Mets Minors: What’s left now that Steven Matz is gone?

Farm logo - mets minorsSteven Matz has reached the majors and made people aware that he’s more than just a lefty pitcher.  Matz and his bat aside, people are wondering if the Mets have anything left in the tank.  When does Alderson promote Conforto?  Why haven’t we seen Matt Reynolds?  What’s left?

The Mets have already called up Kevin Plawecki, Noah Syndergaard, Dilson Herrera, Jack Leathersich, Darrell Ceciliani and, of course, Matz.  The answer is, there really isn’t anything left.

The Mets went into 2015 with a tremendous amount of talent at the top of the minors but that pool of talent is tapped.  That means that if Sandy Alderson wants to add more talent to the lineup, he’s got two options.

Option 1: Get Healthy

David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Travis d’Arnaud are three Met players who have not been healthy enough to make an impact on the team but the team would certainly improve if they could all get back into the lineup.

Option 2: Make a Deal

This is not going to be some kind of dream scenario where the Mets trade Dillon Gee or Jon Neise for a savior.  The reality is, if they go this second route, that you are going to be giving up some of those same players the Mets have brought up this year and some others who reside deeper in the minors who simply aren’t ready to get the call.


Brandon Nimmo offers steady production – While Michael Conforto has cooled off from his blistering start, Nimmo has offered much more of an even keel.  His .774 OPS isn’t amazing but it’s very good.

Michael Fulmer might still be a player to watch – His control had been a problem but it appears he’s put that problem behind him and deserves to be back on everyone’s radar.


Dominic Smith has not slowed down – Over his last 10 games he’s only hitting .385.  On the year he’s now hitting .305/.347/.427 and he a pathertic .500 OPS in April.

Where has Rob Whalen’s control gone – Control problems were not part of Whalen’s makeup previously, but it appears they are now.

John Gant is talented arm – Gant has taken the challenge of Port St. Lucie in stride and will be on display next spring.

Casey Meisner debuts… finally – Someone received his overdue promotion to Advanced A and after 7.0 IP, 3 Hits and 6 Ks it appears he was more than up to the challenge.


Ricky Knapp, who knew? – Knapp had been a reliever to start the year but with Gant and Meisner moving on he’s getting the chance to start and making the most of it.


Jeff Diehl has had a healthy start – Through 5 games he’s got a 1.167 OPS and that’s pretty good.

Vincent Siena has an advanced bat – He’s hitting .367 but what you like to see more than anything is that he’s got more walks than strikeouts.

Matt Blackham has a great debut – 7.0 IP, 3 Hits, 1 Walk and 7 Ks makes for a pretty nice introduction.


Raphael Ramirez makes good contact – He’s started off the season with a 5-game hitting streak and has netted 8 hits in that time.  Too many strikeouts though.

Milton Ramos has the makings of a good shortstop – He’s got great contact skills, his eye is pretty good and he can play defense.  Sadly he’s 19 and about 4 years from the majors.

Dash Willingham has more than a great name – He’s off to a great start for Kingsport and looks to be a solid pickup for Alderson.

Nabil Crismatt could not have started better – He’s gotten 5.1 IP in relief over two games given up 2 Hits, No Walks and struck out 10.

Darwin Ramos continues his success – He was good in the DSL, good in the GCL and he’s started even better in the APP.


Kenneth Bautista is a big fella – He’s 6’3” and 215 at 17 years of age.  He could supply some great power hitting from the corner outfield too.

Merandy Gonzalez had the best debut I’ve ever heard of – 5.0 IP, 0 Hits, 0 Walks and 7 Ks.


Wagner Lagrange has a very advanced eye – Over his last 10 games he’s hitting .356 but he also has 7 Walks and only 3 strikeouts.

Grabiel Jiminez is hotter than hot – Anyone hits .485 over 10 games and he has to get a nod.  He’s too old for the DSL for us to get too excited.

DSL Pitching has been outstanding – Aneury Olivo, Nicolas Debora, Carlos Hernandez, Boris Sanchez, Jose Geraldo and Ronalde Guedez have all been great.  It will be good to see these arms come stateside.


29 comments for “Mets Minors: What’s left now that Steven Matz is gone?

  1. James Preller
    June 29, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Great summation, thank you.

    I still think Conforto might be the bat they need — and the energy. Come the dog days of August.

    Curious: You didn’t include Rosario on this list. Oversight?

