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Thursday, July 08, 2004

Slowly but surely ive come around this season. As the Mets have hung around .500, and the Phillies and Marlins took turns refusing to run away with the division, i've let the thought creep into my mind that we could actually compete this year. Tonight victory pushed me over the edge. One gamne back! The Mets are hot right now, they're playing great baseball, and it absolutely could not have come at a better time. We go into Phili tonight staring at a shot to tie for the division lead and the very real possiblity of going into the All-Star break in first place. Hidalgo is on fire and it's changed everything. We have the no. 5 hitter we've needed all year. The big three(who ever could have imagined we would rightfully refer to Leiter/Glavine/Traschel as the big 3?)are cruising except for a rough couple of innings from Tommy Glavine Monday night. And with the incredible parity in the National League right now, that might be enough.

Even Kaz Matsui has started to pick it up, raising his line to the at least respectable 270/339/411. The 73 strikeouts are alot, especially for a 2 hitter, but the 35 walks and 70 points of isolated discipline are decent enough, especially compared to expectations of his plate discipline. His defense has still been a huge dissapointment, and i'd like to see him at second base, but at least he's starting to get it done at the plate. Speaking of which, i came across this interesting split.

As #1 229/309/355 in 231 AB
As #2 330/382/500 in 94 AB

Ya, it's a tiny sample size, and part of it is due to the last week when Matsui has been hot while abtting in the 2 hole, but it sure looks like having Jose Reyes back to lead off is going to help Matsui at the plate.

Looking through the minor leagues...

David Wright has fallen off a bit in AAA. Of course, fallen off still means he's hitting 321/402/605 in his first 81 at bats. It's looking more and more like Ty Wigginton could become mediocre trade bait. Wigginton has been hot lately though, so he probably has at least some trade value. With all the hype last year and the year before with Jose Reyes, has anyone stopped to consider if David Wright right now is a better prospect then Jose Reyes ever was? Reyes tore it up in July and August last year, he has the potential to be superb at shortstop, the most important defensive position other then catcher. He has also consistently been the youngest player at every level he's played in. On the other hand, there is very little question that Wright has the more impressive AA and AAA numbers among the two, is already a superb defender at third base, and has superb plate discipline, the one skill Reyes most lacks. Reyes was rushed through AA and AAA, he never really earned his promotion to the majors. Luckily he responded with amazing success last year after the first month. Wright's play demanded he be promoted to AAA, and if he keeps it up, his play is going to dictate he is promoted to the majors. Keep in mind, David Wright is less then 6 months older then Jose Reyes. Who do you think is the better player right now? Personally, i think it might be Wright.

Victor Diaz is hitting 293/328/466 with 21 2b and 12 HR. It should be noted that Norfolk is an extreme pitcher's park, with a 953 park factor, second in the International League only too Buffalo's 952. Even still, it's obvious that the lack of plate disciplie is hurting Diaz, with a 17/78 BB/K ratio. As i've said all along wtih Diaz, the guy obviously has the ability to hit for a high average (remember the two batting titles), and he's definately got some pop. If he ever learns to take a walk he is going to be an absolute monster, but i have my doubts he is ever going to learn to take a walk. That probably leaves him as a good, but never great hitter, which certainly isnt the worst thing ever.

Hit Good, Walk Bad. Part II: Craig Brazell is hitting 281/311/508 with 13 2B, 19 HR and a 14/60 BB/K. The difference here is that opposed to Victor Diaz, who is used to winning batting titles, the lack of plate discipline is not hurting Craig Brazell. He's doing what he's always done. Hit for a pretty good average and for power without taking any walks. Except this year he's hitting for alot of power. The guy is tied for fourth in home runs in the International League, while playing in one of the two worst hitters parks. And two of the guys ahead of him (Marcus Thames and Justin Morneau) arent in the minors any longer. Craig Brazell stepped up to AAA, and into an extreme pitchers park, still doesnt take a walk, and he's gotten better. At the end of last season i said that if Brazell could step up to AAA and the park in Norfolk and maintain hsi levels of production that maybe i'd start to consider that he was one of those few guys who can succeed without ever taking a walk. I never considered that he'd make the jump and his power would explode. I don't know if im completely convinced yet, but given the long track record, i sure wouldnt want to bet that Brazell can't keep this up and be an effective hitter in the majors.

