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New York Mets 2010 Minor League Review
Overall farm ranking according to Baseball America (2010)
2010 (22) | 2009 (17) | 2008 (17) | 2007 (13) | 2006 (28) | 2005 (19) | 2004 (10)

Record of Major and Minor League Team(s)
MLB: [79 – 83] NL East
AAA: [76 –68] International League – Buffalo
AA: [66 – 76] Eastern League – Binghamton
A+: [62 – 76] Florida League – St. Lucie
A: [75 – 65] South Atlantic League – Savannah
A(ss): [51 – 24] New York-Pennsylvania League – Brooklyn
R: [28 – 39] Appalachian League – Kingsport
R: [31 – 25] Gulf League

The Run Down
The Mets already have a new Manager in Terry Collins, a new GM in Sandy Alderson, and a new Special Assistant to the GM in J.P. Ricciardi. It’s only the beginning of December, but the Mets at least have some early holiday cheer depending on your perspective. Having Omar Minaya off the throne should mean Fernando Martinez and Jenrry Mejia will stop getting tugged around.  The Mets had some surprisingly successful, yet unspectacular (for fantasy) rookie seasons from Ike Davis and Jon Niese. Ruben Tejada, on the other hand, he wasn’t ready for the majors, and if it wasn’t fairly clear from his Triple-A slash line of .280/.329/.344, then his major league slash line of .213/.305/.282 definitely makes the case. Of course, there was the mishandling of Jenrry Mejia that had people calling for Minaya’s head. For all the grief that the Mets received this past year, they actually had a better record in 2010 (79-82) than in 2009 when they went 70-92. A poor year from Jason Bay, an unimpressive season from Johan Santana, injury ravaged season from Carlos Beltran and Luis Castillo, and the foolish decision to run Oliver Perez out every fifth day for seven starts doesn’t help. The players coming up that are close to the majors (e.g. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Fernando Martinez, Jenrry Mejia) could help some of those troubled positions. Also, the talent in the low-to-mid minors (e.g. Wilmer Flores, Brad Holt, Reese Havens, Jeurys Familia) have plenty of upside.  The Mets have aggressively pushed their prospects through the minors (i.e. Ruben Tejada). Subsequently, it might be possible to see some of these prospects sooner than my conservative ETAs. Speaking from a fantasy perspective, the Mets have the potential with several sleepers for the 2011 season (e.g. Nieuwenhuis, Martinez, Mejia, Lucas Duda, Zach Lutz, Dillion Gee, and Tobi Stoner). I personally like Nieuwenhuis, Mejia, the deep sleeper Gee and the obvious talent of Martinez when he is healthy.

Graduating Prospects
#4 (1B) Ike Davis; #6 (LHP) Jon Niese; #8 (C) Josh Thole; #9 (SS) Ruben Tejada

Arizona Fall League Players – Mesa Solar Sox
Pitchers: #16 (LHP) Robert Carson; #26 (RHP) Josh Stinson; #4 (RHP) Brad Holt; #24 (LHP) Eric Niesen; (RHP) Nick Carr
Hitters: (C) Kai Gronauer; #13 (RF) Kirk Nieuwenheis; #30 (2B/SS) Jordany Valdespin

Players of Interest
Hitters
#3 Fernando Martinez | OF | D.o.B: 10-10-88 | Stats (AAA):.253/.317/.455 | 257 AB | 28 XBH | 12 Hr | .202 ISO | 1/0 SB/CS | 65:17 K:BB | .291 BABIP
What is there to know about Martinez that most haven’t heard? A) He’s injury prone. B) He is still only 22. C) At age 20, he was the Mets number one ranked prospect. Here is what I said in the Mets 2009 Minor League Review, “Martinez struggled in his brief stint in the majors … Being so young, he is clearly still their top prospect … [Has] the tools and skills to produce at a corner outfield spot. Keep him on your radar for 2010 in case of any injury problems occur for the Mets.” Well, he re-injured himself this past year, he wasn’t the Mets top prospect, and his numbers show that he still needs work on his strike zone judgment. Beyond this, at just 22 during the 2011 season, why turn a cold shoulder to a hitter that has tremendous raw power and past hype? If he ever gets his act together, he could slash .275/.340/.475 with 25 to 30 home runs in the majors. I’d expect a Spring Training battle with him involved.

#13 Kirk Nieuwenhuis | RF | D.o.B: 8-7-87 | Stats (AA/AAA): .274/.327/.475 | 514 AB | 64 XBH | 18 Hr | .201 ISO | 13/7 SB/CS | 132:41 K:BB | BABIP (see below)
Nieuwenhuis performed well at Double-A (.289/.337/.510 in 433 plate appearance) while struggling mightily at Triple-A (.225/.295/.358 in 133 plate appearances). Can’t blame the Triple-A performance on luck either, his BABIP shows a fair amount of luck (AA BABIP: .338; AAA BABIP: .316). Baseball America states that Nieuwenhuis is a potential 20/20 candidate. Here is what I said in the Mets 2009 Minor League Review, “Possesses above-average speed … He strikes out a bit too much, walks at a good rate.” His speed was not a part of his game at Triple-A, but to be fair, he wasn’t on base often enough to produce steals. His strikeouts are still a red flag and his walks seemed to peter out at Triple-A. If he played for the Red Sox, his name would be Ryan Kalish. Expect a start at Triple-A.

