February 2nd, 2015
It’s been an exciting offseason for me over here at MetsPlus.com. We kicked things off by recapping Fall Fest Citi Field (I still remember the Candy Apple), and some minor projects here and there. Things got fun when I had the chance to interview Art Shamsky a 1969 World Series Champion. All of this fun and excitement that I’ve never experienced from an offseason really came through this winter, I even got a chance to interview Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner through a Steiner Sports event.
Then, as the holidays rolled into town, I got the chance to meet Gary Cohen. It’s amazing what happens when you hear a man’s voice for eight years, and then all of a sudden WOAH, there is a person you envy, in the flesh, sitting in a hotel lobby. One moment truly special to me this offseason was Winter Fest Citi Field, presented by Metropolitan Hospitality. Winter Fest was a great event, but if I wasn’t lucky, it wouldn’t have been so special. You can read all about it here, but let it be known that I got a Jacob deGrom SIGNED baseball.
I will be doing a few small things to wrap up this offseason, including attending a “Westchester Baseball Group Con” which should be pretty fun. If I enjoy it (or if I hate it) I’ll write a short recap of the event on MetsPlus. I might throw in another interview **cough cough** and maybe I’ll write a book (no need for coughs, it’s never happening).
So, I’m going to say thank you for a great 2014 season and a welcome to 2015. The sports calendar has flipped, and I’m diving into MLB-2015…… in three weeks.
I always make my way down to Port.St Lucie for a long weekend / short week. I’ve been doing it for two years now (yes not that long, but it’s relief from a New York winter.) The last two years I’ve left in February, seen the end of pre-game camp caught the first two games of the spring, and head back up to New York, with added adrenaline for 2015. This year is different, as I’m taking a vacation to Europe (cold part, so don’t get jealous) on the 14th of February. I’ll be getting back a few days before exhibition games commence, which means that any Spring Training action will happen towards the tail end of March, why am I even telling you all this? This article is titled “Where things stand with MetsPlus” but it’s turing into “Where things stand with Niko.” So, where do things stand with MetsPlus? That’s a good question, I don’t have the answer.
Welcome to the first Prime list of 2015! Last year, the “Pepper Prime” lists we a huge hit, and it left people debating. Before we get to Prime Catchers 2015, let’s take a look back at the Pepper Prime list prior to the 2014 season:
5) Johnathan Lucroy- Brewers
4) Jason Castro- Astros
3) Sal Perez- Royals
2) Buster Posey- Giants
1) Yadier Molina – Cardinals
Ok, now that we’ve finished with the housekeeping, let’s get to the list! The person just sneaking into the list at #5 is….
#5- Yan Gomes – Cleveland Indians
Gomes sneaks into the 2015 list after having a very productive 2015 season. Gomes hit 21 home runs and drove in 74 runs in 2014, and his value behind the plate doesn’t go un-noticed either. Gomes and the Indians should have an even better 2015, the Indians are looking to re-bound after just missing the postseason in 2015. Next on the list plays on a rival of Gomes’ Indians.
#4- Sal Perez- Royals
Perez fell down one slot in one years time, but he was a huge part of the 2014 AL Championship Royals. Sal got the walk off hit during the wild Wild Card game versus the Athletics. Sal is a young and powerful catcher, and is probably the biggest offensive threat in the Kansas City lineup.
#3- Buster Posey- SF Giants
Buster Posey also dropped a slot in a years time, mainly because his power numbers have decreased steadily over the years. He has had 5 fewer home runs every year since 2012, and his slugging has gone down considerably since 2012. Posey is also the face of the Giants, so how can their be TWO players better than Posey? Is it possible? Yes.
#2 – Matt Wieters – Baltimore Orioles
Wieters is one of the youngest up and coming Catchers in the industry. Wieters has been the subject of multiple injuries, and he hasn’t been so fortunate with power this year, but the batting average was above 300, and that’s all that matters for me, at least at the catcher position. Matt’s slugging was at 500 in a very small sample size, but his production in the past puts him this high into the future. Wieters is also the best catcher of everyone on this list ( if Molina was on this list, it would be a different story.), so his defensive intangibles bump him up.
**1** Johnathan Lucroy- Milwaukee Brewers
Lucroy climbed up four spots since we did this in 2014, he led the league in doubles with 53, and had a slugging percentage of 465, better than most on this list. Lucroy hit slightly less home runs, but when you take all other statistics into account, Lucroy was an obvious choice for the #1 slot on our list.
This Friday, we look at the best Third Baseman on Mets Plus.