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Mets Minaya Must Work to Improve Club, Minor Leagues



By Jed Weisberger ~ October 8th, 2009. Filed under: Mets Minors.

Just how do the Mets recover from 2009’s season to forget, a 70-92 debacle that has many of their fans indeed doing that, thinking of the Jets these days.

Pundits will tell you the club needs this, that and the other thing, but the Mets are in the shape they are in partially because of injuries – mainly Carlos Delgado and Jose Reyes – money wasted – three years, $36 million for Ollie Perez  – and few replacements in a farm system that needs an overhaul as well.

Whatever went on under Tony Bernazard’s watch, Triple-A Buffalo finished 56-87, Double-A Binghamton 54-87, Class A Advanced St. Lucue 66-68 and Class A Savannah 65-72. The short-season clubs, Brooklyn and the Gulf Coast Mets, were 45-30 and 22-34, respectively.

Minaya would love to lure the likes of catcher Bengie Molina, who might like a spot in Citi Field, and an outfielder like Jason Bay or Matt Holliday. There are some who think the club could try to entice the Yankees’ Johnny Damon with a lucrative offer.

On the pitching front, the names of Randy Wolf and Jon Garland have been mentioned.

In the minors, however, even more work needs to be done. The position player who made the most impact was 1B Ike Davis who, after a .288 (64-for-222) effort at St.Lucie, batted .309 (64-for-297) for a weak Binghamton team. Overall, the former Arizona State star, who was taken by the Mets in the first round in 2008, batted .298 (128-for-429) overall, with 20 homers and 71 RBIs.

He has an excellent pedigree, as his dad, Ron, was a big-leaguer for 11 years, including 1978-81 with the Yankees.  But when you look at it, he was probably the only Mets position prospect who garnered much interest last season (IF Greg Veloz for IF Anderson Hernandez doesn’t count).  The 22-year-old will draw attention playing for the Surprise Rafters in the Arizona Fall League.

On the other hand, will Fernando Martinez ever make it?

There were a few players who had decent seasons at St. Lucie, including OF Brahiam Madonado, who hit .273 (112-for-410) with 18 homers,  OF Carlos Guzman, a .290 (137-for-472) with 15 homers and 3B Zach Lutz, who batted .284 (191-for-356) with 11 homers.This trio will form part of the core of the 2010 Double-A Binghamton club.

The Mets do have some pitching in their system, the best of which are RHP Jenrry Mejia, 4-6, 3.14 in 19 starts between St. Lucie and Binghamton,where he was 0-5, 4.47 with a club that barely won. Look for better things at Surprise in the AFL, RHP Jeurys Familia was 10-6, 2.69 in 23 starts at Savannah.  RHP Rhiner Cruz racked up 22 saves at Savannah.

WALLY WORLD ON TAP? Indications are the Mets are looking to give the Binghamton managerial job to Wally Backman, replacing the fired Mako Oliveras.  Backman, hired by Arizona in 2004, only to be let go three days later after reports of a DUI arrest and an altercation at his Oregon home.

Backman, who is superb with young players, could put a spark into what goes on in Binghamton. He deserves a shot to work himself back through the organization.

His hiring to work with Mets minor-leaguers would be a definite step in the right direction

FIVE METS PROSPECTS TO MAKE A MARK IN 2010:

Ike Davis – In addition to his hitting, he hit 92 mph with his fastball as a freshman at Arizona State.  Perhaps, with his strong arm, he’s a future right fielder.   Probable 2010 Destination: Buffalo.

Jennry Mejia – Fastball consistently in the md-90s, with plus-changeup. Needs to become a bit more consisrent with his delivery.  Probable 2010 Destination: Binghamton.

Josh Thole, C – Batted .321 (17-for-53) in 17-game cup of coffee with 2009 Mets.  Has improved more than any other Mets prospect over the past two seasons. Probable 2010 Destination: Buffalo.

