Even More Player Reactions to the Houston Cheating Scandal (and Manfred’s Statements)

We are back with a third installment of collecting some reactions to the Houston Cheating Scandal and Rob Manfred’s first and second attempts at an apology. The first installment can be found here. The second here.

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Reviewing Baseball America’s 2019 Top 30 Mets Prospects: #6 David Peterson

This is the second year where we are walking through the previous season’s Baseball America’s Top Prospect handbook, looking at the all the Mets to see how they are developing against Baseball America’s Projections.

This website should really be named 213 Miles From David Peterson. Last week we wrote up a Non-Roster Invite preview for him, in a few weeks we have an article projecting his 2020 stats and he was featured in a 2018 NRI review article a couple of years ago. It’s not that we are major fans of David Peterson (although we do like him) he just happens to be involved in every article series going on in the website right now.

Let’s focus on what BA said about him before the 2019 season and then see if that came true. Peterson was a first round pick for the Mets in 2017 and then featured speed bumps from an ingrown toenail and knee issues. BA was impressed by his “contact management”, allowing only 2 homers in 22 starts and a ground ball rate of 65%, which was 3rd in the minors that year. He has a low, low 90s fastball and a low, low 80’s slider. He’s a tall lefty who throws out of the 3/4 arm slot, all of which is nice. BA see’s his ceiling as a #4 starter, which is good because the Mets need that.

So how did he do since this book was published?

2019 Binghamton: 116.0 IP, 4.19 ERA, 1.345 WHIP, 9.5 K/9
2019 Arizona Fall League: 13.0 IP, 3.46 ERA, 2.000 WHIP, 9.0 K/9

David Peterson did well last year. Later this month when we get to his projection article, some projections are actually quite hyped on his ability to contribute this year. We aren’t there yet. Since the Mets traded Justin Dunn, Anthony Kay among others last year, Peterson is now the most ready Mets starter to be added to the 40-man roster. If something happens to two starters this season, Peterson probably is a more attractive option to try in the rotation than the long-men the Mets currently have on their roster. Coupled with BA saying that his ceiling is a 4th starter, that’s fine. The options the Mets have are 5th or worse.

So we are hoping for David Peterson’s continued success this year, and we’ll probably see all you Peterson fans again in a couple of weeks when we look at his projections.

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2020 Conglomerate Mets Projections: Yoenis Céspedes

Each year at 213, we take projections from several different places, average them together and then compare the line that spits out to the player’s performance from last year. We understand how unscientific this is – some projections try to guess playing time, some don’t, more playing time is weighted the same as less playing time, more successful projection producers are weighted the same as their counterparts, etc. At the end of the year we revisit the projections and see how’d they do.

Yoenis Cespedes had quite the year last year. He was recovering massive heal surgery, a surgery that was probably delayed the previous year because Mets ownership wanted him to play through pain. While recovering he broke his ankle in a wild boar attack, a story that some how only broke during the off-season. In complete, peak, Mets-Universe, being attacked by a boar doesn’t even begin to crack the most important and wildest stories of the Mets off-season.

It’s not clear what he will be able to do once he’s fully back. What is clear is that he has been working hard at coming back and he wants to be back. The non-internet journalists that cover the Met have been unfair in their coverage of Céspedes for a while now, it is not a surprise that he doesn’t want to speak to the media this year.

(Citations: BP projections come from the Baseball Prospectus Annual, a must read for all baseball fans and can be purchased here. ESPN comes from their fantasy baseball projections and can be found here. Both ZiPS and Steamer are found on FanGraphs. ZiPS can be found here, Steamer can be found here. BR comes from the Baseball Reference for this specific player and is linked earlier in the article)

First, everyone except ESPN sees Cespedes playing for about half a season, with a significant slugging percentage and good OPS, especially for missing the last year and a half of baseball. I can’t shake the memory of 2015 Céspedes, putting the Mets on his back. If he has a positive DRC+ this season like BP is suggesting, he could be the catalyst on this team.

This team is so much fun when he plays. This lineup is so much more dangerous when he plays. The Mets still have a ton of corner outfielders, and hopefully Luis Rojas can make it work. If Céspedes is healthy, then we could be in for a fun year.

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Get To Know a Non-Roster Invitee: Chasen Shreve

Each year at 213 we look through the Non-Roster Invitees to spring training and get to know them a bit. Are they in camp to get a look at big league hitting/pitching to aid their development? Are the Mets just trying to get a better look at a future rookie? Are they a veteran trying to get back to the major league level? What can we expect from them this season?

