Organization Ranking: 4
I've ranked every farm system, as well as the top 100 MLB prospects for 2015. Below, I've ranked at least the top 10 Mets prospects, plus an overview of the system and any other names of note beyond the top 10. I also discuss any prospects who might help the big league club in 2015, one or two prospects whose stock has taken a big hit in the past year, and a sleeper prospect who I think can jump into the main top-100 list for 2016
Figueroa’s tenure with the Mets ended ungracefully when he was designated for assignment at the end of spring training in 2010 and ultimately was claimed by the Phillies. Still, Figueroa’s 32 career games in a Mets uniform meant a lot to the Brooklyn-raised pitcher -- and his family.
In fact, Figueroa’s mother and brothers once bought his father, Nelson Sr., a brick at Citi Field to commemorate the pitcher’s first win in a Mets uniform. The family presented Nelson Sr. a picture of the brick as a Father’s Day gift. It reads:
ON 4-11-08 MY SON PITCHED FOR THE METS, AND I DIED AND WENT TO HEAVEN.
N. FIGUEORA SR.
“It was his quote that The New York Times had about how him being at the game, he got a chance to see me win on April 11, 2008, and he died and went to heaven,” Figueroa recalled five years ago. “Being a Met fan, it was everything he had hoped for -- me getting drafted by the Mets, persevering for so many years to get a chance to put on the Met uniform and start and win my first game as a Met. It was a great moment for my dad and for me and my family. So they brought him the brick for Father’s Day. My mom and my brothers bought him the brick. They had it put in during the offseason. They have a copy of it sent to the house. So my mom put it up by the TV so while he’s watching the games, it’s right there.
“That was the team we grew up rooting for. That’s his team. He’s had to fight the Yankee fans living in New York his whole life. And when you have a chance to say, ‘My son is playing for the Mets and my son won a ballgame in a New York Met uniform,’ it meant a lot to him.”
The Daily News first reported Ojeda's departure.
LAS VEGAS 51s (Triple-A)
Frank Viola, pitching coach
Jack Voigt, hitting coach
Joe Golia, athletic trainer
Jon Cioffi, strength and conditioning coach
BINGHAMTON METS (Double-A)
Pedro Lopez, manager
Glenn Abbott, pitching coach
Luis Natera, hitting coach
Deb Iwanow, athletic trainer
Dane Inderrieden, strength and conditioning coach
ST. LUCIE METS (high-A)
Luis Rojas, manager
Phil Regan, pitching coach
Joel Fuentes, hitting coach
Matt Hunter, athletic trainer
Tristan McLaren, strength and conditioning coach
SAVANNAH SAND GNATS (low-A)
Jose Leger, manager
Marc Valdes, pitching coach
Valentino Pascucci, hitting coach
Eric Velazquez, athletic trainer
Kory Wan, strength and conditioning coach
NEW YORK -- Omar Minaya is switching sides.
The former New York Mets general manager left his job as senior vice president of the San Diego Padres on Thursday to become a special adviser to Major League Baseball Players Association head Tony Clark.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Minaya started in baseball management as a scout for the Texas Rangers, where he helped sign Sammy Sosa. He became the major leagues' first Hispanic general manager with the Montreal Expos from 2002 to 2004. He left the Expos to become GM of his hometown Mets, who fired him after the 2010 season. He was hired by the Padres in December 2011 as senior VP of baseball operations under GM Josh Byrnes, who was fired last June.
"Our membership that comes from the Latin countries is growing," Clark said. "That means having folks on staff that are reflective of those countries, that have the ability to communicate with players in their native language."
Minaya will focus on international affairs and game development in the U.S., including amateur ball. The number of Dominican and Cuban players in the major leagues has increased, and management hopes to get agreement on an international draft in the collective bargaining agreement that expires after the 2016 season. Currently, only players residing in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico are subject to a draft.
"These are going to be major issues as the game goes forward," Minaya said.
He is following the path of Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, who left his job as executive vice president/senior adviser of the Padres after a dozen years in December 2013 to become a special assistant to Clark at the Major League Baseball Players Association.
The projected division order of finish:
The Mets have endured six straight losing seasons -- tied with the Astros for the longest active streak in the majors.
@AdamRubinESPN and NYC was expected to get hammered with an Armageddon blizzard. Sometimes people get it wrong!!!— Dillon Gee (@DillonGee35) January 29, 2015
"I’m a huge fan of Sandy Alderson," Manfred told Foxsports.com. "I think Sandy Alderson is as good a general manager today as there is in the game. You could go back 20 years and argue that he’s one of the best.
"I think they have developed a strategy with respect to the Mets. They’re going to try to grow from within so that they have a team that can be competitive and sustainable, and I have no doubt that as that process continues and it requires the owners of the Mets to invest additional dollars in payroll that they are going to be willing and able to do that."
On Jan. 16, Mejia had requested $3 million, with the team countering at $2.1 million.
Lucas Duda is now the lone arbitration-eligible Met yet to resolve his salary for the upcoming season.
