Last year, the Mets parted with number of pitching prospects in a drive to make it to the postseason for the first time since 2006. Over the course of this past year, we have seen some of them actually pitching in the major leagues:
- In 16 starts for the Detroit Tigers, Michael Fulmer is 9-2 with a 2.50 ERA and a 1.089 WHIP. He is the leading candidate for the American League Rookie of the Year Award, and he should receive some Cy Young Award votes at the end of the season.
- The Tigers traded Luis Cessa in the offseason to the New York Yankees. Cessa has pitched briefly out of the bullpen for the Yankees this year. In his six appearances, he has pitched 13.2 innings going 1-0 with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.244 WHIP.
- The Atlanta Braves do not seem quite sure what to make of John Gant and his quirky delivery, but they seem to be convinced he’s a major league caliber pitcher. Out of the bullpen, Gant has made seven appearances with no record, a 6.17 ERA, and a 1.714 WHIP. As a starter, Gant has performed considerably better going 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.179 WHIP.
As we know, the Mets got Yoenis Cespedes for Fulmer and Cessa. Gant was part of a trade that netted the Mets Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson. The Mets also made trades of varying success to obtain Tyler Clippard, Addison Reed, and Eric O’Flaherty. Overall, the Mets gave up valuable pieces to obtain major league players that helped them win the National League Pennant.
As of right now, the Mets are in a similar situation to where they were last season. They need to assess what they need (starter, reliever, and right handed bat off the bench) and what they are willing to trade to obtain those pieces. Sooner or later, the right player is going to come along, and the Mets are going to have to decide whether to trade next year’s Fulmer for this year’s Cespedes. The issue becomes who do you and who do you not trade. Here is a look at the Mets top prospects teams are sure to be inquiring about.
Each and every team is going to inquire on Rosario, and the answer time and time again is going to be no. It’s for good reason as well. When the Mets signed him out of the Dominican Republic, his defense was seen as a given, but there were concerns about his bat. Rosario has put many of those concerns to bed by hitting .321/.372/.464 with 19 doubles, 12 triples, three homers and 56 RBI between St. Lucie and Binghamton. He was a Florida State Leauge All Star, on the Team World Roster for the Future’s Game, and he was named MLB.com‘s 18th best prospect. Unless you are talking a Mike Trout trade, Rosario is off the table.
This is where things start to get a little interesting as Smith has really taken off since Rosario joined him in AA hitting .336/.398/.626 with five doubles, one triples, eight homers and 27 RBI. Smith is starting to show the power that could take him from a very good prospect to an elite prospect with the ranks of Rosario. Already, Smith is a plus defender at first base, and he has the ability to drive the ball gap-to-gap. If you trade him, you could be trading away the next John Olerud or worse if his power game continues to develop. If you keep him, you risk him becoming the next James Loney. Yes, Loney has been a quality major league first baseman, but Loney should never be what stands between you and getting an All Star or difference maker at the trade deadline that could put the team over the top.
It seems that since Herrera came to the Mets in the Marlon Byrd trade, he was touted as the Mets second baseman of the future. He was someone who could handle the position well defensively while being a real force at the plate. He showed that he has unique power for the position. Due to injuries in 2014, the Mets brought him up from AA to play in the majors. Last year, he was seen as an offensive spark when a number of players went down due to injury. This year he hasn’t been a consideration at all. He has struggled in AAA hitting .277/.331/.471 in the Pacific Coast League which is a hitter’s league. Part of that might be teams figuring him out. Part of that may be him dealing with a shoulder injury sapping him of some of his offensive ability and having him fall into bad habits at the plate. He is less patient at the plate, and he is lunging for balls he wouldn’t last year. If you move him, you are moving the guy that could be a multiple time All Star. If you don’t, you just might be hanging onto a guy that may never figure it out.
