html hit counter Baseball of Tomorrow: Mailbag: Mets' pitching, Jeff Clement, and more
Friday, March 10, 2006
Mailbag: Mets' pitching, Jeff Clement, and more
I'll get right into this week's mailbag, our first since the re-launch, with a question from Sam from Chicago, Illinois:
Who's got the bigger upside, Brian Anderson or Ryan Sweeney?
By letting go of Aaron Rowand, the White Sox have shown that they are very confident in Brian Anderson. The 2003 first-rounder has a good bat with the potential to put up a .300/25/75 line. He's also a good centerfielder with a good arm. If he stays healthy, Anderson is going to be a treat to watch out in centerfield at Comiskey Park U.S. Cellular Field.

While Brian Anderson was taken by the White Sox in the first round of the 2003 draft, Ryan Sweeney, who was a pitching prospect out of high school, was taken in the subsequent second round. As a former pitching prospect, Sweeney has a very good arm. He's got good bat speed and drives the ball to all fields. At ten home runs in three years, most scouts project Sweeney to be no more than a 15-20 home run hitter, although he's 6'5", still young, and has been a pretty good doubles hitter (you know what they say, minor league doubles turn into major league home runs).

Both Anderson and Sweeney need some work on plate patience. Right now, Anderson's got the bigger upside. That can change, however, if Sweeney has a big year in 2006.

The next question comes in from David from New Jersey:
If Pedro does go down early and the Mets are forced to bring up a pitching prospect from AAA, who is more likely to be brought up?

Alay Soler, Brian Bannister, Mike Pelfrey, Philip Humber, or other?
Phil (yes, he prefers Phil) Humber is still recovering from his 2005 Tommy John surgery and won't be fully ready until June -- so you can cross him off the list. While I don't think the Mets will baby Mike Pelfrey, I also don't think they'll rush him. At the earliest, I don't see Pelfrey in Flushing until September. That leaves us with Cuban-defector Alay Soler, who's in his first year of pro ball, and Brian Bannister, who raised eyebrows with his very successful 2005 season. I think it goes to whoever has the better spring. Though, I'd also like to throw John Maine's name into the ring. Maine was one of the guys the Mets got in the Kris Benson trade. He could be the dark horse in this thing.

Our last question is from Steven from Tacoma, Washington:
How long do you see it taking for Jeff Clement to fully develop? A lot of people have him locked in as the offensive equivilant to either Jason Varitek or Jorge Posada (in their primes, obviously). I was just wondering how long you think it will take for him to reach that level.

I'd also like to see anything you have on Seattle's Adam Jones. Do you see him getting a call-up this season, and if you do, do you see it coming more in part because of his talent or Jeremy Reed's struggling?
There's been a lot of talk about Jeff Clement switching positions but this kind of talk is expected when you've got a young, phenomenal hitting catcher. I actually think he'll be better than Jason Varitek or Jorge Posada. He's not only an incredible power-hitter, but also an outstanding all-around offensive threat. Despite the rumors of him changing positions, Clement is actually a good catcher. He handles the pitching staff well and is good at blocking balls in the dirt. His arm, however, leaves a little to be desired. If all goes according to plan, we'll see Clement at Double-A by the end of this season and in Seattle by the end of the next. He's got what it takes to be one of the game's elite players.

Adam Jones really came into his own in 2005. Jones has a quick bat, allowing him to drive the ball the other way with authority. In the field, he's got one of the best arms around (clocked at 96 MPH off of the mound) and good speed. I think it's more his job to win than Jeremy Reed's job to lose.

That does it for this week's mailbag. If you have a question you'd like answered on next week's mailbag, use the link on the bottom right of the page to e-mail me and I'll do my best to get your question answered.

by Chris @ 3:00 PM | Permalink | 0 Comment(s) |

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