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Mets Morning News is prospect central as Wilmer Flores and Zack Wheeler both get nods from Baseball America, while four Mets' farmhands dot John Sickels' Top 50 lists. And oh yeah, Carlos Beltran did some stuff.
Meet the Mets
Ted Berg takes a look at Baseball-Reference similiarity scores to try and auger which Met player has the brightest future. Spoiler Alert: Extend the man
Toby Hyde continues his review of his preseason Top 50 prospect list, covering 11-15. He also has the scouting report on Wilmer Flores from Baseball America, who rated him the 19th best prospect in the Florida State League. Here's the complete list from Baseball America.
Flores fairs a little better by John Sickels, who has tentatively ranked him as the 28th best hitting prospect in baseball for 2013. Flores was the only Mets' batsman to make the list, but the Mets put three arms on Sickels' tentative Top 50 Pitchers List, Zack Wheeler (5), Jeurys Familia (37), and Michael Fulmer (46). Sickels has always been high on Familia, but still weird to see him ranked ahead of Fulmer on any list. Wheeler was also ranked 2nd on BA's Top 20 Eastern League Prospect List, getting edged out by the Orioles' Manny Machado for the top spot. Here's the report from BA:
"Wheeler sits at 94-95 mph with his fastball and dials it up to 98 at times, throwing downhill with an easy arm action. Late life on his heater produces defensive swings by batters even when they're ahead in the count counts, and he allowed just four homers in 25 total starts this season.
Wheeler relied more on a curveball as a Giant, but he now turns more on an upper-80s slider with above-average potential. For a different look, he still mixes in a curveball that bottoms out in the high 70s, and he also has the makings of an average changeup. He already excels at holding baserunners, giving up just three steals in 11 attempts in the EL."
This pretty much meshes with what I saw out of Wheeler this year, though the slider is arguably already a plus pitch.
We'll stay in prospect land to finish up, as FanGraphs' Mike Newman reviewed the best second basemen he scouted this year. Kingsport's Branden Kaupe and Savnnah's Matt Reynolds both make the list.
Land of Hope and Dreams
The Cardinals drew even with the Nationals in their best-of-five series with a 12-4 shellacking powered by one Carlos Beltran. Beltran went 2-4 with a pair of home runs and reminded everyone why he's arguably the greatest playoff hitter ever. Like in the history of the game. After yesterday's contest, Beltran is now batting a cool .362/.478/.819 in 25 playoff games.
Oh, and the home runs? Yeah, they weren't cheapies.
Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia had to leave after two innings with a shoulder issue and has been removed from the NLDS roster. Lance Lynn, who came in to the game in relief, will take his spot going forward.
Over in AL action, the Orioles snuck by the Yankees 3-2 to even up their ALDS series as well. The Yankees had plenty of opportunities to blow this one open, but left ten men on base as Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen bobbed and weaved out fo trouble. Speaking of bobbing and weaving, there was also this bit of fancy footwork from Ichiro in the first inning.
The Reds' Johnny Cueto is recovering from the back spasms that forced him off the mound in Game 1, but is uncertain when he will pitch again. Homer Bailey will start Game 3 for the Reds as they look to finish off the Giants back in Cincinatti.
Yesterday at AA
Fearless leader surveyed the former Mets playing in the playoffs this year.
Brock Mahan took a look back at Bobby Jones' finest moment.
And Rob Castellano examined whether Jeurys Familia should be a starter or reliever in 2013.