Cecchini is in a tough position in the Mets organization. He isn’t seen as good a prospect at short as Rosario, and he has had some trouble handling the position at Cashman Field, who has an infield that is not kind to infielders. He’s a good hitter hitting .315/.392/.441 with 18 doubles, two triples, five homers, and 40 RBI, and he reminds you of a right-handed Daniel Murphy at the plate. However, he is not considered as good of an offensive prospect as an Herrera. Furthermore, his bat does not have the power profile that would play at third or the outfield. By many accounts, Cecchini will play in the majors one day. What you don’t know is what he will be. Will he be the next Murphy at the plate with similar defensive versatility? With that in mind, will he develop power as he gets older and fills out like Murphy did? Will he turn into the next Matt Reynolds – a major league utility player? Again, you don’t want to lose the next Murphy for a rental, but you also don’t want to miss out on someone because you wnated to keep another Reynolds or Joe McEwing type of player.
Most Mets fans would jump at the opportunity to trade him. He hasn’t hit at all in the majors despite given extended looks on two different occassions. However, Plawecki has been a good defensive catcher and pitch framer. He was also once considered a prospect who could push Travis d’Arnaud for playing time. Keep in mind that since his demotion, Plawecki is hitting .291/.347/.512 with four doubles, five homers, and 21 RBI in 27 games. These numbers aren’t exciting, especially in the Pacific Coast League, but it shows he is starting to become more patient at the plate and more selective swinging at pitches. Also keep in mind that catcher is a position that players tend to develop later in their careers than other positions. Plawecki could still very well be the Mets catcher of the future, or he could be a solid backup. He may not be the type of player who should hold up a deal, but he definitively is a player you want to protect if at all possible.
Ultimately, it seems like one of the aforementioned players are going to have to be traded if the Mets want to acquire an impact player like Jonathan Lucroy. However, they need to be very careful about which one.
In an ideal world, Rosario and Smith are non-starters. These are two players who are excelling in AA at a young age, and they appear primed to contribute to the Mets sooner than expected. You do not ever want to give up a Rosario or a Smith. These players should prove to be fixtures in the Mets lineup for ten plus years. Still, you’re going to have to give up someone if you are going to want to add that last piece who could put the Mets over the top in 2016.
That piece appears to be between Herrera and Cecchini. The Mets may very well have a preference between these two players, and coming into this season, it seemed like Herrera. However, that does not mean they still feel the same way, nor does it mean that other teams think similarly. Regardless of how the Mets feel, a team may force their hand to trade one or the other to hopefully trade for this year’s version of Yoenis Cespedes. In the end, it seems like the Mets will be giving up a Herrera or a Cecchini like they did with Fulmer last year if they want to make a move.
The hope is that the player has the impact Cespedes did last year and that the Mets take the next step and win the 2016 World Series.
Editor’s Note: this was also published on Mets Minors
With the trade deadline Monday, there are going to be a number of rumors involving the Mets as the Mets were very active in the trade market last year, and they are in the thick of the Wild Card race. Now, with the Marlins making the first big deadline trade acquiring Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea, Fox Sports Jon Morosi believes it will get the ball rolling with a number of teams, like the Mets, making a number of deals.
The Jonathan Lucroy Sweepstakes
According to ESPN’s Jerry Krasnick, the Tigers are out on the Jonathan Lucroy Sweepstakes. This might be one of the reasons the Brewers have re-engaged the Mets on Lucroy. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal’s Tom Haudricourt reported, the Brewers aren’t getting the offers they thought they would receive in exchange for Lucroy, and they also want to make sure they canvass the area to make sure they get the best possible return they can get for the catcher.
Lucroy would be a huge upgrade over what Travis d’Arnaud has provided the Mets this season. So far this year, d’Arnaud is hitting .246/.299/.333 with five doubles, two homers, and 10 RBI. Additionally, d’Arnaud has already had a stint on the disabled list. Lucroy has been the second best catcher in baseball this season hitting .300/.361/.486 with 17 doubles, three triples, 13 homers, and 50 RBI. It is not much of a surprise that the Brewers already rejected a straight up deal of Lucroy for d’Arnaud. According to Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal, the Brewers informed the Mets that they want some high end prospects in addition to d’Arnaud in exchange for Lucroy. In order to get those prospects, Haudricourt says the Brewers would consider bundling Lucroy with one or two of their coveted relievers, which include Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith.
