The Cost Of Baseball


My MLB Draft - Mock Draft - Updated 9-29


Michael Matuella
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Position: RHP
School: Duke

Draft#:2 *
Brendan Rodgers
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Position: SS
School: Lake Mary HS (FLA)

Phil Bickford
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Position: RHP
School: -

Brady Aiken
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Position: LHP
School: -

Daz Cameron
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Position: OF
School: Eagle Landing HS (GA)

Alex Bregman
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Position: SS
School: LSU

Walker Buehler
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Position: RHP
School: Vanderbilt

Ashe Russell
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Position: RHP
School: Cathedral HS (IN)

Justin Hooper
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Position: LHP
School: De La Salle HS (CA)

Mike Nikorak
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Position: RHP
School: Stroudsburg HS (PA)

Nathan Kirby
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Position: LHP
School: Virginia

Carson Fulmer
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Position: RHP
School: Vanderbilt

Ian Happ
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Position: 2B
School: Cincinnati

Kyle Funkhouser
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Position: RHP
School: Louisville

Kolby Allard
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Position: LHP
School: San Clemente HS (CA)

D.J. Stewart
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Position: OF
School: Florida State

Dansby Swanson
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Position: 2B/SS
School: Vanderbilt

Riley Ferrell
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Position: RHP
School: TCU

Kyle Cody
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Position: RHP
School: Kentucky

Ryan Johnson
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Position: OF
School: College Station HS (TX)

Chris Betts
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Position: C/1B
School: Wilson HS (CA)

Kyle Tucker
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Position: OF
School: H.B. Plant HS (FL)

Jahmai Jones
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Position: 2B/OF
School: Wesleyan (GA)

Nick Plummer
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Position: OF
School: Brother Rice HS (MI)

Beau Burrows
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Position: RHP
School: Weatherford HS (TX)

Jake Lemoine
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Position: RHP
School: Houston

Cody Ponce
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Position: RHP
School: Cal Poly Pomona

Kyle Molnar
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Position: RHP
School: Aliso Niguel HS (CA)

Nicholas Shumpert
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Position: SS
School: Highlands Ranch HS (CO)

Austin Smith
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Position: RHP
School: Park Vista HS (FL)

Gray Fenter
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Position: RHP
School: Mississippi St.


UPDATE - VP - J.P. Ricciardi


According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe The Mets are working on an extension to keep J.P Ricciardi as special assistant to GM Alderson

The Case for Alex Rios


 Earlier this month, the Texas Rangers decided to decline on picking up the $13.5mil option on outfielder Alex Rios. There were a number of factors here

1.     Rios had struggled throughout the 2014 season with both thumb and ankle injuries. He ended the season hitting .280, 4-HR, 54-RBI in 492 at-bats.

2.     The entire Texas experience just didn’t seem to work out after arriving in August 2013. He hit only 10 home runs (.280, 80-RBI) in the combined 678 at bats over those two seasons

3.     Rios will play the 2015 season as a 34-year old.

4.     Rios is basically considered a below-average defensive right fielder

That being said, over 2012-13, he slashed .291/.329/.473 in 1,302 plate appearances with 43 home runs and 65 steals.

This is a subjective post. I know most of the comment makers here on the site pretty much agree that Michael Cuddyer would be a better choice for the Mets to go after. I have no problem with Cuddyer, but his agent is never going to agree to a one-year contract. Rios’ agent will. NO team is going to offer a 34-year old coming off two major injuries a multiple year contract.

The Mets could be the perfect platform for Rios to set up his last great contract.
One more thing…

We talk all the time about the future of Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto on this team, but the fact is both these guys are separated by 1.5-2 years of time it will take to become ‘Queens ready’.

Every day Nimmo seems to be showing us that he’s the real deal. He’s now eating up the Arizona Winter League where he’s playing against the top prospects in baseball. Some people have him starting 2015 in Las Vegas while conservative pundits say he will report to Binghamton in April for some additional grooming, but everyone agreed that he will be ready to step into the Mets outfield by opening day 2016.

