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Get To Know A Prospect: Gabriel Ynoa

Gabriel Ynoa, 21 years old, is a RHP who has been in the Mets system since 2010. Since that time his stock has bounced around, mainly because the Mets system in terms of pitchers has changed a lot since 2010.

Anyway, he has pitched 5 seasons with the Mets and last year he spent considerable time at AA, so he is getting closer. Over those 5 years he has posted a 38-16 record with a 3.00 ERA while pitching 488.2 innings with a 1.097 WHIP, 6.2 K/9, 5.37 K/BB. Statistically speaking, 2012 and 2013 were his best seasons as he pitched a 2.23 and a 2.72 ERA respectively with a low level WHIP.

The following year, last year, when he moved up to St. Lucie and Binghamton he posted a 4.07 ERA over 148.0 innings with a 1.311 WHIP, 6.4 K/9 and a 4.24 K/BB. So the good news is kept up a positive K/BB ratio. He is demonstrating that he is not a top of a line starter, but that’s not really what was expected seriously Ynoa. He is now looking like an intriguing back of the rotation, long man option. In a system stocked with arms, there isn’t the need for Ynoa to be a frontline starter (although that would be nice). This year he was given a C+ ranking at Minor League Ball, and is considered to be the Mets 19th best prospect.

Where Are They Now: Mets in Oakland

Oakland! An organization that four former Mets call home.

First is Scott Kazmir. Kazmir is coming off of his first strong season in quite some time. Most Mets fans know the story of Kazmir. The top prospect was traded essentially for Victor Zambrano which made very little sense at the time and still makes very little sense. Kazmir had a good start of his career in Tampa, stumbled towards the end of his time there, stumbled more with the Angels but is seeing a resurgence in Oakland.

Second is our recent friend Ike Davis, who was traded last season. After a interesting start to last season, where there were strong Ike supporters and dissenters (and his Dad also making a fuss about trade rumors), the Mets sent him to Pittsburgh. Duda ended up having a breakout year with the Mets and the Mets got Thorton/Taylor for the first basemen. Davis was DFA’d at the end of the season and Oakland picked him up. With their roster in a bit of flux, maybe he can squeeze himself in.

Third is Jason Pridie. The 31 year-old OF was a 5th/6th OF for the Mets when then got him off waivers from the Twins back in 2010. In 2011 the Mets ended up relying on Jason for 101 games with his .231/.309/.370 slash line. He has played in 15 major league games since then (9 for Philly, 4 for Baltimore, 2 for Colorado). He was signed as a free agent to the Athletics organization this off-season.

Finally there is Jefry Marte, a 23 year-old third basemen, who hasn’t broken into the majors yet. He was with the Mets from 2008 to 2012, starting at the age of 17. He ended up in Oakland as part of the Collin Cowgill trade that brought Collin to Queens.

This series of articles will take us across every organization in baseball and look for former Mets in the majors and minors to see how they are doing, leading up to a “Former Mets Team” to see how the current Mets stack up with pieces we have all over the place. I am still looking for Mets team members on the Pirates, Rangers, White Sox and Tigers. If you any, please let me know!

Get To Know A Prospect: Wuilmer Becerra

Wuilmer Becerra should sound familiar as he was the additional player in the R.A. Dickey trade when he was only 18. Last year at the age of 19 he earned a ranking of C+ from Minor League Ball with the accolade of “one of the highest ceiling bats in the system.”

In his three seasons he has played in 121 games across two seasons in the Gulf Coast League (two organizations) and one season in the Appalachian League with 412 AB’s, .272 BA, .352 OBP and a .388 SLG. Last season he had 207 ABs over 58 G batting .300, a .351 OBP, and a .469 SLG. Over those ABs he had 62 hits, 19 extra-base hits. 10 doubles, 2 triples and 7 homers. Last season was the first time the power started to show for Becerra as he develops into his frame. This upcoming season will be important, can he replicate the the power he displayed last year at a higher level? I was high on Becerra when we got him in the trade, but that was only because I was trying to make the R.A. Dickey trade seem like a lopsided monster in my head. Let’s see what he can do next year!

Get To Know A Prospect: Robert Whalen

Robert Whalen, who will be 21 next year, is a RHP the Mets drafted in the 12th round of the 2012 draft. Minor League Ball ranks him as the 14th best prospect giving him a C+ ranking.

