The Kids are All Right
For years now we have been hearing how barren the Mets farm system the is. So it is a pleasant surprise that suddenly the Mets have several young players tearing up spring training who appear ready for prime time. There is a lot of discussion about whether these players should head north with the team or be sent to the minors for more seasoning. Each player has their own issues, so let’s look at each one separately.
There is, however, one issue that unites them all — how they will react if they flop at the major league level and have to be sent back down. That has destroyed careers in the past. Sometimes a player fails for the first time in their lives, and they just can’t accept it. Others understand it’s part of the game, go back down, fix their problems and come back stronger than ever. That’s when a team’s knowledge of a player is crucial. They have to know which players can handle failure and which ones can’t. That’s nothing we as fans can know. All right now, to the players.
As the games go by, Mejia appears likely to stay with the big club. In eight spring training innings he has a 1.08 era, eight strikeouts and no walks. Jerry Manuel compares his cutter to Mariano Rivera’s. Way to put pressure on the kid, Jerry. The Mets need help in the bullpen, and Mejia can provide that instantly. To make things easier for him, they may want to use him in the middle innings at first, then maybe move him to the higher pressure eighth inning role.
Davis is in a position to provide the power the Mets lacked last year. In ten spring training games he has two home runs. He’s also hitting .500. Davis has never played above Double-A, so the thought is that he needs to spend a little time at Triple-A. If the Mets didn’t already have a first baseman, I would say take Davis north. But it’s too soon to give up on Daniel Murphy. However, if Murphy struggles early and Davis is tearing it up in Norfolk, I wouldn’t hesitate to make a change.
If Jose Reyes were ready to go, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But he’s not, so we are. Tejada will probably make the team out of spring training, but probably as a backup to Alex Cora. I say let Tejada start. We know what Cora is going to give the team — let’s see what Tejada’s got. And if he plays well, when Reyes does come back, he could be a valuable trade chip.
Remember him? It seems like we’ve been waiting for him to arrive forever. And after injuries and a couple of disappointing stops in Queens, it appears he’s arrived. He’s batting .538 and leading the team with three homers and 10 rbis. He’s likely ticketed for Norfolk, but I say give him a shot until Carlos Beltran comes back. Just like Cora, we know what to expect with Angel Pagan and Gary Matthews, Jr. And just like with Tejada, a healthy, productive Martinez could bring in the top-notch starting pitcher the Mets are going to need.
Not that I’m advocating trading any of these players. But how many hot prospects never make it (Alex Escobar, anyone)? If the Mets can get an established superstar pitcher (a Roy Oswalt, not a Victor Zambrano), I have no problem trading a prospect.