Some notes from the National League East:
- The Braves turned to rookie right-hander Ian Anderson in tonight’s NLCS Game 2. The 22-year-old certainly earned the assignment, having turning in a 1.95 ERA/2.54 FIP in his first six major league starts. The former 3rd overall pick is now one of the most promising young pitchers in baseball, but he wasn’t seen as a lock to go in the top ten leading up to the 2016 draft. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com looks back at Atlanta’s pre-draft process, crediting area scout Greg Mohrhardt for his steadfast belief in the New York high schooler. Mayo’s piece is worth a full perusal for Braves’ fans or those interested in a look behind the curtain at the process for evaluating top draft prospects.
- Homegrown players like Anderson are the backbone of the current Braves club. Nevertheless, Atlanta has done an excellent job of supplementing the roster in free agency, points out Nick Ashbourne of Sportsnet. The Braves’ one-year, $18MM deal with Marcell Ozuna was nothing short of a coup, as the 29-year-old was one of the top hitters in the National League this year. The Braves also hit on their two-year agreement with Travis d’Arnaud, who put together an elite season at the plate and has added a few key moments this postseason. Ashbourne runs through a few other instrumental additions that GM Alex Anthopolous and the rest of the front office have made to help push Atlanta to the NLCS.
- Mets’ fans are hoping likely incoming owner Steve Cohen will green-light a higher payroll than has become customary under the Wilpon family. Precisely where spending on the roster will land remains to be seen, but Cohen is already taking steps to improve the franchise behind the scenes. He’s expected to invest heavily in building the organization’s analytics infrastructure, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post. The Mets’ existing analytics and player development systems are “archaic,” hears Puma, who adds that the Wilpons never provided former (and probably future) baseball operations leader Sandy Alderson with the kinds of resources he desired to keep up with rival data-driven front offices around the league.