Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spring Training, Finally!

Spring Training is finally upon us. Spring training is great because it prepares older players for the regular season while showcasing future talents. This year the Mets have a decent amount of talent some of whom have an actual chance of making the team.

Lefty Jon Niese and hard throwing righty Bobby Parnell arguably have the greatest chance to make the team. Parnell who relies on his mid 90s fastball needs to show he has improved his breaking pitches and is a more complete pitcher then last season. Niese has to show that he is more consistent and can truly handle being in the majors. Niese was rushed up to the Mets after making only a few starts in AAA. Niese started 3 games for the Mets while struggling in 2 and pitching 8 scoreless innings in the other game. Niese has a shot to be the 5th starter but he needs to outpitch solid competitors in veterans Freddy Garcia, Livan Hernandez, and Tim Redding.

Fernando Martinez is once again in camp. He is another year old and closer to finally reaching the Mets. Martinez has tremendous tools but has had problems staying healthy. Many people think Martinez will be called up around July but if he has a good spring he could reach the Mets even sooner.

The Mets have many other prospects in camp like Brad Holt and Dillon Gee, arguably there 2 best pitching prospects. Both will not make the team but it will give them good experience and a chance to show off there potential. Strong hitting catcher Josh Thole and shortstop Jose Cornado will also be in camp to name a few more prospects. Thole has been getting increasingly more popular as hit bat is improving and he might have surpassed Francisco Pena as the Mets top catching prospect.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Putz trade in the end

Earlier this off season the Mets acquired JJ Putz, Jeremy Reed and Sean Green for Aaron Heilman, Joe Smith, Endy Chavez, Jason Vargas, Mike Carp, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera and righty pitcher Maikel Cleto. Right now the trade seems like a steal but I would like to take a closer look to see who the Mets really gave up.

Everyone knows the big name players whom the Mets surrendered to the Mariners and Indians like Smith, Chavez, and of course Heilman. But many people do not know the young prospects who were traded and what their future might hold.

The top prospect the Mets gave up is first baseman and future DH Mike Carp. Carp is known for his bat and hit .299 with 17 home runs and 72 rbis last year for AA Binghamton as a 22 year old. Carp was highly regarded in before the 2007 season and was invited to spring training, but during the season he injured his hand and struggled in the power category for sometime afterwards. His lack of power was shown when Carp hit .243 and had 0 home runs in 2007 in the Arizona Fall League and still managed to be the AFL Prospect Team. Carp had a strong 2008 season which allowed to be used as the high chip prospect in this deal.

Lefty Jason Vargas was acquired in November of 2006 along with pitcher Adam Bostick in exchange for right-handed relievers Henry Owens and Matt Lindstrom. Vargas had a lot of potential when he arrived in New York but never lived up to it. He spent most of his time in AAA. In 2007 he started 2 games for the Mets, but he allowed 14 runs in 10.1. Vargas missed all of 2008 with injuries but faired well in the AFL as he had a 2.1 era. Vargas isn’t the young talent he was a few years back and at 26 years of age he better get it together if he wants to make it in the big leagues. I wouldn’t even really call Vargas a prospect anymore but he would be considered the 4 prospect in the deal.

Ezequiel Carrera is a pretty good outfielder with a lot of speed. He hit 263 in 2008 while stealing 28 bases. The 21 year old also managed 11 doubles, 12 triples, and 7 homeruns which shows he can hit for average and power and uses the entire field, indicated by the amount of triples. Carrera has also had high on base percentages, .344 in 2008. He had a pretty good amount of potential and is the number 2 prospect in the trade.

Maikel Cleto is a young 19 year old pitcher who pitched decently in 2008 for A- savannah. Cleto relies heavily on his fastball, as most young pitchers due. He allowed 140 hits, 34 walks, 81 strikeouts with a 4.25 era in 135.2 innings for the Gnats. He often struggles with his control which can be seen by the high number of hits and more importantly he surrendered 25 wild pitches. As a young pitcher he has to get better control of his good fastball and needs to become more comfortable with his breaking balls if he wants to find success. He is the number 3 prospect in the deal.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Pinch Hit Home Run

In tonight’s Caribbean Series game of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico Mets Prospect Fernando Martinez put the Dominicans ahead with a pinch hit 2 run homer. This put the Dominican Republic on top where they won 2-1.

The Mets have several players in the Caribbean Series. On the Dominican Team: pitcher Valerio De Los Santos, catcher Salvador Paniagua, and Fernando Martinez. On Puerto Rico: Catcher Robinson Cancel and outfielder Jesus Feliciano