New York Mets: Jurickson Profar

Series preview: Mets vs. Rangers

July, 3, 2014
Jul 3
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Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty ImagesRain in Baltimore on Thursday means Yu Darvish now faces the Mets in Friday's series opener at Citi Field.
METS (37-48, fourth place/NL East) vs. TEXAS RANGERS (37-48, fourth place/AL West)

Friday: LHP Jonathon Niese (5-4, 2.88) vs. RHP Yu Darvish (8-4, 2.42), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Bartolo Colon (8-6, 3.88) vs. RHP Colby Lewis (5-5, 5.71), 7:15 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Zack Wheeler (3-8, 4.25) vs. RHP Nick Tepesch* (3-3, 3.65), 1:10 p.m. ET

* officially TBA

Rangers short hops

• With rain delaying the start by 56 minutes and threatening to interrupt Thursday’s Rangers series finale in Baltimore, manager Ron Washington decided to delay Yu Darvish’s scheduled start until Friday, pushing him into the Mets series. There never was a stoppage once the game began at Camden Yards.

Darvish, 27, has an MLB-best 11.04 strikeouts per nine innings. He ranks third in the American League in ERA at 2.42, trailing only the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez (2.10) and Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka (2.27). Darvish snapped a two-start losing streak by tossing eight scoreless innings against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday.

• Texas leads the majors in uses of the DL (20) and current players on the DL (14). The absences include Prince Fielder (herniated disk), Mitch Moreland (ankle), Derek Holland (knee surgery), Jurickson Profar (shoulder), Geovany Soto (knee), Alexi Ogando (elbow), Tanner Scheppers (elbow) and Engel Beltre (fractured tibia).

Fielder, who had season-ending surgery for the neck issue on May 27, had been acquired during the offseason from the Detroit Tigers with $30 million for Ian Kinsler. Texas reportedly will recoup 50 percent of Fielder’s salary via an insurance policy that carried over from the Tigers, after a 90-day deductible period.

Soto, who underwent surgery, is due to begin a rehab assignment shortly. Beltre, an outfielder, has started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock.

• With Fielder and Moreland out, Carlos Pena has taken over at first base. He is hitless in his last 18 at-bats and 3-for-33 since joining the club. Pena, 36, originally signed a minor-league contract on June 17. He had been idle since being released by the Los Angeles Angels from spring training on March 23.

• The Rangers have lost five straight and 14 of 17. They have lost nine straight road games, their longest skid away from Arlington since 2005, when Buck Showalter managed the club during a nine-game road skid. They are 11 games under .500 for the first time since finishing the 2007 season at 75-87.


Cooper Neill/Getty ImagesAdrian Beltre is the one lethal weapon in Texas' decimated lineup.


Adrian Beltre hit .392 in June, the highest figure in any month of his career. The average trailed only Houston’s Jose Altuve (.411) in the American League for the month. Overall, he is hitting .335 this season, second to Altuve in the league.

Shin-Soo Choo signed a seven-year, $130 million deal with Texas on Dec. 13. He is hitting .254 with eight homers and 30 RBIs and has a .374 on-base percentage. Choo returned to the leadoff spot last Friday after two weeks in the No. 3 hole.

• The Rangers designated left-hander Joe Saunders (0-5, 6.13 ERA) for assignment on Tuesday. Miles Mikolas, who had been acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in December, stepped into the rotation.

• Mikolas’ promotion and insertion into the rotation pushed scheduled Wednesday starter Nick Tepesch into the Mets series … at least originally. Tepesch was due to start Friday, but has been dropped in place of Darvish. He now is the most likely candidate to start Sunday, in what is currently listed as TBA, unless he is needed in long relief before then. Tepesch has a 1.93 ERA over his past three starts. The Rangers will keep Colby Lewis on Saturday, as originally planned.

• The Rangers’ 4.62 ERA is the highest in the American League. They nonetheless have an AL-best 14 shutouts. They became the first AL team to reach that shutout total within 80 games since the 1968 Cleveland Indians, five years before the designated hitter came into effect.

• Closer Joakim Soria has allowed runs in consecutive appearances for the first time this season. He still has 17 strikeouts and one walk in his past 10 appearances. Former All-Star closer Neftali Feliz is currently pitching in Triple-A as he enters the final stages of a return from Tommy John surgery.

• Before a 3-for-4 performance Thursday at Baltimore, shortstop Elvis Andrus has been hitless in his last 10 at-bats and 5-for-his-last-30.

• Left fielder Michael Choice is hitless in his last 14 at-bats and 5-for-his-last-66.

• Catcher Robinson Chirinos has caught an MLB-high 19 would-be base stealers.

• Rangers assistant GM A.J. Preller is due interview with the San Diego Padres regarding their vacant GM position.