Aaron Heilman is struggling. His ERA is up to 4.90. His K and K/BB numbers are still good, but he's giving up far too many hits. After crusiing through the minor leagues the first time, i'm sure starting to think that getting rocked last year and sent down this season effected the kids confidence. Actually none of the stockpile of AAA arms has looked particularly impressive, considering they pitch half there innings in an extreme pitchers park.

Matt Peterson is looking good at AA. 17 GS, 95.2 IP, 3.20 ERA, an 83/45 BB/K and a 1.33 WHIP. Still like to see those walks come down a bit, and bring the WHIP with it, his 95.2/87 IP/H numbers are great.

Justin Huber is hitting 273/379/468 with 15 2B, 9 HR, and a 37/50 BB/K in 216 AA at bats. I look at the Isolated Discipline and the Isolated Power, and the really nice BB/K numbers, and i know i should be happy with it even with the 273 mark, which really isnt all that bad anyway. I just can't help but feel that Huber's prospect status has slipped some, especially because of the defensive troubles. Maybe i just got too worked up over the monster FSL number last year. Those really are good numbers, and you've gotta love the batting eye.

Aaron Baldiris is cruising along in the FSL. 299/383/378 with 11 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, and a 40/45 BB/K. Same old story. He doesn't hit for any power, but you have got to love the contact ability and the plate discipline.




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Monday, July 05, 2004

Ya, i know they have the second best record in baseball. And i know in the last decade theyve won four rings and gone to six World Series. I dont care about any of that today though, because we just swept the Yankees! Admit it, none of you care about any of that stuff either, your just reveling in the joy of having swept the Yankees in Shea. Not to mention being 2 games over .500 and just 2 games back in the division. If ever there was a time to go ona hot streak, this is it, heading into a 4 game stand with the division leading Phillies.

I know everyone wasn't thrilled about that Hidalgo trade becaue i nthe end we wound up taking on a couple million dollars in salary for a guy who, talented as he may be, was struggling badly.

Richard Hidalgo as a Met:

15 G 60 AB 350/409/800 8 HR, 3 2b, 14 R, 13 RBI

Didn't think so. There's very little doubt who has kick started this offense. With Hidalgo on a tear, the Mets 3-4-5 is deadly. Not being able tp pitch around Piazza and Floyd changes everything. Pitchers have to throw Matsui more strikes in the 2 hole because if walking him means potential trouble with Piazza/Floyd/Hidalgo waiting. When Floyd comes up in an RBI situation, he cant simply be pitched around to get to the relatively easy outs that were formerly occupying our 5 spot in the batting order.

So we'll eat 2 million in salary. We're still a New York team. Our focus still needs to be for the future, and we shouldnt be trading away any real prospects. But its the middle of the season, we're in the thick of the pennant race, with the best team ERA in the majors, and we havent even been healthy or really played well yet. So why the hell shouldnt we go for it if we can get a few pieces without trading away pieces of the future? Does anyone miss Jeremy Griffths and David Weathers? I sure don't. The latest rumors have the Mets looking to deal Ty Wigginton for some starting pitching, because of the emergence of David Wright. If we're absolutely sure that Wright is ready, i dont really have any problem trading Wigginton, but im not sure what kind of starting pitching the Mets think they'll get for Wigginton. The guy is a stopgap third basemen. I've said many times,a nd i still believe, that given the time to develope he'll be an average or even slightly better then average MLB third basemen. But for most teams, thats nothing more then a stopgap. I just can't see Wigginton as the main player in a trade for any good starting pitcher. And i'm in no hurry to get Wright up. Let him take as much time as we need. Ty Wigginton is a perfectly adequate third basemen for a competitive team.

MLB Third Basemen: 273/344/450(794) and a 273 EqA
Ty Wigginton: 271/315/475(790) and a 277 EqA and 12.9 VORP (8th of 17 NL third basemen with at least 200 PA)


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Ya, i know they have the second best record in baseball. And i know in the last decade theyve won four rings and gone to six World Series. I dont care about any of that today though, because we just swept the Yankees! Admit it, none of you care about any of that stuff either, your just reveling in the joy of having swept the Yankees in Shea. Not to mention being 2 games over .500 and just 2 games back in the division. If ever there was a time to go ona hot streak, this is it, heading into a 4 game stand with the division leading Phillies.

I know everyone wasn't thrilled about that Hidalgo trade becaue i nthe end we wound up taking on a couple million dollars in salary for a guy who, talented as he may be, was struggling badly.