The Mets will have to get creative as, according to ESPN’s Adam Rubin, the Mets do not anticipate either Amed Rosario or Dominic Smith. Further complicating matters is, as MMO and Mets Minors own Michael Mayer reports, Dilson Herrera has been dealing with a sore shoulder causing him to miss the last four games.
Trade With the Tampa Bay Rays
According to Crasnick, the Mets are very interested in Rays’ Steve Pearce. In his career, Pearce has predominantly played first base and outfield. However, the Rays have not played him in the outfield this year. Instead, he has played mostly first base with some time at second, third, an DH.
Pearce would certainly fulfill a need for the Mets as he is hitting .312/.384/.528 with 11 doubles, one triple, 10 homers, and 29 RBI on the year. He has hit a respectable .288/.348/.452 against righties, but he is flat out mashing lefties hitting .377/.476/.736 against lefties. The Mets could desperately use him given some of the splits we have seen with the Mets starters against lefties:
This does not even include Neil Walker who is hitting lefties well this year, but is still a career .262/.320/.357 career hitter against lefties. Given the injuries to Jose Reyes and Yoenis Cespedes as well as Juan Lagares again being put on the disabled list with the torn ligament in his left thumb, the Mets are going to have to play two or more of the aforementioned players against lefties.
The Mets could also have some interest in Matt Moore, who is 7-7 with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.269 WHIP in 21 starts. Moore would be an upgrade over Logan Verrett, and he could be insurance against Steven Matz and the bone spurs in his left elbow.
However, the chances of the Mets acquiring either player is not particularly good at the moment as the Rays intend to drive a hard bargain. According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the Rays asked for Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto in exchange for Moore and Jake Odorizzi.
The Mets were earlier linked briefly to Jon Niese given Matt Harvey‘s season ending surgery. However, it does not appear as if those talks have gotten anywhere beyond the preliminary stages at this point. Now, the struggling Niese is in the bullpen alongside Pirates closer Mark Melancon. Melancon is having another strong year as the Pirates closer going 1-1 with a 1.51 ERA and a 0.960 WHIP while recording 30 saves.
According to Rosenthal, the Nationals have been in active trade discussion with the Pirates about Melancon after Jonathan Papelbon has had a rough stretch to the season. Rosenthal further reports trading the pending free agent Melancon would not signal the team is waiving the white flag. Instead, the Pirates remain active on the trade market themselves, and they intend to replace Melancon with either Tony Watson or former Texas Rangers closer Neftali Feliz.
Frankly, it wouldn’t be a trade deadline unless the Nationals were trying to displace their closer. According to Rosenthal, the Nationals are also in on Royals closer Wade Davis, who is having another great year recording 21 saves while recording a 1.60 ERA and a 1.099 WHIP.
Neither Melancon nor Davis have been linked to the Mets.
The Final Cost
As we see with the ask for Lucroy, the prices are going to be steep at the trading deadline. In reality, the only thing that helps the Mets chances there is the fact that the Mets are not on Lucroy’s no trade list. Perhaps the most discouraging sign of all is Passan’s latest report that the Phillies could obtain three to four prospects in exchange for Jeremy Hellickson.
Editor’s Note: this was first published on Mets Merized Online
There is probably not hotter prospect in all of baseball right now than Amed Rosario. He recently played in the Future’s Game, Keith Law recently ranked him as the number 14 overall prospect in all of baseball, and the Mets have called him untouchable in trade discussions thereby assuring he is going to be the Mets shortstop of the future. Given the fact that he is hitting .405/.471/.568 with six doubles and three triples in 17 games at AA Binghamton after dominating the Florida State League, the natural question arises as to when he will get called-up to AAA, so he can work on what he needs to work on there before taking over as the Mets shortstop for the next decade or more.
There’s one problem with aggressively promoting Rosario right now. Gavin Cecchini is currently the shortstop for the AAA Las Vegas 51s.
The 22 year old Cecchini was the Mets 2012 first round draft choice (12th overall). He is a well regarded prospect in his own right being listed as the 89th best prospect in all of baseball by Keith Law heading into the season. He was also MLB.com’s 87th best prospect. He was ranked so high as he hit .317/.377/.442 hitter with 26 doubles, four tripes, seven homers, and 51 RBI for AA Binghamton last year. His play in AA merited him a promotion to AAA where he has so far hit .319/.395/.447 with 17 doubles, two triples, five homers, and 40 RBI. Overall, Cecchini’s statistics alone establish that he’s a worthwhile prospect that should not yet be pushed aside.
