More Mets Flubs: Why F-Mart And Not Lucas Duda?

An article by posted on August 8, 2010

I’m still a little bit confused by the snap decision by the Mets to promote Fernando Martinez on Saturday. It seemed as though it wasn’t very well thought out.

Normally, I love to see a home-grown player promoted from the minor leagues, but the more I look at this particular case, the more it wreaks of just another bad decision by Mets higher-ups.

As I wrote on Saturday, I thought the Mets made the right call to not simply replace Francoeur with Martinez, and to keep Francoeur in the lineup against left handed pitching. It paid off handsomely last night, and in fact the only two wins on this road trip couldn’t of happened if not for two Jeff Francoeur game winning homeruns.

But getting back to Martinez, I look at his .256 batting average and .313 OBP and wonder why such a mediocre line was worthy of promotion?

I find it ironic that the Mets chose to demote Jesus Feliciano who wielded a .346 batting average in as many games as F-Mart in Buffalo. Was F-Mart really an upgrade?

When I took a look at the rest of the outfielders the Mets could have promoted, one clearly stands out above all of them; Lucas Duda.

Duda, 24, has vaulted to the top of the Mets prospect list this year after a tremendous effort in Binghamton, and then even more production after his promotion to Buffalo. All told he has combined to hit .299 with a .392 OBP, .582 SLG and a .974 OPS. When he got to Buffalo, he got better.

The young lefthanded slugger has showed off some nice power numbers with 31 doubles and 20 homeruns in 335 at-bats. He has driven in 74 runs and scored 59.

To me, Duda is having the type of season that is screaming for a promotion.  He would have been a better alternative to platoon with Frenchy, as his .348 batting average against RHP and his 1.140 OPS would indicate.

So far, Duda has also done something most of the Mets can’t do and that is hit with runners on base (.356) or in scoring position (.373). Lord knows, we could use someone who could hit in the clutch. F-Mart on the other hand batted .210 with runners on, and .214 with RISP.

When you look at F-Mart’s major league equivalencies for this season, he projects to be a .213 hitter with a .278 OBP. So don’t expect much help and tone down your expectations.

Last season Duda batted .281 with a .380 OBP for AA-Binghamton, so it doesn’t appear that this season is a fluke.  This Josh Hamilton (6’5, 240 lbs.) sized kid, looks very legit.

Looking at the Bison’s roster, I easily see a dozen players who were more deserving of a promotion over Fernando Martinez. Surely, a promotion like this can’t be good for morale up in Buffalo. It seems too undeserving.

For some reason the Mets are hell bent on justifying all the hype they’ve dished out on F-Mart over the years, even if it wasn’t warranted in the first place. No longer considered a top prospect by scouts and the foremost authority Baseball America, the Mets are finding it hard to let go.

So instead of promoting someone who could help the Mets right now, they instead will give playing time to what is currently a much lesser player.

But hasn’t that always been the way the Mets do things?

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About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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