Lucas Duda | 1B/LF | D.o.B: 2-3-86 | Stats (AA/AAA): .304/.398/.569 | 425 AB | 65 XBH | 23 Hr | .265 ISO | 1/0 SB/CS | 84:64 K:BB | BABIP (AA: .310; AAA: .346)
More of a fourth or fifth outfield option that has played first in the past, but due to Ike Davis, Duda has been pushed to the outfield. Duda received 92 plate appearances while slashing .202/.261/.417 with 4 home runs. Nothing special really.  He has some power, some decent plate-discipline and pinch hitter written all over him.

Pitchers
Jose De La Torre | RHP | D.o.B: 10-17-85 | Stats (AA/AAA): 10.2 K/9 | 4.2 BB/9 | 70 1/3 IP | 2.69 ERA | FIP (AA: 2.97; AAA: 3.76) | 1.22 WHIP | .6 Hr/9 | 6.7 H/9 | BABIP (AA: .286; AAA: .284)
De La Torre is for all of you Mr. B’s out there. 30 of those innings were at Triple-A and he pitched just as well as his stats show. Torre could help the always volatile bullpen core, or for those of you looking for holds.

#23 Dillon Gee | RHP | D.o.B: 4-28-86 | Stats (AAA): 9.2 K/9 | 2.3 BB/9 | 161 IP | 4.96 ERA | 4.01 FIP | 1.33 WHIP | 1.3 Hr/9 | 9.7 H/9 | .342 BABIP
His stuff is considered “fringe-average,” as he has a solid changeup, a 88 to 92 MPH fastball, a cutter and a slow curveball. Could he be the Travis Wood, Randy Wells, Jhoulys Chacin of 2011? Possibly. Could also flame out. He did have five starts in September, throwing 33 innings with a 2.18 ERA and 1.21 WHIP; his rates were less than inspiring at 4.6 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9. I’m throwing the caution flag, next March through early April will determine if the green flag is waved.

#29 Tobi Stoner | RHP | D.o.B: 12-3-84 | Stats (AAA): 6.2 K/9 | 3.2 BB/9 | 120 2/3 IP | 5.97 ERA | 4.96 FIP | 1.67 WHIP | 1.3 Hr/9 | 11.8 H/9 | .352 BABIP
I’ll let my 2009 Mets Minor League Review do the talking, “Not an exciting pitcher with a 91 to 93 MPH fastball and average off-speed pitches. He could be worth a few spot starts or decent ratios from the bullpen.” Ho-hum. Boring. He may have reached his potential. Aren’t the Pirates looking for pitching help?

Honorable Mentions
Hitters
#2 Wilmer Flores | SS | D.o.B: 8-6-91 | Stats (A/A+): .289/.333/.424 | 554 AB | 50 XBH | 11 Hr | .135 ISO | 4/5 SB/CS | 77:32 K:BB | BABIP (A:.298;A+:.336)
Flores’ season was nearly evenly split between Single-A and High-A with 66 games at Single-A and 67 games at High-A. His numbers weren’t anything to scoff at or write home about. He has tremendous power potential but won’t play shortstop his entire career or even in the majors. However, I fully expect a September call up in 2011. If not, he won’t be on any fantasy player’s radar until the beginning of the 2012 season. Still waiting for the potential to be lived out in the numbers.

#7 Reese Havens | 2B | D.o.B: 10-20-86 | Stats (A+/AA):.312/.386/.592 | 125 AB | 15 XBH | 9 Hr | .280 ISO | 0/3 SB/CS | 33:14 K:BB | BABIP (A+:.361; AA: 362)
Havens has some power potential, like a poor man’s Dan Uggla, and plays good defense. However, Havens has a history of injury problems. I would expect Havens to start the season at Double-A, and if Ruben Tejada struggles again in 2011, Havens may get a chance. Nevertheless, Havens is an “Honorable Mention” due to his injury history and need to prove that his limited success in the mid-minors isn’t just BABIP induced luck enhanced by his small sample size.

#21 Zach Lutz | 3B | D.o.B: 6-3-86 | Stats (AA): .289/.389/.578 | 225 AB | 31 XBH | 17 Hr | .189 ISO | 0/2 SB/CS | 63:33 K:BB | .331 BABIP
Playing third base for the Mets means you’ll never reach the majors playing third base. Lutz has poor defense, a compact swing with gap power, and good control of the strike zone. Baseball America quoted a scout saying, “He reminded me of Ron Coomer, a stockier guy who can swing the bat, drive in runs, make the routine play … could be a role player.” ‘Nuff said.