You can’t bring this guy to Queens and then not play him. Juan Lagares is your (future) all-star center fielder and you have to play out the Curtis Granderson contract through 2017.

The Mets could have an opportunity to ‘steal’ Rios for Chris Young-like money… or, let’s say $9mil (DFA Ruben Tejada, replace him with Matt Reynolds and you duplicate the Young deal).

Just an idea worth trashing J

Craig Brown - I May be Wrong but...Part 1

Last year around this time, I wrote an article laying out what I would do if I was running the team going into the 2014 season. I thought it might be interesting to take a look back at the moderate successes, and monumentally bad ideas...(Mostly the latter!!)

 MOVE 1 Non Tender 1B Ike Davis I didn't really beleive Sandy could find a team willing to part ways with much of anything for Davis..I have to give the guy some credit--be brought back a projectable lefty prospect and a AAAA bullpen arm for a guy that probably has a nice future as the Giants 1B....in Yomiyuri.

 MOVE 2 Sign 1B James Loney 2 years, 12 million Loney reportedly had some conversations with Mets brass, but ultimately signed a backloaded 3 year deal with Tampa Bay. He did what Loney does--hit .290 with elite defense and underwhelming power...

 MOVE 3 Sign SS Rafael Furcal 1 year, 5.5 million This signing honestly would not have made it past the physical..Furcal was still injured and did not play at all in 2014.

 MOVE 4 Trade 2B Daniel Murphy, OF Jordany Valdespin, and 1B Lucas Duda to Seatle for 2B Dustin Ackley, OF Michael Saunders, and C Jesus Montero OK. Bad idea...Murph was an allstar, and Duda hit 30 home runs...but I still love Saunders, and especially Ackley as "change of scenery" guys..

 MOVE 5 Sign RHP Phil Hughes 2 years, 14 million Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then...Hughes would be a formidable addition to an already strong rotation..209 IP, with a 186/16 k/walk ratio!..Makes me feel alot better about some of my dumber offseason ideas.. 

MOVE 6 Sign RHP Brian Wilson 1 year 7.5 million Wilson was terrible..4.66 era over 48 innings for the Dodgers..and they gave him an option year..

 MOVE 7 Add RHP Rafael Montero to 25 man roster The Mets did indeed add Montero to the 25 man much earlier than expected..He struggled initially, but seemed to find his groove during his second stint with the big club. I'm still a big believer..

 MOVE 8 Trade RHP Jake Degrom, C Kevin Plawecki, and SS Wilmer Flores to Milwaukee for OF Ryan Braun (Hangs head in shame, and takes deep breath)...Well its safe to say this would have been a world class fuck up on an epic scale...Plawecki is widely regarded as a top 50 in baseball prospect, and possibly the best catching prospect in baseball..Flores against all odds and every scouting report iv'e ever read managed to play a passable SS, and Degrom proved himself to be one of the best young arms in all of baseball, and probable NL Rooke of the Year..Braun is a shell of his former self..Even if the stick comes back, many reports are now saying he's a 1B going forward defensively.. Theres a lesson to be learned here..Last year at this time Degrom was widely considered a bullpen arm at best, Flores was a DH, and Plawecki wasn't on any top 100 lists..A year can make a hell of a difference, Its easy to throw out 4 for 1 trade ideas for that all-star SS everyone wants, but its not easy to look back at how stupid it looks a year later.. Stay tuned for my 2015 Mets offseason gameplan....Lets see what kind of irrepairable damage I can do for our 2015 team and beyond!!

