Mark Himmelstein

  • joined Nov 10, 2008
  • last login Jul 22, 2014
  • posts 146
  • comments 5850

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  • MLB New York Mets
  • NFL New York Jets
User Blog

Josh Thole: Too Good for the Venezuelan Winter League


After going 2 for 4 with his third HR of the season, in 37 games, Thole is now hitting .392 / .493 / .584. He leads the league in AVG, OBP, OPS, and doubles, and has a crazy 24/13 BB/K. He's sixth in walks, and his 3 HR are more than he's hit in any stateside professional season save his 2008 in the FSL. He's also among the league leaders with 17 total XBH. He's essentially the Joe Mauer of the VWL.

Free Mock Draft Site - Couch Managers


For those of us who go a little stir crazy in the baseball offseason, Mock Drafts are a good way to pass the time until, at the very least, the Fantasy Draft season starts. Mock Draft Central is the most commonly known resource for Mock drafting, especially this early in the year, but non-premium users are limited to one per day, and even for premium users, they're only running two drafts each day anyway. Couch Managers appears to be completely free, but no one uses it, so I figured I'd pimp it out a bit and see if I could get some traffic over there so I'm not just competing with 9 auto-draft slots.

White Sox Sign Andruw Jones


Reportedly just a $500k base salary with just $1 million in incentives. Can you say missed opportunity?


Rule 5: The Other Draft (Updated 11/25)

Some players the Mets might pluck in the forthcoming Rule 5 draft.

Fernando Martinez Sighting


He's back in action for his DWL team, the Leones de Escogido. One can only assume he's fully recovered from the torn meniscus suffered earlier this year. Lets hope he can keep himself healthy this time.

BPro: Ahead in the Count: How to Make Up a Good Trade Rumor


Its premium content so only BPro users can access it, but its a fine read for those of us that have it. I must say, I've been very impressed with Matt Swartz, winner of BP's Prospectus Idol competition. Its seemed that as Nate Silver and some of the real heavy hitters of BP's earlier sabermetric glory had moved onto greener pastures, the overall quality of the site really began lacking, but Swartz has been a breath of fresh air and become regular reading material for me.

I also heard from people who said Beltran talked with management last week, while he was in town,...


I also heard from people who said Beltran talked with management last week, while he was in town, and, though he never requested specific players be acquired, he said he feels the team’s players, be it guys on the team now or guys coming to the team, they all must be more serious in how they approach the game, as a team, paying more attention to what they eat, how they prepare and train and how and why they do what they do.

Cerrone discusses Beltran's feelings that nutrition is a key to success. I wonder, could nutrition be paramount to Grission?

Ike Davis rips a double down the line and goes deep in the AFL. Video courtesy of Toby Hyde of...


Ike Davis rips a double down the line and goes deep in the AFL. Video courtesy of Toby Hyde of Mets Minor League Blog

Jenrry Mejia faces off against Lorenzo Cain in the AFL. Commentary and video provided by Toby Hyde...


Jenrry Mejia faces off against Lorenzo Cain in the AFL. Commentary and video provided by Toby Hyde of Mets Minor League Blog.

Reds Looking to Slash Payroll


The linked post names Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang as the usual suspects, but also Brandon Phillips and even speculates that the club might be willing to trade Joey Votto if the acquiring team would also take on a big contract, as they have Yonder Alonso pushing the upper levels of their minor league system. Phillips is very interesting if the Mets are able to move Castillo, as he's essentially what Orlando Hudson was when he was actually good at defense, and with more raw power as well, though this is offset a bit by a lower walk rate. And obviously, Votto would be an excellent buy if that were at all possible. Maybe the Mets could work something out where they deal Murphy and a couple of the better prospects in the system for Votto and one of the pitchers, taking on the entire salary. Ike Davis would have to move to the outfield, but who cares at that point?

Havens Begins Transition to Second Base


It was bound to happen, and with Wilmer Flores, Jordany Valdenspin, and 2009 third round pick Robbie Shields coming up behind Havens and Ruben Tejada in the mid-lower minors, the Shortstop position was getting a little crowded.

