An NL East rival wants a Mets prospect, the lefty relief market, and a pitching prospect has a big year on-deck
New York needs their top pitching prospect to get back on the horse in 2023
What’s Up with the Mets? 🍎
Brandon Nimmo is expected to play for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic
It’s unclear if the Mets will be able to work out a deal to sign LHP Zach Britton (New York Post)
The Marlins have made several attempts to acquire 3B Brett Baty from the Mets, offering up a starting pitcher in the process, but the Mets remain unwilling to deal top prospects (New York Post)
Don’t forget about Matt Allan…✍🏻
The Mets selection of RHP Matt Allan in the third round of the 2019 draft was big news at the time. Allan was one of the most heavily sought after high school pitchers in the country and his camp had indicated to teams that he was more than happy to go to college if he wasn’t a first round pick. Once the opening round ended with Allan still unselected, many teams took him off their board, worried it would be too risky a pick if he chose not to sign.
Until Brodie Van Wagenen and the Mets made a bold statement with the 89th overall pick.
Choosing Allan caused the Mets to essentially punt the rest of their draft. The bonus they had to throw at the young righty to convince him (and his family) to sign a professional contract forced them to take only college seniors that would take minimum bonuses the rest of the way.
New York essentially bet their entire 2019 draft on three players.
3B Brett Baty
RHP Josh Wolf
Going on four years later it’s fair to say two of the three picks have worked out well for the Mets, in different ways.
Baty has developed into one of the higher upside offensive players in the minor leagues, and after the recent Carlos Correa debacle its clear he is firmly in line to take over as the Mets long term third baseman at some point in 2023.
Wolf is no longer in the organization, but he was a key piece in the trade that brought Francisco Lindor here, and that is a trade the Mets would make again 100/100 times.
Back to Allan.
In the summer after the Mets picked him, he pitched 10.1 innings for their affiliates as an 18-year-old and pitched well in what was obviously a small sample size.
2020 was supposed to be a critical year in his development, but as we all know, Allan is far from the only person whose 2020 year did not go as planned.
After missing that entire season due to COVID-19 eliminating the minor league campaign, Allan then had to undergo Tommy John surgery and a later follow up surgery to transpose his UCL nerve, costing him all of the next two seasons.
The 10.1 minor league innings he pitched in 2019 remain the only professional innings on his resume.
Even still, Allan remains arguably the highest upside arm in New York’s minor league system. Some talent evaluators might suggest they like Blade Tidwell or Calvin Ziegler better right now, but those same people would concede Allan’s ceiling remains the highest.
Which makes 2023 an absolutely critical season for both he and the organization.
The Mets are clearly built to win right now and believe their star studded veteran pitching staff led by Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander can lead them to where they want to go. But let’s also remember the rest of New York’s starting staff are all 29 years of age or older.
They need to get younger and do so from within in short order.
This team has brought impact minor league prospects to the big leagues in recent seasons, headlined obviously by the likes of Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil, and transitioning hopefully this year to Francisco Alvarez and Baty.
But while high octane starting pitching prospects headlined the Mets last trip to the World Series, outside of David Peterson and Tylor Megill who both look like solid back of the rotation arms, New York has seriously lacked difference-making pitchers at the upper levels of their system.
Kodai Senga is the only member of the Mets projected starting rotation in 2023 that will still be here in three years. We all know Steve Cohen’s money is seemingly endless, but winning teams consistently produce their own talent. If Allan can re-establish himself as a prime prospect and get back on track to be a difference maker down the road, it would go a long way towards preventing the front office from constantly having to buy a starting staff.
Pay attention to how he’s faring in the minor leagues this year. I know I will.
Hot Stove 🔥
The Royals have agreed to a free-agent deal with veteran left handed reliever Aroldis Chapman (Feinsand)
Seattle signed infielder Tommy La Stella to a one year deal and designated former Yankees lefty Justus Sheffield for assignment to clear a roster spot (Seattle Times)
The Giants brought in more depth at first base after losing Brandon Belt in free-agency, signing former Ranger Ronald Guzman to a minor league contract (KNBR)