Ultimately, statistics aside, Cecchini projects to be a good to very good major league hitter. He could quite possibly be the best contact hitter in the Mets’ minor league system. Cecchini has a nice compact swing who hits the ball with authority from gap to gap. In many ways, he reminds you of a right-handed younger Daniel Murphy at the plate. When his body begins to fill out some of those doubles may begin to turn into home runs at the big league level. While he may not be an All Star, he could very well be an above average regular.
There is one problem with Cecchini. Since he has been in the Mets system, he has mostly struggled defensively. This season is no different with him having an extremely poor .916 fielding percentage. While he has been willing to put in the work and do extra work on the side with Wally Backman, the results just aren’t there. Given the presence of Rosario, the natural inclination would be for the Mets to just move Cecchini to second base. This would create room for Rosario at shortstop, and the two can begin building a chemistry together as a future double play combination.
However, the Mets cannot do that as the Mets second baseman of the future, Dilson Herrera, is currently Cecchini’s double play partner in Las Vegas. The Mets have long been high on Herrera. Two years ago, the Mets gave him an 18 game cup of coffee due to a number of injuries. Last year, the Mets called him up to the majors rather quickly when both Murphy and David Wright went down with injuries. While Herrera didn’t produce much during either short stint in the majors, the tools are all there to be a very good major league hitter. He is still only 22 years old, and he has hit .302/.356/.487 while playing in AAA. Herrera can very well make an All Star Game or two on the basis of his bat alone.
And yet, there are some warning flags with Herrera. While he has good hands, he does not project to be a plus defender at second base. Additionally, he has seemingly taken a step back in AAA this year hitting only .278/.330/.465 in what has been an injury plagued year. He has become much less patient at the plate seemingly swinging at everything instead of working the count and getting a pitch to drive. It is somewhat troubling, but he is still only 22 years old, and he has shown he can be a terrific hitter. It is way too early to give up on player who can be a terrific hitter who has plus power for a middle infield position. Accordingly, you can’t just move Cecchini to second.
So what do you do with Cecchini? There are no easy answers.
The Mets could try to move him to third base where he could serve as insurance against David Wright‘s back. Given his lateral mobility and his arm, Cecchini could play the position. However, given Cecchini’s lack of true home run power, he doesn’t have the type of bat that could play at a corner infield position. Furthermore, removing Cecchini from shortstop would only serve to diminish his potential trade value.
Indeed, the Mets could look to trade him like they are apparently willing to do with any prospect named Amed Rosario. However, if the Mets were to do that, they would be parting with a player who has shown he could be a viable major league player. If the Mets were to part with Cecchini, they would be losing a big insurance policy. Rosario and Herrera could falter or get injured like some can’t miss prospects do. In the event that happens, Cecchini could prove to be a valuable piece who takes advantage of his opportunity. Mets fans saw this happen as recently as 2013 when Jacob deGrom established himself as a front line starting pitcher while Rafael Montero became an also ran. In essence, it is important to have depth, and Cecchini is certainly that.
Still, there is no doubt that Rosario and Herrera are the better prospects right now, and you cannot have Cecchini blocking their path to the majors no matter how good Cecchini is. The Mets could make him a third baseman or utility player thereby making him a better option for the big league club, but also diminishing his trade value. Overall, there are seemingly no good answers as to what the Mets should do with Cecchini. In some ways, it is a dilemma. In others, it is a good problem to have.
With the Mets looking to improve their roster in the hopes of both making the postseason and winning the World Series this year, the Mets may very well have to include him in a trade to get that player who puts them over the top. It’s also likely teams will force the Mets to give up Herrera in a trade. In either event, the problem will have been solved for the Mets. In the event that neither one is moved at the trading deadline, things will become interesting for the Mets. Ultimately, it is going to be very interesting to see how this whole situation eventually plays out.