Mets Winter League Update


A way of keeping track of all our favorite farmies during the cold winter. So far the standouts are the four hitters with the most ABs. Here are some highlights: Arizona Fall League -We all know Ike Davis has been lighting it up with 9 XBH and a 1.010 OPS in just 54 PAs. Davis has been announced to as the lone Mets AFL participant who will go to Rising Stars game, which will air on the MLB Network this Saturday, Nov. 7, at 8PM. -Ruben Tejada is also holding his own as one of the younger players on the circuit, hitting .316 / .372 / .395 in 42 PAs. -Jenrry Mejia has been getting absolutely rocked. The positives include reports of his fastball frequently hitting 97 mph and reaching as high as 99 and the fact that he's struck out nine in 7.2 IP, but he's also walked nine and given up 14 hits, good for an ugly 12.91 ERA. -Pure speculation, but the fact that Lucas Duda has played in just two games begs the injury question. Reese Havens has also only played four games, but as a member of the taxi squad, he's only available twice a week, so there's no such concern here. -Scott Moviel is yet to give up a run in seven innings, but with a mark of 1.00 in both K/BB (3/3) and GO/AO, luck seems to be a factor here. -Eric Niesen hasn't been nearly as fortunate, having given up a stunning 10 earned runs in just 3.2 innings. -A look at the team pitching stats for the AFL tells you a bit about what kind of league it is. Three of the six teams in the league have staff ERAs over 6.00. Something to keep in mind when thinking about AFL performances. Caribbean Leagues -On the Caribbean Scene, Josh Thole has been pretty stellar with a .406 / .500 / .547 line and a ridiculous 11/5 BB/K in 76 PAs in the VWL. -Chris Carter has been solid in the VWL as well, with a .306 / .382 / .449 line and 6/7 BB/K in 55 PAs. It'd be nice to see a bit more power, but any kind of production is encouraging. -Tobi Stoner, playing the DWL, represents the one bright spot on the pitching side, though with just 9 Ks in 17 IP his .183 BAA does not seem remotely sustainable. I would not expect his 1.06 ERA and 0.82 WHIP to hold up for long. To his credit, he has issued just 3 BBs. -What's that? Lance Broadway has a 2.79 ERA? Could the much maligned return on Ramon Castro actually be doing something productive? With a 14/10 K/BB in 19.1 IP, it doesn't seem likely.

my hunch is the team will return rookie C Josh Thole to Triple-A next season… he looked good, and i ...

my hunch is the team will return rookie C Josh Thole to Triple-A next season… he looked good, and i believe they see him having the potential to be a Paul Lo Duca type, but he needs time in Triple-A where he can catch former major-league pitchers, who have more substantial repertoire than he received in Double-A Cerrone on how he expects the organization to handle Thole This is pretty frustrating, if the organization's holdback is that they feel Thole doesn't have enough experience handling veteran pitchers. Especially considering Thole raked in Double-A all year, and many of us here at AA, myself included, were saying this exact same thing, except in May. Why waste an otherwise useless Triple-A team full of veterans, a team that should be much more about real prospects this year, when it would have been the perfect proving ground for Thole's receiving skills?

BABIP Bargain Bin

bumped--sam One of the ways to find healthy bargains in an offseason market is to pick up some players who had poor seasons and hope they rebound.  Of course, to do so, you have to be able to...

Thole Raking Early in VWL


He's already 12 for 29 with one homer and one double, but most impressively, just two strikeouts along with five walks. Its good for a .414 / .500 / .552 line.

Rubin on Mejia


Very nice article about the Amazins' new Golden Boy. Of note, it includes a quote from Josh Thole on Mejia's 94mph cutter and a bit more detail on the finger injury that briefly derailed Mejia's time in Double-A. There's even a semi-potshot at Omar, who Rubin describes as overstating the impact Pedro Martinez had on bringing in young Dominican talent, but then goes on to describe exactly how Pedro's presence directly helped the Mets sign Jenrry for just $16,500.


The Coming Exodus of 2012

When the term "core" is used for the New York Mets, four or five names immediately come to mind:  David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Johan Santana, and for better or worse, Francisco...

Nieuwenhuis, Lutz Promoted, Davis Goes Deep Again


Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Zach Lutz both made their debuts for Double-A Binghamton yesterday. Nieu went 3 for 5 with a triple and a pair of whiffs, while Lutz went 0 for 5. Ike Davis also went deep for the 13th time since joining the B-Mets and the 20th time overall this season.

Newman Responds to Tim Bontemps' "Anonymous Scout"


I hadn't checked Newman's Blog in a while, and in running through some of his recent posts, I came across this piece, which was a direct response to this article, which I'm sure many of us remember from a previous FanShot discussion.

Mike Newman: Beckham vs. Flores


Yet another excellent writeup on some of the premier SALLY League prospects from Mr. Newman.

Santana To Miss Start with Elbow Soreness

Update: According to this link, teammates who have spoken to Santana say it doesn't sound good. Mike Pelfrey may not have his medical degree yet, but this does not sound good at all. I think I've run out of swear words worthy of doing this season justice. Edit: Correction, I think I found one in the spirit of yesterday's Game Wrap. Nickelback this Nickelbacking season! Nickelback it I say!

Wagner Claimed by Red Sox

Update 2: Ken Rosenthal confirms, Wagner was claimed by the Red Sox. Tip of the cap to Schmidtxc for finding the link, wag of the finger to Jerry for giving teams a free look at Wagner before he cleared waivers. Update 1: According to Boston's 640 AM WFTL Radio Station, the claiming team was the Red Sox. Original Post: I bet this threw some people for a loop. Now the decision is in a way more difficult for the Mets. They could give Wagner away and save about $4 mil (He's due $2.7 mil this year plus a $1 mil buyout for next year) or they could pay that money and try to collect their draft picks in the offseason. Both the Rays and Marlins expressed interest in Wagner, though the Cubs also have a closer vacancy and seem to be higher up on the waiver order than either, and also seem more likely to be willing to spend the money.

