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Mets cut GM search to three candidates

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

NEW YORK -- Paring their list of general manager candidates down to three, the Mets began callback interviews Monday with a group of finalists featuring wildly divergent skillsets and experiences. Chaim Bloom, Doug Melvin and Brodie Van Wagenen are the remaining contenders for the Mets' top baseball operations position, according to a source.

The first to receive a callback was Van Wagenen, 44, who spoke with Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon and his son, chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, on Monday. As the lead baseball agent at CAA, Van Wagenen's clients include Mets players Yoenis Cespedes, Jacob deGrom, Todd Frazier and Tim Tebow. He's the only finalist without prior front-office experience and, while others have made that leap -- most prominently, the Lakers hired Kobe Bryant's ex-agent Rob Pelinka as their GM last year -- there is little precedent in baseball.

NEW YORK -- Paring their list of general manager candidates down to three, the Mets began callback interviews Monday with a group of finalists featuring wildly divergent skillsets and experiences. Chaim Bloom, Doug Melvin and Brodie Van Wagenen are the remaining contenders for the Mets' top baseball operations position, according to a source.

The first to receive a callback was Van Wagenen, 44, who spoke with Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon and his son, chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, on Monday. As the lead baseball agent at CAA, Van Wagenen's clients include Mets players Yoenis Cespedes, Jacob deGrom, Todd Frazier and Tim Tebow. He's the only finalist without prior front-office experience and, while others have made that leap -- most prominently, the Lakers hired Kobe Bryant's ex-agent Rob Pelinka as their GM last year -- there is little precedent in baseball.

Another prominent agent, Jeff Moorad, became a part-owner and chief executive officer of the Diamondbacks in 2004, overseeing departments that included baseball ops. Others, such as Dave Stewart, left the agent ranks to become baseball ops executives, but none with the type of Rolodex that Van Wagenen boasts. In addition to his Mets clients, Van Wagenen reps Robinson Cano and Ryan Zimmerman, both of whom have nine-figure contracts.

Some within the industry harbor doubts that Van Wagenen would leave a multimillion-dollar agency to become a GM, but he is at least considering the opportunity. While the Mets plan to make each of their finalists available to the media as part of their callback interview process, Van Wagenen declined to participate in a conference call "because he is not willing to compromise his current role during this process," according to a Mets official.

"I believe baseball is better when the Mets are competitive and successful," Van Wagenen said in a statement. "As Jeff and Fred continue their search for a new head of baseball operations, the players, fans and entire organization will be motivated to have a leader with the skills and commitment to win. If the Wilpons believe I am that person, we will have that conversation."

Bloom, 35, is the youngest and most analytically minded interviewee. As the Rays' senior vice president of baseball operations, he oversees functions ranging from contract negotiations to international scouting. Helping construct a team that finished 90-72 this year in the ultracompetitive American League East, Bloom was among those who signed off on Tampa Bay's "opener" strategy, frequently using relief pitchers in the first inning of games.

"You talk to him for a minute, and it becomes obvious he's a really smart guy," said one person who has worked with Bloom.

Melvin, 66, has served as GM in both Texas and Milwaukee, putting his fingerprints on a 2018 Brewers club that fell a game shy of the World Series. Now a senior adviser for the Brewers, Melvin may appeal in particular to the elder Wilpon, who, according to sources, prefers candidates with extensive scouting and player-development experience.

But Melvin is by far the oldest of the Mets' remaining candidates, just four years younger than outgoing GM Sandy Alderson. When Melvin stepped aside as the Brewers' GM in 2015, he said: "The job had just grown to a point that it's more suited for somebody who's younger than me."

"The general manager's job has changed dramatically," Melvin said at the time. "You have sports psychologists, you've got the medical side, you've got the analytics, you've got amateur scouting, you've got professional scouting. And the thing you haven't even talked about is the Major League team."

Likely by the end of this month, the Mets will choose one candidate from a process that initially included several dozen. No fewer than nine interviewed this month, including Cardinals director of player development Gary LaRocque, Tigers vice president of baseball operations Dave Littlefield, Major League Baseball senior director of baseball operations Kim Ng and Nationals special assistant De Jon Watson. Ng, one of the last people to be cut, is also reportedly involved in the Orioles' and Giants' searches.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets

Chiefs QB looks Amazin' in dad's Mets jersey

Patrick Mahomes II and the Kansas City Chiefs will host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night. When the quarterback arrived at Arrowhead Stadium, he was sporting a baseball jersey, but not just any jersey -- it was one with his dad's name on the back:

Players choose their favorite playoff moments

MLB.com @castrovince

As the years pass, we forget so much of the postseason experience. We forget the debates over who should be the 25th man on a particular roster. We forget the name of the umpire who called that borderline pitch a ball in a big spot. We forget which form of snack food we consumed while stress-eating in the late innings. We forget the final scores and, heck, some of us even forget actual series outcomes.

What we're more likely to remember are single, signature moments -- huge hits, dramatic dingers, dazzling defensive gems that make us jump or fall out of our chair -- or vague-but-vivid tableaus from the overall experience.

As the years pass, we forget so much of the postseason experience. We forget the debates over who should be the 25th man on a particular roster. We forget the name of the umpire who called that borderline pitch a ball in a big spot. We forget which form of snack food we consumed while stress-eating in the late innings. We forget the final scores and, heck, some of us even forget actual series outcomes.

What we're more likely to remember are single, signature moments -- huge hits, dramatic dingers, dazzling defensive gems that make us jump or fall out of our chair -- or vague-but-vivid tableaus from the overall experience.

That's the stuff that survives.

So just before the start of another enthralling October, we asked a bunch of active Major Leaguers -- 85 in all, from a wide variety of teams -- for their favorite postseason moment of their lifetime. We got a lot of different answers, from commonly cited moments like the Derek Jeter "Flip Play" for the Yankees against the A's in the 2001 ALDS ("Such a weird, instinctual play," Rockies shortstop Trevor Story said) to not-so-commonly-cited ones like Carlos Guillen's walk-off push bunt to advance the Mariners past the White Sox in the 2000 ALDS ("That one I remember, because I was there with my dad, top deck, right behind the foul pole, with our backs against the glass at Safeco," Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd said) to more general takes on title runs ("Every single night growing up, we were tuned into Channel 23, TBS, to watch the Braves, so it was sick seeing them win it [in '95]," Red Sox pitcher David Price said).

:: World Series schedule and results ::

We can't list every single answer here, so we picked out 10 that elicited either the most or the best responses.

2011 World Series, Game 6: The David Freese Game

No surprise that Freese's elimination-game glory has a special place in the hearts and minds of many current players, though it is a little jarring to note how long ago -- in baseball years, at least -- this night really was.

"I was in high school in Venezuela," said Marlins right-hander Pablo Lopez, emphasizing that point.

Texas was up, 7-5, one strike away from its first World Series title with two aboard and Freese at the plate. But when Freese lifted a fly ball over the head of a leaping Nelson Cruz in right field to bring home both runners, it was a brand-new ballgame.

"I remember I had a big test the next day," Lopez continued. "I said I was going to go to bed early, but I was like, 'I'm going to watch the ninth inning.' Then it was a tie game, and I stayed up like two extra hours, because I couldn't stop watching that game. To me, that game was just, like, mind-blowing."

With sleep-deprived fans watching every second, Josh Hamilton's two-run homer in the 10th put the Rangers back ahead, but the Cardinals came roaring back again with Lance Berkman's two-out, two-strike, game-tying single in the bottom of the inning. And in the 11th, Freese permanently cemented his place in postseason lore with the leadoff, walk-off winner off Mark Lowe to set up Game 7.

Video: Freese's walk-off homer sends Series to Game 7

"He's pretty humble about it," said Pirates starter Jameson Taillon, who was a Minor Leaguer at the time but later became teammates with Freese. "But that type of moment can change your life. We were in St. Louis [recently], and they were interviewing people at the Ballpark Village across the street, asking, 'What's your favorite postseason moment?' Every person from age 20 to 80 said David Freese's home run. That's cool."

Nine players we surveyed picked Freese's heroics as their favorite postseason memory, so it "won" this poll.

Although, in the interest of full disclosure, one of those players was Freese himself.

"I'll tell you what," he said, "I enjoyed the triple more. People always talk about the homer, but that triple was sweet. Down to the last strike, last out, got it done. More importantly, the Game 7 finish to cap it off. Game 6 isn't as cool if we don't get it done."

2001 World Series, Game 7: The Luis Gonzalez Game-Winner

At a time when America needed a healthy diversion and distraction most, the World Series certainly delivered, with the D-backs and Yankees going the distance.

"There was a lot of stuff wrapped up in post-9/11 playoff baseball that year," said Nats reliever Sean Doolittle, one of three players to pick this moment. "So, I feel like the whole country was super invested in the playoffs and World Series, because the Yankees were in it and all of the storylines and everything. It was just such an emotional World Series, emotional playoffs."

And it all came down to the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7, with the score knotted at 2, the bases loaded, one out and arguably the greatest closer in history -- Mariano Rivera -- on the mound. Luis Gonzalez swung at Rivera's 0-1 offering and hit the flare that found the outfield grass.

Video: Must C Classic: Gonzalez walks off, wins World Series

"Infield pulled in, Luis Gonzalez blooper base hit," Tigers catcher James McCann said. "I remember that one pretty vividly."

2004 ALCS: The Red Sox Comeback

Think about the gift this Sox team gave not just to Bostonians desperate to end an 86-year World Series title drought, but to a generation of ballplayers who now know nothing on the postseason stage is impossible. Because if a long-cursed club can come back from a 3-0 hole in a best-of-seven series against the juggernaut Yankees, why should anybody roll over?

That's why five players surveyed picked not just any one moment of this comeback (such as Johnny Damon's Game 7 grand slam), but the comeback itself.

"It was just so historic in that rivalry," Padres catcher Austin Hedges said. "I always loved the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, and that comeback, I've watched the [ESPN '30 for 30' documentary] on it like five times."