Currently, MLB and many of their full season affiliates are either at or have already had their All Star Break. At each and every level, the Mets had a minor league hitter named to their level’s All-Star Game. Listed below is a synopsis of the Mets’ organizations leaders at the break:
Class A – Columbia Fireflies
- AVG: David Thompson (.294)
- OBP: Vinny Siena (.435 – League Leader)
- SLG: David Thompson (.474)
- OPS: Vinny Siena (.834)
- R: Vinny Siena (53)
- H: J.C. Rodriguez (71)
- 2B: Dash Winningham (23)
- 3B: Kevin Kaczmarski (7)
- HR: Jeffrey Diehl (9)
- RBI: David Thompson (58 – League Leader)
- SB: J.C. Rodriguez (14)
- All-Stars: Vinny Siena, David Thompson
- Promotions: Vinny Siena, David Thompson, Kevin Kaczmarski
Class A Advanced – St. Lucie Mets
- AVG: Wuilmer Becerra (.319 – League Leader)
- OBP: Kevin Taylor (.386)
- SLG: Tomas Nido (.471)
- OPS: Kevin Taylor (.833)
- R: Champ Stuart (49)
- H: Amed Rosario (82)
- 2B: Wuilmer Becerra (17)
- 3B: Amed Rosario (8 – League Leader)
- HR: Kevin Taylor (7)
- RBI: Amed Rosario (40)
- SB: Champ Stuart (25)
- All-Stars: Amed Rosario, Wuilmer Becerra, Tomas Nido
- Promotions: Amed Rosario, Phillip Evans, Champ Stuart
AA – Binghamton Mets
- AVG: Matt Oberste (.290)
- OBP: Derrik Gibson (.366)
- SLG: Dominic Smith (.436)
- OPS: Dominic Smith (.777)
- R: Derrik Gibson (44)
- H: Dominic Smith (85)
- 2B: Matt Oberste, Dominic Smith (17)
- 3B: L.J. Mazzilli (5)
- HR: Dominic Smith (10)
- RBI: Matt Oberste (34)
- SB: Derrik Gibson (8)
- All-Stars: Matt Oberste
- Promotions: Niuman Romero
AAA – Las Vegas 51s
- AVG: T.J. Rivera (.348 – League Leader)
- OBP: Brandon Nimmo (.409)
- SLG: Travis Taijeron (.564)
- OPS: Travis Taijeron (.953)
- R: Travis Taijeron (61)
- H: T.J. Rivera, Travis Taijeron (96)
- 2B: Travis Taijeron (35 – League Leader)
- 3B: Brandon Nimmo (7)
- HR: Johnny Monell (14)
- RBI: Travis Taijeron (69)
- SB: Roger Bernadina (12)
- All-Stars: T.J. Rivera, Travis Taijeron, Wally Backman (manager)
- Promotions: Brandon Nimmo
- AVG: T.J. Rivera LV (.348)
- OBP: Vinny Siena COL & STL (.413)
- SLG: Travis Taijeron LV (.953)
- OPS: Travis Taijeron LV (.953)
- R: Travis Taijeron (61)
- H: Amed Rosario STL & BNG (107)
- 2B: Travis Taijeron LV (35)
- 3B: Amed Rosario STL & BNG (11)
- HR: Johnny Monell LV (14)
- RBI: Travis Taijeron LV (69)
- SB: Champ Stuart STL & BNG (26)
* stats are updated through July 13, 2016
Editor’s Note: this was first published on metsminors.net
The most famed double play trio in Major League history was Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance. They were so renown that Franklin Pierce Adams would script a poem about them dubbed Baseball’s Sad Lexicon:
These are the three saddest possible words:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bears cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double –
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
As we all saw in the Future’s Game, the Mets are developing their own trio of young stars that people will wax poetic about for years to come.
For the first time ever, Amed Rosario, Dilson Herrera, and Dominic Smith took the field at the very same time. These are the very same three players that the Mets envision to be their own version of Tinker to Evers to Chance. It was easy to believe this is the future when Mets fans got to see the Future’s Game to watch Rosario make plays like this:
— MVVM Wear (@MvvmWear) July 11, 2016
This of course followed Herrera and Rosario helping the World Team put up a crooked number in the top of the ninth. Herrera hit an RBI single to put the World team ahead 5-3, and Rosario followed him with a single to load the bases. Both would eventually come home to score Seeing Herrera and Rosario get back to back base hits and score runs is something Mets fans will start seeing in the very near future.
