A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to send out a few general questions to our old pal Tejesh of Mets Prospect Hub. Tej was kind enough to take some time to share his thoughts about the Mets with regard to the First Year Player Draft and some other minor league things I threw at him. Duck!
1. Let’s begin with the just completed draft. You have Courtney Hawkins, Lucas Giolito and Gavin Cecchini on the board. The Mets opted for Cecchini. Give me your thoughts on that. Was this about taking the player with the highest upside or strictly motivated by signability?
I’m 100% convinced this was motivated by signability, but to be somewhat fair, it seems every pick before the Mets was also a signability pick. Mark Appel fell from a projected No.1 selection to No. 8, for example. The No. 1 pick Carlos Correa took a deal that was significantly under slot, if I recall correctly. So while, yeah, it would’ve been amazing to go Hawkins and McCullers at No. 12 and No. 35, Cecch isn’t a BAD prospect, just not the upside we’d want at No. 12. I was a big Lance McCullers’ backer, I wanted him desperately.
Also – If the idea was to save money on the front end to go after some tough signs at the backend (rounds seven on…), well that’s OK, too. If I recall correctly, we took the second most Top 250 prospects (as ranked by BA) of any team in baseball.
2. What three prospects have taken huge steps forward so far in 2012?
Zack Wheeler’s walk rate is probably the single most encouraging thing that’s happened this season. Besides that? Jefry Marte and Wilmer Flores have taken big steps forward.
3. What three prospects have regressed the most so far this season?
Reese Havens. Reese Havens, and Reese Havens.
Also – Cesar Puello (before getting hurt) and Albert Cordero.
4. Are the Mets finally going to have some quality homegrown relievers that can serve as a setup man and closer in the not so distant future?
It sure looks that way, with a plethora of relievers and former starters already vey close to the majors. Josh Edgin, Elvin Ramirez, Jenrry Mejia (he should start, but whatever), Jeurys Familia (of the two, Familia’s the reliever), Robert Carson, Adrian Rosario (we got him in the KRod trade) are all in Binghamton or Buffalo, and should be close to the majors.
Beyond that, there’s Adam Kolarek and Jack Leathersich, a pair of promising lefties in St. Lucie. Leathersich, in particular, can BRING it, his minor league numbers to date are just stupid dominant (52 innings, 24 hits, 9/6 r/er, hr, 18/85 bb/k, .138 BAA).
5. Wilmer Flores has begun the shift to second base. What prompted the move? Considering his size can he stick there? Where will he ultimately wind up if and when he makes it to the majors?
I’m not sure if Wilmer is a second baseman, he played there some in the VWL with Margarita, and played three games there recently for St. Lucie, but I think he ultimately winds up at third base. I’m guessing, though, that when he’s promoted to Binghamton, he’ll be shifting around all four infield spots (yes, including some at shortstop). I’d personally try him some in left field, although he might be worse than Todd Hundley and Daniel Murphy were out there.
6. Assume that Wheeler, Harvey, Familia, Nimmo, Flores are currently our Top 5 Prospects in no particular order. Tell me who you think numbers 6-10 are?
Going off the given five, I’ll assume Mejia is ineligible. I got Michael Fulmer, Domingo Tapia (wondering if he ever pitches again this year, they want to limit his innings, but it’s been like a month), Matt den Dekker, Aderlin Rodriguez and…. Jordany Valdespin
7. We keep hearing about 2014 and how that’s when it’s all supposed to come together for the New York Mets. What will our starting rotation look like in 2014?
Santana, Dickey (because he will get a lifetime contract extension!), Niese, Wheeler, and Mejia.
Thanks, Tej… You can check out more from Tej at Mets Prospect Hub.
Note: These questions were asked and answered before some of the recent promotions.