Monday, February 28, 2005

Los Mets

Great, great article on Minaya and Los Mets:

Enter Omar. Besides his baseball acumen, the new general manager came with a narrative: The kid from Queens who’d grown up as a Mets fan was coming back to run the club. Even better, Minaya is Dominican—in a city with a surging Latino population, in a sport whose brightest young stars speak Spanish, in an industry where the executive ranks have always been 99 percent white. Suddenly, a franchise that had been humiliated on the field and dominated in the headlines by the Yankees had a charismatic leader, a man who immediately assumed one-name stature in the media: Omar.
I must confess, when the Mets hired Omar Minaya, there probably wasn't anyone who hated the move more than I did. As you already know, I believe in performance analysis, and to me anyone who didn't know or ignored the importance of OBP was not someone who I wanted as my GM. Ergo, I didn't want the GM of my team saying things like these:
I don’t talk about OBP...I’m old school, I’m not a stat guy, I’m a talent evaluator. The guys who taught me the game of baseball never talked about OBP...Give me talent and I’ll show you OBP.
Five months have passed since Omar was hired as the Mets GM, and I have to give credit where its due, and recognize I was wrong.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Le Joe Mac

Newest Met rumour :
Few places have been affected by the economy more than Pittsburgh, so don't look for Dave Littlefield to have much payroll flexibility, but. He knows if he can land a Travis Blackley, Alfredo Simon, or Joe McEwing (Mets GM Omar Minaya is reluctant to deal him, but may if the right deal comes along), the Pirates still have a chance.
Omar, what are you waiting for?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Links

I'm super late on this one, but for those of you that don't know, former ESPN minor league analyst John Sickels has launched his own website. If you enjoy prospect analysis and discussion, you'll definitely enjoy the site.

Pretty interesting interview with former Mets' Scouting Director, Jack Bowen.

Also, don't forget to check NYFS to get the best Mets' spring training coverage. I mean, where else are you going to get cool pictures like this?

Ah, how many days til Opening Day again?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Baldiris

Sorry about the lack of updates, but I've been terribly busy with school and work lately, I've barely had any chance to keep up with the Mets. Anyway, while surfing the web, I found this blurb at NYFS:
Aarom Baldiris reported today, married, in great shape looking like he lost 20 lbs or so, and confirming to NYFS that he will be playing both second and third base this year, before being worked primarily at second base during today's drills.
Wow. Great news. Baldiris has long been a favorite of mine. He has excellent plate discipline, and plays outstanding defense. While certainly the lack of power is a strike against him, a 21 year old 2nd baseman with a career 383 OBP in AA is a pretty valuable commodity. The question is, can he make the transition? JJ Cooper seems to think so:
Baldiris is a very good defensive 3B, and some scouts have said they believe he could make the transition with little problem. For now, he's a 3B, and he may develop the power to be a solid 3B, but he's good enough defensively with solid range and body control, to probably make the move to 2B in the future if that will help his development.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Draft 04: Tools of Ignorance [Pt. 2]

The draft analysis continues:

4. Aaron Hathaway


Drafted in the 4th round out of the University of Washigton, Aaron Hathaway was regarded as one of the best defensive catchers in college baseball. Named the Cyclones starting catcher shortly after signing, the 6-0, 190-pound backstop lived up to his reputation during his short stint in Brooklyn. Exhibiting his strong and accurate arm, the former Huskie earned praises from everyone and was named the best defensive player drafted by the Mets this year according to Baseball America:
Aaron Hathaway is athletic for his position and has the arm to shut down the running game. He led the short-season New York-Penn League by throwing out 39 percent of basestealers.
Of course, this wasn't a surprise. After all, Hathaway had displayed his 1.9 second release time while at Washignton where he picked off seven runners and threw out 21-of-60 would-be basestealers on the season. Projected to be solid defensively, Hathaway's status as a prospect will depend on his ability to swing the bat. Understandably awful during his first exposure to wooden bats, the Mets will hope Hathaway refinds the stroke that made him an offensive star with the Huskies:

2002
303/382/417
0.79 IsoD 114 IsoP

2003
350/410/502
0.60 IsoD 152 IsoP

2004
317/363/518
0.46 IsoD 201 IsoP

As most of you know, batting average [AVG] comes from dividing hits by at-bats and it was created to measure the effectiveness of a hitter. Obviously, that was a long time ago, and since then, baseball has turned to On-base Percentage [OBP] and Slugging Percentage [SLG] to get a better read of a player's offensive contribution. The problem with that is, of course, that AVG still is a big part of both statistics. To account for it, someone somewhere created IsoD [OBP minus AVG] and IsoP [SLG minus AVG] . They essentially show how much of a player's total bases come from walks and extra bases respectively. Anyway, now that I've confused you enough, what does this have to do with Hathaway? If you look closely at his stats, you can see that while his lines weren't bad, they were greatly enhanced by his high batting averages. I may not much about college statistics, but one thing is for sure, its a lot harder to hit for a high average when using wooden bats than it is when using aluminum bats. We'll see how Hathaway responds to wooden bats and tougher competition next year, but chances are, his bat won't be more than average as a major leaguer. As a catcher, this of course isn't terrible news, but it nonetheless takes away from his value as a potential starter.

Over the years, the Mets have received fantastic offensive production from the catcher position. In a shift of organizational philosophy, the Mets traded away the offensive catcher and drafted the defensive wizard in Hathaway. We'll see how this works out, but I for one, don't think its a sound strategy. I'll talk more about whats left of the Mets' depth at catcher, and the other draft picks next time.