Smith did his part to help USA win the game. He was one of the few players on the day that would play the entire game. As anticipated, he played a good defensive first base. He also had an RBI, which at the time had put USA up 2-0.
Overall, we saw each future Mets player contribute and help their teams try to win the game. Within the next few years, they will all take the field at the same time at Citi Field. Given their offensive capabilities, they will help their pitching staff get a lead in a game. Given their defense they will be able to turn a double play or two in the game. There will be excitement amongst the fans at Citi Field while the opposition and their fans will feel dejected as the Mets double play combination will give them “nothing but trouble.” Everyone else will shudder at the words:
Rosario to Herrera to Smith
On a field in Binghamton, New York the shortstop of the Mets’ past played alongside the Mets’ shortstop of the future. As it turns out, it was the the old shortstop, Jose Reyes, who came away impressed by the minor leaguer Amed Rosario saying, “Wow! He’s 20 years old and he looks like a veteran.” (New York Post). This is but one of the many accolades that have been bestowed upon Rosario in his young career.
The latest accolade to be bestowed upon Rosario was him being named the MLB Future’s Game. Earlier in the month it was being named to Baseball America’s All-Prospect Team for June. Somewhat surprisingly, Rosario was named to the team for his bat as he hit .381/.423/.536 with nine doubles and three triples in his time between St. Lucie and Binghamton. Rosario put up these impressive stats while continuing to play the terrific defense that was a major factor in the reason why the Mets signed the 16 year old Rosario out of the Dominican Republic in 2012.
Overall, Rosario has shown a terrific work ethic that has led to his continuous improvement. He’s gone from a .278/.328/.378 hitter for four different A league teams to a .344/.394/.459 hitter in AA. This marked improvement is why he has named the 79th best prospect by MLB.com this year. It’s why Keith Law named him baseball’s 42nd best prospect and has called him a superstar. It’s also why Baseball America named him the 98th best prospect in 2015, the 58th best prospect in 2016, and a member of the All-Prospect Team for June. Overall, it’s why Rosario keeps receiving accolades and drawing “Wows” from the people that come in contact with him. All of this and more is why the Mets aren’t going to trade Rosario.
In many ways, the Mets naming Rosario an untouchable prospect in a year they may need to make a big trade could be the biggest honor of them all. He’s earned that honor as well as all the others he has received. As long as Rosario keeps working hard and keeps improving, he’s going to receive even more.
Editor’s Note: this was first published on metsminors.net
Since Michael Fulmer‘s call-up on April 29th, he is an astounding 6-1 with a 2.83 ERA and a 1.175 WHIP. In his last four starts, he is 4-0 with a 0.32 ERA and a 0.635 WHIP. These are great numbers from any rookie. It’s all the more incredible when you consider he’s only made three starts in AAA. The 23 year old is showing everyone why he was considered a potential ace, and why the Tigers wanted him in the first place.
It’s also a reminder that the Mets used their biggest trade chip last year.
While the Mets farm system is still stocked with pitching talent, there aren’t any pitchers with the upside of Fulmer, at least not any that are as close to the major leagues as Fulmer was last year. Now, the Mets do boast some terrific position player prospects like Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario. However, neither one of those players are close to ready to being major leaguers. While these players are highly thought of around baseball, they are certainly not going to fetch a player of Yoenis Cespedes‘ caliber at the trading deadline. That’s a huge problem for the Mets.
Right now, the Mets are without Lucas Duda, David Wright, and Travis d’Arnaud due to severe injuries. The Mets don’t know the long-term status of Juan Lagares and the torn ligament in his left thumb. Hopefully, d’Arnaud, who has started rehab games, can catch with the torn labrum. Realistically, all the Mets can do with each of these players is put a timetable on when they think they could return not fully knowing when these players can return. As the Mets are waiting to figure this out, they are playing a group of players that are having problems just to reach the Mendoza Line. The big solution they have so far was to acquire James Loney. Loney has been good so far, but he is still the player who was released by the Tampa Rays and was playing for the San Diego Padres’ AAA affiliate. In short, the Mets are going to have to go out there on the trade market and obtain some players that can help them at catcher, first, and third.
