January 27, 2015, 12:20 pm
In this video, Mets C prospect Kevin Plawecki talks about his big league hopes in 2015, his approach at the plate, Travis d’Arnaud and catching Noah Syndergaard…
January 23, 2015, 1:11 pm
Plawecki is considered the sixth-best catching prospect in baseball (MLB.com, Jan. 23).
“Plawecki has shown a penchant for making consistent contact. He rarely strikes out and has hit for average at every stop,” according to MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo. “He has a contact-over-power approach, but he does have enough strength to clear some fences.”
In early September, 2014, Sandy Alderson said Plawecki is “knocking on the big-league door,” with d’Arnaud being the incumbent (Press & Sun-Bulletin, Sept. 4).
“We like Travis. We like Kevin. We like them both,”Alderson said. “I would expect that we’ll see them both in spring training next year and see where it takes us.”
Matthew Cerrone: I’ve yet to hear from anyone in baseball that has watched him, whether with the Mets or another organization, who don’t think Plawecki can be an every-day catcher in the big leagues. They do say he lacks the power to move to another position, at least not yet and not on a regular basis. In early 2014, when d’Arnaud was struggling, people around the Mets were talking about Plawecki as if it was only a matter of time before he replaced d’Arnaud on the roster. However, Travis had a rebirth after returning from Triple-A and he looked terrific. It’s a unique situation.
There are LOTS of teams looking to acquire a catcher, but no one wants to overpay and there is a general apprehension around the game when it comes to trading for an every-day backstop. I gather teams would rather have a handful of guys in their system and see who emerges, since there are so many variables at the position. So, it will be interesting to see how Alderson handles this situation, which should hopefully become more clear for him later this season.
It is possible the Mets carry both d’Arnaud and Plawecki on the same roster, at some point during the season, Alderson said late last year (WIOX, Oct. 31).
For example, he said the two could split catching duties and one could also play first base or the outfield, or during interleague play one could be the team’s designated hitter.
“There are ways to do it,” he said. However, he added, “Is that the best use of those two resources?”
1) Wilmer Flores is a run producer, and he’s adequate in the field, especially given the strength and conditioning work he’s been doing the last two off seasons.
2) Matt Reynolds is a ‘grinder,’ who, though he may not impress you at first, he makes all the plays, gets key hits and can be an every-day shortstop.
3) Travis d’Arnaud was instructed by the Triple-A coaching staff to simply move his back foot closer to the plate, and after that he continued to make adjustments and be aggressive at the big-league level.
4) Jacob deGrom is “the real deal,” and Backman always knew he’d pitch well in the big leagues.
5) Noah Syndergaard needs a bit more “seasoning,” though he certainly has the ‘stuff’ and he’s not ‘far off.’
6) Rafael Montero could be a very good reliever, because he’s low maintenance and has a rubber arm.
Listen in separate window | Subscribe with iTunes | RSS
Mets pitchers and catchers must report to Port St. Lucie in 23 days…
The Mets will have five players on MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects List when it is announced next week >> Read more.
Mets 20-year-old infielder Dilson Herrera is the fourth-best second base prospect in baseball >> Read more. Similarly, Dominic Smith is considered the fourth-best first base prospect in baseball >> Read more.
In a poll to MetsBlog, so far 85% of more than 6,000 voters say, as an overall organization, the Mets are headed in the right direction >> Vote here.
Wilmer Flores has been working on his game all offseason and is confident in his ability to play shortstop >> Read more.
The Mets will have five players on MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects List when it’s published in the next week, site editor Jim Callis said in this week’s Mostly Mets Podcast, pres. by Land Rover.
Noah Syndergaard, catcher Kevin Plawecki and outfielders Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo will again make the cut, having appeared on MLB.com’s Top 100 last summer (MLB.com, July 28). However, while Mets 1B prospect Dominic Smith drops out of their top 100, LHP Steven Matz will make his debut.
To listen to Callis talk with hosts Toby Hyde and Rob Brender about his list, click play here:
Listen in separate window | Subscribe with iTunes | RSS
January 26, 2015, 3:15 pm
Mets 20-year-old infielder Dilson Herrera is the fourth-best second base prospect in baseball (MLB.com, Jan. 26).
“Herrera has always shown a knack for hitting, with a balanced swing and an ability to make consistent hard contact to all fields,” writes MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo. “He has played both shortstop and second in the past, but his defensive tools, from his arm to his actions, will work much better on the right side of the infield.”
Hererra hit .220 with three HR and 11 RBI in 18 games for the Mets in 2014.
January 16, 2015, 11:20 am
In three years, Herrera will be an All-Star second baseman, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney told the audience at Pitch Talks earlier this week in New York.
“I can tell you, having talked with people on other teams, they think Herrera is a legitimate, big-time player,” Olney said. “Daniel Murphy is just holding down his spot.”
Herrera was acquired in 2013 with Vic Black from the Pirates for John Buck and Marlon Byrd.
“He’s got an excellent future for us,” Sandy Alderson told SNY at the end of last year.
This past weekend at the 2015 BBWAA dinner in New York, Bobby Valentine presented Bobby Jones with Casey Stengel “You Could Look It Up” Award for his performance against the Giants during Game 4 of the 2000 NLDS.
Jones played eight seasons with the Mets, during which he was 74-56 with a 4.13 ERA.
He retired in 2002 after pitching two seasons with the Padres.
Matthew Cerrone: I was at this game in 2000 with my friends. We sat directly behind home plate, but in the absolute last seat of the upper deck. It was freezing, with wind ripping against our backs through the top opening of the ballpark. We stood all night, repeatedly bouncing up and down in part to stay warm, but also in nervous anticipation and anxiety.
Jones had a no hitter through the fourth inning. He let up an infield hit to Jeff Kent the next inning, then walked the bases loaded and the Mets up 2-0. But, he got a pop up, the inning ended and it would be the last time the Giants would reach base, despite striking out just five times all night. I don’t remember Jones arriving to the Mets, and I don’t remember how he left, but I’ll always remember this game.
Mets pitchers and catchers must report to Port St. Lucie by Feb. 19. Their first workout will be two days later.
Terry Collins will hold his first press conference on Feb. 18, which will air live on SNY.
Position players must report by Feb. 24, with the team’s first full squad workout scheduled for Feb. 26.