Make the Call, Sandy: Jurickson Profar

October, 24, 2013
10/24/13
10:00
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Richard W. Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT/Getty ImagesJurickson Profar would be an appealing player for the Mets to pursue.

This offseason will be a pivotal one for the Mets as the team has both money to spend and needs to fill. But not all will be solved by shopping for free agents. Sandy Alderson may have to make a trade or two to net the kind of player the Mets want and need.

Among those they would have interest in are Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki from the Rockies and Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins. But those players are not on the market.

Who might be available from a “pie in the sky” perspective for you to pine for this winter? The past two days, we’ve weighed in on the top potential hitter and pitcher trade targets. Today we look at the top potential prospect and allow you to weigh in on whether Alderson should make the call to pursue a deal.


SportsNation

Should Sandy Alderson pursue a deal for Jurickson Profar?

  •  
    63%
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    37%

Discuss (Total votes: 2,056)

Today’s candidates: Jurickson Profar
Position: Shortstop
Age: turns 21 in February
Height: 6-0
Weight: 165
2013 Numbers: .234 BA, 6 HRs in 85 games with Rangers

Why he would be available: The Rangers have two legit players who both play shortstop in Profar and Elvis Andrus. They have other needs to fill as they try to avoid a repeat of the past two seasons in which they were eliminated in the wild-card game, and the one-game tiebreaker.

Pros: Keith Law named Profar his No. 1 prospect in baseball in his top-100 rankings last season, writing:

“Profar is the best prospect in the minors this year thanks to an incredible combination of tools, skills and baseball instincts rarely found in players who play in the middle of the field. His feel for the game is unusual for a player of any age, much less a teenager, and should put another nail in the coffin of the old saw that American-born players have better instincts.”


Profar is all about potential. He averaged 13 homers and 20 steals in full seasons in Single-A and Double-A in 2011 and 2012. There aren’t a lot of shortstops who can do that in the major leagues.

Profar got 286 at-bats in 2013 and the results were mixed: a .234 batting average, .644 OPS and two steals in six attempts. He hit .188 in 96 at-bats against left-handed pitching.

However, it’s not as though Profar was wildly swinging. His chase rate was just a hair more than major-league average, and his rate of missing on swings was only 16 percent, 6 percentage points less than league average.

Cons: There is always the possibility that Profar’s potential goes unfilled.

While it’s likely that Profar would improve significantly upon those numbers as he gets comfortable in the major leagues, there is no guarantee. The Mets would be putting a lot of reliance on Profar and Travis d'Arnaud, two players high on potential at up-the-middle positions.

The cost: Herein lies a huge obstacle for the Mets. The Rangers are looking to trade for players that can help them win now. Profar could be a key player in a deal for someone like the Rays ace, Price.

The Mets would have a hard time competing with that unless the Rangers were really enamored with someone like Zack Wheeler.

Should Sandy “make the call?” There’s no harm in inquiring about Profar, though the Rangers would probably steer the Mets toward Andrus. The problem there is a financial one: Andrus is making about $6.5 million in 2014, but then will receive either $14 million or $15 million in each of the next eight years.

What do you think? Should the Mets pursue a trade for Jurickson Profar, and if so, what should they give up? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Wheeler 4th-rated prospect in PCL

October, 15, 2013
10/15/13
8:59
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lastname
Wheeler
Zack Wheeler was named the fourth-rated prospect in the Pacific Coast League by Baseball America, trailing only No. 1 Oscar Taveras, an outfielder in the St. Louis Cardinals organization, as well as shortstop Jurickson Profar (Texas Rangers) and outfielder George Springer (Houston Astros).

Also in the PCL top 20 from the Mets organization: infielder Wilmer Flores at No. 15 and right-hander Rafael Montero at No. 18.

Wheeler went 4-2 with a 3.93 ERA in 13 starts with Triple-A Las Vegas before making his major league debut on June 18 with six scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.

Baseball America previously had released its other league top-20 results. See where Mets farmhands ranked here.

Mets morning briefing 5.18.12

May, 18, 2012
5/18/12
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David Wright heard "MVP" chants after delivering a tiebreaking double in what became a five-run eighth and the Mets completed an abbreviated homestand with a 9-4 win against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday. Wright went 2-for-2 with three walks and three runs scored, upping his average to .411.

After going 2-2 against the NL Central this week at home, the Mets donned hockey jerseys -- including Johan Santana in a Minnesota Wild jersey here -- and proceeded to Canada late Thursday afternoon. This weekend marks the Mets' first trip to Toronto since 2006. Scott Hairston likely is to DH in the opener with left-hander Ricky Romero, Justin Turner's former roommate at Cal State Fullerton, due to start for the Blue Jays tonight.