Video: ALCS Gm7: Damon extends the lead with a grand slam

Added Angels pitcher Justin Anderson: "If it's on TV, I'll always stop to watch it."

For Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill, a Boston native, that series was personal both then and now.

"Red Sox winning, with our manager [Dave Roberts] stealing second base," Hill said.

2005 National League Championship Series, Game 5: The Albert Pujols Homer

Back in that prehistoric era in which the Astros were still in the NL Central, they played two epic NLCS rounds against the Cardinals in 2004 and '05. The Cards prevailed in a seven-game thriller in '04 that, with the Red Sox and Yankees doing their aforementioned thing over in the AL, didn't get the eyes it deserved. In '05, the Astros got their revenge, but not before Pujols hit a home run bigger than the great state of Texas.

It was 4-2 Astros in the top of the ninth, two on, two out, with Brad Lidge on the hill and Pujols at the plate. Lidge got ahead 0-1, and then "The Machine" flipped on. Pujols hit the ball -- or what was left of it -- to the train tracks at Minute Maid Park to give the Cards the go-ahead run in a 5-4 win.

Video: NLCS Gm5: Pujols jacks a mammoth three-run shot

"People that were there say you could hear a pin drop, that it was dead silence," Brewers first baseman Eric Thames said. "Lidge was the most dominant closer in the game at that time."

That the Astros went on to win Game 6 feels almost trivial here, because, for a couple of surveyed players, the memories of the homer have somehow exceeded the memories of the ultimate series result.

"The swing," Thames said. "Bam! Smell ya! I can imagine being a player on that [Astros] team, and it was like your heart was ripped out."

Taillon -- who, yes, was already quoted earlier in this piece, but couldn't limit himself to just one memory -- was watching on TV from his Houston-area home and can attest to that feeling.

"I was, like, a fan fan, bigtime Astros fan," he said. "That one hurt."

2002 World Series, Game 2: The Barry Bonds Homer

The Giants lost this game. The Giants lost this Series. The "Rally Monkey" and his cohorts on the Angels would have the last laugh.

But when the game's most feared slugger hits a ball an estimated 485 foot for a solo shot in the ninth inning off one of the game's best closers in Troy Percival, people remember.

Video: 2002 WS Gm2: Bonds hits a monster shot to right field

Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez remembered.

"It disappeared in the sky," he said of Bonds' blast.

Actually, it went through a tunnel halfway up the right-field bleachers at Angel Stadium, bouncing off a concession stand.

"That was so impressive," Gonzalez continued. "The Giants are down in the ninth inning, and the guy just silenced the entire stadium when he hit that homer. That's a homer that I'll always remember."

2006 NLCS, Game 7: The Endy Chavez Catch

Back in the days before catch probabilities, the eye test was all we had to evaluate the difficulty of an outfield defensive gem. But we're pretty sure, all these years later, that our eyes did not deceive us on the night of Oct. 19, 2006.

What we thought then is still true now: Chavez's catch, which robbed Scott Rolen of a two-run home run in a 1-1 tie in the sixth, was incredible.

Video: NLCS Gm 7: Chavez makes a spectacular catch

Even though the Mets went on to lose that game after Yadier Molina's uncatchable homer in the ninth, Mets fans will always appreciate Chavez's great glovework and his throw to double up Jim Edmonds at first. And nobody in Shea Stadium that night was more appreciative than the man on the mound, Oliver Perez.

"You ask anybody, and they say it's one of the best moments in baseball," a present-day Perez said. "The way he jumped to the ball, that was amazing, because he's a shorter guy [5-foot-11]. To get that ball and get the double play was amazing."

2013 NL Wild Card Game: The Pittsburgh Crowd

When the Pirates advanced to the postseason for the first time in 21 years, it was an occasion fit for a party. But the sold-out crowd at PNC Park was dressed for a funeral, with all-black attire as the go-to garb. Between that intimidating attire and the sheer sound of a crowd expunging two decades of sub-.500 finishes from their memory, it was an atmosphere, from the introductions onward, that those who were on hand won't soon forget.

"Andrew McCutchen kind of led that team to the playoffs," then-Pirates reliever Jared Hughes said. "That moment when they called his name and he tipped his hat to the crowd and they went nuts is what I remember most."

Johnny Cueto had the unfortunate assignment as the starter for the visiting Reds, who never had an answer for the Pirates or the crowd in a 6-2 loss.

Video: NL WC: Pirates fans cause Cueto to drop the ball

"The crowd was electric," then-Pirates catcher Russell Martin remembered. "They were chanting Cueto's name, and Cueto ended up fumbling the ball on the mound and kind of started laughing. The next pitch, I hit a home run to extend our lead, 2-0. … The energy and the sound of the crowd as I was rounding the bases? I'll never forget that. It felt like the ground was shaking beneath me."

2015 ALDS, Game 5: The Jose Bautista Bat Flip

The Blue Jays and Rangers had staged a scintillating series, and it was 2-2 in the top of the seventh of the Game 5 finale, when the Rangers took the lead in the weirdest way imaginable (or, really, unimaginable). Martin, at catcher, was throwing the ball back to pitcher Aaron Sanchez, and the ball hit Shin-Soo Choo's bat and rolled toward third. Rougned Odor hustled home from third, and, after an 18-minute review of the situation, the umpires ruled it was, indeed, a live ball and the run counted.

"Just to think about the way they scored the go-ahead run," said Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar. "I had never felt lower on a baseball field."

But in the bottom of the inning, Bautista hit the three-run home run that they'll be talking about in Toronto for an eternity, with a bat flip that would both cause future fracases and cement his legend up north.

Video: Must C Clutch: Bautista's blast puts Blue Jays ahead

"Then, I had never been higher," Pillar added.

Heck, even at least one member of the losing team still gets goosebumps over this one.

"You felt the crowd, and it was special," then-rookie Ranger Nomar Mazara said. "We lost, but I had a great time."

2010 NLDS, Game 1: The Roy Halladay No-Hitter

Sometimes the thing that's not supposed to happen happens. Lineups that advance to October are, by default, good, and they have ample time to prepare for an opposing pitcher or, at the least, adjust to what he's doing in-game. It was one thing when Don Larsen, of all people, was perfect in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series. But given the increasingly sophisticated video and statistical scrutiny of the opposition in the modern day and the overall decline of the complete game itself, an October no-hitter in more modern times just felt pretty impossible.

Until Roy Halladay did it on Oct. 6, 2010.

Video: CIN@PHI Gm 1: Halladay's historic 27 up and 27 down

"I was watching that game, and that was, like, unbelievable," Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson said. "I was watching that one all the way, watching how he attacked each hitter. I think that was really special to watch."

Halladay's gem has taken on added gravity in the wake of his tragic death last winter.

"I just remember him being part of so many underperforming teams and never being able to shine in the spotlight," Mets reliever Jerry Blevins said. "Then he gets a chance in the postseason and really proves what type of pitcher he is and on what level he is."

2016 World Series, Game 7: The Rajai Davis Homer, and the Cubs' Curse-Breaking 10th

Take a World Series matchup that features both 108-year and 68-year championship droughts, add a Game 7 that goes to extra innings, sprinkle in a little recency bias and it's no surprise that what happened at Progressive Field on the night of Nov. 2, 2016, garnered eight votes in our survey, including a few votes even from players who had nothing to do with it.

"I was in San Diego, sitting outside, and it was like 75 degrees," Pirates pitcher Steven Brault said. "Sitting outside on my parents' patio with a group of my family and a few of my friends watching the game, then the game was just incredible."

No moment from that game was more incredible than Davis' game-tying, did-that-really-just-happen dinger off Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the eighth. End result aside, that's still the moment that best defines the insanity of that evening.

Video: WS2016 Gm7: Davis ties game with clutch two-run homer

"That was a good pitch, 100 [mph] down and in, and he turned on it for a homer," White Sox pitcher Jace Fry said.

Added Twins catcher Chris Gimenez, who was with the Tribe then: "Everyone in the dugout blacked out. Nobody remembers it. I mean, we remember it, but next thing you know, we were on the field celebrating like we won the World Series."

In a true "fish in a barrel" situation, we asked Davis for his favorite postseason moment of all-time.

"That's my best one," he said with a smile. "I'm not being biased. It's just my favorite moment. If I told you how many times I've watched it, it wouldn't look good for me."

Knowing Davis' homer was bound to be the pick of every Indians player who was around in 2016, we thought we might get a little variety by posing our question to rookie pitcher Shane Bieber, who was still in the Minors back then.

Nope.

"Raj's home run," he said, beaming. "I was losing my mind that game. I was in San Jose at my buddy's house. I was just absolutely losing my mind between that homer and then the back and forth and the rain delay. The whole thing was crazy."

And of course, we surveyed a few Cubs, too. So… care to guess which moment 2016 World Series MVP Ben Zobrist went with as his postseason pick?

Video: WS2016 Gm7: Zobrist grinds out hit for go-ahead run

"Getting that hit down the line [to score the go-ahead run in the 10th]," Zobrist said. "They play it at Wrigley on the video before we run out on the field, and, every time I see it, I still get chills from that moment. It still reminds me of rounding first and getting to second and not being able to contain yourself, feeling the elation. I always think of that when I see it."

That's why we watch. And that's why we remember.

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

Alonso rides wave of huge season into AFL

MLB.com @JonathanMayo

It would be easy for Peter Alonso to think he has nothing left to prove at the Minor League level. After all, the first baseman and Mets' No. 2 prospect tied for the Minor League lead in home runs in 2018 with 36, topped the Minors with 119 RBIs while finishing with an outstanding .285/.395/.579 line. Mets fans spent much of the second half of the season clamoring for him to be called up, though that call didn't come this year.

Alonso, however, isn't one to rest on his laurels. He's more than happy to be playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions in this year's Arizona Fall League so he truly is ready for his first trip to Citi Field.