Chasen Shreve, a lefty from the College of Southern Nevada, was drafted by the Braves in the 11th round of the 2010 draft. He made his major league with the Braves in 2014. Before the next season, he was traded to the Yankees where he stayed for several years before he was traded in a deadline deal in 2018 to the Cardinals in the same deal that brought Luke Voit to the Bronx. He became a free agent at the end of last season before signing with the Mets.

In his career since 2014, he has pitched in 218 games with 203.2 innings posting a 3.71 ERA, 4.80 FIP, 1.375 WHIP with a 114 ERA+. He didn’t see significant playing time in 2019 at the major league level. Back in 2018 he pitched in 40 games and 38.0 innings with a 4.26 ERA.

He did see a lot of action in the minors last year, pitching in 51 games and 60.0 innings with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.183 WHIP.

So where does he fit with the Mets?

The Mets still don’t have a lot of leftys in the pen on the 40 man roster. Shreve gives the Mets a chance to catch lightning in a jar. If gets off to a good start and the Mets need to make a change in Queens, and if the Mets have room on the 40-man roster, he would allow the Mets to try someone at Queens without burning another player’s options. If he has a good spring and has a good start in Syracuse, it’s probable that we see him at some point in Queens this year.

This is a lot of ifs. There are always a lot of ifs we we talk about veteran players on NRIs trying to break their way onto the 40 man roster. There is also a chance that he has a really good spring, doesn’t make the roster, and asks to be released (Mesoraco). I guess we’ll see what happens over the next month.

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Reviewing Baseball America’s 2019 Top 30 Mets Prospects: #7 Shervyen Newton

This is the second year where we are walking through the previous season’s Baseball America’s Top Prospect handbook, looking at the all the Mets to see how they are developing against Baseball America’s Projections.

Shervyen Newton has seen his stock drop quite a bit this past year. Baseball America’s 2019 prospect write up for him happened right before the drop off. Born in the Netherlands, BA notes that he trained in Curacao in the same camp as Jonathan Schoop and Jurickson Profar. His stats in the minors paint the picture for while his stock suddenly rose and then dropped:

2016 DOSL: 150 PA, 118 AB, .169/.347/.229
2017 DOSL: 303 PA, 241 AB, .311/.433/.444
2018 Kingsport: 266 PA, 207 AB, .280/.408/.449
2019 Columbia: 423 PA, 382 AB, .209/.283/.330

BA’s write up includes that some scouts see a potential for a 70 power reaching in the future. “Newton works deep counts and collects lots of walks and strikeouts”. The latter part is what changed for him last year as he struck out 139 times in 382 ABs and his walks decreased from 46 to 37 despite going from 266 PA to 423.

He hit a bump in the road last year. He will almost definitely start again in Columbia this year. He’s going to turn 21 during the season, is still young and showed so much promise earlier, he can put it back together. In an interesting twist, the Mets didn’t protect him in the Rule V draft this year and no one else picked him up. Hopefully Newton can surprise all the teams that passed on him and turn out a big year this year.

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2020 Mets Conglomerate Projections: Robinson Canó

Each year at 213, we take projections from several different places, average them together and then compare the line that spits out to the player’s performance from last year. We understand how unscientific this is – some projections try to guess playing time, some don’t, more playing time is weighted the same as less playing time, more successful projection producers are weighted the same as their counterparts, etc. At the end of the year we revisit the projections and see how’d they do.

The Robinson Canó trade will go down as the defining trade for BVW, and not for positive reasons. That was true before Canó played last year. He hit a homer on opening day (actually he played a role in all the scoring offense that day) and then basically crickets for the rest of the season. When he was finally starting to heat up, he got injured and missed significant playing time.

2019 Stats: 423 PA, 390 AB, 13 HR, .256/.307/.428, 0.3 WAR, 89 DRC+

(Citations: BP projections come from the Baseball Prospectus Annual, a must read for all baseball fans and can be purchased here. ESPN comes from their fantasy baseball projections and can be found here. Both ZiPS and Steamer are found on FanGraphs. ZiPS can be found here, Steamer can be found here. BR comes from the Baseball Reference for this specific player and is linked earlier in the article)

The good news is that most of the projections see him making a step back in the positive direction. Even BP, who basically see him performing the same, sees him playing longer and gives him a higher DRC+ than last year (putting him at 7% worse than the average major league hitter rather than 11% where he was last year).

