Ask Petey: Mets Minor League Questions
Ok, I’ve reached into the Ask Petey mailbag, but since I was tightly gripping a Labatt’s Blue, I only managed to pull out two questions. Oh well, I’ll try to do better next time. Or I could make up a few questions from imaginary readers….hmmmm maybe I will. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Petey: Our first Mets minor league mailbag question comes from little Timmy in Binghamton, NY. Lil’ Timmy asks:
Timmy: Hey yo Petey! What do you like Coke or Pepsi?
Petey: Well Timmy, I’m a Royal Crown Cola kind-a-guy. Could we get some BASEBALL QUESTIONS PLEASE? Joe D? I know your out there! Can we call security please! Wait, ok now this is a real baseball question. Now we’re getting somewhere. This one comes from Sandy A. in Flushing. He writes:
Sandy A: Petey we’re having a devil of a time trying to decide whether we should call up Harvey or Familia, or both. We really trust your opinion Petey more than just about anybody’s, so Paul suggested I write to you on here and ask. Ummm, what do you think?
Petey: Wow Sandy I thought you’d never ask. I would leave them both the hell alone for the next two-months! Let them do what they are doing which is just perfect. That way when you call them up, they will stick. You have plenty of good pitchers you could bring up right now that could start in the big leagues. Guys like RHP Chris Schwinden, RHP Jeremy Hefner, and LHP Garrett Olson. If you don’t believe me ask Wally Backman. Our next question comes from Hitman, who wants to know:
Hitman: With Daniel Muno continuing to perform the way he is in the minors and the lack of depth at 3B in the system, would it be a good move to shift Muno to 3B as he progresses? As far as I know, Muno can play 3B, in addition to 2B and SS.
Petey: Hey Hitman, and thanks for the question. No I wouldn’t mess with Muno and here’s why. First, I don’t look at 3B as a premium position of need in the organization especially if DWright is resigned. Even if he were to leave, there is still Daniel Murphy as a possibility as well as Zach Lutz. For guys a little further behind there is Jefry Marte and Wilmer Flores. There are even other possibilities in the system who could become significant prospects in the future. Guys like Dustin Lawley, Aderlin Rodriguez and Joe Bonfe.
Here’s the thing, there are so many important positions of extreme need in the system like CATCHER, and left-handed pitching, and middle-infield. And that’s where Muno fits in. Sure he can play 3B. He can play 1B too, so what? He would probably do a heckuva job in the OF if you played him there. The bottom line is this, you want to have more players in your system like Danny Muno. But as long as he is a middle infielder, he retains top value. Why would you want to move him to a position for big guys who are not very fast. Muno is not big at 5’11″ 175lbs. and he runs very well. If he isn’t fast enough to dazzle at SS, he will do just fine playing his best position which is 2B. We have another question from Hitman:
Hitman: I saw a Scouting the Sally video on YouTube of Wilmer Flores’ stance and swing. From what I saw, I wasn’t impressed. The swing he has looks short, like Bay’s, and all the moving he does before he swings takes too long. I understand he’s been in PSL for three years now, and it wasn’t just playing shortstop that was holding him back. When will the Mets change up on his approach/timing?
Petey: Wow good question! And I would say the answer is: they already have. Obviously they changed him defensively moving him to 3B, a power hitter’s position. On the surface that would have you scratch your head, because the guy hasn’t show any power! I mean last year his second in the FSL his SLG was only .380! I have seen that video of him hitting in the SAL too, and your right-on with your analysis, but keep in mind, it’s from early 2010, exactly two years old now, and I am sure that they have been working hard with Flores in all that time to change that swing, to quiet it, just like you observed Hitman.
Not only that, a big problem with his swing was with weight transfer and hip rotation. He wasn’t utilizing his lower half, and wasn’t getting any power because of that. I believe that he has reached the point where his natural hand-eye coordination, will start to combine with a better and quieter technical swing using his lower half, that will enable him to start to hit for power.
What makes me so optimistic? How about his early slash line for this year after 61 AB’s (admittedly a small sample size), his line is: .311/.347/.525 SLG (.525 SLG is good for 5th in the FSL). It’s that rise in SLG% that is the key I have been watching for. From .380 to .525 is a very promising sign, and the 3 HR’s and 16 RBI’s so far this year don’t hurt either. Our last question of the day comes from anonymous in Savannah:
Anonymous: I hate you and you don’t know anything you are so stupid!
Petey: I want to thank everyone for sending in their questions it was real fun responding to y’all. Keep those questions coming because you don’t want to lose a lot of sleep worrying about this stuff. Leave the insomnia to me. So until the next time, Let’s Go Mets!
Please send your Mets questions to our fearless leader Joe D. And you can send your minor league wonderings to me, Petey.
About the Author: Peter Shapiro
The first time I went to Shea was not for a Mets game, it was for the Beatles concert there in August of '66. My first Met game was '67, a guy named Salty Parker was the interim-manager then. My first pennant race was 1969. As a 12 year-old that summer and fall, I managed to get to the park for 3 games. The first was the beginning of the Miracle which actually started on Tuesday July 8, 1969 with a day game against the Cubs. I was there a lot in '73. I saw games 3 & 5 of the 1973 NL Playoffs against the "Big Red Machine", from the upper deck behind home plate. It was from there that I witnessed the fight between Bud Harrelson and Pete Rose, and the mayhem that ensued. And that sweet victory in game 5! I saw a couple of WS games at Shea that year against that legendary Oakland A's club. I was there in 1985 for every single game Dr. K pitched including his two 16 strikeout performances, and the day he one-hit the Cubs on an infield single and the Mets won 1-0. I loved being a Met fan in those days. Hopefully we are once again preparing to emerge from the darkness.
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