It would be easy for Peter Alonso to think he has nothing left to prove at the Minor League level. After all, the first baseman and Mets' No. 2 prospect tied for the Minor League lead in home runs in 2018 with 36, topped the Minors with 119 RBIs while finishing with an outstanding .285/.395/.579 line. Mets fans spent much of the second half of the season clamoring for him to be called up, though that call didn't come this year.

Alonso, however, isn't one to rest on his laurels. He's more than happy to be playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions in this year's Arizona Fall League so he truly is ready for his first trip to Citi Field.

Arizona Fall League overviews for all 30 teams

"It's what every baseball player dreams of," Alonso said of that first callup. "I'm working hard every single day and I can't wait for that opportunity, so this is a good place to keep getting better and keep growing as a player.

"Everything is a primary focus for me. Every person has something they need to improve on and I'm just taking advantage of this to improve offense, defense and baserunning. I just want to elevate my play to the highest level I can get it and I just want to be the best possible player I can be."

Few doubt Alonso's ability to impact the game with his bat. His right-handed power is legit and his approach at the plate (76 walks) points to an ability to continue tapping into that power. It's one of the reasons why Alonso is relishing even more playing time this fall after a regular season that saw him play 132 games and collect 478 at-bats.

"I like playing more games," Alonso said. "Playing every day, it's quick feedback, it's making adjustments quicker because you have a game every day. You can work on some of the things that didn't work the night before or if you have a lot of good momentum going, then it's easier to carry out day to day."

The one area of his game that has drawn some concern has been his work at first base. He is limited to the corner infield position and has struggled some at times, but he's worked tirelessly at that part of his game, refusing to be a bat-only type of player. And it's clear the fact that people doubt his glove work has served as motivation.

"I think the light went on in Vegas," Alonso said. "Everything has really clicked and I'm really proud of all the work I've done. Since July through now, I've felt awesome. My improvements have been great, but I'm looking to keep building and stay consistent. I want to keep this rolling just so I can prove some people wrong with some misunderstood thoughts about me."

Mets hitters in the Fall League

Andres Gimenez, SS: The Mets' top prospect and Futures Game participant had a terrific 2018 campaign, reaching Double-A before his 20th birthday, and finishing with a .281/.347/.409 line and a system best 38 stolen bases while playing outstanding defense at shortstop. He's seeing some time on both sides of second base in the AFL while getting more experience against advanced pitching.

Video: Top Prospects: Andres Gimenez, SS, Mets

Ali Sanchez, C: A tremendous defensive catcher, Sanchez's bat woke up a bit in 2018 as he set career highs in total bases, extra-base hits and OPS. He also got more at-bats (328) than he has in any previous season, adding more to that total this fall to potentially prepare him for a jump to Double-A.

Desmond Lindsay, OF: The 2015 second-round pick has long tantalized with his tools, but he's had trouble staying healthy and he again spent time on the disabled list in 2018, though his 90 games and 314 at-bats represent career highs. He's on the taxi squad for the Scorpions, meaning he's only playing twice a week, giving him a brief look at a level of pitching he has yet to face.

Video: Lindsay on his 2 homers in Arizona Fall League game

Mets pitchers in the Fall League

Gerson Bautista, RHP: One of three relievers the Mets got in 2017 in the Addison Reed deal, Bautista made his big league debut in 2018 despite a 5.14 ERA across Double- and Triple-A. While he missed a lot of bats (12.7 K/9), he was far too hittable (12.1 hits per nine, .314 BAA) in the Minors, so he'll be working on command within and outside of the strike zone this fall.

Video: WSH@NYM: Bautista notches his first career strikeout

Matt Blackham, RHP: The 2014 draftee missed all of the 2016 season with elbow issues, but he has come back and thrown well in relief, reaching Double-A in 2018. He's proven very tough to hit (.170 BAA and 11.7 K/9 in 2018) with his 91-95 mph fastball and above-average breaking ball. He's working this fall on the consistency of that curve and his fastball command (5.4 BB/9 this year)

Stephen Nogosek, RHP: Another reliever the Mets got from the Red Sox in the 2017 Addison Reed deal, Nogosek pitched his way to Double-A in 2018 and overall missed bats (10.0 K/9, .198 BAA), but really struggled with command (6.7 BB/9), especially in Double-A (9.5 BB/9). He'll work on finding the strike zone more consistently this fall for a potential return to Binghamton next year.

Joe Zanghi, RHP: The right-handed reliever dominated in the Florida State League, but struggled more at the upper levels with his 91-95 mph fastball and average slider. The Mets sent him to the Fall league mostly to give him more experience facing advanced hitters.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

How Mets fared in Monday's AFL action

MLB.com

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Monday:

• GamedayGlendale 6, Peoria 2 | Salt River 8, Surprise 5 | Mesa 2, Scottsdale 1

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Monday:

• GamedayGlendale 6, Peoria 2 | Salt River 8, Surprise 5 | Mesa 2, Scottsdale 1

AL East

Blue Jays (Surprise)
Baseball's top prospect, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., was in action for the Saguaros on Monday. Guerrero went 1-for-4 and singled in his first at-bat against Salt River. He's hitting an AFL-leading .485 for Surprise.

2018 Arizona Fall League rosters

Orioles (Glendale)
The Orioles' No. 12 prospect, outfielder Ryan McKenna, knocked a two-run double for Glendale and was 1-for-5. Second baseman Steve Wilkerson went 0-for-4 with a walk, and catcher Martin Cervenka was 0-for-4.

Rays (Peoria)
Right-hander Brandon Lawson gave up two runs and struck out four batters in three innings of relief. Rays No. 17 prospect Joe McCarthy batted 1-for-4, and No. 25 Ryan Boldt went 0-for-3.

Red Sox (Mesa)
Four of the Red Sox's top 10 prospects were in action on Monday for Mesa, with relief pitcher and No. 9 prospect Mike Shawaryn leading the way by striking out two in a clean eighth inning. No. 7 prospect Darwinzon Hernandez also pitched a wild but scoreless sixth in which he walked two batters. First baseman Josh Ockimey (No. 10) was 1-for-3 but was picked off of first base, while third baseman Bobby Dalbec (No. 6) was 0-for-4 with a trio of strikeouts.

Yankees (Glendale)
Yankees No. 2 prospect (No. 45 overall) Estevan Florial with 2-for-4 with a single, a triple, an RBI and a run scored in Glendale's win. New York's 16th-ranked prospect, Thairo Estrada, added a single and a run (1-for-4). More »

Video: Florial on improving in the Arizona Fall League

AL Central

Indians (Glendale)
Yu Chang, Cleveland's No. 6 prospect, led the way for Glendale with a multi-hit performance. He clubbed a two-run homer in the fifth inning, his first of the fall, and also swiped a base. Connor Marabell went 1-for-4 with a run scored, and Jared Robinson tossed a scoreless inning of relief, allowing one hit. Right-hander Dalbert Siri surrendered one of two Peoria runs and struck out two batters in his one-inning relief appearance.

Royals (Surprise)
Royals No. 2 prospect Khalil Lee hit 1-for-4, and right-hander Grant Gavin tossed two scoreless frames. Gavin gave up one hit, issued a walk and picked off a runner at first.

Tigers (Mesa)
Left-hander Gregory Soto, the Tigers' No. 14 prospect, held up his end of a pitchers' duel on Monday, scattering two hits and a walk in five innings while striking out five and facing one over the minimum. No. 8 prospect Daz Cameron, the center fielder, tripled, scored a run and stole a base, while catcher Jake Rogers (No. 12) was 0-for-3.

Twins (Salt River)
Jaylin Davis contributed with both his arm and bat on Monday, going 1-for-4 with a leadoff single in the eighth inning and recording an outfield assist in the first inning, when he threw out Guerrero Jr. from left field as he tried to stretch a single into a double.

White Sox (Glendale)
The No. 4 prospect for the White Sox, Luis Robert, was 1-for-4 with a run scored and a strikeout as Glendale's designated hitter. Right-hander Zach Thompson hurled two perfect innings of relief and struck out five of the six batters he faced.

AL West

A's (Mesa)
Reliever Jake Bray allowed two hits and a run in the ninth inning, but earned his first save of the fall after preserving Mesa's thin lead. Shortstop Eli White, Oakland's No. 18 prospect, drove in both Solar Sox runs with a first-inning two-run single, while No. 30 prospect Skye Bolt walked, scored and stole a base. Left fielder Luis Barrera was 0-for-3. More »

Video: White on keeping momentum in the Arizona Fall League

Angels (Mesa)
While Angels No. 4 prospect Jahmai Jones was 0-for-4 with a strikeout, reliever Ryan Clark pitched a scoreless seventh for Mesa with a walk and a strikeout.

Astros (Scottsdale)
Center fielder Ronnie Dawson was 2-for-4 with his fourth double of the fall, and third baseman Abraham Toro-Hernandez, the Astros' No. 21 prospect, singled to start the ninth before coming around to score Scottsdale's only run. Right-hander Forrest Whitley (No. 2) took his first loss after allowing two runs in the first inning of his 4 2/3-inning outing, in which he struck out five, while reliever Erasmo Pinales retired the side in order in the eighth.

Mariners (Peoria)
Mariners No. 20 prospect Ian Miller hit a solo homer in the eighth inning and went 2-for-4 in Peoria's loss to Glendale. It was his first long ball of the fall. First baseman Evan White (Seattle's No. 2) went hitless in four at-bats but drew a walk and scored. Catcher Joe DeCarlo went 0-for-3.

Rangers (Surprise)
Rangers No. 2 prospect Julio Pablo Martinez stole the show on Monday for Surprise despite his team's loss, completing a cycle with two outs in the ninth inning with an RBI double as part of a 4-for-4 performance with a walk in which he scored or drove in four of his team's five runs. He tripled and scored in the first before homering in the third and hitting an infield single in the fifth. Joe Barlow struck out one batter in a scoreless ninth.

NL East

Braves (Peoria)
The Braves' No. 6 prospect, outfielder Cristian Pache, had a multi-hit game (2-for-4) and drove in a run with an RBI single in the first inning. Shortstop Ray-Patrick Didder went 0-for-3.

