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What to Expect From the Buffalo Mets



By Mike Silva ~ May 19th, 2011. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Mets.

The Mets current 25 man roster has eight players that were in Buffalo on Opening Day. Although the Mets system isn’t highly regarded for top talent it has been able to produce some decent replacement players in times of need. With Ike Davis and David Wright out for an indefinite period of time it’s an opportunity for the organization to see who can be a useful piece going forward.

On Sunday, I said the next twenty games might determine if there will be any fun this summer at Citi Field. My prediction of 12-8 looks aggressive without the middle of the order. The only hope is they continue to get more games like the one Jonathon Niese threw last night. With the possibility of Wright being out till the All Star Break, Terry Collins might win manager of the year if he can keep this team around .500.

As I said before, the silver lining is showcasing players 26 through 40 of the roster. Think of it as extended spring training in the regular season. So far, Justin Turner and Jason Pridie appear to be useful pieces for the roster going forward, while the jury is still out on Fernando Martinez, Nick Evans, Ruben Tejada, and Dillon Gee.

Turner has hit at every level in the minor leagues, but seemingly never given more than a small sample to showcase his talents at the big league level. During spring training one Met told me how impressed he was with Turner in the second base competition. He appears to be the type of player that could hit about .270 with 15 homers, 70 RBI, and a good amount of doubles. Those are very good numbers from the second base position. Defensively he isn’t a gold glove, but steady enough where he won’t hurt you. Only 26, it’s possible the Mets found their second basemen in the most unlikely of places.

Pridie is another example of a player that never was given an opportunity at the big league level. The former second round pick of the Rays in 2002 has always displayed big league speed, defense, and power, but his inability to put the ball in play has been his biggest knock. I don’t believe he is an everyday player, but certainly can be a solid fourth outfielder that can provide left handed power off the bench.

We might be seeing the last stand for Nick Evans and Fernando Martinez with the organization. Martinez made a rousing return with his homer on Friday in Houston, but that arthritic knee will probably limit him to a part time player. He clearly has some pop in his bat, but he isn’t close to the five tool player promised when Omar Minaya signed him as a 16 year old in 2005. Evans is an enigma as he’s never shown the consistent power displayed in the minor leagues. He plays first, third, and left, but doesn’t stand out at any position. I suspect a bad stint here will put the final nail in the coffin of his Mets tenure.

Just recalled Ruben Tejada might establish himself as a dependable backup middle infielder. I have my doubts that his bat will keep him in the lineup at this level, but it’s good enough off the bench. Of course, if Jose Reyes is traded all that can change. Right now, I see him as nothing more than an average hitting backup middle infielder. There is nothing wrong with that as the team has spent big money in the past for the likes of Alex Cora to play a similar role.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Dillon Gee. I am higher on Gee than most as I believe what he lacks in pure stuff he makes up with his ability to compete on the mound. His customary command has been lacking since taking over for Chris Young in the rotation, but it’s too soon for me to give up on someone that could be a consistent 170 inning backend of the rotation starter.

If the Mets could learn about these kids it might be one positive that results from this sea of unfortunate injuries.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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1 Response to What to Expect From the Buffalo Mets

  1. John

    I agree with you about Turner. The kid has a lot of grit and smarts and there is a lot to be said for that.
    As for Tejada, I think everyone underestimates his bat. He has played young at every level he has been at and there are times when he has been overmatched physically as a result. But at EVERY level he has improved over time. For me one of the biggest things to watch when evaluating prospects is how they play at the end of their time at a given level. This shows how well they adjust to more experienced players over time. The “sophomore slump” is an example of this in reverse. Players hit well until the pitchers figure out their weakness and many never adjust.
    In Tejada’s case, it has been his being overmatched at the beginning until he is able to figure out the differences in the competition with the step up. This doesn’t mean that Tejada will positively succeed at the MLB level but it greatly increases the odds.

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