With the second half of the 2013 season coming up, and the Mets’ playoff hopes all but in the past, it seems right to start thinking about the young talent that could be brought up to Queens once the minor league season is finished in September. Here are my predictions for who that young talent will be.
Giancarlo Alvarado – Heard the name? Probably not. Alvarado, although not young at 35, was signed by the Mets out of the Mexican League on June 24. In the great hitting league that is the PCL, Alvarado has posted an ERA of 0.89 in four starts this year. True, he may not be able to keep that up, but odds are Carlos Torres won’t be able to keep his stellar play up either, forcing the Mets to give someone a few spot starts in September. Do I think Alvarado will make the team in the end? No. Do I think he’s worth a look? Absolutely.
Robert Carson – Carson was sent down to Las Vegas along with Ike Davis and Mike Baxter but has since proved himself worthy of a call-up. However, with two lefties already in the bullpen, it’s unlikely Carson gets the call until September. In his last 10 outings with Las Vegas, Carson has only allowed six earned runs, all coming in one appearance, but has otherwise been spotless. He’s also been able to keep the ball in the ballpark, Carson’s Achilles heel, serving up only one big fly in that span.
Travis d’Arnaud – d’Arnaud will see doctors Monday to get clearance on beginning baseball activities after breaking his foot in April. d’Arnaud, who was expected to be called up mid-season while there was a possibility of John Buck getting traded, will now only be given the opportunity to showcase his talents in September. And that wouldn’t be a bad idea. Giving Buck some days off down the stretch would make sense when playoff hopes are officially gone. Through 36 at-bats, d’Arnaud was hitting .250 with a home run and 8 RBI.
Wilmer Flores – The Mets top homegrown position player in the minors should be ready when Terry Collins and Co. come knocking on Wally Backman‘s door in September. Flores is boasting a .321 AVG to complement an .885 OPS. Flores was scratched from Wednesday’s Triple A All Star Game with a twisted ankle, which Paul DePodesta has said is minor. Flores, who was signed by the Mets on his 16th birthday in 2007, leads the PCL in RBI (75), and is second in TB (196).
Zach Lutz – The 3B/1B Zach Lutz was called up at the end of June and was sent down after only getting into four games and recording only one hit. But Lutz could provide much needed depth at both positions, should Ike Davis get sent down again and Josh Satin in need of a day off, and with David Wright needing a rest once in a while during the last month of the season. Lutz’s OBP is only a tick short of Wilmer Flores‘, and his performance since June has been outstanding, hitting over .320 in both June and July.
None – No outfielder in the Mets system is currently completely worthy of a call-up. Obviously that could change if Matt den Dekker proves capable, but the organization might want to keep him down due to his recent return from wrist surgery. Mike Baxter was sent down at the same time as Ike Davis, but Baxter’s numbers haven’t “popped” the way Davis’ did, as the first baseman has since returned unlike Baxter. Jordany Valdespin doesn’t look like he’ll be back any time soon, and the rest are guys who aren’t on the 40-man roster, which could force the Mets to make moves they might not want to make.
The Mets will have to make a few more moves if they want to get to 40 players by September 1st, but for now these are the ones that make the most sense.