Mets Minors: Kevin Kaczmarski looks to impress in the AFL

It’s the MLB playoffs but for the Mets Minor League blogger is AFL time. The Mets have sent a number of players to Scottsdale to test themselves against “Near MLB” level competition and, without “Top Prospects” ready to compete, it’s still good to see some names who could be impactful players getting a look.

Among those names is Kevin Kaczmarski. He’s an outfielder who played last season for the AA Binghamton Mets with a ho-hum .274/.370/.369 batting line. In the end, most scouts look at him as a potential 4th or 5th outfielder who can play anywhere in the outfield. That being said, he’s likely fairly close to offering the Mets that kind of depth right now.

In his first 2 games in the AFL, he’s got 5 hits over 9 at bats with a double. It’s obviously too small of a sample size to make much of a judgement but it seems likely that the Mets will have him in the mix with Juan Lagares, Brandon Nimmo and others for the final three outfield spots.

At the very least you can expect him and a fairly potent hitting squad of players to be landing themselves in AAA for the 2018 season. None of these players are likely to be majore league stars but they each had the potential to be useful at the major league level.

Other AFL Performances:

David Thompson shows more of the same – When he hits the ball, it goes a long way. When he doesn’t… it’s usually a strikeout.

Luis Guillorme still on a fast track – Guillorme has little shot of making the major league team but he’s likely going to be waiting for his opportunity in AAA.

Tomas Nido has a whiff problem – That’s 5 strikeouts in 3 games.

Kyle Regnault may join the bullpen – He had a decent year in AAA and has looked very sharp in the AFL.

Matt Poberyko – One of the new Mets he’s looked good in the AFL despite only pitching in Columbia.

Mickey Jannis actually looks pretty good – He’s a long shot to be an impact pitcher but Jannis had a decent first start for Scottsdale.

The GM Project:

Monday kicks off the third GM Project and this year I will be at the helm of the Miami Marlins. Despite having the likes of Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon, Christian Yellich, Marcel Ozuna, Justin Bour and J.T. Realmuto… things look pretty grim. I’m looking to cut over $35 Million from my payroll just to come in under the new ownership’s budget numbers.

Wish me luck!

12 comments for “Mets Minors: Kevin Kaczmarski looks to impress in the AFL

  1. TexasGusCC
    October 16, 2017 at 10:27 am

    David:
    1. Good job all year keeping us in the loop of what is happening on the farm.
    2. You were more right about Ali Sanchez than I was, but I am willing to wait one more year in hopes of a spark.
    3. For Rule 5, I have the Mets adding to the 40-man Bashlor, Peterson, Bautista, Oswalt and maybe Guillorme. What do you think of this group? Missing anyone?
    4. Derek Jeter may steal your ideas since he has the same plan. Don’t do too good a job.

    • David Groveman
      October 16, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      1. Thanks!

      2. I didn’t want to be right, for what it is worth.

      3. I will, at least, confirm that they should protect Guillorme.

      4. I’ll allow it if he gives me some of his intangibles in return

  2. Jimmy P
    October 16, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    David, as Marlins GM this year, what do you want from the Mets in a trade for Dee Gordon?

    Curious.

    • David Groveman
      October 16, 2017 at 12:21 pm

      Don’t do Brian’s work for him! ;-p

      Ideally I’d like to find a solution where Gordon and Stanton stay put.

  3. Chris F
    October 16, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Just curious if we have anywhere near enough to land Yellich. That would address a lot of issues. Id love to get Realmuto too, and just fix the catcher issue.

    You can keep Dee Gordon, the interest in him is a complete mystery to me.

    Always enjoy the info from the pipeline. Thanks David.

    • Jimmy P
      October 16, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      Gordon, to me, seems like a uniquely good fit for the Mets. He tightens up the infield defense considerably, pairing with Rosario for a strong DP combination. He can bat leadoff, filling another role for the Mets. He’s fast and athletic. Sure, he’s not perfect by any means, but he’s not super expensive either.

      What I mean by “uniquely good fit” is that he’d be more valuable to the Mets than just about any other team.

      I’m sold on the importance of infield defense and its direct link to improving the pitching situation. If we agree that pitching is important, it’s insane to ignore defense — which, I know, is a broken record.

      Anybody can say they are interested in Yellich — who wouldn’t be? — but the Mets don’t have those chips. The farm is so bad it’s really impossible to trade for any top-shelf talent. Which also explains the interest in Gordon. Low expectations!

