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  1. #1
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    In Mets, Red Sox see a model for pitcher development

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. Even on a day when they sent the reigning Cy Young Award winner to the mound in Port St. Lucie, the Red Sox were reminded of their starting pitching inadequacies. In the imposing figure of Noah Syndergaard, the Mets showcased what is their strength as an organization and Boston's chief weakness: developing homegrown starters.

    Syndergaard was one of the best pitchers in baseball in his first full major-league season a year ago. At 24 and making about three percent of Rick Porcello's salary, he's one of the most valuable assets in the sport a kind of Mookie Betts from the mound.


    Whereas Boston has built one of the finest cores of young position players in baseball, it's New York that boasts a starting rotation of homegrown stars that is the envy of baseball. Beyond Syndergaard, the Mets have first-round picks like Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, alongside later picks who have surprised at the major-league level such as Jacob deGrom, Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo.

    In some ways, Boston's inability to develop productive starting pitchers is the result of emphasizing position players in the draft position players that the organization has done a significantly better job of translating into contributing major-leaguers.

    At the same time, the Red Sox haven't hit on some higher draft picks that were pitchers. Matt Barnes, a first-rounder from 2011, has turned into a good reliever but not the starter you hope to nab with that pick. No. 7 overall pick in 2013, Trey Ball has yet to reach even Double-A. Henry Owens, Brian Johnson, Pat Light, Anthony Ranaudo, Brandon Workman all were selected within the first two rounds of the draft, and none have turned into even a serviceable big-league starter at this point.

    According to Fangraphs, the Mets received 16.3 wins above replacement from homegrown starters last season; the Red Sox received 4.5 mostly from Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez, neither of whom they drafted.

    Over the last five years, Boston has received a total of 27.9 wins above replacement from homegrown starters. New York has gotten 57.1 wins above replacement in that time.

    So how have the Mets done it? How do they explain their success?

    "No. 1 is the pitchers," pitching coach Dan Warthen said. "Certainly the scouts did a great job by drafting the guys. But you go through the organization and once you have the continuity of everyone and you have the experience and the longevity, now everybody works together. We have very little turnover anymore, and that helps all the way through in the teaching."

    Warthen has been the big-league pitching coach since 2008. High-A pitching coach Phil Regan has been with the organization since 2009, Triple-A pitching coach Frank Viola and Double-A's Glenn Abbott since 2011.

    "[That continuity] is utmost," said Viola. "When you go from team to team, you might be hearing a different voice, but you're hearing the same thing.

    "Even now when you have them in spring training, I might see something that [the big-league pitchers] might be doing. Any of us [can talk to them] because we're familiar with them and know what they're doing."

    "It's cool because you come in the next year and pick up right where you left off with the same guys," said Lugo, a 34th-round pick who posted a 2.67 ERA over 64 innings as a rookie last year. "All the minor-league coaches are on the major-league side, so I can come in and work with the guys I've been working with for five or six years now. It makes it a lot easier. You don't have to build a new relationship; you can just go straight to work when you get there."

    Warthen said the organization's pitching philosophy isn't complicated: Throw fastballs to each side of the plate, and have an offspeed pitch you can throw in any count.

    But one thing that does differentiate New York's pitchers at the major-league level is what's become known as the Dan Warthen slider. Warthen teaches a different slider grip "it really is nothing more than getting the whole ball in your hand," he explained that has allowed pitchers like deGrom and Syndergaard to unleash sliders in the low 90s that they didn't possess in the minors.

    And of course, there's an internal confidence built when pitcher after pitcher goes up to the big leagues and excels.

    "It just shows you to trust the process and the system," Lugo said. "Do what they did. Be like them."

    "[Scouting] is the root and origin of every organization," Red Sox manager John Farrell said Wednesday. "The fact they've been able to turn out so many, you've got to identify those individual talents to begin with, but then be aligned and be in sync with the priority of that group."

    The Red Sox placed a renewed emphasis on developing pitchers after the 2015 season, with the hope that signing David Price would be the last time they'd have to go outside the organization for a major pitcher acquisition in a while. Instead, they've since traded top pitching prospects for Drew Pomeranz and Chris Sale.

    Warthen cautioned that it takes "probably three or four years" to establish the kind of developmental machine the Mets have constructed. Boston has put a lot of faith in Brian Bannister to help maximize its pitchers at the major-league level. The Sox hired Dave Bush this past winter to serve in a similar role throughout the minors.