Although the average line isn’t pretty, if Robinson can play close to that line then the Mets will have a formidable offense. What will be tricky for Rojas is figuring out how many games Canó plays and how to balance the players making the most money vs the players with the best bats.

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Get To Know a Non-Roster Invitee: Nick Rumbelow

Each year at 213 we look through the Non-Roster Invitees to spring training and get to know them a bit. Are they in camp to get a look at big league hitting/pitching to aid their development? Are the Mets just trying to get a better look at a future rookie? Are they a veteran trying to get back to the major league level? What can we expect from them this season?

The Mets have made some interesting non-roster invitee signings this off-season for players from other systems. Rumbelow is not one of them. He signed last year with the Mets, but were not ready to talk about that yet.

The Yankees drafted him in 2013 out of Louisiana State. He debuted with the Yankees in 2015 and was subsequently released in 2016. He then resigned with the Yankees a month later and was traded a year later to the Mariners, who released him in the middle of 2019.

In 2015 he got into 17 games and logged 15.2 innings with a 4.02 ERA and 1.340 WHIP. In 2018 with the Mariners he got into 13 games and pitched 17.2 innings with a 6.11 ERA. Last year got into only three games and recorded 4 outs while allowing 4 runs.

This is where his story gets interesting. He then goes to Sugar Land, an Independent team and dominates, throws 22.0 innings in 21 games and has a 0.81 ERA. He’s 2.1 years younger than the average independent ball player. The Mets see this and sign him and in 5 games in Syracuse he posts a 4.26 ERA (compared to a 8.17 ERA in Tacoma earlier in the season).

It’s unclear what the Mets have with Rumbelow outside of a pitcher with an interesting recent history. Rumbelow is also still quite far down on the depth chart and he’ll have a lot of competition with members of the 40 man roster trying to break the 25 man (while Rumbelow will just be trying to get on the 40 man period). The three batter minimum will also be an interesting hurdle for him. But he’s here and everyone loves a good origin story.

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Reviewing Baseball America’s 2019 Top 30 Mets Prospects: #8 Simeon Woods-Richardson

This is the second year where we are walking through the previous season’s Baseball America’s Top Prospect handbook, looking at the all the Mets to see how they are developing against Baseball America’s Projections.

Simeon Woods Richardson (and later Anthony Kay) are the two prospect profiles I have really not looked forward to writing about. Simeon might be the reason why I started this whole undertaking six weeks later than I did last year – I was so attached to him it hurt to see him traded away. Now I’m happy about Stroman being on the Mets. But trading for Stroman, when the team was already struggling only makes sense if the Mets resign Wheeler – a full on win-now move so the team could afford to trade away their top two remaining starting pitching prospects.

At first a lot of pundits saw the trade based around Kay, but Simeon is the real prize for Toronto (sort-of like d’Arnaud was the centerpiece of the Dickey trade but Syndergaard was the real prize).

Before the 2019 season, and before Simeon blew up, BA talked about how he was one the youngest players in the draft and and his 26-4 K to BB ratio his first year in professional ball. They liked his mid-90s fastball with spin rate and his 12-6 curveball. Overall they love his stuff but he was a high school pitcher and he has a long journey.

2019 Columbia: 20 G, 78.1 IP, 4.25 ERA, 1.213 WHIP
2019 Dunedin: 6 G, 28.1 IP, 2.54 ERA, 0.882 WHIP

Before the trade Simeon was having a good year in Columbia, even better when his age was factored in (3.8 years below the average age). The Blue Jays bumped him up to Advanced A ball and he did even better + he was 4.9 years below the average. His performance in A+ ball has landed him on multiple top 100 prospect lists.

We are happy for him, sad his success won’t be with us. If the Mets sign Stroman this year to an extension, then this trade will work out for the Mets but if the Mets don’t, and they don’t win a championship this year, then we lost something special.

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More Player Reactions to the Houston Cheating Scandal

Yesterday we found a few Twitter reactions to the Houston Cheating Scandal, copied their HTML text to this site and posted them. There have been more over night (and honestly we don’t have an exhaustive way to comb through Twitter for this) so here are some more!

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Player Reactions to the Houston Cheating Scandal

The last several days players from across the league have taken to Twitter to voice their opinion about Houston Astros stealing signs and the league’s lack of an appropriate response. Since the Astros have “apologized” and since the league double downed on not doing anything about it, players are filling the void left by injustice.

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