Prospect Notebook: The Final Week

An article by posted on March 30, 2012

The Binghamton Mets (AA) broke a three game losing streak on Thursday with a 10-6 win over the Jacksonville Suns (Marlins). The B-Mets put together a 12-hit attack, led by outfielder Cesar Puello who had a single, a double, a HR, and two SB’s. The righty-hitting Puello will turn 21 in two days. CF Darrell Ceciliani had two doubles in the game, and 1B Travis Ozga slugged a two-run homer.

LHP Darin Gorski went five innings for Bingo, giving up two runs on five hits, and striking out five. RHP Brad Holt hurled an inning and struck out the side. The B-Mets are 3-5 this spring with two games to go. They open their regular season at home, on Thursday against Akron.

With just a week to go in Spring training, the Mets have cut three more players from their minor league system. OF Javier Rodriguez who the Mets reached for in the 2nd round of the 2008 MLB player draft, was unceremoniously dumped due to lack of production. When taken in the draft out of high school in Puerto Rico, the question at the time was: “Who is this guy?” Raw and toolsy came the response. Well he may have been raw but he’s not very toolsy.

In 769 minor league AB’s over the last 4 years, J-Rod hit .248, with 15 HR’s, 110 RBI’s and 8 SB’s. About to turn 22, and heading into his fifth season in the organization, it was a make-or-break year for him and when it appeared he was not going to make a long-season club, he was released.

Also released was RHP Michael Hebert, who was trying to work his way back from injury. Hebert was the 7th round pick from the 2008 draft, and was one of the dozen or so starting pitchers battling for a long-season rotation spot. Unfortunately Hebert was another victim of the numbers game and was squeezed out.

The third player released was RHP Michael Powers, another 2008 draftee, who was taken in the 31st round that year. Now nearly 26 years old, it seems Powers topped out at AA, and with his fringy stuff the writing was on the wall. Time had run out for the scrappy reliever.

In other organizational notes: Michael Fulmer tweeted the other day that he was scheduled to pitch 4 innings in an intra-squad game on Wednesday. If the Mets were planning on leaving the 1st-round sandwich pick in last years draft in extended spring training, they would probably be limiting him to two innings at this point. The fact that he is being “stretched out” could indicate the team is thinking about starting him in a long-season league, like with Savannah in the SAL. That would be a very aggressive move for the Mets.  But since Fulmer is an 18-year-old power pitcher, with two advanced pitches, it could speed up the developmental timeline for him quite a bit.

The Mets announced the signing of 27-year-old middle infielder Josh Rodriguez yesterday. So on the same day they cut Javier Rodriguez, they signed Josh Rodriguez, restoring the organization’s equilibrium as far as J-Rods go. The newly acquired J-Rod made his big league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season striking out 8 times in 12 AB’s, with one hit.

Since the Bisons are set at shortstop with Omar Quintanilla, this move can only mean three things: 1) even though Reese Havens was supposed to start taking ground balls last week, he is obviously nowhere near ready to play. 2) Jordanny Valdespin will be spending significant time in CF, and probably some at shortstop, as well as playing 2B. And 3) Josh Satin is no longer considered a viable defensive option at second-base. He is now limited to a corner infield spot at this point.

For those of you keeping score at home, there has been a Jefry Marte sighting. Now fully recovered from a broken wrist he sustained in the Arizona Fall League last year, the third-baseman was seen taking it out on defenseless baseballs in batting practice the other day. From the video you can see how much he has filled out over the winter. Coming off a career year offensively, perhaps this is the year he turns potential into power.

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