"You hear people talking all the time: 'Is this guy going to be a shortstop? Can he play shortstop? Can he not?'" Flores told Newsday. "You know what? I can't listen to that. I want to play the way I've been playing. ... I'm not going to say I don't hear things. But I try not to because I know what I can do, man. Honestly, I know what I can do."
“I understand the whole Madoff thing,” Manfred told The New York Times, “but before and since, Fred Wilpon was an extraordinarily successful businessman. The committee -- the finance and compensation committee -- really deals with two issues, principally: executive compensation, which he’s more than capable of dealing with, and a central office budget. Obviously, to be a successful businessman, you have to know how to budget. ...
“If you really understand which committees do what, I don’t see it as an issue. He understands how the budget process in baseball has worked, and he’s more than qualified to fill that role.”
Manfred told the newspaper there are two separate committees unaffiliated with Wilpon that oversee audits to safeguard against fraud.
On hand at the annual Baseball Writers' Association of America New York Chapter dinner at the New York Hilton, Alderson was presenting an award to Cal Ripken Jr. when he reportedly quipped: "Mets fans have been waiting all winter for me to introduce a shortstop."
Alderson has used that same dinner to poke fun at the Mets before. When the Mets brought in Daisuke Matsuzaka and the Yankees added Masahiro Tanaka a year ago, Alderson joked: “We each signed Japanese pitchers this week. They’re paying $155 million and we’re paying our guy month to month.”
DeGrom became the fifth Rookie of the Year in franchise history back in November. He appeared first on 26 ballots and second on the other four.
To kick off my look this week at the best prospects in the minor leagues, I've ranked all 30 MLB farm systems from top to bottom, considering only the players who are currently in the systems and have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility. (I use the same criterion for the individual player rankings that will be posted over the next few days.)
Similar to last year, there are only a handful of systems that combine both a few high-impact or high-ceiling prospects and the depth down to and past the end of their top-10 list. (My top 10 rankings by team will be released Friday.) Many systems ranked in the teens boast a couple very good prospects -- say, one or two guys who project as above-average regulars and another two or three who might be everyday guys -- and then it's bench parts and relievers. Those players are good to have, as you'd much rather fill those spots with minimum-salary players than have to reach out to free agency, but their asset value is much lower than the values of prospects who project as average or better.
One major change: You'll notice this year I have more large-market teams in the top 10, as ownership groups in those cities recognize the value in building better stables of prospects, which has included hiring better scouts and coaches away from other organizations. The draft has always offered a competitive advantage to lower-revenue teams willing to put their money into amateur scouting, in part because the clubs with higher payrolls chose to put their cash into the big league roster. If that's no longer true, it will reduce the opportunity for the Pittsburghs and Kansas Citys of MLB to continue to contend.
1. Chicago Cubs
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NEW YORK -- Michael Cuddyer entertained schoolchildren from P.S. 92 in Queens on Thursday at Citi Field. He also answered questions from reporters about the upcoming season.
Cuddyer plans to arrive in Port St. Lucie, Florida, on Feb. 18 -- six days before the official report date for position players. He actually will spend the upcoming week there, too, working out at Mike Barwis' strength and conditioning camp.
"We'll see how that goes for a week," Cuddyer said. "One reason is to work out, but also to get familiar with the facilities, get familiar with the guys that are down there."
On how the Mets stack up with the Washington Nationals, who recently added Max Scherzer to an already solid team, Cuddyer said: "Obviously they're going to have a great staff. There's no question about it. They've got All-Stars on the staff. They've got ERA champions on the staff, strikeout champions on the staff.
"But, at the same time, we've got a lot of guys that can compete with that as well. I think the Baseball Almanac would be written a lot different if you donned a champion in February every year. So I'm excited to go out there and compete against those guys. It's going to be a challenge, but it's going to be a lot of fun."
As for the Mets adding no players other than John Mayberry Jr. on major league contracts after Cuddyer signed in early November, the ex-Rockie added: "So that's the beautiful thing about the hot stove league: A lot of people get caught up in the signings, and you tend to forget who is actually on the team. I think you look at this roster and you look at the additions in David Wright and the additions of a full season now of [Curtis] Granderson going through the National League, I think the addition of Matt Harvey back to your lineup, you forget that those three guys are going to come back to form. I think those are three great additions that we've been able to make as well."
Welcome to ESPN Insider's 2015 ranking of the top 100 prospects in baseball.
This is my eighth such ranking for Insider, with a lot of the same names near the top of last year's list but in a different order based on what we learned from those players' 2014 seasons. Just 10 players from last year's top 50 lost their eligibility for this year's list due to exceeding the limits for rookie of the year eligibility. The list is heavy on position players up the middle, including shortstops near the top of the list and many potential everyday catchers further down, as with the previous year's ranking. A number of the top arms from last year's list were hit by the injury bug, including a few Tommy John surgeries and a number of other arm problems that kept them off the mound, some for almost the entire season.
A complete list of the top 100 is below, and a more detailed explanation of the process in determining these rankings is found at the top of each of the player capsule pages.
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