2014 Winter Leagues: 10/18 and 10/19 Results


Arizona Fall League
- Salt River Rafters 4 - 8 Mesa Solar Sox
- Surprise Saguaros 4 - 9 Glendale Desert Dogs
- Scottsdale Scorpions 3 - 4 Peoria Javelinas

Venezuelan Winter League
October 18th
- Tiburones de La Guaira 6 - 4 Leones del Caracas
- Caribes de Anzoategui 1 - 5 Tigres de Aragua
  • LF Brandon Allen: 0 for 3, BB, K
- Navegantes del Magallanes 4 - 11 Cardenales de Lara
  • CF Oswald Carabello: Defense Only
  • DH Jairo Perez: 2 for 5, R, RBI
- Aguilas del Zulia 2 - 3 Bravos de Margarita
  • SS Wilfredo Tovar: 2 for 4, R, 2B
October 19th
- Caribes de Anzoategui 8 - 3 Leones del Caracas
  • RHP Miguel Socolovich: 1.0 IP, K
- Aguilas del Zulia 9 - 2 Bravos de Margarita
  • SS Wilfredo Tovar: 1 for 3, R, 2B
- Tiburones de La Guaira 1 - 2 Tigres de Aragua
  • RHP Ryan Reid: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 Inherited Runner Scored (IRS), Blown Save
- Cardenales de Lara 7 - 8 Navegantes del Magallanes
  • DH Jairo Perez: 0 for 5, 2 K
  • 2B Leon Canelon: Defense Only
  • PH Oswald Carabello: 0 for 1

Mexican Pacific League
October 18th
- Venados de Mazatlan 8 - 5 Naranjeros de Hermosillo
- Yaquis de Obregon 5 - 10 Mayos de Navojoa
- Charros de Jalisco 9 - 5 Tomateros de Culiacan
  • LF Cory Vaughn: 1 for 3, 3 RBI, K
- Caneros de los Mochis 1 - 5 Aguilas de Mexicali
  • LF/3B Brian Burgamy: 1 for 4, K
  • C Xorge Carillo: 2 for 4, 2 R, 2B, RBI, K
October 19th
- Venados de Mazatlan 3 - 2 Naranjeros de Hermosillo
- Yaquis de Obregon 3 - 2 Mayos de Navojoa
- Charros de Jalisco 6 - 5 Tomateros de Culiacan
  • LF Cory Vaughn: 0 for 3, R, BB, K, SB
- Caneros de los Mochis 4 - 3 Aguilas de Mexicali
  • LF/3B Brian Burgamy: 2 for 5, R, 3B, 2 K
  • C Xorge Carillo: 0 for 3, BB

Dominican Winter League
October 18th
- Estrellas de Oriente 4 - 1 Leones del Escogido
- Tigres del Licey 0 - 3 Gigantes del Cibao
- Aguilas Cibaenas 4 - 7 Toros del Este

October 19th
- Tigres del Licey 11 - 8 Leones del Escogido

  • RHP Hansel Robles: 1.0 IP, BB, K

Roberto Clemente Puerto Rico League

(Begins 10/30/2014)

Morning Report – October 20 - Hot Stove, Paul Sewald, Top Prospect Alert Top 20 Mets, Addison Russell, Braves, Cespedes


On November 23, 2013, the Mets signed free agent OF Chris Young Jr. to a one-year, $7.25mil contract. The move caught Mets fans off guard because they weren’t used to General Manager Sandy Alderson coming out of the box and moving this fast during the ‘Hot Stove season’.

How much will the failure of this move effect the timing of when Alderson will pull the trigger this year? What if a guy like Alex Rios is willing to sign early a one-year deal for, say, Young-money… do you take the whole ‘find a corner outfielder’ target off the table and move on to the issue at shortstop?

You have to assume that Alderson is already in touch with teams that have players he has targeted for a possible trade. I assume that the Cubs, Diamondbacks, and Red Sox are programmed into Alderson’s speed dial, but there are 30 teams in the league and an agreement between one team and one agent doesn’t always come easy.

My guess is Alderson will handle the Hot Stove season the same way he and most baseball General Managers handle the draft…  do your homework, put your target names up on your board, and draft the best player available when it’s your turn to pick.

If a ‘target name’ crosses your desk at right price… sign em’.

