Sunday, January 20, 2008

How Does the Mets Package Stack Up?

Carlos Gomez (Jim McIsaac/Agence France-Presse)

The latest on Santana, courtesy of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, is that Twins officials have privately said that they expect Santana to be dealt by Spring Training. The article also says that while the Red Sox and Yankees are still involved, the Twins have showed the most interest in the Mets offer lately.

That Mets offer includes Carolos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey, Phil Humber and Deolis Guerra. The only problem is, most baseball fans I'm sure have little to no idea what kind of prospects those players are. And it doesn't help that respected prospect rankings by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus aren't due for another month. But thankfully, there's John Sickels of

Sickels is the author of The Baseball Prospect Book. He looks at the top 20 prospects in every organization, and assigns them letter grades based on their value. When trying to compare trade packages made up mostly of prospects, these simplified prospect ratings can be very useful.

The Mets package for Santana is rumored to consist of Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey, Phil Humber and Deolis Guerra. The Twins are attempting to get the Mets to add Fernando Martinez to the deal, but they aren't the one with leverage in the situation. The Twins have to unload Santana, they don't have the monetary resources to retain him.

So what kind of prospects are the Mets offering? Their package includes three pitchers in Deolis Guerra, Kevin Mulvey and Phil Humber. Guerra received a rating of B+, making him the highest rated player in the package. But he's yet to pitch above the Single-A level. Molvey and Humber received grades of B and B- respectively. And both of them are likely to begin the season in Triple-A.

Carolos Gomez is the only position player in the deal. Sickels rated him a B prospect. He's kind of a toolsy outfielder with average plate discipline and little power.

So what's the positive of the Mets package? It offers more pitchers than any other package. All four players offered in the deal will also be cost controlled for many years to come. By accepting the Mets offer, the Twins would also be dealing Santana to a team outside of the American League.

On the other hand, the players in the package have virtually no major league experience. And none of the players that the Mets are offering have true star potential. There's no great position player or pitching prospect.

This makes it almost the opposite of the Red Sox package. The Red Sox are offering the package with the most major league experience when compared to all other packages available for Santana. And the Red Sox are also offering a package which has the most high quality talent out of any package available.

The Red Sox package of Ellsbury, Lowrie and Masterson contains two grade A- position players and a grade B pitcher. Or if the Twins want more major league experience and a wider range of players, they could go for the Red Sox package of Jon Lester, Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson. That package could potentially fill two rotation spots, the Twins need for a center fielder, and their need for a middle infielder who can actually hit.

Based on the talent available in the deals, I find it hard to believe that the Twins would prefer the Mets package based on the return alone. But the Twins would likely prefer to deal Santana to the National League. And Santana would prefer to go to the National League as well, where he'd likely dominate weaker hitting competition.


The Man said...

no star potential?

Guerra Gomez both have star potential..

F-Mart has more then star potential.

I really don't see what the big deal about Lester and Lowrie is.. they seem like average prospects.

Royal Rooters said...

From what I understand, the Mets don't want to include F-Mart in a deal. This wasn't meant to be a slight against Gomez or Guerra, but the prospects being offered by the Red Sox are rated higher. The Mets deal includes mostly B prospect. Do you really think Gomez is comparable to Ellsbury? Do you think he has anywhere near as much power as Lowrie? The strength of the Mets package isn't high quality, but rather quantity. That's not to say these guys are bums, they just aren't at the high level of a Jacoby Ellsbury or a Phil Hughes.

The Man said...

maybe as of right now they arent rated higher then Ellsbury, but their ceilings are much higher..

Royal Rooters said...

And what are you basing that opinion on? I have a feeling you may have bought into some of the infamous New York Prospect Propaganda. But if you have a case for why Gomez and Guerra have higher ceilings than prospects like Ellsbury and Hughes, I'd be open that open to hear it. You know more than me about them I'm sure so maybe I'm missing something.

The Man said...

not higher ceilings then Hughes, higher then Ellsbury.

It's not just my opinion either I'll try to break it down..

Ellsbury ceiling (max potential) is like .330 10 60 steals, above average range, average arm.. like 3 tools..

Gomez's ceiling is like .300 35 100 60 steals, above average defense all around.. a true 5 tool prospect.

Now if your asking me who I would take? I'd obviously take Ellsbury, but to say there is no true star potential in the Mets offer makes no sense..

Deolis Guerra on the other hand is a 18 year old who is already touching 95 MPH, and has one of the best changeups in the league. His question mark is his health, but if he continues to develop, and stays healthy he has star written all over him.

Royal Rooters said...

I didn't say the Mets package isn't offering good players, or potential stars. I said it isn't offering the same star power potential as the Red Sox or Yankees packages.

What makes you think Gomez will ever hit 30 home runs? He had a lifetime SLG of .399 in the minor leagues, which is poor even for a center fielder. The most home runs he's ever hit were 8 in 480 at bats, and that was against Single-A competition. What basis to you have for your opinion that Gomez will ever hit for serious power?

And you're also ignoring Ellsbury's clear advantage in plate discipline and hitting for average. You're comparing Gomez, a .278/.339/.399 minor league hitter to Ellsbury, a .313/.339/.425 hitter. You have to get on base before you can steal a base. And doesn't Gomez have an injury history? You have to factor in all of these things, not just the fact that Gomez will likely hit more home runs than Ellsbury and has a better arm. Unless Gomez drastically improves his plate discipline, he'll likely turn into a bottom-of-the-order, toolsy outfielder.

