I was reading a post by Tejesh at Mets Prospect Hub on his final ranking of 2009 for the Mets top prospects. Sometimes I think that minor league prospect lists require some explanation about the logic used to determine value in a list. For example, the players that spent significant time on the Mets Major League team in 2009 were Fernando Martinez (#1), Jon Niese (#9), Josh Thole (#10), and Nick Evans (not on top list).
Readiness for big league play isn’t prioritized as a qualifying factor. Total future upside appears to be the priority. I love to read blogs about the Mets minor leaguers, and there are several good ones, because I just don’t have the opportunity to see the minor league players in action especially the low-level leagues. My focus is always on which players are Major League ready or will be in the near future.
I’m still hoping to see Niese get a shot at the rotation in 2010 after missing the rest of the season last August when he tore his hamstring in an ugly scene on the mound. The 23 year-old made five starts last season, having two good ones and two that were kind of ugly, and the final start on August 5 when he got hurt. He ended with a 4.21 ERA over 25.2 IP. Not bad.
I really liked what I saw from Thole behind the plate and offensively. The big question about him is his defense and he did throw out 33% of steal attempts against him in a small sample (127.1 innings). It was obvious from the start that he had little to no power offensively, but I’ll take a catcher that can hit .321 anytime (in 53 AB’s). Frankly, As I’ve written in the past. I’d rather see the Mets start the season with a Thole/Omir Santos platoon at catcher than signing Bengie Molina. That would give them the financial resources to bring in a right-handed power hitter at first base. I doubt that they’ll do that, but it’s the direction that I would go.
Lastly, is the case of F-Mart. He was completely overmatched in his 91 AB’s in the big leagues last season only hitting .176 with 6 doubles and 1 HR. He did play very well defensively during his 202 innings of work in the outfield. I understand that he looks like he’s got all of the tools to be a player. But I’m concerned that he may become one of these guys that never pans out in the big’s. He just turned 21 years-old in October, so there’s plenty of time for him to mature. But I expected, and wanted, to see more from him in 2009 than I did.