Mets May Be Sitting on Four Aces

four-aces

Jimmy:

Okay, Mike, dream with me.

I read the phrase from time to time, most often coming from Mack Ade’s splendid, blazing keyboard, but the sentiment is widely shared, this idea that by 2015 the Mets might be holding “four aces.”

Harvey, Wheeler, Syndergaard, Montero.

I realize there’s quite a leap to get there — many of us remember “IPP”: Izzy, Paul, and Pulse — so we’re not inclined to count our prospects before they’re hatched.

So_horton_kept_sitting_thier_day_after_day

But no matter the configuration, it’s not hard to imagine the Mets with a fierce, young, hard-throwing staff at this time next year.

You feel it?

Mike:

Of course. Looking up and down the organization, these guys are the strength. Pitchers who are advertised as being the type that not only can win, but make you sit up and take notice. In Harvey’s case we have already seen him be dominant, the only question now is will he bounce back from his injury. The very early prognosis is things are moving along well.

When it comes to Wheeler, I have already declared him the player that I am most pumped up to watch for this year, 2014. He already showed electric stuff in 2013 and had enough rookie success to make me confident he can do even bigger things. And Syndergaard is touted as a universal top 20 major league prospect. Noah looks the part of stud pitcher too, we were able to get some nice close up shots of him at the Futures Game last year and he is an imposing sight.

Montero is different then Syndergaard, not quite a finesse pitcher, but he doesn’t have the overwhelming fastballs of the other three. His greatest asset to-date has been outstanding control. What Montero might lack in pure stuff has not hurt his performance. He has risen through every level of the Mets system without any real bumps along the way. Last year, at age 22, Montero posted a 3.05 ERA and 1.241 WHIP in 16 starts at our Triple-A hitters’ haven in Las Vegas.

matt-harvey-smi2mets06251noah-syndergaard1montero

Jimmy:

I’ll admit that calling Montero an “ace” is stretching it — but he could be good! It’s fair to note that those four aside, the Mets will also control Colon, Gee, Niese, and Mejia in 2015. So if stockpiling pitching was the idea, it looks like Sandy Alderson has pulled it off — at least, from here, in February, 2014. Things can change quickly.

For all the criticism he has gotten here at “2 Guys” — all of it fair, btw, and much of it deserved — Alderson did execute the trades that brought over Wheeler and Syndergaard. He did sign Montero as an international free agent. He went out and got Bartolo Colon. This goes to the heart of his legacy with the Mets. There’s a lot riding on those arms.

Mike:

I don’t personally like the Colon signing, that second year looks ugly. But within the context of our overall pitching situation that is a quibble. The list of arms we have right now is the greatest case for optimism. It can even be argued that we don’t have room for all of these guys, which always has me wondering about a potential trade. Even pitching-rich teams need some hitting. But this is a delicate balance, pitchers also are fragile, and excess can evaporate very quickly. That’s why it’s not easy being a GM.

Jimmy:

UnknownHey, it’s not even easy being an armchair GM — the salted cashews are in the other room! Guys suddenly go down, fall apart, fail to perform. Thus the twin truisms: 1) You can’t have too much pitching; and 2) There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.

The Mets also appear to have an interesting second-wave of prospects moving through, guys like Lara, Matz, Ynoa, Fulmer, etc. Plus bullpen arms who might become extremely valuable some day, guys like Mazzoni and Goeddel, to name just two.

Which brings us to today, the first game of Spring Training. I enjoy these early games, with a new pitcher on the hill practically every inning. I’m most looking forward to that this spring, taking a look at the parade of young pitchers.

Play ball!

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9 comments

  1. Eric says:

    “Play ball”….been waiting all winter to hear that! It suddenly doesn’t feel so cold outside.

  2. Can’t wait to pull the chair up close to the fire…….and watch baseball. Go Mets.

  3. DD says:

    I beleve Motero has not gotten enough credit for what he achieved last year. His numbers at Las Vegas were better than those of several names we know: Zack Wheeler, Carlos Torres, Josh Edgin. Guys who can pitch in other words. His Earned Run Average was about 1.5 runs below League average, overcoming having to pitch in possibly the most extreme hitter’s park in the league. His ERA was nearly two runs below his team’s average, and that Vegas team did have some pitching.

    I don’t expect Montero to match up with Harvey or Thor, but I will not be surprised if in his first five years as a major leaguer he performs better than Zack Wheeler. I think he is that good, or nearly so.

  4. ERAFF says:

    Eraff and Raff took in the “home opener” in St Lucie on Friday. I went to see Montero, sitting behind the plate.

    He threw 20 Pitches over 2 innings. he hit 92/93 a couple of times. He looked smooth….comfortable. He looked “THIS IS WHAT I DO”. It was incredibly efficient. I can’t tell you that anything was as impressive as the overall “wet blanket” he threw on some decent major league hitters. Very impressive against both McClouth and Espinosa in the first inning—-they never put a good pice of bat on the ball. That’s a result of location and live, late movement. Montero catches the ball, toes the rubber and “throws another one”—- no drama. Calm and direct.

    More surprising and even visually impressive was DeGrom. He also works quickly and with purpose. He threw a few 92-93’s that “just disappeared” with late down movement in the strike zone. Worked up the ladder 2 or 3 times at 94—knew what he wanted and did it. A much more liove arm than anticipated, but a really nice and unexcited approach. He threw a deadly 2 strike curve (sorry—forgot the hitter)—I was impressed.

    Young Pitchers…and these guys looked like they were willing to succeed/fail doing exactly what they do.

    Ok…other brief impressions…. PUELLO…Holy Cow!!!!!!! He is big and fast and a menacing looking batter (think done baylor, physically). He’s an attacker! He tried to impress with the arm and sailed a bad throw— we’ll see on that. He is a BEAST!!!

    Duda— Squared every ball he hit—and the ball exploded off his bat in his first two at bats. The first line drive out was SMOKED! His double— I’ve never seen a Broken bat with a 380 foot screaming line drive on the same play— everything exploded.

    Davis— Big Timed his first ab…. did a stand and Vogue number after the strikeout, and a Little thing with his gloves and helmet—after taking a 1-1 fastball right down the middle(frozen on a 1-1 fastball in your first spring ab?). A terrible swing on a 1-2 curve…then a LOCK looking strikeout on another curve.

    Yeah—until his 900 foot homerun, he looked like crap. That was an 82 MPH in, Up, changeup—– ok…you’re supposed to hit that one 700 feet…he hit it 900 feet. Mostly, the 1-1 fastball lockup on his first spring ab concerns me…oh well.

    Flores?…. I don’t see the ball jump off his bat yet—ok,

    d’Arnaud…looked like a major league catcher and he has a fast bat.

    BTW—great Stadium!

  5. ERAFF says:

    I do have some other comments from “Sources” as well as “People Close to The Team” and “Un-named Mets Sources”….I haven’t unraveled my notes and so I won’t divulge the information. I can tell you that the “Un-Named Sources” are quite awkward…what, without Names and all.

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