Thursday, February 24, 2011
Farm director Wogan on top prospects
By Adam Rubin
Mets farm director Adam Wogan chatted with ESPNNewYork.com Thursday about the prospects invited to the organization's invitation-only STEP camp, which staged its first workout in the afternoon. (Full list of players here.) Here's what Wogan had to say:
How did you decide which players to invite?
“It’s probably the same answer you get on any type of camp you do, but it’s in talking to different staff, what guys they feel could benefit from some extra time before spring training. We try to think about guys who are probably going to go to a full-season club because we don’t want to extend the season for [short-season-ticketed] guys. It’s already long enough. And it’s obviously guys we feel very highly about.”
Will some of these guys be ready to be borrowed for early Grapefruit League games? You even have a split-squad Sunday with the University of Michigan in Port St. Lucie and a game at Disney against the Braves.
“There will be. There are some guys who were at the academy in the Dominican who will be in games, and some guys who came in early. We had the voluntary camp that Terry [Collins] was running with other staff. Some guys like [outfielder Sean] Ratliff were down here already playing, so they’d be more prepared than others.”
Anyone in particular you’re eager to see?
“The two guys we’re obviously looking to get a look at that haven’t pitched yet -- [right-hander Greg] Peavey [from Oregon State in the sixth round] and [first-round pick Matt] Harvey [from the University of North Carolina].”
Harvey was in Fort Myers for the instructional league, but had not thrown a ball all summer before signing. And he had to leave right before he was poised to get in the game because of a family issue.
“Going off of what we’ve seen and heard from our scouts, and what we saw in the instructional league, he’s got a big, physical body -- a prototypical body you can dream of being able to handle the load as a starting pitcher for a long time. He’s a guy with a real good fastball -- both a two-seam and a four-seam fastball -- and a curveball and a slider. He’s able to throw a good changeup. He’s intelligent, mature, physical. A lot of good things about him.”
Because of warmth and other factors, is St. Lucie a reasonable place for a pitcher of that caliber to open his career out of college under these circumstances?
“We can look at a lot of things right now, but I think we’re just reserving -- kind of holding on until we actually see him throw and we’ll be able to make a call.”
You haven’t seen Peavey either then.
“He’s from up in the Northwest, so he had a long trip down here. But he’s just a solid, mature guy with a good mix. He ought to be a good option for us.
Outfielder Cesar Puello has been here for a while and hitting the ball a long distance?
“He’s a strong kid. He’s a speed guy. He hasn’t shown power as much in games, but he definitely projects to have quite a bit of power.”
Collectively the other outfielders with him that you have here -- Darrell Ceciliani, Matt den Dekker, Cory Vaughn, Sean Ratliff you feel pretty good about that group?
“It’s a great group. Really athletic guys, guys who can play center field for the most part. In fact all five of them can play center field.”
Right-hander Ryan Fraser, the 16th-round pick from last year, is here too.
“He was out of Memphis last year. He was a starter in college, but because he threw so many innings, we let him pitch in relief with Brooklyn. He’ll probably go back to start this year.”