Wright Hits the Top Spot
The maturation of David Wright has reached a point where he is no longer considered just one of the most talented players on the Mets. Wright, at the age of 23, already is pushing to be included among baseball's elite, and his offensive numbers this year suggest he will be granted membership to that exclusive club before very long.
Or as one scout put it this weekend in Phoenix, "In two or three years, this kid could be the best in the game."
The Universe is close to righting itself as David Wright takes his rightful position at the top of the All-Star voting for National League third baseman.
Third baseman David Wright made it three's company for the New York Mets.
Wright became the third Met to move to the top of the balloting in the latest National League All-Star voting released Monday.
Looking to become the first third baseman in franchise history to win a starting job in the Midseason Classic, Wright surpassed Scott Rolen of the St. Louis Cardinals to take the top spot with 661,184 votes. Rolen, who has won the fan balloting each of the last four seasons, is in second with 644,412 votes. Wright, who ranks eighth in the majors with a .336 average, would become the first Met third baseman since Howard Johnson in 1989 to start an All-Star Game. Johnson was filling in for the injured Mike Schmidt.
It is truly a changing of the guard for National League third baseman and it is fitting that he pushed Scott Rolen out of the top spot because he was the third baseman Wright was most often compared to.
Beltran is holding tight in the third spot for outfielders but Alfonso Soriano is only 1,000 votes behind him. Regardless who wins that third spot, both will be on the team so right now, it is just a starting spot for grabs. Ken Griffey Jr. is inexplicably in second with about a 24,000 vote lead and is the poster boy of why fans should not be allowed to vote for starters and why there should at the very least be a weighted system that takes the fans votes into account with players and/or writer's votes. But it's the fan's game I guess.....
Reyes also climbed a spot into the second spot for shortstops, but is still over 50,000 votes behind David Eckstein. Paul LoDuca should make it and Carlos Delgado might make it simply by default because even though Pujols is 1,000,000 votes ahead (yes...a million), he has no timetable for return at this point and may even want to take those days off to rest instead of push his body. With Mets having four or five position players position players and two starting pitchers probably going, it should be a fun year for Mets fans to watch the All-Star game.
SportsNation Buster Olney: Mike -- The Mets really have no reason to rush Pelfrey any time soon, because they're winning, Soler has been terrific, Duque is focused... And I heard from several evaluators that Pelfrey is still not close to being ready.
No reason to rush him to the bigs, but AAA should be around the corner.
Stephen (East Greenbush, NY): As a Mets fan, I think that when Xavier Nady is back the Mets should play Milledge in left one of three games, in right one of three games, and have Milledge, Floyd and Nady each play two of three games and be ready on the bench the other game. Does this sound logical to you? (Of course, Endy Chavez has been playing great too . . .)
SportsNation Buster Olney: Stephen: Agree with you totally. Got to keep the kid up; reminds you a little bit of Kevin Mitchell in '86, I bet -- guy with a lot of pop establishing himself.
Eh...not enthused about that. Milledge should be getting daily at-bats. This is an important year for him to get his at-bats and develop for 2007.
Jared (NJ): In your Dodger's response earlier did you mean there are no great teams in the National League overall or NL West Division?
SportsNation Buster Olney: Jared: To me, the Mets are the only outstanding NL team right now... No great teams in the West or Central (that can change, of course, depending on trades, and depending on how healthy Glavine and Pedro remain).
Preach on brother Buster.
Alex (NYC) : we are now more than one third through the season. Who do you think is the best team in baseball thus far?
SportsNation Steve Phillips: I still think the White Sox are the best team in baseball. When it comes to the depth and balance of the 25-man roster, the White Sox are the best. The honorable mention goes to the Tigers and Mets. But I still think the White Sox are the team to beat.
Thanks Steve. That means a lot coming from you.
James Boston: Gary, what happens to the Mets OF? Lastings shouldn't sit, but does he deserve to play? AAA bound?
SportsNation Gary Gillette: (4:19 PM ET ) Last Mets question for awhile...it's no secret for those who read my chats that I'm not a big fan of Xavier Nady and that I think Milledge is the real deal.
SportsNation Gary Gillette: (4:21 PM ET ) I'd try to trade Nady while his value is high and I'd play Milledge every day. But the Mets could hold both Nady and Milledge with the idea of playing them both in the corners next year when Floyd is almost certain to be gone.
