Mike Kerwick of Baseball America has dished out his Minor League Players of the Year selections and named Rafael Montero as the Mets’ Best Pitcher and Wilmer Flores got the nod as the Mets’ Best Position Player.
Both players were very deserving, especially Montero who has done nothing but excel since turning pro. His primary competition came from Noah Syndergaard.
Montero edges out Noah Syndergaard, a 21-year-old righty who has drawn raves since arriving in a trade with the Blue Jays….Montero had the better season, but scouts regard Syndergaard as having the higher upside.
To do what Montero has done while pitching in the Pacific Coast League, where pitching phenoms usually are laid waste, clinched the deal for him. And likely has sewn up a spot in the 2014 rotation as well.
As for Flores, it was no competition. At the age of 21 for most of this season (he turned 22 last month), Flores led the entire Mets organization both in the minors and majors with 99 RBIs.
Early in the season, Sandy Alderson was asked what position Flores would eventually play in the majors, and he jokingly replied, “middle of the order.”
It will be interesting to see how Sandy plays this one out. Even with Lucas Duda sort of doing better at first base, he’s still not looking like the primary solution to me. You have first and second base to man, and you have Flores, Duda and Daniel Murphy. I’m not even mentioning Ike Davis and Josh Satin who are still with the team as well.
Anyway, that’s a thought for another post, congratulations to Flores and Montero. Two very deserving players who have done it all in the minors and are now ready to begin their bright major league futures.
Thoughts from Matt Musico
With regard to Flores, the Mets are now reaping the benefits of the $750K investment they made six years ago when the the young infielder was 16-years-old. Despite only spending 66 games in Double-A Binghamton last season following a mid-year promotion from St. Lucie, Flores showed his ability to adjust to opposing PCL pitchers. In 424 at-bats with the Las Vegas 51s, Flores hit .321/.357/.521 with 15 home runs, 86 RBIs, and 36 doubles. He made his MLB debut with the Mets on his 22nd birthday, and is hitting .218/.258/.299 with one homer and 13 RBIs.
Kerwick confessed that the race for best pitcher in the organization was a close one between Montero and Noah Syndergaard. However, what Montero was able to do in 155 innings of work between Binghamton and Las Vegas sealed the deal. He went a combined 12-7 with a 2.78 ERA in 27 starts. What was most impressive was his success while pitching at Cashman Field, notorious for favoring the hitter. In 47 innings pitched at home, he allowed just two home runs and posted a 2.87 ERA. His control was a little off when he made the jump to Triple-A, but Montero went back to his old self in 38.2 August innings; he went 3-1 with a 1.40 ERA, including six walks and 37 strikeouts.
I really enjoyed the end of Kerwick’s article, because he focused on a couple of players who aren’t getting as much attention as guys like Montero, Flores, and Syndergaard.
In 53 games for the B-Mets, reliever Jeff Walters went 4-3 with a 2.09 ERA, 16 walks, 60 strikeouts and 38 saves in 56 innings of work. Getting that many saves is easy when you’re on an 86-win team like Binghamton, but he was a rock for manager Pedro Lopez at the back of his bullpen. A lot of us at Mets Minors are in agreement that he should be considered for the big league bullpen at the start of 2014. At the very least, he should be on the 40-man.
Gabriel Ynoa led the SAL with 15 regular season wins, and captured two more in the postseason as the Savannah Sand Gnats won the South Atlantic League championship for the first time since 1996. Like Montero, he has impeccable control, and led the way with a 1.06 BB/9 rate.
It was a good year for the players in New York’s farm system, and here’s to hoping they all progress and have a fantastic 2014!