    • June 29, 2015 at 9:54 am

      Players make my weekly roundup by having good weeks. Rosario has been kinda ho-hum for most of the season which is why he hasn’t cropped up. He hasn’t been bad… just probably needs to repeat Port St. Lucie to start 2016.

  2. NYM6986
    June 29, 2015 at 10:54 am

    The real answer is that all of this young talent that has arrived and will arrive from the top minor league levels should keep us competitive for quite some time. Plenty of time to restock the minors. We need to add a bat this year to have a shot at the wild card and a bat next year to throw us over the top. Sort of like Hernandez and Carter back in 1984-85. Of course finishing at or over .500 would be a treat and our real goal for the year – same goal I have spoken about since early spring trainer when our hitters actually did hit.

  3. Steve S.
    June 29, 2015 at 11:02 am

    I’d like to see Nimmo and Conforto rake in AAA ball. Could we trade Colon + salary for something? Could Verrett make some starts to help limit innings for other starters, if Niese or Colon get traded?

    • June 29, 2015 at 11:54 am

      Colon would be a valuable chip should the Mets look at prospects. It would take a rare situation for the Mets to find a partner that had spare MLB level offense and was looking to add a rotation arm for the playoffs. I’m not a trade specialist, so I can’t really give you a good idea of who might match on a Colon deal.

  4. James Preller
    June 29, 2015 at 11:23 am

    To me, it’s clear that both (or either) Syndergaard and Matz were ready to step up in April. I don’t think Sandy managed the flow of talent very well, paying Colon/Niese/Gee about $25 million and at this point, not really needing a single one of them.

    I think Sandy Alderson, like Omar Minaya, has done many things very well. He’s been by no means a disaster — and he usually gets around to doing the right thing, eventually. This season he’s operated with more urgency, though still not enough.

    The switch to SS for Tejada was huge. It can’t be overstated, though it’s been under-reported: huge. Essentially he has said: Tejada > Flores. And the team instantly looked better, made defensive sense. To the point where it was obviously insane to play Flores at SS when Tejada was on the field. The Flores at SS experiment is over. So now he can trade either Flores or Herrera to clear the 2B spot. And, guess what, he still needs to find a real shortstop. Because we know that Tejada is no good, and we’ve known it for years. A second-division guy, as we used to say back in the old, old days. Flores is a good bat (not a great bat) without a position, unless they decide to give him 2B. At which point we’ll be wondering how to make the Mets faster, more athletic, better defensively. A great utility player, perhaps, and good insurance to have around.

    But can Herrera play? We sure hope so. Otherwise, are we dead up the middle? Nobody at SS, 2B, and CF? (Assuming that the injury ultimately gets the best of Juan.)

    On Lagares, I’m not sure of the timing, but did they give him the extension after the elbow injury, which was passed off as minor at the time? Wasn’t that it?

    On trading Noah, and why he’s the guy: Hasn’t had Tommy John yet. The other guys have already come through to the other side. Noah is due.

    • June 29, 2015 at 11:55 am

      I just don’t like Ruben Tejada and would like him to stop being on the Mets.

    • June 29, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      I would add Cuddyer to the list in your first graph. From a theoretical POV, we needed a bat — but that bat was not 2015 Cuddyer’s. Whatever internal projections they used to identify him as worthwhile need a serious revision. Publicly available projections were not optimistic and he’s been worse than those.

      And I’m sorry, the myth of Flores as a bat still far, far exceeds the reality of Flores as a bat. He’s gotten worse each month of the season and overall his numbers have shown zero growth from last year. I guess there’s still the hope that moving off SS will increase his production but if 2015 is still considered a year to shoot for Game 163, how much rope do you give him? His .665 OPS is 30 points below the average NL 2B.

      • James Preller
        June 29, 2015 at 4:24 pm

        Curious, Brian: Do you buy into Herrera as a bat? And if so, what’s the distinction? The two years of age?

        Not challenging what you think, just curious.

        • June 29, 2015 at 6:17 pm

          Short answer – yes
          Longer answer – in upcoming post

      • Larry Smith
        June 29, 2015 at 4:58 pm

        I think the Cuddyer signing was all about getting David Wright a running mate. And it could not have worked out worse. Cuddyer has hit terribly, has little range in the outfield, cost big bucks (at least big bucks compared to what the Wilpons are usually willing to spend) and punted a 1st round pick away.
        Like someone said at Twitter it’s a shame David wasn’t childhood friends with someone who could actually hit and not just in Coors Field.