Marlins (Salt River)
Center fielder Monte Harrison, bumped to No. 2 on the Marlins' prospect rankings after the signing of Victor Victor Mesa, continued his torrid hitting this fall with a 3-for-5 performance from the cleanup spot, including a pair of RBI singles in the third and seventh innings. Second baseman Bryson Brigman, Miami's No. 27 prospect, was 1-for-4 with a single and a run. More »

Video: Harrison on improving in the Arizona Fall League

Mets (Scottsdale)
The only Minor Leaguer in action for the Mets on Monday was first baseman Peter Alonso, the No. 2 prospect in their system, who was 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts but drove in Scottsdale's only run with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly.

Nationals (Salt River)
Four Washington prospects helped pitch Salt River to its 8-5 win over Surprise on Monday, with starter and No. 23 prospect Luis Reyes allowing three runs, including a pair of homers, in 4 2/3 innings to earn his first win of the fall. Relievers Ben Braymer (1 1/3 IP) and Taylor Guilbeau (1 IP) followed before Jordan Mills pitched a perfect eighth to preserve Salt River's late lead. No. 2 prospect Carter Kieboom walked and stole a base, while catcher Tres Barrera (No. 15) went 1-for-4.

Phillies (Scottsdale)
Left fielder Austin Listi was 0-for-4 and designated hitter Darick Hall was 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts in Scottsdale's loss to Mesa on Monday.

NL Central

Brewers (Peoria)
Peoria starter Bubba Derby took the loss after allowing four runs on six hits and a walk in three innings of work. Relievers Jon Olczak, Miguel Sanchez and Daniel Brown each pitched a scoreless inning and struck out one batter each. Milwaukee's top prospect (No. 30 overall) Keston Hiura struck out in all four of his trips to the plate.

Cardinals (Surprise)
A trio of Cardinals prospects made up the bottom of Surprise's lineup on Monday, with second baseman Andy Young hitting a sacrifice fly, right fielder Lane Thomas going 2-for-4 with a run scored and catcher Jeremy Martinez going 0-for-4 from the No. 9 spot in the order. Starter Evan Kruczynski took the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) in a 4 2/3-inning outing and was relieved by No. 30 prospect Connor Jones, who was tagged for four runs in 1 1/3 innings.

Cubs (Mesa)
Cubs No. 6 prospect Nico Hoerner was the team's only prospect to play on Monday, knocking his first double of the fall and striking out twice in four at-bats.

Pirates (Surprise)
All three Pirates prospects that played Monday tallied hits, with shortstop Cole Tucker (No. 5) going 1-for-3 with a first-inning RBI single and a walk, designated hitter Bryan Reynolds (No. 8) scoring after a sixth-inning single and first baseman Will Craig slamming a game-tying solo homer in the fourth inning, his second long ball of the fall.

Reds (Scottsdale)
Reds No. 8 prospect Shed Long was hitless in four at-bats in Scottsdale's loss to Mesa on Monday, while No. 23 prospect Alfredo Rodriguez was 0-for-2 with a walk.

NL West

D-backs (Salt River)
A pair of top-five D-backs prospects tallied hits on Monday, with designated hitter Daulton Varsho (No. 5) going 2-for-4 with a seventh-inning triple and a walk and scoring in all three of his trips on base. First baseman Pavin Smith (No. 4) extended Salt River's lead in the sixth inning with an RBI single as part of a 1-for-4 day. Kevin Ginkel pitched the ninth inning, finishing up the victory despite allowing a run on two hits.

Dodgers (Glendale)
Southpaw Ben Holmes picked up the win for Glendale with four innings of one-run ball. He held Peoria's lineup to three hits and a walk while striking out six batters and owns a 2.45 ERA this fall. The Dodgers' No. 26 prospect, Jordan Sheffield, struck out two batters in a perfect inning of relief, and first baseman Jared Walker went 1-for-4 with a run scored.

Giants (Scottsdale)
Three Giants prospects pitched in relief on Monday, with No. 19 prospect Melvin Adon striking out three of the four hitters he faced as the first Scottsdale pitcher out of the bullpen, while Chase Johnson and Sam Wolff both followed with hitless innings. Right fielder Heath Quinn, the Giants' No. 10 prospect, was 1-for-4, while catcher Matt Winn was 0-for-1 at the plate with a pair of walks but picked a runner off of first base.

Padres (Peoria)
Third baseman Hudson Potts was the lone Padres prospect in action Monday. He went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Peoria's loss to Glendale.

Rockies (Salt River)
Both No. 9 prospect Sam Hilliard and third baseman Josh Fuentes tallied two hits on Monday, with Hilliard, the right fielder, raising his fall average to .296 with a go-ahead RBI single in the fifth and an RBI triple in the seventh. Fuentes hit a two-run homer in the opening frame, his first round-tripper of the fall, and later singled and walked.

Mets, Syracuse reach long-term deal for Triple-A

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

NEW YORK -- With New York state luminaries and high-ranking Mets officials in attendance in Syracuse on Tuesday, the Mets announced a pending agreement to keep the organization's Triple-A affiliate there for at least the next quarter century. The Mets intend to sign a 25-year lease at NBT Bank Stadium, on which the state of New York, Onondaga County and the city of Syracuse plan to spend $26.25 million in renovations.

The team also announced that the Syracuse Chiefs will be rebranded the Syracuse Mets, effective immediately.

NEW YORK -- With New York state luminaries and high-ranking Mets officials in attendance in Syracuse on Tuesday, the Mets announced a pending agreement to keep the organization's Triple-A affiliate there for at least the next quarter century. The Mets intend to sign a 25-year lease at NBT Bank Stadium, on which the state of New York, Onondaga County and the city of Syracuse plan to spend $26.25 million in renovations.

The team also announced that the Syracuse Chiefs will be rebranded the Syracuse Mets, effective immediately.

"This has been a long road to get here," Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said. "It's a really exciting day for our franchise. I can't tell you how much we appreciate everything that's been done here for the Mets and for us here in Syracuse. It's amazing to see the change and growth that's happening here in central New York, and especially Syracuse. We're proud to be part of this community, and I give you my word that we will stay, and be here, and be part of this community for a long time coming."

Following six seasons with their top Minor League affiliate in Las Vegas, which presented numerous logistical issues, the Mets purchased the Syracuse Chiefs to ensure they would have a future home. They are now investing in their purchase. On hand Tuesday to make the announcement were Wilpon, general manager John Ricco and manager Mickey Callaway, as well as many New York state, county and civic government officials.

Stadium improvements "will be focused on the in-seat and in-venue experience, with an emphasis on technology," according to a release. The Mets also plan to renovate the stadium's team stores and improve its food and beverage vendors, with a focus on local products.

For New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who wore a royal blue Mets jacket handed down to him by his father, Mario Cuomo, the renovation is part of a greater commitment to making upstate New York a regional destination.

"Baseball has been engrained in Syracuse's history for more than 80 years, and this critically important investment will ensure that it remains an Amazin' part of this community's future for decades to come," Cuomo said in a statement. "By renovating this stadium, we are going to attract new and old fans alike, generate economic activity and increase tourism across the region and help foster the next generation of baseball greats."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets

Each team's most exciting postseason win

MLB.com @williamfleitch

I don't know about you, but I'm still shaking from Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between the Red Sox and Astros on Wednesday night -- an epic game with constant twists and turns, controversies and an unforgettable ending. That's the reason postseason baseball is so electrifying, and we'll be lucky to have another game even close to it this October.

But the crazy question is this even among the five most memorable Red Sox postseason victories? They've had a lot.

I don't know about you, but I'm still shaking from Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between the Red Sox and Astros on Wednesday night -- an epic game with constant twists and turns, controversies and an unforgettable ending. That's the reason postseason baseball is so electrifying, and we'll be lucky to have another game even close to it this October.

But the crazy question is this even among the five most memorable Red Sox postseason victories? They've had a lot.

Thus, today at The Thirty, inspired by that game, we're taking a look at the most exciting postseason win of the divisional era (since 1969) for each MLB team. This isn't necessarily the biggest win or most important win. It's just the most viscerally exciting one. Every team's got at least one. Some have plenty.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays: 1993 World Series, Game 6: Blue Jays 8, Phillies 6
There's actually a temptation here to go with Game 4 of this series, when the Blue Jays scored six runs in the eighth inning to take a 15-14 lead that would become the final score … but come on, a ninth-inning comeback that ends in a World Series title has to be the pick.

Video: '93 WS, Gm 6 PHI@TOR: Carter's walk-off WS homer

Orioles: 1969 ALCS, Game 2: Orioles 1, Twins 0 (11 innings)
How different was baseball 50 years ago? Orioles pitcher Dave McNally threw an 11-inning shutout in the first-ever ALCS. The Orioles won on a walkoff single by Curt Motton, who had 89 career RBIs over eight seasons. He got the hit off Ron Perranoski, the game's first reliever, who came in with two outs in the 11th.

Rays: 2008 ALCS, Game 2: Rays 9, Red Sox 8 (11 innings)
After losing Game 1 at home to the defending champs, the Rays fell behind 2-0 and 3-2, blew leads of 5-3 and 8-6, yet somehow hung in through 11 innings -- thanks in part to secret weapon rookie David Price -- before winning on Melvin Upton Jr.'s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded. The Rays would take a 3-1 series lead before finally eking out the series in Game 7.

Red Sox: 2004 ALCS, Game 4: Red Sox 6, Yankees 4 (12 innings)
It's not like the Game 5 14-inning marathon wasn't a stunner either, but the Dave Roberts steal is going to live longer than all of us.

Video: 2004 ALCS Gm 4: Roberts sets up, scores tying run

Yankees: 2001 World Series, Game 5: Yankees 3, D-backs 2 (12 innings)
So many games this series to pick from, but this is the one that had Yankee Stadium roaring the loudest.

