Today we rose from hibernation, opened our windows to the beautiful 70 degree day in Queens and shaved our winter beards. The long winter is over and baseball is officially unofficially back, as the Mets opened Grapefruit League play at Fenway Park South against the Red Sox in a rematch of the 1986 World Series and a preview of the 2017 World Series.
Mets fans have been waiting since 2011 for a replacement for Jose Reyes. Reyes was dazzling, with blazing speed, great hitting, and a flamboyant attitude, and once he was gone, the Mets missed him and tried their best to replace him, only to fall short. The year that Reyes started playing elsewhere, the Mets signed a 16 year old Dominican Shortstop who grew up idolizing Reyes by the name of Amed Rosario. Rosario received the highest bonus for his age bracket in franchise history, and became a rising star immediately. Over the next few years, his hype grew, and he improved greatly over time, and then exploded in Hi-A and Double-A. He gained national attention, and became a top-10 prospect in the MLB. But, while Reyes has returned to the Mets, Amed Rosario still looks to be the team’s long term answer at shortstop.
(Ted Klein, 2013 Spring Training)
SS Amed Rosario
R/R, 6’2″ 200 lbs, 11/20/1995 (21), Signed on July 2nd 2o12 for 1.75 Million Dollars out of the Dominican Republic
|All Levels (4 Seasons)||358||1501||170||387||63||28||10||147||41||21||92||266||.280||.328||.388||.715|
Senior signees are strange to me. A senior sign is usually a player drafted out of college in his senior year and is taken in earlier rounds to give the team more bonus pool space to spend over slot in the draft later. Often times the player turns into an organizational player (non-prospect), but there are a few guys that actually turn into something more. Kaczmarski may be one of those that could be something more. The guy can hit.
L/R, 5’11” 195 lbs, 12/31/1991 (25), Drafted in the 9th round of the 2015 draft out of the University of Evansville. Signed for $5,000
|All Levels (2 Seasons)||175||760||116||207||47||15||6||80||34||15||74||109||.309||.381||.451||.832|
Kevin Kaczmarski was just a hitting beast at Evansville. In his redshirt-senior year (known as a 5th year in college, fourth year playing college ball and missed his freshman year due to a broken foot), he hit .465/.543/.746 in 46 games while hitting 33 extra base hits. With the .465 batting average, he won the overall NCAA batting title for that year. He signed with the Mets on June 23rd and was assigned to Advanced Rookie League Kingsport.
In Ben Badler’s latest Piece for Baseball America, he highlights the annual International Showcase that is taking place in the Dominican Republic for February 22nd and 23rd. Badler mentions the top overall prospects in the 2017/2018 July 2nd International Free Agency and names Ronny Mauricio and Adrian Hernandez as two players that the Mets are “frontrunners for”.
(Photo by http://dplbaseball.com)
I was giddy leading up to the draft, down right giddy. Usually men aren’t supposed to get “giddy”, but the draft is my favorite non denominational holiday. I absolutely love the draft. I had been doing countless draft reports, pouring over scouting reports of every player, seeing all the mock drafts I could, and came to the conclusion that the Mets were picking Wake Forest 3rd Baseman Will Craig for the 19th overall pick. On the night of the draft, the Mets passed on Craig and surprised me, grabbing Dunn, a right hander from Long Island, who was drafted out of Boston College. According to the Mets, they really wanted him, having him higher on their board, and I’m going to show you why.
RHP Justin Dunn (College Stats)
R/R, 6’2″ 185 lbs, 9/22/1995 (21), Drafted in the First Round 19th overall out of Boston College in 2017.
Another catcher with upside, Sanchez is a guy to keep your eye on moving forward. Signed out of Venezuela, the catcher has some real upside and has been okay so far, but was hampered by a thumb injury last season that may have compromised his performance. Sanchez has a very high ceiling as catcher, due to his ability to stick behind the plate with many believing he’ll be able to hit as well.
R/R, 6’1″ 200 lbs, 1/20/1997 (20), Signed out of Venezuela on July 2nd, 2013 for $690,000
|All Levels (3 Seasons)||145||578||58||137||23||0||3||55||10||6||49||85||.264||.335||.326||.661|
Another relief arm invited to 2017 Mets Spring Training who was effective last year in Binghamton. Mets were so happy with his performance that he was given a chance to make the team out of spring training for 2017. The pitcher has great stuff, but hasn’t been able to put it together as a starter, so they converted him to relief. His strikeouts jumped in 2016 after switching from starting to relief and he looks to be a possible future ‘pen piece.
(Photo by Scoopnest.com)
RHP Logan Taylor
R/R, 6’3″ 230 lbs, 12/13/1991 (25), Drafted in 2012 in the 11th round out of East Oklahoma State College
Another projectable arm that the Mets has drafted but hasn’t gotten the same fanfare and development arc as others. Oswalt is that forgotten young arm, but he still has some development to do on his overall stuff and work harder on his ceiling. He did well in the Arizona Fall League last October
(Photo by Ed Delany)
Players who use PED’s are often rejected and ostracized by fans…frankly I don’t care. I’m going to admit, I’m still a fan of Garcia. His bat is very interesting, and if the profiled bat was in your lineup, you’d be very happy. After being suspended and then usurped on the 3rd base depth chart by David Thompson, Garcia must come back with a vengeance and show that his ability isn’t chemically enhanced.
(Photo Credit Cory Smith/MILB)
L/R, 6’0″ 240 lbs, 5/17/1994 (22), Drafted in the 4th round in 2014 out of El Paso Community College