In 3 seasons he is 12-4 with a 1.89 ERA over 27 games, 24 starts and 143.0 innings. Last year he was 9-2 over 14 games, 12 starts with a 1.94 ERA pitching 69.2 innings with a 0.990 WHIP, 8.1 K/9, 3.00 K/BB ratio.

Looking at just his stats, his WHIP and K/9 are incredibly impressive. He did most of the work at Savannah last year. His next year is going to be important in determining how he develops considering he missed the majority of last season due to an infection in his hand. Can he pitch more than ~70 innings in a season and still keep his numbers? If Savannah is more of a pitching park, what happens when he goes to more of an even park?  If anything he is intriguing.

Where Are They Now: Mets in Los Angeles (Angels Edition)

The Angels currently have two former Mets on their roster: Joe Smith and Collin Cowgill.

Joe Smith made his major league debut with the Mets in 2007 and played two seasons with the Amazin’s. Back in Queens he had a 3.51 ERA over 107.2 innings and 97 strikeouts. Overall in his career he has recorded a 2.78 ERA and he is coming off of a season where he had a 1.81 ERA over 74.2 innings. The Mets traded him in December 2008 as part of a three team trade that brought JJ Putz, Jeremy Reed and Sean Green to the Mets. He’s gone off and has had a great career.

Collin Cowgill was essentially a starting outfielder for the Mets at the beginning of 2007, but his Mets career lasted 23 games with a .180 BA, .206 OBP. He did hit an Opening Day Grand Slam. He’s been fairly successful with the Angels since then, last year getting 260 AB’s and batting .250, .330 OBP and a .354 SLG. The Mets acquired Collin for Jefry Marte and traded him to the Angels for Kyle Johnson.

This series of articles will take us across every organization in baseball and look for former Mets in the majors and minors to see how they are doing, leading up to a “Former Mets Team” to see how the current Mets stack up with pieces we have all over the place. I am still looking for Mets team members on the Pirates, Rangers, White Sox and Tigers. If you any, please let me know!

Where Are They Now: Mets In Houston

As far as I can tell, there is only 1 former New York Met in the Houston Astros’ organization: Collin McHugh.

McHugh was drafted by the Mets in 2008. In 2012 he was 0-4 over 8 games and 4 starts over 21.1 innings with an ERA of 7.59 allowing 18 earned runs and 21 runs total over that time. In 2013 as a Met he was 0-4 over 7 games and 5 starts with a 10.04 ERA over 26.0 innings allowing 29 earned runs.

Midseason 2013 he was traded to the Rockies for Eric Young. In four more starts that season he was 0-3 with a 9.95 ERA.

The Astros then selected McHugh off of waivers and he turned into another pitcher. In 25 starts last year he had a 2.73 ERA with a 11-9 record over 154.2 innings and 157 strikeouts. If I was building a former Mets team, before last year I would not field McHugh as a starter unless I couldn’t find any other pitchers. I hope that his breakout season is indicative of what he can do and he becomes a mainstay of the Astros rotation.

This series of articles will take us across every organization in baseball and look for former Mets in the majors and minors to see how they are doing, leading up to a “Former Mets Team” to see how the current Mets stack up with pieces we have all over the place. I am still looking for Mets team members on the Pirates, Rangers, White Sox and Tigers. If you any, please let me know!

Get To Know A Prospect: Jhoan Urena

The Mets have an interesting system at lower levels with some interesting players. One way to guarantee not to get a ton of attention from the fan base and the media is to play third base, thanks to a certain generational player at the major league level.

Jhoan Urena is on the cusp of national attention. The third basemen from the Dominican Republic will be 21 next season. Over his first three seasons he has spent time in the Dominican Republic Summer League, Gulf Coast League and the New York Penn League. During that time he has played in 186 games, 702 AB’s with a .292 BA, .345 OBP, and .409 SLG.

Last season he hit .300 with a.356 OBP and a .431 SLG in Brooklyn. Over his 85 hits he had 20 doubles, a triple and 5 homers, his most homers in any season but not statistically significant compared to his AB totals. The question for him, like most players his age, is how does that power develop? He has been able to hit for average and moderate power at the lower levels, but what happens as he starts to grow into his frame? Minor League Ball ranked him as the #10 prospect. I’m curious to see how he starts to hit next season as he starts to move up the rankings. The rumblings are that Savannah is another minor league ball park where power numbers tend to take a dive (re: Dominic Smith).

