York-Penn League All-Star Game, and he was considered by Baseball America to be the best defensive outfielder in the Mets farm system.

With respect to Manea, even with T.J. Rivera making it to the majors, it is difficult to buy in on undrafted players. However, Manea did hit .261/.368/.432, and the old Mets regime noticed with J.P. Riccardi saying, “He has got a chance to be something. He has opened up some eyes this year. He has got power and a pretty good idea of what he is doing behind the plate.” (Mike Puma, Baseball America). The Astros also noticed and are apparently very high on Manea:

The Astros are one of, if not the, best scouting organization in baseball. For their part, the Mets have a General Manager with zero front office or player development experience. There was an overhaul of the Mets minor league coaching staff before Van Wagenen was even hired.

Recently, Fangraphs reported, “Several league sources have told us that the Mets don’t scout beneath full-season ball.” As a result, the Mets “simply lack reports on a lot of players,” which will include two of the players they just traded.

Point is, Van Wagenen is flying blind here. He’s making decisions on players with insufficient information, and he’s making important decisions about their and the Mets future. Teams like the Astros are more than happy to take advantage.

This may be a problem created by a team too cheap to keep Wilmer Flores or sign any one of the cheaper free agents available like Mark Reynolds, but it’s also a problem of making bad decisions predicated on little, no, or bad information.

The Mets are destroying the farm, and they’re doing it on bad information. If this team doesn’t start spending, there’s going to be a lot of fallow years ahead for the Mets. It’s going to be a Dust Bowl driving people away from Citi Field.

0 thoughts on “Brodie Van Wagenen Creating A Queens Dustbowl”

  1. oldbackstop says:

    According to the BP December report (who also had him 11th….I guess he is among the top 11 if you spin?) he is only really 5’6″, has a below average arm, and his upside is maybe an average starter.

    Being the number 11 prospect in the Mets farm system (that rand is after Dunn and Kelenic are out) is like being the tallest dwarf…which sort of sounds like Santana. That guy is not going to be a plus major leaguer, and a 5’6″second baseman with a below average arm has nowhere to go — not first, not SS, not 3B. By your pasted in assessment he is a C+ and hasn’t played above rookie ball yet. How are we at 2nd base? Cano, McNeil, Rivera…let’s go to the farm. Our number 1, 3 and 4 prospect…Gimenez. Newton and Mauricio, are strong armed infielders,

    And JD Davis….yeah, he struggled in 181 ABs in the show, but did you look at him in AAA last year? .342/.406/.583/.988, 17 HRs in 333 ABs. He plays first, third and left and, by the way, has a 93 mph slider, was a closer in college, and struck out four of 11 batters he faced in the majors.

    And Santana, a rookie ball dwarf who is about 8th in line for the only position he can play, is the hill you want to die on?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      The Mets farm system took significant steps forward, and many places have said Santana is the best prospect in this deal.

      As for Davis, Kivlehan had a similar OPS, are you calling for the Mets to bring him back, or are you doing to admit PCL stats are inflated and shouldn’t be trusted?

  2. oldbackstop says:

    “The Mets are destroying the farm, and they’re doing it on bad information. If this team doesn’t start spending,,,,”

    Exactly. Blow up our mediocre farm and make the Coupons spend on FAs and international stars and the new Cuban wave. We can stop placing our future hopes on the one position dwarf Santana’s of the world.

    Seriously….you would have rather had the Santana part of the JD Davis deal?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      It’s not a mediocre farm, and your statements on Cuban players show you don’t understand there’s an IFA bonus cap.

      And yes, like every single talent evaluator who has opined on this deal, I’d rather the Astros end of the deal.

    2. oldbackstop says:

      Kivlehan is 29 years old and is just an outfielder and never slashed that high.

      1. metsdaddy says:


      2. oldbackstop says:

        ? Yeah, exactly. Why would you compare him to a guy four years younger with better slashes who plays multiple positions?

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Because I’m giving context to PCL numbers.

  3. oldbackstop says:

    BTW, elsewhere you decried losing leverage by signing Broxton and making Lagares look “expendable” to potential trade partners. Well, without an option, Lagares ISN’T expendable, making any trade discussion moot.

    These minor moves to fill needs…JD as a utility player, Broxton as a CF, Hector Santiago as a candidate for 5th starter/swingman…..they have the effect of giving us a stronger hand if we want to court stronger pieces in those roles, no?

    And most importantly, you seem to decry the loss of anyone who can’t shave, regardless of their actual path to Citifield. Santana has eight better options in front of him before he would get to the Mets at 2nd, his only position. That is IF he succeeds beyond rookie ball, which some commentators doubt because of the holes in his wild swing.

    A minor league player who has no path to the majors with the franchise should be dealt for assets that can, preferably at the height of his value. Santana ma well be at that height (5’6″)

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Your read on the situation couldn’t be any more incorrect.

      1. oldbackstop says:

        Mere assertion is akin to namecalling. The Mets can’t trade unless the team has a contingency in place. You want to trade Lagares without Broxton being there? What is your leverage when you negotiate with an FA or trade partner when they know you only have two outfielders a month away from pitchers and catchers?

        1. metsdaddy says:

          It’s not an assertion or name calling. You’re incorrect, especially your gross mischaracterizations of Santana.

  4. Five Tool Ownership says:

    It looks like Jeff went too far…
    Fred set limits this off season….

    Maybe that is why few interviewed and probably the reason that the rising star from TB is not the GM?

    “The Mets Don’t Realize What They Don’t Know”

    By John Edwards….

    “Like an adult trading baseball cards with a five-year-old, the only thing holding the adult back from completely swindling the five-year-old is a sense of morality—and since baseball operations departments do not have souls, that safeguard is not present.”

    Please Fred, it is only a game….
    But seriously…. why are still involved?

    1. Gothamist says:

      Will Fred Wilpon hire David Stewart as his special assistant to read the daily reports and briefing coming fromthe Met’s analyst.

      I heard that in Washington DC, other actual readers have condensed briefings down to one index card.

      Dave Stewart, same thinking, younger generation?
      Kevin Towers? Alex Anthopoulos?
      They went for it too.

  5. oldbackstop says:

    MD” “In J.D. Davis, the Mets obtained an infielder who hit .194/.260/.321 in 181 plate appearances. While he’s put up much better power numbers in the minors, talent evaluators believe he swings and misses often and struggles hitting good fastballs.”

    What is missing here is that it known Davis is much stronger hitting lefties, which will probably be his role. Those numbers consisted of about twice as many righties as lefties, and undoubtedly a lot of pinchhitting against closers. Against lefties in 2018 he hit .231

    His career against lefties is .220/.280/.418/.698, which is not a world beater, but was better or equivilant to the 2018 slashes of Bruce, Frazier, Reyes, Plawecki, D’Arnaud, Nido, Guillorme, Bautista, Dom Smith, Mesoraco……..many.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      What’s the point of carrying someone to hit left-handed pitching if he can’t hit a left-harder who throws a good fastball?

      1. Five Tool Ownership says:

        To have to get so granular just to put a plus or two on J.D. Davis’s value says to me this is a crapshoot.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          No, it’s not a crapshoot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *