Tag Archives: wilmer flores

10 Reasons to Root for the Mets

1. Our captain has stuck with us & led us through even the worst of times.

550_DarkHelmet

2. Our manager is a 66-year-old coaching veteran who is finally getting a chance to show off his postseason makeup for the first time.

8637-1Fr

3. Our shortstop has been a member of the organization since he was 16-years-old, and he showed the world just how much he loved being a Met late in July.

Flores.0.0

4. Our star player is the coolest guy in the world, and he’s probably one of the only true five-tool players in the league.

8/12/15 - Colorado Rockies vs. New York Mets at Citi Field - New York Mets center fielder Yoenis Cespedes #52 hits a solo shot, his first home run as a Met in the 8th inning.

5. Our pitching staff is on the path to being one of the best in the history of the game.

noah-syndergaard-matt-harvey-jacob-degrom-pittsburgh

6. Speaking of our pitchers, one of our top guys is a hometown hero.

braves-mets-baseball

7. We lost our starting shortstop to a terrible and illegal slide by Chase Utley (BOOOOOOO) just three games ago.

Los Angeles, CA - October 10: Ruben Tejada #11 of the New York Mets is kicked upside down as Chase Utley #26 of the Los Angeles Dodgers slides into him reaching for second. Tejada is taken out of the game by stretcher in the seventh inning. October 10, 2015. (Photo by Anthony Causi)

8. Our GM is a genius who traded a a 37-year-old R.A. Dickey to Toronto for two top prospects, Syndergaard and d’Arnaud, who now are two of our best players.

Flushing, New York  9/30/13   Mets GM Sandy Alderson talks to media at a press conference at Citi Field on  Sept. 30, 2013 (Paul J. Bereswill)

9. Our closer, Jeurys Familia, is an absolute machine who is providing flashbacks to the days of Mariano Rivera and John Franco closing games for their respective NY teams.

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 27: Jeurys Familia #27 of the New York Mets pitches during the ninth inning of the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on April 27, 2015 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

10. And, come on, how can you not root for this face???

usp-mlb_-atlanta-braves-at-new-york-mets_001-e1398003375122

The Mets’ most underrated prospect: Danny Muno

Daniel-Muno

Daniel Muno profile:

Height: 5’11
Weight: 190 lbs.
Age: 26.07 y/o (as of when this article was written)
Acquired by: Mets drafted him out of Fresno State in 8th round of 2011 amateur draft
Bats/Throws: S/R
Number: 12
PositionSecond Base
Last Played For: Las Vegas 51’s (AAA)
Average stats/year through 4 years in minor leagues:

  • HR: 7.75
  • AVG: .276
  • RBI: 48
  • OPS: .814
  • SB: 13
  • TB: 138
  • AB: 329
  • H: 91

Let’s compare Muno, a second base prospect, to our best second base prospect, Dilson Herrera. Also, Dilson only played a mere 7 games in the Mets organization in 2013, so we’ll only count his 2014 numbers.

  • Muno is an inch taller than Dilson, and weighs 40 lbs. more than him.
  • This past season, Herrera played in both A+ and AA ball. Here are his numbers:
    • 524 AB
    • 13 HR
    • 71 RBI
    • 23 SB
    • .858 OPS
    • 169 H
    • 251 TB
    • .323 AVG
  • Those numbers appear much better than Muno’s… But what you may notice is that Herrera had 165 more at-bats than Muno (359) did this past season. So let’s adjust Muno’s numbers to the amount of at-bats that Herrera had.
    • 524 AB
    • 20.4 HR
    • 90.5 RBI
    • 13.1 SB
    • .790 OPS
    • 135.7 H
    • 219 TB
    • .259 AVG

Comparing these numbers, and also physical attributes (height and weight), shows that Muno is closer to Herrera than people may believe. He has better power than Herrera, and also is very good at picking up those RBIs. This season was a down year for Muno in a few categories, namely batting average and stolen bases, and he still managed to pick up some numbers that were respectable for his place in the organization.

Let’s Watch him Hit!

The fact that Muno is a switch-hitter is very significant, as he can hit pitchers from both sides of the plate. He has a very nice swing from each side of the place, which you can see in this video:

Here’s another highlight of his, showing off his opposite-field gap power…

And lastly, this next video shows Muno coming in to pinch hit late in a game, and immediately slugging a home run to right. It shows off his clutch factor and his pure power…

 

Can he play the field?

Well, first off, he’s a very versatile fielder. He can play on either side up the middle (shortstop or second base), and even has some experience, albeit limited, at third base. He’s played 28% of his games at shortstop, 7% at third base, and an overwhelming 62% at second.

Overall, his defensive statistics were nothing to call home about, but they were definitely not poor. We have to keep in mind that because he plays at three different positions, his defensive numbers may be skewed a bit. He has a nice arm, decent range, and overall steady defense.

What do I particularly like about him?

The thing that impressed me most about Muno was that he has improved across the board each time he’s moved up in the system.

He showed off nice power numbers in Las Vegas, where he played against MLB-level pitchers, who were either just about to enter the majors or just leaving the majors. For example, in a game against the Sacramento River Cats on April 10th, 2014, he faced Joe Blanton (yes, Joe Blanton the 10-year MLB-vet who won the 2008 World Series with the Phillies). And what did Muno do? He went 2-4 and hit a HR off the MLB-veteran.

What is my future outlook on him?

I think Muno has MLB talent. He has nice fundamentals, a super bat, average to above-average speed, and consistent fielding.

He earned an invite to the Mets’ 2015 Spring Training, but didn’t quite do enough to make the MLB-roster out of camp. However, the Mets called him up yesterday, April 17th, and he went 1-1 as a pinch-hitter. I see him spending some more time in the majors this season, but not quite earning a full-time roster spot until Spring Training of next year.

If Murphy leaves, he can compete with Dilson for the second base job. If Flores doesn’t pan out, he can spend some time at shortstop. He can even be a potential replacement for Wright when the latter’s career ends.

Who is his MLB Comparison?

I think Muno builds a fair comparison to current Mets second baseman, Daniel Murphy.

Murphy, a 2014 All-Star, didn’t really hit his stride until he had spent a few years in the bigs. I think Muno is the same. While his minor league numbers are good, I still think, based on watching tape of him and reading scouting reports, that he has room to grow.

He and Murphy are comparable as fielders, baserunners, and power hitters (although Muno may have a slight edge here).

The differentiation between the two is that Murph has developed into a great contact hitter who consistently puts up a batting average from the high .200s to the low .300s. This was not always a given for Murph.

Hopefully Muno can grow as a contact hitter the way that Daniel Murphy did. I see similar tools between the two, and a similar growth pattern.

Overall, Daniel Muno’s style of play, skills, and even shortcomings all are reminiscent of Murphy.

Today in Baseball: Is Wilmer “The Future”?

wilmerflores

I remember on June 10th, 2003, when some guy named José Reyes played his first game in a Mets uniform. Entering the game, he was ranked the #3 prospect in the MLB by “Baseball America.” The 20-year-old Dominican shortstop was so highly touted that, on his debut, the Mets gave out mini-bats with Reyes’ picture and “the future” plastered all over them.

So yeah, he was pretty good.

He ended up playing nine seasons with the Mets. In those nine seasons, he totaled 370 stolen bases, a .292 average, 99 triples, 81 home runs, and 423 RBIs.

Here’s a clip just to remind you how electric Jose was…

…how fast he was…

…and how much the fans loved him.

And then, after a phenomenal 2011 season in Flushing, he was gone.

On December 7th, 2011, Reyes inked a deal with the Miami Marlins.

Reyes has expressed that he wanted to stay in Flushing. As the story goes, the only reason he bolted is that Sandy Alderson didn’t even schedule a meeting with him.

But, regardless of the reasoning behind it, Reyes is gone, as he has been for the last four years. And ever since he left, the Mets shortstop position has been constantly in flux.

Since Reyes has been gone, we’ve seen 276 games of Ruben Tejada, 126 games of Omar Quintanilla, 51 games of Wilmer Flores, 28 games of Justin Turner, 27 games of Ronny Cedeño, 8 games of Wilfredo Tovar, 5 games of Jordany Valdespin, a game of Eric Campbell, and even a single game of David Wright at shortstop!

Wilmer Flores, the third man on that illustrious list, is slotted as the Mets’ Opening Day shortstop.

It’s becoming increasingly evident with each passing day that Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins have a lot of faith in Flores. They’ve passed on Troy Tulowitzki, Ian Desmond, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jung-Ho Kang, Jed Lowrie, Hanley Ramirez, and more, in favor of sticking with Wilmer.

This aforementioned faith in Flores isn’t unwarranted…

The 23-year-old is taller than the average shortstop, standing at 6’3″. He possesses nice power and has the potential to become a very good hitter.

While he often looks like a subpar and sloppy defensive shortstop, the numbers say otherwise… In 51 games at shortstop this past season, he had a .979 fielding percentage, which would put him tied with Adeiny Hechavarria for 7th amongst all shortstops last season (albeit small sample size). Wilmer had just four errors in 51 games, or .078 per game- during his Mets tenure, Jose Reyes, largely looked at as a nice fielder, averaged .1 error per game. While Flores is far from a defensive wiz, he’s an acceptable defensive shortstop. His lack of fancy plays, among other factors, unfairly gives him this reputation as a defensive liability.

Do I want the Mets to acquire a better, more proven shortstop? Yes, of course.

However, I don’t think that they will do that until AT LEAST the end of next season.

Flores certainly isn’t Reyes… He certainly isn’t “the future.”

But one thing is for sure- Flores has a whole lot of potential. The question is- can he make good on it?

What if Wednesday: Justin Upton

asdf

In the offseason of 2012-13, the Mets made a push for Justin Upton. Upton, then of the Arizona Diamondbacks, was just 25 years old and was considered to be one of the best outfielders in the game.

Supposedly, Sandy Alderson was pushing hard for Upton, trying to make a trade work for a while. Eventually, this effort failed.

Upton was traded along with Chris Johnson to the Atlanta Braves in January of 2013 in exchange for Martin Prado, Randall Delgado and three prospects- Zeke Spruill, Nick Ahmed, and Brandon Drury.

But what would a Mets trade for Upton look like? What would change as a result of this acquisition?

  • The Mets trade Daniel Murphy, Jenrry Mejia, Wilmer Flores, and Rafael Montero to the Diamondbacks in exchange for Justin Upton and Chris Owings.
  • Let’s take a brief look at how this one trade two winters ago would’ve impacted the way this offseason (2014-15) has played out…
    • With Justin Upton on the Mets, the Braves clearly can’t send him along to San Diego. The Padres killer offseason comes out a notch below where it is today.
    • The Pads’ lose out on Upton, and so, have no need to trade Seth Smith to the Mariners. He remains in San Diego.
    • Even with Upton, the Mets still sign Cuddyer to fill out the outfield, forming the “Norfolk Three” with Upton, David Wright, and Cuddyer.
    • Because Martin Prado is never a Diamondback, he can’t be traded to the Yankees in the summer of 2014. As a result, the Yanks can’t send him to Miami. Prado is still a Brave, and Nathan Eovaldi is still a Marlin.
    • Now that the Marlins don’t have Prado, they have no reason to trade Casey McGehee to the San Francisco Giants, and he thus continues to call Miami home.
    • With the Giants missing out on Chase Headley, and now not acquiring Casey McGehee, they’re in some big trouble at third base. They make a greater push for Asdrubal Cabrera, ultimately signing him, as he spurns the Tampa Bay Rays.
    • The Rays don’t sign Cabrera to add to their surplus of infield talent, and thus, all of these Ben Zobrist trade rumors (particularly to the Mets) are, more or less, obsolete.
    • The D-Backs don’t trade Didi Gregorius to the New York Yankees, as they have nobody else at shortstop, with Chris Owings a Met and Nick Ahmed still a Brave.
    • The Yankees need to find another shortstop, so they go out and place the winning bid on Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang.
    • And lastly, the Mets aren’t the subject of every shortstop rumor, because they already have their shortstop of the future in Chris Owings…
  • Now we can rewind a little bit…
    • The Braves need to acquire another outfielder to accompany Jason Heyward and BJ Upton after failing to acquire the latter’s brother. With all of the big-time corner outfielders off of the market, the Braves really have nowhere to go… They place utility-man Evan Gattis in left field.
    • In the 2013 season, the Braves don’t perform to the level that they did in the “real world” without Justin Upton, but they still just barely sneak into the playoffs with the weak NL East. They get swept in the NLDS by the LA Dodgers.
    • The Mets don’t sign Curtis Granderson in the winter of 2013 because they already have Upton and Lagares, and plan on signing another outfielder the following offseason. He ends up back with the Yankees on a lesser contract.
  • And many, many, many more things would’ve changed if Upton was a Met…

What else do you think would’ve changed? Let me know in the COMMENT section!

Today in Baseball: The Offseason Just Keeps on Trucking

maybetter-625

After a highly eventful Winter Meetings, this past weekend was relatively quiet in terms of MLB transactions. We basically just saw the finalization of moves made at the Meetings, like the Twins-Ervin Santana signing, the Wade Miley-to-the-Red Sox trade, and the Astros signing of two relievers- Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek.

