After yet another frustrating series against the Braves, New York Mets fans were reminded yet again how an organization is built. When will the gang in Flushing finally realize how to sustain success? They only need to look south.
On Tuesday night the Braves once again completed a late-inning rally against the New York Mets beleaguered bullpen. Going back to the early 1990s, it seems the good times never end for the fans in Atlanta against the boys from Queens. Why does this keep happening? In a season where the Mets were supposed to contend and the Braves continuing to rebuild, the opposite is happening.
At one time the Atlanta Braves were the laughing stock on the National League. After a shocking division title in 1982 that produced a three-game sweep by the Cardinals in the NLCS, the Braves averaged 94 losses a season from 1984-90. However, since then the Braves organization has been one of the best in professional sports.
Since going from worst to first in 1991, the Braves have only suffered six losing seasons and reached the postseason 17 times. Entering this season Atlanta was in one of their worst tailspins since the 1980s, suffering four straight of those six losing seasons. However, like they did after suffering a minor set back from 2006-08, the Braves are back with a vengeance this season, erasing late-inning deficit after late-inning deficit with their primary target being their old whipping boy the New York Mets.
This Braves team has a bevy of young prospects that each day learns how to beat the Mets like their predecessors did. On Tuesday it was Johan Camargo. They joined the ranks of Braves of the past who love to inflict damage on the Mets. Camargo is part of the “new” Braves. All everyday players under 24 that include Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson, Ronald Acuna and soon to come, Austin Riley. Where are these players on the Mets?
Alderson’s Failures Makes Mets Second Fiddle
Watching the Braves beat up on the Mets the last few days just reminds Mets fans of the failures of this franchise. Sandy Alderson was supposed to be the savior when he was hired after the 2010 season. However, his draft picks and trades have failed to produce any consistent success from a farm system that now ranks as one of MLB’s worst. Minorleaguebaseball.com ranked the Mets system 28th for 2018, quoting “if you like C+ prospects, you will like the Mets”. By the way, who is first on that list? Yes, the Atlanta Braves.
Even after the embarrassment of Braves former GM John Coppolella being banned from MLB for violations in signing international players and being stripped of 13 prospects, the Braves farm system is still ranked as one of the best because of trades and drafts.
Alderson’s history of hideous drafting has been written about time and time again. When is he going to be held responsible? The Mets failures this season are the same exact failures we have seen every year in the Alderson regime.
The pitching prospects that were supposed to dominate the National League have once again disappeared. Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz are now both out with finger injuries, just like last season. Different injuries, but same missed results. Matt Harvey is gone. Zack Wheeler is inconsistent. Only Jacob deGrom is producing, but as usual in his career, the bullpen can’t close out his games.
Every day prospects are nowhere to be found. Outside of Amed Rosario, who can the Mets look to in the next few years to provide assistance to help this franchise every day? Dominic Smith is currently sitting in Las Vegas with just 2 HR and 21 RBI so far this season. The rest of the players you can find scouring through the minor leagues are all decent players, not guys you build a franchise around.
Once again, injuries have had a major part in the Mets inability to achieve success this season. In what seems to be Deja-vu, Yoenis Cespedes has been unable to be relied on. Major offseason signing Todd Frazier is also out. Despite that, good organizations are able to provide help from their farm system when their regulars have to be placed on the DL. For the Mets, those players are not there.
Mets Should Look to Braves for How to Build Sustained Success
Bobby Cox started the rebuilding of the Braves as their GM in 1986. In 1990 he was replaced by John Schuerholz as Cox returned to the dugout to manage. Soon after homegrown players like Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Chipper Jones (all three are Hall of Famers) came along. While Glavine and Jones were drafted, Smoltz was acquired from Detroit for Doyle Alexander late in the 1987 season. Other homegrown talents like Ron Gant, David Justice, Andruw Jones, Steve Avery, Kevin Millwood, Jermaine Dye, Javy Lopez and Ryan Klesko sustained success for the Braves. Later drafts produced Adam LaRoche, Marcus Giles, Brian McCann, Jeff Francouer and current Met killer Freddie Freeman.
The current Braves are continuing their long-term success with superior drafts and trades. When will the Mets follow suit?