The Mets have the pieces to make those deals. However, they may not have the pieces to make that blockbuster deal that everyone wants. The Mets don’t have the one big trade piece that could solve the issue at one or more positions. The reason why is the Mets went all-in on the 2015 season. The result was the Mets making it to the World Series. At the end of the day, the 2016 Mets may be hamstrung by what happened in 2015.
With that said, Sandy Alderson is a very good GM. He has swung some good trades while he has been the manager of the Mets. The deals he made with the Braves for Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe as well as the deal he made with the Arizona Diamondbacks for Addison Reed were absolute coups. Alderson was able to acquire quality major league pieces without giving up much of anything. The Mets are going to need the same type of performance this trading deadline, especially since he doesn’t have the same assets he had last year to get the job done. It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to require some creativity. However, if anyone can do it, it’s Sandy Alderson.
On April 26th, Amed Rosario gave everyone a glimpse as to why he’s a great player who will play and thrive in the majors one day.
Rosario was the driving force in the St. Louis Mets’ 10-5 win over the Charlotte Stone Crabs. In the game, he went 3-5 with a run, triple, homer, and four RBI. He was just a singe short of the cycle. It was a big games in what has been a terrific season this has been for Rosario. He’s hitting .322/.351/.563. In just 21 games, he’s tied his career high in homers. He’s one triple short of tying his career high in that catergory.
So far this year, Rosario is the Florida State League’s leader in triples, hits, and total bases. He’s second in the league in RBI and slugging. These numbers are impressive for any prospect. They’re more impressive when you consider he’s 20 years old, which makes him about three years younger than the average age of the players in the league. It’s even more impressive when you consider there were questions about his bat when Rosario signed as a 17 year old out of the Dominican Republic.
When Rosario was signed, his defense was seen as a given, if not elite. However, teams were splits as to whether Rosario would ever hit. So far in his minor league career, he has quieted these concerns. This year he’s starting to show he could be a good hitter in the big leagues.
Despite how far he’s come offensively, and his terrific day at the plate, Rosario wasn’t patting himself on the back:
We won but im having a hard time letting go of my E6. It didnt cost us the game but I've made errors this year that I would make in my sleep
— Amed Rosario (@Amed_Rosario) April 27, 2016
No, Rosario is focusing on how he can improve his game. He’s thinking about what he needs to do to become a better player. It’s not only an example of why he’s become a much better hitter, it’s also an example why he will continue to become a much better player. It’s part of his #DontBeSurprisedBeReady mantra.
Rosario expects a lot out of himself. He’s his own biggest critic. This is why he’s going to be a terrific major league player one day.
Editor’s Note: this was first published on metsminors.net
I’m sure Jedd Gyorko could be the answer to many questions. However, I’m fairly positive he’s not the answer to the question, “Who should be your starting shortstop?”
With the injury to Jhonny Peralta, Gyorko is the Cardinals starting shortstop. Unless the Cardinals make a move, Gyorko will be the shortstop for the next two to three months. Now, Gyorko was never anything more than an average second baseman which a career -1.5 UZR over his three year career. That doesn’t bode well for his chances to be a good to adequate shortstop. Like most, I’m assuming if any team can make it work, it’s the Cardinals.
With that said, it’s a good time for the Mets to call the Cardinals. From all the reports this Spring, it appears that the Mets might be looking to move on from Ruben Tejada. It’s probably the right move too.
Last year, Tejada had an impressive finish to the season. Although never mentioned as such, he was part of the reason why the Mets rallied to win the NL East. His gruesome injury in the NLDS was a rallying cry for the Mets and Mets fans throughout the postseason. However, he’s on the last year of his deal, and he’s an expensive backup eating up a spot on the 40 man roster.
