I was reading through some posts about the Mets top prospects and thinking about who might make an impact at the Major League level in 2011. Baseball America compiled a solid list of the top ten in the organization back in mid-December:
Jenrry Mejia, rhp
Wilmer Flores, ss
Cesar Puello, of
Matt Harvey, rhp
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, of
Reese Havens, 2b
Lucas Duda, of/1b
Fernando Martinez, of
Aderlin Rodriguez, 3b
Brad Holt, rhp
For Mets fans, these are mostly familiar names. We’ve already seen plenty of Mejia, Duda, and F-Mart with the Mets. Bryan Smith of FanGraphs lists Flores and Harvey as the two “must follow” prospects in the Mets system. Smith doesn’t go as deep as the Baseball America post but he does go into more detail about Flores and the lofty comparisons that have been made to Miguel Cabrera.
As far as impact in the majors this year, I think we’ll see Mejia at some point during the season again. The Mets rotation looks very questionable with Chris Young and Chris Capuano working as reclamation projects. I don’t think anyone would be surprised if one or both went down with an injury for the season. F-Mart could get another shot with the Mets too if he can stay healthy and Carlos Beltran is injured or traded during the season.
Kerel Cooper of the On The Black and I got together again to talk about the state of the Mets. This week we cover spring training games starting, MLB issuing a secret loan to the Mets, the bullpen, and the candidates for the bench in 2011.
A couple of issues we talked about that are worth discussion are that I love Jenrry Mejia in the bullpen and hate Nick Evans coming off the bench. Check out the video below to see why.
A few of the Mets have started to arrive in Port St. Lucie over the last week. Pitchers and catchers will report by Tuesday. You can see the full spring training game schedule at the Mets site. Even though the full team hasn’t even arrived at PSL yet, there’s still plenty of news about the Mets over the past few days.
Here are a few of the stories that caught my eye this week:
It was another disappointing start for Jenrry Mejia getting rocked by the Phillies for 6 runs in 4 innings. The Phils just put together hit after hit against him. And Ryan Howard crushed a line drive homer over the wall in left field. I haven’t seen an opposite field home run like that at Citi Field.
The Mets did have a little offense going with 10 hits and 4 runs. Carlos Beltran even hit his first home run of the year left-handed. Josh Thole was 3 for 4 but had a bonehead play on the bases getting caught in a run down between third and home.
Jenrry Mejia made his first career big league start and it was a major disappointment. He didn’t get bombed but he didn’t look good either. He had Mike Nickeas catching for him in his Major League debut and the two of them looked befuddled. They should have had Henry Blanco catching for Mejia to keep him in check. Mejia threw way too many breaking balls and change-up’s for a 20 year old power pitcher. I was scratching my head wondering what they’re thinking about calling pitches.
The Mets offense was incredibly weak again with only 6 hits and 3 walks especially on a day when the wind was blowing out at Wrigley. The only notable games were from Carlos Beltran (3 for 4, SB) and Ike Davis (2 for 4, HR). Other than that it was a continuation of one of the saddest offenses in baseball.
The Mets drop the second game and lose the series in Chicago. Tomorrow they’ll be trying to avoid the sweep again. What else would you expect?
New York Mets (66-68) at Chicago Cubs (57-77) 1:05 pm
Jenrry Mejia (0-2 3.25) vs Carlos Zambrano (6-6 4.36)
TV: SNY Radio: WFAN
What to watch: Mejia makes his first Major League start this afternoon after being demoted to the minors in June. He had mixed results as a reliever and I’m still not sure that he projects as a successful starter. Zambrano has pitched really well since he returned from his suspension at the end of July. He’s only allowed 2 runs in his last 18.2 innings over three starts.
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The timing couldn’t be any worse for the Mets. The word from Metsblog is that Jenrry Mejia left yesterday’s start in the second inning with shoulder stiffness. He had only thrown 44 pitches and I’m sure we’ll be getting updates throughout the day. He was pitching for Double-A Binghamton.
The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is coming up on July 31 and the rumors are that the Mariners are ready to deal Cliff Lee now. The Mets biggest trading chip in the organization is suddenly damaged goods, possibly untradeable.
We’ll need to prepare ourselves for the cost of getting a Lee or Roy Oswalt to include Jon Niese. Sure, there are other good players in the organization. But these big deadline deals usually include some young, promising pitching.
Trade month is almost upon us, and the Mets definitely look to be buyers this season. With that said, any talk of trading Angel Pagan (selling high) needs to be thrown out immediately. I’m not saying the 29 year old will be a major cog in the next couple of years. Who knows? But it is simply a matter of depth.
Carlos Beltran’s knees are never again going to be a sure bet. Pagan is also not a player who has been kn0wn to avoid the disabled list. It doesn’t hurt having four more than capable outfielders sharing time. Just yesterday, Angel was pulling himself out of a game because of a strained muscle. Depth in the outfield, and in general, is essential and in our case could be a strength.
We all remember what happened in past seasons when we lost key players late. Losing Fernando Tatis in 2008 helped to make our offense as inept as any in baseball at that time. The year before, we lost an aging Alou and Valentin who were key offensive pieces. Depth will allow the hot bats to find the lineup and give a manager the ability to get more creative. Continue reading →