Get To Know A Mets Prospect: Marcos Molina

It is easy to focus on the Mets top arms, because they have so many, however a new player is starting to rise up on the lists: Marcos Molina.

Molina, who will be 20 years old next season, is a RHP from the Dominican Republic. Baseball America this year ranked him #9, and the first pitcher after Rafael Montero. Minor League Ball ranked him #8, and also the first pitcher after Rafael Montero. Minor League Ball ranked him a B-/B rating, stating that he garnered support after an impressive month in Brooklyn.

Overall in the minors he is 16-8 with a 3.07 ERA over 37 games, 31 starts with 184.2 innings of work. Last year was the year though he really broke out in Brooklyn going 7-3 over 12 starts and 76.0 innings with a 1.78 ERA, 0.842 WHIP and a 5.06 K/BB ratio.

Scouts at Minor League Ball say he needs to develop his breaking pitches. He’s gaining attention right now really on the very impressive numbers he had in Brooklyn which are just not talked about due to Syndergaard/Matz/Montero in the system. As those three leave, more eyes will be on Molina. If he can put up a statistically impressive season at a higher level this year, expect him to be a household name next fall.

Another Met on a Top Prospect Position List (Herrera)

It has been a good week for finding Mets players on the top prospect lists on MLB.com. They have had a player on the RHP List, the LHP List, the Catcher List, and First Base.

Today, it’s second base’s turn.

Right now the Mets have fan favorite, and my personal favorite, Daniel Murphy patrolling the bag, but it seems unlikely at the end of the year the Mets will give him a long term deal which is partially due to money (he was an All-Star last year and is pretty consistent) and also partially due to Dilson Herrera and Wilmer Flores. If the Mets find a shortstop, the two of them sort of back each other up in case one has an offense that doesn’t pan out. Dilson, Herrera, 20 year-old Columbian Second Basemen, was acquired as the player to be named later in the Buck and Byrd trade that also landed the Mets Vic Black.

On the MLB.com prospect ranking, Herrera is ranked 4th with an arrival of 2017 (even though he played in the majors last year). MLB.com gave him the following numbers: Hit 55, Power 40, Run 55, Arm 50, Field 55 and Overall 50. Last year he was the 8th best 2B prospect with the numbers: Hit 50, Power 45, Run 60, Arm 50, Field 55 and Overall 50.

 

His power potential (for 2B) is strong. Despite hitting only .220 last season in the majors he still had a slugging of .407. There are those who feel that he could be a potential all-star in a few seasons. Anything above “major league starter” would be a steal in the trade the Mets made, and I’m hoping he pans out.

Get To Know A Spring Training Invitee: Alex Castellanos

The 28 year-old was signed as a free agent this off-season after being granted free agency from the Padres organization. Previously he spent time in the Rangers system and had 41 AB’s in the majors from 2012-13 with the Dodgers organization.

The outfielder joins a complicated depth chart for the Mets that features starters Lagares/Granderson/Cuddyer with Mayberry/den Dekker/Captain Kirk/Puello/Vaughn. For the Mets, Alex represents a player that can put onto the 40 in a hurry in an emergency if they don’t want to mess with options with some of their other OF players.

In the majors Castellanos batted .171 over his 41 AB’s with 4 extrabase hits, including 2 homers. Last year he hit .275 with a .351 OBP while recording 99 hits over 360 AB’s with 25 doubles, 5 triples and 8 homers.

Alex, more so than others, has a shot of moving up the Mets depth chart. He was able to hit in the minors last year, and we already know the Mets are tepid (for better or worse, I’m not sure) on using Puello. If they don’t want to add Vaughn to the 40 man to protect him, then Alex becomes a good choice. Also, my gut says they want to protect someone like den Dekker as well, meaning they don’t want him to come up if he isn’t going to get regular playing time (although they haven’t always treated him like this). If Kirk is already on the 25 man, then Alex may be the next one up in case of injury.

If anything, Castellanos is a nice addition to depth chart.