Nieuwenhuis Homers in Third Straight Game


After a pretty miserable month of June and a mild rebound in July, Kirk Nieuwenhuis has come storming back through the later part of August and is in the midst of a torrid hot streak. He's homered in each of his last three games, and hit four total over that stretch, and five homers in his last six games. He's hitting .297 / .366 / .595 now in August. For the season he's now hitting .259 / .346 / .441 with 46 XBH and 16 SBs in 20 attempts. He still whiffs too much, he has 107 Ks on the season, but his tools are hard to ignore.


Mets Community Prospect List: #20

  With  51%  of the vote, the winner of the Round 19 is Zach Lutz. Welcome to the Amazin' Avenue Mets Community Prospect List, where you get to vote on who the Mets best prospects are.  Every poll...

Sickels' Preseason Top 20 Prospects review


He seems to be happy with the direction of the system. Fancy that, someone who actually does prospect analysis saying some nice things about the Mets Farm System. Does that mean in four years, Bill Madden will do his every-five-year google search on the Mets Farm and come up with something nice to say, too?

Free Agent Compensation


Last year, Eddie Bajek of Detroit Tigers Thoughts reverse engineered the rankings used by The Elias Sports Bureau used for classifying Free Agents in terms of draft pick compensation (Type A or B). He now provides the rankings to MLB Trade Rumors. For the current standings, see here. So what are the Mets looking at? Here are the ranked players due a shot at Free Agency this offseason on the current Mets roster: Billy Wagner - Type A Score: 78.932 Amazingly, despite missing about a full season since Tommy John Surgery last year, Wagner has maintained his Type A status, and comfortably so. Being that his return seems imminent, he could present the Mets an interesting opportunity in the offseason. The rule that any arbitration offer to a player must be at least 80% of his previous year's salary does not stand for Free Agents, only players with 2-6 years of service time. There really isn't much downside to offering Wagner arbitration. The $1 million buyout on his option is already in the bank. If you offer him arbitration, he can shop around, see if he can get a better offer and net you some draft picks, or he can come back on a one year deal, preferably in the $2-3 million range at most. Carlos Delgado - Type B Score: 65.000 What to do with Mr. Delgado? His recent medical setback means we probably won't get any kind of look at him before the offseason. But being that he's missed so much time, this doesn't necessarily hurt the value of an arbitration offer. His market value won't be very high. If he accepts, you're risking 20% of his accepted salary to get a look at him in the Spring, at which point you can release him if he's ineffective. If he's healthy, there's a good chance he'll be more than worth a fairly minimal salary, and the commitment would be minimal as well. Brian Schneider - Type B Score: 64.082 Interesting Dilemma here. There is significant risk Brian would accept an arbitration offer. Being that he only would net one pick if he declined, its probably not worth the chance. But then again, it might be. Superficially, pairing Schneider with Josh Thole, another left handed catcher seems unwise. But one of Thole's specialties in the minors has been hammering left handed pitching. And wouldn't Schneider be a better choice to groom Thole defensively than Omir Santos? Gary Sheffield - Type B Score: 58.71 While with some arbitration scenarios there seems to be little to lose, Sheffield is a case where there is little to gain. The likelihood that he signs with another team in the offseason is fairly low, and there's little chance he'll be an asset at whatever salary figure arbitration might bestow upon him. He was worth the six-figure gamble, but he's not worth more. Fernando Tatis - N/A Score: 53.98 Tatis may not be ranked, but he's fairly close to the cutoff for 1B/OF, which currently sits with Ben Francisco at 56.77. Things are a bit trickier with Tatis than with Sheff should he sneak into Type B status. He actually is likely to play next year, and as a Type B, other teams don't have to risk their draft picks to court him. He's not someone I really want back, but he won't earn much money and can play multiple positions. Would I prefer Nick Evans for the bench? Yes please, but for the possibility of a draft pick, risking another year of Tatis isn't an awful idea. J.J. Putz - N/A Score: 52.933 Putz probably doesn't have much chance at working his way to Type B status at this point. He'd have to come back healthy quite soon and pitch very well. But if he did, his situation wouldn't be all that different from Wagner's. There wouldn't be much risk in making an arbitration offer. You either collect a draft pick or take a low risk, high reward gamble.


Mets Community Prospect List: #19

  With  29%  of the vote, the winner of the Round 18 is Francisco Pena Welcome to the Amazin' Avenue Mets Community Prospect List, where you get to vote on who the Mets best prospects are.  Every...


Mets Community Prospect List: #18

  With  54%  of the vote, the winner of the Round 17 runoff is Dillon Gee Welcome to the Amazin' Avenue Mets Community Prospect List, where you get to vote on who the Mets best prospects are. ...


Mets Community Prospect List: #17 RUNOFF! (My bad!)

Hey guys, sorry for the gap in the Community list.  I wanted to try to let #17 separate out a bit so I could at least do a real runoff, got sidetracked with all the craptacularness of the big...

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