Video: 2001WS Gm5: Brosius ties the game in the 9th

AL CENTRAL

Indians: 1995 World Series, Game 3: Indians 7, Braves 6 (11 innings)
It ended with Eddie Murray's walk-off single in the 11th, but it was wild long before that, with the Braves scoring three in the eighth to take their first lead of the game and the Indians tying it right back up in the next inning.

Royals: 2014 AL Wild Card Game: Royals 9, A's 8 (12 innings)
No Denkinger Game here. The Royals were toast in this game, trailing 7-3 headed into the bottom of the eighth. They scored three that inning, followed by the vroom-vroom Jarrod Dyson steal in the ninth that helped score the tying run. The A's then took the lead again in the top of the 12th, but the Royals won it in bottom half on Salvador Perez's single. They would win their next seven postseason games en route to the World Series.

Video: AL WC: Royals advance to ALDS on Perez's walk-off hit

Tigers: 1972 ALCS, Game 4: Tigers 4, A's 3 (10 innings)
No one remembers this game, mainly because the Tigers ended up losing the series, but the A's scored two in the top of the 10th to take a 3-1 lead. Detroit came back, largely because of an error by second baseman Gene Tenace, and won it on a walkoff single from Jim Northrup. This wild 10-inning postseason game still finished in three hours, four minutes, by the way.

Twins: 1991 World Series, Game 7: Twins 1, Braves 0 (10 innings)
Obviously.

White Sox: 2005 World Series, Game 3: White Sox 7, Astros 5 (14 innings)
Every game in this series was great -- it's the closest four-game sweep you'll ever see -- but this was the epic 14-inning game with Geoff Blum's homer in the top of the 14th that barely hung on. Forty-three players were used in this game.

AL WEST

Angels: 2002 World Series, Game 6: Angels 6, Giants 5
The Russ Ortiz keep-the-ball game, the Angels were down 5-0 and facing elimination heading into the bottom of the seventh. Two three-run innings later, they forced a Game 7 and won their first (and only) title.

Astros: 2017 World Series, Game 5: Astros 13, Dodgers 12 (10 innings)
We still can't believe this game happened.

Video: WS2017 Gm5: Astros come together to steal Game 5

Athletics: 1973 World Series, Game 3: A's 3, Mets 2 (11 innings)
It can be tough to pick one game when a team has lost 11 of its last 12 postseason series, so we'll go back to the 1970s, when the A's came back from a 2-0 deficit to win in the 11th inning in a game that featured Reggie Jackson, Tom Seaver, Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers, Sal Bando, Rusty Staub, Bud Harrelson and Willie Mays.

Mariners: 1995 ALDS, Game 5: Mariners 6, Yankees 5 (11 innings)
We all just remember the walk-off now, but this game had five lead changes leading up to the final wild play.

Rangers: 2011 ALCS, Game 2: Rangers 7, Tigers 3 (11 innings)
This series, strangely, had two different extra-inning games that the Rangers won by four runs. This was the most thrilling one, ending on Nelson Cruz's grand slam off poor Ryan Perry.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Cruz wins it with a walk-off slam in 11th

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves: 1992 National League Championship Series, Game 7: Braves 3, Pirates 2
Honestly, Pirates fans, I'm sorry to even bring this up.

Marlins: 2003 NLCS, Game 6: Marlins 8, Cubs 3
Sure, to Cubs fans this is a nightmare, but from the Marlins' perspective, this is one of the most amazing postseason comebacks of all time. (Sure, the answer here is probably Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, but that'd be too easy.

Mets: 1986 World Series, Game 6: Mets 6, Red Sox 5 (10 innings)
Authors have written novels specifically about this game.

Nationals: 2012 NLDS, Game 4: Nationals 2, Cardinals 1
A taut, well-pitched game that ended in Jayson Werth's big blast, which everyone thought would send the Nationals to the NLCS the next night (it didn't).

Phillies: 2008 NLCS, Game 4: Phillies 7, Dodgers 5
If you needed to explain the appeal of baseball to an alien, showing them the Matt Stairs homer in the eighth inning of this game would be a great place to start.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Stairs wallops a two-run homer to right

NL CENTRAL

Brewers: 1982 ALCS, Game 5: Brewers 4, Angels 3
The first World Series trip was clinched by Cecil Cooper's staggering single in the seventh inning of a decisive game.

Cardinals: 2011 World Series, Game 6: Cardinals 10, Rangers 9 (11 innings)
The second-easiest call on this entire list.

Cubs: 2016 World Series, Game 7: Cubs 8, Indians 7 (10 innings)
The easiest call on this entire list.

Video: Must C Championship: Cubs win the 2016 World Series

Pirates: 1979 NLCS, Game 2: Pirates 3, Reds 2 (10 innings)
The day after an extra-inning game, the Pirates played another one -- a back-and-forth battle in which the Pirates took the lead on Dave Parker's RBI single in the 10th and held on with Don Robinson in the bottom half.

Reds: 1975 World Series, Game 7: Reds 4, Red Sox 3
The dirty secret is that this game was just as exciting as Game 6, but nobody talks about it nearly as much, because more people are from the Boston area than the Cincinnati area.

NL WEST

D-backs: 2001 World Series, Game 7: D-backs 3, Yankees 2
There are a shocking number of blown saves by Mariano Rivera on this list.

Video: Must C Classic: Gonzalez walks off, wins World Series

Dodgers: 1977 NLCS, Game 3: Dodgers 6, Phillies 5
The Kirk Gibson moment is the great moment, but this one, which featured a wild three-run comeback in the top of the ninth with two outs, may have been even more of a nail-biter.

Giants: 2014 NLDS, Game 2: Giants 2, Nationals 1 (18 innings)
It seems impossible that a postseason game could go 18 innings. The hero of this game remains Yusmiero Petit, who sneaked in a one-hitter over six innings before the Giants won it in the 18th.

Padres: 1984 NLCS, Game 5: Padres 6, Cubs 3
The Cubs had a 3-0 lead headed into the bottom of the sixth, but Leon Durham's error opened the floodgates, and the Padres were off to their first World Series.

Rockies: 2007 NL West Tiebreaker Game: Rockies 9, Padres 8 (13 innings)
Not technically a postseason game, but it doesn't matter, because Matt Holliday didn't touch the plate, and it didn't matter.

Video: Holliday scores the game-winning run

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.

Alonso draws bases-loaded walk for win in 11th

MLB.com @JimCallisMLB

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Peter Alonso's bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 11th gave the Scottsdale Scorpions a 2-1 victory Wednesday night in the Arizona Fall League, extending the Glendale Desert Dogs' season-opening losing streak to seven straight.

The AFL uses several experimental rules, one of which places a baserunner on second base to start every extra inning and another which limits games to 11 innings. After Arquimedes Gamboa (Phillies) began the bottom of the 11th by advancing Andres Gimenez (Mets) to third base on a fly ball to right, Glendale left-hander Tyler Erwin intentionally walked C.J. Hinojosa (Giants), then issued free passes to pinch-hitter Austin Listi (Phillies) and Alonso (Mets) on four pitches each to end it.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Peter Alonso's bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 11th gave the Scottsdale Scorpions a 2-1 victory Wednesday night in the Arizona Fall League, extending the Glendale Desert Dogs' season-opening losing streak to seven straight.

The AFL uses several experimental rules, one of which places a baserunner on second base to start every extra inning and another which limits games to 11 innings. After Arquimedes Gamboa (Phillies) began the bottom of the 11th by advancing Andres Gimenez (Mets) to third base on a fly ball to right, Glendale left-hander Tyler Erwin intentionally walked C.J. Hinojosa (Giants), then issued free passes to pinch-hitter Austin Listi (Phillies) and Alonso (Mets) on four pitches each to end it.

Gameday

2018 Arizona Fall League rosters

"I like the old-fashioned way better," Alonso said of the runner-on-second rule. "There's nothing like an 18-inning grinder game where you and your boys just have to battle through some adversity. I think there's nothing sweeter than that."

Though Alonso didn't get a chance to swing the bat to end the game, he has made the most of his opportunities in the first week of the AFL season. He's batting .385/.484/.692 through seven games and is tied for the league lead in homers (two) while ranking fourth in slugging and RBI (seven).

Alonso also thrived during the regular season, hitting .285/.395/.579 between Double-A and Triple-A while leading the Minors in homers (36) and RBI (119). He took some time off afterward, including a vacation to Cabo, and has continued to rake.

Pipeline names Alonso Mets' Prospect Hitter of the Year

Though he has played by far more games this year than any in the past, Alonso said his body and mind feel fresh and he's happy to get the opportunity for more action in the AFL.

"I like playing more games," said Alonso, a 2016 second-round pick out of Florida. "Playing every day, it's quick feedback, you can make quick adjustments . . . It's really nice because you can work on some of the things that didn't go right the night before or if you have a lot of good momentum going, it's easy to carry it out day to day."

Even with all of his success at the plate, Alonso said he's continuing to refine his offensive game by trying to improve his pitch selection and plate discipline. And while it's his bat that makes him baseball's best first-base prospect, he's working diligently to silence critics of his defense.

"The light went on in [Triple-A Las] Vegas," Alonso said. "Everything has really clicked and I'm really proud of all the work I've done. Since July through now, I've felt awesome. My improvements have been great and I'm just looking to keep building and stay consistent, keep this rolling so I can prove some people wrong."

Scottdale improved to 4-3, moving into a three-way tie for first place in the East Division. At 0-7, Glendale is two games short of the worst start in Fall League history (0-9 by the 2007 Scorpions) and three shy of the longest losing streak (10 by the 2008 Salt River Rafters).

The two teams managed just five hits apiece, with Desert Dogs center fielder Luis Alexander Basabe (White Sox) the only player to tally two hits. Both lefty starters, Glendale's Chris Lee (Orioles) and Scottsdale's Garrett Williams (Giants), twirled four scoreless innings apiece. Lee, who sat at 92-94 mph with his fastball against the Scorpions, tops the AFL with six scoreless innings in two starts.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Pipeline names Mets' Prospects of the Year

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

NEW YORK -- In many ways, the saga surrounding the Mets' decision to keep Peter Alonso in the Minors all year overshadowed the rather spectacular nature of his season itself. In 132 games, Alonso hit 36 home runs, including a walk-off on the final pitch of the Triple-A Las Vegas season. He knocked in 119 runs. He posted a .975 OPS. He submitted, statistically speaking, the best offensive season of any first-base prospect in the country.