However, today, a few MLB transactions came to fruition:

For one, the Astros signed shortstop Jed Lowrie to a three-year deal. The deal guarantees $23 million, with another $5 million potentially added, which will be dependent on a 2018 team option. Lowrie developed in Boston, playing for the Red Sox from 2008 to 2011. After the 2011 season, he was traded to the Houston Astros in a deal that sent reliever Mark Melancon to the Red Sox. After playing just one season with the Astros, he was shipped to Oakland in exchange for a package centered around power-hitting DH/1B, Chris Carter. After playing two seasons in Oakland, Lowrie hit the free agent market. His return to Houston should be a substantial upgrade for the team, who was previously expected to play Marwin Gonzalez at short. Lowrie is a horrific baserunner, especially when you consider that he’s a shortstop, usually a position that warrants speed. However, he’s an above-average hitter, and has had some flashes of good power, and he’s quite a solid defender.

Lowrie was previously considered to be one of the many options to fill the Mets apparent void at shortstop, but now that he’s off of the market, the Mets will have to look elsewhere for such. Stephen Drew, Yoan Moncada, Jung-Ho Kang, and Brad Miller appear to be the most likely options as of today (if they don’t stick with Wilmer Flores).

The other notable move of the day was the Yankees re-signing of third baseman Chase Headley, who they’ll pay $52 million over 4 years. Headley, one of the top third basemen in the MLB today, was traded to the Yankees at last season’s trade deadline. He’s mainly known for his tremendous 2012 season, in which he won a Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, and led the NL in RBIs, but that’s not the only season in which he’s impressed. He was one of the Yankees top priorities this season, and their locking him up should be viewed as a positive move. This will likely send either Alex Rodriguez or the former Met, Chris Young, to the bench, while the other will play Designated Hitter.

Lastly, on the homefront, the Mets made two moves today, one of which resulted from the other. The Mets agreed to sign John Mayberry to a 1-year, $1.45 million contract on the last day of the Winter Meetings, last Thursday. The deal was finalized today. While not a tremendously “sexy” move, it shouldn’t go unnoticed… After signing Michael Cuddyer to play right-field, the Mets had three main priorities: signing a right-handed backup outfielder, acquiring a starting shortstop, and acquiring a left-handed relief pitcher. Through this signing, they’ve achieved one of those goals. The 30-year old outfielder hasn’t been very consistent over his six-year career, but he has displayed tremendous power at points. As a specialty backup player, Mayberry could be quite impactful. He’s a lefty-killer, an unbelievable pinch hitter, and someone whose power doesn’t apply to Citi Field, as we saw throughout his six seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies.

In order to clear up room for Mayberry on the 40-man roster, the Mets were forced to DFA Gonzalez Germen. Germen, who has constantly been called-up and sent-down by the Mets since 2013, is a 27 year old Dominican reliever. He is expected to either be sent to the Mets AAA affiliates, the Las Vegas 51s, or to hit the open market.

Today, we saw the Mets lose out on a shortstop candidate, see their crosstown rivals sign a nice player, add a solid bench piece, and DFA a fringe-MLB reliever. Now, they just need to get a shortstop…

Is Javier Baez a Realistic Option for the Mets?

javybaez

The Chicago Cubs have 3 young, very good shortstops. They have Javier Baez, the power hitting shortstop who is ranked the 5th best prospect in all of baseball. They have Addison Russell, the shortstop phenom that they acquired for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the A’s, who is ranked the 6th best prospect in all of baseball. And finally, they have Starlin Castro, the established, 24 year old shortstop for the Cubs, who has appeared in 3 All Star Games so far in his young career.

The Chicago Cubs have a surplus of shortstop talent, and there’s not much that they can do, in terms of repositioning. First of all, sending a young player to a different, unnatural position can really affect their play on both sides of the ball (See: Lucas Duda). But let’s say they were committed to moving these guys around. Well, they’d encounter a lot of issues. They can’t move any of them to catcher, because that’s way too big of a stretch. They can’t move any to First Base, as they have the blossoming young star, Anthony Rizzo, there. They can move ONE of them to second base, but that leaves two more. Can’t move to third, as Kris Bryant, the #3 prospect in all of baseball, is set to play there in the future. They can’t move to the outfield, because they have a nice combo of Arismendy Alcantara, the young Dominican import, Albert Almora, the 39th prospect in baseball, and Jorge Soler, the 51st.

If that doesn’t mean anything to you, here’s the gist of it: The Cubs have to trade at least one, maybe even two, of their young shortstops.

This is where the Mets come in…