As for Guerra, he's a very raw talent at this point. He has a very good changeup, but it's his only above average secondary pitch at this point. He's only 18 so he has plenty of time to improve, but he may never develop the third and fourth pitches he needs to be a starter in the majors. He hasn't done that great in advanced Single-A. Other than his walk rate, none of his peripherals are all that impressive. And even though he does have a 95 mph fastball, he isn't even striking out 7 batters for every 9 innings of work in the lower levels of the minors.

While these players have some nice ceilings for potential, I think you may be a bit generous in how close you expect them to get to those ceilings.

I look forward to a response. I think we're generating some great discussion on these prospects.

The Man said...

Gomez's body type is what gives him the high ceiling.. I don't expect him to get near it but he's like 6'5, with great bat speed.

The reason why teams like Ellsbury more then Gomez is because it's the safer pick.. But Gomez def. has the higher ceiling of the two..

You said that you have to get on base to steal bases.. then how come Ellsbury didn't steal more bases in the minors then Gomez? Gomez's high I think is 64? Ellsbury 49?

It was Keith law who said Gomez has the higher ceiling..

"Though Ellsbury has received the most positive publicity, largely because of his .438/.500/.688 line in 16 World Series at bats, we believe that Gomez has the biggest ceiling of the three…The 21 year old has all kinds of ability and projects to being a Premium Category player in 3-5 years…His speed is equal to Jose Reyes (SS), and he’s got an XL frame (6’4″, 195 pounds) that is capable of supporting more weight. With improved technique at the plate he could be a 30+ home run guy. "

It's not fair to compare offensive stats so far because Gomez has been rushed, and he's been younger at every level then Ellsbury..

Are you saying that in two years Gomez won't be able to hit .298 in AAA?

As for showing power in 2006 as a 20 year old in AA he hit 7 homeruns and 24 doubles in 430 AB.

The Man said...

"I didn't say the Mets package isn't offering good players, or potential stars. I said it isn't offering the same star power potential as the Red Sox or Yankees packages."

But you wrote this in the article which is what I'm debating..

"On the other hand, the players in the package have virtually no major league experience. And none of the players that the Mets are offering have true star potential."

Royal Rooters said...

A looked a little more in depth at the power numbers of the two players. At the Single-A level, Gomez hit a home run every 60.875 at bats. At the advanced Single-A level, Ellsbury hit a home run every 61 at bats. Overall in the minor leagues, Gomez hit a home run every 71.72 at bats. Ellsbury hit a home run every 101.7 at bats. Over 500 at bats, that's only represents a differnence of 2 home runs (4.9 home runs vs. 6.9 home runs a year). And you're proposing that that slight advantage is Gomez's greatest advantage over Ellsbury?

By no stretch of the imagination has Gomez showed an ability to be a power hitter at this point. And while I have read some scouting reports that say he may develop some power, other scouting reports such as the one Rotoworld gave on him last year said "he's going to have to do a better job of handling breaking balls in order to succeed in the majors, and it's possible he'll always flail away too often to become a quality regular."

These Mets prospects are all very raw. They could turn out to be as complete a player as Ellsbury, but if they ever do, it likely won't be for many years.

Royal Rooters said...

You're right, I should have chosen my words more carefully. Looking at the production of the Mets prospects, and the ratings they recieved from Sickels, I was left rather underwhelmed. But I failed to take into account how young they are. It would have been more accurate to say, "while these Mets players show great potential, they are raw, risky prospects. They may never turn out to be as complete a player as Ellsbury, Lowrie, or even Lester, who is rather raw by Major League standards."

Remember, I'm not talking about F-Mart. Even though Martinez is young, I think he may be the most complete player of all Mets prospects. But from what I've gathered, the Mets haven't been willing to add him to their package. And I really don't think they should.

The Man said...

see I'm not saying right now Gomez can hit 30 homeruns.. His body type is going to allow him to fill out, and with the swing he has gives him the potential to hit 30 homeruns.

Ellsbury on the other hand doesn't have the body type like Gomez which is why he doesn't have a lot of projection..

Those stats you gave show that Gomez 2 years younger, and not developed is still a better hitter for power then Ellsbury, and he hasn't even come close to finishing developing..

Royal Rooters said...

Thanks for the quote from Law. As for Gomez's power, that would be impressive if it hadn't taken him 430 at bats to put up those numbers. But Ellsbury hit almost the same exact number of home runs PER AT BAT at that same level. The only reason Gomez has a high of 65 SB in a season, is because he had 487 at bats in that same season. Home run and stolen bases totals, however, are useless if you're comparing a player who had 480 at bats to a player who had 244 at bats at that same level.

Ellsbury stole a base every 9.16 at bats in the minors. Gomez stole a base every 9.15 at bats at the minor league level. The home run rates and stolen bases rates between the two were almost identical.

As for Gomez, he wasn't any more rushed than Ellsbury was. In fact, he had more than 250 minor league at bats than Ellsbury.

I'll concede the fact that Gomez does have a higher ceiling. I don't think Ellsbury will ever hit 30 home runs with his swing. But the chances of Gomez becoming a quality major leaguer aren't nearly the same as the chances of Ellsbury becoming a quality major leaguer.

Gomez may never hit for average or get on base. Those are his largest flaws. He needs to learn how to hit a breaking ball, and lay off bad pitches. It's not a sure thing that Gomez will ever hit .298, even at the Triple-A level.

I appreciate your input. I had no idea that Gomez nearly the potential that you and Keith Law seem to think he does.