  5. James Preller
    June 29, 2015 at 11:30 am

    BTW, as a lefty who bats righty, I’ve always been on the lookout for similarly afflicted players. There’s me, Cleon Jones, Rickey Henderson, and Steven Matz. Some others, but not many.

    • DED
      June 29, 2015 at 11:56 am

      I believe Koufax batted righthanded.

  6. Doug
    June 29, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Knowing that we have a player named Nabil Crismatt down on the farm really brightened my day. I’d been hoping that the Mets would draft more players with Dickensian names…

    • James Preller
      June 29, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Don’t we all, Doug, don’t we all.

      • James Preller
        June 29, 2015 at 1:04 pm

        Quickly: What are the ten best names in Mets history? I am not alert enough to come up with them now, so let’s crowd-source this. I will start with Duffy Dyer, Amos Otis, and of course, Darryl Strawberry.

        • June 29, 2015 at 1:18 pm

          I always wanted a “Strange” jersey but Pat Strange never amounted to a major league talent.

          • James Preller
            June 29, 2015 at 1:53 pm

            I had already set aside a reserve fund for my Toby Stoner game jersey.

        • June 29, 2015 at 1:55 pm

          Choo Choo Coleman
          Vinegar Bend Mizell
          Tobi Stoner

  7. Chris F
    June 29, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    I’m going to add Cookie Lavagetto, Mookie, Tug McGraw, and Elio Chacon

    • Doug
      June 29, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      From the archives, here is my list of the top 20 names in franchise history:

      And to round things out, my list of the 10 worst names:

      • James Preller
        June 29, 2015 at 4:29 pm

        Great lists, Doug. Pumpsie Green! Buzz Capra! Mackey Sasser!

      • Aging Bull
        June 29, 2015 at 6:56 pm

        Great list, esp the 10 worst names. It’s not often that one sees John Hughes and Mad Magazine references on one posting. Well played! I’m not sure that I get either the Harry Parker or Skip Lockwood entries on the 20 best list.
        I think Bobby Pfeil belongs on on some list. And I’ve always loved Art Shamsky. Marv Throneberry? Dr. Strangeglove himself. Too marvelous perhaps? Also from that era, Cal Koonce. Benny Agbayani. Turk Wendell. Robinson Cancel. And of course, the greatest name of all: Tom Seaver. I argued with my wife to name my first born son, Seaver and lost. I made a great case for Seaver as a middle name and lost that too.

        • Doug
          June 30, 2015 at 8:47 am

          Skip Lockwood: I just like the monosyllabic verb-verb-noun cadence of the name (Skip. Lock. Wood.) Makes me want to double Dutch…

          Harry Parker: See my surname.

  8. June 29, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Looks like the hitters will come in shortly separated waves, much like the pitchers. Actually, they’ll probably be bunched a little closer with Conforto, Nimmo, Cechinni, and Smith all ready within a year or so of each other. Of course, the problem is that the start of that is probably a year away yet….

  9. James Newman
    June 29, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Great post David! Haven’t kept up with most of these players, but glad to see Dom Smith coming alive. I think he’s going to be a good player one day, and possibly taking over for Duda, but I was not sold on his bat the past couple of years. Hopefully Conforto, Nimmo and Smith can be impactful major leaguers some day.

  10. geoffreyposner
    June 29, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    time to keep your good pitchers like synderguard/matz/harvey/degrom/wheeler and trade colon-niese-gee and murphy if they wont sign him again which they schould!!!!!!!!!

  11. Jim OMalley
    June 29, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    I was always partial to Davie Schneck.

  12. Metsense
    June 30, 2015 at 9:22 am

    John Gant is a talented arm. I saw him pitch for Savannah last year. He went 11-5 with a 2.56 ERA and an 8.3 K/9. He was aggressively promoted to AA Binghampton to start the year but struggled in 7 starts with a reduced 6.0 K/9 and 1.7 WHIP. He was demoted to StLucie A where he certainly has settled down and is still young for the league.
    Knapp indeed started as a reliever this year in St Luicie and also struggled. He was demoted back to Savannah where Brian and I saw him pitch against a potent Hickory team on June 14th. His line 5 IP, 3 Hits, 0 Runs, 4 K’s and he looked solid. The Met system is full of Gant and Knapp type pitchers that may become big league starters. Unfortunately for them, their path will be blocked for the next few years. The Mets should not be afraid to sweeten a major league trade with a minor league pitcher to assure help for the 2015 team. They are overstocked.

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