Pen Prospect Focus – 

Paul Sewald       

Seward was drafted in the 10th round of the 2012 draft out of San Diego University. He pitched four seasons in college and received a whopping $1,000 bonus from the Mets for signing (I would have loved to be in that room when the Mets sold him that bill of goods).
He actually was a starter in his senior year (15-G, 14-ST, 8-4, 3.09), but the Mets knew exactly what they wanted from Seward… 16 more appearances that same year, all in relief, for Brooklyn (1.88).

Sewald’s professional numbers are unmatched. He’s been in the Mets organization for four seasons, has pitched in 94 games, has struck out 171 batters (no big fastball here, just intelligent mixing of four pitchers that include a high-80s FB) and has an ERA/WHIP of 1.85/1.01.

He finished 2014 with a cup of coffee in Binghamton, which is exactly where he will start 2015… I mean, relieve 2015… and he will pitch next year as a 25-year old. Still, this is the best $1,000 investment this team has ever made.

Right now, I have him as the number two relief prospect behind Akeel Morris.

JP Schwartz likes to put together a post every year with his top 20 prospect for each team in baseball (http://topprospectalert.com/2014/10/18/2015-mlb-organizational-top-20-prospect-rankings/). Every team is listed here if you want to visit the site.
His Mets list is interesting:

1: Noah Syndergaard RHP, 2: Michael Conforto OF, 3: Kevin Plawecki C, 4: Dilson Herrera 2B, 5: Steven Matz LHP, 6: Rafael Montero RHP, 7: Marcos Molina RHP, 8: Brandon Nimmo OF, 9: Dominic Smith 1B, 10: Amed Rosario SS, 11: Gavin Cecchini SS, 12: Matt Reynolds SS/2B, 13: Wuilmer Becerra OF, 14:      Gabriel Ynoa RHP, 15: Jhoan Urena 3B, 16: Casey Meisner RHP, 17:        John Gant RHP, 18:  Matt Bowman RHP, 19: Blake Taylor LHP, 20: Michael Fulmer RHP

Most of the usual subjects were ranked here and I first have to say that you will never find two people that agree on exactly the ranking of the top 20 Mets in the system. This is all subjective. Sort of like the Mets middle infield defense.

People that rank prospects usually go down one of two roads. Some have the older guys who have worked their way through the system and are knocking on the door ranked higher… others do this on ceiling and projected tools.

Me? Well, Cecchini, Bowman, and Taylor would not be on my top 20 and I definitely would have Robert Whalen, Paul Sewald, and Vincente Lupo. But see? That’s my opinion, which is always different when we do things like this.

Addison Russell, SS - It’s possible that Russell won’t even make his major-league debut this season — or, not until September roster expansion, at least. Nevertheless, the projections indicate that, were he to receive a promotion to the parent club, that he’d produce wins at something like a league-average rate. The plate-discipline profile isn’t ideal at the moment, putting more pressure on the quality of Russell’s contact, but that’s also a concern mitigated by Russell’s positional adjustment and — so far as the future is concerned — how he’s turning only 21 years old. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-top-five-cubs-prospects-by-projected-war/

Mack – one of my objectives here in The Morning Report is to keep you all abreast to what’s being written about the shortstops and corner outfielders that could be available to the Mets this off season. Russell is one of them, though the Cubs are playing him at second base in the AWL right now.

(Keith Law reminds us that the main reason he's playing 2B in the AWL is because he can't play SS every day there)

We all know the fact that the Cubs have Starlin Castro, Arismendy Alcantara, Javier Baez, and Russell all in the pipeline here, and they need pitching desperately.

One more thing...

Chicago is very happy with Castro on short and they have big plans for a guy named Bryant at third... every effort is being done to convert Baez into a second baseman which makes the trade for Russell even more puzzling. This must have been done figuring he can be turned into immediate pitching help.

I always talk about depth in the organization and how important it is when you are trying to turn around a team that isn’t going in the right direction.

Take the Atlanta Braves… they have a bunch of long term contracts bogging them down, only really three decent starters returning next spring, and a very questionable outfield situation. Add to this the cost of building a new stadium and we all know those problems, don’t we?

