MMO Roundtable: Which Mets Rookie Has Impressed You The Most?

An article by posted on September 17, 2013

zack wheeler

Which Mets rookie has impressed you the most this season?

Joe S. - Zack Wheeler has impressed me the most. He came with a ton of expectations and has shown improvement with each outing. If he can match Harvey’s focus he will be a force to be reckoned with.

Rob C. – Wheeler for toughing it out and proving those who said he wasn’t ready wrong.

New York Mets v Atlanta Braves

Jacob – Most people will say Juan Lagares, and I agree, but I have to say Josh Satin. No matter how many days off he has in between starts, he just hits and gets on base. His streak of consecutive starts with at least one time on base is more than that of any other Met rookie. He played third as well which makes him very versatile. He vowed to learn the outfield during the off season, which can only help him and the Mets.

Xtreem – Josh Satin has crushed LHP and will probably make a career out of that, but I can see him exposed as an every day player. His defense isn’t good enough to live with his bat against RHP, but his versatility is enough to get him in the lineup against LHP most of the time, whether it be at first, second or the OF (if he does spend time with Byrd this offseason). He can be very useful going forward. Overall, though, it’s Lagares. His consistency is what’s impressed me most. He’s a great CF, but most Mets fans who pay attention to the minors already knew that. What I love is his ability to adjust to a corner spot so fluidly and his negligible platoon splits at the plate. He hits for more power against lefties and gets on base more frequently vs. righties, so he has an upside one way or the other as an everyday player at the plate, and we can see that he’d save runs in the outfield at whichever spot he’s in.

juan lagares

David C. - Definitely Lagares, I really didn’t know what to expect with him. I didn’t think he would pan out with TC’s lineup changes, I didn’t think he would get a shot, but he did and he has been great. Lacks the power needed for the outfield, but I still think that will come, but he is exciting to watch, explosive in the outfield and a cannon for an arm. I know the bat will come around, but you can’t hide from the fact that he has impressed many with his defense and range in the outfield.

Connor - I’d say Juan Lagares has been the biggest surprise, but Zack Wheeler has been the most impressive. He had a bit of an adjustment period, which you would expect from a young pitcher, but he has really turned it up a notch lately. Since his first three starts, he has an ERA under three and has gone at least six innings in eight of those eleven starts. This is not what I expected from Wheeler and it has me hopeful for his performance next year.

Gerry – Lagares has impressed the most by playing Gold Glove caliber outfield and improving his offensive game during the course of the season. His instincts and tools are quite good for a young player who plays a premium defensive position.

Daniel – Juan Lagares has been terrific. The arm is there, but his speed, routes and ball transfer quickness from glove to hand make him a solid outfielder.

Andre – Clearly Juan Lagares as he´s been the most surprising Rookie with his outstanding CF defense which nobody expected from him while he was coming up through the farm system. Lagares is a great example by the way for what the minor leagues are for and why it´s important to have patience and not give up on prospects too early. And why proper player development may be just as important as player procuring via the draft or International Free agency.

When Lagares was signed as a 17-year-old in 2006, he was a skinny SS with a solid hit tool and little else. Like a lot of young kids back then, he was pushed extremely aggressively jumping from the DSL straight to Low A Savannah in 2007 where he –naturally – was overmatched as an 18-year-old with no US experience. He then languished in full season A-Ball for 3 (!) seasons between 2008 and 2010 and was basically considered a non-prospect by the end of the 2010 season at age 21 with a career OBP below .300 and being moved from SS to the OF.

In 2011, his hit-tool suddenly exploded and he entered the “2nd Tier” prospect map, usually being ranked in the # 11 to # 20 range in the organization. Not enough power & speed to project as starting corner OF in the majors and not enough OF defense to be considered a true CF prospect. Still, the .349 BA/.383 OBP/.500 SLG between Hi A and Double A at age 22 suggested that he could become a useful 4th outfielder, maybe even a “tweener” in the pre-steroids Melky Cabrera mold. In 2012, he regressed to .283 BA / .334 OBP / .389 SLG in a full Double A season and was generally listed outside of the Mets Top 30 prospects, again, due to a combo of lack of power projection and lack of plus defense and clearly behind Nieuwenhuis and Den Dekker on the upper level CF depth chart. Then, things clicked in 2013 and he now looks like a potential piece of the longterm puzzle. A Gold Glove caliber defensive CF and enough of a bat to project as at least a competent # 7 hitter in a legit major league lineup.

Joe D. – Wheeler has had a solid season, but mostly he’s met my expectations and likely everyone else’s as well. Scott Rice leading the league in appearances with 73 certainly merits some consideration, as does Josh Satin. But considering Lagares wasn’t even on the map going into this season and was basically left for dead by prospect experts and many a Met fan, he’s the one who has impressed the most for me, especially given the Mets lack of position players. They can now cross centerfield off the list.

About the Author ()

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 and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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