NEW YORK -- In many ways, the saga surrounding the Mets' decision to keep Peter Alonso in the Minors all year overshadowed the rather spectacular nature of his season itself. In 132 games, Alonso hit 36 home runs, including a walk-off on the final pitch of the Triple-A Las Vegas season. He knocked in 119 runs. He posted a .975 OPS. He submitted, statistically speaking, the best offensive season of any first-base prospect in the country.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

For that reason, Alonso was named MLB Pipeline's Mets Hitting Prospect of the Year. Left-hander David Peterson is the organization's Pitching Prospect of the Year, as chosen by MLB Pipeline staff. To receive consideration, players must have spent at least half the year in the Minors, and appeared on their organization's Top 30 Prospects list.

"I just need to keep working, and getting better," Alonso said last month at Citi Field, where he was honored as the Mets' Minor League Player of the Year. "Every kid grows up in the back yard playing baseball with their dad, dreaming of being out there, playing on that field. It's going to be a special moment. You get to a point where I'm lucky to be playing. I know it's going to happen. I just have to continue to get better, and keep proving I can do it every single day."

Video: Alonso on significance of his final HR of 2018

Based on his performance, Alonso, the Mets' second-ranked prospect behind shortstop Andres Gimenez, deserved to end this season in the Majors. But 40-man roster concerns prompted the Mets to keep Alonso at Las Vegas, much to his frustration. It remains to be seen whether the former second-round Draft pick will break camp with the Mets next spring, or stay in the Minors as Dominic Smith, Jay Bruce and Wilmer Flores receive first-base reps.

"Everyone's trying to figure out a way, how to make the team," Alonso said. "It's a competition, but I just need to concentrate on playing the best ball I can play."

The same is true for Peterson, the Mets' first-round Draft pick in 2017 and currently their sixth-ranked prospect. In his first full professional season, Peterson dominated at Class A Columbia, posting a 1.82 ERA in nine starts. But Peterson scuffled a bit after the Mets promoted him to Class A St. Lucie, producing a 4.33 mark in his final 13 outings.

Video: Top Prospects: David Peterson, LHP, Mets

The left-hander profiles as a future cog of the Mets' rotation.

"You want to move as fast as possible," Peterson said. "Everyone's dream is to play here. But the only thing you can do is go out there every day, and play as hard as you can. The only thing I can control on a daily basis is what work I put in, how hard I work and the focus I put on my craft.

"Ultimately, I can't call myself up. I've got to wait for that call."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets

Key 2018-19 free agents for all 30 MLB teams

MLB.com

An impressive collection of talent will hit the open market when free agency gets underway this offseason, and players are eligible to sign with a new team five days after the conclusion of the World Series. Here is a division-by-division breakdown of the key free agents for all 30 Major League clubs.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

An impressive collection of talent will hit the open market when free agency gets underway this offseason, and players are eligible to sign with a new team five days after the conclusion of the World Series. Here is a division-by-division breakdown of the key free agents for all 30 Major League clubs.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Atlanta Braves
Key free agents: RHP Brad Brach, 1B Lucas Duda, 3B Ryan Flaherty, OF Nick Markakis, C Rene Rivera, RHP Anibal Sanchez, C Kurt Suzuki, LHP Jonny Venters

Markakis was a valuable member of a youthful Braves club in 2018, providing veteran leadership and making the All-Star team for the first time in his career. Atlanta has a stellar farm system that is loaded with pitching prospects, which is one of the reasons why Sanchez is unlikely to be back after his impressive rebound campaign. But without an obvious replacement for Markakis in right field, the door remains open for the soon-to-be 35-year-old to return. Suzuki has formed a productive catching tandem with Tyler Flowers over the past two seasons, but the 35-year-old may be too expensive to bring back for a part-time role.

Miami Marlins
Key free agents: None

The Marlins' roster is replete with players who are at the early stages of their big league careers, putting them years away from free agency. After trading multiple big-name players last offseason, Miami will likely now look to deal veterans Starlin Castro and Martin Prado, as they are owed nearly $27 million combined in 2019.

New York Mets
Key free agents: LHP Jerry Blevins, OF Austin Jackson, C Devin Mesoraco, RHP AJ Ramos, INF Jose Reyes

There's a chance the Mets won't bring back any of these players after they combined for -1.7 Wins Above Replacement in 2018, per FanGraphs. With Travis d'Arnaud, T.J. Rivera and Juan Lagares returning from injuries, the Mets have obvious replacements for Mesoraco, Reyes and Jackson next year. Blevins is more likely to be back than Ramos, whose recovery from right shoulder surgery is expected to extend into next June and possibly longer.

Philadelphia Phillies
Key free agents: 3B/OF Jose Bautista, INF Asdrubal Cabrera, LHP Aaron Loup, C Wilson Ramos

All four players on Philadelphia's list were acquired late in the 2018 campaign as the Phillies made a playoff push that ultimately fell short. Instead of bringing back Ramos, who is sure to fetch a sizable multi-year deal, the Phils may give 25-year-old Jorge Alfaro another chance to show he can handle starting duties behind the plate. Cabrera could be a fallback option if the Phillies are unable to land Manny Machado in free agency.

Washington Nationals
Key free agents: OF Bryce Harper, RHP Jeremy Hellickson, RHP Kelvin Herrera, RHP Greg Holland, 1B Mark Reynolds, C Matt Wieters

Harper will be one of the top free agents available this offseason, and the Nats will likely make a major push to keep him in Washington. The club might also be interested in bringing back Holland and Hellickson, but the two righties are sure to draw interest from other clubs after boosting their value with the Nats. Washington is expected to try to upgrade at the catcher spot, which could leave Wieters looking for a new home.

NL CENTRAL

Chicago Cubs
Key free agents: RHP Jesse Chavez, LHP Jorge De La Rosa, LHP Jaime Garcia (club option), LHP Cole Hamels (club option), OF Jason Heyward (can opt out of his contract), RHP Brandon Kintzler (club and player options), 2B Daniel Murphy, RHP Pedro Strop (club option), LHP Justin Wilson

The Cubs have many decisions to make this offseason, most notably regarding the $20 million club option for Hamels, who was acquired from the Rangers at the non-waiver Trade Deadline and recorded a terrific 2.36 ERA over 12 starts. They also have a bevy of bullpen arms that are set to depart or have club options. The Cubs could try to retain Chavez and Strop, and Murphy could also be back (particularly given Addison Russell's suspension), as president of baseball operations Theo Epstein spoke highly of the second baseman's contributions after his acquisition from the Nationals.

Cincinnati Reds
Key free agents: RHP Matt Harvey

Cincinnati elected to keep Harvey at the non-waiver Trade Deadline instead of flipping him to a contender, and now face a decision about the right-hander, given that he has expressed openness to returning and the Reds will be seeking starting pitching depth this offseason. Outside of Harvey, the Reds don't have any key departures or options to worry about this winter, though Scooter Gennett and Billy Hamilton are due for free agency following the 2019 season.

Milwaukee Brewers
Key free agents: LHP Gio Gonzalez, OF Curtis Granderson, RHP Jeremy Jeffress (club option), LHP Dan Jennings, C Erik Kratz, RHPJordan Lyles (club option), LHP Wade Miley, 3B Mike Moustakas (mutual option), IF Eric Sogard, RHP Joakim Soria (club option)

The Brewers have most of their pitching depth locked up beyond this season, with Gonzalez, an in-season acquisition, and Miley, who was initially signed to a Minor League contract before the season, the only two starters set for free agency this offseason. Soria, a key piece of the Brewers' bullpen in their playoff run, has a $10 million team option for 2019, while closing option Jeffress has a much cheaper $3.175 million team option. The 38-year-old Kratz and 37-year-old Granderson are also bound for free agency. Given their security all over the roster, the Brewers are set to contend again in 2019 even if they don't make a big offseason splash.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Key free agents: IF/OF Josh Harrison (club option), IF Jung Ho Kang (club option), SS Jordy Mercer

After making a splash by trading for Chris Archer in 2018, the Pirates appear to be mostly set with their pitching staff but will be looking for a bat in the offseason, likely at shortstop, especially if they don't end up bringing Kang back after his late-season cameo. Even if they don't make a Manny Machado-sized splash at shortstop, the market is deep this offseason, with Jose Iglesias, Freddy Galvis and Adeiny Hechavarria among the names that will be in play. It seems unlikely that the Pirates will pick up Harrison's $10.5 million option.

St. Louis Cardinals
Key free agents: 1B Matt Adams, RHP Bud Norris, C Francisco Pena, RHP Tyson Ross

Adam Wainwright already avoided free agency by agreeing to a one-year deal to return for his 15th season with the Cardinals. Improving the bullpen to build around Jordan Hicks will be a priority for the Cardinals, especially with the departure of Norris, who provided stability at closer for much of the season. Though Adams likely won't be on the Cardinals' radar again, St. Louis is thought to be looking for an impact left-handed hitter, with needs at outfield and third base.

NL WEST

Arizona Diamondbacks
Key free agents: RHP Clay Buchholz, LHP Patrick Corbin, RHP Randall Delgado, 2B Daniel Descalso, LHP Jake Diekman, 1B Paul Goldschmidt (club option), OF Jon Jay, C Jeff Mathis, OF A.J. Pollock, C Chris Stewart, OF Yasmany Tomas (player option)

The D-backs could lose two key contributors this winter, with Corbin and Pollock likely to exceed Arizona's price range, but Buchholz, Descalso and Mathis are strong candidates to return. Neither Goldschmidt nor Tomas is expected to hit the open market. The D-backs are sure to pick up Goldschmidt's $14.5 million club option for 2019, and Tomas will undoubtedly exercise his player options for '19-20, valued at $15.5 million next year and $17 million in '20, after spending all of '18 in the Minors.

