Big Things Have Small Beginnings
In a post last week, I discussed the incredible turnaround the Mets minor league affiliates have made this season with as many as four of them poised to win their divisions and head into postseason play. Yesterday, we posted about the historic season the Binghamton Mets are having as they set a new franchise record for most wins in a season with their 84th victory.
It’s no secret that the Mets minor league system has gotten a bad rap for over a decade, most of it undeserved and very exaggerated. They pick and choose the players they like and those they don’t, especially when those players exceed expectations.
MMO writer Andre Dobiey, left an interesting comment that addressed this negative bias against the Mets minor league system, and I wanted to share that in this post.
Neither the Mets under Minaya nor the Mets under Alderson (did) receive a lot of positive feedback on their farm system. It just so happens that they may not be a very popular organization within the industry, at least for the main prospect outlets.
Maybe some prospect outlets remain bitter about the results of the much ballyhooed “Generation K” who they all ended up being wrong about. And since then, making fun about the Mets has always been more enjoyable than legitimately analyzing their talent without bias.
Baseball America hasn´t had their “frontline” analysts focus on the Mets system in a long time. The system used to be covered by Adam Rubin – who had no idea about the quality of the other 29 systems. And in recent years, assistant editor Matt Eddy has been covering the system. Their “big guns” have pretty much been out of the loop for over a decade. Callis, Manuel and others also care quite a bit about the BA draft coverage. Usually, the systems picking closest to the BA projections will receive the highest grade. And the Mets quite often have strayed from the consensus, though that did change some for the 2013 draft.
Neither Matt Harvey nor Brandon Nimmo for example were very popular picks for BA. Harvey didn´t make their pre-2011 Top 100 list – quite rare for a # 7 overall pick. And neither has Nimmo yet. When in doubt, the Mets prospect has usually received a lower grade than a similar prospect in a different org, especially with ATL or BOS, based on their much better track record or possibly the ability to put their prospects into better light.
In the past, Mets prospects were downgraded for lack of performance while getting rushed through the system at a very young age (the “Bernazard” effect). Nowadays, they are being downgraded for supposedly being progressed too slowly.
Prospects like Cesar Puello & Wilmer Flores suffer from overexposure. Folks were disappointed when they didn´t move through the system smoothly as teenagers. And now they are not willing to reconsider even though both are barely 22 and pretty much producing the way people thought they would five years ago. Rafael Montero lacks the size and background most prospect outlets except for John Sickels prefer. Sickels has actually been the highest on the Mets system among all outlets for several years for whatever reason.
With the emergence of Matt Harvey, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and Bobby Parnell as homegrown fixtures in the Mets rotation and bullpen, nobody was willing to admit they might have been wrong about their earlier assessments about the Mets minor league system and development.
The other day, Sandy Alderson pointed to the record of his minor league affiliates when he was asked about the progress the team has made under his reign. And yes, while the minor league record has no direct bearing on major league performance, it is an indication that change for the better is on the way.
“Big things have small beginnings.”
It’s a quote from a movie I watched the other day entitled “Prometheus”. It seems appropriate to apply to the current Mets.
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
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. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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