Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Prospect List Yields Crystal Ball

To those who missed it, Baseball America put together their post draft Top 10 Mets prospects assuming they sign all their draft choices:

1. Fernando Martinez, of
Still young and talented, but his lack of production may mean he's overhyped.
2. Ike Davis, 1b
Hulking lefthanded slugger can handle the outfield and pitch, too.
3. Reese Havens, ss
More likely a third baseman or possibly a catcher, stands out with approach and pop.
4. Jon Niese, lhp
Quietly having success in Double-A at age 21, he owns three solid pitches.
5. Dan Murphy, 3b
Having a breakout year with a .325 average and eight homers in Double-A.
6. Mike Carp, 1b
Back on track in Double-A after slumping in 2007, he's hitting .351 with nine homers.
7. Eddie Kunz, rhp
New York's top 2007 pick has held his own in Double-A in his first full season.
8. Brad Holt, rhp
2008 supplemental first-rounder can touch 96 mph, needs a reliable second pitch
9. Javier Rodriguez, of
2008 second-rounder is a lean athlete with speed and projectable power.
10. Nick Evans, 1b
Another Double-A masher (.295, nine homers), he destroys lefthanded pitching.

Four of those prospects (#2, #3, #8 and #9) were just drafted. Nathan Vineyard (injured), Bobby Parnell (awful April, but better since), Brant Rustich (just finding his way after being injured earlier this season) and Scott Moviel (Similar to Parnell with a bad start, but improving lately) are the ones that have been dropped from the opening day list.

So, what does this list tell us?

1) Nises is the only starting pitching prospect that might play a role in 2009. And since he is only at AA now, he might be better thought of as a 6th starter that can get his feet wet a bit next year and hopefully find a permanent spot in the rotation in 2010.

Meaning: Santana, Maine and Pelfrey are in the rotation in 2009 barring any health issues. Pedro feels he owes the Mets for missing so much time. If he stays healthy and pitches well, there is a good chance he will be back. Knowing his injury history, that is where easing in Niese fits in. Oliver Perez will most likely leave as a free agent. The Mets will again be shopping for a starting pitcher this offseason.

2) There is a decent chance Carlos Delgado's replacement is in-house. Mike Carp is tearing up AA and Ike Davis is a solid draft pick with some thump. Nick Evans, though rushed, has mashed lefties at all minor league levels. Even Dan Murphy may find himself in the mix.

3) Javier Rodriguez may be the top right-handed hitting prospect in the organization ... and he's 18.

Meaning: The right-handed balance that "special guest star" Moises Alou provides will need to be replaced by someone outside the organization.

4) Eddie Kunz will get a shot to be part of the bullpen next year. Add him to Duaner Sanchez, Joe Smith and the Mets might not need to spend too much time addressing the bullpen in the offseason.

Meaning: Aaron Heilman could be getting a needed change of scenery, but the Mets would be wise to wait until he rebuilds his value a bit.

Reyes, Castillo, Wright, Beltran,Church, Mr. X, Carp, Schneider might be your lineup next year. Finding the right Mr. X might be the key to the offseason.

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