Colorado Rockies
Key free agents: C Drew Butera, OF Carlos Gonzalez, OF Matt Holliday, 2B DJ LeMahieu, RHP Seunghwan Oh (club option), RHP Adam Ottavino, OF Gerardo Parra

The Rockies will have to decide whether they want to compete for LeMahieu this winter or if they're ready to turn the reins at second base over to one of their middle-infield prospects, Garrett Hampson and Brendan Rodgers. They also face decisions in the outfield, where Gonzalez, Parra and Holliday are impending free agents, and in the bullpen with Ottavino and Oh, who has a $2.5 million option for 2019 with a $250,000 buyout.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Key free agents: RHP John Axford, 2B Brian Dozier, C Yasmani Grandal, RHP Daniel Hudson, LHP Clayton Kershaw (opt out), SS Manny Machado, RHP Ryan Madson, LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu

Machado is among the headliners in this year's star-studded free agent class, and longtime Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw could add his name to the mix if he opts out of his contract. The Dodgers will try to retain Machado, whom they acquired from the Orioles at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, but they'll have stiff competition as he's likely to cash in for a big payday. The oft-injured Ryu posted a 1.97 ERA through 15 regular season starts in 2018 and pitched well in the playoffs to improve his stock heading into free agency.

San Diego Padres
Key free agents: C A.J. Ellis, SS Freddy Galvis

The Padres' 2018 roster will remain mostly intact with only Galvis and Ellis entering free agency, and both are candidates to return. Ellis is less likely to be re-signed, however, with young catchers Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia in the mix. San Diego may also let Galvis walk if he wants a multi-year deal, with Fernando Tatis Jr. (San Diego's No. 1 prospect, per MLB Pipeline) nearing big league readiness and Luis Urias (San Diego's No. 4 prospect) likely to take over as the club's starting second baseman in 2019.

San Francisco Giants
Key free agents: OF Gregor Blanco, RHP Madison Bumgarner (club option), LHP Derek Holland, C Nick Hundley, RHP Mark Melancon (can opt out of his contract), OF Hunter Pence, 3B Pablo Sandoval

The Giants are expected to pick up Bumgarner's $12 million option, and Melancon is almost certainly staying put for the final two years of his four-year, $62 million deal, but the club will likely part ways with veterans Pence and Blanco. The Giants may try bring back Holland, who enjoyed a bounceback campaign and anchored an injury-riddled Giants rotation in 2018, and Hundley, who capably backed up Buster Posey.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Baltimore Orioles
Key free agents: OF Adam Jones

The O's list has just one man on it, as they traded nearly every player on an expiring contract, including Manny Machado, Zach Britton and Brad Brach, during their 2018 roster purge. Baltimore would have dealt Jones as well, but he was unwilling to waive his 10-and-5 rights. Jones may be interested in returning, but he would likely need to accept a significantly reduced role as the Orioles look to the future.

Boston Red Sox
Key free agents: RHP Nathan Eovaldi, RHP Joe Kelly, RHP Craig Kimbrel, 2B Ian Kinsler, IF Eduardo Nunez (player option), 1B/OF Steve Pearce, 2B Brandon Phillips, LHP Drew Pomeranz, LHP David Price (can opt out of his contract), LHP Chris Sale (club option)

Even if the Red Sox pick up Chris Sale's $15 million club option for 2019, which they likely will, and David Price doesn't opt out of the four years and $127 million remaining on his contract, they still have a number of important players hitting free agency. Kimbrel is the biggest name among them, though it's unclear if Boston will be willing to hand out a big contract for a player who regressed some from '17 to '18 and was shaky in the playoffs. The Red Sox will probably look to re-sign Eovaldi, who excelled after joining the club in a July trade (3.33 ERA, 2.88 FIP).

New York Yankees
Key free agents: LHP Zach Britton, OF Brett Gardner (club option), LHP J.A. Happ, SS Adeiny Hechavarria, RHP Lance Lynn, OF Andrew McCutchen, RHP David Robertson, LHP CC Sabathia, 2B/OF Neil Walker

The Yankees have a busy offseason ahead of them, especially on the pitching side of the ledger. Even if prospect Justus Sheffield is ready to claim a rotation spot behind Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka, that still leaves two open starting jobs. Meanwhile, the Yankees' vaunted bullpen could lose two key pieces in Robertson and Britton. Gardner was New York's longest-tenured player in 2018, but the club may pass on his $12.5 million club option ($2 million buyout) after the veteran outfielder posted a .690 OPS this past season.

Tampa Bay Rays
Key free agents: OF Carlos Gomez, RHP Sergio Romo

Romo was an integral member of the Rays' pitching staff for much of the 2018 season, racking up 25 saves and making five appearances as an "opener." However, he recorded a 10.00 ERA in September and will be 36 years old on Opening Day in '19. The cost-conscious Rays may opt to move on and give an opportunity to a younger alternative. As for Gomez, the veteran outfielder is unlikely to be back after posting a .634 OPS over 118 games in 2018.

Toronto Blue Jays
Key free agents: RHP Tyler Clippard, RHP Marco Estrada, 1B Justin Smoak (club option), INF Yangervis Solarte (club option)

Much like Baltimore, Toronto dealt many impending free agents during the 2018 season, including Josh Donaldson, J.A. Happ, Steve Pearce, Curtis Granderson and John Axford. With Rowdy Tellez looking ready for an expanded role at first base, the Jays could pick up Smoak's reasonable $8 million club option and then trade the veteran this offseason. Estrada is likely gone after recording a 5.27 ERA with a 4.97 FIP in 61 starts over the past two years, as the Blue Jays can likely get similar production from a younger and cheaper pitcher.

AL CENTRAL

Chicago White Sox
Key free agents: RHP Jeanmar Gomez, RHP Miguel Gonzalez, RHP Nate Jones (club option), LHP Hector Santiago, RHP James Shields (club option)

The White Sox are close to emerging from their rebuild, and the club could look for more pitching help this offseason, since Michael Kopech is now sidelined for 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. They have a $4.65 million option for Jones that they could exercise, but it seems unlikely that they'd exercise Shields' $16 million club option.

Cleveland Indians
Key free agents: RHP Cody Allen, OF Michael Brantley, OF Melky Cabrera, RHP Carlos Carrasco (club option), OF Lonnie Chisenhall, OF Rajai Davis, 3B Josh Donaldson, OF Brandon Guyer (club option), LHP Andrew Miller, LHP Oliver Perez, IF Adam Rosales, RHP Josh Tomlin

Miller headlines a productive crop of prospective free agents departing Cleveland this season, with outfield and the bullpen being the two areas that stand to be hit hardest by the departures. Allen, Brantley and Miller are eligible for the $17.9 million qualifying offer. The Indians do have some security in the bullpen with midseason acquisitions Brad Hand and Adam Cimber both controllable for several more seasons, but bolstering the relief corps will be an offseason priority for the Tribe, who got subpar seasons from both Allen and Miller in 2018. Outfield is also an area of need, especially if Brantley departs, with no clear-cut starter at any of the three spots entering the offseason.

Detroit Tigers
Key free agents: SS Jose Iglesias, LHP Francisco Liriano, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Iglesias, Liriano and the retiring Victor Martinez are the key departures for the rebuilding Tigers, who also dealt impending free agent Mike Fiers to the A's in August. The Tigers will likely be in the market for a shortstop, as they don't have an immediate heir lined up in the event of Iglesias' departure, and will likely look to add to the rotation.

Kansas City Royals
Key free agents: SS Alcides Escobar, RHP Jason Hammel (mutual option), RHP Wily Peralta (club option)

After trading Jon Jay, Lucas Duda, Kelvin Herrera and Mike Moustakas this season, the Royals figure to let Escobar walk, as Adalberto Mondesi is now their starting shortstop. The Royals will almost certainly pay a $2 million buyout to get Hammel off the books instead of exercising his $12 million mutual option for 2019, but they could bring back Peralta, their closer, on a cheaper $3 million team option, especially since they'll likely be looking for bullpen help this offseason.

Minnesota Twins
Key free agents: RHP Matt Belisle, 2B Logan Forsythe, C Chris Gimenez, 1B/DH Joe Mauer, 1B/DH Logan Morrison (club option), RHP Ervin Santana (club option)

The most pressing offseason question for the Twins will be at first base with the possible departure of Mauer to either free agency or retirement and Morrison's disappointing performance in 2018, after which the Twins are not expected to pick up his $8 million option for 2019. The departures of Forsythe, Brian Dozier (traded to Dodgers) and Eduardo Escobar (traded to D-backs) also leave openings in the middle infield for the Twins. The Twins need lots of help in the bullpen and could always use more starting depth, with Santana's option unlikely to be picked up.

AL WEST
Los Angeles Angels
Key free agents: RHP Jim Johnson, RHP Garrett Richards, RHP Junichi Tazawa, OF Chris Young, OF Eric Young Jr., RHP Blake Wood

The Angels will retain much of their core. Johnson will likely draw interest on the open market for clubs in need of dependable bullpen arms. Richards pitched well in 16 starts this season, but will be out of action until 2020 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Young also suffered a season-ending injury (labral tears in both hips) but is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Houston Astros
Key free agents: DH Evan Gattis, UTIL Marwin Gonzalez, LHP Dallas Keuchel, C Martin Maldonado, RHP Charlie Morton, LHP Tony Sipp

Keuchel figures to be one of the most sought-after starting pitchers on the market this winter. The 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner has spent his entire career with the Astros, but could anchor another team's staff in 2019. Morton also figures to draw considerable interest coming off his first All-Star season at age 34. Maldonado will be part of a deep class of veteran backstops.

Oakland A's
Key free agents: LHP Brett Anderson, RHP Trevor Cahill, RHP Jeurys Familia, RHP Edwin Jackson, OF Matt Joyce, 2B Jed Lowrie, C Jonathan Lucroy

The A's looming free agents are headlined by a pair of veterans in Lucroy and Lowrie. Lucroy is more likely to return with Franklin Barreto ready to take over as Oakland's everyday second baseman. Joyce is likely the odd man out in a crowded A's outfield. It's unclear if the A's will try to retain any of their veteran starting pitchers.