The Mets right now have absurd depth at the shortstop position. Asdrubal Cabrera is penciled in as the starter the next two years. Wilmer Flores grew into the role and handled the position very well when pressed into shortstop duty again in the postseason. Former second round pick Matt Reynolds is competing for a utility role in the majors. On top of that, the Mets have two big shortstop prospects in Gavin Cecchini and Amed Rosario. Long story short, the Mets don’t need shortstop depth.
What they do need is 40 man roster space. So far, Jim Henderson is having a nice Spring and may be on the inside track to locking down a spot on the Opening Day bullpen. The Mets are talking about letting Kevin Plawecki start the year in AAA. This means, as of right now, Johnny Monell would open the year as the backup catcher. There’s a problem with Henderson and Monell making the Opening Day roster.
Neither player is on the 40 man roster, and the Mets have no spots open. Even if the Mets placed Zack Wheeler on the 60 day DL, the Mets would still need to drop someone else from the 40 man roster to add both Henderson and Monell. This could be accomplished by trading Tejada.
It seemed like Tejada turned a corner last year. Unfortunately, with one dirty play he is back on the bench, and frankly, occupying a roster spot the Mets need. It may not seem fair. It may seem cruel, but it’s time for the Mets too move on from Tejada. They should do it now with the Cardinals having a need, and the Mets wanting to maximize the return they would receive for Tejada.
Editor’s Note: this article also appeared on metsmerizedonline.com
Whenever a prospect is coming through the system or a young player makes his way to the majors, invariably there is a comparison made to an All Star caliber player. Very rarely do we see a comparison to a utility player or a grinder like Joe McEwing.
With that said, if Matt Reynolds wants to be a part of this Mets team going forward, he will need to become this generation’s Super Joe.
Right now, Reynolds path to the majors is blocked. At the major league level, the Mets have Asdrubal Cabrera, Ruben Tejada, and Wilmer Flores provide extraordinary major league depth at the shortstop position. On the horizon, the Mets have two very well regarded shortstop prospects in Gavin Cecchini and Amed Rosario. For what it’s worth, Rosario is likely ticketed to play shortstop in AA, and Cecchini will be the shortstop in AAA. In short (pun intended), Reynolds will never be the shortstop for the Mets.
Even if he moves off of shortstop, his options are limited. He’s blocked at second by Dilson Herrera. Even if the younger Herrera were to falter, it’s much more likely that the Mets would turn to Cecchini or sign a free agent than Reynolds. Also, given his lack of power throughout the minors, it’s unlikely the Mets will turn to him go play third. No, Reynolds’ future, at least with the Mets, is as a utility player.
For his part, Reynolds is willing to play all over the field just to make it to the majors. He will play some outfield during Spring Training. As Reynolds told Adam Rubin, he knows a position change is in order:
No one has talked to me about it, but I heard about it from press conferences and everything. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make it to the big leagues. I figured that I’d probably be changing positions. Honestly, I just look at it as it makes me more versatile, and there’s more opportunity for me to get called up and maybe stay up there.
Now, Joe McEwing was only a 28th round pick. When you are a 28th round pick, you are not seen as a prospect. You have to be ready, willing, and able to do whatever is necessary to get to the majors. It’s not only a talent issue. It’s a mindset. You have to show a lot of character and resiliency not only to make it to the majors, but also to stay there.
It was McEwing’s attitude and drive that helped him have a nine year career. It’s why Tony LaRussa requested a pair of autographed spikes from McEwing. He has the type of energy and drive that is infectious. It’s why he was a useful player. It’s why teams loved having him on the roster. It’s why he stays in the game as a major league coach and is a potential manager.
Reynolds was a second round pick. Typically, second round picks are not seen as utility players. As long as they produce, they usually have an easier path to the majors. With that said, it’s no guarantee. At some point, every player faces a turning point in their careers. For Matt Reynolds, that time is now. It’s time for him to embrace his future as a utility player.
Seemingly, he’s doing that. If he meets this challenge with the same drive and enthusiasm that McEwing once did, Reynolds has a real future not just with the Mets, but in baseball. It’s quite possible Reynolds’ future with the Mets is this generation’s Joe McEwing. Right now, Reynolds seems ready to do what is necessary to get to that point.
If he does, that means Reynolds will have a fine major league career.