      • October 16, 2017 at 7:44 pm

        Dee Gordon’s contract details — 18:$10.5M, 19:$13M, 20:$13.5M, 21:$14M club option ($1M buyout)
        2021 option guaranteed with 600 plate appearances in 2020 or 1,200 PAs in 2019-20

        I guess it’s not super expensive but it certainly isn’t cheap. Especially if last year is the extent of his rebound. He had a .716 OPS last year and the NL average for 2B was .754 in 2017. I wouldn’t turn my nose up at him but I wouldn’t give up much to get him, either.

        And Christian Yelich is a nice player but I don’t get the love he inspires in others. His yearly OPS+ numbers, starting in 2013: 112, 115, 118, 133, 117. He’s this decade’s Nick Markakis, with a similar age 24 spike and age 25 return to normalcy. Markakis never matched the 136 OPS+ he put up as a 24 year old. Guess we’ll see if Yelich does. I don’t see him being a guy to break the bank for, either in terms of trade chits to get him or contract to pay him.

  4. NormE
    October 17, 2017 at 12:02 am

    Hey David,
    As Marlins GM would you consider trading Ozuna and Gordon? Would you take JdG and Lagares/Flores?

    • Jimmy P
      October 17, 2017 at 6:15 am

      If the Mets trade Jack deGrom — and I do not support that idea — they would need a far different haul than Ozuna and Gordon.

      Forget Gordon, push him aside, he doesn’t even enter that conversation. If you are flipping Jake, you’ve decided that the team is in a full rebuild. It would be crazy to pay Dee during the lost years. Ozuna is a wonderful player, but again, the timing would be off. He’s ready to get paid big time right now — and he’ll get crazy money in 2-3 years just when the Mets might possibly be getting good again.

      If Mets want to crater, trade Jake for 3 future pieces to a playoff contender. How valuable was Chapman in 2016? Or Andrew Miller? Or Verlander and Quintana in 2017? Or even the dopey trade of Shelby Miller to Diamondbacks, where the Braves got a CF, a SS, and a top pitching prospect? IMO, you’d trade Jake for the future, not for expensive guys to help right now.

      I don’t think Lagares is tradeable with that contract. He’s ridiculously overpaid.

      Would you go Flores-Montero for Gordon? Would the Marlins take it? Do the Mets have an interesting-enough pitcher to get their attention? One that they could afford to lose for the luxury of Gordon? I don’t think so.

    • David Groveman
      October 17, 2017 at 6:21 am

      The Marlins pitching is bad and i would need to seriously consider any offer where I could get an Ace pitcher but I don’t think that the offer is realistic.

      Above all else… I have to cut $38 Mil

  5. TexasGusCC
    October 17, 2017 at 12:38 am

    Gordon is a player the Mets could use, but be leary of trading for speed guys. As we learned from Reyes, that factor starts going within a year or two of their 30th birthday. I don’t care about the contract or lamenting The Coupons’ pocketbook, but if it’s a very good deal (i.e.: Wotell and Herrera), I would do it.

    While everyone brings up metrics right away, all of us here know baseball pretty good. At the time of the Bruce trade, would y’all say that Bruce was a better player? Forget OPS+, because it doesn’t show defense or base running capability. But, if the price tag for Bruce was $13MM for what the Mets got compared to other outfielders, how can anyone complain if they pay the same price tag for a second baseman when compared to other second basemen? Gordon is around all-star status often, while Bruce is showing us his best numbers in his walk year. Big deal. Everybody does that. Find his previous impressive campaign.

    Actually, it turns out that Gordon’s numbers against lefties are his Achilles heel. While they are ok-ish, the numbers against righties are much better.

    Jimmy, read your own comment from two days ago. The Mets want to contend, not overextend themselves to go for the win. I have little faith in these people’s imagination.

    • Jimmy P
      October 17, 2017 at 7:43 am

      Gordon is not a perfect player, not a great player, so I think there’s realism in targeting him. His contract is far, and significantly lower than the absurd $17.3 million they agree to pay Walker last year at this time.

      The nature of the team has to change on the field.

      Sure, maybe there’s a better option than Gordon out there. But he ticks off a number of boxes. He scored 114 runs last year, reached 2B or beyond — putting himself in scoring position — 91 times (using stolen bases). The glove is first-rate. And the Marlins need to shed contracts. Hey, this is not a big reach or even that difficult. But again, if there’s another guy who can do these things, a Philly perhaps, I’m all ears. I want a 2B who can defend!

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