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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sickels: Top 20 New York Mets Prospects

1) Matt Harvey, RHP, Grade B+: He can be a number two starter and someone to build around. Some evaluators see him more as a closer if his changeup remains erratic, but I’m cutting him some slack on that issue and am optimistic.

2) Zack Wheeler, RHP, Grade B+: This is actually more like Harvey -A and Wheeler 1-B. They are very close but Harvey is closer to being ready. Like Harvey, I see Wheeler as a future number two starter and staff anchor. He made big strides with his control last year. Like Harvey his changeup needs more work, but I’m optimistic about him given the improvements he’s already made.

 

The Mets farm system has improved and I don’t think it gets enough respect. There are some problems that have to be addressed, but they have some strengths as well. The organization is still suffering hangover from the way prospects were managed in the previous administration, but things are looking up.

Hope springs eternal!

Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: December 27, 2011 at 10:25 PM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

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   1. Dock Ellis Posted: December 28, 2011 at 01:20 AM (#4024126)
Speaking of (old) Mets prospects, Lastings Milledge is now a Yakult Swallow.
   2. Dock Ellis Posted: December 28, 2011 at 01:23 AM (#4024128)
FTFA:

8) Reese Havens, 2B, Grade B-: Borderline C+. I like his power/patience combination and ability to handle second base, but his health care expenses have helped bankrupt the organization.


What's the deal with his health care?
   3. Adam Starblind Posted: December 28, 2011 at 01:28 AM (#4024129)

What's the deal with his health care?


Lieberman killed the public option.
   4. Justin T has a centaur for a mentor Posted: December 28, 2011 at 01:45 AM (#4024134)
I think it's just a cutesie way of saying he gets hurt a lot. Nothing to read into.
   5. Dock Ellis Posted: December 28, 2011 at 02:07 AM (#4024142)
Thanks, Justin. It honestly didn't occur to me Sickels was joking. I thought maybe something extreme had happened that I missed.
   6. bobm Posted: December 28, 2011 at 02:26 AM (#4024145)
[1] Lastings Milledge is now a Yakult Swallow.

Well, he did Suck as a Met.
   7. Something Other Posted: December 28, 2011 at 02:48 PM (#4024281)
Anyone know off hand a guide to Sickels' grading--how many systems have no clear A or A- players, is having your top 20 at C or above unusually good...?

I'm looking forward to seeing Mejia come back and pitch well in a system that has some idea how to bring him along.
   8. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: December 28, 2011 at 03:10 PM (#4024293)
Anyone know off hand a guide to Sickels' grading--how many systems have no clear A or A- players, is having your top 20 at C or above unusually good...?


Sickels is pretty stingy with the 'A's -- I know that much. I don't think he hands out more than 20 or so A/A- per year.
   9. Dock Ellis Posted: December 28, 2011 at 03:58 PM (#4024317)
Even Bryce Harper got a mere A, as opposed to an A+.
   10. billyshears Posted: December 28, 2011 at 04:09 PM (#4024321)
Good list (and I'm usually not a fan of Sickels - I think he can be too conservative). Higher on Puello and way lower on Lagares than I would be, but that tends to fit with the more scout-centric rankings.
   11. thetailor (Brian) Posted: December 28, 2011 at 04:44 PM (#4024352)
How does Stephen Matz not make the list at all? Did he get hurt? Was something wrong in his recovery from TJ?

http://www.metsminorleagueblog.com/remember-steven-matz/

He's younger than Mejia IIRC, was very highly regarded, a high pick was used on him ... odd that he'd drop off completely, no?
   12. Walt Davis Posted: December 28, 2011 at 08:13 PM (#4024546)
How does Stephen Matz not make the list at all? Did he get hurt? Was something wrong in his recovery from TJ?

Is b-r lying to me? Because they don't show him ever pitching professionally and he was drafted in 2009. So unless there's a glitch I think it's safe to say he's a non-prospect at this point.
   13. Something Other Posted: December 28, 2011 at 09:05 PM (#4024571)
Looks like he didn't have a speedy recovery from TJ surgery, but AFAIK it's far too early to write Matz off completely. It's not unprecedented for a guy to have TJ one spring and not come back to pitch in games the following season. It's not great, obviously, but Matz still might have a career.
   14. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 28, 2011 at 09:45 PM (#4024595)
Looks like he didn't have a speedy recovery from TJ surgery, but AFAIK it's far too early to write Matz off completely.


what I read was he had some type of setback during rehab.

Whatever the exact situation I think he's far too speculative now to rank as any kind of prospect.