Zach Lutz – 2007 fifth-round pick showed what he could do when healthy at St.Lucie this season.  Double-A will test his range and reactions. The bat is developing fine.   Probable 2010 Destination: Binghamton.

Jeurys Familia – Dominating in the South Atlantic League with a strikeout/walk ratio of 121-49. SAL hitters batted just .221 against him.  He could hop on the fast track. Probable 2010 Destination: St.Lucie.

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Jed spent 35 years in the newspaper business working as both a writer and editor, in both sports and news under tight deadline pressure. As both sports editor at the Indiana (Pa.) Gazette and a copy editor/columnist at The Times of Trenton, he made daily decisions on overall coverage and designed and produced thousands of pages and special sections. Since accepting a buyout from The Times, he has concentrated on broadening his writing and editing horizons to the medical, academic and business fields. Anyone is welcome to Google Jed to see the different places in print, on the Web and in front of the camera his professional expertise has spread to.

10 Responses to Mets Minaya Must Work to Improve Club, Minor Leagues

  1. john

    This is the picture of an almost barren minor leagues. Stray above average performers, none great and none at the highest levels. Even the prospects that Minaya traded for Santana aren’t good.

    How much more evidence is needed that he ain’t good at this? Columns and blogs from amateurs telling him to do better can’t change that. He’s not good at this. He won’t get better, and the pressure of making it seem like he’s gotten better during this upcoming season will force him to do new and worse things.

    When all the blogs and chatter clear, there is only one real answer that will actually work: do some diligence, find a good GM, and hire him. That’s it.

  2. MetsKnicksRutgers

    Well, he didn’t mention Mejia, Holt, Tejeda, Nieuwenheus or however its spelled, Marte, Flores etc. Mejia, and Holt could be really good and im very high on Mejia, and everyone has to love Tejeda’s bat control for a SS/SB

  3. MetsKnicksRutgers

    Oh, and please god no Molina or Damon. Damon is a damn good player, but has gotten up there in age and the last thing we should do is overpay for him now. Chapman should be the real target along with Holliday. Thats a lotta payroll but Chapman looks like a stud, and Holliday has always been awesome.

  4. R U Kidding

    Holliday,Chapman-great! Bay and Lackey that’ good too. Who thinks it will be Dye and Maine?

  5. Tidewater

    “Just how do the Mets recover from 2009’s season to forget, a 70-92 debacle that has many of their fans indeed doing that, thinking of the Jets these days.”

    Is this even a sentence???

  6. Anonymous

    RECOMMENDATIONS:
    1. TRADE: Davis & F-Mart + change (See # 3 below) for Adrian Gonzalez
    2. TRADE: Murphy, Evans & Putz for Josh Hamilton
    3. TRADE: some combination of the following players: Pelfrey or Niese, and any of the following: Parnell, Francoeur, Havens & Tejada and/or(if necessary) one of Holt or Meija for either Halladay, Oswalt or Zambrano,
    4. SIGN: Matt Holliday as a FA (or Bay)
    6. SIGN: Chapman and Kukichi as amateur FA’s (making either Holt or Meija expendable for a #2, although I’d rather trade Meija because Holt is closer to the major leagues.)
    7. SIGN: Ben Sheets & Eric Bedard and/or Duchscherer (if therapy helps) as FA’s to small contracts with large incentives
    8. SIGN: Chad Bradford as a FA for the bullpen
    9. PRAY you can find a reliable left-handed relief pitcher.
    RESULT:
    1. LINEUP:
    Reyes – SS
    Castillo – 2B
    Wright – 3B
    Gonzalez – 1B
    Beltran – CF
    Holliday – RF
    Hamilton – LF
    Santos – C

    2. STARTING PITCHING IF THERE CAN BE A TRADE for a #2:
    Santana
    Halladay (Oswalt or Zambrano)
    Marquis
    Maine
    (Some combination of Sheets, Bedard and Redding, Figueroa, Nieves & Duchscherer and Pelfrey & Niese if not traded)