Richard Hidalgo as a Met:

15 G 60 AB 350/409/800 8 HR, 3 2b, 14 R, 13 RBI

Didn't think so. There's very little doubt who has kick started this offense. With Hidalgo on a tear, the Mets 3-4-5 is deadly. Not being able tp pitch around Piazza and Floyd changes everything. Pitchers have to throw Matsui more strikes in the 2 hole because if walking him means potential trouble with Piazza/Floyd/Hidalgo waiting. When Floyd comes up in an RBI situation, he cant simply be pitched around to get to the relatively easy outs that were formerly occupying our 5 spot in the batting order.

So we'll eat 2 million in salary. We're still a New York team. Our focus still needs to be for the future, and we shouldnt be trading away any real prospects. But its the middle of the season, we're in the thick of the pennant race, with the best team ERA in the majors, and we havent even been healthy or really played well yet. So why the hell shouldnt we go for it if we can get a few pieces without trading away pieces of the future? Does anyone miss Jeremy Griffths and David Weathers? I sure don't. The latest rumors have the Mets looking to deal Ty Wigginton for some starting pitching, because of the emergence of David Wright. If we're absolutely sure that Wright is ready, i dont really have any problem trading Wigginton, but im not sure what kind of starting pitching the Mets think they'll get for Wigginton. The guy is a stopgap third basemen. I've said many times,a nd i still believe, that given the time to develope he'll be an average or even slightly better then average MLB third basemen. But for most teams, thats nothing more then a stopgap. I just can't see Wigginton as the main player in a trade for any good starting pitcher. And i'm in no hurry to get Wright up. Let him take as much time as we need. Ty Wigginton is a perfectly adequate third basemen for a competitive team.

MLB Third Basemen: 273/344/450(794) and a 273 EqA
Ty Wigginton: 271/315/475(790) and a 277 EqA and 12.9 VORP (8th of 17 NL third basemen with at least 200 PA)


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Ya, i know they have the second best record in baseball. And i know in the last decade theyve won four rings and gone to six World Series. I dont care about any of that today though, because we just swept the Yankees! Admit it, none of you care about any of that stuff either, your just reveling in the joy of having swept the Yankees in Shea. Not to mention being 2 games over .500 and just 2 games back in the division. If ever there was a time to go ona hot streak, this is it, heading into a 4 game stand with the division leading Phillies.

I know everyone wasn't thrilled about that Hidalgo trade becaue i nthe end we wound up taking on a couple million dollars in salary for a guy who, talented as he may be, was struggling badly.

Richard Hidalgo as a Met:

15 G 60 AB 350/409/800 8 HR, 3 2b, 14 R, 13 RBI

Didn't think so. There's very little doubt who has kick started this offense. With Hidalgo on a tear, the Mets 3-4-5 is deadly. Not being able tp pitch around Piazza and Floyd changes everything. Pitchers have to throw Matsui more strikes in the 2 hole because if walking him means potential trouble with Piazza/Floyd/Hidalgo waiting. When Floyd comes up in an RBI situation, he cant simply be pitched around to get to the relatively easy outs that were formerly occupying our 5 spot in the batting order.

So we'll eat 2 million in salary. We're still a New York team. Our focus still needs to be for the future, and we shouldnt be trading away any real prospects. But its the middle of the season, we're in the thick of the pennant race, with the best team ERA in the majors, and we havent even been healthy or really played well yet. So why the hell shouldnt we go for it if we can get a few pieces without trading away pieces of the future? Does anyone miss Jeremy Griffths and David Weathers? I sure don't. The latest rumors have the Mets looking to deal Ty Wigginton for some starting pitching, because of the emergence of David Wright. If we're absolutely sure that Wright is ready, i dont really have any problem trading Wigginton, but im not sure what kind of starting pitching the Mets think they'll get for Wigginton. The guy is a stopgap third basemen. I've said many times,a nd i still believe, that given the time to develope he'll be an average or even slightly better then average MLB third basemen. But for most teams, thats nothing more then a stopgap. I just can't see Wigginton as the main player in a trade for any good starting pitcher. And i'm in no hurry to get Wright up. Let him take as much time as we need. Ty Wigginton is a perfectly adequate third basemen for a competitive team.

MLB Third Basemen: 273/344/450(794) and a 273 EqA
Ty Wigginton: 271/315/475(790) and a 277 EqA and 12.9 VORP (8th of 17 NL third basemen with at least 200 PA)


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