Tonight, Vice President of player development and amateur scouting Paul DePodesta held a conference call with Mets bloggers.
Below is a recap of the questions and responses:
Michael Baron, MetsBlog.com: When evaluating amateur talent, from both a pitching and a hitting standpoint, what are some of the keys you’re looking for and what seems to catch your eye when watching players?
Paul DePodesta: At the top of the draft, we get a little greedy. We want everything. For pitchers, we look at command, power and secondary stuff. On the hitting side, we look for power and patience at the plate, plus solid defense. In the absence of those things, which even happens in the first round, you have to start balancing what you think is important. As you move through the draft you ask ‘is there a guy with a plus breaking ball? Above average command?’ Those types of things we look for and how it changes through the three days.
Kerel Cooper, On the Black: Do you plan on watching the movie ‘Moneyball’, and what do you think of Jonah Hill playing a fictionalized character of him in the movie?
Paul DePodesta: I knew sooner or later I’d have to answer this question. At some point I’ll see it. It’s a little surreal & it’s a little awkward and hopefully it will be fun and enjoyable. When I spoke to Jonah Hill I reminded him just to a lot of fun with the role because that’s how I remembered my time in Oakland.
Matthew Artus, Amazin’ Avenue: Before the season, you said the second base job will be a competition until someone takes it themselves. What have you seen at second base at the big league level as well as within in the organization?
Paul DePodesta: These are the probe you hope for in the organization – guys are comfortable and playing well, and that’s the situation with Justin Turner and Daniel Murphy. As we’ve all learned as you go through the 162 game season, you need an awful lot of players. One example is last year is last year, Atlanta’s non-starters were outstanding. Hopefully we’re in that position once we get healthy.
Caryn Rose, Metsgrrl: As an early adopter of social media, when you started blogging did you have any theories about it?
Paul DePodesta: I certainly wasn’t skilled at it, nor am I still. The thing that struck me was the idea you could have a one-on-one with our fans, our stakeholders and that was pretty powerful. This forum allows for us to be interactive and a much more personal conversation. When I first started, Some of the dialogue Ive been able to have with the fans is meaningful for me, and hopefully for them.
This afternoon in Detroit, Terry Collins spoke with reporters and said David Wright swung a bat in a pool today, and expects he will hit off a tee tomorrow. He expects Wright will begin playing in rehab games late next week.
He also said Jon Niese, who left his start against the Rangers with a rapid heartbeat on Saturday, will make his scheduled start this Friday against the Yankees.
Original Post, 2:30 pm:
Here is tonight’s starting lineup for the Mets:
1. Jose Reyes SS
2. Justin Turner 3B
3. Carlos Beltran RF
4. Ronny Paulino C
5. Jason Bay LF
6. Angel Pagan CF
7. Scott Hairston DH
8. Daniel Murphy 1B
9. Ruben Tejada 2B
Chris Capuano LHP
Capuano has a 0.95 ERA in his last three starts.
Here is tonight’s starting lineup for the Tigers:
1. Austin Jackson CF
2. Casper Wells RF
3. Magglio Ordonez DH
4. Miguel Cabrera 1B
5. Victor Martinez C
6. Jhonny Peralta SS
7. Brennan Boesch LF
8. Brandon Inge 3B
9. Ryan Raburn 2B
In a recent report for SI.com, Jon Heyman polled two major league executives and two agents, and predicted what Jose Reyes might sign for in a free agent contract:
Heyman says the Giants are a “perfect fit in the eyes of many”, and lists the Orioles, A’s, Nationals, Phillies, Cardinals, Reds and Brewers among possible suitors for Reyes, should the Mets not retain him beyond 2011.
My question is: What is Reyes really worth as a free agent? At the end of the day, he’s only worth what a team is willing to pay for him, and that really won’t be known until he hits the open market, if he hits the open market.
Granted, Reyes is out of control right now, and it’s safe to say a long term, nine-figured contract is a realistic goal for Reyes to reach. But these predictions seem to be solely based on this one incredible season he is having and discounting what he might be able to produce going forward. The point is its unrealistic to think this level of production can be sustained over a long period of time and it’s probably unwise to commit such a large amount of money to someone who might be playing as well as he ever will play, whether it’s the Mets or any team vying for Reyes’ services.
Then again, from a Mets perspective, does a super-star player, who has a proven track record in New York, and is loved by the fan base, hold that kind of value? Is his value on the New York Mets greater than it is elsewhere? It has to be factored in, yet it makes the whole situation that much more difficult, should Reyes command that kind of contract this winter.
Don’t get me wrong – I want for the Mets to retain Reyes beyond this season. Very badly at that. But the contract he signs must be reasonable for both parties which will ensure Sandy Alderson can build around Reyes, all while maintaining flexibility to improve the roster and the depth of the organization at any given point in time.
With last night’s rout of the Tigers, the Mets improved to 40-39 for the season.
It is the first time the Mets have been over .500 since they were 3-2 on April 6, and since dropping to 5-13 on April 20, they have gone 35-26 in their last 61 games.
Over their last 30 games, Mets starting pitchers have posted a 2.84 ERA which is the third lowest total in the majors over that span, and they’ve now allowed three runs or less in 24 of those 30 games.
Since May 22, they’ve hit .283 as a team, and lead the National League with 79 stolen bases this season.
Since the beginning of the Mets climb from their 5-13 hole, I’ve tried to figure out what has made this team so enjoyable to watch again. Some days I think it’s their starting pitching, others it’s their offense, others it’s both. But I don’t think I can sum it up so simply.
Over the last several days in particular, I think I’ve come up with what I have found to be so enjoyable about this team, and it’s the element of surprise and excitement which comes from that surprise. Everyday, whether it’s Jose Reyes dominating, or Carlos Beltran getting a big hit with runners in scoring position, or Jon Niese continuing to mature into a top-of-the-rotation pitcher, and as Jason Bay did last night with his grand slam which to me, came out of no where, I am pleasantly surprised by one or more elements of their brand of baseball, and it’s a feeling I don’t think I’ve had since 2006.
I still don’t know what all of it will translate to in the end. 40-39 is typically an indicator of inconsistency, and it should certainly not be considered a goal for either the team or the fans, especially with 82 games remaining on the schedule. But it’s weird to me that a 40-39 team can be so exciting and fun to watch, and actually make me dream of October baseball. It’s not often a 40-39 team can provide that element of surprise on a nightly basis. Maybe that means this team will not rest at 40-39, and climb to the top of the standings and shock just about everyone in professional sports. Then again, maybe it’s a burst of energy and they will once again fade – I don’t know. What I do know is they have sustained this style of baseball for the better part of six weeks, beaten very good opponents and commanded games both at home and on the road, and played consistently well with guys who I never thought could make any sort of contribution and that is a testament to Terry Collins and his staff.
This isn’t just a good week or two in the middle of a baseball season. That is, at the very least, a sign of sustained success, and as a fan, I have sorely missed that from the Mets.