In a recent review of the Mets, Marlins and Nationals farm systems for FanGraphs.com, Marc Hulet described 18-year-old Mets Single-A SS Amed Rosario as the organization’s “Lottery Ticket.”
Rosario, who will turn 19 next month, was signed out of the Dominican Republic two years ago for the largest signing bonus in the club’s history (MLBTR, Oct. 2012).
“Rosario showed improvement during his second pro season,” according to Hulet (FanGraphs, Oct. 10). “He’s toolsy and has a chance to be a solid player both at the plate and in the field but he needs to get stronger. He has the frame to add significant pop once he puts on some added muscle, although he’ll likely never be a power hitter.”
Baseball America lists Rosario as the third-best prospect in the New York Penn League this year (Baseball America, Oct. 6).
He currently ranks as the organization’s seventh-best prospect (MLB.com, Oct. 2014). However, according to scouts that have talked with SNY.TV’s Toby Hyde, he may actually be their best prospect.
“Offensively, Rosario began to clean up a very busy swing, but he still has a long way to go,” says Hyde, writing about Rosario’s 2014 season. “At the plate, he’s shown that he’s very focused on shooting the ball the other way in games. In batting practice, he will show very impressive power given his age and size to his pull side, but he has not put that into games much.”
According to Hyde, Rosario will begin 2015 with Single-A Savannah, where his development could be one of the biggest stories in the team’s farm system next season >> Read more about the organization’s top shortstop prospects, including Gavin Cecchini.
The Sporting News has named Jacob de Grom their National League Rookie of the Year (Oct. 20).
The award is voted on by the players in the league.
“I’m very honored to receive this prestigious award,” deGrom said to the Sporting News. “My teammates were a huge reason for my success. Individual honors are nice but what excites me the most is looking forward to next year and helping the Mets reach the postseason.”
De Grom finished his season at 9-6 with a 2.69 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 140 1/3 innings.
Jerry Koosman (1968), Jon Matlack (1972), Darryl Strawberry (1983) and Dwight Gooden (1984) were also honored as Sporting News Rookies of the Year. The award has been presented since 1946.
The Baseball Writer’s Association of American name their NL RoY on November 10.
The Mets and Giants are among teams expected to look in to OF Nick Markakis, according to Boston reporter Nick Cafardo (Oct. 20).
The Mets had interest in Markakis and other Orioles last winter, when the two sides frequently checked in with one another, according to MetsBlog’s Matthew Cerrone (Oct. 20).
The Orioles are interested in re-signing Markakis (Oct. 9), though they did recently decline his $17.5 million option for 2015.
Markakis, who has played 147 or more games in eight of his nine big-league seasons, hit .276 with 14 HR this season, while playing right field.
In a MetsBlog poll last week, 83 percent of more than 7,700 voters said the Mets should not look to give a three-year deal to Markakis (Oct. 16).
Maggie Wiggin: Markakis is an interesting candidate. He fills an area of obvious need in right field (though his defense has been a question mark lately due to his poor range) and he has the potential to provide a solid bat. I say “potential,” because his 2013 season was terrible and, while he bounced back in 2014 (with reduced power), it’s reasonable to worry about what trajectory he is on as he begins his age 31 season. That said, if he can put up an OBP anywhere near his career .358 mark, he would be a huge upgrade at leadoff for the Mets. I would balk at signing him to a three-year deal, especially with a draft pick attached, but if he’d sign for two years and an option, I think it’s a good match.>> Read more, plus reaction from Michael Baron and Brian P. Mangan.
The Red Sox could make OF Yoenis Cespedes available in trade this winter, according to local reporter Nick Cafardo (Boston Globe, Oct. 20).
Cespedes will earn $10.2 million in the final year of his current deal.
Cespedes said late in the season that he wasn’t sure whether he’d engage in long-term talks with the Red Sox(Boston Globe, Oct. 20).
According to Cafardo, Cespedes does not want to play right field or work on his defense, which could push Boston to deal him.
The Red Sox are looking to acquire a left-handed hitter this winter, as well as a starting pitcher, according to reporter Joel Sherman (NY Post, Oct. 5).
Sherman suggests the Mets and Red Sox talk about swapping Cespedes for LHP Jon Niese, who is guaranteed to earn $7 million in 2015 and $9 million in 2016.
Matthew Cerrone from Oct. 5: We’re going to hear a lot about Cespedes this winter. Already, I’ve heard a few random trade ideas from baseball insiders, speculating on a match between Boston and the Mets.
For instance, in addition to Sherman’s proposals, I’ve heard people go so far as say the Mets should be used as a three-way partner in a deal sending Giancarlo Stanton to Boston, with Cespedes going to the Mets. I have no idea how that would work. I guess the Mets would be asked to send a pitching prospect to Miami, but, again, this is just people playing match-maker and not an actual proposed deal, so who knows…
The point is, whether it’s Xander Bogaerts, Daniel Murphy, Cespedes, Bartolo Colon, Niese or Shane Victorino, these two teams seem capable of helping one another out. I wonder if this is the year they finally hook up on a deal?
J.P. Ricciardi is working out an extension with the Mets to remain in Sandy Alderson’s front office (Cafardo, Oct. 20).
Ricciardi has one year remaining on his current three-year deal.
He has served as a Special Assistant to Alderson since November 2010.
In late September, the Mets and Alderson agreed to a three-year contract extension that will keep him as General Manager through 2017.
Matthew Cerrone: This is good news. I think it’s obvious that, when Alderson retires, assuming everything is going well and the Mets are winning, Ricciardi or Paul DePodesta will take over as GM. It’s funny, the Mets get knocked for not spending enough, but they certainly have the most expensive front office, which has to be worth something, right?
Anyway, JP was GM of the Blue Jays for most of last decade. He helped rebuild that franchise and farm system to get it to where it is today, and he’s done a terrific job injecting young talent from other teams to the Mets, all while DePodesta handles player development, the farm, amateur scouting and the draft.
The way I understand it, Ricciardi is tasked by Alderson to find diamonds in the rough, whether they come from other team’s major or minor league rosters. In the time these guys have been at the helm, Ricciardi and Alderson have worked to bring in Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud, among others. However, they are lacking when it comes to injecting immediate big-league talent, which is what Billy Beane does so well for the A’s. For instance, for every Brandon Moss and Josh Donaldson in Oakland, we’re asked to root for Brad Eamus, Chris Young, Colin Cowgill and Chin-Lung Hu.
The minor-league acquisitions are beginning to have an impact at the major-league level, which is awesome and should not be ignored. I expect a playoff team in 2015. To do that, the Mets are going to need to also add players who can help now…not five years from now.