BP has their version of the Mets top ten prospects out and there are some surprises to say the least.
1. Fernando Martinez, cf
2. Philip Humber, rhp
3. Mike Pelfrey, rhp
4. Carlos Gomez, of
5. Alay Soler, rhp
6. Jon Niese, lhp
7. Kevin Mulvey, rhp
8. Mike Carp, 1b
9. Deolis Guerra, rhp
10. Joe Smith, rhp
Just for your edumacation, the Mets Inside Pitch's top ten....
1. Carlos Gomez
2. Mike Pelfrey
3. Fernando Martinez
4. Phil Humber
5. Brian Bannister
6. Mike Carp
7. Shawn Bowman
8. Jonathan Niese
9. Jesus Flores
10. Deolis Guerra
First, I was bit surprised Fernando was number one. With guys like Humber, Pelfrey, and even Gomez with tremendously high ceilings and extremely close to being ready, it was a shock to see him ranked above all of them. That's not to say you cannot argue the point and he does quite possibly have the highest ceiling of anyone in the system, but he's less of sure bet to hit that ceiling than Humber or Pelfrey because he is so young and in A-ball.
Second, it was the first time that Humber got his due from a baseball authority that I can remember and be ranked above Pelfrey. Mike Pelfrey is good and has the potential to be an ace, but Phil is also really sick and is more likely to reach his ceiling in my estimation.
Third, Alay Soler #5? Ahead of guys like Niese, Carp, Guerra, and Mulvey? Interesting to see him that high, but it does reinforce the idea that he could really help this team out of the bullpen.
It's interesting to note that when the updated PECOTA cards come out, his comps will include Jose Reyes and Miguel Cabrera, so the system doesn't know what he'll end up as either, other than really, really good.
All three pitches are capable of generating swings and misses, and Mets brass are still buzzing about the inning of relief against Atlanta during his big league debut when he touched 96 and looked dominant.
Hmmm...I wrote that article and suggested using him in the bullpen and it might not be that far off the Mets management's radar. If Humber is shifted into the bullpen due to the logjam in the rotation, he could be absolutely devastating in one inning spurts. With that hammer curveball and batters not being able to see that a few times around, they would have virtually no shot....like Beltran vs. Wainwright.
He had a decent over-the-top curveball in college, but he just never found his feel for it this year, forcing him to pitch primarily off his fastball, which worked in the minors, but hindered his effectiveness during a brief big league look. Changeup is usable, but like the curve, he loses confidence in it, reducing himself to a one-pitch pitcher.
Fastball? Off the charts. Other stuff? Not so much. Look, if it was just that easy to learn good secondary pitches, everyone would do it and some guys wouldn't be forced into the pen due to not having good enough secondary pitches. He is a bit far along to be so behind his with secondary stuff and ultimately, I am concerned.
In A Perfect World, He Becomes: An all-star outfielder who nearly matches teammate Jose Reyes on the excitement factor.
Um, yeah. That would be nice.
Guerra needs to find more velocity and a breaking ball quickly, as his speed-changing ways will not generate the same success at the upper levels. His control also needs work, with the biggest problem being inconsistent mechanics, specifically with his release point.
They did give him some high praise, but they certainly painted a picture that he has a lot more work to do than most of us thought.
The Big Picture: Rankings Combined With Non-Rookies 25 Years Old Or Younger (As Of Opening Day 2007)
1. Jose Reyes, ss
2. David Wright, 3b
3. Lastings Milledge, cf/lf
4. Fernando Martinez, cf
5. Philip Humber, rhp
6. Mike Pelfrey, rhp
7. Carlos Gomez, of
8. Oliver Perez, rhp
9. John Maine, rhp
10. Ambiorix Burgos, rhp
Every organization has ten guys 25 or under, but the Mets have seven or eight that could be All-Star caliber players and I wouldn't be surprised if John Maine dropped a stellar season mixed with a bunch of solid ones at some point that could get him a spot in the mid-summer classic at some point. The Mets need Zito, but they should certainly be able to lure him with less money than the Rangers might offer. This is the type of team that people make sacrifices to be on.
Now that Daisuke has signed, it's go time for the Zito negotiations.
Wright said he's been following the Zito saga closely.
"I'm part of this team and want to see us get better," said Wright, who played the part of Santa Claus yesterday at Shea Stadium.
"If Barry comes here, I'd be more than happy to show him around. But New York sells itself. If you turned on the TV and saw our games in the playoffs, that's a selling point.
"In my eyes, he'd be crazy not to want to be a part of that."
Taking the money and going to Texas is a bad career move needless to say. He probably would not be in the playoffs next year and his numbers would most likely suffer as well. It's a no brainer, but it is just a case of the Mets needing to get close enough to the Rangers bid to make it happen. However, Daisuke's negotiations might have gone a long way to helping land Zito. Those negotiations really taught us that Boras could be bullied. Yes, this is a different situation, but there are things to be learned. When you know you have the trump card, you have the power. Right now, the Mets are in more of a power position than Boras and Zito. They have an improved staff that took the Mets to game seven of the NLCS. If they miss out on Zito, they will survive.
We'll probably never know exactly what happened late Tuesday night in the conversations between Boras and Matsuzaka, whether the agent advised Matsuzaka to go back to Japan, or whether the pitcher told his agent to get a deal done. But in the negotiating room, Boras, with a weak hand, without any real negotiating leverage, effectively folded his hand.
Boras could not be happy with this outcome and had to have his tail between his legs a bit.