The Mets recently made a bunch of moves releasing minor league coaches and instructors. Among those to go is former Met Tim Teufel, who served the organization in a variety of roles. This past season, he was the minor league infield coordinator. None of us have any idea if Tuefel was not particularly good in this role or if he was let go because of ties to the old regime. Neither one would be surprising.
Back in January, after watching a Knicks national telecast with Jeff Van Gundy as one of the announcers, I was struck by a thing Van Gundy said, which essentially was every team had invested heavily into player development so at the end of the day, how much guys improve is determined by how much work they put in.
How much work are Brett Baty and Mark Vientos putting in to improve their fielding? We heard that Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto were defensive liabilities and that Juan Lagares would be stretched if asked to play center field in the majors. Were these scouting reports wrong or did the three players put in the work?
No doubt it’s unfair to judge Teufel by the defensive reputations of two prospects. Their poor fielding reps may have been completely unrelated to his dismissal. But, if I were the minor league infield coordinator, I’d pay extra attention to guys on the cusp of the majors who were supposedly lacking in the area which was my responsibility.