    Price's recent injury scare is a reminder that going the free-agent and trade route is exceptionally risky. And even when you do that, you need reasonable backup plans in the high minors. The Red Sox rotation may look good now, but eventually, they'll need to develop a pitcher or two.
    http://www.providencejournal.com/spo...er-development


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  2. #2
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    I'd kill for some of their young talent right now though... Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr (although I don't think he's that good tbh), Brock Holt, Andrew Benintendi... Heck I'd even want Dustin Pedroia.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyubi256 View Post
    I'd kill for some of their young talent right now though... Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr (although I don't think he's that good tbh), Brock Holt, Andrew Benintendi... Heck I'd even want Dustin Pedroia.
    Agreed. I love our pitching, but I think if I were to be a GM and build a team up, I would go the route of boston and chicago and develop a deep core of position players. Just based on how volatile pitchers are, the more sustainable route would be revolved around position players. With that said, I am really excited about our prospects and hoping for big seasons from conforto and TDA, and hoping that those guys along with the Rosario's and Smith's among others, that we can build a young core like boston

  4. #4
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    You guys wish we had great young home grown talent? Like Rosario, Conforto, Smith, TJ, Nimmo, Flores, Evans, Nido, and Cecchini? Most of them aren't in the majors yet, but we've got a young core along with that insane pitching staff.

    The grass is always greener, but Sandy stockpiled pitching, and then started working on developing position players. Considering that he's also brought in players like Bruce, Granderson, Reyes, Walker, and Cabrera to bridge the gap to the young players.

    I'd say our GM has done a pretty good job at not only building a great team that has made the playoffs the last 2 years, but stacking the minors with players who should be able to step in this year and next to keep the team winning for years.

    Is it better to start with position players and then throw money at pitching, or develop young deep pitching, and then bring up position players to replace veterans? Well, the Braves won 14 straight division titles by doing it more like Sandy's way.
    Last edited by Mr. Magoo; 03-10-2017 at 11:51 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyubi256 View Post
    I'd kill for some of their young talent right now though... Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr (although I don't think he's that good tbh), Brock Holt, Andrew Benintendi... Heck I'd even want Dustin Pedroia.
    Yup, they have done well in that department.


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Magoo View Post
    You guys wish we had great young home grown talent? Like Rosario, Conforto, Smith, TJ, Nimmo, Flores, Evans, Nido, and Cecchini? Most of them aren't in the majors yet, but we've got a young core along with that insane pitching staff.

    The grass is always greener, but Sandy stockpiled pitching, and then started working on developing position players. Considering that he's also brought in players like Bruce, Granderson, Reyes, Walker, and Cabrera to bridge the gap to the young players.

    I'd say our GM has done a pretty good job at not only building a great team that has made the playoffs the last 2 years, but stacking the minors with players who should be able to step in this year and next to keep the team winning for years.

    Is it better to start with position players and then throw money at pitching, or develop young deep pitching, and then bring up position players to replace veterans? Well, the Braves won 14 straight division titles by doing it more like Sandy's way.
    Only issue is... You are listing a lot of guys who (if everything goes well) will turn into regular big league players. That is awesome but the Red Sox have guys that are MVP candidates and perennial all stars. The only two we have who CAN POTENTIALLY be that is Rosario and Conforto. Remember Bogaerts, Betts, Bradley, and Benintendi were top of the top prospects. And Brock Holt is like a Ben Zobrist type player.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyubi256 View Post
    Only issue is... You are listing a lot of guys who (if everything goes well) will turn into regular big league players. That is awesome but the Red Sox have guys that are MVP candidates and perennial all stars. The only two we have who CAN POTENTIALLY be that is Rosario and Conforto. Remember Bogaerts, Betts, Bradley, and Benintendi were top of the top prospects. And Brock Holt is like a Ben Zobrist type player.
    Let's revisit this in about 2 years, and see how many of our prospects are major contributors.

  8. #8
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    I agree with Mr Magoo about the Mets young core.
    World Championships



    New York Mets: 1969, 1986
    Miracle Mets


    New York Jets: 1968
    Super Bowl III


    Brooklyn Nets: 1974, 1976
    Dr. J (ABA)


    New York Islanders: 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983
    Potvin's Cups

  9. #9
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    In the Red Sox, Mets must see a model of how to win Championships.

    LGM!
    World Championships



    New York Mets: 1969, 1986
    Miracle Mets


    New York Jets: 1968
    Super Bowl III


    Brooklyn Nets: 1974, 1976
    Dr. J (ABA)


    New York Islanders: 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983
    Potvin's Cups

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MJNetsIsles View Post
    In the Red Sox, Mets must see a model of how to win Championships.

    LGM!
    or Giants.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyubi256 View Post
    or Giants.
    Applies also to the Giants football team as 2x SB champions
    World Championships



    New York Mets: 1969, 1986
    Miracle Mets


    New York Jets: 1968
    Super Bowl III


    Brooklyn Nets: 1974, 1976
    Dr. J (ABA)


    New York Islanders: 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983
    Potvin's Cups

  12. #12
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    There is really no set model for winning championships.

    The Marlins have 2 titles by bringing in high priced talent for 1 year then turning those guys into prospects. None of those young teams have developed into contenders.

    Meanwhile the Giant have won 3 championships by developing dominant starting pitching, and just enough offense to get by.

    The Mets have kind of done a hybrid of the Giants' and Marlins' models, by developing dominant pitching, and also bringing in high priced bats to bridge the gap to the position players they've developed.

    So far, it's gotten them close, and this looks like a year that could bring them to the promised land, with another 5 years of very good teams.
    Last edited by Mr. Magoo; 03-12-2017 at 02:04 PM.

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