    3. STARTING PITCHING IF NO TRADE FOR A #2:
    Santana
    Sheets
    Bedard
    Pelfrey
    Maine
    (with Niese, Redding, Figueroa & Nieves ready to step in if there is an injury)

  7. Anonymous

    RECOMMENDATIONS:
    1. TRADE: Davis & F-Mart + change (See # 3 below) for Adrian Gonzalez

    2. TRADE: Murphy, Evans & Putz for Josh Hamilton

    3. TRADE: some combination of the following players: Pelfrey or Niese, and any of the following: Parnell, Francoeur, Havens & Tejada and/or(if necessary) one of Holt or Meija for either Halladay, Oswalt or Zambrano.

    4. SIGN: Matt Holliday as a FA (or Bay)

    5. SIGN: Chapman and Kukichi as amateur FA’s (making either Holt or Meija expendable for a #2, although I’d rather trade Meija because Holt is closer to the major leagues.)

    6. SIGN: Jason Duchscherer if therapy has helped him overcome his depression.

    7. Ben Sheets & Eric Bedard as FA’s to small contracts with large incentives

    8. SIGN: Chad Bradford as a FA for the bullpen

    9. PRAY you can find a reliable left-handed relief pitcher.

    RESULT:
    1. LINEUP:
    Reyes – SS
    Wright – 3B

    Gonzalez – 1B
    Beltran – CF
    Holliday – RF
    Hamilton – LF
    Santos – C

    2. STARTING PITCHING IF THERE CAN BE A TRADE for a #2:
    Santana
    Halladay (Oswalt or Zambrano)
    Marquis
    Maine
    (Some combination of Sheets, Bedard and Redding, Figueroa, Nieves & Duchscherer and Pelfrey & Niese if not traded)

    3. STARTING PITCHING IF NO TRADE FOR A #2:
    Santana
    Sheets
    Bedard
    Pelfrey
    Maine
    (with Niese, Redding, Figueroa & Nieves ready to step in if there is an injury)

  8. JOB

    Sorry, the &*$#^%** laptop kept posting before I was done.

    Starting Lineup would be:

    Reyes – ss
    Wright – 3B
    Holliday – RF
    Gonzalez – 1B
    Beltran – CF
    Hamilton – RF
    Santos – C
    Castillo – 2B

    If only the Mets could be so daring!

  9. Chris Silva

    Its out of the box thinking but I’m not sure daring is that right word for those moves. Simply more like highway robbery which some were unrealistic. The Hamilton deal is questionable because he’s coming over an injury plagued year and the package offered doesn’t make Texas better. I don’t see them taking Putz’s $10M (Mets would have to pick up option). Murphy and Evans aren’t good enough to replace the production of a Hamilton. The pitching trade wasn’t terrible but it would need to have an attractive centerpiece which isn’t really there. Also, taking Zambrano or any of the players would mean Perez being re-routed somewhere. Not very easy. As far as Sheets and Bedard, I think theyre situations speak for themselves. Sheets didn’t pick all year and you could do it provided its a Freddy Garcia type minor league deal. Bedard is just bad news because he can’t get away from the injury bug. I don’t think you’ll ever see any sort of quality production out of him again. The free agent stuff is fine and something the Mets should explore. Bradford is a nice idea but he’s slightly overpaid and not sure if he’s playing next year. Interesting thoughts but shows the lack of assets the Mets really have for those caliber of players.

  10. SchmidtXC

    Using the teams W-L record to determine farm system depth isn’t an accurate way to portray the Mets farm system. The Mets were one of only 7 organizations in baseball to field teams at all 7 minor league levels in the US. All 7 franchises that stretched their talent this way had an overall W-L in the minors under .500. Of those 7 teams, the Mets were the only team to field a team in both the DSL and VSL. Most organizations only field 7 teams in their farm system…the Mets talent is spread amongst nine. The Mets depth in the upper minors clearly needs work, but the results in the lower minors are very encouraging conidering how far they have to spread their talent.

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