Well, I guess what to do with Nady boils down to what you think of him. I personally think his value is high and I like him as a player. Gillette is not nearly as excited about Nady as I am and would cash his chips in if he was running the Mets. He does have holes in his swing and is susceptible to breaking pitches and pitches on the outside part of the plate. It warrants at least shopping him to see what can happen, but him and Milledge being around next year is not a bad thing.
Based on what he's done over his last three starts--and especially after what he did against Double-A Reading in his most recent outing--Mets righthander Mike Pelfrey tops our list this week.
Alay Soler might have beaten him to the big leagues, but the 2005 first-rounder might not be far behind.
Weird how many different takes you can read on one guy.
He started slow after his promotion to Double-A, but the Wichita State alum is firing on all cylinders now. In his last three starts, he has allowed just three runs in 19 innings while fanning 22 and walking four. He even had three hits in one of those starts. There are still concerns about his secondary stuff, but the former Shocker has blown away hitters with an electric fastball that sits in the mid-90s that he is able to command to all parts of the zone.
If Pelfrey was up now, there is no doubt in my mind he could succeed. However, we would see him throwing up a gem and then having a horrible start like Soler did against Arizona back on the 30th and having a real problem spotting his breaking stuff. He would be erratic for sure, which is why there should be no rush to the bigs with the Mets current rotation built as is.
Drew Butera got a special mention as well:
Drew Butera, c, Mets (Low Class A Hagerstown)
Already the best defensive catcher in the Mets system, Sal's son flashed some pop last week as he went 10-for-17 with two home runs. It might just be a fluky week, but he is worth monitoring when you consider his defensive skills. His explosion coincided with a recent hot streak from the Mets top catching prospect Jesus Flores, who is hitting .394 in June with three homers at high Class A St. Lucie.
BA did a mock draft for all the prospects in this decade and the buzz they generated at draft time. Scott Kazmir checks in at #12, Mike Pelfrey checks in at #20, Lastings Milledge checks in at #23, and Xavier Nady checks in at #26.
Jesus Flores, c, High Class A St. Lucie (Mets)
When it comes to position prospects, the Mets are awfully thin, but they entered the season with high hopes for Flores, despite the 21-year-old Venezuelan's miserable 2005 that was beset by injuries and an inability to hit (.216/.250/.339) in the Sally League. This year started much of the same, as Flores didn't get his batting average above .200 for good until May 5th. When he finally did, he went on a tear. Since getting over the Mendoza line, Flores is batting .336 (39-for-118) with ten doubles and nine home runs; on the season, nearly 55% of his hits (29 of 53) have gone for extra bases. Throw in some pretty good defensive skills, and you get a real catching prospect, one who makes other teams jealous.
Flores is on his way to proving that 2004 was no fluke and that he is a legitimate catching prospect.
Right now, he is committed to a Junior College, but is negotiating with the Mets. He was not heavily scouted as a Junior because Bryan Anderson, who was a catcher drafted by the Cardinals in 2005, overshadowed everyone and was the main attraction. This year, Nick had a stellar year in the toughest league in California, which is the Marmonte League. Due to some bad choices by some of their other players, he ended up being the main starting pitcher for Simi Valley and went 7-3 while putting up a 1.94 ERA. He also beat the previously undefeated and Nationally ranked number one team Agoura single-handedly by pitching a gem and hitting a Grand-Slam to win it.
Again, sorry for the mis-information and thanks to Tim for clearing this up. Regardless, hopefully Nick joins the Met organization as he sounds like a great player and great competitor.
The Mets have signed 17 of their 49 draft picks, including righthanders John Holdzkom (fourth round) and Steven Holmes (fifth round).
How valuable has Mussina been to the Yankees?
Remove his statistics, and the Yankees rotation ERA is 5.21 — worse than the Devil Rays.
Left-hander Pedro Feliciano has emerged as an important part of the Mets' bullpen, and one scout attributes his improvement to the influence of pitching coach Rick Peterson. Former major leaguer Buddy Groom became a solid left-handed specialist after Peterson persuaded him to change his delivery with the A's. Feliciano, 29, could be following a similar path — he has gone from a high three-quarters to low-quarters delivery, the scout says.