Well, the one problem they don’t have is in the infield.
First base and shortstop are a lock with Freddie Freeman and Andrelton Simmons and, while most Braves fans are happy with Chris Johnson at third base and Tommy La Stella at second, rest assured they are backed up at the prospect level with 23-year old Kyle Kubitza (2014: AA-Ball - 440-AB, .295/.402/.470/873, 8-HR, 55-RBI and 20-year old Jose Peraza (2014: AA-Ball – 185-AB, .335/.363/.422/784).

See this is talent on talent. Major League producers sitting on high ceiling projected replacements. This is what a team strives to accomplish within its system.

The comments that OF Yoenis Cespedes is available on the market were not made by the team. They came from a reporter who supposedly was fed this information by a Red Sox source. He also said that Cespedes doesn’t care much about improving his defensive game which also isn’t going to help the team and him eat at the same dinner table anymore.

Look, the trade for Cespedes was a move to help Boston get to the 2014 playoffs. It didn’t work, nor (IMO) would giving this guy a long term contract; however, I’d love him in the Mets left field for 2015. It wouldn’t kill the Mets to add his 2014 results (22-HRs/100-RBIs) to the Mets lineup.

Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo are the future of the Boston outfield.

And then, even without Cespedes, you still have Shane Victorino, Allen Craig, Daniel Nava, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Bryce Brentz.

The 2015 Mets need a bat like this in their lineup.



2015 Draft Profile - C/1B - Chris Betts - Wilson (CA) HS - updated 9-30-14


9-30-14 - 9-30-14 – Through The Fence - 20. Cleveland Indians — Chris Betts, C, Long Beach Wilson HS (CA) - Betts showed off his big power potential at Wrigley Field in the Under Armour AA Game, belting out home runs with ease in the derby while also ripping a laser double to dead center in the game. The left-handed hitting catcher has excellent bat speed and shows an advanced feel at the plate. His offense is ahead of his defense right now, but he does have a plus arm and has the athleticism to stay behind the plate. His showed all summer that he is one of the better bats in the 2015 MLB draft and he is a first round talent on his offensive potential alone. Committed to Tennessee.
9-11-14 – Fangraphs Top 50 Players in Draft - 15. Chris Betts, C, Wilson HS (CA), Tennessee commit: The 6’2/220 Betts drew Brian McCann comparisons this summer for above average raw power and hitting tools to go with a huge plus arm and enough defensive ability for a chance to stick behind the plate. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2015-mlb-draft-top-51/

8-22-14 - 

CBA Marucci C Chris Betts continues to hit balls hard at every event. Dropped bat head on CB for 2B to RF that was 1 of hardest hits today

8-12-14 - TTF Baseball

Chris Betts, C, Long Beach Wilson HS (CA)

A left-handed hitting catcher, Betts uses his excellent bat speed and advanced approach at the plate to spray the ball to all fields. At 6’-1’ and 200 pounds, more power should come as he matures and his offensive potential is ahead of his defense right now. He does have a strong enough arm and the athleticism to stick behind the plate, however, and that would only increase his draft stock. He has stood out for his hitting abilities at many of the top summer events/tournaments. Over 30 games, he hit .333/.426/.556 with three doubles, four home runs and 12 walks to 10 strikeouts. Committed to Tennessee.

6-4-14 - Right now, the top catcher projected for the 2015 draft is Wilson (CA) High School's Chris Betts.

6-1 lefty, 200 pounds. Excellent bat speed and considered a gap hitter.

Through 30 games as a senior: - .333/.426/.556

Needs work defensively

6-5 - Maxi Prep ranked Betts as the 9th best 2015 high school sophomore


2014 Draft - Who Drafted High School Players


Below is a chart with the total signees broken down into high school, college and junior college demographics. The percentage of their signees that comes from each demographic is listed to the right, along a corresponding rank from highest to lowest in each category.

TeamSignedHSCOLJCHS %HS RankCOL %COL RankJC %JC Rank

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