Anyway, recent Met track record drafting pitchers from the supplemental through 3rd round is interesting...
Eddie Kunz (1st round supplemental- just not good)
Bradley D Holt (1st round supplemental- came out like a house afire, and then imploded)
Nathan Vineyard (1st round supplemental-up and quit)
Steve Matz (has yet to pitch)
Scott M Moviel (not any good)
Brant A Rustich (not any good)
Eric M Niesen (not any good)
Stephen P Clyne (not any good)
Kevin Mulvey (suppressed HR one year enough to be interesting in AAA, trade chit for Johan, otherwise not very good)
Joe Smith (Roogy, with the exception of Gee and - I HOPE- exception of Matt Harvey, best pitcher drafted/developed by the Mets in 5 years)

Yes, 5+ years, Pelfrey, Niese etc,. were all before 2006...
   15. Something Other Posted: December 28, 2011 at 10:07 PM (#4024620)
@14: Gah. That's awful. I did like Smith and was sorry to see him go during The Great Bullpen Fix of 2009. He's been pretty good for the Indians. When did Jason Vargas come up? I guess he wasn't a Mets draftee but came to them somewise else. Vargas has actually turned into a serviceable fourth starter. I think that was about his best possible outcome.

edit: oh, yeah. Vargas came with Adam Bostick from the Marlins.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 28, 2011 at 10:16 PM (#4024634)
Anyway, recent Met track record drafting pitchers from the supplemental through 3rd round is interesting...
Eddie Kunz (1st round supplemental- just not good)
Bradley D Holt (1st round supplemental- came out like a house afire, and then imploded)
Nathan Vineyard (1st round supplemental-up and quit)
Steve Matz (has yet to pitch)
Scott M Moviel (not any good)
Brant A Rustich (not any good)
Eric M Niesen (not any good)
Stephen P Clyne (not any good)
Kevin Mulvey (suppressed HR one year enough to be interesting in AAA, trade chit for Johan, otherwise not very good)
Joe Smith (Roogy, with the exception of Gee and - I HOPE- exception of Matt Harvey, best pitcher drafted/developed by the Mets in 5 years)


I seem to remember the Mets trying to justify these picks as saying many were reliever at least close to being MLB ready. Hilarious that many are already busts that never came close. There is no such thing as "close to MLB ready" with draft picks.
   17. Something Other Posted: December 28, 2011 at 10:33 PM (#4024652)
Some of that was the not-going-over-slot nonsense the Wilpons forced on Minaya that caused Omar to go after relievers-to-be like Kunz.
   18. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 29, 2011 at 12:37 AM (#4024750)
I like Sickels, but his grading scheme seems needlessly convoluted. It seems like he'd be better off slapping number grades (OFPs) on players than using the nine-variant letter-grade system. I enjoy reading the reports, but I have no idea what separates the minor grade differences (e.g., a B- from a C+, etc.).
   19. Something Other Posted: December 29, 2011 at 12:14 PM (#4024958)
I'll guess the meaning of the letter grades is in print somewhere, but damned if I know where. Even if they were numbered grades I'd have a tough time knowing what a "78" meant without some sort of key.
   20. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 29, 2011 at 12:31 PM (#4024962)
Sickels is very clear about what the grades mean, and cites it at the beginning of the article:
Grade A prospects are the elite. They have a good chance of becoming stars or superstars. Almost all Grade A prospects develop into major league regulars, if injuries or other problems don't intervene. Note that is a major "if" in some cases.

Grade B prospects have a good chance to enjoy successful careers. Some will develop into stars, some will not. Most end up spending several years in the majors, at the very least in a marginal role.

Grade C prospects are the most common type. These are guys who have something positive going for them, but who may have a question mark or three, or who are just too far away from the majors to get an accurate feel for. A few Grade C guys, especially at the lower levels, do develop into stars. Many end up as role players or bench guys. Some don't make it at all.
B- and C+ guys are somewhat worse or somewhat better than their straight-B and straight-C brethren. That doesn't seem "convoluted" at all - what's your objection to it? Certainly, it's rough, and the differences between B- and C+ are never entirely clear, but that's a problem with the speculative nature of prospect ranking rather than Sickels' system. The lack of clarity exists because the difference between the 200th best prospect in the world and the 400th best prospect in the world is not easy to specify.

I don't know what OFP means, but if you're suggesting that Sickels' problems would be solved by the use of an even more granular rating system, I disagree. If it's hard to tell the difference between B- and C+, it'll be even harder to distinguish an 81 from a 77 from an 83. But possibly OFP means something else that I don't know what it is.
   21. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 29, 2011 at 08:50 PM (#4025369)
I don't know what OFP means,

Overall Future Potential, the industry-standard scouting scale.

but if you're suggesting that Sickels' problems would be solved by the use of an even more granular rating system, I disagree. If it's hard to tell the difference between B- and C+, it'll be even harder to distinguish an 81 from a 77 from an 83. But possibly OFP means something else that I don't know what it is.

The point isn't necessarily adding or eliminating granularity. My "objection," to the extent it was an objection at all, is that a lot of Sickels' readers get bogged down in whether a player falls into the B range or C range, when in fact they're often arguing over whether a player is a 51 vs. a 48, or a 47 vs. a 45. You seem to see it differently, but with number grades, granularity and simplicity aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.

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