Paul DePodesta on Minor League Assignments, Process and Breakout Prospects

Paul DePodesta, the Mets VP of Player Development and Amateur Scouting did a chat over at Baseball Prospectus yesterday. The whole thing is well worth a read, especially if you’re a regular around here. He talked about Zack Wheeler (who just needs consistency) and Jordany Valdespin (who will primarily play middle infield in Buffalo), but these answers seem particularly timely.

Under the Radar Prospects

Harry (Nyc): Who are under the rader prospects Mets fans should keep a eye on this coming season ? Thanks Harry

Paul DePodestaDomingo Tapia and Rafael Montero. Both guys have a chance to emerge as our next group of top tier potential ML starting pitchers. They both have power stuff (Tapia routinely touched 100mph last summer), and both pound the strike zone.

Tapia was my #14 Mets prospect headed into this year, while Montero was #38.

Minor League, specifically Savannah, assignments

Nick (Lynbrook, NY): What was the reasoning behind the decision to both place Michael Fulmer on the Savannah roster and keep Brandon Nimmo back in extended spring training? Will Fulmer be on a strict innings limit? I’m guessing we will see Nimmo in Brooklyn?

Paul DePodesta: A lot goes into these decisions, and I always try to remind myself that they’re temporary – we can change our minds tomorrow. Furthermore, whatever decisions we make are part of a longer term plan for each individual player. So, the short answer is that these assignments in no way change our expected timetable for either player. However, there are different experiences available that may prove valuable. For instance, Fulmer has the chance to join a staff led by Frank Viola that will have three accomplished college starters in the rotation. That has the potential to be a great developmental experience for him. We have similar thoughts in Brandon’s case, but because we haven’t made any final decisions yet, I won’t share them now…sorry.

 

Process

HalfStreet (Fairfax VA): Are there any tenets of player analysis from the Moneyball bag of tricks which you think have turned out not as useful as they once seemed?

Paul DePodesta: Absolutely! Even at the time there were things that we tried that we laugh about just months later because of how simplistic they were or how outrageous they were…but we tried. And kept trying. We still haven’t figured it all out, and we’re constantly searching for new and relevant information that will replace our current models and processes. What we’re using now isn’t perfect, it’s merely better than what we were doing before (we hope).

 

Emphasis added.

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