#22 Sean Ratliff | RF | D.o.B: 2-24-87 | Stats (A+/AA): .298/.353/.505 | 503 AB | 59 XBH | 21 Hr | .207 ISO | 10/4 SB/CS | 138:40 K:BB | BABIP (A+: .368; AA: .372)
Extremely aggressive hitter with towering power. The power is nice, but may have to switch back to being a pitcher to reach the majors; he does throw a 92 MPH fastball and was a pitcher in college.

Pitchers
Mark Cohoon | LHP | D.o.B: 9-15-87 | Stats (A/AA): 7.3 K/9 | 1.8 BB/9 | 161 1/3 IP | 2.57 ERA | FIP (A: 2.49; AA: 3.47) | 1.08 WHIP | .4 Hr/9 | 7.9 H/9 | BABIP (A: .269; AA: .325)
I like the control, limited home runs, and that his FIP was fairly reflective of his ERA at each level. Not much information on Cohoon, who will need to repeat his success in 2011 at Double-A and possibly Triple-A to reach the majors. Could do something similar to Travis Wood or Sam LeCure.

#5 Brad Holt | RHP | D.o.B: 10-13-86 | Stats (A+/AA): 8.2 K/9 | 7.5 BB/9 | 95 IP | 8.34 ERA | FIP (A+: 5.32; AA: 5.00) | .6 Hr/9 | 10.5 H/9 | BABIP (A+: .345; AA: .408)
Quoting myself from the 2009 Mets Minor League Review, “He throws a mid 90’s fastball that can top out at 98 MPH, with a potential plus slider, and a raw change-up. There is some questioning whether he should be a starter or a reliever as he only has two pitches he can control well.” Looks like he should be a reliever, but even then, he wasn’t able to control his pitches. Holt is like most flame throwers, just a thrower wishing he could pitch in the majors.

#15 Jeurys Familia | RHP | D.o.B: 10-10-89 | Stats (A+): 10.2 K/9 | 5.5 BB/9 | 121 IP | 5.58 ERA | 3.89 FIP | 1.58 FIP | .5 Hr/9 | 8.7 H/9 | .350 BABIP
Throws a 90 to 95 MPH fastball, a slider and a changeup. Currently, he isn’t a refined pitcher, according to pre-2010 season scouting reports. Familia kept the nice strikeout rate from 2009, but his walk rate doubled and the remaining ratio stats went to the gutter. Although he had a great 2009 season, his 2010 season shows the constantly shifting value of low-minor league talent and performance. I wouldn’t write him off yet, he is still quite young, was unlucky (.350 BABIP), and doesn’t give up many home runs (.5 Hr/9). I said he could reach the majors in 2011 during my 2009 Mets Minor League Review; it would be more accurate to state that a 2011 call up would be optimistic. I expect he gets pushed to Double-A in 2011.

  1. GopherDay says:
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    Hard to believe Martinez is only 22 years old. The mets farm system is very blah. Nothing too exciting except Mejia and Martinez.

    What are your (or other’s) thoughts on Danny Duffy from the KC organization?

  2. Stephen says:
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    @GopherDay: I think Captain Kirk has some good upside too. re: Duffy, Not sure where I currently stand on him, definitely will bepart of the Royals review, however, I don’t hink he’ll make my to 50 cut.

  3. Nando says:
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    What do you expect from Ike in 2011? Perhaps just from an OBP and power standpoint. I’ve read mixed reviews.

  4. GopherDay says:
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    @Stephen: Alright cool. When does the top 50 come out?

  5. Stephen says:
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    @Nando: .275/355/475 would be my initial gut feeling. I am typing this via my phone, so I don’t have his stats off hand.

    @GopherDay: Late December to early January – a New Years present to Razz-nation. I am currently gather names of players. I’m maybe an eigth of the way through the process as of today.

  6. FANTHEAD says:
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    Can’t wait for the Top 50. This is great stuff, Stephen, thanks.

  7. Max says:
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    Whoa now, don’t lump Chacin in with likes of Wells and Gee!

    Not that I feel that strongly about it, but why are you so down on Duda? Had some nice AAA ratios and showed some decent early power in the majors. I think he could be good if given a chance.

  8. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @Nando: Now in front of a computer, I would say that slash line would be the expected improvement – like a baseline. Could do better or slightly worse.

    @Max: I was adding Chacin, not because the other two are comparable pitchers, but because they were rookies with success. That’s all. I would say that Gee is more a Wells than Chacin.

    re:Duda: I think he would have some success if given a full time gig, or even 400 at-bats. However, he’s a first baseman with Ike Davis ahead of him on the depth chart. His defense isn’t going to get him in the lineup in the outfield. The injury likelihood of the Mets makes it highly possible that he could get 15 to 20 home runs in 400 at-bats though. I like what he did at Triple-A and he was increasing production at each step of the ladder. I just don’t see him receiving enough at-bats.

  9. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @Max: Looking through some more stats and players, he reminds me a bit of a Ryan Ludwick.

  10. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @FANTHEAD: Under pressure … ? I’m looking forward to it too.

  11. Mets fan says:
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    What’s your thoughts on the kid they drafted from Carolina matt Harvey?

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