Seattle Mariners
Key free agents: 2B Gordon Beckham, DH Nelson Cruz, LHP Zach Duke, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, OF Cameron Maybin, RHP David Phelps, UTIL Andrew Romine, OF Denard Span (mutual option), RHP Adam Warren

Cruz represents the biggest free agent choice for the Mariners this winter. Both sides have expressed interest in a reunion, but Seattle must decide whether it wants to commit to a multi-year deal with the 38-year-old slugger or utilize that money elsewhere, with needs on the pitching staff and in center field. Span has a $12 million mutual option with a $4 million buyout. Iwakuma left the Mariners in September to pursue pitching opportunities in Japan.

Texas Rangers
Key free agents: SS Elvis Andrus (can opt out of his contract), 3B Adrian Beltre, C Robinson Chirinos (club option), RHP Bartolo Colon, RHP Doug Fister (club option), RHP Yovani Gallardo, LHP Matt Moore (club option), LHP Martin Perez (club option)

The Rangers are awaiting Beltre's decision on his baseball future, and if the third baseman opts to continue playing, they could re-sign him. Andrus could opt out of his contract, leaving four years and $58 million on the table, but is more likely to stay put. The Rangers will likely pick up Chirinos' option, and decline their options on Moore and Fister. Perez's option is for $7.5 million and it remains to be seen what Texas will do with the left-hander coming off a down year. Colon and Gallardo aren't expected to return.

Thomas Harrigan is an editor for MLB.com.

Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Every club's best individual playoff performance

From MadBum to Mr. October, these runs went down in franchise lore
MLB.com @williamfleitch

One of the many joys of baseball's postseason is how one player can make such an outsized difference. There's no better time for a player to go on a hot streak than in the playoffs, when he's able to carry his team for a whole series -- maybe even to a championship. Baseball is a game of ebbs and flows, of zeniths and nadirs, and everyone wants to break out and have a heater in October.

With that in mind, we look at the greatest postseason runs by a player on each of baseball's 30 teams. These are the sort of streaks that make legends in their hometowns ... the sort of runs we'll talk about forever.

One of the many joys of baseball's postseason is how one player can make such an outsized difference. There's no better time for a player to go on a hot streak than in the playoffs, when he's able to carry his team for a whole series -- maybe even to a championship. Baseball is a game of ebbs and flows, of zeniths and nadirs, and everyone wants to break out and have a heater in October.

With that in mind, we look at the greatest postseason runs by a player on each of baseball's 30 teams. These are the sort of streaks that make legends in their hometowns ... the sort of runs we'll talk about forever.

Note: We're sticking to the divisional era here, which goes back to 1969, and is the dawn of the modern postseason.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays: Paul Molitor, 1993
.447/.527/.851, World Series MVP
Everyone remembers the Joe Carter homer, but Molitor was a monster that whole postseason for the Blue Jays at the age of 37. He was terrific back in 1982 for the Brewers, too.

Orioles: Brooks Robinson, 1970
.485/.471/.788, World Series MVP
This was, of course, the same World Series in which he made the ridiculous play at third base … though with Robinson, it's always a question of which ridiculous play.

Video: #WeKnowPostseason: Robinson's Play

Rays: James Shields, 2008
2-2, 25 IP, 2.88 ERA
This is where the "Big Game James" nickname came from, even if it maybe lasted a year or two longer than it should have.

Red Sox: David Ortiz, 2004
.400/.515/.764, ALCS MVP
It's rather difficult, all told, to figure out which Ortiz postseason to pick: He had an OPS over 1.204 in October for all three of the Red Sox championship teams he played for.

Video: 2004 ALCS Gm7: Ortiz's homer gives Red Sox early lead

Yankees: Reggie Jackson, 1978
.417/.511/.806
The highest qualified OPS by Yankees are, in fact, 2018 Aaron Judge and 2006 Derek Jeter ... but how do you not pick Mr. October?

AL CENTRAL

Indians: Orel Hershiser, 1995
4-1, 35 1/3 IP, 1.53 ERA, ALCS MVP
The season with the other Indians' World Series loss -- no, the other one -- featured vintage Hershiser ... and he split a couple of duels with Greg Maddux in the World Series, too.

Royals: Danny Jackson, 1985
2-1, 26 IP, 1.04 ERA
Bret Saberhagen is remembered as the hero of this Royals team -- along with Don Denkinger, of course -- but Jackson was actually the best pitcher for the Royals that postseason.

Tigers: Alan Trammell, 1984
.419/.500/.806, World Series MVP
Trammell put the perfect capper on the Tigers' dream season. This was a quiet argument for Trammell's Hall of Fame candidacy.

Twins: Jack Morris, 1991
4-0, 36 1/3 IP, 2.23 ERA, World Series MVP
Speaking of the Hall of Fame ... this postseason is almost certainly why Morris currently has a plaque in Cooperstown.

Video: 1991 WS Gm7: Morris' 10-inning shutout

White Sox: Jermaine Dye, 2005
.311/.415/.444, World Series MVP
Several White Sox players had a higher OPS than Dye that postseason -- including Joe Crede, Scott Podsednik and Paul Konerko -- but you've got to go with the World Series MVP.

AL WEST

Angels: Francisco Rodriguez, 2002
5-1, 18 2/3 IP, 1.93 ERA
Back when there were more rigid bullpen roles, K-Rod was deployed liberally and devastatingly in 2002, back when he was 20 years old.

Astros: Carlos Beltran, 2004
.435/.536/1.022
Cardinals fans will be having nightmares about 2004 Carlos Beltran for decades to come ... and they won that series.

Video: 2004 NLCS Gm4: Beltran hits eighth homer of playoffs

Athletics: Dave Stewart, 1989
4-0, 32 IP, 2.25 ERA, World Series MVP
Stewart had a career 2.77 postseason ERA in 133 innings ... he would actually win the ALCS MVP the very next season, too.

Mariners: Ken Griffey Jr., 1995
.364/.442/.818
Jay Buhner was just as good as The Kid in 1995 ... but Griffey is Griffey.

Rangers: Juan Gonzalez, 1996
.438/.526/1.375
The Rangers actually lost this Division Series in four games, but good heavens, was Juan Gone ever a monster, hitting five homers in four games.

Video: 1996 ALDS Gm4: Juan Gonzalez's fifth home run of ALDS

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves: John Smoltz, 1996
4-1, 38 IP, 0.95 ERA
You could also go with Greg Maddux's 1995 run -- since the Braves won the World Series that year, after all -- and you wouldn't be wrong.

Marlins: Josh Beckett, 2003
2-2, 42 2/3 IP, 2.11 ERA, World Series MVP
After the Yankees and Red Sox had their first of two epic postseason battles, Beckett was happy to pick up the pieces in the World Series.

Video: WS Gm6: Beckett shuts out Yanks as Marlins win series

Mets: Bobby Ojeda, 1986
2-0, 27 IP, 2.33 ERA
Of all the great Mets starters on that team, it was Ojeda who had the best postseason.

Nationals: Stephen Strasburg, 2017
1-1, 14 IP, 0.00 ERA
Since we're excluding the Expos -- if we weren't, Steve Rogers in 1981 would be the obvious answer here -- we must dig into the gruesome land of the Nationals' postseason failures. Strasburg has the ultimate Nationals playoff line: 0 earned runs, 1 loss.

Video: WSH@CHC Gm4: Strasburg K's 12 over seven scoreless

Phillies: Cliff Lee, 2009
4-0, 40 1/3 IP, 1.56 ERA
Cole Hamels had the World Series MVP in '08, but Lee was actually better, in five more innings.

NL CENTRAL

Brewers: Ryan Braun, 2011
.405/.468/.714
This postseason performance feels like a lifetime ago, but it's one the Brewers sure would appreciate a repeat of.

Cardinals: David Freese, 2011
.397/.465/.794, NLCS MVP, World Series MVP
Freese actually struggled in the NLDS this season ... though he ended up making up for it.

Video: Must C Comeback: Freese's triple ties it up in ninth

Cubs: Jon Lester, 2016
3-1, 35 2/3 IP, 2.02 ERA, NLCS co-MVP
Lester still feels like the postseason starter Cubs fans trust most, and probably always will.

Pirates: Willie Stargell, 1979
.415/.435/.927, NLCS MVP, World Series MVP
He also shared the regular-season MVP Award this year, pulling off the rare trifecta.

Reds: Johnny Bench, 1976
.444/.464/.926, World Series MVP
Bench was as dominant as the Reds were in this matter-of-fact World Series sweep.

NL WEST

D-backs: Curt Schilling, 2001
4-0, 48 1/3 IP, 1.12 ERA, World Series co-MVP
Randy Johnson's line this exact 2001 postseason: 5-1, 41 1/3 IP, 1.52 ERA. That is ... difficult to beat.

Video: WS2001 Gm4: Schilling comes up clutch on short rest

Dodgers: Hershiser, 1988
3-0, 1 SV, 42 2/3 IP, 1.05 ERA, NLCS MVP, World Series MVP
Hershiser is the only pitcher to be on this list twice ... and how could he not be?

Giants: Madison Bumgarner, 2014
4-1, 1 SV, 52 2/3 IP, 1.03 ERA, NLCS MVP, World Series MVP
This is an obvious pick, but at this point I'd like to remind you that Barry Bonds put up a .356/.581/.978 in 2002.

Video: WS2014 Gm7: Bumgarner sets postseason innings record

Padres: Sterling Hitchcock, 1998
3-0, 22 IP, 1.23 ERA, NLCS MVP
He gave up only one earned run in six innings in his lone World Series start ... not that it did the Padres much good.

Rockies: Kaz Matsui, 2007
.304/.347/.500
It was a strange postseason for the Rockies in 2007, but if you forget the World Series happened altogether, it was a glorious one.

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.