Here is an excerpt from a conversation between Nautilus magazine and Mets vice president of player development and amateur scouting Paul DePodesta:
Nautilus: You’ve been with the Mets for almost three years. Given your statistical and scouting acumen, why do the Mets, if I can play the cynic for a minute, have a below-.500 average during that time?
DePodesta: It’s a fair question. I think a lot of it just has to do with time. And also just what’s available out there, and what flexibility you have to pursue what’s out there. But we feel that we’re getting closer to where we want to be. Four years ago, at the minor league level, from Low A up to Triple A, our clubs were under .500. As we sit here today, we have the best record in minor league baseball. Now, winning at the minor league level isn’t necessarily a goal, and it’s certainly not the definitive harbinger of success at the Major League level. And that’s ultimately what we’re there for: success at the Major League level. But I do think it’s an indication that progress is being made, that we have more productive players who hopefully, eventually will impact our Major League team.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Well, it’s better than losing in the minor leagues, I guess. Also, there is probably a relative nature to it, since all of today’s minor leaguers will essentially be tomorrow’s big leaguers and still competing against one another. So, again, it’s probably good that they’re excelling, as opposed to struggling, as whole.
In the end, as we’ve seen in the postseason this winter, it’s all about developing a steady stream of dominant starting pitching and having them under team control to build around. That is the secret to success right now.
“You just look at the way the game is going, with all of these young, power arms having such an impact at this time of year, and it makes you feel good about what we’re doing,” a Mets official recently told John Harper of the Daily News. He says the expect to one day battle in October with Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard
“The consensus among baseball people is that young arms are more valuable than ever, in part because pitching is dominating the game in rather dramatic fashion since drug-testing has reduced run-scoring, and in part because more teams have the money to lock up star pitchers before they reach free agency,” writes Harper.
All in all, people around baseball tell me the Mets have one of the best groups of young pitching in baseball. On the other hand, they lack any sort of upper-level impact bat, which is what ultimately weighs down their system’s overall ranking. However, people rave about their pitching, and not just the Wheeler-Syndergaard crop, but also the group below them at the lower levels. It’s encouraging. I’m hoping they take a more proactive strategy to improve the big-league team this winter so we have something fun to watch at Citi Field in 2014. But, when it comes to the foundation and stability of the franchise, the league likes what Sandy Alderson is doing. Hopefully most Mets fans stick around long enough to see it come to fruition…
To read DePodesta’s full Q&A with Nautilus about the history and future of Money and statistical analysis, click here.