Friday's news reports:

• Wright's six game-winning RBIs are tied for the major league lead. His .411 average is the highest on or after May 17 in the majors since Chipper Jones in 2008 was hitting .414 after a June 12 game (min. 3.1 PA/team game), according to STATS LLC. Terry Collins compared Wright's early season performance to when Barry Bonds was dominating early in his career for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Collins was on Jim Leyland's staff there. Wright's performance Thursday came while trying to stave off the flu. His game-deciding RBI scored Rob Johnson, who -- in his first game back from a thumb issue -- entered late in place of Mike Nickeas and bunted to get on board. Read game recaps centering on Wright's latest exploits in Newsday, the Times, Star-Ledger, Record, Daily News and Post.

Despite lacking credible threats behind him, Wright is not chasing balls out of the strike zone. Instead, he is taking walks that have bulked up his on-base percentage to a whopping .513. Writes Brian Costa in the Journal:

The frequency with which Wright has gotten on base has at least something to do with the lack of a comparable threat behind him in the Mets' lineup. Slumping first baseman Ike Davis, who had been penciled in as the Mets' cleanup hitter, has been dropped in the order. And pitchers sometimes seem content to take their chances with the likes of Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy. Wright ranks third in the National League with 24 walks. But Wright has also shown exceptional discipline, swinging at less than 19 percent of pitches outside the strike zone, more than a 6 percent drop from 2011. And he is punishing pitchers' mistakes, hitting more than 29 percent of his batted balls for line drives, an 11 percent increase from a year ago.

Writes columnist George Willis in the Post:

David Wright pulled a Michael Jordan yesterday at Citi Field. Riddled with flu-like symptoms, he riddled the Reds yesterday, continuing a torrid season that is forcing the Mets’ hand to sign him to a contract extension before it costs them a small fortune.

Writes columnist Jeff Bradley in the Star-Ledger:

Would it be cynical now to go back a year, and dredge up the things Fred Wilpon said about David Wright in that infamous New Yorker piece? Remember? “A really good kid,” the Mets owner said of Wright. “A very good player. Not a superstar.” Would it be cynical? Of course. Perhaps even a little bit mean-spirited. But how can you not replay that tape, with the way things are playing out so far for Wright in 2012?

• The Mets began soliciting money in order to secure All-Star tickets for the July 16, 2013 game slated for Citi Field. Season-ticket holders received an email from the club Thursday that read:

As a 2012 Mets Full Season Ticket Holder, you have the exclusive opportunity to purchase three times the number of tickets in your 2013 season ticket account for all 2013 MLB All-Star events. To qualify for this offer, simply place a $250 non-refundable per seat deposit for your 2013 Full Season account renewal by July 10, 2012 by clicking on the link below. This non-refundable per seat deposit will be applied towards your 2013 regular season invoice. 2012 Mets Full Season Ticket Holders who commit to 2013 Full Season Tickets by taking advantage of this offer by July 10, 2012 will lock in 2012 season ticket pricing for the 2013 season.

The Mets also are trying to recruit new ticket buyers with the All-Star festivities as an enticement. The club is offering the right to buy tickets to the All-Star events if you buy a 15-game plan for this season, and give a $250 deposit toward a 15-game plan for next season as well. Read those details on the team's web site here.

Sandy Alderson, who concentrated his limited available dollars on retooling the bullpen during the offseason, described the relief corps' performance as a "frustration" pregame Thursday. His comments came the morning after the Mets dumped D.J. Carrasco and promoted left-hander Robert Carson from Double-A Binghamton. Alderson added that Jenrry Mejia likely will make two starts for Double-A Binghamton (beginning Saturday) and then two more for Triple-A Buffalo in what is considered an unofficial rehab phase in his return from Tommy John surgery on May 16, 2011. Collins confirmed this week that Mejia eventually should be dabbling in relief work, where he is most likely to contribute at the major league level this season. Meanwhile, Jon Rauch, Bobby Parnell and Frank Francisco actually combined to toss three scoreless innings Thursday. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Newsday and the Daily News.

Zack Wheeler allowed a two-run homer in the first inning but only one other hit while tossing a season-high seven innings and winning his third straight as Binghamton routed Trenton, 12-3, Thursday. At Triple-A, Vinny Rottino had a game-deciding two-run single that extended his International League hitting streak to 20 games. Rottino owns the second-longest active streak in minor league baseball, trailing only Jurickson Profar's 27-game streak with Double-A Frisco City. Read the full minor league recap here.

Dillon Gee has shed the pronounced goatee he had sported since spring training. It apparently was time to change his fortunes after allowing 11 runs in 11 innings over his past two starts. Gee, who is winless in three starts since an April 28 victory at Colorado, next pitches Sunday at Toronto opposite right-hander Henderson Alvarez.

TRIVIA: Who managed the Toronto Blue Jays in 2006, the last time they faced the Mets?

Thursday's answer: R.A. Dickey was the first-round pick of the Texas Rangers (18th overall) in the 1996 draft.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187